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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW - Hot Fuzz - Highly Recommended

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#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted July 29 2007 - 09:35 AM

Studio: Universal
Original Release: 2007
Length: 2 hours 1 min
Genre: Action/Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Colour/B&W: Colour

  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 EX

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Fuzz-O-Meter
    Rating: R

  • Release Date: July 31, 2007

    Rating: /

    Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent and Timothy Dalton

    Written by: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
    Directed by: Edgar Wright

    “From The Guys Who Watched Every Action Film Ever Made...”

    Hot Fuzz, is clearly a labor of love for everyone who worked on it, and their enthusiasm is infectious. The same team that came up with Shaun of the Dead has now tackled the buddy-cop action genre, and delivered a comedy that closely follows the stylistic rules and modes of almost every major action film of the last 30+ years. The plot is fairly simple: Overachieving uber-cop Nick Angel (played by co-writer Simon Pegg) is effectively banished to a precint in a small town outside of London, where he teams up with a local cop and uncovers that all is not what it seems. References are made throughout to more action films than I could count, including multiple Tony Scott/Jerry Bruckheimer films, Point Break, Cop Land, and there’s even a nod to Clint Eastwood westerns! It’s all done in a good-natured tone, with a lot of affection for the characters, even as the situation becomes increasingly silly. The actors are having a good time here, particularly Timothy Dalton in the role of the titular villain. In short, this movie is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys action films or well-executed comedies. The only qualification here is to watch out for the gore. The “R” rating is well-earned here, as there is a fair amount of profanity and blood gets spilled more frequently than you would expect. (If I didn’t know better, I’d say the filmmakers were also throwing in an homage to The Omen...)

    I have to also throw in extra style points for the DVD cover, which somehow resembles a recent Bruckheimer/Bay/Will Smith action movie. Could that have been on purpose? Nahhhhh...


    Hot Fuzz is presented in a colorful anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer. It’s a solid image that doesn’t jump off the screen, but doesn’t show any defects I could see either. The full color spectrum is presented here, with a good variety of environments and lighting scenarios on display. Fleshtones are accurate, if fairly uniform throughout – which is more of a reflection of the film featuring an entirely Caucasian cast.

    AUDIO QUALITY: 4 ½ /5 ½

    Hot Fuzz is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mix in English, French and Spanish. As is appropriate for an homage to action films, there is a LOT of LFE in this mix. Be careful with the volume on this one – on several occasions I turned up the volume to hear what someone was quietly saying, only to get blasted by the next blast of the bass. There is a healthy use of the surround channels, for music, effects, and in one clear case late in the film, for directional dialogue. This is what I would think of as an aggressive mix.


    Hot Fuzz is loaded with special features, including a feature commentary, deleted scenes (also with optional commentary), outtakes, trailers, a video of the US promotional tour, a collection of sanitized clips for TV viewing, a triva subtitle track, a storyboard viewing option with the film, and two throwaway clips for good measure. There is no “making of” documentary, but with the commentary and the trivia track, you really won’t miss it. Considering that this is a single-disc release, this is a pretty thorough package. If another version of this film comes out on disc, I would have to ask what else could be included.

  • Feature Commentary with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg - Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg talk through the film about everything and anything that pops up on the screen, from production stories to the various uncredited cameos made by Cate Blanchett and Steve Coogan, among others, to the references being made to multiple action films. Their affection for the film is clear, and it’s a lot of fun just to watch the film with them. By the time they’re done, a pretty clear picture of the film’s production and intentions has been presented, which can then be enhanced by the trivia track discussed below.

  • Fuzz-O-Meter– This is a subtitle option that, when selected, will display pop-up trivia about this film and its many homages to other films. Some of the material overlaps the commentary, but there’s plenty of fresh material here as well. Basically, to get the complete story of the film, it actually is necessary to watch the film THREE times: once on its own, once with the commentary and once with the trivia track. For myself, I tend to multitask and watch the trivia track while the commentary runs, but it would be really easy to miss something on either end, and there’s a lot of great stuff here.

