The Couch Potato Report – July 20th, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report I’ll talk about a classic TV show that has becomes a classic comedy and two other non-classic releases.
I admit it.
I’ve never seen an episode of the 1970’s TV show STARSKY & HUTCH. I grew up in Germany and we didn’t get American TV shows, actually for a few years we didn’t even have a TV.
So I’ve never seen the show.
I do know that it ran from 1975 until 1979, and it was more dramatic than funny.
I also do know that tough Starsky and educated Hutch were plainclothes cops taking on dope dealers, muggers and other thugs.
I am also aware that the duo was aided by their red 1974 Torino and informant Huggy Bear and that both bachelors’ private lives played a part within the show.
But I only know that because I read it on the Internet Movie Database.
So, since I’ve never seen the show STARSKY & HUTCH, I won’t spend any time this week comparing the show to the just released on video and DVD film version.
I’m just going to spend this time talking about how much I enjoyed the film.
With Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson of MEET THE PARENTS and ZOOLANDER, along with Vince Vaughn from DODGEBALL and OLD SCHOOL and rap star Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear, the film version of STARSKY & HUTCH is blessed with a great cast.
Since it is a “buddy cop film” it follows the patented recipe where two cops, who are complete opposites, dislike each other to begin with, but end up finding a common bond that allows them to work as a team.
Luckily there are a few special ingredients in this cinematic recipe and there are some parts that will surprise you and make you laugh out loud.
Thus, the story isn’t the point of this film. The mocking-yet-loving jabs at the ’70s, including the homoerotic overtones of Starsky and Hutch’s partnership, are what this movie is about.
More importantly, it’s about making us laugh. And it does that quite often.
Sure, I’ve never seen one episode of the TV series, but I have seen and enjoyed the movie based on it.
And I highly recommend the movie version of STARSKY & HUTCH.
I can’t recommend the film CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, although it does contain a spunky, energetic performance from Lindsay Lohan of MEAN GIRLS.
Lohan plays Lola, the eldest daughter of a single mother who moves the family from New York City to New Jersey.
As if it isn’t hard enough adjusting to a new suburban town and new school, a group of pretty, popular, snobby girls antagonize Lola from the day she arrives.
I am a 36 year-old male, and I Feel confident enough to say that this film wasn’t made for people of my age and gender.
This is a film that’s perfect for teenage girls, but almost no one else. Consider the fact that it’s called CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN a sign.
You should also consider the fact that there are virtually no extra features on the DVD of the film THE HUMAN STAIN as a sign.
A sign that the three main actors involved in the picture wanted to put this failure behind them and not acknowledge it by looking back at it or commenting on it.
Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman and Ed Harris are the heavyweight actors behind this cinematic failure.
THE HUMAN STAIN is the story of a professor with a terrible secret whose affair with a young female janitor is uncovered, unleashing a secret that he had harboured for over fifty years.
Once the secret is out, there are a series of devastating consequences.
Devastating as also an apropos word to use to describe the film.
Anthony Hopkins looks like he can’t wait for it to be over. Nicole Kidman looks great, as always, but is she trying to be sultry? Sexy? A femme fatale? I sure couldn’t tell. Even the always-reliable Ed Harris is wasted in this picture.
If you are curious about THE HUMAN STAIN, my suggestion is you read Philip Roth’s acclaimed novel and skip this cinematic catastrophe.
STARSKY & HUTCH, CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN and THE HUMAN STAIN are all available now at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
In the movie version of the comic book HELLBOY the son of Satan is raised on earth to fight evil. Ron Perlman and Selma Blair star in this film that is, obviously, not a documentary.
The 4-disc box set for SLEDGE HAMMER! Features all 22 episodes of Season One of the mid-80’s TV cop show parody. It also has a commentary from creator Alan Spencer; the unaired pilot; “Go Ahead, Make Me Laugh” * a new 32-minute documentary on the series with new interviews of cast and crew and a 16-page booklet.
Finally next week is the film THE WHOLE TEN YARDS. This sequel to the very funny film THE WHOLE NINE YARDS is so bad, so awful, and so much a waste of your time. I’d skip it all together, but its important for you to hear just how bad it is so you don’t waste your time, like I did.
Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Natasha Henstridge and Amanda Peet should all have to do hours and hours of community service to make up for how bad this thing is!
I’ll have more on it, and those other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – July 20th, 2004