Dragnet (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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This is the city...and only Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks can save it in this hilarious box-office blockbuster that pays homage to the famed original police drama of the '50s and '60s. Aykroyd is at his comedic best as the namesake nephew of Detective Sgt. Joe Friday. Like his uncle, he's a blue-suited, by-the-rules cop who reluctantly joins forces with his footloose partner Pep Streebek (Hanks) to rescue the City of Angels from the machinations of a power-mad Reverend and corrupt Police Commissioners. And those are "just the facts" of this hysterically funny action-comedy.
The line between parody and tribute can be hard to draw, but any marginally hip baby boomer who ever watched Jack Webb's straight-laced Detective Joe Friday caught a glimmer of the comedic vein waiting to be mined beneath Dragnet's gritty Los Angeles streets. In 1987 moviegoers had yet to be crushed under the weight of the 1990s TV remake mania, and Dragnet comes off as fresh and funny. Dan Aykroyd plays Joe Friday, the straight-arrow nephew of Webb's iconic cop. This part was made for him (in fact, he's given top writing credit), and under his steely exterior you can tell he's having a ball delivering those rapid-fire recitations of regulations and deadpan expressions of moral outrage. Tom Hanks plays Pep Streebek, the laissez-faire narco agent who is Friday's new partner. Their assignment: bust the Pagans, a wild-and-woolly gang of dope fiends, deadbeats, and beatniks behind a bewildering array of bizarre robberies. Hilarity ensues. Friday and Streebek outfox a corrupt televangelist (Christopher Plummer), bicker over chili dogs and cigarettes, alternately revile and fawn over a porn millionaire (Dabney Coleman), wrestle a 30-foot-long anaconda, and rescue the virgin Connie Swail--the only girl capable of stealing Friday's heart. --Grant Balfour --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Im sure everyone else has given the plot so I'll tell you what you havent heard yet. If you're a huge fan of seinfeld and king of the hill this movie is perfect for you. Hanks is somewhat a mix of George and Hank hill, and Bruce Dern is the funniest mix of Kramer and Dale gribble (yes you read that right, a mix of dale Gribble and Kramer) if you can imagine that. There are also scenes in this movie in which every single line is an entire seinfeld conversation, its almost like this film inspired an entire new era of comedy.
Overall everything about this movie is perfect, even the few cheesy camera shots. Easily re-watchable for ages.
I gotta admit, however, that Dan Aykroyd's unbelievably button-down, anal-retentive, and ludicrously straight-arrow portrayal of the nephew of Joe Friday was a pretty good shot at Jack Webb's most notable small screen character. And his partnering up with Tom Hanks' polar-opposite-type character made for a few smile-cracking 'Odd-Couple-With-Badges' moments of humor.
Another neat thing about this movie is that it introduced me to a little acronym I like to spring on folks from time to time: the cultish PAGAN, or People Against Goodness And Normalcy, the minions of which act as the movie's main heavies. Whenever someone talks about pagan religious rituals, I'll usually hit 'em with the reference by stating, "Oh, you mean 'the People Against Goodness And Normalcy'?" My statement is usually followed by about ten seconds of uncomfortable silence and sideways glance(s) from the speaker(s).Read more ›
Joe Friday, played by Dan Akroyd, is serious about his work, even if his partner Pep Streebek, played by Tom Hanks, is not. Akroyd does a great job of emulating the original Dragnet Friday's inflections and no nonsense style. A cameo by Harry Morgan is fitting since he played in the original TV show.
The duo must uncover the leadership and plans of a satanic cult that is playing havoc with the city of Los Angeles. In their search they encounter a smut magazine king, a religious leader, the mayor, and a bevy of pin-up girls. Several sight gags and Akroyd's performance make this DVD worth owning.
Not much in the extras department. It would have been better if it included a making of feature and/or commentary by Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks. I would have given it four stars then.
The reason I don't give "Dragnet" five stars is the story problem. About halfway through, this movie becomes a sappy mess of a love story/kidnapping plot. It shifts focus from Friday and Streebeck trailing a bevy of PAGAN incidents to Joe trying to save the virgin Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) from the evil Reverend Jonathan Whirley (played with slime by Christopher Plummer). The romance between Joe and Connie is dull, namely because Paul can't act her way out of a paper bag in this film. But Streebeck's antics without his partner, and Plummer's grinchy grin as he attempts dastardly deeds, save the second half from total destruction.
I believe "Dragnet" is not the dud that most critics make it out to be. It has some very funny moments and some witty dialogue. But it doesn't tie the comedy and drama/action together very well. In a way, it's almost like two different movies. One is fantastic and entertaining, while the other is a bit boring.
Don't expect a glitsy DVD with bucketloads of special features. I guess Universal reserves those special editions for "higher caliber" films. But enjoy the laughs anyway. Key moments: Friday and Streebeck go undercover, the officers meet Enid Borden, a trip to the zoo, chasing Emil Muzz, and a visit to the Bait Magazine mansion.
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Very good condition great movies I mean who doesn't like watching Tom Hanks moviesPublished 2 months ago by valerie pilon
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