First off, let me say there's a ton of things I don't like about how they reconstructed this video.. One thing: Colorization!!! DON'T COLORIZE THE CLASSICS!!!! Second thing: Moving pictures? Why not just stills? It creates a really bad image.. Third thing: The title cards. Why is there such a weird background? Again, has to do with the colorization thing..
Let me say this weird secret.. Well, I've never seen The Music Box from 1932.. There. I said it. So, I can't really compare this with The Music Box. I can compare this with The Three Stooges' An Ache in Every Stake. And, no offense to Moe, Larry, and Curly, but judging by the reconstruction, Hats Off would've been way better.
When I was a kid, I thought crap about lost silent films. They looked creepy ( silent films, in general to me as a kid) because of the sped-up timing used in Mack Sennett movies. I like Hal Roach silent much better, because the pacing is slowed down, not only to make it less creepier but also to generate more laughs. That's why I prefer Hal Roach over Mack Sennett, even though out of the Mack studios came Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, and Mabel Normand. I like all of those stars, except Hal Roach brought Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy.
Now, to our regularly scheduled review program. All that stuff aside, Hats Off has a general plot that is awesome. Stan and Oliver, with no work, find work through selling washing machines ( with a nice cameo by James Finlayson) only to have a lady keep calling them up a huge flight of stairs to have Laurel and Hardy getting insulted a bit by having to only deliver a letter. Later, there's a huge hat battle, except there's no explanation.
About the no explanation thing: Well, I feel like in the movie there was something that was supposed to be there to explain the hat battle, except in the reconstruction we find nothing. Well, off I go to Wikipedia..
The supporting cast is great. All you need in a Laurel and Hardy movie is the Boys, James Finlayson, and Anita Garvin. James Finlayson does a fabulous job like always as being able to take Stan and Ollie's antics in the face. Anita Garvin does a fantastic job and generates about 40 percent of the comedy in this movie. Some fans just recognize her as another pretty face in the Laurel and Hardy movies, while she was a great comedic actress.
About the huge hat battle.. Usually, I find these reciprocal destruction films as the best ( wait 'til my reviews of The Battle of The Century, You're Darn Tootin', Two Tars and Big Business!!), but sadly this is not the best of those films. The " Great Hat Riot of 1927" may not live up to that title. Now, I think one of the issues is that there's not as much people involved than in those episodes I just mentioned.
Well, that's my two cents on this review of a lost silent movie ( which was very hard to write, by the way.) Well, I'll see you in a few days when we talk about Duck Soup!! ( Not The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy.)