USA Release date: 14th May 2010
Watched on Sky+ Monday 29th August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
To the people in the know, Bill Hicks is revered as one of the greats. I must admit I wasn’t all that familiar with his work before seeing this documentary. I may have seen the odd snippet here and there, maybe even caught part of the odd TV appearance when getting back late from the pub, but this is the first time I’ve actually sat down and watched any his work properly. You’ll be pleased to know you’ve got a convert right here! I can see why he was so successful over here in the UK; his style of humour is just the kind of thing we love. But I digress, here’s a bit about the film.
We are told the story of Bill Hicks right from birth until his death, tragically young, only 32 years later. It’s quite fascinating how he started out as a teenager with his friend Dwight Slade, and how they’d sneak out of the house to go and play gigs at a local comedy club. He gains some success and ends up solo when Dwight has to move away and we follow his career through alcoholism, drug abuse and back again. It’s only when he cleaned up that he had his greatest successes though. Sadly he never really made it really big in his home country during his lifetime, but he left us with some truly memorable and thought-provoking comedy… In my book, a genius.
Rather than just having lots of talking heads in between scenes of Bill on stage, the filmmakers used some photo-animation to illustrate certain parts of the story. This worked very well and served to keep the audience interested in the narrative. Many of his friends and family contribute to the story, which gives this version of events a lot of credence. I found I was not only intrigued by his life story, but also by his comedy. I will certainly be looking at more of the work of Bill Hicks… Recommended.
My Score: 8.2/10.
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 1,716 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82/100 (based on 55 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Official Site: http://www.americanthemovie.com/