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Take This Job and Shove It
Now that I've got that David Allen Coe song, made popular by Johnny Paycheck, stuck in your head, we can get to the meat of the matter regarding this meat-and-potatoes 1981 comedy! Starring sly everyman Robert Hays, and directed by cult figure Gus Trikonis, this Blu-ray release of the beer-soaked feature of blue collar rebellion should appeal to those with fond memories of the movie, or junk-food movie enthusiasts.
Hays plays a hotshot executive in the adult beverage industry. He's got a fancy red convertible and a girlfriend whose dog likes to hump his leg. The powers-that-be are acquiring small breweries in order to lump them together into big corporate breweries, and Hays is tapped to facilitate matters at his old home-town suds-factory. But nothing is ever easy, as Hays' old change-resistant high-school buddies are still there, working at the brewery, and his old high-school crush is hanging around too. As movies are wont to make viewers question, we must ask if Hays will succeed in streamlining the brewery, and his love life, or will everyone get screwed like a leg near a bulldog?
Written by Jeffrey Bernini and Barry Schneider, Take This Job And Shove It may have some things to say about America's caste system, self-determination, and the choices we make in life, or it may just be a goofy, low-brow romp. My money's on the latter, and that's certainly the best way to take the movie. In fact, I'm not really certain if, in the end, the characters succeeded in anything more than giving the double-bird to the system, but hell, what a cast of characters!
Hays' friends are played with bravado and weird sensitivity by David Keith and Tim Thomerson. Beer consortium honchos and flunkies include Eddie Albert, Art Carney, and Martin Mull. Barbara Hershey brings her brand of girl-next-door realism to Hays' life trying to revamp a brewery from a motel room. Johnny Paycheck himself flips burgers in a saloon that seems made to trash on a nightly basis, while David Allen Coe weirdly proselytizes "lord, I love robbin' banks" from the stage, and Len (Uncle Leo) Lesser gets in on a little toilet-paper football.
Take This Job And Shove It supplies a little food for thought (maybe more-so for drunken working class slobs than for others) but mostly represents a weird, good old time, the kind where a bulldog in the shower merits a belly-laugh, and a company picnic devolves from a potentially deadly monster truck race into a beer-soaked, multi-generational mud-wallow. For what it's worth, they really don't make them like this anymore. This extras-free Blu-ray should at least merit a Rent It for retro-comedy fans.
Kino Lorber brings us this entry from 1981, in a 1.85:1 ratio 1920x1080P high definition transfer. It's several notches above standard definition for sure, with decent, nicely realized film-grain tastefully present but not in conflict with fairly sharp details. Film damage doesn't seem present, and there are no digital issues to get in the way of the film-look. Colors are deep, rich, and natural, and details hold up nicely in darker imagery.
Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo track, that sounds great. Dialog is clear, clean, and up front, while background audio elements have a little bit of dimensionality for your pleasure. The soundtrack is mixed nicely, and presents a lot of space and dynamic range for all of David Allen Coe's weird, shit-kicking songs.
Extras are limited to a Photo Gallery and some Trailers for other Kino Lorber releases.
Take This Job And Shove It supplies a little food for thought in its tale of Robert Hays sent to streamline his hometown brewery (maybe more-so for drunken working class slobs than for others) but mostly represents a weird, good old time, the kind where a bulldog in the shower merits a belly-laugh, and a company picnic devolves from a potentially deadly monster truck race into a beer-soaked, multi-generational mud-wallow. The stunning cast is a character actors' dream, with Art Carney, Tim Thomerson, Barbara Hershey and more. For what it's worth, they really don't make them like this anymore. This extras-free Blu-ray should at least merit a Rent It for retro-comedy fans.