Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hooper (1978)

Director: Hal Needham

Writers: Thomas Rickman, Bill Kerby, Walt Green, Walter S. Herndon, James Best

Composer: Bill Justis

Starring: Burt Reynolds, Jan-Michael Vincent, Sally Field, Brian Keith, John Marley, Robert Klein, James Best, Adam West, Alfie Wise, Terry Bradshaw, Norman Grabowski, George Furth, Jim Burk, Don 'Red' Barry, Robert Tessier

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It just ain't summer without Burt!

Plot: Aging stuntman Sonny Hooper is still on top as one of the best stuntmen in the business. But up and coming Ski is starting to do bigger and better stunts. Hooper has the experience to setup a stunt safely, and Ski lacks the common sense to know when a stunt is too dangerous. Maybe together, along with their fun loving buddies, they can do a stunt together that will surpass anything that anyone has done.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

I bought this as a blind buy on Blu-ray (it was under ten bucks and it was released a couple of weeks ago in widescreen for the first time).  I normally don't do that but I figured the price was right and the cast and crew were people I really dig and it's from an era of fun movie making that I'm particularly fond of.  The sweet thing is I was right to do so.  It's a really fun flick.  It's Burt, Sally and Hal riding off the surprise hit high of SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT (1977) and it looks like everyone is having a great time.  I was really surprised by how the professional relationship between Hooper (Reynolds) and Ski (Vincent) stayed healthy through the end.  Usually you'd have a young upstart come in and try and one-up and squeeze the old guy out but not this picture.  There's a genuine admiration from the young guy to the older one and it was refreshing. There are lots of great stunts (as you'd expect) ending with the huge stunt-laden sequence at the end.  SMOKEY gets a bit too silly for me but this film feels a lot more grounded in reality (and I do realize that stunts are a lot more calculated than how easily they perform them in this picture) and it's nice to see Burt-in-his-prime in a film I hadn't seen before.  The Warner Bros. Blu-ray has a great looking transfer that feels 1970s but the only extra is a fullscreen trailer.  That's right, a fullscreen trailer.  That's just pathetic on two fronts. 

No comments:

Post a Comment