  • Storyboards – Another option while watching the film is to toggle the storyboard function in the bonus menu. This will cause a badge to appear on screen at selected moments throughout the film. Clicking on the badge will momentarily interrupt the film to display storyboards of the current sequence, allowing for an immediate storyboard-to-film comparison. This isn’t as useful a function for me, but I’m sure there are fans who will enjoy this ability.

  • Outtakes (10:21 total, non-anamorphic) – This is a non-anamorphic collection of blown takes that show, if anything, how hard it was to keep a straight face on the set. The actors are clearly having fun here, even when the situation completely collapses – such as Simon Pegg realizing he has no control over the horse he is riding while the camera is rolling. There’s a lot of fun to be had watching the third or fourth take of a shot where Pegg has already been having trouble staying serious. You can immediately tell that he’s not going to make it through the take, and sure enough, within seconds, it all comes apart. There is also a great bit with Timothy Dalton, who blows a line, swears at himself and then realizes the camera was rolling on that. At that point, while he looks completely sheepish, a voice can be heard in the background, saying “That’s on the DVD. That’s SO on the DVD.” I’d say the voice was right on that count.

  • Inadmissable: Deleted Scenes (20:36 total, non-anamorphic) – A series of non-anamorphic deleted scenes are included, almost all of which are really just one or two line extensions of existing scenes. There is a brief subplot about Angel breaking up a bunch of kids with spray cans at one point that comes to play later in the released film, but it’s nothing that the film really needs. The fact that there is almost 21 minutes of this material shows how some judicious editing can bring the length of a film down without sacrificing major plot material. The scenes can be accessed individually or as one group. There is an optional commentary track available where Edgar Wright explains why the pieces had to go.

  • The Fuzzball Rally (28:06, anamorphic) – This is an anamorphic video diary of the US publicity tour for the film by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. There’s some fun stuff here, particularly as they watch crowd reactions to the film during the various screenings. On the other hand, I could have done without the footage of Nick Frost flushing birthday cakes down the toilet...

  • Hot Funk (3:43, non-anamorphic) – This is a brief, non-anamorphic assembly of clips from the film with the profanity replaced with more TV-friendly dialogue. This means we get to hear inventive uses of “funk” and “silt” in multiple settings. I can’t help but wonder if this feature was inspired by the same idea on the Scarface DVD...

  • Trailers (4:38 total) – A series of four trailers are presented here. The original theatrical trailer is presented in non-anamorphic format. We are then presented with a series of three television or video ads from Britain that are in anamorphic format, but are much briefer. One of the ads purports to be for a “Director’s Cut” on the menu, but really seems to be just another TV ad for the same cut.

  • The Man Who Would Be Fuzz (:34, non-anamorphic) – This is a quick non-anamorphic version of one scene in the film where Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do their dialogue in their best impressions of Sean Connery and Michael Caine. I can’t say that these were the best impressions I’ve ever seen, but the actors appear to be having a good time.

  • Danny’s Notebook (:21, anamorphic) – This is a very quick anamorphic look at “the other side” of Nick Frost’s character’s notebook, where he has drawn a little flip-book movie. Considering that someone had to draw all these ink sketches of a car accident and shooting, I suppose it’s worth it to let it go on the DVD, but it really feels superfluous.

    Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish for the film itself, as well as for the special features. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference. Finally, the standard collection of non-anamorphic trailers are played when you first put the disc in the machine, but you can skip them with the menu button. On this occasion, they include trailers for the “Heroes” Season One set and Balls of Fury.

    IN THE END...

    Hot Fuzz is a lot of fun, and a great DVD to boot. The guys making this film weren’t joking when they announced their credentials as having come from watching every action movie ever made. They have taken all the elements they could from those films and fashioned their own heartfelt tribute, which also happens to be a really funny movie in its own right. I highly recommend this disc for the dual reason that it’s worth your time to see, and because Universal has put a lot of care into the making of this disc. If you’ve never heard of this film, go get it today – you won’t be sorry.

    Kevin Koster
    July 29, 2007.

