Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Green Hornet - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: May 4, 2011

I was surprised by The Green Hornet when I saw it in the theater. Going in with modest to low expectations for a film has a way of shaping your initial reactions to it. So I was eager to see how it played on a second viewing and while I found some other issues that I hadn't noticed before (the opening scenes are quick but not very cohesive) I still had a lot of fun watching it. Once again your mileage will vary depending on your feelings towards Seth Rogen and his style of comedy.

Review Vital Stats:
Format: Blu-ray
Player: LG Model 370 
Monitor: Samsung 40' LCD Series 5
Picture Quality: 1080p
Sound Quality: 5.1 DTS-HD - English

Excerpt from the original theatrical review:

My expectations for this film, a remake of the original 1966 TV series featuring a then unknown Bruce Lee, were pretty darn low. It had a lot going against it, Director Michel Gondry had up until this point only dealt with dramatic and/or off beat films which contained zero action. Seth Rogen had done mostly comedic roles with very little to no dramatic or action based features. The man taking over the pivotal and iconic role as Kato was a virtual unknown over here in the states. And finally, the television show didn't really have anyone out there clamoring for any type of a reboot or remake. To say this film had a lot stacked against it would be a slight understatement. However, to my surprise and astonishment, that strange mixture of talent came together and provided me with one hell of a fun time at the movies.

Read the full review here.


What's on the disc?

Looks like somebody out there knows what I want when it comes to extra features. All I ask is that if they are going to give us anything (which isn't always necessary mind you) that they cover their basis while not repeating content from one feature to the next. Here we get everything covered from the director's thoughts, to the writing team, the casting of Kato and a slew of deleted scene (although there is still a scene or two missing from here). This is a great set of extras for anyone interested in how this film came together. My only wish is that with such a troubled production history (Gondry has been trying to make this thing for over 15 years) with actors and directors being switched out all the time that we could have gotten a little bit more history on how it finally got made.


The Green Hornet Cutting Room  HD - This feature is not exclusive to this disc. It is an editing room of sorts where the viewer can edit around certain scenes and then upload their creation for others to see. This has zero appeal to me so I did not mess around with it.

Filmmakers' Commentary - Director Michel Gondry and star Seth Rogen are joined with some other members of the crew for a fairly laid back and casual conversation about their film. I love it when the filmmakers spill the beans on certain aspects of production that most would refrain from. Here we get such interesting tidbits as Gondry and Rogen not being too thrilled with Nicolas Cage's approach to the villain role using a Jamaican accent which ultimately led to Christoph Waltz stepping in as well as some honest criticisms on how the film is constructed. This was a pleasant track that fans of the film will find informative and entertaining.

Deleted Scenes HD - You get 9 deleted scenes that range from minor cuts to scene altering ones. By far the biggest addition here is the original cut of the final car chase. If you thought that chase scene lasted forever before wait until you sit through this.

"See Yourself Out" - (:56) A brief scene between Edward James Olmos and Tom Wilkinson.
"The Big Fence" - (1:52) We get to see Britt break into the graveyard.
"Filler Up" (:57) A scene with Britt and Kato filling the Black Beauty up at the gas station.
"Dickweed" (1:32) Kato and Lenore take a walk through the park.
"Britt's Pokerface" (1:14) Britt and Kato discuss their tactics.
"Taking a Punch!" (:24) Kato gets angry.
"Burning Down the House" (4:01) A scene with Britt talking with Chudnofsky at a bar and later with Britt trying to use the Black Beauty without Kato.
"Influencing Scanlon" (2:13) Chudnofsky threatens Scanlon's life.
"Let's Roll Kato" (14:01) The entire final highway chase with a series of extended scenes spliced in throughout.

"Awesoom" - Gag Reel (7:18 min) HD - I tend to dislike gag reels anymore because they always feel as though the best stuff was held back. But not here, I found most of the on set antics that are shown here to be pretty enjoyable. It helped that we get to see other things than just your everyday on camera mistakes as well.

"Trust Me" - Director Michel Gondry (9:33 min) HD - A look at why Michel Gondry chose to make the film and how he brought his unique talents to the action genre. I also like how nobody seems to understand anything he says.

Writing The Green Hornet (10:35 min) HD - Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg discuss how they approached adapting the television show into a film for a mass audience.

The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (7:17 min) HD - Arguably the best character in the film, this is a look at how they decided on it's look, it's design and how all the gadgets would work.

The Stunt Family Armstrong (7:39 min) HD - Talk about your long lineage. This is a peek at the Armstrong family and their contributions to all the stunt work in the film.

Finding Kato (6:00 min) HD - Finding the right actor to put into the role of Kato was one of the hottest topics when the film was in pre-production. This is a look at who they chose as opposed to how they chose him. It was fun seeing Jay Chou in his concerts and how different he appears to be while on stage.

The Art of Destruction (14:04 min) HD - A look at all the different locations they blew up during the course of the film. Interesting but this was the one feature I think was a bit unnecessary.

Final Verdict:

Defying all the odds set against it, The Green Hornet is just a fun little twist on the super hero genre that features some great and unique action scenes as well as plenty of humor to help the slower parts chug along at a nice pace. The Blu-ray features a crystal clear picture and some great audio along with a fantastic assortment of  extra features. This is an overall great package than any fan of the film should not be without. If you are simply curious about it though it makes for a great rental

Movie   -  B+
Video   -  A
Audio   -  A
Extras  -  A




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