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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF Blu-Ray Review: KICKASS Combo Pack



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#1 of 73 Timothy E

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Posted August 03 2010 - 07:45 AM

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KICK-ASS Combo Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital Copy


Studio: Lionsgate

Year: 2010

Rated: R

Film Length: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Audio: English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Release Date: August 3, 2010


The Movie


Kick-Ass is primarily the story of Dave Lizewski(Aaron Johnson), a high school student who wonders why nobody has ever worn a costume to fight crime as a super-hero in real life. Dave ambitiously takes it upon himself to adopt an alter-ego and fight crime. His preliminary efforts at enforcing justice go horribly awry until one of his efforts is captured on film; the video becomes a sensation on YouTube and the super-hero Kick-Ass is born. Kick-Ass inspires other heroes to imitate him, including Red Mist(Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who may not be what he appears to be, and he discovers that there have been other super-heroes in existence as he meets Big Daddy(Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl(Chloe Moretz). Also on board are perennial film baddie Mark Strong as crime kingpin Frank D’Amico and Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother) as Dave’s love interest Katie.


Kick-Ass is a screen adaptation by director Matthew Vaughn(Layer Cake) of the acclaimed comic book series created by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. Millar and Romita remain on board as executive producers of this film version. Kick-Ass succeeds where some other super-hero movies fail by creating the illusion of reality in demonstrating that the characters are not invulnerable and immune from harm. There is a sense of jeopardy when the characters go into action since the audience is conditioned early on that survival is not guaranteed like in most other super-hero films, although that verisimilitude loses some ground by the end of the film. As far as super-hero films go, Kick-Ass is much better than average and succeeds in entertaining.


This film is not for the squeamish, however. The illusory appearance that physical violence has real consequences in the film means that there is more blood and gore on display than the average super-hero film. Some film critics were put off by the profanities spoken by the 10-year-old Hit Girl, since this is dialogue not usually heard from actors of such a tender age. If this does not offend your sensibilities, then you may find much to enjoy in Kick-Ass.


Video


The movie is in 1080p high definition in its original 2.40:1 screen aspect ratio. This is an excellent transfer from film. Minimal film grain is present but the clarity and detail on images is terrific with a fine dynamic range of image. There is no overt DNR or edge enhancement, however, there is some minimal black crush apparent.


Audio


The English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio is without any apparent flaws. The audio does good service to the needs of the film, whether it be the gunplay and explosions or dialogue and music.


Special Features


The special features are located exclusively on disc 1. Disc 2 is a DVD of the film and Disc 3 consists of a digital copy in standard definition for transfer to portable media device.


The special features are all in 1080p and include all of the following:


Audio Commentary: Director Matthew Vaughn provides a full length commentary for the film.


Ass-Kicking Bonus-View: This is a picture-in-picture commentary of the audio commentary provided by director Vaughn.


A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass (1:53:04): Vaughn and cast and crew are interviewed regarding making the movie along with some behind the scenes footage in this excellent feature-length documentary. It is broken down into the following four parts: Pushing Boundaries, Let’s Shoot This F***er, Tempting Fate, and All Fired Up! Millar confesses that Kick-Ass is somewhat autobiographical to the extent that, as a 15-year-old, Millar actually made efforts to become a crime-fighter, and realizes in retrospect that it would probably have gone very badly for him if he had ever followed through on this idea.


It’s On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass (20:36): Comic book creators Millar and Romita are interviewed regarding the creation of the comic book series accompanied by many of Romita’s panel illustrations.


The Art of Kick-Ass Gallery: There is a wealth of images here broken down into the following self-explanatory headings: Storyboards, Costumes(cast photos), On-Set Photography, Production Design, and John Romita Jr. Art For The Film.


Marketing Archive: This includes the original theatrical trailer(2:30) and the Red Band Hit-Girl trailer(1:16). Under separate headings are the North American Campaign and International Campaign with advertising images from promotional posters for the film.


D-Box: This feature enables the D-Box motion simulation during the film for home theaters equipped with this technology.


BD Touch: This feature enables connectivity of the blu-ray player with compatible portable devices.


Metamenu: Allows users to navigate the disc menu using iPhone or iPod Touch when connected to the network via Wi-Fi. This also allows social networking via Facebook and informational pop-up windows during the film via Metabeam.


