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After he was Encino Man, but before he was battling The Mummy, Brendan Fraser was an Airhead, starring as one third of a band that takes over a radio station in an attempt to convince a deejay to play their single on the air. Long-locked, metal-head rocker Chazz is hardly Fraser's best role, but the movie does provide a relatively early example of something that's now beginning to be accepted as fact: Brendan Fraser is funny. As the leader of the trio the Lone Rangers (yes, it's a ridiculous name that doesn't make any sense), Chazz is convinced that he and buddies/bandmates Rex (Steve Buscemi) and Pip (Adam Sandler) could be huge, if they could just get someone to pay attention to their music. So, after waving a couple of very-realistic-looking water guns around, they inadvertently end up with a radio station full of hostages, including cynical deejay Ian "The Shark" (Joe Mantegna), smarmy station manager Milo (Michael McKean), and nervous accountant Beech (Michael Richards). (Look for David Arquette in a small role as a laid-back hostage, too.) While they ineptly negotiate with the cops (Ernie Hudson, Chris Farley), the trio bonds with their captives, consider a record deal with oily exec Jimmy (Judd Nelson), and inspire an impromptu party outside the station. The comically talented cast makes the most of the so-so script, getting into the silly situations and scoring a few guffaw-worthy lines (says Rex when Ian puts Chazz on the microphone, "You expect him to make a speech? What does he look like, Sting?"). Buscemi does a typically good job as the perpetually angry Rex, getting a lot of mileage out of sneers and wisecracks, and it's nice to see Sandler when he was still just a funny guy from Saturday Night Live instead of a mumbling "movie star." But the movie is really Fraser's, and he handles it well. Let's just say that while Airheads never quite delivers on its clever premise, it definitely could have been a lot worse. Fox gives the movie a nice DVD treatment, especially for a catalog title. The anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) is nice and clear, and the Dolby 4.0 Surround audio is more than adequate for a light comedy (albeit one with a lot of music in it). English and French stereo tracks are also available, as are English and Spanish subtitles. Special features include a 15-minute featurette "disguised" as a special news report about the radio station takeover, two music videos (Motorhead's "Born to Raise Hell" and White Zombie's "Feed the Gods"), two TV spots, the trailer, and trailers for other Fox movies on DVD. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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