Hot Rod (2007)

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Released 7-Feb-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Audio Commentary-Commentary by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Ancestors Protect Me: Behind the Scenes of Hot Rod
Deleted Scenes
Additional Footage-Kevin's Videos
Outtakes-Punch Dance
Additional Footage-Orchestra
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 84:15
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up ?
Region Coding 4 Directed By Akiva Schaffer
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Andy Samberg
Jorma Taccone
Bill Hader
Danny R. McBride
Isla Fisher
Sissy Spacek
Ian McShane
Case ?
RPI ? Music Trevor Rabin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) is an amateur stuntman. Dressed in Evil Knievel like gear and uniform (while sporting a fake moustache) Kimble is seeking to gain respect and legitimacy as a stuntman. Heís desperately trying to live up the reputation of his father who was a supposedly successful stuntman himself.

††† Surrounded by his crew of Rico (Danny R McBride), Dave (Bill Hader) and his half brother Kevin (Jorma Taccone) the group are always on the lookout for the next Ďbigí stunt for Rod to perform. Once Rod receives the terrible news his step father (Ian McShane) is dying because he cannot afford heart surgery the crew look to raise the $50,000 required by performing their biggest stunt attempt to date. Denise (Isla Fisher) plays the next door neighbour and potential love interest.

††† Australian audiences may not know Samberg, but he is a rising star in the US thanks to Saturday Night Live. His SNL Digital Shorts like Lazy Sunday, Dick in a Box (a Creative Arts Emmy winner) and Iran have given him a huge YouTube and internet following. Undoubtedly talented, Hot Rod does little to elevate his Hollywood star. The film has funny moments and an innocent, amusing charm, but the concept for the film is one that would work better in a short comedy video like the SNL Digital Shorts or his comedy troupe background. The role was originally conceived for Will Ferrell (he serves as producer) but Samberg was definitely better suited to the role.

††† Samberg will need better projects than this if he is to be a breakout star from SNL. I liked this movie, but I find it hard to recommend. The humour can be too weird, the plot pretty weak. Itís kind of like a Napolean Dynamite wannabe. In fact, itís hard to pinpoint why I liked it, possibly the charm and innocence of Samberg?

††† Itís worth checking out if you have a quirky sense of humour, or if you are a Samberg fan. If not, itíd still be interesting to watch Samberg, he could be the next the big thing!

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††

††† The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the disc is 16x9 enhanced.

††††Overall the picture is pretty decent and the image is reasonably sharp.

††† I found the colours to be quite muted. It could be the film stock used, or intentionally the way it was lit but some scenes just didn't feel quite right. Skin tones faired better and looked quite natural.

††† Black levels look were a bit murky and shadows details tended to suffer the same contrast issue.

††† Thankfully there are no film artefacts and there is no edge enhancement either.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† The audio is a very solid English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) track.

†††This track does a good job, dialogue is always clear and there are no sync or drop out issues.

††† At different stages there are some pretty good music scenes that add a lot to the film overall.

††† As far as this kind of film goes, surround sound action is not overly important, and whilst this track does a good job it is certainly not stand out. Considering the motorbike and stunts involved it wouldn't have hurt to had a bit more surround activity.

††† There was no subwoofer usage, it could've given some the stunts more impact if used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††

††† Commentary by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone

††† Interesting in that the three are close friends, way too much banter and the content of the commentary is surprisingly flat.

††† Ancestors Protect Me: Behind the Scenes of Hot Rod (7:59):†

††† Fairly standard featurette on the project, mainly chats with Schaffer, Samberg, and Taccone.

††† Deleted and Extended Scenes:

††† 15 scenes with optional commentary. Some are amusing, but others fall pretty flat and were left out for good reason.

††† Outtakes (3:30)

††† A lot of adlibbing, but funny enough.

††† Kevin's videos†

††† 8 brief videos filming various Rod stunts from the movies (shot from the perspective of the younger brother Kevin.)

††† Punch Dance (1:58):

††† Clip on filming one of the weirder sequences of the movie and showing how similar it is to Kevin Bacon in a certain 80's movie.

††† Home Video Footage of Orchestra Recording Session (1:25):

††† Handycam clip of orchestra recording session.

††† Theatrical Trailer (:39)

R4 vs R1

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

††† The R1 is the same except that it has trailers for Stardust, Drill Bit Taylor, and Blades of Glory. Let's call it a tie.

Summary

††† Overall, a charming little comedy that has a hard time finding an audience.

††† The video is decent, but nothing outstanding.

††† The audio is fine.

††† There are a decent number of special features but its more quantity than quality.

†††

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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