A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas (Blu-ray)

February 12, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

About a year ago, I was channel surfing and came across Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. I remember when this movie first came out and had dismissed it as a teen comedy that I’d have no interest in. A few years later I was looking through a box of DVD’s and found it and decided to pop it in my player. Rarely have I laughed so hard. About that time, the second movie Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was coming out and I was waiting with baited breath for it. Again, it delivered. So while channel surfing, I decided to hit up IMDB and see if Harold and Kumar had anything on tap. And, as fate would have it, they were making a Christmas movie of all things. But this is Harold and Kumar we’re talking about so nothing’s ever out of the question.

Harold (Jon Cho) has moved on. He’s now married and living in a nice house in the suburbs. However he still seeks the approval of his father-in-law (Danny Trejo) and he’s managed to destroy the one thing he holds dear – the Christmas tree. After bumping into his old pal Kumar (Kal Penn), the two set aside their differences to make things right and find a replacement tree. This time around the duo heads to New York City in search of that perfect Douglas Fir, but not before getting involved with a Russian Mob Boss (Elias Koteas), bumping into Neil Patrick Harris (himself) who was thought to be dead after being shot in the second movie and checking out the hottest new toy this season – the Wafflebot. As anyone who’s seen these films knows, chaos will always ensue, there’s a lot of things smoked and a lot of foul language to boot. Is this the perfect Christmas movie? Yes. Yes it is. Only kidding.

It’d been a few years since the last installment so this Christmas movie was a welcome addition to what is now a trilogy. These movies have their devout followers and though I don’t partake in their smoked habits, I do have quite the time laughing at the jokes. These movies aren’t for the feign of heart either, they’re meant to offend and entertain. Granted, “entertainment” varies from person to person so I’ll leave it to the end user as to how you classify that. These films utilize every bit of weaponry in the realm of Sophomoric comedy including fart jokes, feces and every kind of religious and ethnic stereotype you can shake a stick at. The fact that this even has the word “Christmas” in the title is sacrilegious and a scene with Jesus won’t do much to improve their moral compass. That must be why I enjoyed it so much.

Video: How does it look?

This movie was made with 3D in mind and even as John Cho’s character admits “Hasn’t 3D somewhat jumped the shark?” it only adds more fuel to the fire. This Blu-ray review is of the 2D version, however, and the 2.40:1 AVC HD image looks about as good as we’d expect. The colors are bold, the contrast stark and detail is about as pristine as it can get. When you have a scene in which someone throws their feces at a car, you certainly want to make out every single “element”, right? There are several blatant examples of 3D, so be prepared for that. But as for the overall presentation, it’s pretty amazing. There are some scenes with a bit of grain, though there are also several with topless women (a staple of the Harold and Kumar movies) and those look nothing short of perfect. Fans won’t find anything to complain about here and even if they did, the target audience most likely doesn’t care.

Audio: How does it sound?

What’s a Harold and Kumar movie without a little controversy, right? This film has two cuts of the movie, the theatrical version and the unrated extended version running 6 minutes longer. The theatrical cut of the film contains a DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack that’s as we’d expect – a bit heavy on the bass, the surrounds kick in at the appropriate time and the front bears the brunt of most of the audio. I chose to watch the extended version and was a bit surprised that it only contained a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. All things considered, it’s not a huge deal but I wouldn’t think it’d have taken that much more effort to slip those six minutes in with some HD sound. Still, I doubt fans will be that disappointed with the way this sounds.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This series of films hasn’t always had the most robust set of supplements offered and unfortunately this latest installment follows that trend. What we do get, aside from the aforementioned theatrical and extended cuts of the film, are two deleted scenes and a segment of six interviews under the heading “Through the Haze with Tom Lennon.” There’s also a segment focusing on the claymation sequence (oh yeah, this movie has a claymation sequence – like anyone is surprised). There’s also an Ultraviolet copy of the film.

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