Police Academy Complete Collection (DVD)
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|Contributor||Steve Guttenberg, Michael Winslow, Various Others, Hugh Wilson, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Jerry Paris|
|Runtime||9 hours and 43 minutes|
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 1.4 x 13.5 x 17 cm; 80 Grams
- Item Model Number : R-123559-9
- Director : Various Others, Jerry Paris, Hugh Wilson
- Media Format : DVD
- Run time : 9 hours and 43 minutes
- Release date : 4 November 2015
- Actors : David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bubba Smith, Steve Guttenberg
- Dubbed: : English
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : Roadshow Entertainment
- ASIN : B01N0RU52J
- Country of origin : Australia
- Number of discs : 7
- Best Sellers Rank: 5,667 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 1,288 in TV Shows (Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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POLICE ACADEMY: New rules enforced by the Lady Mayoress mean that sex, weight, height and intelligence need no longer be a factor for joining the Police Force. This opens the floodgates for all and sundry to enter the Police Academy, much to the chagrin of the instructors. Not everyone is there through choice, though. Social misfit Mahoney has been forced to sign up as the only alternative to a jail sentence and it doesn't take long before he falls foul of the boorish Lieutenant Harris. But before long, Mahoney realises that he is enjoying being a police cadet and decides he wants to stay - while Harris decides he wants Mahoney out! POLICE ACADEMY 2: THEIR FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Mahoney and friends have graduated from the Police Academy and are issued with their first assignments. As before, their cheerfulness and devotion to duty outweighs any shortcomings, but are even they ready to do battle with a band graffiti daubing terrorists POLICE ACADEMY 3: BACK IN TRAINING: When police funding is cut, the Governor announces he must close one of the academies. To make it fair, the two police academies must compete against each other to stay in operation. Mauser persuades two officers in Lassard's academy to better his odds, but things don't quite turn out as expected. POLICE ACADEMY 4: CITIZEN'S ON PATROL: A new batch of recruits arrives at Police Academy, this time a group of civilian volunteers who have joined Commandant Lassard's new Citizens on Patrol program. Although the community relations project has strong governmental support, a disgusted Captain Harris is determined to see it fail. POLICE ACADEMY 5: ASSIGNMENT: MIAMI BEACH: The old Commandant Lassard, leader of the Police Academy, goes to Florida to receive an award. In the city arrives also the cynic Captain Harris who wants to take Lassard's job. Harris wants to place himself in a favourable light in front of the high military hierarchy but, at the airport, Lassard exchanges his bag with another one. POLICE ACADEMY 6: CITY UNDER SIEGE: Our favourite police men are called together to deal with a gang who rob banks and jewellers. Using their various talents as well as their extraordinary luck, the crooks stand no chance against our men and women wearing blue. POLICE ACADEMY 7: MISSION TO MOSCOW: The Russians need help in dealing with the Mafia and so they seek help with the veterans of the Police Academy. They head off to Moscow, in order to find evidence against Konstantin Konali, who marketed a computer game that everyone in the world is playing. With a sequel to the game he wants to put backdoors in all computer systems on which it gets installed, thus providing access to the police and other government systems.
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for as long as i can remember, Police Academy has been the poster-child for terrible films that were doomed from the first. even back in the day, as i recall, the announcement of a new installment inspired not so much enthusiasm as morbid curiosity of the sort we associate with traffic accidents. i only finally saw the complete saga because it happens to be on Netflix at the moment.
well, it may not be masterpiece in the Monty Python or even Three Stooges sense, but i'd still have to say that rumors of it's repugnance - Bobcat Goldthwait's assessment as "Police Lobotomy," for instance - have been grossly exaggerated. there's a difference between not quite great and irredeemable rubbish.
the first episode could well merit said righteous indignation. it's hardly what you'd call "Oscar bait," but it is a largely competent specimen of one of the day's comedy trends, the "slobs vs. snobs" device initiated by Animal House. it's more scatological element is well balanced with heart. (something Animal House is woefully overrated for it's glaring lack of.) there's even a potentially profound moral about misfits proving themselves once they figure out where they were meant to be. Steve Guttenberg's character, for instance, is an habitual screw-up convinced by a cop friend of his father's to enroll as an alternative to jail time. he arrives hell-bent on getting himself thrown out, only to ultimately find that police work suits him more than he'd of guessed.
