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HOT FUZZ ($27) is a hoot and a half. Like their previous SHAUN OF THE DEAD, co-writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have formulated the perfect parody of a film genre- this time around they, taking on the cop/buddy movie with HOT FUZZ. Applying some British wit to the conventions of the genre, the humor alternates between subtle gags and over-the-top belly laughs. In HOT FUZZ, Simon Pegg portrays London Police Constable Nicholas Angel, who excels in every aspect of police work and whose outstanding performance has earned him a promotion to sergeant- along with a transfer to the country. When Angel protests the transfer, he learns that his single-mindedness and his drive in the performance of his duties is so outstanding-- that he is making the rest of London's Metropolitan Police Service look bad… so much so, that his superiors need to hide him away somewhere out of the spotlight.

The crime-free village of Sandford in rural Gloucestershire is as far out of the spotlight as it gets, and Sergeant Angel has some difficulty with the slower pace- heck, he starts off by making numerous arrests for underage drinking on the night before he begins his official duties. Even after Angel’s new superior Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) advises him to take his work a little less seriously and focus on the greater good, Angel finds it nearly impossible to reign in his instincts and the drive that has made him, in essence, a "Super Cop." Partnered with Butterman’s son naïve son Danny (Nick Frost), Angel finds his most pressing case involves capturing an escaped swan and confiscating an arsenal of unlicensed weapons from a local farmer. Then, a series of grisly "accidental deaths" begin to befall various villagers, and while the rest of Sandford police force willingly accept the deaths as accidents… Angel suspects murder. Angel’s investigation turns up a very promising prime suspect, which doesn’t pan out… leading him to conclude there may be something darker beneath the surface of the idealic village of Sandford. The cast of HOT FUZZ also features Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Billie Whitelaw and Edward Woodward. I should note that Woodward was the star of the original version of THE WICKER MAN, which HOT FUZZ does reference on a few occasions. Also for fun, look for uncredited cameos from actress Cate Blanchett and director Peter Jackson.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made HOT FUZZ available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. HOT FUZZ has been given an absolutely terrific 1080p presentation on Blu-ray. The image is quite crisp, and demonstrates a good level of fine detail, as well as appearing quite dimensional. Colors are subdued, but never appear drab. Flesh tones always look natural. Blacks are relatively accurate and the whites are stable. Contrast has been given a stylistic push, to a slightly harsh realm, but it works well for the film. Additionally, shadow detail is just fine. The elements from which HOT FUZZ are transferred appear virtually pristine. Mild grain is present and maintains the presentation’s organic quality.

HOT FUZZ is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The sound design has an exaggerated quality that is both comic and highly effective. Sounds emanate from the outlying channels with the ferocity of a mad killer set on bludgeoning the audience with a cricket bat. Personally, I was tickled by the overblown sound design, which is a decided send up of the excesses of action movie soundtracks. The lossless encode bolsters both music fidelity, as well as that of the overwrought sound effects. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains intelligibility, except when certain characters are speaking in incomprehensible English dialects. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off, are four separate running Audio Commentaries that have been included on the Blu-ray Disc; the first features actor/co-writer Simon Pegg and director/co-writer Edgar Wright; the second features actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Rage Spall, Kevin Eldon and Olivia Colman; the third features actors Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman and Edward Woodward; the fourth features director/co-writer Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino; the fifth features some Real Fuzz: Andy Leafe and Nick Eckland. Universal's U-Control interface is utilized for an interactive version of the movie that provides in context picture-in-picture, pop-up supplements (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Storyboards and a Fuzz-O-Meter are available under the auspices of the U-Control.

The next largest feature is The Fuzzball Rally: Uncut, which runs over an hour and offers a look at the film’s four-week, ten-city promotional tour the film and featurs Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. The Fuzzball Rally: Uncut also features it own optional Commentary track. Featurettes and other programs include the following: We Made Hot Fuzz (thirty minutes), Forensic: Featurettes (forty five minutes), Special Effects: Before & After (six minutes), Plot Holes (three minutes) and Speculative Video Blogs (thirty minutes). Additionally, director Edgar Wright's first cop movie entitled Dead Right is presented with Optional Intro & Commentary. Finally, some Inadmissible Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary and Outtakes close out the standard supplements. HOT FUZZ is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

HOT FUZZ is bloody good fun for any fan of the cop/buddy movie genre. The Blu-ray presentation really kicks butt. Very highly recommended.



Hot Fuzz (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] (2007)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 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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