Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gas Prices

Long lines and rising gas prices. They are a direct result of Hurricane Katrina BUT all the way up here in NC.

gas price

This was the price of gas today at 5 o'clock at the Sheetz station on Swing Road in Greensboro. I captured this image during the price change. The price jumped from $2.99 to $3.29.

One lady at the pump to fill up was on a cell phone and was jesturing and stomping around about the whole thing. I thought she was outraged about the ever rising cost of gas. When I talked to her as she exited the parking lot, she said her anger was because of the timing of her visit. She arrived just when the pumps were shut down for a few minutes to change the price and that was causing her to run late. She said she'd pay whatever they set the price at because she has to get around.

UPDATE: Gas Price picture from Atlanta


Covering Hurricane Katrina....Scope

Often times the search by televsion news outlets for a big story, the need for a big story, the want for a big story causes some little bitty, not so big stories to be(not to use a pun...) blown out of the water.

Not in this case I don't believe. As a matter of fact, it may be just the opposite.

On ABC's Nightline at about midnight, ABC correspondent David Kerley said something in a taped look live that cuts to the very core of how we go about covering news at TV journalists.

"Often I think television focuses in on something and makes it much bigger than it is. This is so big that we can't really give you the scope of it. Television
doesn't do justice to what has happened here on the Gulf Coast."

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, much like Hurricane Floyd here in NC in 1999, but on a much larger scale, is a huge event of historical proportions, but all of the media, TV, Web, Blog, Podcast, etc...coverage in the world isn't going to scratch the surface of what has happened on the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tallest Basketball Player EVER!!!

Google search the name Sun Ming Ming (after you read this blog) and you will find a variety of news reports, many of which I am linking to in this story, from the Greensboro News and Record, Fox Sports, The LA Daily News, Asian Sports Net, and Arizona Central dot com to name a few. There is even a Wiki Pedia listing for him.

So who is Sun Ming Ming. He is the Great 'Tall' of China, says the Fox Sports dot com Headline. He is China's rising son and the next Yao Ming according to many sports writers, scouts and his trainers.

With size 19 shoes, a size 6XL jersey, size 50 jeans and listed as 7-foot-8 and growing, at 22 years of age he may just become the tallest living person in the world.(The Guinness Book of World Records says another 7-foot-8.95 inch Chinese man claimed the title this past January.)

He will be the tallest player ever to play in the NBA if he lives out his desire to get drafted.

Sun has been working out in Greensboro, living with Rocky Manning and training for his basketball career under the tutelage of former NBA player Keith Gatlin.

Sun Ming Ming

Today I had the chance to document this gentle giant for an hour while he shot baskets, mostly from the outside, making swish after swish with excellent form for a tall, lumbering center. This guy can just about grab the rim flat footed and can dunk with little or no effort.

And when sports anchor Danny Harnden tried to shoot baskets with Sun doing a little light D, the first shot was a BIG RE-JECT! (Danny shot the ball with a higher arch and made one shot out of about 6.)

But even though Sun can stand in the way of even the most formidable basketball opponent, it's another kind of obstacle that is standing in Sun's lane to the NBA.

Sun has a medical condition that has to be corrected. He has a disease called acromegaly or "gigantism," a hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone(GH). A tumor that is pressing on his pituitary gland is the apparent cause of the condition.

It is the reason he has grown to be so incredibly large, but could also contribute to his early death if not surgically corrected.

Without surgery, Sun will keep growing and his vital organs, especially his heart, would run out of space to function. He could die before he is 30 if the tumor is not removed.

Sun was hoping to be selected in the June 2005 NBA Draft. That might have solved his problems by giving him the financial ability to have the surgery. He was not selected in the draft and now is looking for financial help to have the surgery that carries a pricetag of about $130,000.

But once he has the surgery he will be able to increase his athletic ability that is hampered by his condition. He will be able to increase his stamina and quickness and significantly raise the chances of landing in the NBA.

sun ming ming 2

Fans and supporters of the other Chinese Giant, Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, have even set up a page on their fanclub website to help raise money for Sun.

There is also going to be a reality television show about Sun that will provide part of the funds for the operation. One report says that it is tentatively titled "The Great Tall of China." We were told it would be airing on The Discovery Channel and would include his operation to correct his medical condition.

The show is being produced by LMNO Productions, whose cameras have documented his time in the US, although there was no other cameras around during our one hour shoot with him today.

