HTF REVIEW: "Hot Shots!" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    Hot Shots!




    Studio: Fox
    Year: 1991
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 85 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)



    The Mother Of All Movies!
    There is nothing I enjoy more than watching
    a Zucker/Abrahams comedy. Some of their greatest
    films include Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!
    and Top Secret!. With this in mind, I never
    initially appreciated Hot Shots!, a film
    directed by Jim Abrahams (but without the input
    of David Zucker). I found Hot Shots! to be
    a dumbed down version of everything else the team
    had done before it.
    But watching this film again for the first time
    in 10 years, I found myself appreciating the film
    even more than I initially had, sometimes chuckling
    out loud and at other times just rolling my eyes.
    [​IMG]
    Hot Shots can best be described as a military spoof
    that parodies films from Dances with Wolves to Gone
    With The Wind to Top Gun. Lieutenant Topper Harley
    (Charlie Sheen) is an ace fighter pilot who has
    retired himself to an Indian reservation that oddly
    resembles the one in Dances With Wolves. A Navy
    officer finds him on the reservation and urges him
    to come back into service to fly with an elite fighter
    corps on a dangerous secret mission.
    [​IMG]
    Upon Harley's return to the corps, he finds himself
    surrounded by a group of "keystone cop" pilots that
    include Dead Meat (William O'Leary), a family man
    who is just plain unlucky, and Wash-Out (John Cryer),
    a pilot with a slight disability...he's nearly blind.
    If all this wasn't bad enough, the entire operation
    is being headed up by Admiral Thomas 'Tug' Benson
    (Lloyd Bridges) who has a perfect record in the
    skies...went up 194 times, was shot down 194 times.
    [​IMG]
    Perhaps the only worth Harley sees in returning to
    service is the lovely psychiatrist Ramada (Valeria
    Golino), who has remarkable aerobic equestrian skills.
    Harley finds himself competing against a self-obsessed
    pilot named Kent (Cary Elwes) for Ramada's affection.
    [​IMG]
    Along the way, Hot Shots! doesn't hesitate
    to spoof just about every film it can of recent and
    past years as well as injecting some of the silly
    sight gags that you would expect from the creator of
    Airplane!.
    How is the transfer?
    Hot Shots! doesn't look all that bad
    on DVD, but it doesn't look all that great, either.
    In fact, this is one of the more disappointing
    transfers I have seen of the Fox catalog.
    I understand that this is not the sort of film
    that becomes a candidate for restoration, and
    perhaps most of the problems I had with this
    transfer lie in the condition of the original
    film elements. I just found the total look of
    this film to be somewhat dated. Most of the
    picture looks hazy, as if the film was shot with
    a sheer cloth. Flesh colors look very red, giving
    the entire film an unnatural look to it. There
    are also small (but noticeable) film blemishes
    that randomly appear throughout. Most of the film
    is tainted with excessive video grain that can be
    seen mostly in the background sets. One scene
    near the end of the film where Commander Block
    (Kevin Dunn) is briefing his pilots, is just
    completely plagued with grain. I also noticed
    some video artifacting in the faces of the
    characters during the dimly-lit smoke-filled
    helium smoking tent scene.
    Don't be alarmed by reading the above. Hot Shots!
    probably looks better on DVD than it has anywhere
    before.
    Though the film has not been remastered in
    5.1, the Dolby surround track sounds surprisingly
    good. Sound across the front channels is very
    prominent. The rears are mostly active during the
    jet flying sequences giving nice pass-throughs.
    I even heard some strong rumbles from my subwoofer
    during the many take-off sequences. Don't expect
    too much surround support outside of these sequences,
    however. Many crowd scenes both in a bar and on
    base had the rears falling completely silent.
    Special Features
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Fox has released Hot Shots! with an admirable
    amount of added material.
    [​IMG]
    Nobody seems to be taking themselves seriously
    in Hot Shots! Making of an Important Movie.
    This original 1991 featurette features interviews
    with the principal cast that includes Sheen, Bridges,
    Elwes and Golino. There is a lot of behind-the-camera
    activity to watch, the funniest being Lloyd Bridges
    preparing for his fall from an airplane door. The
    cast even enjoys the horseplay of poking fun at
    Director Jim Abrahams, elevating him to the status
    of other greats like Hitchcock and Truffaut. Even
    a stunt dummy has a few kind words to say about
    his Director. This featurette is a lot of fun to
    watch, especially since it concentrates on the
    shenanigans that went on behind the camera -- not
    just in front. Highly enjoyable! Oh, and be careful
    for the subliminal messages that may want you to
    go out to your store and pick up the soundtrack.
    The film's original theatrical trailer is
    included as well as trailers for other Fox comedies:
    Kung Pow, Dude Where's My Car, Freddy Got
    Fingered
    and Monkeybone.
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    In its own right, Hot Shots! has become
    a classic comedy. From start to finish, the film
    never seems to let up on its endless supply of
    sight gags, some great -- some duds. I suppose
    this is what happens when one-half of the creative
    team is missing, but nonetheless, this is a great
    way to waste an hour and a half.
    Now would someone please help me get this pet
    Chihuahua out from under my seat?
    Release Date: August 6th, 2002
     
