What is it about British comedy that is so damn funny? I suppose the humor behind it is their use of language and pronunciation (similar to how us in the Boston area add â€˜râ€™ to everything like idea). When I heard about the creators of Shaun of the Dead (a film I still have yet to see but have heard a plethora of positives about), I became interested. When I heard that the film was going to be based on the police force in London, I knew this one would be a classic. Luckily, I was completely correct.
Hot Fuzz tells the story of Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), a cop who is almost too good. His arrest record is a whopping 400% higher than any other cop in London and heâ€™s received more awards than people can think of. Because of him being, well, too qualified, the top chief determines that heâ€™s embarrassing the department. His punishment? Heâ€™s shipped off to Sandford (real-life town of Wells), a town whose police force and town members do everything for â€œthe greater goodâ€. Soon a set of murders causes Angel and his new partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) (mostly Angel actually) to look further into this town. Is there more than meets the eye?
The real humor behind Hot Fuzz is not that it has an homage to both Bad Boys II and Point Break, but the interactions between Angel and the members of Sandford. Everything acts like a kind of drone in this town simply stating that everything is done for â€œthe greater goodâ€, which puzzles Angel. This causes Angel to dive deeper into the town, causing far too many sequences of gut-busting humor (the fence sequence, the paperwork line, the constant pub sequences, etc). In fact, there are far too many sequences one could mention.
Iâ€™ll be honest and admit Iâ€™ve only seen a handful of British comedy (mostly via Monty Python, which Iâ€™m sure everyone and their brother has seen), but the level of humor is outrageous. Even though a majority of the actions and bumbling sequences these people involve themselves in wouldnâ€™t be funny to them, as a completely different audience we canâ€™t help but laughâ€¦ a lot. Iâ€™m sure the exact same thing happens when they watch films based on our culture. After all, the trailer to the film states â€œfrom the guys whoâ€™ve watched every action movie everâ€. How can this not be funny?
Presented in a 1080p, VC-1 Encoded, 2:35:1 Widescreen Aspect Ratio, Hot Fuzz contains a fantastic transfer that has no real problems.
The biggest positive about this one is the filmâ€™s sheer usage of bright colors. Whites, sky blues and yellows fill the screen for a majority of the picture with a solid, clear image. In fact, a lot of this film takes place during the day with the exception of the graveyard sequence. Anyhow, grain was pretty much nowhere to be found (or at least nothing that was noticeable), while EE is present (just a tad bit) during the church sequence before the 3rd death. The filmâ€™s print, benefiting from being just recently released into theaters, is near immaculate condition with no evidence of print damage, scratches, washed out colors or video noise. All in all, this is a fantastic transfer that rates up there with some of the best HD titles to date.
Arriving with the standard Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, itâ€™s a shame that Universal didnâ€™t spring for a TrueHD track here as Hot Fuzz boasts a fairly active audio experience.
Dialogue was kept in check, never becoming muddled or hard to understand (although some may label the British language as difficult to hear). Surround usage was almost always active with numerous sequences true surround effectiveness. Dynamic Range was also present with a majority of the filmâ€™s discrete effects showing themselves during the final 30 minutes (gun shots, screams, crashes, etc). I really found myself enjoying this one quite a bit, possibly because I loved the film so much. All in all, this was a very active track that only gets .5 taken away for the lack of a TrueHD track.
WOW! Talk about a TON of extraâ€™s here.
- Audio Commentary with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright: The Co-Writers sit down and chat with us in this feature-length commentary. Boy oh boy was this one enjoyable. Both Pegg and Wright have a high level of wit that is clearly shown here. Pegg and Wright speak on the homage to Bad Boys II and Point Break as well as the cast and sets.
- Audio Commentary with the Sanford Police Service: Participants include Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Jim Broadbent, Rafe Speall, Kevin Eldon and Olivia Colman. This one, as well as the following commentary, kind of served as a good vs. evil commentary. Here you had the good side of the law speaking, almost in character it seemed, about their talents and what it was like making the film.
- Audio Commentary with the Village People: Participants include Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman and Edward Woodword. As I mentioned above, this one kind of serves as the evil commentary, which adds a funny twist to the commentary. I found myself enjoying the comments made here a tad bit more, mostly because of the humor and talent of Mr. Dalton.
- Real-Fuzz Commentary with Andy Leafe and Nick Eckland: With my fourth time through the film, Iâ€™ll be completely honest and mention that I didnâ€™t get completely through this one. The comments I did here by the two real-life officers served as more of a factual commentary more than a humor commentary. I suppose this one is necessary for the die-hard fans, but I suppose I was a bit turned off by it after watching three funny commentaries.
- Theatrical Trailer: Here the filmâ€™s trailer is shown.
- Outtakes: Here we get a few funny outtakes.
- The Man Who Would Be Fuzz: A funny homage to Sean Connery and Michael Caine as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play the two characters from an obvious film.
- Hot Funk (TV Version): This one runs as a â€œcleanâ€ dialogue feature with a few clips from the TV version of the film.
- Dannyâ€™s Notebook: The Other Side: This one shows us the ideas and themes that Danny had (Danny is the character played by Nick Frost).
- Fuzz-O-Meter: This one basically runs like a trivia track throughout the course of the film giving us information about the film and the making.
- Storyboards: Here storyboards are presented for all 27 chapters of the film.
- Evidence Room: Deleted Scenes: Here we get 22 deleted scenes that run about 20 minutes in length. Just like the film, a majority of the scenes are absolutely hilarious with constant laughs and smiles.
- Making Of: Conclusive: Here we get the filmâ€™s making of, which was a great watch. Even though the standard stuff is dealt with, it felt like something more, quite possibly because of the enjoyment of the film.
- Speculative: Video Blogs: Including here are 13 different mini features that chronicle the making of via interviews from the sets during periods of the film.
- Forensic: Featurettes: Here we get 3 different features; the first being Return to Sanford, which shows us the real town of Wells that stood in for Sandford in the film. The second feature, entitled Edgar & Simonâ€™s Flip Chart shows them reading a flip chart of the town so we can see how much of the chart made it into the final product. The final feature, entitled Simon Muggs is sort of like more outtakes with Simon Pegg laughing after each take.
- Galleries: Here we get a variety of photo, poster and basic promotional kits used for the film.
- Heresay: Plot Holes/Comparisons: This one is broken down into two separate areas. One for Plot Holes and one for the filmâ€™s special effects with the Special Effects looking at 8 different sequences with a before-and-after look at each sequence.
- Falsified: Dead Right: This one runs 10 minutes and is entitled â€œEdgarâ€™s 1st Cop Movieâ€. Optional commentary is available for Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
- Easter Egg: Fence Jump: A little Easter Egg here with a few takes of the hilarious fence jump clip.
Containing a over-the-top hilarious film, excellent video and audio, and a lot of interesting (and funny) features, Universal has put together a fantastic package here (and to think all this fits on an HD-30 disc), that is simply a must own for fans of the film and a very strong recommended for those interested. In fact, this may very well be one of the top HD discs (regardless of format) released to date.