The Big Hit appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A release for the formatís early months, this became a watchable but spotty affair.
For the most part, sharpness seemed adequate, but it came with moderate edge haloes. These tended to give the image an overcooked impression. Still, sharpness felt generally good, if erratic.
No issues with jagged edges or moirť effects materialized. Print flaws showed occasional specks and marks, though not many source defects appeared.
Colors went with a stylized impression that favored ambers, blues and greens. These tended to feel a bit heavy and overdone, though some of that stemmed from design choices.
Blacks were fairly deep, while shadows showed reasonable clarity. Some high-contrast shots seemed pretty ugly, unfortunately. I didnít think this became a bad image given its vintage, but it could use an upgrade.
I felt more impressed with the solid PCM 5.1 soundtrack of The Big Hit, as it featured a very active soundfield. Actually, at times the mix seemed a little too active, such as during one scene in which Melvin worked out on a punching bag, where the exaggerated use of the surrounds became a little distracting.
However, this attitude ultimately worked for the cartoony nature of the flick. The front channels displayed good stereo presence for the music and also offered well-delineated effects that blended together nicely and moved cleanly from channel to channel.
The surrounds contributed a lot of unique audio, especially during the movieís many action sequences. The track blasted a great deal of vivid audio from the rear, and the elements meshed together well to create an encompassing and involving setting.
Audio quality appeared strong. Dialogue came across as natural and distinct, with no problems related to intelligibility.
Music was bright and vivid and offered positive range with clear highs and rich lows. Effects blasted cleanly and displayed a powerful impact.
The track featured fine bass response, which seemed tight and deep at all times. Overall, The Big Hit provided a terrific soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 1999 DVD version? The lossless audio came across as cleaner and warmer than its lossy DVD counterpart.
As for visuals, the Blu-ray looked better defined and more vivid. Even though the DVD was good for its format and the BD was mediocre for its, the latter still became the stronger rendition of the film Ė albeit one that could use a remaster.
The Blu-ray brings some of the DVDís extras, and we find two separate audio commentaries. The first involves director Che-Kirk Wong and producer Warren Zide, both of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific track.
Zide plays a small role in the proceedings. For the most part, he largely acts as interviewer, and I actually believe he simply leaves after a little while, as we hear nothing from him for very long stretches.
However, that seems fine with me, for Wong proves to be a terrific subject. He offers a rich and entertaining commentary that covers a great deal of territory.
Wong discusses subjects like casting for the movie - including others considered for the parts - as well as changes to the script, the effects of test audiences, fight choreography, and many amusing anecdotes from the set. The story about Bokeem Woodbineís giant unit merits a listen on its own.
I also love the manner in which he describes the differences between Hollywood filmmaking and Hong Kong shoots. A few empty spaces occasionally mar the track, but as a whole, I really like Wongís discussion, as he provides a wealth of compelling information.
In addition, we discover a commentary from screenwriter Ben Ramsey, who also provides a running, screen-specific piece. A chatty presence, Ramsey offers a reasonably engaging track.
At times he does little more than simply relate the on-screen action, but he usually gives us some good notes about the film. He covers the origins of his work, what he wanted to do with the flick, how the movie differed from the original script, and a lot of other areas related to the film. Overall, this commentary isnít quite as informative and entertaining as the first one, but it still delivers a useful and enjoyable discussion.
The disc also provides previews for Underworld: Evolution, Ultraviolet and xXx. No trailer for Hit appears here.
That differs from the DVD, which included the movieís trailer. It also featured three short deleted scenes that fail to reappear here.
As a parody of action flicks, The Big Hit doesnít quite fire on all cylinders. Nonetheless, it boasts enough over the top wildness to become a mostly entertaining ride. The Blu-ray comes with mediocre visuals, excellent audio and two informative commentaries. I like the movie but the Blu-ray could use an update.