a reliable if not remarkable talent, Guttenberg is easiest to describe as a sort of bargain basement Bill Murray. but then most of the regular cast could be described as on the same level. G.W. Bailey is probably the best actor herein - he already had semi-regular roles on M*A*S*H and St. Elsewhere to his name - but even he could be accused of phoning it in. basically, he channels Frank Sutton's Sgt. Carter character from Gomer Pyle USMC, even going so far as to appropriate Carter's catchphrase, "move it, move it, MOVE IT!!!"
so really, the worst to be said for the first film, in and of itself, is that maybe it's the poor man's Stripes. (even Guttenberg and Bailey's dynamic not so subtly echoes that of Bill Murray and Warren Oates.) i daresay it would be, if not necessarily more respected, at least less of a whipping-boy had there been no, or at least fewer, sequels.
we were bound to get to that eventually. more than anything else, the renown folly of the franchise is excessive sequels.
i usually think the majority of sequels get a bad rap, and to some degree these might. the problem, arguable redundancy aside, is that as everyone's individual gimmicks got more pronounced, the story side got gradually laxer and laxer. there came a time when it was pretty much coasting on the wait for G.W. Bailey's next reactionary rant, Michael Winslow's next sound-effect, David Graf's next random act of excessive force, or the moment where Marion Ramsey gets to raise her girlishly soft voice. of course one could argue that such character shtick was the whole appeal, and usually is with comedy in general. it's just that Police Academy reached the point where they weren't trying to dress it up anymore.
i'd say the logical cut-off point would be no. 4, what with the loss at that point not only of de facto leader Steve Guttenberg, but the surprisingly agile double-act of Bobcat Goldthwait and Tim Kazurinsky.
but just because they weren't strictly necessary doesn't mean the later films don't have their moments. probably my favorite gag in the entire series is in no. 5: a shark is about to attack the beach a' la Jaws, until David Graf and his massive-ass gun intervene.
what people like me enjoy about such films (maybe even against our own better judgement) is the camaraderie of a well constructed cast, even if they are more performers than actors per se. sometimes characters one can actually get behind are enough to compensate for less than brilliant writing.
indeed, in what must surely qualify as a borderline miracle, there's only one complete washout in the lot, namely no. 7, Mission To Moscow. the other six were made in consecutive years, Mission was a frankly desperate attempt to revive the franchise a few years, and a sizeable dip in momentum, later. (Michael Winslow goes several scenes without a single sound-effect!) nonetheless it does enjoy a singular distinction: it came out the same year as Forrest Gump, making Mission the one Police Academy film ever to deserve the Best Picture Oscar more than the colossal turd that ended up with it.
so Shakespeare it ain't, but then Shakespeare it ain't trying to be. whatever the franchise's sins, missing the mark for which it aimed is not one of them. it may not be your cup of tea, but it's someone's, and it knows the recipe for the tea they enjoy.
if there's a single overriding surprise for me, it's that 2 and 3 are easily the most famous movies to be directed by one Jerry Paris. best known for playing Rob Petrie's smart-ass dentist neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Paris ventured behind the camera at the time and quickly became the cast's very favorite director. he helmed probably the most famous (and easily the most popular) episode, the sci-fi pastiche "It May Look Like A Walnut"...which later inspired him to do a similar episode of Happy Days. Richie & The Fonz' encounter with Mork From Ork was Paris' idea, making him indirectly responsible for Robin Williams' big break.
to fall from the company of Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams into the realm of Police Academy, well, if nothing else says much for the renown fickleness of "The Biz."
(Paris has a Hitchcockian cameo in 3, as a priest in a police lineup.)
as it happens, the guest cast is a veritable cornucopia of such bombshells. it won't exactly shock anyone that such semi-stars as Debralee Scott, Art Metrano, Jackie Joseph, Donovan Scott, Matt McCoy, and Colleen Camp contributed. what might is that they also somehow managed to snare the likes of Howard Hesseman, Ron Pearlman, Kim Cattrall, Kenneth Mars, Julie Brown, Rene Auberjonois, and (most mind-blowing of all) Christopher Lee!
(so what does that say about how much a good cast can do with a limited script? i'll just back off and let it say whatever you hear from it.)
Pauline Kael of The New York Times, generally considered the first lady of critics, said something to the effect that movies are so seldom great art that you really shouldn't bother if you can't appreciate "great trash." i'd like to think there were a few levels in between, but you can see what she was getting at. we're not exactly running low on terrible trash, after all. Police Academy, warts an' all, is Pulitzer Prize material compared to Movie 43, for instance, or the collected works of Jason "Disaster Movie" Friedberg and Aaron "Meet The Spartans" Seltzer.