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DVD Review: EDDIE MURPHY: DELIRIOUS

25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Year: 1983
Cast: Eddie Murphy
Director: Bruce Gowers
Release Date: July 26, 2009, 2:31 pm
Rating: Not Rated for (adult language)
Run Time: 01h:10m:00s

ìMichael Jackson, who can sing, and is a good looking guy, but isnít the most masculine fellow in the world.î - Eddie Murphy

EDDIE MURPHY: DELIRIOUS
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Stand-up comedy doesn't get much better than this seminal classic. It'll be interesting to see what Anchor Bay has in store for this new DVD edition.

Movie Grade: A-

DVD Grade: B

Writing about Eddie Murphy: Delirious is about as daunting a task as the prospect of airing it uncensored on The Disney Channel. This concert film was shot at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. on August 17, 1983, at the height of Eddie Murphyís rise to fame. He had already established himself as a virtual rock star thanks to his amazing work on Saturday Night Live and was in-between the success of the recently released 48 Hrs. and Trading Places, and the soon-to-premiere Beverly Hills Cop when Delirious debuted on pay-cable. It was a huge hit, but became a virtual phenomenon when it was released on VHS.

I was probably 10 when I first saw Delirious, and any such viewings required some covert maneuvers to sneak in a screening. Now, revisiting it all these years later, itís instantly evident why my parents couldnít know I was watching it at such a young age. Not only is the F-word used at least once a minute, but there are also some truly uncomfortable moments during the 70-minute program. Fortunately, the worst of them happens at the beginning when Eddie focuses on homosexuals. Not only does he use terms that are beyond derogatory in todayís society, but he associates them with AIDS in a manner that is beyond reprehensible given the history and current outlook on the disease. Then again, this was 1983 and much of societyís views have changed on the subject, but I still find it hard to believe that it was considered ok for Murphy to say such things, even if it was in the name of comedy.

Watching this now makes the Michael Jackson segment all the more timely and appealing. Given that his death is still fresh in our minds, I was a bit leery about hearing Eddie take Michaelís somewhat feminine nature to task. Fortunately, he keeps this piece tasteful throughout, knocking on MJís lack of masculinity in a non-stop, hilarious fashion. Thatís the point where the show really takes off, with Eddie touching on a ton of subjects that anyone can relate to. The best bits involve his diatribes about how kids act, with his impression of an upset boy crying in his room and wishing horrible things upon his parents among the most memorable.

Still, to this day, the funniest bit that Delirious has to offer is Eddieís impression of his drunk fatherís endless ranting. What begins as a series of simple, drunken complaints, evolves into a side-splitting piece about his dadís hatred for their dog. This is an amazing sequence with Eddie seamlessly delivering this long series of jokes with such hilarity and ease that a crowd member actually asks him to do the bit again when he finishes. Delirious has been on DVD before, but this new, 25th Anniversary Edition includes a second disc that has some interviews with Murphy along with bonus footage that was cut out of the original release. Some of these extras were on the older DVD, but thereís still more than enough here to make this a must-buy for all Eddie Murphy fans.

Chuck Aliaga July 26, 2009, 2:31 pm