Writer note: Apologies to Brendan who did the fine HD-DVD review for this flic. Some hack had to pick up the slack for the regular DVD and present a slightly alternate view. (and a different interpretation of english grammar)
Ever see Shaun of the Dead? No? Don’t worry, not too many people did either. This fine film directed by Edgar Wright was a parody and homeage to the George Romero Dead films. Full of comedy and nods to the genre, it was a very good but mostly forgotten flic. Fast forward to 2007 and Edgar Wright along with Simon Pegg (who would also play the character of Nicholas Angel) decide to write the homeage to action movies: Hot Fuzz.
The basic storyline is that Nicholas Angel is the finest cop in London. His accomplishments and numerous achievements speak for themselves as showed by the opening montage in the film. However, he is too good. So good that he is making everybody else on the force…errr, service (force was decided to be too strong of a word for the police)look bad. His higher ups even including the chief inspector decide to promote him to Seargant but relocated him to Sandford. Sandford, winner of Village of the Year award many times over, is a very quiet and seemingly peaceful town.
Nicholas soon finds himself in the pub for the night at the new town. Here he decides to start arresting people, including one for trying to drive while under the influence (played by Nick Frost) who he would later throw in jail. However, upon arriving at the police station the next morning; Nicholas finds that the drunkard is no longer in his cell and is instead in a policeman’s uniform. That drunkard turns out to be PC Danny Butterman who is the son of Frank Butterman (played by Jim Broadbent). Timothy Dalton‘s performance as Simon Skinner, a local supermarket owner, is certain fun to watch. From his dashing and villainous demeanor to providing some of the best lines in the film, he is the standout star and brings a regal air to the film. The only weak point in the film would be the running time. At roughly 2 hours one could argue that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg included everything they could think of. Especially when some of the movie can run slow from time to time. However, this is a very minor issue and you should be rock and rolling in your seat until the final credits.
This film is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen with a ratio of 2.35:1. The colors are bright and everything is well detailed. The village of Sandford looks very good and the surroundings look crisp and clear. It is really hard to find a defect here; only a couple of sequences seemed to suffer from the classic I’m not sure what is going on here. It also has that Shaun of the Dead feel which isn’t always a good thing.
Wow, that’s all that can be said here. Audio is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital EX for English, Spanish and French. The sound is so impressive here that neighbors could possibly complain. Backgrounds are used aggressively and everything seems to explode with bass to match. The ending action sequences are equally intense and every sound feels crisp. The only minor issue would be that they overdo some sounds. Sometimes a mere head nod will get a full surround effect and might leave you scratching your head. Subtitles are provided in English SDH, French and Spanish.
Automatic Trailers – Rush Hour 3 & Balls of Fury.
The Man Who Would Be Fuzz :33 – an odd half minute scene from the film reinserted with badly impersonated voices of Sean Connery & Michael Caine.
Outtakes 10:20 – Some really funny outtakes and the usual guffaw moments one would expect mostly from Pegg who can go from serious to funny so quickly.
Storyboards & Fuzz-O-Meter On/Off– Turning either of these options on will during the movie either trigger Storyboards or in the event of the Fuzz-O-Meter trigger interesting facts about the movie or about the source of various reference tools. The Fuzz-O-Meter is especially good when coupled with the outstanding commentary.
Inadmissible: Deleted Scenes (w or w/o Commentary) 20:35 – Twenty two different deleted scenes including commentary. There are a lot of obvious cuts; however most of them are very funny and might have added to the proceedings.
Trailers – Includes the Theatrical, UK Tv Spots (2), & the Director’s Cut Trailer.
Danny’s Notebook: The Other Side :20 – A quick flip through of one of Danny’s sketchbooks. Humorous for the 20 seconds it is.
Commentary – An excellent commentary with Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright that serves two purposes. The first being continual laughter and the second actually informing the audience of what is going on. Interesting commentary throughout and a very enjoyable listen.
Fuzzball Rally: US Tour Piece 28:05 – Roughly a month that Edgar Wright and the two main stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost doing what they needed to, to promote the movie in the US. Includes everything from visiting the Exorcist steps to the nine or more phone interviews in a row to even Birthday Cake plopping which has to be seen to be believed.
Hot Funk 3:42 – A good amount of time of what the clean version of Hot Fuzz would be like. Totally obliterates the point of the swear box bit but an extremely funny piece.
Hot Fuzz is a brilliant action movie parody of all the films that many of us grew up with. From the obvious parodies like Point Break & Bad Boys II to more obscure references like Dirty Harry & The Wicker Man, this movie has a host of material and there is good acting all around. Strong performances from actors like Nick Frost & Timothy Dalton make this movie worth watching again & again. The dvd also boasts a strong performance. Very decent video coupled with awe-inspiring audio highlight this package. The extras are plentiful and help to explain every segment of the movie. Throw in a few outtakes, some deleted scenes and even a pleasing half hour of US tour footage will make any movie goer appreciate this film. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t going to like the movie when I saw the trailers eons ago. I’m glad to say I was completely wrong and enjoyed it up and down as one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long time. Yarp!!
Upcomingdiscs.com’s own Brendan Surpless fine HD-DVD review of Hot Fuzz
Daniel’s MySpace Blog: “I laughed and I laughed and I laughed during Hot Fuzz”
Rob on Dangerous Reviewers : “this is a British film, but it was made to parody hollywood movie cliches, so the comedy feels very American.”