According to published reports the shows producers have pitched the show to networks and it could be on the air as early as this fall.

For now the gentle giant is still working on his basketball skills the best he can, perfecting his very nice looking long range ability while waiting for his day on the operating table.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Converge South

Amanda Congdon gives a quick shoutout to Converge south on Rocketboom today.

If you haven't stopped by Rocketboom, it's a must see. It will lighten up your day.

It's kinda like the Daily Show, but with a very cute and funny chic hosting.

Hanging Rock State Park

I took my boys to Hanging Rock State Park Saturday as part of a Cub Scout Day Hike. What a great adventure.

Hanging Rock Me and Boys

Hanging Rock Group

I have been to Hanging Rock before but somehow I never took the Hanging Rock Trail to get this awesome view. WOW!!!

Hanging Rock Great Pic

And there is so much more to explore at Hanging Rock. Other great views, Waterfalls, a cave.

Hanging Rock Tad and Son

I will be headed back for a weekend camping trip as soon as my schedule allows.

Hanging Rock from below

And I'm going back to the top of this rock!

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina is coming ashore on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana this morning as a Category 4 hurricane. The city is evacuated. Even the TV Stations have had to abandon ship. I haven't yet checked on all the stations, but the folks from WDSU have moved inland to Jackson, Mississippi and are broadcasting from their sister station their.

A live streaming feed of their coverage can be found here.

Lost Remote also has a list of other Hurricane coverage.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Friday Football

It's that time of year again. Friday night High School Football, or by it's trade name where I work, Fox 8 Friday Football!!!!

Football 2

This is my 13th annual trek into the depths of prep pigskin and each year it seems to sneak up on me a little quicker.

Way back in 1993 when I was a newbie at a little cable station, I felt like a big dog when my boss asked me if I would shoot friday football for WTVD, which was our newgathering partner in our neck of the woods. WTVD had an agreement to pay us $50 per game for a night of football highlights, which meant two games and $100 bucks. It was great to get that bonus $400 at the end of the month, for several months in the fall.


These days Friday Football is still just as exciting for me to go shoot. Something about the atmosphere and energy of several hundred High School Football fans that just drives me.

My first two games of 2005 were North Surry at Lexington then the quick drive to just north of Thomasville to Ledford(where my oldest son and step son are starting middle school this Thursday) versus the visiting team from Surry Central.

The Lexington announcer even gave me some props over the PA. I had given him my business card with phone numbers and show info, and he announced over the PA "you see Fox 8 Cameraman Chris Weaver is gathering highlights for Fox 8 Friday Football, so give Chris a big wave and don't forget to watch Fox 8 Friday Football with Rich Brenner and Kevin Connolly tonight at 11."

That was a first. That's a great announcer!!

Chris Peterson 5

Lexington held off North Surry for the win and Ledford opened their season with a surprising win in strong style.

Chris Peterson 4

Another thing about Friday Football is talking to the Photogs from the other stations. It's one time of year when we can count on running into a variety of photogs on a regular basis every Friday night. I saw my buddy Chris Peterson from XII this Friday.

Chris Peterson

I am looking forward to the Football season. It's the official kickoff to fall, and even though it will be hot for several more weeks, it will seem like the snap of a finger when the football games are starting after sunset with chill you to the bones temperatures.

Bring it on!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Man's Best Friend

Apparently a pitbull in Portland didn't get the 'Man's Best Friend' memo.

Take a look at KPTV Fox 12's website and see what happened to a reporter and photojournalist who were preparing for a live shot in front of an Animal Shelter.

There is VIDEO!!

(found this on Lost Remote)


On this week's episode of THE BIG LINK!, a name I remember from my 8 months at WXLV.

(Hard to believe that was 8 years and 2 news shutdowns ago!)

Don Moore and his 'You're Not Serious' blog is this week's, THE BIG LINK!

Friday, August 19, 2005

NEW TV Photog Blog

There is a NEW Photog Blog in the Photograblogosphere, and this time it's officially sanctioned by a TV Station.

WRAL's Chief Photographer Richard Adkins announced the Blog with a quick little post on today. Their blog is Under Exposed...5...

"...the thoughts and ramblings of TV’s most under appreciated members… The TV News Photographer."

So far Photojournalists, Don Ingle, Courtney Davis, and Richard Adkins have posted on the blog, but the site boasts a full time staff of 24 Photogs, so we should se a lot of blogging coming from out of their.

