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MARTIN LAWRENCE LIVE: RUNTELDAT



"...an odd amalgam of kitschy, transparently manipulative sentiment, provocative subject matter, off-kilter perspective and some truly funny physical humor...Frequently, he'll start off with what seems to be a public-spirited message--such as the dangers of smoking or the need for whites and blacks to get together--and then he'll spiral down into something so graphic, it undoes anything positive he said....The truth is, Lawrence's material runs between mediocre and offensive, and then he rescues it with his physical humor." -- Desson Howe, The Washington Post

"The Martin Lawrence we see in 'Runteldat' struts his stuff with the same get-a-load-of-me bluster he flaunted on 'Def Comedy Jam' and in his 1994 concert film, 'You So Crazy,' but beneath the braggadocio he comes off as a warmer, more self-savvy, and altogether funnier person...there's a new empathy to his raunch...Lawrence is still a hit-or-miss performer...It's confessional comedy lite from a performer who should realize, by now, that he only gets funnier the more he reveals." -- Owen Gleiberrman, Entertainment Weekly

"This picture is mostly a lump of run-of-the-mill profanity sprinkled with a few remarks so geared toward engendering audience sympathy that you might think he was running for office--or trying to win over a probation officer...his tired observations about the television show 'Cops' and the parenting styles of blacks versus whites seem to place the comedy in the early 90's, when he still had his restless future--of audience success and brushes with the law--ahead of him...The comedian tests his audience's patience by giving more advice than laughs at times in the show." -- Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"... as always, Lawrence is a no-holds-barred stand-up comedian who gets away with the strongest, most graphic language because he is so funny and because he makes himself the object of so much of his humor...It seems Lawrence has reflected deeply upon his down periods. They've left him wiser without dulling the sharp edges of his humor." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"...perhaps he could find more laughs if didn't take himself so seriously. Weighed down by a palpable self-love, Lawrence carves himself into a media-battered idol (see the five-minute news-and-movie-clip opening montage)... Lawrence ends the film with a screen-high publicity shot of himself, complete with a scrolling signature, as he blows a kiss to his biggest fan: himself." -- Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

"He's at his strongest when he sticks to the topics that originally made his standup routine so funny: dating, sex, marriage, children. He's weaker when he takes on serious issues: Osama bin Laden, fear of flying, the civil rights movement, police brutality. Despite displaying a softer side, Lawrence still has a potty mouth. And while a barrage of four-and 12-letter words is requisite in this setting, he uses them so much, they almost become a crutch..." --Christy Lemire, The Associated Press