    #2 of 18 ONLINE   TonyD


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    Posted July 30 2007 - 12:34 PM

    this was abloody god time.
    maybe even wicker man as a reference.
    cover art was definetely on purpose. Posted Image

    but it was 30 minutes too long.
    2 hrs was too much

    #3 of 18 ONLINE   Joseph J.D

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    Posted July 30 2007 - 01:11 PM

    Good review.....I'm actually looking forward to this one. Already have someone picking up the Wal-Mart version with the bonus disc for me on release date. Posted Image
    Recently watched- Burn Notice: Season 6, Insidious: Chapter 2, Emperor Of The North, Young Justice: Season 1, Exit Humanity, U Turn, The Dead 2, Chappie, The Sentinel(1977), 10 To Midnight, Fury, Gone Girl, Furious 7, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 4, Apollo 13, Zulu(1964), Runner Runner, A Good Day To Die Hard, The Gunman(2015), The Walking Dead: Season 5

    Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 3, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Game Of Thrones: Season 2, Heroes: Season 2, The Pacific, Burn Notice: Season 7, Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection, Young Justice: Invasion, Arrow: Season 3
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    #4 of 18 OFFLINE   Matt Shiv

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    Posted July 30 2007 - 04:58 PM

    Just got in from trying to pick up the Walmart exclusive disc at Midnight. After wading through the folks anxious for "300", I found that they only had the exclusive pack in full screen (at least at my store). If anybody finds the 2-disc pack at WM in widescreen, please report. I am hoping they'll get it up on their website for sale soon, but as of now there is no listing for it there.

    #5 of 18 OFFLINE   BillBR


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    Posted July 30 2007 - 05:14 PM

    Nice review, man. However...I am incredibly angry with Universal for the way they are handling this release. Their previous swipe against the US fans of Edgar Wright was with the Shaun of the Dead DVD, which was lacking two of the commentaries that were available on the R2 version. The extras on Hot Fuzz in R2 are very extensive, as it has been released as a 2 disc special edition there. The R1 release is noticeably lacking half of those extras. But all the R2 extras ARE on the HD-DVD R1 version. This is quite obviously Universals attempt to shove HD-DVD down our throats. This is especially infuriating to me, a struggling actor who watches his DVDs on his Apple Powerbook and thus can't commit to a HD player in the format war yet. Plus, the format war isn't over yet! Why Universal couldn't simply release a 2 disc set of this film (that made a lot of money over here, by the way) is beyond me, besides the obvious greedy corporation explanation. I was very much looking forward to picking this up tomorrow...now I may not buy it at all, which really makes me mad. Thanks for nothing, Universal.
    "I've been thinking about what we talked about before...it's not enough to survive. One has to be worthy of surviving. That's all."
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    #6 of 18 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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    Posted July 31 2007 - 02:09 AM

    I must admit that I was unaware of the additional features on the HD DVD when I watched and reviewed this disc. I've looked over a full list of the other features, which include three additional commentaries, a making-of featurette, three shorter featurettes, some video blogs, and a few other things. The other commentaries would have been nice to include, but I don't feel that slighted here. I agree this could have been a 2-disc release (and may yet be one - we may still see this stuff come out in another few months).

    As someone who had not seen this film or Shaun of the Dead before reviewing this disc, I was well pleased with the amount of material included on a single disc release. I don't mind the HD versions including more material, particularly given the additional memory available in HD DVD and Blu-ray. For example, the hi-def discs of Hustle & Flow include some great stuff that can't be found on the standard version.

    It sounds like the Walmart bonus disc adds more of the R2 features back on, but you still will not be hearing the additional commentaries.

    I still say this is a great DVD to pick up. I enjoyed the film and there's a lot of additional material included here.

    I agree about the Wicker Man references. I also realized that there is also a little bit of similarity to the Scream movies in the scare sequences. I should also have noted the presence of some really great actors in supporting roles, including Paul Freeman and Edward Woodward, who not only was in Wicker Man but also starred in The Equalizer back in the 80's. And how could I not mention great Billie Whitelaw, whose presence not only references Wicker Man but also The Omen?

    #7 of 18 OFFLINE   Haggai



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    Posted July 31 2007 - 03:31 AM

    Universal has done plenty of double-dip 2-disc editions before, even when the initial 1-disc release had a decent amount of extras. So I might end up holding off on buying this one, even though I really enjoyed the movie and definitely want to see those extras.