Bookmarks: Feature allows viewers to return quickly to certain portions or clips of the film.


LG Live: Internet connected Blu Ray players can access cell phone ringtones, wallpapers, and previews of other Lionsgate films. Wallpapers for Kick-Ass are already available for when this BD is released on August 3, 2010. The LG Live feature also has time and local weather displayed on the main menu.


Conclusion


Kick-Ass is a better than average super-hero film that reinvents the genre with bloody gore and bad words to match. The video and audio presentation are also better than average, and the disc includes a wealth of special features, in addition to the DVD and digital copy included of the film. If you are not faint-hearted, if you want your crime-fighting action to be hardcore, then Kick-Ass fulfills its self-description as an intense and entertaining super-hero film. Although Kick-Ass is not for all tastes, this reviewer is looking forward to seeing the sequel that is now in production. 



#2 of 73 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 03 2010 - 10:47 AM

This is a guilty pleasure of mine from one of my theatrical experiences earlier this year.  Please, don't ask me why./img/vbsmilies/htf/wink.gif







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#3 of 73 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 03 2010 - 03:47 PM

I went ahead and bought the BRD tonight so I can hear Hit-Girl curse like a sailor in 7.1 DTS HD Master audio.  Also, thanks for the review as it helped my purchasing decision.







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#4 of 73 Bleddyn Williams

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Posted August 03 2010 - 03:57 PM

On my PS3, I have a weird thing going on with disappearing features!  When you put the disc in, you get "gadgets" that appear on the right - local weather and a clock (go figure).  They were turned on by default, so I turned them off in the menus.  There was a third gadget for news which is not on by default.


When I put the disc in later to show the wife I couldn't find the "gadgets" in the menus anymore!  I showed her the "Twitter integration" and the wallpapers, etc etc.


I just put the disc in a third time, and the wallpapers are longer beneath the "Twitter integration"!


Where are these features going?  LOL



#5 of 73 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 03 2010 - 09:25 PM

I heard people with PS3 are having trouble with this disc when the player is connected to the internet.  For the most part, I disconnect it because there isn't much I want to view with BD Live.






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#6 of 73 dpippel

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Posted August 04 2010 - 01:25 AM

I watched it on my network connected PS3 last night. Nary an issue.


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#7 of 73 Jeff Swindoll

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Posted August 04 2010 - 02:43 AM

Methinks you can toggle the menu gadgets on and off by pushing the "red" button on your remote...


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#8 of 73 Bleddyn Williams

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Posted August 04 2010 - 02:56 AM

I just checked this morning and all the features are back where they belong in the menus.  The features that disappeared last night were all part of LG Live.  Perhaps there were issues with everyone who bought that disc yesterday overloading the server?


and yes Jeff S, the red button does toggle the gadgets, but it did not work last night.  Works now though.



#9 of 73 TonyD

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Posted August 04 2010 - 06:48 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by dpippel 


I watched it on my network connected PS3 last night. Nary an issue.




I watched over the weekend and thought it was great.
No problems on my ps3.

Btw anyone else think this mo ie is satire.
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#10 of 73 jack phillips

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Posted August 04 2010 - 11:33 AM

I wouldn't call it satire exactly. It turns some of the conventions of comic book superheroes on their head, but it also at times embraces those conventions. Specifically, when Kick-Ass is trying to do his thing classic irony-of-situation is achieved: reality falls short of fantasy. But when Hit Girl is on the screen fantasy operates without a glitch.


Intertwining the two modes is what makes the film work for me. If the film had all been about Kick-Ass, it would have tended towards the dark and depressing. However, just having Big Daddy and Hit Girl on screen would have rendered everything insubstantial. Mixing them all up together keeps the film balanced.



#11 of 73 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 04 2010 - 03:44 PM

This definitely had the longest load time of any disc I've played so far. And a good five minutes of that load time was with a completely black screen, which had me nervous. I think it's because of all of the LG Live overlays and gadgets. Once the disc finally made it to the menu it worked without a hitch. Terrific transfer, and a terrific making of documentary.



