Hot Fuzz (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I have to admit that before a few days ago, I’d never seen “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz”. Yes, I’d heard of them both (how can you forget a movie title like ‘Hot Fuzz’ anyway) but had never sat down and watched either. I’m not a huge fan of British movies; some are hit and miss but let me say that “Hot Fuzz” is definitely a hit. It might help to have seen the predecessor, “Shaun of the Dead”, though it’s certainly not a requirement. For all of the American “Buddy Cop” movies out there like “Bad Boys”, “Lethal Weapon” and “Point Break” (a few of these are mentioned several times in the film, hence the reference) there’s people out there wanting to make fun of that genre. Those people made “Hot Fuzz”. And the best part about doing a satire is that you have the genre already locked in, you’re free to pretty much do whatever you want so long as it conforms to the rules of that said genre. The filmmakers know this, of course, and it’s with tongue firmly in cheek that makes “Hot Fuzz” so much fun to watch.

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is perhaps the most efficient cop on the London police force. He’s 400% more efficient than anyone else on staff and, as a result, is making the rest of the cops look bad. Instead of being promoted, he’s sent to the country to a town named Sanford. There’s hardly any crime and the town’s vying for yet another award as “best place to live”. Angel quickly arrests nearly everyone in town for parking violations and underage drinking, but starts to loosen up when he meets Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), son of the Police Chief (Jim Broadbent). As fate would have it, Angel starts noticing that a series of unfortunate accidents seem to be occurring to some of Sanford’s citizens. The main suspect is grocery store magnate Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), whose smugness and arrogance is just the thing to get under Angel’s skin. Danny and Angel must now not only prove that the murders aren’t an accident, but also stay on the side of the law while doing so.

“Hot Fuzz” is so clever that you just have to laugh. Simon Pegg has the inept ability to deliver a deadpan line and have it seem believable. Naturally having Pegg and Frost reunite from “Shaun of the Dead” is a treat as well. I really enjoyed the film and as a fan of some of the buddy cop movies that this film makes fun of, it was even more enjoyable. I also have to add that it was nice to see Timothy Dalton in movies again. Ever since he was replaced as James Bond (by Pierce Brosnan), he kind of fell off the map. That aside, “Hot Fuzz ” works on nearly all levels from the witty dialogue down to the fast-paced action scenes and quick cuts that really give you the feeling something serious is going on here (it’s not, by the way). For those clamoring for a reunion of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, look no further as both are in top form. Will we see them again? I’d say so; there are plenty of other genres to make fun of.

Video: How does it look?

Viewers of this HD DVD version will be in for a treat as this contains both the HD DVD version and the standard DVD version (on the other side). I watched the HD DVD version and compared it with the standard DVD version during a few scenes. First off, this is a new to DVD movie so we can obviously expect it to look good and it does. The 2.35:1 VC-1 encoded HD transfer really shines and only in a few spots did I see any blemishes. The outdoor scenes are razor sharp and the detail is amazing as well. You can see the pores on everyone’s skin and read newsprint – how’s that for detail? Conversely, the standard DVD side doesn’t look bad, but when compared to the HD side, you can see the difference between the two. While not perfect, “Hot Fuzz” looks close to it. I can only assume that anyone buying this version will watch the HD DVD side, but if not then the standard DVD offers a fine picture as well.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 EX soundtrack sounds pretty good as well. If memory serves, this is the first 5.1 EX soundtrack that I’ve listened to and though I’ve heard better, this soundtrack isn’t half bad. Dialogue, for what I could understand of it (and there’s a pretty funny inside joke about being able to understand dialogue). Surrounds are very prevalent late in the movie which made me realize how much stuff actually blows up in this movie. Funny stuff indeed! The standard DVD has a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX soundtrack which sounds good, though I detected a little more depth in the Dolby Digital Plus version. Either way you slice it, “Hot Fuzz” delivers the goods, audio-wise.

Supplements: What are the extras?

In addition to getting the HD DVD version and standard DVD on one disc, there are also plenty of supplements to accompany this disc. We start out with a commentary by Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright. The two give a very informative and pretty funny track, with little tidbits here and there about the movie and of course, Nick Frost. Fans will want to give this track a listen, for sure. Next up are some storyboards, a few selected outtakes and some deleted scenes available with director’s commentary. At over two hours long, it’s clear to see why the scenes were cut out though. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost also pay homage to Sean Connery and Michael Caine in “The Man Who Would be Fuzz” and I’ll let that speak for itself. The “Fuzz-O-Meter” is basically a trivia track that runs through the film and we can follow the stars as they make their way on a press tour in “The Fuzzball Rally”. “Hot Funk” appears to be a montage of scenes from the movie and “Danny’s Notebook”, well…I’ll let that one speak for itself as well. All things considered, “Hot Fuzz” delivers as a movie and a good little DVD. Fans will love this and no doubt be left wanting more.

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