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CHiPs 99
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$11.44+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on January 8, 2015
Kudos to CHIPS series producer Rick Rosner and the TNT cable network for reviving this long-missed, 1977-83 NBC program, if only for a 15-year reunion film in late 1998. The vintage opening credits crack like a broken mirror, as CHIPS '99 roars into action with a freeway chase to the tune of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild." This updated CHIPS proceeds to swipe a few glossy pages from BAYWATCH's flash-over-substance playbook substituting bikinis and speedos for BMW motorcycles and gaudy sports cars, interspersed with some nice flashbacks to the old series. Per its ruthless carjacking ring storyline, this surprisingly gritty movie also teases some possibly deadly violence, much more than the TV series ever did. Despite all the guns drawn and some obviously choreographed, razzle-dazzle stunts, no shots are actually fired; there is minimal blood; and nobody dies ... yes, CHIPS '99 serves as a much welcome respite to today's grim, shock-value TV cops-and-robbers.

Returning (and co-producing) are fifty-year olds Larry Wilcox (as Capt. Jon Baker) and Erik Estrada (as newly un-retired Officer Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello). Now a "rusty, old captain," Jon is married to Sandy, a pretty fellow CHIP, while Ponch is a reclusive widower with a young son, Frank Jr. No matter their real life differences, Wilcox and Estrada still have plenty of on-screen magic, especially as the aging ex-partners finally have a tense blow-up over Ponch's macho, "hot-dogging" antics. It makes one wonder where the simmering personality strife between Ponch & Jon ends and that of Estrada & Wilcox begins ... it's believable enough. Following the traditional series formula, the duo again split up the heroics, as the wild finale offers one of Jon's finest moments ... desperately risking his life in battle atop a speeding tour bus, no less! What I liked most about Jon & Ponch's interaction here is their poignant handshake ... it is a classy gesture at the end, as if the actors, too, have finally declared a truce. Perhaps it is most indicative that Jon quietly enters after Ponch and then exits before him, as if Wilcox is graciously deferring to Estrada's popularity in making CHIPS such a timeless pop culture hit.

Also returning is Robert Pine (as now-CHP Commissioner Joe Getraer), whose terrific slow burn over Ponch's return is priceless. Paul Linke (as Det. Grossman), Brodie Greer (as Officer Baricza), and Bruce Penhall (as Sgt. Nelson) appear in extended cameos, though they have far too little to do. The same applies to Stacie Randall and Michael Vira, the new actors portraying Jon's wife and Ponch's son, as both of them do some nice work in a few minutes. Instead, CHIPS '99 probably gives too much screen time to young guns David Ramsey (as tactful Officer McFall) and Paul Korver (as smarmy Officer Roulette). Ramsey's understated work is solid, but Korver's stuck-up Roulette resembles a cross between Chris O'Donnell's Dick Grayson/Robin from the 1990's BATMAN movies and Val Kilmer's "Ice" from TOP GUN. An inevitable rivalry between a wily, old school legend like Ponch and the swaggering Roulette should have added to the fun, but their instant feud grows old fast.

Something else I noticed re: CHIPS '99 is how it revisits the old series' history of campy celebrity cameos in spite of its new emphasis on guns, cheesy stunts, and muscle cars. In addition to rather pointless cameos by producer-director Garry Marshall and late producer-writer Stephen J. Cannell, there is a comedy relief segment featuring Judge Judy and attorney Johnny Cochran. Even though it was meant as a spoof on court reality TV shows, I'd recommend a quick fast-forward here, as this courtroom scene proves just simply ludicrous. I can't say this hokey gag routine is the script's sole problem, as the film's dialogue suffers some tired, almost awkward lapses. The good news is that Estrada, Wilcox, and Pine's inspired efforts, mixed with the series' genuine nostalgia, overcome this reunion movie's weaknesses easily enough. Not to mention hearing the familiar theme music again (given a contemporary, upbeat remix by musician Stacy Widelitz) is a real treat.

Overall, CHIPS '99 should satisfy its long-time fans, and youngsters will likely enjoy its appeal. No matter how often the movie revs the throttle favoring flash and grittiness over an improved script, CHIPS '99 remains a most entertaining, nostalgic joyride.

Rating: a fun 4/5 stars. It's appropriate for ages 8 and up.

