Thursday, July 3, 2014

Stripes (Extended Cut) (1981)

StripesNope! It's NOT just the same movie simply put:

You haven't actually seen Bill Murray's 'STRIPES' until you obtain this 2005 re-release DVD!

The bonus scenes featured DOES INDEED answer various inquiries we once had re this comedy:

e.g. why are those 2 guys ALONE sitting against the EM-50 in Italy before they take it for a spin?....and when in Germany Russell flat-out refuses to rescue the captured troops with the other three in the EM-50, what made him change his mind? (to mention a few)..

Another one of the deleted scenes is the (talked-about) 7-minute "South America" segment

where we DO see another side of Harold Ramis while Murray is truly hilarious!

A BETTER print with superior STEREO 5.1 dolby sound now vs the previous mono DVD, including a great feature in two parts -"Stars & Stripes" that will leave you dazzled in understanding this entire film: how it was made, rare image stills, and how the actors (a good number of them)

felt in doing the film along with Murray himself, being interviewed from of all places TOKYO!

This new DVD gives you 2 movie options:

1.) the EXTENDED version featuring the deleted scenes-

(with added option of audio commentary from the director and head writer)

2.) the ORIGINAL theatrical version-


There's also the option of seeing all SIX bonus scenes one after the other -

The EXTENDED version does a fine editing job inserting the deleted scenes at the right places,

even indicating (via small permanent text) where these bonus scenes START and END -

-an extremely smooth flow minus any pauses or audio dropouts...

However on this strange ORIGINAL version, there ARE crude pauses/slight audio drops only at the marks where the deleted scenes were MEANT to be placed (or were previously removed),

it's as if they didn't (wouldn't or couldn't) simply EMPLOY the main original print for this DVD -

-unsmooth/choppy at these marks, esp when the guys drive to Germany and meet the girls -

e.g. Murray hugs P.J. Soles with the line: "I Brought The Magic Suitcase"..

That very scene literally disappears thus disappoints on this ORG version -

One Major Blunder:

A bonus scene w/P.J. Soles (there's MORE of her) & Murray in a hotel bedroom from Germany

is in fact the EXACT same bedroom set in a PREVIOUS short scene where she pulls Bill out of the trunk at General Barnacy's house; When you compare the two you'll believe they intended this to be START of the 'Barnacy Bedroom' segment..

But overall (the pauses & blunder notwithstanding), they did a great job

in christening this DVD as: "The ULTIMATE Stripes"

definately worth forking over (at best) a Hamilton and an Abe for...

The mark of a great comedy is that it remains funny after numerous viewings. "Stripes" (the 1981 release that helped make Bill Murray a star) passes this litmus test with flying colors. Now at last there is a DVD release, replete with extras, worthy of this enduring comedy.

Ivan Reitman directed Murray, Harold Ramis (who has subsequently directed many comedies of his own) and a great supporting cast led by John Candy as new recruits in the U.S. Army.

The wonderful veteran actor Warren Oates, who died shortly after the film's release, is their tough-as-nails drill sergeant. The by-play between Murray and Oates (opposites don't always attract) is priceless.

Suffice it to say that hilarity ensues, with the improbable unit putting on a virtuoso performance at their graduation ceremony ("That's the fact Jack!) sans their injured sergeant. This leads to them being charged with the security of a new super weaponized mobile home (it's called an, "urban assault vehicle") in Europe. Improbable? Absolutely. Hilarious? Most definitely.

Murray and Ramis also each has a lovely MP to accompany him on the duo's escapades as the ribaldry doesn't stop until the closing credits.

You can watch the "Stripes" with deleted scenes included or without.

The obvious highlight of the DVD extras is an hour long documentary on the movie with all principles interviewed (at his insistence, Murray's interview is done in black light). It is one of the better retrospectives of its kind.

And "Stripes" is one of the best comedies of this or any other time.

