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+”.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Hornet. The picture comments above reflected the 2D edition – how did the 3D compare?
Picture quality seemed similar. The 3D might’ve been a smidgen softer at times, but any variations seemed modest.
As did the stereo imaging in this post-converted affair. Over the years, an absence of native 3D photography became much less relevant, but back in 2011, conversions tended to be spotty, and that held true for Hornet.
Every once in a while, the stereo presentation offered some good impact primarily during action scenes. The animated end credits also popped out of the screen in a fun way.
Otherwise, however, this felt like a pretty restrained 3D presentation. While I can’t think of any real reasons not to watch the 3D version, I also can’t give it much of a recommendation over the 2D edition.
Expect a decent 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.
Exclusive to the 3D disc, we get 3D Animated Storyboard Comparisons. These cover seven scenes and fill a total of eight minutes, 26 seconds.
The “Comparisons” place the movie on the top half of the screen and the art on the bottom. Indeed, the storyboards get the 3D treatment, which seems like an odd choice. Still, this extra gets credit for its attempt to do something different.
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, as 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, and the 3D adds little, but as long as you can tolerate the polarizing presence of Seth Rogen, you’ll find a fun flick.
To rate this film visit the prior review of THE GREEN HORNET