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HBO presents
You So Crazy (1994)

"I find that women don't leave you as fast when you have a nice place."
- Martin Lawrence

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: April 26, 2001

Stars: Martin Lawrence
Director: Thomas Schlamme

Manufacturer: Wamo
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (contains graphic language only suitable for adults)
Run Time: 01h:25m:13s
Release Date: April 03, 2001
UPC: 026359114229
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C C+C+B D+

DVD Review

Back in 1994, Martin Lawrence was a rising personality in the world of stand-up comedy. Known for his raucous material and incessant cursing, he used his dynamic personality to gain both acclaim and derision throughout the country. Before his successful starring roles in Bad Boys, Nothing to Lose and Big Momma's House, Lawrence lived on the basis of his stand-up routine and television series.

You So Crazy catapulted Lawrence into the comic stratosphere and brought his brand of comedy to film audiences across the country. Its success would eventually propel him into an extremely popular film career that made him one of the top comic actors in the business. Lawrence covers a variety of topics during the show, including racism, jail, drugs, and male/female relationships. While his humor is biting and often creative, much of the material falls flat because of a misplaced focus. Too often, Lawrence's comedy appears intended to shock more than to generate laughter. While he keeps the concert interesting through his energetic personality, the enjoyment often is lost within the midst of constant cursing and silly lowbrow jokes.

Lawrence opens the show with an extended talk about racism, a topic that provides plenty of opportunities for insight and humor. Unfortunately, his words tackle the usual stupid clichés and offend without serving any purpose. Compared to the creative racial comparisons in the recent comedy concert The Original Kings of Comedy, Lawrence comes off as unoriginal and sorely lacking the personality needed to pull off comments on this touchy subject. This tone permeates the entire show and removes the punch from the enjoyable elements of the set. The result is an uneven combination of tedious set pieces and fairly inventive humor.

One interesting section concerns Lawrence's difficult childhood growing up in poverty without a father. It features some of his best humor, including comments on the countless uses of bread when money is lacking. This portion reveals a possible source for the cynicism that flows through much of his work. Later on during a discussion about relationships, Lawrence's straightforward and hard-hitting nature comes out in talking about the reasons for past failures. Although it goes on for too long, this is some of his most entertaining work. While it's mostly played for laughs, a few tinges of genuine honesty are exuded here to offset the offensive nature at least slightly.

Martin Lawrence has enjoyed the fruits of his considerable talents with an extremely successful film career that continues to rocket to new heights. You So Crazy shows off his ebullient personality, but the material strays too often towards dull, low level humor that offends more than it generates laughter. Lawrence throws a tremendous amount of energy into comic set pieces with obvious punch lines that drag on for too long. Although it's not a complete failure and has a few nice moments, this stand-up concert falls considerably short of those by other top comedians.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: This entire concert takes place on a simple, dark stage with no variations of any kind, lessening the importance of pristine visuals due to the simplicity of the colors and camera shots. Unfortunately, this full-screen transfer falls even short of the expected picture level for this concert film. It resembles VHS in the sense that it falls short from the level of clarity normally associated with the DVD format. The images lack any major defects, but they also contain a significant level of grain and haziness that is surprising. It fails to detract too much from the concert, but this lesser transfer is definitely noteworthy.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Martin Lawrence spends the entire concert talking, with no music in the background and with a surprisingly low level of crowd noise. This essentially limits the 2.0-channel Dolby Surround transfer to the basic task of making sure his words are understandable. It succeeds nicely in this aspect, and the sound moves nicely from the speakers in a clear manner. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it serves its purpose.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: You So Crazy is virtually devoid of extra features except for the basic theatrical trailer and a biography. The preview fails to show any scenes from the film, and instead takes the creative route of stressing its uncensored and crazy elements. The biography provides some nice background on his Martin Lawrence's successful career. It's a good overview for viewers new to this comedian, but fails to provide anything beyond the elementary information.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

You So Crazy presents Martin Lawrence in energetic form as he covers numerous aspects of life with his raucous sense of humor. While he does inject some insight and provide some funny moments, the overall stand-up concert falls short due to a focus more on shock than creativity. Lawrence is a talented entertainer, but he misses the mark too many times to make this show an enjoyable experience.


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