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Hit & Run Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 1 Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter

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Posted January 27 2013 - 08:08 AM

Hit & Run left skid marks on Blu-ray this month in an edition that provides solid picture and sound to a movie that doesn’t add up to much.   Presented as an action comedy along the lines of Smokey and the Bandit, the new movie is more of a personal indulgence for Dax Shepard, one that allows him to show off love for cars and car chases without requiring much else of him or his audience.  The Blu-ray includes the movie, a handful of deleted scenes, and three fast featurettes.  There’s not much to write home about here, which explains the January video release.





HIT & RUN

Studio: Universal/Open Road/Exclusive Media

Year: 2012

Length: 1 hr 41 mins

Genre:  Action/Comedy


Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p, (AVC @ 30 mbps)

Audio:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 3.5 mbps, up to 4.9 mbps in the big scenes)

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Content Rating: R (Pervasive Language Including Sexual References, Graphic Nudity, Some Violence and Drug Content)


Release Date: January 8, 2013


Starring:  Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Kristen Chenoweth, Michael Rosenbaum, Joy Bryant, Ryan Hansen and Beau Bridges

                                              
Written by:   Dax Shepard

Directed by: Dax Shepard & David Palmer


Film Rating: 1 ½/5


The trailer for Hit & Run would lead a viewer to think they are in for another Smokey and the Bandit, with Dax Shepard playing a less cocky version of the famous Bandit, and with Bradley Cooper playing a buy that Shepard’s character put in jail.  The second part of that idea is true, but the first unfortunately doesn’t bear out.  The movie centers on Charlie (Shepard), a former criminal in witness protection who chooses to leave his protected area to take his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell – the real life fiancée of Shepard) to Los Angeles for her new academic job.  What follows is a series of chases and confrontations as Charlie is followed by his monitoring officer (Tom Arnold), Annie’s ex boyfriend and of course Alex the ex-con (Cooper).    All of this could be funny material in the right hands, but unfortunately they are not present here.  What happens instead is a series of low budget vignettes and quirky character moments that are less endearing than annoying.   To provide one painful example, as a centerpoint of the movie, Shepard as writer and co-director has almost all of the characters walk into a motel room inhabited by nude geriatric swingers.  Why anyone thought this was funny stuff is a flabbergasting question.  Bradley Cooper has some fun playing Alex, but even he seems a bit confused as to what he’s doing in this movie.  In the final analysis, this movie feels less like a genuine character comedy and more like a fun hiatus project in which Shepard gets to play with his fiancée and friends on camera.  There’s nothing wrong with that (and they all do seem to be having fun at one level or another), but there’s also no driving reason for anyone to see the movie.  One imagines that Shepard’s fans will want to rent this.  Bell and Cooper’s fans should think carefully before making the rental.


Hit & Run was released on Blu-ray this month. The DVD and the Blu-ray share their special features, including deleted scenes and a few quick featurettes on the movie.  Of course, the Blu-ray package includes both discs. Instructions for downloading a digital copy and getting an Ultraviolet copy are also included in the package.



VIDEO QUALITY  4/5


Hit & Run is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.40:1 transfer that accurately presents the low budget shoot.  There’s a satisfying amount of detail in faces, clothing and locations, and a nice range of color.  This is a fairly grungy movie, but that’s an intentional effect and not a problem with the transfer.



AUDIO QUALITY  4/5


Hit & Run is presented in a full-throated English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix which gets most of its fun from the engines of the various cars on display, as well as the musical score.  This isn’t a particularly ambitious mix, but the movie isn’t calling for one.



SPECIAL FEATURES   2/5


The Blu-Ray presentation of Hit & Run comes with a few special features, including deleted scenes and a few quick featurettes about the movie’s production.


My Scenes – The usual Blu-ray bookmarking feature is available here, allowing the viewer to set their own bookmarks throughout the film.


BD-Live - This Blu-ray includes access to Universal’s BD-Live online site, allowing for the viewing of trailers online.  


pocket BLU – This Blu-ray includes the usual pocket BLU functionality, enabling viewers with appropriate laptop, iPad or smart phone integration to remotely control their Blu-ray player and access some of the bonus content from the separate device.  Also, a digital copy is available for download via the pocket BLU application.


The following materials are presented in high definition on the Blu-ray.  If they are also available on the DVD, they would obviously be presented in standard definition there:


Deleted Scenes (12 Scenes, 18:45 Total, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – Twelve deleted scenes are presented here.  Much of this material is just extended or alternate versions of scenes already in the movie.  In several cases, we’re looking at additional jokes that are less funny than the ones that made it in.


Street Legal (2:18, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – This quick featurette provides a very fast introduction to the movie, including the usual preview clips and a few soundbites from Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.


Run & Gun (2:39, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – This is another quick featurette, using much of the same clips from the movie, only using different sound bites from the cast to sprinkle around them.


Love on the Run (2:34, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – Here’s the third quickie featurette, this one ostensibly focusing on the “love story” aspect of the movie.  Once again we get the same clips and a few new soundbites from the cast.  Frankly, we once again have a situation where instead of just doing one featurette of five minutes, the marketers have generated three separate little bites that all add up to the same thing.  And just as with other movies, it’s a waste of time here too.


DVD Copy – A second disc is included in the package, holding the standard DVD of the theatrical cut of the movie.  It contains the movie presented in standard definition in an anamorphic 2.40:1 picture with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound in English (448 kbps).  The special features from the Blu-ray are included on the DVD.


Digital and Ultraviolet Copies – Instructions are included in the packaging for downloading a digital copy of the movie to your laptop or portable device, as well as for obtaining an Ultraviolet streaming copy to be placed up in the cloud.  No deadline for activation is indicated on the insert.  I note again that the pocket BLU online menu also includes an option for downloading the digital copy.


Subtitles are available for the film and the special features, in English, Spanish and French. A full chapter menu is available for the film.


IN THE END...


Hit & Run is one of those movies that you wonder how anyone actually approved its production.  It’s not an outrageously bad movie, but there’s no reason for anyone to take over 90 minutes of their life to see it.  The tipping point for me is the geriatric swingers bit, which is enough to make watching the movie a step more unpleasant, and for no discernible reason.  Clearly, this was a fun hiatus activity for Dax Shepard, in which he was able to cast his fiancée and his friends in a car chase caper, but it hasn’t added up to much of a movie.  So it’s no surprise that the movie came and went without much fuss, and is now being dropped into home video at the least interesting time of the year.  The Blu-ray edition presents the movie as well as it can, with some special features.  But there’s really not much here to see.  Fans of Dax Shepard may want to see this, but I can’t imagine who else will be looking for it.


Kevin Koster

January 27, 2013

Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:


Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at ISF picture mode

            -Set professionally calibrated by AVICAL in June 2012

Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver

Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player

PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)

5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)

2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)

Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofer









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