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The Green Hornet - Blu-ray Movie Review

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The Green Hornet - Movie Review

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4 stars

In what might go down as the most critically polarized film of January 2011, Seth Rogan, star of such crude charmers as Knocked Up, Funny People, and Observe & Report, busts out the superhero mask in his turn as The Green Hornet.  Once a popular television show and, even before that, a radio program, the character has always been one of paper and pulp and never to be ever taken seriously.  Thankfully, Rogen and director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) understand that about this hero and let the subversive roll out as a sunshiny parade of glad tidings that, if you liked Kick-Ass, will get you nodding with approval.

Playboy Britt Reid (Rogen) has to fill the void left in his recently passed on father’s (Tom Wilkenson) shoes in the newspaper business.  It’s boring work to the spoiled rich kid and, because of that boredom and a slight realization that he’s wasting his life doing absolutely nothing with his father’s wealth, he begins hanging around a lowly employee named Kato (Jay Chou).  Together, the odd couple hatch a plan to use that money and Kato’s smarts to become superheroes and combat the rising crime of the city and, ultimately, face the man who killed his father - Inglourious Basterds' Christoph Waltz, playing a wild-eyed Russian mobster desiring none but the key to the criminal activity in the city.

Slapping the face of damn-near every revered comic book superhero before it, The Green Hornet – written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg - flies into knuckled action swinging a pair of brass balls and a fine sense of humor at the screen.  It’s all about its purpose to entertain the masses and it delivers, never taking itself seriously.  After all, what could more ridiculous than covering faces with masks and acting on criminal tips provided to you by a journalist – with a degree in criminology -  named Lenore Case [Cameron Diaz (in yet another vapid performance)]?  Absolutely nothing, if you know your own limitations and, boy, does The Green Hornet turn that phrase.  Yet, the two leads work their unlikely partnership, trolling the high end of low-brow with great timing throughout, until the action actually works itself into a surreal fight of hapless lads against squinty-eyed criminals.

There’s a sense of ease to the picture, too.  A casualness to the cardio-cool it exposes that will be off-putting for some people, but, hell, when you don’t have to work so hard to be so damn fresh why on earth would you?  Take a lesson from Keith Richards and just chill…which is what this film does at times.  The Green Hornet, wonderfully visualized by Gondry, is so steely cool at times it practically slips upon its own ice.  Sure, it doesn’t completely exploit the genre or even reinvent the superhero wheel; it simply knows that – like Iron Man before it – every step it takes is a wiseass strut across the screen.  Is this great art?  Probably not, but its knowing pointlessness dares you to take issue with it.  For that, I say “BRAVO!” to the team responsible.  I mean, think about it, this really is a jerk move by Columbia Pictures to attempt a superhero movie (and potential franchise) with the creators of Superbad.

The Green Hornet is a perfect send-up of the “too cool” comic book formula.  Truly a sign that it will annoy a lot of people and critics alike hung up on the “brooding” comic book hero scene.  Gotham City this ain’t.  So, go ahead Green Hornet, beat the “baddies” up.  Make yourself out as a bad man to get the attention of the overlord of crime in the city.  Have a blast.  Make us laugh while you do it, too, with some pretty inspired riffing between yourself and Kato.

Folks, if you (even marginally) liked the playfulness of The Phantom, The Shadow, and The Rocketeer (which is long overdue for some fabulous fanboy recognition) then The Green Hornet, is the superhero movie for you to relish.

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{2jtab: Film Details}

The Green Hornet - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violent action, language, sensuality and drug content.
Director
: Michel Gondry
Writer
: Seth Rogen; Evan Goldberg
Cast:
Seth Rogen; Jay Chou; Cameron Diaz; Tom Wilkinson; Christoph Waltz
Genre
: Action | Crime
Distributor:
Sony Pictures Releasing
Official Site:
www.sonypictures.com/movies/thegreenhornet
Memorable Movie Quote: "I want the head of The Green Hornet and I want it tonight."
Release Date: January 14, 2011.
Blu-ray Release Date:
This title not yet on BD/Blu-ray.

Synopsis: Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the son of LA's most prominent and respected media magnate and perfectly happy to maintain a directionless existence on the party scene – until his father (Tom Wilkinson) mysteriously dies, leaving Britt his vast media empire. Striking an unlikely friendship with one of his father's more industrious and inventive employees, Kato (Jay Chou), they see their chance to do something meaningful for the first time in their lives: fight crime. But in order to do this, they decide to become criminals themselves – protecting the law by breaking it, Britt becomes the vigilante The Green Hornet as he and Kato hit the streets.

Using all his ingenuity and skill, Kato builds the ultimate in advanced retro weaponry, The Black Beauty, an indestructible car equal parts firepower and horsepower. Rolling in a mobile fortress on wheels and striking the bad guys with Kato's clever gadgets, The Green Hornet and Kato quickly start making a name for themselves, and with the help of Britt's new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), they begin hunting down the man who controls LA's gritty underworld: Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). But Chudnofsky has plans of his own: to swat down The Green Hornet once and for all.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: DVD/Blu-ray Review}

The Green Hornet - Blu-ray Movie Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 3, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); BD-Live; movieIQ
Packaging: Slipcover in original pressing
Playback: Region free

The 1080p Blu-ray transfer is a gorgeous example of how breathtaking the HD format cam be.  The images are crisp and crackle with immediacy and colors are solid throughout.  Black levels are robust and definite and shadows fill nicely.  The  DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack will keep you in-tune with every fist pounding Rogen takes and every explosion the two cause.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Delivering a fairly entertaining and humorous commentary, Seth Rogan, Producer Neal Moritz, Director Michel Gondry, and Writer Evan Goldberg keeps things on the level discussing the making of the film.

Special Features:

With over twenty minutes of deleted scenes, there are a couple of really nice featurettes that mark this release.  One involves the long process of finding the right Kato and the other features the infamous rebuilding of The Green Hornet’s classic car, Black Beauty.  Overall, it’s a pretty solid offering from Sony who are hoping this film gets a new life from its release.

  • Deleted Scenes (26 min)
  • "Awesoom" Gag Reel (7 min)
  • "Trust Me" -- Director Michael Gondry (9 min)
  • Writing The Green Hornet (10 min)
  • The Black Beauty: Rebirth of Cool (7 min)
  • The Stunt Family Armstrong (7 min)
  • Finding Kato (6 min)
  • The Art of Destruction (14 min)
  • Previews
  • BD-Live
  • The Green Hornet PS3 Theme

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