Hot Fuzz appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This one provided a mostly solid transfer.
For the most part, sharpness seemed positive. Some mild softness materialized at times, but the film usually felt well-defined.
I saw no shimmering or signs of jagged edges. Both edge haloes and source flaws seemed absent.
In terms of colors, Fuzz used predictable tones, as it opted for a heavy teal much of the time, with some amber along the way as well. Though trite, the fact Fuzz spoofs Michael Bay-style cop flicks made their use appropriate, and they looked fine.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows were clear and smooth. The image could seem a bit on the bright side at times, though, as whites veered toward the “blown out” side on occasion. Nonetheless, this was mainly a pleasing image.
In addition, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hot Fuzz worked well. In keeping with the film’s exaggerated tone, the soundfield blasted us with loud elements.
Most of these served to accentuate different minor effects and overstate the action in a comedic manner. The more normal aspects of the track blended together well and formed a nice sense of place.
The surrounds added good reinforcement and a fair amount of unique information. They rounded out the package well and created a fine feeling for the environment.
While active, though, I thought the track wasn’t what I’d call really impressive. It’s loud but not all that immersive.
Quality seemed good. Speech was consistently natural and concise, with no edginess or other problems. Music was tight and dynamic, and effects followed suit.
A few elements suffered from boomy bass, but the effects were usually clear and lively. I thought the bombastic tone of the mix was a little overwhelming at times, but for the most part, the soundtrack was quite good.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio showed greater range and impact, while visuals appeared tighter and richer. This became a nice upgrade.
Fuzz includes a long list of extras, and we find a remarkable five audio commentaries. Also on the original DVD, the first comes from writer/actor Simon Pegg and writer/director Edgar Wright.
Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They discuss story issues, cast and performances, stunts and effects, sets and locations, various influences and inspirations, music, and a few other production subjects.
For the most part, this becomes a fun commentary. Wright and Pegg maintain a lot of energy and enthusiasm, so they keep us amused. They also get into a fair number of interesting areas and provide a nice glimpse of the production.
Unfortunately, this comes with a lot of praise. Pegg and Wright constantly tell us how much they like this or that.
These comments get old pretty quickly, though they don’t ruin the piece. It’s a good track, but the praise makes it less enjoyable than I’d like.
The other four commentaries didn’t show up on the US DVD, and these open with a piece from Pegg and actors Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon and Olivia Colman. (Note that Broadbent arrives late and Colman departs early.) Billed as a chat with “the Sandford Police Service”, the crew sit together for their running, screen-specific look at characters and performances, sets and locations, stunts/action and anecdotes related to the shoot.
While all involved seem to enjoy themselves, they don’t produce a terribly informative commentary. Oh, they give us occasional nuggets that satisfy, but mostly they quote the film, laugh and have a good time. That’s fine for them but it results in a frustrating track.
For the third track, we find Wright with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of genre areas, other films and a few aspects related to Hot Fuzz.
Though they explore Hot Fuzz itself more as the chat proceeds, the two directors mostly cover general movie topics, and they do so in a dynamic manner. Both offer lively personalities and interact well to make this a delightful, informative piece.
Credited to “the Sandford Village People”, the fourth commentary involves actors Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman and Edward Woodward. They all chat together in their running, screen-specific chat about whatever they damned well please.
Normally, I’d hate a commentary like this one, as the participants tell us little about the actual production. Oh, we get a smattering of minor thoughts, but I can’t recall one truly npteworthy insight about Fuzz.
The actors go “off book” a lot, though, and they wax nostalgic about their careers. Given how much work these men have under their belts, they throw out a lot of fun stories and make this a delightful chat. No, you won’t learn anything about Fuzz, but you won’t care.
Lastly, we hear from “The Real Fuzz”: police consultants Andy Leafe and Nick Eckland. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific view of their jobs and their connections to the movie.
