Skip to main content

The Dukes of Hazard Movie - My Thoughts

The Dukes of Hazard is a movie that I wanted to see when it was released in 2005 but didn't because, well, I just didn't get around to it.

Not only that but when I heard Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson were in it my expectations were immediately lowered to "it's probably not going to be what I hoped it could be." Which is why I've never been pro-active about hiring the movie on DVD.

Last night I saw it was being shown on free to air TV. I happened to have the time to watch, so I did. To sum up my experience... I didn't get fired up by the movie until I watched the 'bloopers' in the end credits.

The Dukes of Hazard signature is the car. The General Lee flying through the air in some flat out impossible jumps. We know they're impossible jumps but they're just so cool you kind of want to believe the General Lee can do them. The point is, in the TV series, you never (or rarely) saw the General Lee not land safely and undamaged.

Thus, seeing the General Lee crash all over the place in the movies blooper reel, is spectacularly exciting. Finally you get to see what would really happen to the car, jumping that high and just how hard it is, even for a stunt driver, to maintain control.

The other positive I can say about this movie is that they did take the opportunity to really step up the driving sequences beyond what the TV series could. Seeing the General Lee 'drifting' around a city round-a-bout is something we've never seen the car do on TV.

It's all down hill from there. I'm not only glad I didn't pay money to see this in the cinema I'm also glad I didn't hire the DVD (although I'm sure, if the DVD has more 'bloopers' on it of the General Lee it would be worth it).

After watching the movie I got caught up reading the movies forum on the Internet Movie Data Base (researching for this blog article), specifically the thread Why do you hate this movie? Let's settle this once and for all.

The thread was started by AutumnRed who is a big fan of this movie and the TV series and, to those who have expressed a view of hate, he will defend this movie to the death.

I've read through the whole thread and people have hated this movie for reasons like, miscasting, bad acting, weak plot, crude humor, dumbed down for today's audiences, devalues the TV show, isn't true to the TV show, lower moral standards of the Dukes, the list goes on.

AutumnRed defends the movie by saying it is a parody of the TV series and/or a re-imagining of the TV series. It's a stand alone movie that shouldn't be compared to the TV series. All very true points though I don't believe it's a parody of the TV series. The closest it ever gets to parody is the city folk's reaction to a car with a Confederate flag painted on the roof (in this day and age). Beyond that it's more a re-imagining based on the source material.

Personally I didn't expect this film to be like the TV series. In fact I'd be disappointed if it was. Part of what makes a movie version of a TV series exciting is seeing how it is adapted, updated, re-imagined for the big screen.

When this movie starts you see a very old, beat up General Lee, with no Confederate flag on the roof, being chased through the back roads of Hazard County. In the TV Series the General Lee rarely looked anything less than having just been driven off the showroom floor so I immediately thought, maybe this movie has some potential.

After all this is a car owned by struggling farmers running an illegal moonshine business on the side. It's driven like it's forever competing in a perpetual rally race. It should look a little worn and beaten.

At the end of this chase scene we get to the phone book incident. For me that speaks volumes about why this film is widely hated by fans of the TV show. The Duke boys hitting each other, painfully in the face, with phone books to resolve a bet. It would never happen.

The movie introduces a kind of 'meanness' into the relationship between Bo and Luke Duke that really plays on the likability and charisma that these two characters had in the TV show. For all their failings as small time outlaws you can forgive them because they were so much fun to be around and just so likable.

Bo and Luke are cousins who spend so much time together because they enjoy each others company. They're the kind of friends that look out for each other. Competitive - yes but in a good way rather than a self destructive way.

Personally I don't want to hang around with fools who find humor in seeing their friends hurt or who do things like sleep with a girl I have a crush on behind my back. Hence this was a major hurdle to my enjoyment of the film. I didn't like this version of Bo and Luke. Even though they do look out for each other, there's an under current to the relationship that is like biting through a worm in a juicy looking apple. It's just off.

You can see this meanness in the scene where Bo drags Luke along behind Cooter's tow truck, as Luke is trying to open Boss Hog's safe which they've attached to the tow truck's hook. Bo clearly knows Luke wants him to stop but Bo says to himself "Sorry Cous' but you'd do the same to me." It's a scene that could have been far funnier if Bo wasn't aware of Luke's actual predicament. Instead, not only is he aware, but he's calculating and unnecessarily prolonging Luke's perilous situation.

I could go on and make all the comparisons about this movie to the TV show and how the shift in all of the interpretations of each character is a step backwards rather than forwards. The thing is, as AutumnRed points out, this is not the TV show.

