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HAROLD & KUMAR
GO TO WHITE CASTLE

Four years later, HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE ($28) remains the best stoner comedy of 2004. That said… one doesn’t require too many cannabis induced dead brain cells to have a good time watching HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Both the jokes and the situations running throughout the film are funny, and there were several times during the film’s ninety minute running time that I found myself laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my seat. The plot of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is a real comedy of errors, and one I found somewhat reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS in its central conceit of its protagonists going from one bad situation to another, the moment the find themselves out of familiar territory.

HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE follows the one-night adventures of the title characters, a pair of youthful stoner roommates, who have a bad case of the munchies after smoking their favorite herb- then deciding they gotta have the taste they crave. Having grown up in the New York City area, I understand the simple pleasures of a White Castle hamburger and why our intrepid heroes craving turns into an all night crusade… after they find themselves constantly being sidetracked from arriving at that elusive burger restaurant. The cast of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE features John Cho, Kal Penn, Paula Garcés, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Reynolds, Fred Willard, Ethan Embry, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Lee and Neil Patrick Harris as a deranged version of himself.

New Line Home Entertainment has made HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is a very nice upgrade over the previous DVD release, but is in no way stellar compared with many other Blu-ray releases. For the most part, the picture is reasonably sharp and nicely defined. However, the picture lacks the snap and dimensionality of the best hi-def releases. Fine details are there, but judging from the slightly homogenized look of fabrics and the slight waxiness of actors’ skin- a little too much digital processing was applied to the image during the mastering process. Colors can be pretty vivid, while the flesh tones themselves remain natural. The blacks and whites are on the money, while the contrast and shadow are very nice. The elements from which HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE have been mastered appear quite clean. Film grain is fairly minimal.

HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Even with the lossless encoding and extra channels, this remains only a somewhat better than average comedy mix. There are moments when the outlying channels engaging nicely, but for the most part, the material doesn’t require much beyond good dialogue and music reproduction. Therefore, the majority of sonic activity is localized to the front; however, the surrounds do supply the usual complement of ambient sounds and musical fill. The musical component has strong fidelity and the sound effects are convincing. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice complement of supplements, many of which have been ported from the DVD release. The Blu-ray Disc includes three commentary tracks; the first is with director Danny Leiner, plus stars John Cho and Kal Penn; the second includes writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, while the third features Extreme Sports Punk #1 Dan Bochart.

John Cho And Kal Penn The Backseat Interview features the two stars interviewed by their costar Bobby Lee on a twelve-minute drive around LA. The Art Of The Fart is tongue in cheek featurette on the how the sound effects were created for a key sequence. Drive Thru Bites are brief interview sequences with members of the cast and crew. A Trip To The Land Of Burgers looks at the film’s amusing animated sequence. White Castle Cravers Hall Of Fame ties the movie to an annual event. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay Sneak Peak & Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay Red Band Trailer are fairly self-explanatory. Cast & Crew Clips offer interview snippets with various members of the cast and crew. Almost twelve minutes of Deleted/Alternate Scenes are also provided, in addition to some off color outtakes. A Music Video, Theatrical Trailer and a Red Band Theatrical Trailer close out the supplements.

HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE remains a fun movie filled with stoner humor and politically incorrect black comedy. New Line’s Blu-ray release offers a nice upgrade over the previous DVD release, but neither the visual or audio qualities of this disc are a showcase for the hi-def format.

 

HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE 


Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (Unrated)[Blu-ray]

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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