Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Written by Hombre Divertido
In Season One of the series the show had yet to really find it’s footing. The roles were still being defined and the writing was awkward. In Season Two, the show really begins to hit its stride. Not that is always a good stride. No matter what, this is Dukes of Hazard in Southern California and will always be ‘70s schmaltz at its best. Yes, it’s big teeth, big hair, big cars chases and crashes, and some disco thrown in for good measure, but it can be fun in doses.
The chemistry between our heroes, California Highway Patrol Officers Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Erik Estrada) is better in Season Two than in Season One as Jon becomes more of the straight man for the antics of Ponch, but this will become even more obvious in future seasons as Erik Estrada becomes the breakout star.
The show also becomes more of an ensemble this season as more opportunities are given to Robert Pine as Sgt. Joseph Getraer and Paul Linke as Officer Arthur Grossman. Lou Wagner joined the cast chief mechanic Harlan Arliss. Wagner brought a subtle humor to the show that would be appreciated for the remainder of the series.
This season is filled with fun episodes and lots of great guest stars from the era and some future stars. It’s great fun to see whom you can spot between the crashing cars that manage to fly through the air.
For the true ChiPs fans; look for Randi Oakes to make an appearance in Episode 35 “Down Time” as Kim the car thief. She would later mend her ways and become a cast member as officer Bonnie Clark.
Not a lot of extras here, but the featurette “The Real ChiPs” with Erik Estrada is fun. Whereas you may have always thought that the real ChiPs were rolling their eyes at the show, it would appear that they appreciated the publicity and the recruiting assistance. The last episode of the season, which is a feature-length retrospective of some of the highlights from the first two seasons, is also listed as a special feature but that is a little generous.
Recommendation: This is simple cheesy fun for the whole family. Be careful not to watch too many episodes in a row. Not only will you tire of the formula, but you may also find yourself with a desire to wear silk shirts and bell-bottoms.
Written by El Fangorio
Well let me start off by guessing that you are either scratching your head, trying to remember this film, or you are about to call your best friend when you were 12 to let him know that it’s happened: Jekyll and Hyde…Together Again is finally being released on DVD. It really is that kind of movie. For those that fall into the former camp, look up the original artwork for the video box and chances are you will recall seeing the crude illustration when you were younger and saying to yourself, “Fuck that dumb-ass looking movie.” But for those in the know, all I can ask is, “Why didn’t you make me watch this?” because it’s a damn funny film and about as politically incorrect as it’s going to get these days, and if nothing else, one hell of a fun walk down early ‘80s memory lane. Thank you, Legend Films, for rescuing yet another forgotten gem from the vaults at Paramount Studios.
Spoofing both the Robert Louis Stevens story and the 1963 film The Nutty Professor, Jekyll and Hyde…Together Again tells the story of Dr. Daniel Jekyll’s ongoing quest to harness man’s animal instincts. A mishap in the lab causes Jekyll to accidentally snort one of his botched concoctions, which in turn transforms him into the extra-hairy, extra-horny, extra-gold chain-wearing party animal, Mr. Hyde. Of course it isn’t long before Hyde’s all-nighters start taking it’s toll on Jekyll’s mundane professional and love life (not to mention his bank account) and he soon realizes that one of them has to go.
You’re going to be able to tell within the first 10 minutes if this is your kind of movie. Whether it’s the sound of a big ol’ gong being used to signify the presence of a Chinaman or straight up punching a woman in the face, this film has something to offend everyone. If the sight of someone greeting John Merrick (aka The Elephant Man) with a friendly slap on the head (resulting in his obvious “Owwww”), sounds funny to you, then you’re going to love this. Personally, nothing could be more hilarious.
Add to this, a great performance by its lead, Mark Blankfield (Blinkin from Robin Hood’s Men in Tights along with countless television appearances), who plays the characters as if he really did have a dual personality. I honestly couldn’t believe the same person played them until I checked the IMDB. Looking like Marty Feldman’s little brother, the guy need only contort the left side of his face (which he does a lot) to get a laugh out of me because let’s face it, the dude is funny looking just standing there. And that’s just when he’s Jekyll. When this guy turns into the perpetually gyrating, coke-snorting, sex fiend that is Mr. Hyde, you won’t know which one is funnier.
It’s also a lot of fun watching who’s going to pop on the screen next since this is chock full of either early ‘80s favorites or soon-to-be late ‘80s has-beens. Whether it’s Elvira (her face hidden by a surgical mask but clearly her voice and boobs), Norm from Cheers (dubbed but clearly his face and gut), or the kid from The NeverEnding Story, you will more than once say “I love that guy/girl! What the hell happened to them anyways?” And if nostalgia is your trip, then prepare for a hot visit to the video arcade (“Look, there’s Vanguard!”) and an even better jaunt through the cereal aisle at a local supermarket (“I forgot all about Kelloggs’ Most!”). Hell, this movie even has some cool (albeit low-budget) special FX when it comes to the transformation scenes, using good old-fashioned stop-motion photography to show how Hyde “grows” his tacky gold jewelry and newly firmed buttocks.
Once again, Legend Films delivers a fine presentation with a 1.78 transfer and it’s original mono audio. It could have benefited with some subtitles but there does appear to be closed captioning available. Like most of their releases this month, Legend Films has given us a bare-bones affair that doesn’t even include a trailer, which certainly could have helped in proving that this film did actually exist in the theater. And it bears noting that, unlike their previous releases, this doesn’t include the original artwork on its cover, as it was probably the number one reason this wasn’t viewed more often. Let’s hope this release changes that, as this is one film that deserves a wider audience.