At times, Leafe and Eckland provide a good comparison of their experiences as cops and the movie’s interpretation. However, the two tend to simply narrate the film, so they don’t give us a ton of insights. This results in a lackluster, disappointing chat.
U-Control splits into two areas. As expected, Storyboards let you see those designs as you watch the flick. This is a nice little bonus. Note the disc also includes a separate “Storyboard Gallery” that lets you view the art fullscreen.
In addition, “U-Control” gives us a “Fuzz-O-Meter”. This replicates the DVD’s trivia track, as it reveals info about movie references, songs found in the flick, facts about police, locations, themes and minutiae, cast and crew, “cliché alerts” and a mix of other film tidbits.
These pop up with good regularity, so they keep us informed and entertained. We find many fun notes about the flick, so the “Fuzz-O-Meter” becomes a nice addition.
22 Deleted Scenes run a total of 20 minutes, 37 seconds. Obviously most of these clips are brief. At two minutes, two seconds, “The Station Tour” is the longest.
Like most of the others, “Tour” just adds a little to existing sequences. We find a minor excised subplot along the way, and it’s nothing special. Some funny material crops up throughout the scenes, but none of them seem terribly memorable.
We can watch the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Wright. He tells us a little about the segments and gives us some thoughts about why they didn’t make the cut. Wright covers the sequences well and gives us good information here.
A couple of oddball clips appear. The Man Who Would Be Fuzz lasts 34 seconds, while Danny’s Notebook: The Other Side goes for 21 seconds. In the first, Pegg and Nick Frost act out a scene from the flick – as Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
For “Notebook”, we see a crude piece of animation alluded to in the movie. Both are fun, though “Man” is the more amusing of the pair.
For another unusual piece, we locate the three-minute, 43-second Hot Funk. This provides some scenes from Fuzz with dubbed dialogue to make it acceptable for TV airing. It’s entertaining, especially when we get goofy substitutions like “wonker” and “clunt”.
We find a 10-minute, 22-second collection of Outtakes. Most of these offer the usual goof-ups and giggles, but some exceptions occur.
We discover some alternate lines and a few other amusing bits. These allow the outtakes to be more interesting than most.
A look behind the scenes comes via the one-hour, 11-minute, nine-second The Fuzzball Rally: US Tour Piece. It follows Pegg, Frost and Wright as they travel around the US and promote the movie.
This allows us a moderately interesting view of their experiences, but much of the show provides staged comedic bits. They goof around a lot, which makes this less valuable as a look at what publicity tours are like.
It all gets kind of tedious before too long, especially in this version – the Blu-ray’s “Fuzzball” runs more than 40 minutes past the DVD cut’s time. Perhaps that’s the point – the let the viewer experience the monotony of promo tours – but since we mostly see potty jokes and silliness, it gets old.
“Fuzzball” can be viewed with or without commentary from Wright, Pegg, Frost and Cornish. They tell us a little more about the promotional tour but they mostly just joke around and act goofy. Don’t expect to learn much from the chat.
Various components show up under The Evidence Room. “We Made Hot Fuzz” runs 29 minutes, 34 seconds and provides notes from Pegg, Wright, Frost, Colman, Woodward, Eldon, Dalton, Spall, Broadbent, producer Nira Park, 2nd AD Anthony Wilcox, armorer Charlie Bodycomb, and actors Paddy Considine, Karl Johnson, Bill Nighy, Billie Whitelaw, Stephen Merchant, Bill Bailey, Kenneth Cranham, Stuart Wilson, Peter Wight, Julia Deakin, and Anne Reid.
“Made” looks at the project’s roots and development, influences, cast and performances, stunts and action. Even with a long list of interview subjects, “Made” plays more like a production diary. It’s an enjoyable view of the material.
13 Video Blogs last a total of 29 minutes, 55 seconds. Meant as promotional fodder for the Internet, these show us various aspects of the production along with occasional notes from Pegg, Wright and Frost. They lean on comedy more than anything else, but they’re fun.
