HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO
Without hesitation, I can honestly say that HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE ($28) is one of the best stoner comedies of 2004. I can also honestly say you don’t need too many cannabis induced dead brain cells to have a good time watching HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Both the jokes and the situations running throughout the film are funny, and there were several times during the film’s ninety minute running time that I found myself laughing so hard I almost fell out of my seat. The plot of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is a real comedy of errors, and one I found somewhat reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS in its central conceit of its protagonists going from one bad situation to another, the moment the find themselves out of familiar territory.
HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE follows the one-night adventures of the title characters, a pair of youthful stoner roommates, who have a bad case of the munchies after smoking their favorite herb, who then decide they gotta have the taste they crave. Having grown up in the New York City area, I understand the simple pleasures of a White Castle hamburger and why our intrepid heroes craving turns into an all night crusade, when they are constantly being sidetracked from arriving at that elusive burger restaurant. The cast of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE features John Cho, Kal Penn, Paula Garcés, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Lee and Neil Patrick Harris as himself.
New Line Home Entertainment has made HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. As we have all come to expect from New Line, the DVD looks just great- producing a crisp and nicely defined image. Colors are vibrant and flesh tones are completely appealing. Blacks are inky, whites are stable and the contrast is very smooth. Shadow detail is very good and the picture produces a nice sense of depth. The film elements used for the transfer appear virtually pristine and there is almost no noticeable grain structure during the presentation. Digital compression artifacts are always nicely contained.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack features a somewhat better than average comedy mix, with the outlying channels engaging nicely when the material requires it. There is more activity across the front than there is in the rear channels, but the surrounds do supply the usual complement of ambient sounds and musical fill. Music is reproduced with good fidelity and the sound effects are pretty realistic. Dialogue sounds fairly natural and it always easy to understand. The bass channel is quite solid, although there is nothing ground shaking going on in this film. An English Dolby Surround track has also been provided, as have English and Spanish subtitles.
Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a nice complement of supplements. The DVD includes three commentary tracks; the first is with director Danny Leiner, plus stars John Cho and Kal Penn; the second includes writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, while the third features Extreme Sports Punk #1 Dan Bochart. John Cho And Kal Penn The Backseat Interview features the two stars interviewed by their costar Bobby Lee on a twelve-minute drive around LA. The Art Of The Fart is tongue in cheek featurette on the how the sound effects were created for a key sequence. Drive Thru Bites are brief interview sequences with members of the cast and crew. A Trip To The Land Of Burgers looks at the film’s amusing animated sequence. Almost twelve minutes of Deleted/Alternate Scenes are also provided, in addition to some off color outtakes. A music video, theatrical trailer and preview for other New Line titles close out the supplements.
HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE is a fun movie and fine looking DVD. If you like stoner humor mixed with politically incorrect black comedy, you’ll get a kick out of HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE.
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