As a kid growing up I idolized the News Photogs of WRAL. They always had the most solid stories and as a young news viewer, future TV Photojournalist, I must have had an instinct about what good TV looked like.

It's great to see WRAL allowing these hard working men and women share their experiences with their viewers and fellow bloggers.

And I'm proud to say I took this picture of Don from his post today when I met him in Raleigh a few months back.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tera the VJ - The VIDEO!!!

If you go 3 posts back you may have read about reporter Tera Williams picking up the camera for a story, while her photojournalist, Eddie Hughes, jumped in front of the lens to recieve the Man Spa treatment for their story.

Now, courtesy fellow Photojournalist Brad Ingram here is a behind the scenes look at Tera playing photojournalist for a day.

Click Here for the VIDEO

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Overheard In Davidson County

Davidson CourthouseWhile hanging out at the Davidson County Jail Friday I overheard a particularly interesting quote that I have to share.

"My step-brother is my little boy's daddy."

I will pause here so you can let that sink in.


OK. So here's how we ended up with that tittlating piece of information from this girl.

While we were waiting at the jail for deputies to arrive with a murder suspect, this family was there waiting to bail out their son, brother, uncle. I don't know what he was in for, but it wasn't his first time and the other two fellas waiting with his mom and sister were telling about their past experiences in the clink.

Anyway, apparently this dudes girlfriend caused this lockup and his mother isn't happy about it. So when this girl shows up at the jail the mom goes off on her and they get to yelling back and forth and using all kinds of nice language. Meanwhile, myself and the photojournalists from two other stations are just watching and wondering if we may have to roll on a cat fight.

After the heat of namecalling was finished one of the people watching the arguement said something like, "Hey, I've got the number to Jerry Springer." Everyone, including the mother laughed at this comment. The girlfriend of the brother of the boy they were bailing out then started in with the infamous, "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry..." It was too funny.

That's when the guys sister told us that she had a real Jerry Springer story. Her step-brother was her baby's daddy. (He was there waiting for his step-brother to get out of jail too.)

I think all our faces dropped and so we had to ask for further details.

She was married to her baby's father but they have since divorced. After their divorce her mother met his father and ended up getting married.

So not only are these parents step brother and sister....they are their child's aunt and uncle...and the child is his own first cousin.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

NASCAR Hall of Fame

NASCAR began in Daytona Beach, Florida, so one might think that's the perfect location to build the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

But Stock Car racing's roots are embedded intot the hill's of North Carolina's piedmont and mountains and it's where MOST of the NASCAR team now call home.

But by the end of the year NASCAR should make the decision where to put the Hall of Fame but the decision won't neccessarily be based on the history of racin' at all.

NASCAR is looking for the best proposal, some public money, and guaranteed profits. The city with the best combination of these factors will be the winner, BUT I'm not too sure the contest for the Hall is fair.

The cities in the running are Charlotte, Atlanta, Richmond and Kansas City(Kansas) and Daytona.

Daytona unveiled it's plan this week, announcing that the Hall of fame, if built there, would adjoin the Daytona USA attraction at the Daytona International Speedway.

Seems to me that makes the playing field less level for the other cities. NASCAR gets to build the Hall on the property of one of it's own speedways? The world center of speed? The site of the largest stock car race in the world? How could any other city beat that deal?

I may be jaded because I live here in NC, but this is the center of the NASCAR Universe. Charlotte and the surrounding area is where people come to get their NASCAR fix. And again, most of the NASCAR teams are in this region.

And why put the Hall way down in Florida any way. Put it up here in the middle of all the action where people headed north to a race will stop on the way, or people headed south to a race will stop on the way....after all this is where Stock Car Racing began.

She Could be a VJ!

The prettiest face at Fox8 jumped behind the camera for tonight's 10 O'Clock News for a story on a new Grooming Center, aka Man Spa.

Tera Williams shouldered the fancy XDCam, while her assigned photojournalist, Eddie Hughes was wired for sound and recieved the full treatment, from head to toe, by the Man Spa, ahem, the Grooming Center therapists.

As Tera gathered B-roll and sound, a second photojournalist, Brad Ingram, shot video of Tera shooting video......

They included some of that video to set up the story of how Tera was shooting for Eddie as he laid down on the job to recieve his massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure.

Great Shooting by a multi-talented reporter who hasn't handled a heavy camera too many times in her career.

Watch out Tera, you could be a VJ!!

