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(Three-Disc Combo Pack)

THE GREEN HORNET ($50) is a decidedly offbeat and oddball superhero movie, which is probably the film’s greatest charm. What I liked about THE GREEN HORNET is the fact that the film doesn’t travel the expected path of a superhero movie, and that the central character is far from the idealized superhero. There is a decided goofiness about the characters, which fortunately, never comes across as camp- unlike the 1960’s BATMAN television series, a program that was notable for its camp excesses. Additionally, THE GREEN HORNET gives off a relatable vibe concerning more or less ordinary individuals, who discover that heroes aren’t born, are but created out of circumstance.

Seth Rogen stars in THE GREEN HORNET as Britt Reid, a wealthy playboy, who has never had the attention, respect or love of his father, newspaper publisher James Reid (Tom Wilkinson). For most of his life, acting out has been Britt’s only means of diverting his father from The Daily Sentinel, even if it were only to garner his disapproval. Upon his father’s death, Britt finds himself that he has inherited the newspaper that was his father’s sole focus in life, as well as his other assets. Firing nearly all of his father’s personal staff, except for a maid and his father’s mechanic Kato (Jay Chou)- who just happens to be the man responsible for the incredible cup of coffee he has come to enjoy every morning. Not only a mechanic and coffee barista, Kato proves to be a jack-of-all-trades from engineer to skilled martial artist. After commiserating with Kato over his neglectful father, Seth decides the pair should pull a prank on the old man’s memorial.

However, the prank puts Britt and Kato in proximity of a mugging, during which they take out the bad guys, only to be mistaken for criminals by the arriving authorities. Britt finds his calling in life and convinces Kato that they should become crime fighters. Springboarding from the criminal notoriety they created in their encounter with the police, Britt uses The Daily Sentinel to build up his alter-ego, The Green Hornet, as a means of infiltrating the criminal underworld. With the help of his newly hired assistant, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), Britt positions The Green Hornet to take on Russian mobster Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz), who has the entire city locked in his iron grasp, despite claims to the contrary by District Attorney Frank Scanlon (David Harbour). While the story does sound all dark and superhero-ish, THE GREEN HORNET proves to be a lot lighter and breezier due to the fact that it keeps the somewhat goofy "buddy movie" relationship between Britt and Kato at the forefront. The cast of THE GREEN HORNET also features Edward James Olmos, Edward Furlong and an uncredited James Franco.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE GREEN HORNET available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Despite what some may think of the film, THE GREEN HORNET looks fantastic, and delivers a highly impressive 1080p presentation. Image sharpness, detail, clarity and dimensionality all go to the head of the class. Fine details in the texture of fabrics and other objects, not to mention the lines in the actor’s skin and even individual hairs are clearly visible. Colors are nicely saturated throughout, although not to excess. Flesh tones come across in a very appealing manner. Blacks are deep and accurate, while the whites are crisp and clean. Contrast very good and very smooth. Shadow detail runs from very good to excellent. The elements from which THE GREEN HORNET has been mastered are free from flaws. There is usually a light veneer of grain within the image, which maintains the organic quality of this excellent presentation.

THE GREEN HORNET is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This track definitely goes onto the demo pile, with THE GREEN HORNET offering a terrific action movie sound design. The sound is highly aggressive, with excellent implementation of all the outlying channels. Sound effects whip, zip and ricochet all over the sound field. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is just terrific. Music has a very strong presence, plus the bottom end of the track adds enough kick to the gunfire, body blows and impacts. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. A French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Hindi.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with actor/producer Seth Rogan, producer Neal Moritz, director Michel Gondry, and writer Evan Goldberg. Featurettes and other programs include: Trust Me- Director Michael Gondry (ten minutes), Writing The Green Hornet (eleven minutes), The Black Beauty: Rebirth Of Cool (seven minutes), The Stunt Family Armstrong (eight minutes), Finding Kato (six minutes), The Art Of Destruction (fourteen minutes). Deleted Scenes and Bonus Trailers close out the standard supplements. THE GREEN HORNET is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Sony’s MovieIQ feature is available through BD-Live, which provides the viewer access to a continuously updated database of additional information about the film, its cast, crew and soundtrack, as well as other trivia. Also included in this Three-Disc Combo Pack is the 3D Blu-ray version of THE GREEN HORNET, as well as the DVD edition of THE GREEN HORNET.

As I stated above, THE GREEN HORNET is a decidedly offbeat and oddball superhero movie. I liked the fact that the movie strayed far from the beaten path. The Blu-ray presentation rocks and is eager to please. Recommended.


The Green Hornet (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 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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