When I finally saw this film I wasn't as disappointed with either Johnny Knoxville or Jessica Simpson as I expected to be. Johnny and Seann William Scott, as Bo, actually worked pretty well together. Jessica wasn't terrible either though stripping her down to a bikini was kind of unnecessary (I'm not complaining but seriously, Enos would've told Daisy anything if she so much as hinted he had even a remote chance with her).

When a TV show is brought to the big screen you kind of hope it will exceed your expectations and be a shining light for keeping the memory of a great show alive. Not only that but it may even be well enough received for a sequel (or better yet be the start of a great franchise or give rise to a new TV series).

As it goes, the best Dukes of Hazard fans can hope for is that people protested loudly enough about this film to hope another director will take up the challenge and show us how it should have been done.

I don't want the TV series in a big screen version of Dukes of Hazard. However when I think of movie adaptations of a TV series my mind goes back to The Adams Family (1964). The TV series was funny, charming and well written. The two big screen adaptations, The Adams Family (1991) and Adams Family Values (1993), enhanced what was good about the TV show and built upon it further.

The producers of The Dukes of Hazard movie thought it was just the car that made the series good but it wasn't just the car. The relationships between all the characters were important too. Somehow in this movie they weakened all the relationships to the point where no one was really that likable. Least of all the leads.

No matter how the series is adapted to the big screen the most important factor is that it be a 'buddy' movie. It's about two cousins that would die for each other if it came to that. They're fun to be around and they both can drive a car better than anyone. They're not perfect role models but you want to be just like them anyway.

I didn't want to be like either Bo of Luke in this version of the Dukes. In fact I'm glad I only knew them briefly because they're not people I'd want to hang with at all.

If you liked this movie then you're either very forgiving or it's your style of humor. For me, I kind of hoped for a more intelligent movie. The Dukes may be country folk but they were never simpletons (not even Daisy).

Most country folks I've met are very smart people. I know the Dukes aren't a family of brain surgeons but they are very resourceful and spent much of their time staying ahead of the law. You have to have some intelligence to do that.

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Why 'We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)' Misses the Mark

If you're one of the few people who haven't at least heard about Gillette's short film, We Believe: The Best Men Can Be then take a moment to watch their video below. It seems like it is an earnest attempt to address undesirable male behaviour and attitudes that have become branded with the unhelpful term 'Toxic Masculinity' but for me, and a lot of people, it just missed the mark.

At this point, the real success of the film, despite the Youtube dislike ratio of approximately 2:1 is the increased brand awareness for Gillette - and I guess the 1 million a year for the next three years they will be donating to programs supporting men of positive action (but they could have done that anyway with no fanfare).



I get what Gillette were going for here by showing examples of past/current behaviour/attitudes in communities, business, and media that has brought about terms like 'toxic masculinity' and the #metoo movement. It's an attempt at reflection on whether…

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

My First Time on a P&O Cruise Ship - Mini Cruise Almost to Kangaroo Island

Outwardly I wasn't concerned about my first time on a P&O Cruise ship but inwardly I guess my subconscious anxiety was working overtime. I'll spare you the details but just know my digestive system was pretty empty by the time my partner, Kathy, and I left the house.

That said, once we were on the boat for our three day cruise from Adelaide, South Australia, with a stop at Kangaroo Island (KI), and back to Adelaide again, everything went pretty well, with nothing to be too concerned about. 
The ship didn't leave until four in the afternoon. However we were able to board in time to not only have lunch on the boat but also spend a couple of hours exploring.
Our ship was called the Pacific Eden and is pretty much what you might imagine a cruise ship to be from the outside. Maybe bigger or smaller than you think depending upon whether you've seen a cruise ship before. This particular ship will be retired from March 2019, having been sold to another cruise ship company…

Review: Titans, Season One, Netflix/WBTV Original Series *Minor Spoilers*

When I saw the first trailers for the Netflix/WBTV original series Titans my expectations were set extremely low. Granted my point of reference was the recent Teen Titans Go animated series (and movie), which I've seen a few episodes, and don't like at all. To be fair though, that show is definitely not targeted at me.

Anyhow the Titan trailer didn't do enough to hook me in and Robin's 'F*ck Batman' quote toward the end had my eyes rolling with 'here we go again with a whiney, entitled Robin like the Chris O'donnell version in the 1990's movies.

However, from the very first episode I was pleasantly surprised with the story and ideas presented, and was hooked, to the point of binge watching several episodes in a row if I had time.

We learn Dick Grayson is trying to retire from being Robin and has moved to Detroit, where he's working as a detective for the Detroit PD.

Full disclosure, I've been wanting to see a new take on a live action Robin…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …