DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (Blu-ray)
Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (Blu-ray)
Magnolia Home Entertainment // R // February 3, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Oktay Ege Kozak | posted January 29, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

The Movie:

For a lot of comedians, pain is just as much of a factor in life as laughter. A lot of comedy legends who were far ahead of their time and transcended the medium through bold choices that were very unpopular during their period were the best at taking personal tragedy and turning it into comedy gold. In the case of Richard Pryor, arguably the greatest stand-up comedian of all time, his personal pain and his public comedy were inseparably interconnected.

What made his work so special, so groundbreaking and so universally relatable was the fact that none of the tragic circumstances in his life were too painful to be turned into comedy bits. In fact, in some cases, the bigger and deeper the pain, the funnier the bit would become. Consider his hilarious retelling of the time he became so belligerent upon finding out his wife was going to leave him, that he filled her car full of bullets, causing cops to show up at the scene and turning the whole affair into a media circus.

Nothing about the reality of that story sounds humorous in any way and in the hands of a more traditional storyteller, would be immediately turned into a melodrama of the highest order. However, in Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, easily the best of his stand-up concert films, he turns the unfortunate event (In which he's clearly the antagonist, mind you) into one of his rawest and funniest bits, giving unique voices to everything, from the motor in the car to the bottle of vodka he was drinking at the time. Truth, no matter how unpleasant or inconvenient, was Pryor's number one priority in constructing his act, and his unique ability in turning his pain into everyone else's laughter is why he was a legend.

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic is a brief and straightforward tribute to Pryor. Despite the fact that it's mostly for those who might be beginning to delve into the work of this incredibly complex and layered man, it gets the job done as far as creating a somewhat superficial yet satisfying portrait. The documentary covers the highlights of Pryor's life, most of which should be familiar to his fans, via a strictly linear narrative:

His first baby steps in the world of comedy as a clean stand-up act that imitated Bill Cosby, his days in Berkeley as a hippie, his culturally explosive resurgence as a no holds barred comic, his multiple marriages, his major cocaine addiction, that time he infamously set himself on fire, which later turned out to be a suicide attempt, his M.S. diagnosis and subsequent retraction from the limelight until his passing in 2005, all of these details vital to his life are covered mostly through contemporary interviews with his peers, friends, relatives, ex-girlfriends and ex-wives. I would say that, as a die-hard fan, maybe ten percent of the information that exists in Omit the Logic was news to me.

However, this is a documentary that should prove to be one of the better first steps into learning more about Pryor as a person and as a comedian. If you're merely familiar with a couple of Pryor's concert specials and wanted to find out more about him, Omit the Logic should be, pardon the pun, the logical next step. Director Marina Zenovich does an excellent job balancing the many important facets of Pryor's life as she gives enough space to his revolutionary comedy, his personal life, as well as his battle with drugs and depression. Thankfully, she gives more screen time to some of Pryor's more underrated achievements, like his single season attempt at a TV show, which was far ahead of its time as far as political and sexual content on network television was concerned, and less on his underwhelming aspects, like his career in film.

The Blu-Ray:

Video:

Omit the Logic follows the fairly predictable visual structure of a biographical documentary, intercutting between new interview footage shot on digital cameras and vintage footage shot on film. The interviews have the clean and crisp HD camera look, full of bright colors that we come to expect from such a project. Much of the vintage footage is restored really well. Overall, this is a solid 1080p transfer.

Audio:

Almost all of Omit the Logic consists of audio from the interviews, so it's unnecessary for such a film to sport a sound mix above the DTS-HD 2.0 that comes on the disc. The audio is always clear either during the new interviews or the archival footage of Pryor.

Extras:

Interviews: This is a series of interview footage that didn't make it into the final film. In total, it runs about half an hour. This feature contains more interesting takes on Pryor from most of the film's subjects, as well as Willie Nelson, who I don't think was part of the final cut.

Final Thoughts:

It's obvious that in order to even attempt to truly capture Pryor's essence, one would need to construct a Ken Burns-style ten to fifteen hour documentary. Therefore, it's no surprise that Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic feels like it skims over this extraordinary and extraordinarily flawed man's life. It works as a great starting point and will hopefully get everyone to seek out more of his work.

Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com

Find the lowest price for 'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Bound - Signature Series
2. The Last Hunt
3. The Day of the Jackal
4. Smashing Time
5. Breaking In (Unrated Director's Cut)
6. The Tree of Life: Criterion Collection
7. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
8. Schlock
9. The Pyjama Girl Case


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use