Watch out Photogs....Tera could be after your job!!! ;-0

Oh, and Eddie, I don't want to hear anything about how stressful your job is! ;)


UPDATE: Check out the VIDEO!


On a related note: See how more experienced Photojournalists like Lenslinger or Myself shed the stress without leaving the confines of a LiveTruck, or making a reporter put their paws on our cameras. OR maybe it's just the fumes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Now THAT's a Live Truck!!!

This would be a PHAT Live Truck to cruise around in. If I had this thing you might find me up on Main St on Friday and Saturday nights. Just kidding of course.

To order your very own Hummer H2 Live Truck visit this web site.

Cheating With the Numbers

Wireless NotebookIf you work in TV News you need to check out this post by former TV, Anchor/ Reporter Jamey Tucker.

Apparently a TV Weatherman in Baton Rouge thought it was OK to fill out a Ratings Diary even while gainfully employed by the TV station.

From Nielson Media Research website:

"I work in the TV industry (at a TV station, TV network, radio station, radio network, a cable TV company, or a satellite provider). Can I still be part of the survey if Nielsen TV Ratings contacts me?

No, unfortunately not. We are sorry, but if a household member is employed by, or a principal owner in, the television or media industry, our guidelines prohibit us from including your home."

Baton Rouge Newspaper, The Advocate, that is owned by the same company that owns WBRZ and shares a web presence had this story on July 29. The story outlines how another Baton Rouge TV Station discovered this occurrence.

It's a big no, no that most people obey without question. And I haven't read it lately, a poster on the wall at work mention something about penalties to the station by Nielson if this happens.


Update: Edited to aknowledge shared ownership of The Advocate Newspaper and WBRZ.

Crack Stem Cleanup

I worked the night shift Wednesday to cover the Crack Stem Cleanup in Greensboro.

Reporter Eric White and I rode along with the the Greensboro Vice Squad while they eyeballed local convenience stores to make sure they were complying with a new city ordinance that bans the sale of those cute little glass tubes with a flower inside that have been given the nickname "Crack Stems".

According to the Vice Unit the stores weren't just selling this otherwise innocuous novelty, they were actually putting together a handy little dope smoking kit for crackheads and making a huge profit on it.

Over that past 2 years the Greensboro Vice Squad investigated this activity, gathered a ton of evidence through video surveillance and informants and the result was several convenience store owners being charged and convicted for the activity.

This past spring the City passed an ordinance banning the sale of the "Crack Stems" and imposing a $100 civil penalty for each violation. I.E., $100 per "Crack Stem".

Fast forward to today....

Following state ABC laws the Vice unit along with state ABC and ALE agents conducted surprise inspections on 7 random stores that have been known documented to sell the "Crack Stem" kits.

The law governing establishments that have ABC permits gives the authorities the right to conduct these surprise inspections and the right to search every inch of the place up, down, left, right and inside out if needed.

We followed along and gathered our news video of the process.

The result, No "Crack Stems" found.

The reaction, gratification. The cops were very pleased with the outcome. They call this is evidence that the ordinance has teeth.

It has at least made it difficult for crackheads to get their buzz on.

The cops did stumble across a few gems while on this search for the crack stems.

At one store they found two bullet proof vests and a rifle with the serial numbers filed off.

At another store there was a video gaming machine in a bathroom. It was the 4th machine in the store and, as we were told by the ABC agent, the state limits stores to 3 machines, that the machine in question is a e-slot machine(not legal in NC) and we witnessed that the other machines had $20 bills in them from people playing just for 'fun'. Yeah right!

For more information on the these items visit Ben Holder's blog, The Greensboro Troublemaker. Ben also rode along on the "Crack Stem" cleanup and has several posts about the days findings. Ben had a lot to do with the "crack stem" ordinance being passed and has put a lot of leg work into this effort.

Crack Stem Troublemaker

Maybe Ben Holder should be given a medal.(or a cookie?)

He has stopped the sale of a nifty little glass encased rose that had been converted into and item of drug paraphenalia by the boys in the hood.

He did this by with a lot of leg work and talking the city council into passing an ordinance to ban the sale of the little glass tubes dubbed "crack stems".

So it was natural that he rode along on the "Crack Stem" Checkup today as Vice, ABC and ALE agents checked to see if Greensboro convenience stores were in compliance with the new ordinance.

Of course Ben was going to be there he is a journalist, I think. He mentioned something about writing for the Carolina Peacemaker, a weekly paper that cater to the African American Community, that boast 25,000 readers.

