HTF REVIEW: "Slap Shot" Special Edition (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    48,298
    Likes Received:
    5,478
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    Slap Shot

    Slap Shot out slaps... out swears... out laughs..
    Anyone that has become familiar with my
    reviews probably knows that I have watched
    very few sports movies during my lifetime.
    You can already guess where this is leading...
    [​IMG]
    When I was sent a copy of Slap Shot,
    I didn't get as excited as I am sure many sports
    fans would be about having a newly released
    copy of this film in their hands.
    Still, realizing that this is one of the biggest
    sports comedies of all time, I figured it was
    time to give this film a look.
    [​IMG]
    I ended up really enjoying this film. In fact,
    it had me laughing throughout its 2-hour length.
    Slap Shot is a no-holds-barred look at
    the world of professional hockey. Reggie Dunlop
    (Paul Newman) is the coach of the Charleston
    Chiefs. They are a bunch of losers who are in
    fifth place. Attendance is at an all-time low.
    The fans hate 'em, and the team's Manager, Joe
    McGrath (Strother Martin) wants out!
    [​IMG]
    In order to build up attendance, the team's
    manager signs up the Hanson Brothers, three of
    the most memorable individuals you will ever see
    on screen. When these brothers bring an aggressive
    hard-edge approach to the game, Reggie goes with
    the flow and turns his team into violent players
    who will stop at nothing to bring up attendance
    and promote a sale of the team.
    Watching this film brought back great memories
    of the 70's. This film represents the best of
    that era from the bad clothes to the bad hair and
    toupees to the disco music (notably Maxine
    Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From")
    that ruled the era. The movie also has all the
    gratuitous nudity and language that 70's films
    are so well known for.
    [​IMG]
    One of the best things about this movie is
    Strother Martin, one of my all-time favorite
    character actors. This film became one of
    his very last, following up with his role in
    1978's "Up in Smoke".
    How is the transfer?
    Before I even put the disc in the player, I
    truly expected this film to look like one of
    those bad 70's films with faded colors and lots
    of picture haze thanks to the film stock of
    that era.
    Instead, I was surprised to see that this new
    25th Anniversary Special Edition looked pretty
    damn good. Not owning the original DVD release
    of this title, I can't comment on whether this
    is a brand new transfer or not. However, I can
    tell you that the anamorphic (1.85:1) transfer
    looks surprisingly good, though not completely
    flawless. While there is a constant hint of
    graininess in the picture (most evident in dark
    scenes), overall picture quality is terrific.
    Colors look very good, most notably in the blues
    and reds of the uniforms, and they tend to stand
    out rather than being faded. Flesh tones look
    generally natural. The outdoor scenes look fantastic,
    with natural colors everywhere.
    The sound is 2.0 mono, and sounded very strong
    and clear until the music kicked in. Unfortunately,
    this mono track makes the film's music sound more
    muddied than robust.
    Special Features
    Even before I begin talking about the extras,
    I must once again praise Universal for their
    ever-changing and always entertaining promotional
    segment that precedes all their films. They took
    out Clooney lighting his lighter this time, but
    this new promo cleverly hails in films like
    K-Pax, The Musketeer and Spy Games.
    Keep up the good work with these promos, Universal!
    [​IMG]
    The menu is very plain. I was expecting an
    Anniversary Edition like this to have something
    more to it rather than a 1-sheet menu. Maybe
    I'm being too nit picky this morning.
    I don't normally have time to listen to DVD
    commentaries, and perhaps I don't have a right
    to complain, but this new Special Edition touts
    a Feature Commentary with the Hanson Brothers.
    This is one of the most lame commentaries I have
    ever heard on a DVD. It sounds like a bunch of
    unenergetic pot-heads sitting around a microphone
    adding dribbling bits of commentary every 5
    minutes that amount to nothing. Maybe I just
    don't get it being I'm not a hockey fan. Maybe
    this is part of their shtick. All I can say is
    that it seems to be a waste of audio track.
    The Hanson Brother's Classic Scenes are
    nothing more than scene bookmarks where you can
    go directly to your favorite Hanson scene. There
    are 13 individual sequences you can select from.
    [​IMG]
    In Puck Talk with the Hansons, we meet
    the three actors, who I learned for the very first
    time were real-life hockey players, not actors.
    They talk about wanting to get into acting rather
    than getting a job pumping gas. They also talk
    about how the film affected fans and how their
    recognition status amongst fans rose since the
    film's premiere. It's a short 4-minute segment
    that brings you up-and-close with three of the
    most memorable characters in the film.
    The film's original Theatrical Trailer
    is included. This trailer is interesting as it
    gives us an untreated look at how the film must
    have originally looked before being restored for
    DVD.
    Included Production Notes add a little
    more insight to the background of the film and
    the careers of the Hanson Brothers. There is
    also the standard Cast and Filmmakers bio
    of all the major stars as well as Director Roy Hill.
    Universal is happy to give you other recommended
    titles to buy or rent, but offers no trailer
    for any of them -- just cover art. There's also
    a promotion for a DVD Newsletter included.
    Final Thoughts
    Slap Shot is the most exciting look at
    violent sports that preceded the rise of the WWF.
    It contains memorable characters and memorable
    action that make this a movie worth watching.
    I can't say the extra material on this disc
    makes this worth purchasing if you already own
    the original DVD release which appears to also
    be anamorphic. However, it will be interesting
    to find out if this release sports a brand new
    transfer. It certainly looks very good, and if
    this is the case, you should slap down $20 for
    Slap Shot Special Edition on DVD.
    Release Date: March 26, 2002
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,703
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Hey Ron, they're the Charlestown Chiefs not Georgetown.....! Johnstown, Pa. plays Charlestown in the film. My favourite quote from the film:
    (player-coach Reggie Dunlop to the team owner played by Strother Martin about the three young players, the Hanson brothers, he has hired)
    "...they brought their fucking toys..."
    (they brought their slot-car racing set!)
    I love's this film! This is a classic comedy, me thinks. Best wishes Ron!
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    48,298
    Likes Received:
    5,478
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Rachael,

