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Dax Shepard
Dax Shepard, Michael Pena, Rosa Salazar
Writing Credits:
Dax Shepard

A rookie officer is teamed with a hardened pro at the California Highway Patrol, though the newbie soon learns his partner is really an undercover Fed investigating a heist that may involve some crooked cops.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Opening Weekend
$7,722,802 on 2464 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 6/27/2017

• “This Is Not Your Dad’s CHIPS” Featurette
• “Practical Pursuit” Featurette
• “Ducati: The Perfect Bike” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


CHIPS [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 19, 2017)

In the same vein as 2012’s 21 Jump Street, 2017’s CHIPS offers a comedic reboot of an old dramatic TV series. Rookie police officer Jon Baker (writer/director Dax Shepard) becomes a member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and gets paired with veteran Frank “Ponch” Poncharello (Michael Pena).

Both Jon and Ponch come from differing backgrounds. A former motocross racer, Jon wants to restart his disastrous life, while Ponch is actually an FBI agent named Castillo who goes undercover as a motorcycle cop to work on a case.

Ponch investigates a massive heist, one that may have been perpetrated by a CHP officer. We follow this thread as well as the awkward fit between Jon and Ponch as partners.

As a kid in the 1970s, I enjoy distinct memories of the original CHiPs TV show, though I didn’t watch it much. While the show’s popularity meant it entered my consciousness, it wasn’t something I viewed on a regular basis – I probably saw two or three episodes and that was that.

I mention this to emphasize that I don’t enter the 2017 film with any kind of chip – ha! – on my shoulder. Some viewers may go into cliché “Dax Shepard raped my childhood” territory, but my view of the movie wasn’t impacted at all by warm ‘n’ fuzzy youthful memories.

Actually, I went into CHIPS with hopes it’d offer a good comedic affair. 21 Jump Street showed that old cop shows could be milked for satirical laughs, so I saw no reason CHIPS couldn’t follow that trend.

No reason other than Shepard, that is. CHIPS offers Shepard’s third effort as writer/director, and I saw his debut: 2010’s Brother’s Justice. Essentially an ego-driven ode to his own greatness, Justice offered no signs that Shepard enjoyed talent as a writer or director.

Compared to Justice, CHIPS looks like a classic, but that’s more a reflection on the poor quality of the 2012 film than anything else. While CHIPS presents a more competently-made film, it doesn’t do much more to actually entertain.

When CHIPS amuses, it does so solely due to its cast, as Shepard manages to recruit talented actors. In addition to Pena, we find supporting turns from pros like Vincent D’Onofrio, David Koechner, Maya Rudolph, Ed Begley Jr. and others. Heck, even Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell and an uncredited Josh Duhamel come along for the ride.

This mix of actors – and a cameo from part of the original CHiPs cast – becomes literally the only positive I can discern here. They don’t get much to do, but they manage to bring a smidgen of charm to the film.

Otherwise, CHIPS becomes a fairly tedious, lowst-common-denominator comedy. It lacks a coherent narrative and gives us characters who barely rise above the level of cheap archetypes. We see Jon and Ponch as a basic “odd couple” who bond as they get to know each other – blah blah blah.

Shepard can’t do anything with the pedestrian material. CHIPS provides a basic cop tale skewed for broad comedy, and it never threatens to turn into anything memorable or funny. It winds up as a banal, forgettable 101 minutes.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus C-

CHIPS appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Losers presented a strong picture.

Sharpness seemed solid, as I noticed virtually no signs of softness. Instead, the movie looked nicely crisp and detailed at all times. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and no edge enhancement seemed to be evident. I noticed no signs of print flaws, as the image looked clean.

As expected, the movie’s palette leaned toward orange and teal. That said, the film used the Southern California setting for a little more variety, and the orange/teal never seemed oppressive. This left us with a fairly peppy sense of colors.

As for the dark elements, they were deep and dense. I thought blacks seemed nicely replicated and presented clear, taut textures. Low-light shots came across extremely well, as they looked very well-defined and delineated and made the movie quite attractive. CHIPS gave us a fine transfer.

Similar praise greeted the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of CHIPS. As I expect from an action picture, the soundfield offered a lot of activity throughout the film.

Guns, vehicles, explosions and other connected elements zipped all around the room in lively but natural manner. The elements formed a fine sense of setting and immersed us in the action. Music showed good stereo presence as well and used the surrounds in an active manner. The soundfield seemed broad and engaging.

No issues with audio quality materialized. Speech was natural and concise, with no edginess or other concerns. Music sounded dynamic and full, while effects followed suit. Those elements were accurate and impressive, with crisp highs and rich lows. All in all, the audio proved to be very satisfying.

The set includes three featurettes, and these begin with This Is Not Your Dad’s CHIPS. In this nine-minute, four-second piece, we hear from writer/director/actor Dax Shepard, producer Andrew Panay and actors Ryan Hansen, Kristen Bell, Jane Kaczmarak, David Koechner, Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Rosa Salazar, and Michael Pena.

“Dad’s” looks at the source and its adaptation, cast, characters and performances. It becomes a pretty promo superficial piece.

During the nine-minute, 15-second Practical Pursuit, we find notes from Shepard, Pursuit Systems chief designer/partner, special effects coordinator Larz Anderson and stunt coordinator Steve DeCastro. “Pursuit” brings info about the movie’s stunts. Though more informative than “Dad’s”, “Pursuit” still seems fairly thin and fluffy.

Lastly, Ducati: The Perfect Bike goes for four minutes, 38 seconds and features Shepard, Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock, and motorcycle mechanic Tyler Loguzzo. As expected, “Perfect” views the bikes used in the film. It gives us a couple more nuggets but mostly comes across like an ad for the manufacturer.

10 Deleted Scenes last a total of 10 minutes, 19 seconds. These tend toward short character beats, which some emphasis on the movie’s main villain. They mix comedy and exposition, but they fail to add anything memorable or important for the story.

We can watch the scenes with or without intros from Shepard. With this option activated, they add to a total of 14 minutes, 58 seconds. Shepard tells us basics about the shots and why they didn’t make the final film.

The Blu-ray opens with ads for The House, King Arthur, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Going My Way and the Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and Injustice 2 videogames. No trailer for CHIPS appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of CHIPS. It includes the “Not Your Father’s” featurette and none of the other extras.

A failed comedic reboot of an old TV cop series, CHIPS offers only the most modest of amusement. Its surprisingly deep cast brings us the occasional minor chuckle, but the end result seems tedious and misguided. The Blu-rayt boasts excellent picture and audio along with a handful of supplements. Though not the worst spoof I’ve seen, CHIPS lacks much quality.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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