Hollywood Homicide (2003)

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Released 23-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Audio Commentary-Director
Featurette-LAPD Stories
Featurette-Hollywood Homicide - Confidential
Featurette-Making Of
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Anger Management, National Security, S.W.A.T., xXx
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 111:15
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (70:58) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Ron Shelton

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Harrison Ford
Josh Hartnett
Lena Olin
Bruce Greenwood
Isaiah Washington
Lolita Davidovich
Keith David
Master P
Dwight Yoakam
Martin Landau
Lou Diamond Phillips
Gladys Knight
Meredith Scott Lynn
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Alex Wurman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If mega-star Harrison Ford were a test cricketer, we'd be saying he was going through a bit of a form slump at present, with a couple of first-ball ducks to his name in recent times. Consider his last three films before this one: K-19 The Widowmaker, What Lies Beneath, and Random Hearts, and there's hardly anything all that memorable there that bears repeat viewing. He needs to start moving his feet the experts would say, and keep his eye on the ball. Well, hopefully he will be moving his feet in the direction of something decent soon, because if his last outing - Hollywood Homicide - is any guide, he needs a few more sessions in the nets.

    In Hollywood Homicide, Ford plays detective Joe Gavilan. He's not the greatest cop in the world, mainly because he always seems to behave like he'd rather be somewhere else. In fact, most of the time he is actually doing other things. You see, Gavilan is also a real estate broker (or agent as we call them here). In between nabbing bad guys, he's trying desperately to offload a house or two. Unfortunately, like his police work, he's not all that good at the real estate caper either and is currently stuck with a crappy expensive house that he is paying the mortgage on and can't seem to sell. Couple this with three ex-wives and a tonne of alimony and you've got a man who is just scraping by and getting grumpier by the day as a result.

    His partner, on the other hand, seems to have it all. K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett) is young, good-looking, drives around in a flash convertible, teaches yoga to a bevy of firm twentysomethings and seems at ease with his spiritual being. He has one yearning in life though, and being on the beat in Hollywood obviously fuels that fire. K.C. wants to be an actor, and spends his time between catching crooks with Gavilan rehearsing for a stage performance of A Streetcar Named Desire he is planning on staging.

    So what else happens I hear you ask? Well, Gavilan and K.C. have some real detective work to do when a multiple homicide at a dance club results in several members of a hip-hop band laying in a pool of blood. The trail leads to the head of the record company that represented the band - the suave Sartain (Isaiah Washington). But it soon becomes apparent that the murder investigation is second or even third priority for the two detectives. K.C. is still trying to launch his acting career, while Gavilan is busy trying to offload his house, stitch up another real estate deal with the owner of the club where the shooting took place, and keep the Internal Affairs investigator off his back. It seems internal affairs officer Bennie Macko (Bruce Greenwood) has a bit of a thing against Gavilan and is hell-bent on bringing him down for co-mingling of funds and breaches of police procedure. When he discovers that Gavilan is currently seeing his former girlfriend, Ruby (Lena Olin), the case becomes personal.

    Hollywood Homicide sees the two main characters trying to tie down multiple jobs, and at the end of the day, the film itself is trying to hold down multiple genres. Is it a comedy, is it a satire, or is it an action buddy cop film? As a result of all these influences it tends to lose focus, which is a shame since the whole piss-take on the Hollywood system, with wry ironic jabs at the various superficial goings-on promised much potential. With several cameos by stars such as Eric Idle, Robert Wagner, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Smokey Robinson, the chance to make something quite unique appears to have just slipped through the director's grasp.

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Transfer Quality


    A recent film deserves a fair transfer and I can happily report that this is a very nice transfer indeed. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely sharp and well defined, with heaps of minute detail being seen. There is a little edge enhancement present whenever the characters move against the pale walls of some of the interiors. Shadow detail is perfect. There is no grain and no low level noise.

    The colours are superbly rendered with the late glow of afternoon sunsets captured very nicely. Skin tones are perfect.

    I saw no MPEG artefacts. There is no aliasing present and there are no film artefacts of any note which is always pleasing.

    There are plenty of subtitle streams available. I sampled the English variety during the commentary and found them more than adequate for the job.

    This is a single-sided, dual-layered disc that is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at the end of a scene at 70:58, and is quite noticeable with Josh Hartnett's character pausing briefly.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are five audio tracks available, with three being Dolby Digital 5.1 efforts in English, Hungarian, and Russian. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 Czech soundtrack and a Dolby Digital 2.0 English Commentary soundtrack rounds out the selection.

    I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack and must admit it is a ripper, with plenty of low end action and heaps of directional panning across all speakers. It is clean, clear, and powerful.

    Dialogue is superb and there are no audio sync problems.

    The music used in this film is rather startling. Subtlety scored by Alex Wurman, it is the original song contributions from Ice Cube with Get 'Em Up, Snoop Dogg with Bang This, and Jurassic 5 with A Day At The Races that are among the highlights. It's pretty much a thumping hip-hop style beat all the way through, which sort of seems at odds with the main characters, but does suit the storyline they are focused on.

    The surround channels receive ample use throughout the film and provide all manner of bumps, crashes, and streetscape ambience.

    There's plenty of subwoofer use too, with several thumping car crashes and plenty of bullets flying around, not to mention the thumping bass-driven soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio & Animation

Dolby Digital Trailer

Audio Commentary - Ron Shelton (Director)

    A fairly dull commentary from director Ron Shelton.  He at least explains his intentions for the film from the outset so you at least get some idea about what he was trying to achieve with it. It runs the full length of the film and relates mostly to what is happening on the screen. Not the greatest I have heard.

Featurette - LAPD Stories

    16:04 minutes of former LAPD officers recounting some of the stories and problems they encountered in their years on the force. I'm not sure of the purpose of this, although I guess it gives a sense of credibility to the film and shows that some of what occurs in the film is pretty factual. The officers discuss racism and corruption, amongst other things.

Featurette - Hollywood Homicide Confidential

    This is basically a promotional piece with the principal cast and crew discussing their characters and the like. Pretty lame really. Total running time is a paltry 9:18.

Featurette - Making Of

    This is a little meatier than the above piece, although it still does contain an awful lot of backslapping and self-congratulation. There are a few decent behind-the-scenes moments and an interview with one of the co-writers who was a former policeman. This runs for a healthier 15:33.

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    Four pretty pointless selected filmographies for the writer, director/writer, and two stars.

Theatrical Trailer

    A trailer that doesn't quite paint the full picture for what sort of film this is. It goes for the crash, bang, boom action fest with a little sexual titillation thrown in, in a desperate attempt to attract the late teen/early twenty-something male market share. It runs for 2:21 and is blessed with 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced video and a full Dolby Digital 5.1 audio soundtrack.


    Bonus trailers for Anger Management, National Security, S.W.A.T., and xXx

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on:

    This is a clear win to the Region 4 disc here.


    Hollywood Homicide contains some genuinely funny moments, but unfortunately they are few and far between. This is a shame because the actual premise of the story is unique and a fresh take on the tired old buddy cop genre. However, I felt the satirical, ironic side of the story got a little smothered by the stock-standard 'cops solving the murder' angle of the story.

    The video is excellent as we have come to expect from new Columbia Tristar releases.

    The audio is a corker with plenty of boom and bang in the low range and heaps of surround use to keep all your speakers operational.

    The extras are pretty much your stock-standard offering provided with a new release and will not really excite all that much.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, February 02, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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