  2. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    another one for my (long) wishlist
     
  3. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I'll definitely be getting this one as well as "Hot Shots! Part Deux".
     
  4. Gruson

    Gruson Second Unit

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    part Deux is AWESOME! One crazy movie. I love the Abrams/Zucker films.
     
  5. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Count me in for this one and Part Deux!
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    he has his father's eyes.
     
  7. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    I love both movies, Duex being the preference. Goofy viewing to be sure, I love it. SO happy these are finally here and I am over the moon that Fox sourced out the spoof documentaries for both movies (most notably the one for the sequel).

    Dan
    -- aka Fluffy Bunny Feet
     
  8. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Can't wait.

    We miss you Lloyd!

     
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan Second Unit

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    I'll be picking up both Hot Shots! movies on August 6th, along with some little movie about a ring. Anybody heard of it? [​IMG]
     
  10. Matthew Furtek

    Matthew Furtek Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron,
    Thanks for the review... this is one I've had pre-ordered for awhile. Its WONDERFUL to see these catalog movies released on DVD. Can't wait to throw away my "hasn't been watched for 5 years because the quality is poor and I can't stand Non-OAR" VHS.

    Matthew Furtek
     
  11. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

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  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I loved this movie as a kid, though I may hold up on buying it just now as budget is tight and I"m not sure how much I"ll still enjoy it. Still I love that catalog is coming to dvd and in 16:9 enhanced widescreen! Keep it up Fox!

    Adam
     
  13. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    August 6th can't come fast enough. Thanks for the review!
     
  14. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

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    Good review Ron. I was hoping for a better transfer, but it'll still kick the pants off of any other form of Hot Shots(aside from HDHBO).....

    I too will be getting this and deux, as well as that little flick about some ring, and another little flick with really dated effects about some giants or titans or something....8/6 can't get here fast enough.
     
  15. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Aaaggghhh! August 6th! That's turning out to be a VERY expensive day for me:
    Lord of the Rings
    The Simpsons Season 2
    Hot Shots!
    Man, I loved that movie. Can't wait to see it again on a pristine DVD! I think I had a mild crush on Valeria Golino when I saw the film the first time. My vacation week (begins August 5th) is going to be mighty fine, indeed. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    SUPER! I didn't even realize it was comming to DVD! Thanks for the review Ron!!
     
  17. Aaryn Chan

    Aaryn Chan Supporting Actor

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    Cool!! And it's not all that expensive!! Woo.
     
  18. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    hidden thing on top secret.....

    From the dic’s Main Menu go to the 'Special Features' section and from there go to the 'Storyboards.' Once there, highlight the 'Special Features' menu entry at the bottom of the page and press the 'Right' arrow key on your remote control to highlight a magnifying glass around Peter Cushing’s eye. Press 'Enter' and you will get to see the original footage used to create the Swedish Bookstore scene – only this time it is not backwards.

    thanks to dvdreview.com
     
  19. Thane

    Thane Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy: I too was surprised to hear the 5.1 sound! The packaging does not mention it, but I was defintely getting split rear signals, and was able to matrix my center rear speaker, which of course I'm not able to do with regular surround sound. From what I could tell, Part Deux is just stereo.
     
  20. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

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