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PCR # 206  (Vol. 5, No. 10)  This edition is for the week of March 1--7, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Starsky and Hutch"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Starsky and Hutch"
 by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Vince Vaughn and Will Farrell
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 37 mins

Back in December of last year, I joking heralded the return of Detective David Starsky when the actor who portrayed him, Paul Michael Glaser, showed up as Diane Keaton's ex-husband in "Something's Gotta Give." Now, three months later, I can welcome back the real thing!

One of my favorite television shows of the mid 1970s, "Starsky and Hutch" makes its way proudly to the big screen, complete with big sweaters, Huggy Bear and one sweet cherry red/white striped Gran Torino, easily one of the coolest cars ever put on the tube. But it's not just the car that brings back fond memories. It is the performances of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson that sell the film, especially Stiller who, to use the old cliche', was born to play Starsky. The film begins with our boys working separate cases. The outcome forces their superior (Fred Williamson) to pair them together, partly because no one else will partner with them. With the help of their informant/snitch Huggy Bear they stumble on to a major drug deal in the making. Along the way they do their best to "fit in" undercover by donning disguises, including the work of Starksy's own personal wig maker. To mingle with a biker group, the two suddenly become dead ringers for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider," riding their choppers down the highway. The film is full of fun moments like this, each one better then the last.

Like Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis and Lemmon and Matthau, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are becoming THE film comedy team of our time. Like the other three pair of actors, Stiller and Wilson have an obvious comedic shorthand between them that just registers with an audience. If you've ever seen them in interviews, the obvious affection they have for each other is always visible. And that affection also works here. After a bad day on the job, the two double date at Hutch's house. When Hutch pulls out his guitar to impress the ladies with his rendition of "Don't Give Up On Us," (a top 5 hit by original Hutch, David Soul), the look on Stiller's face tells you he feels Hutch is talking about their partnership, not trying woo the ladies. The rest of the cast do a great job. Vince Vaughn is perfectly cast as the smarmy drug dealer and Snoop Dogg is hilarious as Huggy Bear. Great cameos by Will Farrell, Glaser and Soul just make the film funnier.

A must-see for fans of the series, on a scale of zero to four stars I give "Starsky and Hutch"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Starsky and Hutch" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.