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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Michel Gondry
Cast:
Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Harris, Chad Coleman, Edward Furlong
Writing Credits:
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, George W. Trendle (radio series, "The Green Hornet")

Tagline:
Saving The World Their Own Way.

Synopsis:
Playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) becomes the new publisher of Los Angeles' "The Daily Sentinel" after the sudden death of his father. Britt's party life is about to change when he and his driver - and kung-fu expert - Kato (Jay Chou), stop a robbery. With the help of Kato, Britt starts a new career of fighting crime as the masked superhero "The Green Hornet".

Box Office:
Budget
$120 million.
Opening Weekend
$33.526 million on 3584 screens.
Domestic Gross
$98.780 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 119 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 5/3/2011

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Michel Gondry, Actor/Writer Seth Rogen, Producer Neal Moritz and Writer Evan Goldberg
• “The Green Hornet Cutting Room”
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Trust Me” Featurette
• “Writing The Green Hornet” Featurette
• “The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool” Featurette
• “The Stunt Family Armstrong” Featurette
• “Finding Kato” Featurette
• “The Art of Destruction” Featurette
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Green Hornet [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 2, 2011)

Seth Rogen, action hero? When fans learned that he intended to play the lead in The Green Hornet, this concept caused much ire and mockery. After all, Rogen made his name as a lunkish stoner type – how could he pull off a superhero?

People raised eyebrows when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, and that turned out fine, so I was willing to give Rogen a shot in 2011’s The Green Hornet. Britt Reid (Rogen) lives life as a party-boy. Heir to the newspaper empire run by his father James (Tom Wilkinson), he drinks heavily and leads an aimless existence.

Until James suddenly dies and Britt finds himself in charge of the family business – nominally, at least. Mostly he mopes around the mansion by himself after he fires the majority of the staff.

This includes his father’s assistant Kato (Jay Chou), but Britt brings him back because of his awesome coffee-making skills. When Britt chats with Kato, he learns that the manservant boasts other talents, such as his ability to soup up cars to an awesome degree.

Angry at his father – and more than a little sauced – Britt decides to decapitate a statue of the old man. To hide his identity as he commits this act, Britt uses some green cloth as a mask. This comes in handy when he spies a crime on the street. He attempts to take a stand and help; he essentially fails, but the multi-talented Kato comes to the rescue.

This inspires Britt to make something of his life. He convinces Kato that they should become real-life superheroes – albeit ones who pretend to villains to keep authorities off their trail. This leads them on many adventures – and a path toward a confrontation with Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), LA’s biggest gangster.

To call Hornet an uneven flick would be an understatement. The movie jumps through a variety of tones as it goes from standard action flick to comedic adventure to spoof and back again. Director Michel Gondry comes from the world of quirky indie flicks like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and seems a bit out of his element when it comes to the world of action/adventure, which results in the inconsistency.

I suspect that one’s enjoyment of Hornet will depend a lot on how much one likes – or at least tolerates – Rogen. Despite Gondry’s presence behind the camera, this is a Rogen flick through and through. Not only did he star in it, but he also co-wrote it and executive produced it. Rogen’s fingerprints are all over the movie, as it truly feels like one of his projects; from his take on the lead character to the story’s themes and comedy, this is a serious Rogen effort.

So if you can’t stand Seth, you’re unlikely to take much pleasure from Hornet. Personally, I’m somewhat on the fence about Rogen. While I think he has comedic talent, he shows little range as an actor; he varies from Loveable Schlub to Angry Dude without much else to show.

And that’s what we find in Rogen’s performance as Britt. Perhaps someday he’ll show more range as an actor, but not here; even though the flick requires more of an action presence than usual, it doesn’t ask Rogen to develop beyond his standard shtick.

But you know what? That works out just fine. The script takes the Britt Reid character and develops him in a way to match Rogen’s talents. Rather than turn Reid into a traditional action hero, it makes him a goof who grows, and Rogen is more than able to handle that. I don’t know if he ever becomes a strength, but he’s never a weakness, and he delivers some nice laughs. Asian pop star Chou brings us the most delightful performance, though. His awkward English makes him a little more endearing, and he plays through the movie’s action sequences in a fine manner. These can be rather derivative – with elements seen in prior efforts like The Matrix and Sherlock Holmes - but Chou’s charm and charisma help carry them.

Waltz also delivers a fun turn as the insecure Chudnofsky. Rather than being a standard criminal mastermind, Chudnofsky comes across as desperate for status and approval; he wants to be the Joker to the Hornet’s Batman, and he often attempts to make himself into a formidable, memorable super-villain.

Which Waltz makes amusing via his often understated take on the part. Chudnofsky could’ve been big and obnoxious – indeed, if Nicolas Cage had played the role as intended, that probably would’ve been the route followed – but Waltz gives the role a layer of melancholy that works. He’s an unusual super-baddie who adds spark to the proceedings.

