Starsky & Hutch on DVD
You can tell Hollywood is running out of ideas (though theyd never admit
it) when they start making movies about 70s TV shows that should have never
been made in the first place.
Todd Phillips, who previously brought us Road Trip and Old School, takes on
a big budget action-comedy film with Starsky & Hutch, starring Owen Wilson
and that guy whos in every second movie of 2004, Ben Stiller. Its
pretty standard fare, but is at least a little better than a lot of the action
buddy comedies of late.
Dave Starsky (Stiller) is a humorless, by-the-book undercover cop who screws
up all the time. Ken Hutchinson (Wilson) is a fun-loving, slightly corrupt undercover
cop who screws up all the time. Why their superiors thought it would be a good
idea to team them up is beyond us. But nevertheless
The duos first big case is to uncover a cocaine operation run by Reese
(Vince Vaughn). This new coke (while it probably wont be around forever)
passes itself off as artificial sweetener, and can even pass the usual testing
that cocaine goes through to see if its real cocaine. Needless to say,
the pair screws up several times, angers their superiors, gets made fun of by
their peers, and even gets suspended indefinitely (now who would
have suspected that in a movie about screwup cops?).
But if you think getting suspended would stop our heroes from attempting to
thwart Reeses drug ring, youve obviously never seen a movie before.
Road Trip was pretty funny, and Old School was arguably one of the best movies
of 2003. So of course, we were intrigued when Phillips announced he would be
co-writing and directing this film.
Unfortunately, theres only so much one person can do, and Starsky &
Hutch ends up as a disappointment. Theres not nearly enough action to
consider it an action film, and theres not enough funny stuff to consider
it a comedy.
It does its best at both, and it does offer a few good chuckles, but the major
redeeming quality is the chemistry between the two leads. Wilson turns in his
usual charming, have-a-good-time performance, while Stillers fits somewhere
in between the two characters hes played in his career.
Add Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, Amy Smart and Carmen Electra as hot cheerleaders,
a sweet car, Will Ferrell as a potentially gay inmate, and cameos by the original
Starsky & Hutch, and you have yourself a relatively enjoyable movie that
appeals more to the mainstream crowd than the Old School crowd. Worth a rental
Raking in almost $90 million at the box office, Starsky & Hutch was another
hit for Phillips, Stiller, Wilson, and Warner Bros. The DVD presentation is
much like the movie: good, but could have been considerably better.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen looks pretty good, with rich colors and sharp
detail, but with a bit of softness here and there. Dust and grain are almost
nonexistent, and there are no traces of edge enhancement or halos.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is pretty good too, with plenty of subtle
surrounds and some excellent front-to-rear pans, particularly in the cases of
bullets and vehicles. The center channel does most of the work, while the subwoofer
doesnt do much at all.
Phillips provides an admirable audio commentary for the film. He talks about
the differences between the movie and the TV show, and many of the similarities.
He even tried to get Stiller and Wilson to mimic the original stars in certain
respects, such as Starskys running. It would have been a much better commentary,
though, had they convinced the two stars -- and possibly even Snoop Dogg --
Two featurettes are included, seemingly for the sake of including two featurettes.
The first is Fashion Fa Shizzle Wit Huggy Bizzle, in which Snoop
Dogg spends three minutes taking us on a tour of clothing, which also features
footage of him modeling the outfits. Its completely superfluous, but who
doesnt love Snoop Dogg?
The second featurette is entitled Last Look Special, and is apparently
a parody of HBOs First Look specials. It basically features the cast and
crew talking about how much they dislike each other, with the occasional scene
from the film. Its funny for a couple of minutes, but runs for over nine.
A series of deleted scenes, a tremendously unfunny gag reel, and a hilarious
Easter Egg round out the extras.
Starsky & Hutch, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
107 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell
Produced by Alan Riche, Stuart Cornfield, Akiva Goldsman, William Blinn, Tony
Screenplay by John OBrien and Todd Phillips & Scot Armstrong, Directed
by Todd Phillips
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