Just to make it clear, this is a review of the flat (non 3D) version of ‘The Green Hornet’. Isn’t it always the way that some of the best transfers are reserved for some of the worst movies? ‘The Green Hornet’ buzzes on to UK Region free Blu-ray with a first class 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
The image is sharp and detailed. Even the flying debris during the action sequences is well rendered here. Facial close ups are impressive and eyes are pin sharp. Colours are strong with a great solidity to the blacks in this somewhat dark image (though nowhere near as dark as the last Harry Potter outing) thanks to the preponderance of night scenes. The yellows and oranges of explosions have great strength. Contrast is healthy throughout the movie as you’d expect from a very recent pristine clean source. The highlights on the sleek Black Beauty are kept in trim and there’s no hint of DNR or over sharpening here. Fine film grain is visible on some scenes, but it’s not intrusive at all, merely a reminder of its 35mm origination medium. Basically, there’s nothing to fault this transfer. Nice one Sony!
The audio on ‘The Green Hornet’ comes in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that really rocks during the many action sequences. This is true blockbuster territory with bullets ricocheting off the walls, gunfire coming from all around, glass shattering, cars going through the sound field – all in all great fun for you but not so much for the neighbours. In the opening sequence, as Chudnovsky detonates the briefcase bomb in the nightclub, every speaker in my room went up with it – reminding me of the one at the beginning of ‘True Lies’ that was almost used as reference material on demos for years. Dialogue is a bit of a mixed bag, though it’s not the fault of the mix. I kept winding up the level to try to make out what Jay Chou was saying, then getting caught out by the next loud gun battle which caused me to reach for the volume control. There was certainly no problem hearing what Seth Rogen was saying – or rather shouting. It’s fair to say that it’s quite a dynamic mix with some quieter moments seeming low level if you set the volume so that explosions don’t burst your eardrums. Apart from that, it’s a stonking good soundtrack.
MovieIQ - As the movie plays you have access to information about almost every aspect of the production. Like having live IMDB.
The Green Hornet Cutting room - Your chance to re-edit the movie and add music, effects etc. Shame you can’t rewrite the script and re-cast it too. You can share your cut of the movie on-line with friends.
Filmmakers’ Commentary - Seth Rogen, producer Neal Moritz, director Michel Gondry and writer Evan Goldberg chat loudly and crash vocals regularly. I just found them annoying but they point out all the flaws in the movie and tell us whose fault it was. Just four good ole boys kickin back. Seth Rogen has an irritating voice, even on the commentary which does cover most bases on the production aspects. One for fans of the movie.
Deleted scenes (HD, 26 mins) - A bunch of 9 scenes that don’t really add much to the movie – hence they were deleted. A bit more with Tom Wilkinson and the newspaper editor, more lead up to the statue head removal scene, Kato and the Green Hornet fill up the car with petrol, Kato and Diaz walk and talk....nothing groundbreaking here.
‘Awesome’ Gag reel (HD, 7 mins) - The usual larking about on set among the cast, deliberately blowing takes. Seth Rogen ad libs in the hope of finding funnier lines.
‘Trust Me’ – Director Michel Gondry (HD, 9 mins) - The cast and crew tell us how much they like director Michel Gondry – who had to prove he could direct the movie and also communicate his ideas. We also get to see behind the scenes of the special effects.
Writing the Green Hornet (HD, 10 mins) - Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who are to blame for the script, tell us what they were trying to achieve with the movie. We join them as they are trying to figure out how it ends. Basically, I’d bring back hanging for this crock of a script.
The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (HD, 7 mins) - Dennis McCarthy, the Picture Car Coordinator shows us the work involved in restoring and rebuilding several 1965 Imperials to become Black Beauty in the movie. The stars get passenger rides from the stunt coordinator in the muscle car.
The Stunt Family Armstrong (HD, 7 mins) - The Armstrong family, led by Vic and Andy Armstrong, discuss their careers and explain some of the stunts involved in the movie. These are people who know their trade.
Finding Kato (HD, 6 mins) - The Producer and Director tell us how Jay Chou stood out from the crowd in their search for the new Kato. He’s a director, performer, writer – some say ‘the Asian Steve McQueen’. I’d never heard of him before. A few dialogue lessons and he’ll be fine.
The Art of Destruction (HD, 14 mins) - We see the work involved in blowing up sets, such as the Night club in the opening sequence and the Hibachi restaurant shootout. It’s a blast!
‘The Green Hornet’ crashes on to UK Region free (non 3D) Blu-ray with an excellent 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. A sharp, detailed image with strong colour and excellent contrast remind us of how good every movie should look on Blu-ray.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix really packs a punch as well as a kick with superb use of every speaker in the action scenes. Good demo material, apart from Kato’s indistinct speech although that’s no fault of the mix.
A brace of mini featurettes, a production team commentary as well as the obligatory gag reel and deleted scenes make up the bonus material.
The 1960’s American TV series is updated and thoroughly ruined by Seth Rogen who - as star, co-writer and executive producer - must shoulder most of the blame for this jokey waste of time that goes nowhere. It’s only saving grace comes in the form of good Special Effects and stuntwork. To sum it up, nice transfer – shame about the movie.
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