Stripes: Extended Cut

DVD Reviews | Jun 18th, 2005

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Starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, John Candy,John Larroquette, John Diehl, Judge Reinhold, Conrad Dunn
Written By: Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg, Harold Ramis
Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Studio: Sony
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Stripes is a comedy classic and that’s the fact Jack! One of Bill Murray’s greatest movies ever, well besides Ghostbusters! The movie is being re-released on DVD with new extras, and 18 minutes added back into the movie.

If you are very sheltered and never saw Stripes before, it’s about two losers who decide to try to make something of themselves and join the army. John Winger (Bill Murray) lost his taxi job, apartment, car, his girlfriend left him, all in the same day! He decides to be all he can be and bring his best friend Russell (Harold Ramis) along with him, and join the army. Immediately joining the army, they realize they kind of made a mistake and realize it’s not for them. But they can’t very well go AWOL. From the start, Winger clashes with the drill sergeant, Sgt. Hulka (Warren Oates). Hulka is a hard ass and Winger likes to joke & be wise, so the two don’t get along very well. The other guys in the company are Ox (John Candy), the name says it all; Cruiser (John Diehl) a real dimwitted guy who signed up so he wouldn’t get drafted; Elmo (Judge Reinhold), a stoner; and Psycho, also known as Francis (Conrad Dunn). Who’s goes around threatening everyone and delcaring how crazy he is. The head of the company is Capt. Stillman (John Larroquette), who’s pretty brainless. The company struggles to pass basic training but they end up passing and getting a special assignment in Italy. The company gets into trouble and John and Russell come to the rescue, believe it or not.

Stripes is probably one of the best military spoofs of all time and just a great comedy! They certainly don’t make comedies like this anymore, and it’s a shame. I can’t believe how people are in this movie, and for a lot of them, this was their first movie too. Judge Reinhold, John Diehl, Sean Young, John Larroquette and a lot of other actors didn’t act in a full length movie before. Both Bill Murray and Harold Ramis had excellent chemistry because they previously done improv together. It shows that the guys are friends on and off the screen and it’s one of the reasons why the movie works. The movie was great for ad lib, site gags and psychical comedy. Plus there’s so many lines to quote but I think the one that I seem to quote a lot is “Lighten up, Francis.” That’s what’s so good about this movie, each character has at least one memorable line in the movie that people quote. Of course, probably most people quote Bill Murray’s lines. I think once the movie goes to Europe, it’s not as funny. There’s so much humor you can get out of basic training, but once you get into gun play, it’s serious. They do have some funny moments when they rescue the company from the Czechs. They had to show the soldiers doing something after basic training because you needed to see how they turned out. It just tends to drag the last half hour.

This DVD is an extended cut of the movie with about 18 minutes added back into the movie. You have a choice between the original version or the extended. I can see why some of the scenes got deleted, but some should have been left in. I was glad they cut out the South American scene because it felt really out of place and wasn’t really funny. I’d rather have it that you suspect they went somewhere, when Sgt. Hulka confronts the men. I like the Chateau scene, but that’s because there’s some more female nudity hehe. I like the scene when Capt. Stillman is talking with the men after Hulka got “blown up.” The deleted scenes are added back into the movie or you can watch them in the deleted scene section. Some decent ones in there. Since I saw the movie a billion times, I listened to the audio commentary with Ivan Reitman and Dan Goldberg and it was really interesting. They talked about how brilliant Bill Murray was and how he improvised a bunch of stuff. He said it was okay for anybody to improvise but only if it was within the character, which is understandable. I don’t even think the back of the DVD cover advertises an audio commentary. That’s kind of dumb. The two part, hour-long documentary was really good and it has a lot of the cast members back to discuss their roles and the movie. Even Bill Murray popped up for a few seconds, while in Tokyo (probably filming Lost in Translation). Ivan Reitman, Dan Goldberg, Judge Reinhold, and John Larroquette probably talked the most in the doc. Reitman talked about the cooperation with the department of defense, and working on Ft. Knox. The last part of the documentary paid tribute to John Candy and it was nice. Definitely worth watching if you love the movie, and it was nice to see a lot of the cast members back to discuss the movie & their parts.

Stripes is a comedy classic that everyone should see at one point of their lives. I think this could be Bill Murray’s finest performance besides Ghostbusters. If you don’t own Stripes on DVD yet, this is the version to get.

Includes: Top Secret EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle to cut out and assemble!
18 minutes of hilarious deleted scenes
Hour-long documentary featuring all new interviews with the cast including Bill Murray.
Audio Commentary with Ivan Reitman & Daniel Goldberg

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, French

Favorite Scenes: Army training montages, I wish I was a loofah scene, Mud wrestling, um just a lot of the scenes in basic training.
Rating: R
Running Time: 107 minutes
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