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DVD Reviews: Hooper

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 15 May 2003
Distributed by:
Warner Home Entertainment

“There’s only one thing you can do Sonny if you don’t make this stunt, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye”.  This comment pretty much sums up this film starring Bert Reynolds and Sally Fields.   

Sonny (Bert Reynolds) the gung-ho, charismatic stuntman working on films that stretch the realm of what can be done on screen.  Hooper is about the lives of Stuntmen on and off screen.  The risks they take and reckless abandonment for their safety and their relationships with the film crew, family, girlfriends and friends. 

Sonny has signed up for the biggest stunt ever performed on screen and he does not know what he has got himself into.  As well as his own health which is not what you might call perfect, his girlfriend and friends are always on the edge of their seats every time a crazy stunt is performed.  The stunt Sonny has signed up for is to jump across a gorge in a rocket-propelled car.  His friends and family are concerned for his safety and after a bit of vacillating behaviour he takes the job.  The stunt is part of one of the biggest spectacles you’ll ever see on film.  There are explosions, earthquakes and because you see how it’s done from a directors perspective the risks are more evident and more reverence is evoked from the audience. 

This film is a bit of fun and was enjoyed by myself but when comparing to today’s standards it does not hold up as one of the best.  The special effects have come a hell of a long way in the last 20 years and these films broadcast this.  Bert Reynolds does a great job as the loud-mouthed brash, American and carries a good standard throughout the film. 

Having been to Universal Studios when I was a pup, the spectacular end sequence brought back many memories.  Because there was a film made inside a film, more effects and props could be used. Even if it looked fake it did not matter, the illusion was never there.  Liberties were taken to accentuate the dramatic effect.  Film crew could be seen and everything in the film studio could have it’s bits shown (pun intended). 

Being of particular note are the scenes with the cops who seem to try pick up the stunt crew every time they venture out of the film set. Their disrespect for authority is amusing and will have you grinnin’, especially those who are partial to the odd parking fine (and face it who isn’t).  The police seem to not have much authority in Hollywood, I know it’s only a movie but to think what effect this film would have had on the youth at the time.  Hey guys wanna tell the cops to go get ####ed like in Hooper! 

The music and sound are good in this film, but nothing spectacular since being only in mono.  The sound is crisp and clear and it has been formatted to fit on a normal screen for posterity.  There are no extras on this DVD unfortunately other than the obligatory Scene Selection feature. 

Overall “Hooper” is takes a different approach and it’s because of this daring it will last many a day onwards into the future.  The stunt at the end is phenomenal don’t ask how they did it but it looked “mighty-fine”.  This movie is recommended to anyone interested in the film industry.

Hooper Features

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