In the end, Hornet tends to be something of a narrative mess, and it’s too long; a good 15 minutes of editing would’ve resulted in something tighter and more involving. Nonetheless, I find more to like than to dislike, especially the second time through the movie. At no point does this threaten to become a great film, but it’s a fun variation on the superhero template.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B+

The Green Hornet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a generally good transfer but not one that dazzled.

Sharpness was an occasional issue. Though much of the movie looked accurate and concise, some shots could be somewhat soft and fuzzy. Those weren’t a substantial concern, however, so expect mostly positive delineation. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like virtually all modern action flicks, Hornet went with stylized colors. It tended toward teal – to partially reflect the title, natch – as well as some amber tints. These weren’t over the top, though, so the image was a little more natural than most of its peers, and the hues looked fine. Blacks were dark and full, while shadows demonstrated nice clarity and smoothness. Most of the picture was solid, but the occasional softness left it as a “B”.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hornet worked well. Various vehicular elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with gunfire and chases, and a few other sequences used the various channels in a satisfying way. The action scenes utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, and music made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. All of this added up to a “B+”.

Expect a solid set of extras here. We launch with an audio commentary from director Michel Gondry, actor/writer Seth Rogen, producer Neal Moritz and writer Evan Goldberg; Moritz splits about halfway through the movie, and co-producer Raffi Adlan takes his place. All of them sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, script/story, stunts and action, effects, props and vehicles, music and a few other elements.

Despite an awful lot of praise, the commentary delivers a good experience. The participants keep the tone light and fun; they don’t take things too seriously but they still manage to tell us a lot about the movie. We learn more than enough to compensate for the happy talk.

Under The Green Hornet Cutting Room, you get to play filmmaker. This allows you to create your own edits for some parts of the film. Alas, it requires an external storage capability that my player lacks, but it sounds like fun. It certainly appears to offer more power than the average limited editing feature found on some DVDs.

Nine Deleted Scenes fill a total of 26 minutes, 33 seconds. These feature “See Yourself Out” (0:51), “The Big Fence” (1:48), “Filler Up” (0:51), “Dickweed” (1:26), “Britt’s Pokerface” (1:09), “Taking a Punch!” (0:29), “Burning Down the House” (3:56), “Influencing Scanlon” (2:08), and “Let’s Roll, Kato” (14:01). As you can tell from the running times, most offer pretty brief additions. “Filler” is fun, as it shows Britt and Kato at the gas station, and the others add a little character development; “Out” gives us more from Britt’s dad, while “Dickweed” broadens the Lenore role.

As for the three two-minutes-plus scenes, “House” is entertaining when it shows inadvertent bonding between Britt and Chudnofsky; it goes past that segment, though, and gets tedious as Britt tries to play Hornet without Kato. “Scanlon” offers more exposition about the relationship between the DA and Chudnofsky; it includes some amusing bits but doesn’t help move along the story.

With 14 minutes at its disposal, “Roll” obviously becomes the big attraction here. This offers an extended version of the climactic action sequence – a really extended version that delivers an exceedingly long chase. Some parts of it amuse, mostly due to Chudnofsky’s endless series of battle plans. However, the scene really does run too long, so the action results in diminishing returns. I think it’s fun to check out this full version, but it would’ve gotten tiresome in the final flick.

Next comes a Gag Reel. It goes for seven minutes, 18 seconds as it shows the standard collection of mistakes and snickers. However, we also find some improv lines, so the clip is a little more entertaining than most.

Six featurettes follow. We find ”Trust Me” – Director Michel Gondry (9:33), Writing The Green Hornet (10:35), The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (7:17), The Stunt Family Armstrong (7:39), Finding Kato (6:00) and The Art of Destruction (14:04). Across these, we get notes from Gondry, Rogen, Goldberg, Moritz, Adlan, special effects coordinator Jim Schwalm, special effects supervisor Jamie Dixon, stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong, picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, stunt coordinator Scott Armstrong, 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong, stunt driver Keith Adams, fight stunt coordinator Jeff Imada, 1st AD Jonathan Watson¸ lead armorer Ian Kay, and actors David Harbour, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Jay Chou, Jamie Harris and Chad Coleman.

These discuss Gondry’s work on the film and how he got the job, character/story/script areas, vehicles, stunts/action, casting Kato, and some effects. That’s a good array of topics, and the featurettes zoom through the elements well. We get a nice mix of sound bites and behind the scenes material to combine into a satisfying collection of programs.

The disc launches with ads for Just Go With It, Battle: Los Angeles, and Das Boot. The first two also appear under Previews along with clips for The Mechanic and The Hit List. No trailer for Hornet shows up here.

On the surface, The Green Hornet should’ve been a miscast disaster, but the movie actually manages to entertain. Sure, it’s not especially consistent, but it manages enough action and comedy to succeed. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture, solid audio and a nice collection of supplements. Don’t expect a classic here, but as long as you can tolerate the polarizing presence of Seth Rogen, you’ll find a fun flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.6 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main