The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff
Directed by: Tim Hill
Music by: Christopher Lennertz
Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 23, 2012
"Candy, chicks and rock n' roll"
He was destined to be the Easter Bunny, but all he wanted to do was rock! When teenager E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream to become a rock star drummer, he meets Fred (James Marsden), an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals. Together
the two encounter a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures and in the end help each other recognize the importance of family.
As someone who enjoys family oriented films I went into Hop with an open mind having not previously read/heard anything about it. My tolerance for trite storylines is fairly high as long as it has likeable characters and heart. Unfortunately Hop mates a highly conventional plot with bland characters, stale humor and a script that does little to warm the heart. I like James Marsden and must admit to feeling almost embarrassed for him in the role of Fred, a late twenty something perpetual teen searching for his lot in life. He has an affable charm but comedy isn't his strong suit, plus at 38 years old he just didn't seem a good fit. I felt that Gary Cole, Kaley Cuoco, Elizabeth Perkins and Chelsea Handler were all wasted in their brief roles. I am not especially fond of Russell Brand (I won't discuss David Hasselhoff's cameo) which probably didn't help things. I think that Hank Azaria is one of today's best voiceover actors and his portrayal of chicks Carlos and Phil made for the film's best moments. The Easter Bunny themed spin takes a few chances in that some may find it objectionable. I didn't have a problem with it. Hop isn't terrible it's just flat. Young audiences probably won't take umbrage with its obvious contrivances, garden variety characters and rehashed humor but it holds little interest for their parents or those hoping for an engaging bit of holiday entertainment.
The rating is for mild rude humor.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Hop comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 Mbps.
This is a good looking video presentation from Universal on Blu-ray. High level high definition detail is present throughout so that images are rendered with pristine quality. Colors are bright and visually pleasing with occasional moments of reserved saturation that proves less eye catching. I wouldn't define this as a shortcoming but the difference is noticeable and worth mentioning. Flesh tones are naturally rendered with discernible complexional delineation among the various members of the cast. Contrast and black levels are stable with ample depth and perceptible delineation. I noticed some light digital noise but didn't find it distracting. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio presentation renders the source elements with excellent clarity and punchy dynamics. Dialogue is delivered with appreciable tonal variation and refinement. The surrounds are active at times and used to good effect for front/rear channel pans and reproduction of music related ambience. The mix isn't very aggressive but does create an enjoyable listening experience that matches the tone of the film.
- (HD) Phil's dance party - 3 minutes
- (HD) The world of Hop (6 segments totaling 8 minutes):
- A look at the candy factory
- A look at E.B.
- A look at Fred
- A look at the Easter Bunny
- A look at Carlos and Phil
- A look at Sam
- (HD) All access with singer Cody Simpson - 2 minutes
- (HD) Russell Brand: Being the Bunny - 1 minute feature
- (HD) Russell Brand's kinds crack up - 3 minute feature
- (HD) Carlos on Carlos: The premiere according to Carlos - 3 minute feature
- (HD) Emotion in motion: The dance of Ken Daurio - 2 minute feature
- (HD) Post coup commentary: Carlos and Phil tell all - 3 minutes
- (HD) Games:
- Drum along
- E.B.'s candy challenge
- Pink Beret skill tester
- My scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
- Bonus DVD - Hop
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Hop is a formulaic holiday themed family film that mates a highly conventional plot with bland characters, rehashed humor and a script that does little to warm the heart. It makes its way to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a middling array of bonus material that favors fluff over substance along with a few games for the kiddies. Hop will probably appeal more to younger audiences while leaving their parents bored and those hoping for engaging holiday entertainment wanting. Fans can feel free to pick this one up otherwise a rental (for the kids) will more than suffice.
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I enjoyed it as much as Toy Story 3.
Yes it is aimed at children, but has enough entertainment value for an adult. I thought the lead actor pulled it off well. He looks young anyway. I thought he was in his mid twenties. He sure took care of himself if he is 38!
By the way 38 is nothing these days.
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