DVD Shopping Bag: Street Hawk: The Complete Series - Mania.com

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DVD Shopping Bag: Street Hawk: The Complete Series

Firestorm Meets Knight Rider

By Robert T. Trate     July 13, 2010

Rex Smith is Street Hawk in the Complete Series
© Shout Factory


“This is Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop, injured in the line of duty. Now a police troubleshooter, he's been recruited for a top secret government mission to ride Street Hawk--an all-terrain attack motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds up to three hundred miles an hour...and immense firepower. Only one man, federal agent Norman Tuttle, knows Jesse Mach's true identity. The Man...The Machine...Street Hawk”.
Okay now that I have brought you up to speed on Street Hawk we can start this week’s column. This almost forgotten series aired for 13 episodes in 1985. I remember watching the show as a kid but story wise nothing really lingered. Let’s face it, 25 years later those very same episodes still have nothing that stand out. Then why did I pick Street Hawk for this week’s column? We have all sat around the proverbial campfire and talked about old TV shows with friends. I remember this one and it had this and so fourth. A friend of mine one night sparked some long forgotten memories of a show called Street Hawk. For his sake I picked this up and gave it a run around the block. What I discovered was a strange collection of guest stars, tired stories, awesome music, a cool set of heroes and a motorcycle.
Rex Smith, who plays Jesse Mach, had an incredible charisma to him. Smith was the perfect combination of the hero and the man with a secret identity. All the while I kept thinking Smith was born way too early because he would have made the perfect Daredevil. He even looks like Matt Murdock. After a little research I found out that I wasn’t the only person who thought this as he was Matt Murdock/ Daredevil in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989). After watching several episodes another superhero emerged for Smith to play, DC Comics’ Firestorm. The reason being is Jesse’s partner, and Street Hawk’s inventor, Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto). Norman guides Jesse through the streets and acts as both a mentor and conscience; much like that of physicist Martin Stein toHigh school student Ronnie Raymond. There is no Street Hawk without either one of these two guys.
The correlation between the two is obvious. Outside of the talking car both shows are perfect eighties gimmick TV. Where Knight Rider flourished Street Hawk on the other hand died a quick death. One reason could have been Street Hawk’s setting and stories. They were limited to street crimes of Los Angeles and foes that could battle, and lose, to a motorcycle. Knight Rider was always on the move and a few times he had to be re-invented to keep up with the changing landscape of crime. What can be agreed on between these two shows is that each had an awesome theme song. Where Street Hawk tops Knight Rider is the dynamic of the two characters Jesse and Norm. If only Knight Rider would have starred Smith and Regalbuto. We might actually live in a world that never had Bay Watch.
The show isn’t as full of future stars as I would have hoped. Remembering that it only lasted 13 episodes I am a bit forgiving of that fact. The biggest, in the regular season, would have to be George Clooney. He plays a motorcycle racer who is brought in to take down Street Hawk. Of course they are best friends working on opposite sides of the law and the plot will end as you expect it to. It is worth it to just watch Clooney’s eighties style of acting and his use of the word “radical”. The single bleach blonde curl doesn’t hurt either. Star Trek fans will enjoy seeing two of their regulars here as Robert Beltran plays Jesse’s doomed best friend in the pilot and Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat) plays a bad guy. Should I mention Dennis Franz? Does anyone remember this guy? The pilot has another big star in it as Christopher Lloyd plays a sleazy drug lord. As bad guys go he is perfect. Too bad he wasn’t a series regular.
To Buy or To Rent?
