Reference DVD: Hot Fuzz

Movie •••• Picture ••••½ Sound •••• Extras ••½
In this very funny slapstick movie, an ace London policeman is sent to a country village, which appears innocent on the surface - at least until the bodies start to pile up. Successfully skewering everything from Woo to Eastwood, the satire here is better than what we saw in Shaun of the Dead, the previous creation of co-writer/director Edgar Wright and co-writer/star Simon Pegg.

The 2.35:1 picture is amazingly clear and sharp. Color is a little on the steely side, especially in daylight scenes, but that seems intentional. Blacks are deep and solid, there's a lot of clearly delineated shadow detail, and darker scenes never leave you guessing about what's happening. Meanwhile, the sound is robust and active in all channels. In fact, having such an intricate sound design for a comedy is rather unusual (but welcome). Music, effects, and dialogue are often piled on top of each other - but the result, whether loud or soft, remains transparent. In this mix, quality is never sacrificed for quantity.

It's also not often that you get to see a director's cut of a trailer, but that's exactly what is offered here, along with the U.S. version. A comparison of the two reveals how relatively condescending the dumbed-down American trailer is. All of the other extras are trivial, consisting of three short mocked-up scenes, outtakes and deleted scenes, and a curious, boring featurette on the various openings of the movie. Still, the film itself is hilarious, so who cares?

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