    #8 of 18 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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    Posted July 31 2007 - 03:38 AM

    While I sucks that the R1 version doesn't have all the existing extras, I don't agree that Hot Fuzz made a lot of money "over here" - assuming that "over here" means the US. It pulled in $23 million, which is really quite a low total. It'll do better on DVD as a cult item, but as a US theatrical release, it flopped...
    Colin Jacobson

    #9 of 18 OFFLINE   Elizabeth S

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    Posted July 31 2007 - 08:57 AM

    I found the 2-disc pack in WS at WalMart this morning. Most of them were FS, and I had to look behind a bunch to finally find the WS.

    #10 of 18 OFFLINE   Ray H

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    Posted July 31 2007 - 09:09 AM

    My Wal-Mart only had one copy of the 2 pack left when I got there around noon. And it was fullscreen! I came back a few hours later to see if they got their act together, but they didn't have anymore and they had sold out of all of their widescreen single disc copies. They only had 2 fullscreen discs left.
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    #11 of 18 OFFLINE   Ron68


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    Posted August 01 2007 - 05:05 PM

    I bought the 2 pack with the widescreen version of the movie today, my Wal-Mart had at least 10 copies of the widescreen 2 pack on the shelf on the side of the display that I looked at. Great movie and review, I saw it on a whim and was really surprised on how much I loved it, best movie this year after the Simpsons Movie.

    #12 of 18 OFFLINE   Jonathon M

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    Posted August 01 2007 - 05:13 PM

    I'd like to point out that, as an Australian member of HTF (born in the UK), I continually see special editions that are exclusive to the US. Often among the DVD community (not necessarily here at HTF), it is rationalized as being "well, it's an American film!". I do find it funny (odd, not ha-ha) to note that when something gets a slimmed down US release, compared to the UK (and AU multi-vendor-exclusive 2 disc), the howling of "we've been screwed!" comes out. It's worth noting that it's a UK film, and as such, probably has a market stronger in the UK than in the US. I don't see Spaced as having been a cult hit in your country...

    Oh, and I too am frustrated with releases having HD exclusive features, but it was the same when laserdisc and DVD releases were released together for a while, if I remember rightly.

    Not saying it's wrong, but considering the limited amount of times that the US DVD buying public is shafted, perhaps taking a look at things globally before having a whine is a pertinent suggestion...

    If you're that cheesed, buy a region free player and look outside the box you live in. Posted Image

    #13 of 18 OFFLINE   Marianne


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    Posted August 02 2007 - 05:31 AM

    Kevin EK said in his review: "Be careful with the volume on this one – on several occasions I turned up the volume to hear what someone was quietly saying, only to get blasted by the next blast of the bass." I think the center channel level was too low and it was evident a few times in the transition from front left/right to center. The end "thank you" credits mentioned Quentin Tarantino. I wonder if it was just an homage or if he actually contributed to the movie in some way.

    #14 of 18 OFFLINE   Marianne


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    Posted August 02 2007 - 05:40 AM


    The plot of the movie is not as far-fetched as you might imagine. There have been extreme rivalries and cases of sabotage in all kinds of British "Best Village" type of competitions. Not usually as much bloodshed, of course!

    #15 of 18 OFFLINE   Ray H

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    Posted August 02 2007 - 06:53 AM

    I think it was probably more along the lines of friendly support. Wright and Tarantino are friendly enough that Wright contributed a trailer to "Grindhouse".
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    #16 of 18 OFFLINE   Ron68


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    Posted August 03 2007 - 04:03 PM

    Great review. I watched my copy last night and laughed as much as I did in the theatre, not too many movies hold up that well. The picture quality was great, won't get around to the extras for some time but look forward to watching them.

    #17 of 18 OFFLINE   Ravi K

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    Posted August 03 2007 - 05:26 PM

    I'm surprised Universal didn't release a fuller SE of Shaun of the Dead to coincide with the theatrical release of Hot Fuzz.

    #18 of 18 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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    Posted August 03 2007 - 06:14 PM

    This is probably one that'll benefit from additional viewings - I think it'll reveal many unseen gags if you watch it again. I've not, but that's my guess...
    Colin Jacobson

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