This is a rental and only until the nostalgia wears off. Though I found the plots to be incredibly predictable I was mesmerized by the addictive theme song by Tangerine Dream. There is a nice retrospective on the series featuring both Smith and Regalbuto that the true die hard, like my friend will love. After the pilot and the first episode you really don’t need to see the rest of Street Hawk. You’ll probably enjoy that awesome theme song enough to try and download it.
Top 5 Picks of the Week
2. Insomnia Blu-ray
3. Golgo 13: Collection 1
4. The Super Hero Squad Show: Volume One
5. Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 5
Alpha Dog [Blu-ray] ~ Bruce Willis, Matthew Barry, and Emile Hirsch
Assault on Precinct 13 [Blu-ray] ~ Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne, and John Leguizamo
Cartel [Blu-ray] ~ Freddy Douglas
Caught in the Crossfire ~ 50 Cent, Jason Ambrose, Tim Fields, and Sydney Hall
Caught in the Crossfire [Blu-ray]
Formosa Betrayed ~ James Van Der Beek, Leslie Hope, and John Heard
The Girl By the Lake (Sub) ~ Toni Servillo, Valeria Golino, Fabrizio Gifuni, and Omero Antonutti
Insomnia [Blu-ray] ~ Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, and Oliver 'Ole' Zemen
Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (W/CD) (Slim) ~ Chad Willett, Ted Atherton, and Ryan Gosling
Parasomnia ~ Dylan Purcell, Patrick Kilpatrick, Jeffrey Combs, and Cherilyn Wilson
Ride the Wake (Unrated) ~ Erik Valdez, John Stockwell, and Eddie Valdez
Terribly Happy ~ Jakob Cedergren, Lene Maria Christensen, and Kim Bodnia
Zift (Sub) ~ Zahary Baharov
Golgo 13: Collection 1 (2pc) (Ws Sub Ac3 Dol) ~ Hiroshi Tachi
Naruto Shippuden, Vol. 11
SpongeBob SquarePants: Triton's Revenge ~ Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, and Clancy Brown
The Super Hero Squad Show: Volume One ~ Tom Kenny, Steve Blum, Charles Adler, and James Marsters
The Bounty Hunter ~ Jennifer Aniston
The Bounty Hunter [Blu-ray]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVIII ~ Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Tracy Morgan ~ Tracy Morgan, Fred Armisen, Alec Baldwin, and Jim Breuer
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell ~ Will Ferrell
Criterion Collection
The Only Son/There Was a Father: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu (Criterion Collection) ~ Chishu Ryu
The Dead Are Alive ~ Alex Cord
Killer Car (Sub)
Outback ~ Jesse Johnson
Scream Girls (Sub)
Radiant ~ Laurel Whitsett
The Scarf ~ Laura Geluch, Julian LeBlanc, Mikaela Martens, and Penny Desanto
The Lucy Show: Seasons One & Two ~ Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, and Jimmy Garrett
The Lucy Show: The Official Second Season ~ Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, and Gale Gordon
Martin: Complete Third Season (4pc) (Full Dol) ~ Martin Lawrence
Psych: The Complete Fourth Season ~ James Roday
Saving Grace: The Final Season ~ Holly Hunter
Street Hawk: The Complete Series ~ Rex Smith, Jayne Modean, Richard Venture, and Joe Regalbuto
White Collar: Season One ~ Matt Bomer
White Collar: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 5 (Cornered / Desperate / The Phenix City Story / Deadline at Dawn / Armored Car Robbery / Crime in the Streets / Dial 1119 / Backfire) ~ Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, Susan Hayward, and Bill Williams
Feeding The Masses Horror Collection
Ultimate Crime Spree Collection (12pc)
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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krathwardroid 7/13/2010 2:26:35 PM

So they released this series on DVD. What about Automan? 

Tevii 7/13/2010 4:11:56 PM

Automan was the SH!T... although if i saw it now id probably be disappointed

Wyldstaar 7/13/2010 7:54:32 PM

I have fond memories of Automan as a kid as well.  I also caught it in reruns as an adult on the Sci-Fi Channel years later.  Like most shows I loved as a kid, my adult self couldn't believe how awful it was.  Now that it's been ages since the days when Sci-Fi consisted of nothing but The Incredible Hulk, reruns of sci-fi network programs that were cancelled after one season and MST3K, I've more or less forgotten about that unfortunate experience and have reset to the orignal happy memory.  If I want to keep it though, I won't be able to buy any box set of Automan, Manimal, The Adventures of Matthew Starr or the Misfits of Science.



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