Hot Fuzz Blu-ray Review
'Hot Fuzz' arrives, blue lights flashing, on Blu-ray with an excellent Region free 1080p VC-1 encoded transfer that's been framed (or should that be 'fitted up, Guv') in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is truly a pleasure to behold, with its accurate colour palette rendering skin tones in the pale British way rather than the Hollywood tan. Exterior shots of the village and countryside depict the British quality of light, stone walls and green fields very nicely indeed. The image is sharp with no hint of 'ringing' to suggest overindulgence with the sharpening tool. The focus on eyes is spot on. For those who get upset by film grain (why?), there is just a tad in the background but you need to really look for it - and I know that some people do indeed pull up a chair 3 feet from the screen in an attempt to ruin their eyesight.
Contrast is very good and the blacks in the night shots are dark as a cell at the local nick. Obviously there's no dirt or dust to offend the eyes as it's a recent transfer. If only every film looked this good.
The audio on 'Hot Fuzz' is up there with the picture quality, supplied as it is in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The opening shot of Angel approaching the camera has the sound of his footsteps echoing around your room, courtesy of the surrounds while the subwoofer provides the bass ambient presence. There's effective use of the surrounds in the action sequences, most notably in the supermarket shootout where bullets ping off counters and there's a very lifelike quality to the breaking glass windows as they shatter. The sound apes the style of a 'full on' Hollywood blockbuster and there's a lot of level to offend the neighbours - so play nice!
The clever dialogue is clear as a bell. I even found myself almost able to translate the Farmer that Angel couldn't understand in the movie.
Yep, this is a good 'un.
There's quite a few. I think they were trying to out-Disney Disney.
Takes deep breath!
- Audio Commentaries
We have five (count 'em) commentaries to delight the most ardent film buff.
The first features Writer/Actor Simon Pegg and Writer/Director Edgar Wright who clearly relish the chance to get together and discuss Hot Fuzz in a light hearted but informative manner. They are easy to listen to as they cover the usual aspects of production as well as a 'geek's eye view' of the movie clichés used in the film. The time flies by in their company.
The second comm. track called The Sandford Police Service - Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon, and Olivia Colman - is again a humorous piece with plenty of amusing insights and anecdotes from the set. Happily they don't 'crash vocals' too often and there's laughter throughout so it's a happy listen.
The third track features Writer/Director Edgar Wright and Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. I found this quite fascinating and was amazed at the enthusiasm of both Wright and Tarantino as they discuss the Buddy Cop genre, and the way clichés were woven into the film.
The Sandford Village People: Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman, & Edward Woodward make up the cast of the next commentary track. It takes a while to get going and largely Tim Dalton holds the reins most of the time. There are few interesting bits but I found that time dragged.
The last commentary features "The Real Fuzz:" Andy Leafe & Nick Eckland, a couple of real-life rural officers who helped with the research for the script, who reveal a dry (very dry) sense of humour.
- The Fuzzball Rally- Uncut (480p, 1hr 11 mins)
This lengthy featurette follows Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost as they promote Hot Fuzz on a four-week, 10-city tour. It also has an optional commentary with Wright, Pegg, Frost, & Joe Cornish.
Those with a profile 1.1 player can enjoy a couple of Bonusview features.
The first, Fuzz-o-Meter, is a pop-up trivia track that covers a lot of the same
information as found in the various commentary tracks.
The second, Storyboards, highlights a collection of hand-drawn storyboards side by side with the finished product.
- Conclusive: We Made 'Hot Fuzz' (480p, 29 mins)
This has the cast and crew discussing the many aspects of the production both on set and off, backed up with some behind-the-scenes footage.
- Speculative: Video Blogs (480p, 30 mins)
Here we have 13 short segments that take viewers into the detail of the filmmaking process, covering wardrobe, physical training, life on the set, as well as make-up.
- Forensic: Featurettes (480p, 45 mins)
This eight-part feature contains yet more behind-the-scenes production detail, focusing on
set design as well as the varied shooting techniques including the camera grip equipment.
- Photographic: Galleries
Includes both a Poster Gallery and a Photo Gallery, each in 1080p.
- Plot Holes (480p, 3 mins)
Plot Holes fills in the gaps of a few scenes through a collection of hand-drawn comic book images, narrated by the actors who play the characters central to each scene.
- Special Effects: Before & After (480p, 6 mins)
This is an eight-part feature that examines the work that went into some of the movie's F/X shots.
- 'Dead Right' (480p, 40 mins)
Edgar Wright introduces his first Cop movie shot on s-vhs in 1983 when he was 18 years old.
- Making 'Dead Right' (480p, 10 mins)
Oh come on, you must be joking! They want extras. We'll give 'em extras!
Edgar Wright tells us how the film came to be. There are also two commentary tracks for Dead Right, the first with Edgar Wright and the second with Wright and Simon Pegg.
- The Man Who Would Be Fuzz (480p, 0:34)
I'd lost the will to live at this point, but this is an all too brief outtake where Simon Pegg and Nick Frost impersonate Michael Caine and Sean Connery in the style of their characters in 'The Man who would be King'. Nice one!
- Hot Funk (480p, 3 mins)
Here we have several scenes re-shot for television without swearing.
- Danny's Notebook: The Other Side (480p, 0:21)
These are the flip animation drawings as found on the reverse side of Danny's Police notebook.
- VW Blogs (480p, 21 mins)
A collection of five Internet Blogs sponsored by Volkswagen: '4 Cars', 'Meet the Makers', 'Join the Fuzz', 'In for Questioning', and 'On Duty'.
- iTunes Blogs (480p, 16 mins)
This is a collection of four podcasts for those who enjoy podcasts.
- 11 Storyboard Galleries in 1080p
Extreme Service, Administrative Decision, Hard Goodbye, Tough Distance, Deep Evening, Sudden Morning, Village Force, Avian Breakout, Maximum Running, and Sham Dram.
- Inadmissible: Deleted Scenes (480p, 20 mins)
Some 22 deleted scenes with optional commentary from Director Edgar Wright.
- Outtakes (480p, 10mins)
Yup, there had to be some showing how good a time they had making the movie.
Here we have the theatrical trailer (480p, 2:33), two UK TV spots (480p, 0:33 each), and the Director's Cut trailer (480p, 0:59).
Okay, I'm coming out with my hands up.
This isn't a feature. It's how I felt after watching the above little lot.
In a word - comprehensive.
Almost as if they were trying to burn out a reviewer.
'Hot Fuzz' comes to Blu-ray, guns blazing, with an excellent 1080p VC-1 transfer that's framed handsomely in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Colours are superb with realistic looking British skin tones and contrast adding the necessary punch while black levels really kick. Sharp as a tack with little grain in evidence.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track will have you inspecting your walls for bullets holes thanks to the immersive mix in the action sequences, while dialogue is clear and crisp throughout. A truly blockbuster soundtrack.
There are more extras on this disc than you can shake a truncheon at, with 5 commentaries for starters, deleted scenes and outtakes. Watch out for 'The Man who would be Fuzz'.
As a movie, it's a great pastiche of almost every American Buddy Cop movie you've ever seen (and many you haven't), with a witty script that also pays homage to a wide range of films as it playfully swipes them in passing. If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £16.73
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- Audio Commentaries