Wild Hogs Blu-ray Review
PictureWild Hogs revs onto next generation Blu-ray players with a slick 1080p High Definition rendition in the movie's original widescreen theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Detail is pretty spot on throughout, with absolutely no softness, no noticeable grain and negligible edge enhancement, this relatively new movie having pretty pristine clarity in High Definition and exhibiting absolutely no signs of any defects. The colour scheme is fairly bright and lovely, with an accurate representation of the locations (and one noteworthy explosion) and solid and deep blacks that make for decent darker components - and suitably jet black leather. Skin tones feel slightly artificial - the ageing cast has obviously been glossed up with makeup and effects - but otherwise it's a near-perfect video presentation for this 2007 movie.
SoundTo accompany the movie on Blu-ray we get an Uncompressed PCM 5.1 track that presents the lively aural component quite well indeed. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, largely from across the frontal array. The effects are often motorcycle-orientated - as you would only expect from a movie called Wild Hogs - and that is no bad thing at all, the powerful engines giving some serious action to both the surrounds and the sub, but as with most relatively small-scale comedies, effects aren't particularly prominent (other than that explosion). The atmospherics feed the rears a little bit and the track does showcases some dynamic potential, presenting the material on offer in the best possible way. The score suits this quirky middle-aged crisis comedy quite well, and also gives the surrounds something to do (as do the common rock biker tracks). Not quite the stellar release that you would use to showcase your High Definition Home Cinema system, Wild Hogs is still an admirable effort, and certainly has the best presentation that you could possibly expect for the movie.
ExtrasIn terms of extras there's nothing High Definition exclusive here, just all of the SD-DVD stuff ported across. It's a bit disappointing but still, there are a few nice offerings here. First up, there is a full-length Audio Commentary with the Director Walt Becker and Screenwriter Brad Copeland. They appear to know a lot about bikers and discuss how they attempted to reinvent classic Western tales on bikes. You can see how the movie has plenty of nods to Seven Samurai / The Magnificent Seven in it, but personally it neither worked for me as an homage or as a parody. Still, for fans, in particular those who will agree with this posturing, this is an interesting aural accompaniment.
The High Octane Deleted Scenes are anything but, with some minor tweaks (what's with the Deleted Chilli Pepper guy?) but absolutely nothing to warrant re-insertion. And the Alternate Ending, whilst not wholly unexpected, would have been a much worse choice than the bikini-clad-babe tour of the beachfront that they went with. The Outtakes - for once - are actually not very funny at all. Usually they are the best bit of a movie like this, but here we just get a mostly musical montage of goofs, gags, fluffed lines and on set stupidity, with only Ray Liotta's brief chastising of Tim Allen coming close to being amusing.
The Making Of Wild Hogs, entitled 'Bikes, Brawls and Burning Bars' runs at a little over a quarter of an hour and is fairly fluffy stuff. We get your usual interview snippets from the four main protagonists, with plenty of humour and back-patting, a little Behind the Scenes footage into how they filmed some of the bike sequences and some interesting comments about Travolta's capabilities as a biker (or the others' lack thereof). The Director also contributes, as well as some other crew members, but there is nothing particularly substantial here, although fans will probably be quite content just to hear from the four leads. There's also the pretty lame offering of How to Get Your Wife To Let You Buy A Motorcycle, which runs at just a couple of minutes and has amusing comments from the cast and crew about the natural reaction of many wives with regard to boys and their toys.
Finally we get plenty of Trailers, including ones for the promising kids' movies Ratatouille and Meet the Robinsons, as well as The Invisible, which looks quite interesting, and the by-the-numbers American Football biopic Invincible.
VerdictWild Hogs is lame, insubstantial but pretty-much harmless. With its huge success at the box office, it is obvious that this movie has lots of fans, I'm just not one of them. For me, it had a great deal of potential but ended up being just shy of insipid, and as such was pretty damn disappointing. The video and audio presentation for this movie is superb, and there are a few nice non-HD-exclusive extras to round it off, making it a must-have for fans but a questionable rental for others.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £21.67
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