Judge Eric Profancik saw this when it was called George Lucas in Love.
His movie is classic. The story behind it is legendary.
Comedy is a subjective art, and after watching Courage and Stupidity, all I can say is that I was subjected to many an unfunny moment. The general idea behind this short film is a comic interpretation of why the shark from Jaws isn't as scary and animated as it could be. Anyone who has seen that seminal work knows that the shark is used sparingly and in unique ways. In other words, there's not a lot of shark. Courage and Stupidity presents the idea that a young Steven Spielberg and his young friend George (implied Lucas) broke the shark. As the story goes, an excited Spielberg drags George out to the warehouse where the huge robotic shark is being kept until it's needed for filming. The eager Spielberg then takes the remote control to see it move, but because it's chained down, it won't budge. The stress put on the chains causes one to snap, which then leads a support beam to crush the shark. Steven is then forced to figure out how to make this film without the shark.
In the vein of the truly funny George Lucas in Love, Courage and Stupidity wants to make up some history about a famous filmmaker and the unknown history behind one of his greatest and earliest works. Unfortunately, it is but a clever idea without solid execution. I understood many of the inside jokes, but I know some were lost on me. Maybe it's because I'm not fully versed in Jaws's history, or maybe it's just that I'm not familiar with the true machinations of Hollywood. I don't know. All I know is that this 25-minute film is not funny—maybe occasionally and slightly humorous, but not funny.
Yet that's not to say that not a lot of effort went into making this independent film, and that does come through on the disc. The video transfer is well done with robust colors, deep blacks, and great detail. You won't spot any errors. (I must admit that I am uncertain on the specific aspect ratio since the case states only "letterbox" and the official site provides no details. In this case, I have deferred to the data at IMDb.) And while the audio is only a PCM track, it effectively conveys the dialogue and other effects from the film. The disc is nicely packaged to let you see the quality of work that went into the production of the film. Additionally, some bonus materials are included on the disc: Kahil's Home Video (3.75 minutes), offering behind-the-scenes footage by Kahil Doty, who plays Ricky in the film (Ricky who? No idea.); Photo Overview (6.5 minutes), which is an overview of the film—like you couldn't pay attention for 25 minutes; Screen Test (3 minutes); Storyboard Brief (1 minute); and The Rain Towers (2.5 minutes), which details the scene in which Steven and George visit the warehouse. I wasn't particularly impressed by the extras and already have forgotten most of what I watched, but that's probably a result of my dislike of the film.
I applaud the idea, the dedication, the passion, and the clever idea behind Courage and Stupidity. Sadly, I have to boo the final result. As a result, I am not recommending this all-region disc for purchase (only available from the official website). I'm recommending George Lucas in Love instead.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Ranchero Entertainment
• Kahil's Home Video: Behind the Scenes
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