Buy Stripes (Extended Cut) (1981) Now

Absolutely one of the funniest movies ever made. It would definitely have to be highly ranked, if only for the fact that it is possibly the most quoted movie of all time. Who among us has never said "Lighten up, Francis" or "You can't leave, all the plant are gonna die! ". Bill Murray is at his best, and Harold Ramis is the perfect straight man for him. Add in a supporting cast that includes John Candy, Judge Rheinhold, John Laroquette and Sean Young, and you have something pretty special. Also, gains points for the fact that it doesn't start to fade out at the end, like many comedies do when the decide to get "message-y". It just keeps up the energy and humor right up to (and including) the credits. To this day, the only movie I have ever enjoyed so much that I went right back to see it the very next night.

Read Best Reviews of Stripes (Extended Cut) (1981) Here

Stripes was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and I'm happy to say that I still find it just as funny today. This extended cut adds several deleted scenes, some good, some not-so-good. My personal favorite is one where Harold Ramis' character reaches the breaking point and he and Murray go AWOL, hitching a ride on a cargo plane and parachuting into South America. This scene gives Harold Ramis a chance to shine, and is very funny, but during the commentary track it is mentioned that it was cut from the film (despite being a favorite of the studio execs) because it didn't seem to fit in the film from a pacing aspect (it is suggested it would've gone well over the end credits, but this was before such a thing was common).

Speaking of the commentary track, it isn't mentioned on the packaging, but it's there, and includes director Ivan Reitman and writer/producer Dan Goldberg. And apparently, the extended cut wasn't Reitman's idea -some of the deleted scenes he prefers to not have in the film. The DVD also includes a nice 2-part documentary which includes interviews with the cast.

A great film!

Want Stripes (Extended Cut) (1981) Discount?

I'm a bit perplexed by the reviews criticizing this movie because of its unrealistic depiction of the Army. Do these same people complain that "Animal House" doesn't accurately display college life or that "Vacation" isn't what a family trip across the country is really like? (Hey, I live in St. Louis and could easily take exception to the outright offensive inaccuracies in "Vacation", but I still love the movie!) This is a comedy, folks. It's not "Saving Private Ryan" or "Band of Brothers", and it never claims or tries to be. It uses exaggeration and absurdities to make us laugh. It isn't striving for realism, although to its credit, I have heard plenty of people say that this is the best movie they've ever seen at giving you the feel for what its like going into the service, and that their own drill instructor was identical to Sgt Hulka.

The first half of this movie is just about the funniest comedy ever made. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis are the perfect slobs with shiftless lives who try to maintain what's left of their dignity by enlisting in the Army. Their chemistry is wonderful and they truly are believable as out-of-shape but likable losers. Virtually every line and every character is memorable (Psycho, Ox, Cruiser, that lady in the cab, John Laroquette, and of course Russell and Winger), and this has to be the most quotable movie in history. No, John Candy would not have spoken to a superior officer that way when he gets off the bus (or at least not have gotten away with it), but that's what's so funny about it! And speaking of Sgt. Hulka, Warren Oates should have been given an Oscar nomination for this role. He's the high point of the movie for me, and his intense, over the top performance reminds me of Robert Shaw in "Jaws"some actors are so good that they can chew scenery and get away with it. So for the first half of the movie, there's not an unfunny moment. Maybe basic training isn't like this, but the scenes are so well-done that a generation of adolescent guys has grown up thinking that it is and have no doubt gone into the military with this movie in the back of their minds.

The second half of the movie sort of devolves into a bearable but not great action movie, with its contrived plot about the stolen military RV and the rescue mission across the Czech border. Still, the same characters are present and continue to sustain the movie until the end. Great music, tooI don't think this has ever been issued as a soundtrack but it contains one of the most memorable themes ever written for a movie.

The DVD itself is passableno extras, somewhat grainy video, unspectacular sound. But we surived watching it over and over again on basic cable with plenty of edits and subpar picture quality, so I can't complain too much. I suppose someday it will be given a "Special Edition" with a commentary and a retrospective from the stars, but the movie stands on its own without anything fancy.

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