Johnny English Reborn Blu-ray Review
‘Johnny English Reborn’ blunders on to UK Region free Blu-ray with a good looking 1080p VC-1 encoded transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Coming from a very recent source, the image is free from any dirt, dust or print damage – which is only to be expected. There’s little or no film grain on show here and the film is generally very well lit. We get fairly realistic pale British skin tones in a mostly pastel palette. Contrast is good throughout and blacks are black. The image is sharp without appearing clinical. It could never be claimed that it has ‘3D pop’, but it does look rather good. A nice transfer of a modern movie.
The audio on ‘Johnny English Reborn’ comes in the DTS-HD MA 5.1 flavour and the opening Tibetan monastery scenes have a wide spaciousness to them. Surround is used to good effect with atmospherics and discrete effects like the odd explosion, bullet or directional thud. There is sufficient delivery to the subwoofer to add depth to the audio and a solidity to explosions. Dialogue is crystal clear throughout, although it doesn’t help the script a great deal.
The main stereo pair comes alive with the slightly Bondian score from time to time.
It’s a nice, modern mix which has its moments but don’t go expecting anything like a blockbuster soundtrack.
Commentary - Director Oliver Parker and Screenwriter Hamish McColl cover all the bases including casting, the storyline, the gadgets and the car. There are a few gaps, but they supply quite a lot of background information to the production.
Deleted/Extended Scenes with Intros by Director Oliver Parker (HD, 39 mins) - Olly Parker explains, in a rather stilted way, some of the intentions of the 17 scenes and why they were cut. He seems like a sensible guy, so why wasn’t it funnier? Some of these scenes would have made it better – like the crèche at MI7. The scene where English attempts to chat up his new boss (unknowingly) then asks her to get him a tea is good. His Mandarin translation is amusing. The Semtex gum scene actually made me laugh out loud. The Rolls chase is cool and fun. The addition to the wheelchair chase is good. Screw the movie – watch the deleted scenes.
Gag reel (HD, 2mins 29 secs) - The usual selection of fluffed lines, breaking props and giggling.
The English Files: The Making of ‘Johnny English Reborn’ (HD, 25 mins) - There’s quite a lot of input from Rowan Atkinson and director Olly Parker in this featurette. They basically tell the tale and explain why things were done as they were. The Production Designer’s piece is interesting on locations and set design.
Working with Rowan (HD, 4 mins) - Everyone expresses their undying admiration for Rowan Atkinson.
Gadgets (HD, 3 mins) - A look at the gadgets including the Rolls Royce with a real V16 engine and the golf caddy with fitted Gatling gun.
English in Hong Kong (HD, 5 mins) - A look at the location shooting that was done in Hong Kong.
The Wheelchair Chase (HD, 5 mins) - The design of the wheelchair fitted with a go-cart engine as well as the preparation for the stunt work is covered here.
‘Johnny English Reborn’ lurches on to UK Region free Blu-ray with a good looking 1080p VC-1 encoded transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image is spotlessly clean, coming from a recent source. Realistic British skin tones and a mostly pastel palette combine with good contrast to provide a visually appealing picture.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack offers crisp dialogue and good use of surrounds for atmospheric and discrete effects while the subwoofer adds some oomph to the proceedings.
A decent ‘Making of’ featurette and a brace of bite sized chunks on the gadgets, locations and wheelchair chase make for some nice behind the scenes viewing. The commentary from Director Oliver Parker and Writer Hamish McColl adds to the package.
The movie itself has the best of intentions but lacks the magic spark that would set light to the comedy fire. Bungling British Agent Johnny English returns to MI-7 after getting his head together in a Tibetan monastery to investigate a terrorist organisation known as ‘Vortex’. Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Daniel Kaluuya and Rosamund Pike battle with a lack lustre script and uneven direction. Disappointing but faintly amusing though short on real belly laughs.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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