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"The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (Unrated)"
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Comedy
Special Features: "Birth of the General Lee", "A Moment with Uncle Jessie", "The New Dukes", "Daisy's Dukes", "The Music of Hazzard", "Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane"

I never expect much for direct-to-DVD releases so it is a pleasant surprise if a movie is entertaining even if it isn't enlightening. "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" falls into the former category. This light, breezy comic adventure catchs Bo( Jonathan Bennett), Luke (Randy Wayne) and Daisy Duke (April Scott) is captured nicely in this DVD release which features Willie Nelson (!) as Uncle Jesse. When Boss Hog (Christopher McDonald) tries to take some of Uncle Jessie's profits from his moonshine, Boss Hog threatens to foreclose on the Duke farmhouse. Jessie reluctantly agrees to let Bo and Luke run his shine for him. When the Duke boys discover a 1969 Dodge Charger surmerged at the bottom of a swimming hole, fix it up they have their secret weapon the General Lee all ready to run that shine and drive Boss Hogg crazy. ***

Filled with some nice performances and carried by deft direction as well as some nifty writing, "TDOH:TB" is a worthwhile trip for fans of the series. Sure it doesn't feature our heroes from the TV show (much less the theatrical film if you never saw the TV show), but the cast ably pulls this off. ---

Image & Sound:

This prequel looks sharp with nice, bright colors that befits this Looney Tunes cartoon on wheels. It's a very nice transfer that has little in the way of digital artifacts. Likewise, the audio comes across with nice clarity and kicks into high gear during the chase sequences as expected. ---

Special Features:

"The New Dukes" is a short featurette that gives us a glimpse into the actors stepping into Bo and Luke's shoes. "Daisy Duke" lets us see the wardrobe that April Scott wears for the film. "Birth of the General Lee" shows the restoration of the General Lee for the film. We also get a number of other featurettes with the main actors and also get a cool music video.

Final Words:

Kick off your shoes and enjoy the Dukes for awhile in a return to the beginning for the Duke boys. This is a fine little movie that fans of the film and TV show will enjoy.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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