According to this article that he wrote in 2003 the paper was instrumental in helping the GPD charge and convict local store owners for selling the crack pipe kit.

And then there's his blog.

After it was all said and done today, Ben was able to quickly post a variety of blog entries about the findings of the days "Crack Stem" escapades.

He even mentions us in one of his blog posts....

This is the script from the Triad Blogs aggregator posted at 7:21 pm.

Fox 8 Was On The Scene.
Fox 8 tried to keep up with the Troublemaker today. Their lead story tonite will be this inspection. Even though the Troublemaker was a huge part of the story, they will not be mentioning anything about the Troublemaker.

Of course in a 2 minute TV news story there is no time for historical background on most general stories and this one didn't warrant any documentarian detail. Simply letting the viewers know how the "crack stem" ordinance is fairing was sufficient.

But around midnite the post had changed, disappeared as a matter of fact, retitled "Only on Fox 8 News?"

The operation was titled "Operation Ben." After giving a brief history of the effort to stop crack pipe sales, Greensboro Police Detective M.L. Montalvo told the Fox 8 T.V. crew invited on the inspection that, "We are going wherever Ben tells us." The crew heard my name all day. They watched me give Montalvo receipts from recent crack pipe purchases. They heard about how I brought crack pipes to Council Member Tom Phillips. However, they presented their story as "Only On Fox." Well, I am certainly not as big or as powerful. I do not have a crew. I do not have a sexy weather girl. Fox is bigger and better. But, they were not first. The Troublemaker had this story before 9pm. Fox 8 had it at 10pm.

In fact this IS Only On Fox, that designation usually referring to the story's status in reference to other TV News outlets. But in a larger sense this may well be the FIRST AND ONLY time that 200,000 or so of Greensboro's other residents and a million surrounding citizens have heard about the "Crack Stem" debacle.

Sorry Ben. You know as well as I do that news is a business, a competition and news outlets arent' typically going to give credit to other news outlets unless there is a news partnership in place.

And just like my work as a photojournalist, behind the lens, you don't always get the credit that may be due.

So to you Ben, Good Job.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Movie Review - The Dukes of Hazzard - 2005


Yep that about sums it up!

Oh, didn't I tell you? I had 2 tickets to the world premier debut of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' movie Monday night in Charlotte, 5 days before the movie opens.

OK, so I won the tickets on a radio contest, and even thought they billed it as the world premier, it was far from a celebrity gala.

As a matter of fact, it was just a regional premier in a theatre on the far edge of Charlotte, tucked away in the back corner of a strip mall nice outdoor mall (with stores like Old Navy, Target, Kolhs, Rack Room Shoes and some furniture store, so my wife says it's not a strip mall), almost in South Carolina. But it was a nice theatre.

AMC Theater front

With 2 tickets in hand, I took off from work an hour early and picked up my wife Julie and we drove to Charlotte almost South Carolina.

But let me backtrack for you a bit.

I have always been a huge Dukes fan. I remember back to when I was a second grader. Instead of doing my class work, me and my buddies had contests to see who could draw the best General Lee.

And then in the mid-90s when TNN(before Spike screwed it up) began showing the Dukes reruns, I was ecstatic. I watched and watched until I couldn't watch anymore. (That was after seeing all the episodes twice)

Dukes Poster

When word of the Dukes movie came about earlier this year I became, well, happy again. I began watching CMT religiously to see the re-re-runs. I have seen most of the episodes so far.

So there we were, Julie and I, in our seats in a packed theatre, the lights go dim and it was on.

AMC Theater sign

I have to say the movie may disappoint loyal purists. I am not one of those. I laughed so hard that I nearly cried, then nearly peed, and now my stomach hurts.

My wife Julie thinks a simple, "I thought it was funny" will suffice. But she did laugh even if she was trying to hide it during some of the more juvenile moments.

It certainly isn't the same old Dukes of Hazzard.

The setting is modern day Hazzard County, Georgia. Present and accounted for are all of the old characters portrayed by new actors and the familiar Orange Dodge Charger, at first without the Dixie Flag.

Overall, I thought the movie was great. I mean, trying to take such a great 25 year old cult classic that lives on in re-runs to this day, and put it on the big screen with an all new cast playing the same old characters has to be tough. But in this case it's pretty damn close to exactly right, yet not exactly the same.

My wife points out that, "It had a lot of cute jokes in it."

