Dukes of Hazzard on DVD
Hollywood will likely want to forget 2005.
The year of the remake took its toll, and we ended up with possibly
the most disappointing year in the history of modern cinema (and
that’s saying quite a bit).
Not content to merely remake old movies (whether they needed a
remake or not), Hollywood thought it best to also dip into old TV
shows again and give them a full-length feature – whether
they were worthy of it or not.
And while there were some fine cinematic efforts in 2005 that almost
make you forget the dregs, let us not forget the dregs.
Hence the Dukes of Hazzard.
The Dukes of Hazzard was an entertaining enough show back in its
day. Exactly why, or even what the appeal was we may never know,
but there was something about those Duke boys and their cousin Daisy
constantly outsmarting the crooked law enforcement officers that
was always fun.
And then they decided to make a movie of it.
First things first: let it be known that this is a TV show that
had the potential to be a pretty darn cool movie. Even the casting
of Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott – despite what
naysayers would say – as the Duke boys is pretty clever. But
whether it was the director, the producers, the studio – whomever
it was who started the other really, really, lousy casting choices
– is responsible for the movie’s failing.
Jessica Simpson is a pretty smokin’ hot
babe. But she is no actress. Her being cast as Daisy Duke gives
her plenty of opportunity to wear tight and/or skimpy outfits (not
that there’s anything wrong with that!), but she’s not
the least bit believable in the role.
First of all, Daisy Duke was a lot more than some dumb chick with
a great body. Second of all, if we can’t even believe that
this woman is an actress, how are we supposed to believe that her
character can successfully con people? Especially since her role
seems to have no bearing on the outcome of the film itself.
Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse? It was just crazy enough to work,
but apparently they made the mistake of showing him the script before
they shot the film. He seems almost embarrassed to be involved,
but can’t turn down a hefty paycheck (and who can blame him?).
Then there’s Burt Reynolds. Who doesn’t love Burt Reynolds?
And while his performance as Boss Hogg is wonderfully sleazy, the
original Boss Hogg was a hundred times sleazier, and looked a hundred
times better for the character. Reynolds should have been cast as
Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane and left the Boss Hogg gig to someone
who doesn’t make you laugh simply by being there.
Director Jay Chandrasekhar, fresh off some minor success with Super
Troopers and Club Dread, has been given the thankless job of directing.
The story and situations seem pretty much right out of the TV show,
indicating that his approach to the film was actually pretty good.
But throw in producers and studio executives and all the other people
who have a say in the final product, and you have an underachiever.
It’s only the appearance of the rest of the Broken Lizard
crew and some scenes straight out of Super Troopers that make The
Dukes of Hazzard tolerable.
Presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1,
both the picture and sound are a little disappointing. Fleshtones
and bright colors seem a tad bland, while grain shows up quite prominently
in a few places. Surround use is minimal, limited to the points
at which General Lee is making the big jumps, which is also when
it’s needed the least. Overall separation, however, is pretty
The Unrated version of the DVD is a bit of a tease. The film has
not changed, but instead we’re treated to some unrated deleted
scenes and bloopers. Yes, these do feature some nudity and swearing,
but it’s not nearly enough to make you want to sit through
the half hour or so of material. There are a couple of short pieces
on the creation of Jessica Simpson’s short shorts and launching
a muscle car 175 feet in four seconds, as well as a fluff behind-the-scenes
featurette. Finally, we get some trailers, and possibly the worst
rendition of a classic song ever made: Jessica Simpson’s “These
Boots are Made for Walking” music video.
The Dukes of Hazzard, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
107 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.40:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby
Starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson,
Burt Reynolds, Joe Don Baker with Lynda Carter and Willie Nelson
Produced by Bill Gerber
Screenplay by John O’Brien, directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think