Release Date(s)2013 (February 3, 2015)
Studio(s)Magnolia Home Entertainment
- Film/Program Grade: A
- Video Grade: B+
- Audio Grade: B+
- Extras Grade: D+
Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic is a documentary about the legendary stand-up comedian and actor. Marina Zenovich produced the film in 2013 and it premiered on Showtime last July. Using archival footage and audio, we see a great number of comedians and people in the entertainment industry, as well as some of Richard Pryor’s closest friends and family, revealing the truth of Pryor and his station in life.
Any fan of stand-up comedy should know who Richard Pryor is by this point. He was a man who challenged racism in the entertainment community, breaking through barriers to come out on top as one of the three most admired and celebrated comedians in history, alongside Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. His off-stage lifestyle became something of legend, often making its way into his stand-up routine. Hardly anybody familiar with Pryor that doesn’t know about the infamous fireball incident, or the fact that he contracted multiple sclerosis later in his life.
Most documentaries about Pryor focus on his career and comedy, and while this one certainly does that, it tends to lean more towards the personal, which makes it a more heartfelt and interesting experience that’s full of poignant moments. All of the interviewees have great stories, opinions, and anecdotes to share. The documentary is only 83 minutes in length. It felt so concise that it left me wanting more, which is what any good film should do. But it further demonstrates the importance of comedians like Pryor and Carlin, and what a loss their deaths were. Even now we long to hear them speaking out about what’s going on in the world today. Their comedy went beyond mere jokes and got more to the truth, which is why their material is still so relevant.
The Blu-ray presentation of Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic features a blending of several different sources. The main interviews were shot digitally and the photographs that have been used seem to be of the highest quality, but some of the film and TV show portions come from SD sources, so it’s not all perfectly blended. Still, the interviews are well-filmed and everything appears in proper register. There’s not much more to the video presentation than that really. As for the audio, we’re given a single English 2.0 DTS-HD track. All of the interview footage is heard clearly and is very precise, while the archival footage seems to have been tidied up for use in a stereo soundstage. The score that’s been composed for the film blends into everything well and overall fidelity is excellent. There are also subtitles in English SDH and Spanish for those who might need them.
The disc also includes some additional interview footage that didn’t make the final cut of the film, featuring the likes of Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Jennifer Lee Pryor, Willie Nelson, Quincy Jones, David Banks, and David Steinberg.
If you haven’t had a chance to catch Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic on cable, I recommend checking it out on Blu-ray. It doesn’t reveal everything about Pryor’s life, or get into deeper biographical detail about his film and stand-up careers, but it’s a great look at who the man was personally and how he affected the world around him. Very much recommended.
- Tim Salmons