The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: New Line/2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 107 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio lossless, DTS 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, Rob Cordory, Roger Bart
Written &Directed by: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
Music by: George S. Clinton
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 29, 2008
"This time their running from the joint"
Harold and Kumar are back! On their flight to Amsterdam they are mistaken for terrorists and sent to Guantanamo Bay, but not for long. They bust out and go on a cross-country road trip to clear their names and win over their hotties! But first they’ll have to outsmart the Feds, outrun the Klan, and enlist the help of a hallucinating Neil Patrick Harris. It’s one wild ride with America’s most wanted – and wasted.
Wow. I didn’t see the original Harold and Kumar film although I had heard positive things about it. Needless to say I had not seen this one prior to this review. I like comedies that are slightly over the top but... In this case it just seemed to take it a little too far at times. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty funny moments in Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay. I thought that the one and only scene that had anything to do with Guantanamo Bay was actually pretty funny ( I won’t spoil it so you will have to see for yourself). The entire trip into the south where they encounter a mob of “angry” blacks playing basketball in the street and a “couple” living in a palatial yet run down cabin in the woods is a hoot. The couple played by John Reep and Missy Pyle have an interesting history and something just as interesting to show for their union. Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to the Deep South without a visit to a Klan rally. There are some racial and political spoofs that are priceless as well. Scenes that were simply in place for audience reaction included a visit to a local brothel with Neil Patrick Harris and Raza's bottomless party. The thing I didn’t care for was the excessive need to make pretty much everything tie into getting high or having sex. I thought that this came full circle in a scene where Kumar is dreaming about having a threesome with his ex-girlfriend and a giant “female” bag of weed. That might have been funny if it hadn’t been taken to visually graphic lengths. When all was said and done I think that Escape from Guantanamo Bay will be more appealing to fans of Harold and Kumar than to first time viewers, but you never know.
Parental Guide:This unrated version contains graphic nudity, language, drug use and violence. ‘Nuff said.
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:
Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay comes to Blu-ray Disc from New Line featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 channel Master Audio sound with an average bitrate of 4.9 mbps.
The video presentation featured punchy, vibrant and over saturated colors that were on the warm side and visually pleasing. Grain was present in fine layers that didn’t negatively affect fidelity. Visible detail was abundant which made it easy to notice subtle texture and definition in surfaces, clothing and physical features. Depending on the camera’s perspective sometimes the image softened some but I suspect that this was related to the photography rather than the encoding. Blacks and contrast were respectable so that both dark and bright scenes had good dynamic range and depth. Flesh tones were naturally rendered so that the various complexions and skin types came across without appearing artificial.
The high resolution audio was on par with the video and sounded full bodied, articulate, and authoritative. Lossless audio provides the opportunity to thoroughly appreciate the increased dynamic potential inherent in digital movie soundtracks. Such was the case with this DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix. I experienced crystal clear sound that was rich in sonic detail and dynamic energy. Excellent tonal balance made pans across the left, center and right channels appear seamless. Bass reproduction was clean, taut and on occasion extended. Check out the scene where Harold and Kumar leave Raza's place (after the bottomless party) and head to Texas. As they exit the house and head to the yellow Ford Mustang there is a techno music mix playing that contains synthesized bass that easily reaches down in to the 30 hz bass regions. The 7.1 channel mix made frequent use of the surrounds to reproduce the discrete and ambient sounds contained within the mix. I enjoyed the enveloping nature of the audio and felt that the balance in volume maintained between the front and rear soundstages was spot on.
The bonus content included a 21 minute making of featurette called The World of Harold & Kumar. It offered an inside look at the production and featured behind the scenes footage and cast/crew interviews. Next was a cool interactive feature that had the ability during certain pre-recorded segments to decide which option (from a select group per segment) to pick from to change the scenes outcome. There was a plethora of deleted and extended scenes which included several outtakes and two audio commentaries featuring the co-stars, director and writers. The last piece was a public service announcement by “President” Bush (James Adomian in character) for Harold & Kumar. New Line has included an SD Digital Copy located on a separate disc that can be downoladed on to a portable playback device from a PC or Mac.
- Dude Change the Movie feature
- 2 Audio commentary tracks
- (HD)17 Deleted Scenes
- (HD) 10 extended scenes including outtakes
- (HD) “President” Bush public service announcement for Harold & Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay
- (HD) 3 Trailers – Teaser, Theatrical, Red Band
- (HD) The world of Harold & Kumar - Featurette
- SD Digital Copy
Harold & Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay is an outrageous comedy that seeks to tickle your fancy with excessively crude humor and a little clever writing sprinkled on top. I found it to be luke warm but will probably give it another spin to see if it offers anything new. New Line has brought it to high definition Blu-ray Disc featuring excellent audio and video quality which will surely please fans. For those who are curious I would recommend a rental prior to purchase.
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