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The Green Hornet(2011)
Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father's large company, teams up with his late dad's assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.
For more about The Green Hornet and the The Green Hornet Blu-ray release, see the The Green Hornet Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 30, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour
Director: Michel Gondry
» See full cast & crew
The Green Hornet Blu-ray Review
Rookie superheroes charm in this fun, breezy picture.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 30, 2011
You're a human swiss army knife!
Take James Bond, slap on the Lone Ranger's eye mask, ditch Q, pick up a cool Asian sidekick, drop 20 years, add 20 pounds, and the end result would be someone like The Green Hornet. That name doesn't really have the same ring to it as The Green Lantern or The Green Goblin or Green Peace or an OD Green Piece or Going Green or Green With Envy or Greenbacks; OK, maybe it does, but whatever, it's cool. Here he is, finally in his own honest-to-gosh movie, a few years late to the party, a couple of dollars short, and a happy meal or two too many, but it's finally the Hornet's turn to sting, to buuuuuzzzzzzzz audiences and prove that a superhero doesn't have to have a man at the end of his name, man, to be coooool. And sure enough, this ain't your older brother's mid-2000s superhero movie, either. Nope, this is something a little more unique, maybe, a movie that's not so much about crime fighting or such exciting nonsense but about relationships, real relationships, the kind born from a chance meeting and that instant spark, a chemistry that seems almost like fate but that really just happens to all come back to a really good cup of Joe. With a leaf in it. Who was it that said coffe can't save the day? Because they were wrong. Dead wrong. Because The Green Hornet's gonna getcha! Gee whiz, too much caffeine, maybe? Or is The Green Hornet really this much fun?
Britt Reid (Seth Rogen, Knocked Up) has never exactly been the apple of his father's eye. Britt, a young boy with a good heart but with no real praise for or results to show from his fruitless but honest efforts towards doing good deeds, grows up to rebel against his strict father, partying away daddy's money and defying his not-so-proud papa -- a newspaper magnate -- with every new babe in his bead. When dear old dad (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton) turns up dead -- from a bee sting, of all things -- his media company suddenly falls into Britt's lap. Britt knows he's not the man for the job and makes no allusions to the contrary. He fires most everyone who's worked for his father, but when one of the last vestiges of the old guard brings Britt his morning cup of coffee, he's outraged to discover that it's nowhere near as good as what he's come to expect. He learns that his father's trusted mechanic, a young man named Kato (Jay Chou, Initial D), not only brewed his morning cup but built the contraption that makes it so good. Turns out that Kato is as brilliant with a wrench and blueprint as Michelangelo with a hunk of stone and a chisel. He's built a virtually indestructible car decked out with enough gizmos, doodads, missiles, and machine guns to give the Batmobile a run for its money. Kato's re-hired and the two hit it off and hit the town. When they break up a small-time assault, they decide that they have what it takes to become a formidable little crime-fighting tandem, but here's their catch: they'll go in from behind, posing as villains but only doing so to infiltrate the criminal element and make their job of eliminating the evildoers all the easier. Meanwhile, Britt and Kato -- with the help of a new sultry, smart, and somewhat seasoned secretary named Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz, Charlie's Angels) -- promote the exploits of "The Green Hornet" and his trusty sidekick through their own media, but will the exposure and the real criminal element be the death of them?
Forget that The Green Hornet is pretty routine both structurally and stylistically. Never mind that the plot requires from viewers about the same brain power as it takes to breathe. Director Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind) manages to overcome the picture's obvious shortcomings by focusing on what makes this particular story so entertainingly breezy, and that's the relationship between Britt and Kato. This is the story of a couple of guys who chum it up and discover they have what it takes to become a pretty fearsome crime-fighting duo, Britt with his wealth, name, attitude, and energy and Kato with his mechanical know-how and ability to brew the perfect morning pick-me-up. These aren't superheroes, they're friends with unique talents that aren't otherworldly, supernatural, or otherwise out of grasp by reasonable human standards. The Green Hornet is built almost exclusively on the relationship, the fun, the excitement of discovering a whole new world of crime-fighting potential and all of the inherent risks and rewards that emerge from participation in that enterprise. Much of the picture's charm stems from the bumbling uncertainty of how the hero-versus-villain universe is supposed to work, because things never go as planned, people aren't who they seem to be, and simply donning a mask, making up a cool nickname, and cruising in a hard-to-kill car can't prepare the unprepared for the realities of the deadly underbelly of the criminal world.
