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