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Starsky & Hutch (2004)

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4/10: Starsky & Hutch get no respect...
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Starsky & Hutch get no respect in their big-screen movie "Old School" director Todd Phillips lampoons every cop movie convention and cliché in his new action comedy "Starsky & Hutch," an amusing but anemic annihilation of the tough-minded, 1970s-era, buddy-themed, crime busters television series that paved the way for shows like "Miami Vice." Comedian Ben Stiller of "Meet the Parents" recreates the Paul Michael Glaser role as Det. Dave Starsky, while Owen Wilson of "The Big Bounce" updates the David Soul character Det. Ken Hutchinson. Mind you, Stiller is usually a stellar comic, but his exaggerated, hyperactive performance here is far too epileptic to be palatable. He resembles an anorexic Lou Ferrigno, and he behaves as if he wandered in from another movie. Meanwhile, Owen Wilson plays his usual laid-back slacker self. Wilson goes for comparative subtlety. Sadly, "S & H" lacks any shred of subtlety. What Phillips and co-scenarists John O'Brien of "Cradle 2 The...

10/10: The Firey, Red Torino fishtails...
Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Firey, Red Torino fishtails to a halt. We spill onto the streets, ready for action... Thankfully, Starsky & Hutch owes more to the Brady Bunch/Galaxy Quest breed of TV spoof -- the fond homage -- rather than the soulless rip-off that was I Spy or S.W.A.T. On top of that, S&H forgoes the big screen remake approach and manages to imbue this movie with a kind of intimate, small screen charm all its own.There's not much in the SPFX department -- a little green screen on a lizard's tail maybe -- just stunt driving and disco dancing and coo l characters. It occurred to me that this sort of 70's, character-based TV has given way to the "ensemble drama" where the characters are secondary and the formula is the star. Hence you can set CSI or Law and Order in any city and serve up a variety of interchangeable casts to populate your...

2/10: Exhibit "A" in the case...
Sunday, March 19, 2006

Exhibit "A" in the case against remakes Watching this movie made me wonder if the people who made it ever bothered to watch a single episode of the original Starsky and Hutch. They did nothing but take the name (and the car) and paste in on a completely forgettable, witless and insipid little cop movie. Ben Stiller is especially yawn-inducing as Starsky, a character with no personality other than a tendency to whininess. Owen Wilson brings some slight color to his role, almost enough to qualify as a character. Together, they come off as nothing more than a couple of stupid losers driving around in a red Torino. There's not much reason for these two to be in this movie anyway, as it's nothing more than a barrage of failed comedy sketches. The film offers a couple of chuckles, most notably when the big car jump at the end goes wrong, but it's hardly worth sitting...

6/10: Hmm ... Okay, I guess I...
Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hmm ... Okay, I guess I should know the "Starsky and Hutch" 70's show to truly understand this movie. But judging by my thoughts, the film was a little, well, disappointing.Sure, it was funny and there were some jaw-dropping moments, but I expected more. Sure, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are meant to tickle some funny bones, and sure, it's a buddy-cops action film. I love to be entertained by comedy and action, but I still expected more.When I say "more," I mean more form. The film just kind of rocked back and forth instead of really developing. Once you see an action sequence, you expect something to "resolve" or calm that sequence, but no, instead it's another action sequence. It goes on and on until one stops for a disco dance battle or a three-way kiss. See what I mean? So basically, all this film is missing is better form to get...

7/10: immaculately produced 70s light comedy...
Wednesday, April 7, 2004

immaculately produced 70s light comedy homage The tale of two oddball police detectives who have a habit of getting stuck in awkward situations even with the best of intentions. Starsky (Ben Stiller) is very much by-the-book – embarrassingly so – whereas Hutch has a laid back rather ‘hippy' approach to the rules. One of the films great strengths is that it plays on satire and keeps the action secondary. The two main characters are ably aided and abetted by Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg) and, although there is a big-drugs-bust plotline, the movie's main intention seems to be to make a homage to the style and clichés of certain 70s filmmaking (and the original TV show); car chases, for instance, focus on tongue-in-cheek action rather than adrenalin, and the cops' love of empty-headed curvaceous women combined with a homophobia towards each other and gay men is portrayed laughingly as an echo of the...

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