    Oops! Correction made...and thanks
     
  4. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 1999
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One of my all time favorite movies. Unfortunately, since I can only afford so many DVDs, it might have to wait until after AI, Say Anything, ET, Potter, Monsters, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

    However, the few "minor" negatives that Ron notes should not stop anyone from enjoying this movie for the first time. It is a great, fun film, and we leave you howling.
     
  5. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dunlap: "What are you guys doing?"

    Hanson: "Putting on the foil, coach. Do you want some?"

    I never bought the original DVD release, so I've been looking forward to this.

    When they filmed this they used regular players and minor league games in some of the scenes and they had to sign a release. A friend of my dad's was a player and refused to sign because they weren't getting any money out of the deal. They were going to lose alot of filming time so Paul Newman came into the team's dressing room personally to ask what they wanted. They asked for some beer for after the game. When they went out to their bus afterwards it was stocked with beer.

    Regards

    KrisM
     
  6. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I own the original DVD (which, BTW, does have a fairly nice 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer) and was seriously thinking about picking up the new one on March 26th. I'm disappointed that Universal didn't do a better job. As much as I like the movie, I'm not going to double-dip for what amounts to a boring commentary track and a 4 minute interview. Thanks for the review, Ron.
     
  7. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks ron for the dvd review, thinking about picking this one up, i own the original dvd but might just have to get the new version anyways.
     
  8. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd also like to hear a comparison of the two transfers. I think I'll stick with the first version.

    The movie has sentimental value for me. As Rachael noted, the movie was shot in Johnstown, Pa. The Chiefs were loosely based on a minor-league team that played in Johnstown then-- the Jets. We lived outside Johnstown in the early 70s, around the time that one of the players was letting his sister hang around the locker room to see how hockey players really talked and acted. As the production notes say, this was later turned into the movie's screenplay. My dad went to a lot of games around the era portrayed, and I have a stick signed by a bunch of the players, some of whom appeared in the movie. What's funny is that while there were obvious exaggerations, some of the funniest bits actually happened. The mass-mooning from the team bus and the players going into the crowd to fight the jeering fans apparently happened. One of the "Hanson" brothers-- the two brothers were actually named Carlson-- coached the team for a while in the mid-90s. He actually may still be the coach-- the team's now called the Johnstown Chiefs.

    Funny movie.

    Ron, did the unfortunate direct-to-video sequel show up in the mailbox at the same time?
     
  9. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ...and, as someone now making his way through the Twin Peaks set, this movie is the answer to the question of what else of note Sheriff Harry S. Truman/Michael Ontkean appeared in.
     
  10. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    another thanx for the review Ron. I had held out on buying the original dvd due to poor reviews of the transfer, etc. I guess after reading Ron's review and expecting a lot more for this re-issue. I will wait for more reviews before making a commitment to purchase this.
     
  11. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    would love to hear some more reviews from those who pick this up tomorrow or those who have received it early

    thanx in advance
     
  12. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 1999
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can't wait to get this one... Unfortunatly it's with an order that is coming next week.
     
  13. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    2,143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Francois Caron
    Does the disc come with a French language track? And is it France French or Quebec French tabarnak! [​IMG]
     
  14. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    picked it up at lunch and watched a bit of it. Picture looks great for its age.

    Francois, There is an English, Espanol, and Francais track listed
     
  15. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would assume the French track is the Quebecian French (I mean this isn't a Fox release [​IMG]) especially since 2 (Or was it 3) of the cast memebers ARE quebecers and dubbed their own voices.
     
  16. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1999
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page