Hooper (1978) (NTSC)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 99:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Hal Needham
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Burt Reynolds
Sally Field
Jan-Michael Vincent
Brian Keith
Adam West
John Marley
James Best
Alfie Wise
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Bill Justis


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Hooper was produced in 1978, one year after the hugely popular Smokey and the Bandit, when Burt Reynolds was making two to three movies per year. This movie is not a real stretch for Reynolds considering he got his acting break starting off as a stuntman. It is a reasonably entertaining movie, combining action and comedy.

    Hooper tells the story of aging stuntman Sonny Hooper (Burt Reynolds). Sonny has finally reached the top of his profession, but middle age has set in. Now the contenders for his crown are looking more and more threatening. His girlfriend, Gwen Doyle (Sally Field), and her father, Jocko Doyle (Brian Keith), are trying to persuade Sonny to retire while he can still walk and breathe.

    The latest heir apparent to Sonny's crown is fearless young stuntman Ski Chinski (Jan-Michael Vincent), who is everything that Sonny once was. It's not long before Sonny and Ski go from being fierce competitors to close friends, and working together on Sonny's latest movie. Together they attempt the greatest car jump gag (stunt) ever filmed so Sonny can bow out on top and Ski can make a name for himself.

    There are a couple of things I don't get about this movie. Firstly, why are stunts referred to as "gags" throughout the movie? Secondly, is that really Burt Reynold's laugh? Oh, and one final thing, I never thought I would see the Flying Nun (Sally Field) in such short pants. Guys, look for this near the beginning of the film if you are interested.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is quite good considering its age and the fact that it is NTSC.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, Pan & Scan. After much searching I was unable to locate any reference to the original aspect ratio.

    The transfer is mostly clear and sharp, but on occasions it suffers slightly from grain. The shadow detail is acceptable, but there was little chance to examine it extensively. There was no noticeable low level noise.

    The colours were clear and constant with no unexpected variations evident, although they do seem just a tad dull. I suspect this is because of the source quality.

    There were no MPEG or film-to-video artefacts evident. Even though they appeared regularly, film artefacts were small and did not distract from the viewing experience.

    There are no subtitle options available.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no RSDL layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is acceptable, but could have been so much better.

    There is only one audio offering, an English 1.0 (192 kbps) Dolby Digital track.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout. Burt Reynolds laugh was particularly clear and noticeable. Audio sync was not an issue with this transfer.

    The music was written by Bill Justis and suits this movie genre well. However, occasionally the background music does not seem totally appropriate for the action in the movie.

    As there is only a 1.0 channel soundtrack on offer here, there is no surround nor subwoofer usage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The menu system is static and silent. It does not even contain a picture, just the Warner logo.

    There are no extras on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can ascertain, the Region 4 disc is identical to the Region 1.

Summary

    Hooper is a half decent Burt Reynolds/Sally Field movie made at the height of their fame in the late 70s. It has an average transfer, just passable sound and no extras, not even a menu picture. Hooper has been given a thoroughly mediocre transfer to DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Geoff Greer (read my bio)
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using S-Video output
DisplayBang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR 1803
SpeakersParadigm: Phantom Version 3 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub

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