#12 of 73 Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 05 2010 - 05:09 AM



Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

This definitely had the longest load time of any disc I've played so far. And a good five minutes of that load time was with a completely black screen, which had me nervous. I think it's because of all of the LG Live overlays and gadgets. Once the disc finally made it to the menu it worked without a hitch. Terrific transfer, and a terrific making of documentary.


I had the exact same experience with my Panny BD-65 .. for a while there I thought the player had frozen.


Great flick, though!!  IMO, the best scene was "Hit Girl's" assault on the gangsters with the Ennio Morricone music playing in the background.  That part had the feel of a Tarantino movie!  (Second fav scene was Cage channeling Adam West in his first appearance as "Big Daddy".)



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#13 of 73 Adam Gregorich

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Posted August 05 2010 - 11:02 AM

Just finished watching (wife gave me the afternoon off).  It REALLY enjoyed it.  Unlike Crawdaddy, I didn't consider it a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif  Looking forward to going through the extras later.  It did seem to take a while to load and I have an Oppo.



#14 of 73 robbbb1138

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Posted August 05 2010 - 01:27 PM

My player (Sony BDP-BX1) has the most recent firmware, but this isn't playing.  It seems like some of you (and people on some other forums) are getting it to work, but with really bad load times.  Any ideas or anything special someone did to get it to work?  My player's not hooked up to the Internet.



#15 of 73 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted August 05 2010 - 01:32 PM

I watched this film yesterday and had a blast watching it - just so much fun. The first time I put it in the player, it took a little while, but was much faster the second time. I watched it on my Panasonic DMP-BD50.


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#16 of 73 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 05 2010 - 01:33 PM



Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 

Just finished watching (wife gave me the afternoon off).  It REALLY enjoyed it.  Unlike Crawdaddy, I didn't consider it a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif  Looking forward to going through the extras later.  It did seem to take a while to load and I have an Oppo.

To be honest, it's more than a guilty pleasure for me as I watched it twice during its theatrical run and recommended the film to many of my closest friends.  Of course, some of them didn't like it as much as I did for various reasons.




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#17 of 73 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 05 2010 - 02:28 PM

Originally Posted by robbbb1138 

My player (Sony BDP-BX1) has the most recent firmware, but this isn't playing.  It seems like some of you (and people on some other forums) are getting it to work, but with really bad load times.  Any ideas or anything special someone did to get it to work?  My player's not hooked up to the Internet.


Does your Sony player have a network connection? If so, I'd unplug the cord and see if it plays then. This title has A LOT of online content integrated into it -- albeit nothing especially necessary or relevant -- and I think that's at the source of load times.


Otherwise, I'd just suggest trying to wait it out. I thought the disc wasn't playing at first, too, because literally minutes went by with a blank screen. Unless your player is giving you an error, I'd stick it in, hit the head, take the dog for a walk, pop some popcorn and then come back and see if it's made it to the menu yet.



#18 of 73 robbbb1138

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Posted August 05 2010 - 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 


Does your Sony player have a network connection? If so, I'd unplug the cord and see if it plays then. This title has A LOT of online content integrated into it -- albeit nothing especially necessary or relevant -- and I think that's at the source of load times.


Otherwise, I'd just suggest trying to wait it out. I thought the disc wasn't playing at first, too, because literally minutes went by with a blank screen. Unless your player is giving you an error, I'd stick it in, hit the head, take the dog for a walk, pop some popcorn and then come back and see if it's made it to the menu yet.


My player doesn't have a network connection, but I can take out the flash drive and see if that maybe does something.  Unfortunately, my player's been stopping after a few minutes when loading the title and going to a message that says the disc is unplayable.  Maybe this means another firmware update is coming?



#19 of 73 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 06 2010 - 02:02 AM

According to the specs listed at CNet, the Sony BDP-BX1 is a profile 1.1 player. Given how Lionsgate is loading its latest discs with advanced features, I suspect that a profile 2.0 player may be required to play them.


I haven't gotten around to acquiring Kick-Ass, but everything that people are describing sounds similar to what I experienced with Daybreakers.


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#20 of 73 Mike Frezon

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Posted August 06 2010 - 02:24 AM



Originally Posted by Michael Reuben 


I haven't gotten around to acquiring Kick-Ass, but everything that people are describing sounds similar to what I experienced with Daybreakers.


...and the five-minute load time my Panasonic BD-10 (1.0 player) had with Avatar.


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