Eight Featurettes take up 48 minutes, nine seconds and include comments from Pegg, Wright, Colman, Frost, Eldon, Park, Spall, Woodward, Freeman, art director Dick Lunn, production designer Marcus Rowland, set decorator Liz Griffiths, graphic designer Jenny Bowers, parents Chris and Lesley Wright, friends/actors Peter Jackson, Garth Jennings, Joe Cornish, Chris Waitt, Robert Popper, Graham Low, Kevin and Nicholas Wilson, and Low’s mother Mary Hodgson.
Across these, we cover sets and production design, guest actors, unusual camera/photographic choices, stunts, consultation with police, locations, and a look at the production’s “flip chart”.
These tend to be fairly interesting segments. Some fare better than others – I especially like the “flip chart” – but all offer value.
“Evidence Room” also includes two “Galleries”. We get “Poster Gallery” (11 stills) and “Photo Gallery” (37). Both offer competent compilations.
We continue with “Plot Holes”, a section with three clips that occupy a total of three minutes, 23 seconds. These attempt to explain some of the movie’s more confusing scenes, and they’re enjoyable to watch.
“Special Effects: Before and After” gives us eight “comparison clips”. With a total running time of six minutes, 21 seconds, these display effects at different stages of completion. They turn into a good way to view the work.
Finally, “Evidence Room” goes to “Dead Right”. Billed as “Edgar’s First Cop Movie”, it lasts 40 minutes, 12 seconds and shows a 1993 videotaped extravaganza made by the 18-year-old Wright.
Nascent aspects of Hot Fuzz can be seen in Dead Right, but don’t expect the 1993 film to be a clear blueprint. Also don’t expect it to be very good – while it comes with a few entertaining moments and certainly seems much better than one would expect of an 18-year-old, Right ultimately is a curiosity more than a piece of entertainment.
Of course, Dead Right gets plenty extras of its own, including two more commentaries. The first comes from Wright, as he delivers a discussion of the film and aspects of his creation.
Wright gives us a smattering of good notes but he tends to just amble down memory lane a little too much. Still, the track has enough merits to be worth a listen.
For the second Dead Right commentary, we hear from Pegg and Frost. As expected, both sit together for their running, screen-specific look at… not much. Neither had any involved with Right and seem to comment on it as a prank more than anything else.
This means they do little more than grouse about Wright’s insistence that they discuss the film. Pegg and Frost also make some snarky jokes about the film. Their commentary becomes a chore to endure.
Perhaps inevitably, we also get AM BLAM: The Making of Dead Right. It runs 10 minutes, 29 seconds and features Wright.
He gives us basics about the film and its shoot along with comparisons to Fuzz. Much of this repeats from the commentary, but “BLAM” feels like a tighter overview than the nostalgic commentary.
More footage appears under Additional Video Blogs. This breaks into “VW Blogs” (21:29) and “iTunes Blogs” (16:30).
Over the “VW” clips, we see Frost and Pegg as they do driving stunts. We also see those two and Wright as they promote the film in various locations.
The same three show up for the “iTunes”, and they give us general thoughts about their film, other cop movies, comparisons with Shaun of the Dead and performances. All of these act to sell Fuzz but they’re still enjoyable enough, even if they lack substance.
Four trailers complete the set. We get the US theatrical promo as well as two UK TV spots and a “Director’s Cut Trailer”.
All that and we even get an Easter Egg, too! Highlight “Outtakes” from the “Extras” menu and click right to bring up an image of Pegg. Press enter and you’ll see an additional 26-second outtake. It’s forgettable but painless.
Though not a wholly satisfying parody, Hot Fuzz offers enough entertainment to succeed. I’d like a little more consistency and a shorter effort, but I still think there’s enough amusing material here to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture and audio along with an exhaustive roster of bonus materials. This becomes an excellent release for a fairly fun movie.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of HOT FUZZ