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I’m usually not one to take much notice of movie reviews. I do read them but ultimately whether I see a film or not depends on the appeal of the trailer or storyline. Unfortunately in the case of Hollywood Homicide I remember thinking that the trailer made the movie look awful, and then to top it off all of the reviews I read backed up my initial thoughts. It seems that I wasn’t the only one to think the same, as in the UK the film took less than one million pounds, and didn’t fair much better stateside. Read on to find out if Hollywood Homicide really is that bad…  

Hollywood Homicide
Hollywood Homicide opens with a gun shoot-out at a Hollywood club where several members of an up and coming rap group are killed. The motives for the murders are unclear, and experienced homicide detective Joe Gavilian (Harrison Ford) is called in to investigate. Working with Joe is his rookie partner K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett). The pair are like chalk and cheese, in that Calden is half his partner’s age and is not that enthusiastic about his job. He seems to prefer his part time job which involves teaching Yoga to attractive woman, and ultimately he would like to become an actor.

Joe also has other things on his mind, as he is currently trying to sell a property which seems to be taking up much of his spare time. On top of that he is also being investigated by Internal Affairs Lieutenant Bennie Macko (Bruce Greenwood). Even though he has very little in common with Joe, the pair seem to work well together. However, their friendship is going to be put to the test with this latest case, can they really solve it, or are outside commitments going to take priority?

You can probably tell from the above synopsis that Hollywood Homicide isn’t really that exciting. Probably the most surprising aspect is that Harrison Ford has lowered himself to starring in such a bland movie. Is this really the same actor who starred in movies such as Indiana Jones and Star Wars? I know that his career isn’t really flourishing at the moment, but surely starring in such a turkey will only do more harm than good in the long term. I have never been Josh Hartnett’s greatest fan either, and his performance here has not changed my mind. The main reason that the movie is such a failure is that it cannot decide whether to be a serious cop movie or a comedy. Sadly it fails in both departments! The film isn’t credible enough to be taken seriously, and I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying that it didn’t raise a smile either.

Hollywood Homicide
I hate to be too critical about a movie, but Hollywood Homicide really is that bad. You have probably heard negative comments about it, and sadly they are most likely to all be true. I cannot think of a single good thing to say about it. There are bound to be some who like this movie, but I am sure they are in the minority. Hollywood Homicide is drab, devoid of ideas and should be avoided at all costs.  

Columbia Tristar have presented Hollywood Homicide in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 which also happens to be anamorphically enhanced. Unlike the region one release, Columbia Tristar have decided to include just the one transfer with this release, which was probably to allow for the additional foreign language soundtracks. The image is in pristine condition, there is no sign of print damage and clarity/detail is spot-on. The colours are also expertly brought to the screen. For the most part the colours are vibrant and true, skin tones are accurate and blacks are solid. There is the occasional sign of grain, but generally this is kept at a manageable level. Compression artifacts are nowhere to be seen, and edge enhancements also keep a low profile. Overall, this is a fine transfer.

You can normally rely on Columbia Tristar to look after their non-English speaking fans and this disc is no different. It is accompanied by four soundtracks. Three of the tracks are provided in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Hungarian and Russian), and the fourth track is a Czech 2.0 track. For the purpose of this review, I am going to concentrate on the English 5.1 track which proved to be a bit of a dark horse! Considering that Hollywood Homicide is primarily a comedy movie, I wasn’t expecting much from this track, however the rears are used more frequently than I anticipated. The back speakers are used mostly for the musical score, but during some of the action scenes there are occasional noises (such as cars whizzing past and the occasional gunfire) that make their way backwards. My subwoofer also received a reasonable workout, especially during the opening club scene. Obviously dialogue is essential in a movie of this type and thankfully there are no problems in this area, as the dialogue is clear and precise throughout.

Subtitles are provided in English, English Captions, Russian, Dutch, Dutch (subtitled commentary), Czech, Hindi and Arabic.

Hollywood Homicide
The region one release of Hollywood Homicide has been available for a few months, so I was expecting pretty much the same list of extras. Imagine my surprise then to find at three featurettes which didn’t make it onto the American release!

I’ll talk about the additional extras first (three featurettes). The first one is called LAPD Stories. This featurette starts with people who have real life LAPD stories to tell, and we are told during the course of this featurette that they are in fact retired LAPD officers. This featurette lasts for over fifteen minutes and if I am honest is quite dull. I understand why it was included on the disc as it is a good example of what officers have to go through each day, but at the same time it will only have a limited appeal to movie fans.

The next featurette is called Hollywood Homicides – Confidential, and focuses on the characters in the movie. The relevant cast members talk about their characters and also their experiences during filming, the highlight of which is an account from Lou Diamond Phillips who talks about dressing as a woman for his role in the movie. The director also talks about the movie and where certain ideas came from. Sadly there is no input from Harrison Ford into this featurette which makes the nine minute running time drag a little. The final featurette on this disc is titled The Making of Hollywood Homicide, and as the title suggests, this is a detailed look at how the movie was made. This is a very thorough featurette which covers most of the aspects you would expect from a ‘making of’ extra. It lasts for fifteen minutes and you will be glad to hear that it features lots of conversations with both Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. This extra is definitely the highlight of the disc.  

So, onto the extras which were included on the region one disc, the first being the Director and Cast Commentary. The director talks about how he wanted to make a buddy movie, but also at the same time he wanted to put a different slant on the movie and make it light hearted. This commentary is interesting to listen to as the director talks about his ideas behind the movie, most of which I missed the point of while watching it. My enjoyment of this movie might be enhanced if I was to go back and pay it another visit now I have listened to the director’s thoughts.  

Hollywood Homicide
We have come to expect a section of Trailers with Columbia Tristar releases, and this disc is no different. There is a whole section dedicated to the studio’s trailers, including trailers for Hollywood Homicide, Anger Management, National Security, S.W.A.T and xXx. The final extra on this disc is a selection of Filmographies, and there are four different ones. This extra focuses on Ron Shelton (Director/Writer), Robert Souza (writer) Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.

Hollywood Homicide was released to poor reviews last year, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why. If you have read any of my previous reviews then you will know that I don’t ask for much from a movie, a reasonable storyline combined with some action and I am content. However, Hollywood Homicide is extremely dull and failed to raise even the slightest chuckle from me. I am sure there are fans of this movie, and if you happen to be one of them then I cannot see any reason not to make this disc a purchase. Columbia Tristar must take some credit for providing a good quality disc, even though the movie is so bad. This release boasts a pristine transfer, a wealth of soundtracks and a set of extras which will leave our American friends envious, and it’s just a shame that the main movie is substandard!