P.S. The only DVD extra is the trailer.
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on December 25, 2012
I was really glad that this movie finally migrated to DVD since my VCR has been toast for years. I've always been a huge CHiPs fan and this reunion movie does not disappoint at all. Its set just about 16 years after the series ended in 1983 and most of the actors are back, lots of action right from the start along with a lot of drama within as well, the ending (don't want to spoil it) is especially edge of your seat. I hope this DVD release might rekindle the fans to bug Warner Brothers to release more of the regular seasons of CHiPs, its been a long time since Season 2 was released...all in all a very worthy buy and as always Amazon has it in stock when every other retailer, online or land-based store does not.
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on September 25, 2017
I originally recorded this movie on my VCR in 1998, the picture and sound were ok. In this release, the picture is better but the sound not so much! I think the studio could've spent more time on the audio track by adding surround to make it sound better and louder! the same goes for the disc menu, I could have done better than that!
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This is a great movie for a reunion with the CHiPs team and adding new faces to the mix of characters. Both Jon and Ponch have grown up and miss being partners but they also get into mischief and have an argument that leads them to be split up and partnered with other teammates. Ponch can still get into trouble and Jon still tries to get him out of it because of their friendship but that does put a strain of their friendship. There are flashbacks from some of the episodes in the series to advance the plot along and there are surprises around every corner. Even one of their own people gets hurt really bad and has to be hospitalized. This is a must see for anyone who liked/likes the CHiPs TV show and add to the collection
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on May 10, 2015
This best movies based on classic TV are those which not only pick up where the TV show left off but if possible has returning actors from the actual series as this one does. Years after having a life of his own Frank has return to duty as motor officer to find his old partner John his new boss married with kids. Many others from the series also return with new ranks of their own to see the once peaceful streets once against facing Ponch's reckless ways of solving crime. In the movie case dealing with hijacking gang something that often popped up during the course of the TV series its self proving classic story lines still work 15 years later.
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on December 6, 2014
Very good remake of the old show. Story line and character portrayal mature but the old humor and sass was there. Found the Judy Judy day in court side theme a little ridiculous...maybe there was another way to get Jon mad enough at Ponch to declare he'd never ride with him again?? Seems they never will...Estrada not showing up for the 35 year reunion of the CHiPs TV release in '77. Can't imagine how well the actors pulled off camaraderie and brotherhood for their audiences, but couldn't pull it off in their real relationship on set or off. It's even a puzzle to me how they managed to hook up for CHiP's '99. But glad they mastered that one!
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on April 11, 2017
I have tried for so long to find this video. It's too bad it didn't get picked up as a new series.
I played this in my 4k BluRay player and made this movie look REALLY nice.
It's funny how most of the plot derives from the pilot episode of the series.
If you're a ChiPs MUST have this video.
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on February 23, 2018
Here again Jon and Ponch have evolved whereas Jon is a detective grade and Ponch is still riding his motor that he loves soooooooooo much.
My Chips seasons are complete.
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on March 7, 2013
Anyone who is a CHIPS fan will want to pick up this dvd. The story line is good bringing you up to speed with all of your favorites, Baker, Ponch, Baricza, Grossman, Sgt. Getraer, and the some of the others too. Basically, Ponch returns to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) job as motor cop after a long time off while Jon is a now Captain and Getraer is the CHP Commissioner. The plot is good ole Chips of yesteryear with Ponch and John on modern bikes chasing the bad guys again. Brings back memories of the old series and is a great comeback movie. The DVD is great quality and I'm glad its been upgraded from the old VHS format.
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on July 25, 2013
i truly loved every minute of it, from start to finnish it was typicaly ponch and jon, i have always been a great fan of this
television series as i ride a bike myself as often as i can in this country. the new machines and equipment where great and
the soundtrack was fresh and new the flashbacks really did bring back old memorys from past series of chips especially
the young guy on the mountain bike, ( i dont know im only six ) !!!!! it was nice to see some fresh faces as well in the new
partnership of roulette and mcfall a near mirror image of our two main stars, people do get promoted in the c.h.p. then,
as for the quality of the product i cannot fault it the picture is clear and sharp and the sound is great on my surround sound
system, the case is strong and solid with good graphics. the delivery of the item was extremly fast getting to me in less
than a week, it will take pride of place in my collection of chips dvds. by the way stay away from filing cabinets !!!!!!!!
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