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While not quite as funny as their escapades to White Castle or away from Guantanamo Bay, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS ($36) offers enough stoner hijinks to please fans, in addition to the ever-hilarious sexual shenanigans of a semi-deranged Neil Patrick Harris (always a highlight of any Harold & Kumar outing). The premise of A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS finds that our stoner buddies are no longer friends. It seems time has marched on, and Harold (John Cho) decided to grow up… he has stopped smoking weed, has gotten married and has a highly successful career on Wall Street. Kumar (Kal Penn), on the other has failed to grow up… completely embracing the stoner lifestyle; he has dropped of medical school (after failing a drug test) and has broken up with his girlfriend and lives in the squalor of the apartment he once shared with Harold.

A package addressed to Harold is left on Kumar’s doorstep, which leads to a Christmas Eve reunion between our heroes, with Kumar showing up at Harold’s suburban home with said package. Upon opening, Harold and Kumar discover a cigar-sized joint… something that Kumar can’t resist smoking. Unfortunately, the joint sets fire to the special Christmas tree belonging to Harold’s intimidating father-in-law (Danny Trejo), who has demanded that Harold deliver a perfect Christmas for his beloved daughter… or else. Thus begins an escalating series of comic misadventures, in which the former friends search to find a perfect Christmas tree and attempt to salvage their broken friendship. The cast of A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS also features Danneel Harris, Paula Garcés, Elias Koteas, Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, Eddie Kaye Thomas, David Krumholtz, Bobby Lee, Amir Blumenfeld, Jordan Hinson, Melissa Ordway, RZA, Richard Riehle, Brett Gelman, David Burtka and Jake Johnson.

Warner Home Video/New Line Home Entertainment has made A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The Blu-ray offers the Theatrical Version and an Extended Cut of the movie with identical image quality. Shot digitally with the Panavision Genesis cameras, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS features a near demo quality 1080p presentation. As expected, the areas of image sharpness and dimensionality are rendered at excellent levels. In addition, texturing and fine details, such as individual hairs and imperfections in the actor’s skin are also fully realized. Festive holiday colors appear quite vibrant, while flesh tones remain natural, while highly attractive. Blacks are deep and inky, while the whites are crisp. Contrast is very smooth. Shadow detail is strongly resolved, although the material doesn’t make overwhelming demands. As this is an all-digital production, the elements from which A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS has been mastered are free from imperfections. Being all-digital, there is no actual film grain, but there is a bit of noise in the image.

A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For a comedy, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS comes with a surprisingly effective sound design that is beautifully reproduced in its full lossless glory. Unfortunately, lossless sound only applies to the Theatrical Version, while the Extended Cut has only a thinner, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track- talk about coal in one’s X-mas stocking. While not an action movie by any means, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS has a number of sequences that allow for a broader, livelier and more effects laden soundscape than one would find in an average talky comedy. Still there are talky passages fall back into familiar typical comedy sound design territory, but overall, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS has an impressive comedy soundtrack. As expected, the film’s music sounds great and there are moments where the bass channel has something to do, other than supporting the music. Voices sound lively and dialogue is easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Through The Haze With Tom Lennon (ten minutes) and Bringing Harold And Kumar Claymation To Life (four minutes). Deleted Scenes close out the standard extras. Flip the disc over for a DVD copy of the movie- something for those who are still on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, which is just a stream away.

While not as funny as the previous installments, A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS offers a lot of stoner amusement for fans. The Blu-ray looks great and sounds great (in its lossless incarnation).


A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2012 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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