Both Seth Rogan and Jay Chou excel in the roles, both perfectly cast as the rambunctious party animal and the quiet intellect, respectively. Separate, they're incomplete, together, they make a great team, a top-notch tandem with only tricks of their own trade up their sleeves, depending on one another (and a few well-conceived and perfectly-executed mechanical helpers along the way) to save their own hides from the messes they make in their effort to make the world a slightly better place. Their enemy is more or less a prop, a dubiously-drawn villain named Chudnofsky (Christopher Waltz, Inglourious Basterds) who fills in the necessary gap to give the plot some wheels and the heroes a reason to ignite the screen with their witty banter and physical gags. This is an Action/Comedy hybrid in the truest sense of the genre, a movie that shoots from the mouth as much as from the barrel of a gun. While a few jokes misfire (but the guns never do) -- the script sometimes just tries too hard to be too cool -- most of them hit the mark, punctuated by the hint of realism and even practicality that's often so missing in these sorts of "Superhero" movies. The Green Hornet isn't some darkly serious movie with heavy themes or anything like that; it's a playful little romp that might not be what every fan wanted, but for pure entertainment value it's pretty hard to beat.
The Green Hornet Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Green Hornet rides onto Blu-ray and brings with him a handsome, sturdy, film-like 1080p Blu-ray transfer. The image occasionally struggles through some softness but is otherwise as solid as Kato's indestructible cars. This is a spectacular, effortlessly crisp, crystal-clear image that's impressively -- but not perfectly -- detailed from top to bottom and front to back. Nothing in the movie is so finely detailed that it stands out as brilliantly eye-catching, but it's the stability and consistency that makes The Green Hornet look so good. The film isn't exactly the most colorful out there; for every bright daylight scene there are plenty of nighttime or otherwise low-light shots that obscure some of the natural color, but the transfer does manage to reveal wonderfully deep blacks that perfectly accentuate every dark shot. A light layer of grain gives the image a polished, finished appearance. There's not a hint of print damage or unwanted compression artifacts. All in all another striking winner of a transfer from Sony.
The Green Hornet Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Green Hornet's dazzling DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack is every bit as good as the material suggests it would be. Lots of directional activity, abundantly clear music and effects, and a hefty low end all make this track a first-class winner. Deep, rumbly, but tight bass blasts into the soundstage as things blow up with some regularity throughout the movie, the effects supported by the remaining speakers through which various objects become tossed and strewn hither and thither with great realistic effect, completing the sensation of the explosions and putting the listener in the middle of the action. Indeed, every speaker is active and ready for action with every scene; gunfire tears through the soundstage with heavy, devastating authority in chapter thirteen (and in a few other places), while the entire soundstage carries various action and ambient atmospherics alike with remarkable precision. Music is crisp and effortlessly energetic, retaining a lifelike vitality and seamless spacing that's evident in every note. Lastly, dialogue reproduction is smooth, crisp, and always center-focused. The Green Hornet is another Action movie sonic marvel from Sony.
The Green Hornet Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Green Hornet features a nice assortment of extra goodies, headlined by several featurettes and an audio commentary track.
The Green Hornet Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Green Hornet is a pleasant surprise. It falls under the "Superhero" umbrella but plays more like a Buddy Comedy. Not in the least bit thematically dark; maybe a little sloppy around the scripted edges; and featuring a lame-o villain who, in his defense, is really just a generic stand-in that gives the plot a counterpoint against whom the heroes must battle, The Green Hornet works in spite of its shortcomings thanks to excellent casting and spot-on performances from its chemistry-laden leads. The Green Hornet is best enjoyed as a laid-back brainless romp that's more about loud action, witty dialogue, and lots of punch-counterpunch antics. As a pure Superhero movie in the same vein as The Dark Knight, forget about it; this is more like Iron Man, albeit with less flash and not quite the same quality of story but certainly enjoying the same kind of innate humor and lighter side that balances out the action, except in Hornet the movie is about the laughs first, the action second, and the story a distant third, pretty much the opposite of Director Jon Favreau's modern masterpiece of the Superhero genre. Sony's Blu-ray release of The Green Hornet is, as-expected, rock-solid from top to bottom. Strong video, great audio, and a quality assortment of extras makes this disc one to own. Recommended.
The Green Hornet: Other Editions
The Green Hornet Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Blu-ray Sales, May 2 - May 8: Green Hornet Debuts on Top (Updated) - May 12, 2011
For the week ending May 8, The Green Hornet finished on top of the Blu-ray sales chart with 50% of total sales coming from the Blu-ray format. There was time when a 50% stake would make headlines for Blu-ray, but now it has become a weekly occurrence. Three-time ...
• This Week on Blu-ray - May 3-9 - May 3, 2011
Seth Rogen isn't an action hero, but he plays one on the big screen. Jay Chou isn't a martial arts expert, but he always dreamed of being one. The Green Hornet wasn't a blockbuster hit, but producers thought it would be. Out today on Blu-ray, in both standard and ...
• The Green Hornet Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray Announced - March 7, 2011
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced The Green Hornet for Blu-ray release on May 3, in two editions: a single disc BD, and a three-disc 3D BD / 2D BD / DVD combo pack. This superhero movie, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Seth Rogen, was shot ...
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