A whole lot of jokes in fact, and not all of them are politically correct, which attracts me, and probably a whole bunch of other rednecks, to this movie like flies on a cow turd. Rednecks ain't exaclty the most politically correct bunch anyway. 'Appalachian American' stands out to me as one of the funnier moments.

It is pretty crude with it's use of harsh language, but not to the point that I wouldn't let my kids see it. They did use a variety of profanity, but they steered clear of the F-Bomb, if I remember correctly.

The action sequences were great. Lots of camera angles capturing endless car chases, crashes and collisions. As the General Lee with the new Bo and Luke sped throught the streets of Atlanta and then the back roads of rural movie Georgia with the state patrol in hot pursuit it occured to me that the state of Georgia would have had trouble covering the bill for their totaled cruisers that never diminished in number throughout the movie despite crashing and flipping and burning and exploding.

The human characters are what really carry a movie like this.

In the TV series while Bo and Luke played it straight and serious for the most part, they were the funny guys in the movie.

Their hilarious antics made the movie worth the price of my free tickets. They weren't exactly the studly Bo and Luke like John Schneider and Tom Wopat played on TV though, but more like two horndog country bumpkins chasing the same farmers' daughters since middle school.

And as Julie notes, "The original Bo and Luke were a lot cuter."

It is a good thing Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott were a funny Bo and Luke though, because Boss Hogg and Roscoe stunk as the serious straight men.

Boss Hogg, played by Burt Reynolds was good, but Julie was taken aback by the skinny Hogg. I think she's right. Why would a character named HOGG be a skinny guy. And there's only one scene where he's getting ready to chow down.

The, unknown to me, actor M.C Gainey, who played Roscoe P. Coltrane, but never once announced the fact, was terrible. Rosco has to be funny and scared of the Boss, but this guy was neither funny nor convincingly scared of the corrupt County Commissioner Hogg. He never was personally in hot pursuit of the Duke Boys either.

As for Daisy Duke by Jessica Simpson....PURR-FECT!!!(wife rolls eyes)

She is a true beauty and played the part of the blushing, yet not bashful, southern belle, well built, tomboy, to a tee. No, she's not playing a Catherine Bach(esque) Daisy Duke, but for what this movie was trying to accomplish, she was perfect.

Julie's thought's on the new Daisy Duke, "Jessica Simpson was a little too much, a little too risque."

But I think it may be worth seeing JUST to see her in the bikini trying to woo information out of Deputy Enos Straight or the other various law enforcement officers that she suckers throughout the movie.

I love Willie Nelson, have since I was 3, and he plays a great Uncle Jesse. His one liners throughout are to die for. Like, "Why is a Divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it!" and, "What do you get if you cross a Donkey with an Onion? A piece of ass that will bring a tear to your eye!" That funny stuff. It's pretty goofy, but it's funny.

I didn't really like the guy who played Cooter Davenport, the grease monkey who helped the Dukes out of all their problems in the TV series. But nobody could ever portray Crazy Cooter like Ben Jones, who is on the record in opposition of the movie anyway.

My biggest criticisms of this action comedy is with the movie's biggest star, the General Lee. NOT ENOUGH JUMPS!!! If you have seen the trailers to the movie you have seen 95% of the jumps that you will see in the movie and that was disappointing to me.

The Dukes of Hazzard is about the frikin' General Lee jumping over closed bridges, dirt piles and tow trucks. I really don't think there were as many jumps in this movie as in a one hour episode of the TV Dukes!

As a matter of fact the car jump outtakes and bloopers at the end of the movie got more of a reaction from the full house than any other part of the movie.

I was also disappointed that there were no cameos by any original Dukes. That could have been a great twist and I kind of expected it.

They screwed with the original formula by not making Boss and Roscoe funny and the box office on the movie may suffer due to that and the smearing of the wholesome classic original into a potty mouth movie.

Don't get me wrong I think this remake is a great movie but it's totally out of phase with what was once and still is a family friendly TV series. But we should all remember that the TV Dukes started out raunchy until they realized that their main audience was the kids.

The movie probably should have been a set of Duke relatives continuing the Hazzard County struggles versus a set of Hogg and Coltrane relatives after discovering an old rotting General Lee in a junkyard, or something like that. This would have made the purists happy and I'd still have enjoyed it too.

But both Julie and I agree that 'The Dukes of Hazzard' movie deserves 2 and a half stars and it's definalty worth the price of a couple of tickets. I'd pay to see it.