May 23, 2013

Ray Stevens: Get Serious! on DVD...

I've written several blogs over the last several years about Ray's 1995 movie, Get Serious!, and I saw that one of the blogs I wrote back in 2010 has gotten quite a lot of traffic lately. That particular year happened to be the 15th anniversary of the home video's release and I'm sure that's why I wrote that blog entry. I didn't go back and read what I had written, though, but I'm sure the reason I wrote that particular entry was due to the movie's anniversary.

The movie had long been out of print...and the only available copies that shown up for sale were in VHS format. This is great if you still have a VCR in working condition. I have a VCR that's in pretty good shape and almost all of my VHS tapes are in good to great shape as well but of course I also have a DVD player and a boatload of DVD's...but I still have the VHS tapes I bought. I purchased the VHS copy of Get Serious! when it was still a brand new release in the latter half of 1995. I've posted images of my showing off the VHS tape before...I may have posted images of it in the 2010 blog entry I made a reference to in the opening paragraph.

The movie, Get Serious!, is the story of a maniacal music executive who envisions comedy artist Ray Stevens as a master at opera and Broadway (which goes against his commercial successes). When Ray refuses to go along with the executive's plan, the executive throws a fit and plot's Ray's downfall by labeling him 'politically incorrect'. As all of this is going on Ray attempts to make his way through a sea of protesters. Jerry Clower, in a supporting role as Ray's manager, helps Ray move through the crowd. This scene is in super slow motion. Ray, perhaps in a nod to Vaudeville and classic comedy in general, slips on a banana peel and passes out. He wakes up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The first thing he sees is an overly zealous Calcutta Indian rug seller (played by Ray) and this encounter eventually leads into the movie's second music video, "The Woogie Boogie". The movie's first music video, "Gitarzan", opened up the movie as we see a flashback sequence of a young Ray practicing the piano and his instructor warning a young Ray to be serious with his music.

Ray, along with several others, play multiple roles in the movie.

The movie is a blend of music, adventure, fantasy, satire, and mockery. The music is a crucial part of the film as two plots against Ray play out independently of one another but merge toward the end of the movie with comical results.

One plot revolves around the music executive and his group of yes-men on a nationwide manhunt for Ray. He walked out on his contractual obligations when objecting to going serious. Another plot revolves around the fictional characters from Ray's comedy songs turning out to really exist and they are on an entirely different kind of pursuit. The satirical elements in the movie come from the messages about the music business and political correctness that are sprinkled throughout the movie. Obviously the adventure aspect comes from Ray and a former lover, Charlene MacKenzie, on the run from Tennessee to Florida. They take to the road with a yellow car given to Ray (in the movie) by the Shriners as a thank you for his charitable work and creating awareness for their hospitals. Charlene MacKenzie is portrayed by Connie Freeman while the overly enthusiastic and pompous music executive, Damien Darth, is portrayed by Michael Airington. The vocals of Airington are based on Paul'll notice it right away.  

Anyway...I plan on purchasing the Get Serious! DVD in the not too distant future. I have no idea if the DVD will include, as a bonus feature, the companion documentary titled Ray Stevens Made a Movie?? Get Serious!!. Once I purchase it and it arrives I'll be able to answer that a lot more accurately. However, based on the DVD's description located HERE it doesn't indicate that the documentary is part of the release. That link takes you to the DVD item page at Ray's web-store.

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