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Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrive at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempts to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents--and Harold’s father-in-law’s (Danny Trejo) prize Christmas tree--going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar, through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven--and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.

If you enjoyed the previous Harold & Kumar movies you'll find a lot to like about A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. I wouldn't necessarily count myself as a fan of the series, but I liked the first well enough and thought the second was passable. There are some bits here I could've done without, such as a subplot with an overprotective gangster father and a running gag about drug addeled toddler contribute little to the title characters' reunion story, but there are quite a few other pieces throughout to pick up the slack. Neil Patrick Harris attempts to steal the film again and his too short inclusion in the picture is just what's needed when things start to get a bit dull. There are also a few scenes such as the duo imagining themselves as claymation characters on the streets of New York and another where they're captured by a couple of thugs that provide funny twists on other well known Christmas specials and films. In the end this latest entry squarely falls somewhere in between White Castle and Guantanamo Bay, but there's more going on with the characters here than those pictures and though A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas lacks much of the craziness of what came before it makes up for it in other ways. It's sentimental, which I never thought would be a word used to describe Harold & Kumar, and there's some nice lessons about friendship and family to go along with the their misadventures and the lighthearted drug related humor. For grown-up audiences, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas might make for a nice change of pace from all the It's A Wonderful Lifes and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeers that dominate the holiday schedule.

Video
Warner Home Video presents A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas on Blu-ray with an exceptional 1080p, AVC encoded video transfer at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Christmas colors are abound throughout the picture, and from bright Santa red to glorious Christmas tree green the transfer handles it all with nice saturation and natural, lifelike skin tones. Much of the picture takes place at night, but the video is more than up to the task of displaying deep and consistent blacks and steady contrast levels. The transfer also handles small detail quite well with a great defined image, and it looks as if little noise reduction was applied as the smallest layer of film grain intact. I didn't detect any anomalies such as aliasing, artifacting or edge enhancement, and being a newly released theatrical film there aren't any blemishes to speak of that might have been part of the source print used. Overall this is an excellent presentation that you really couldn't ask more of.

Audio
Warner's audio presentation of A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is both good and bad, but more on the bad in a minute. the good news is that the theatrical cut of the film features am overachieving DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that exceeds the expectations of what a comedy mix is expected to sound like. There are plenty of directional effects throughout the film, especially in the busier New York sections of the film, Neil Patrick Harris' broadway number and the claymation sequence, so your surround and LFE channels will be put to the test, but not at the expense of dialogue from the center channel which is always easily heard and understood. Overall it's a great, surprising track that keeps up with the excellent video presentation. Now the bad news is that this track is only included on the theatrical version of the film with the unrated extended cut featuring an admittedly good Dolby Digital 5.1 track instead. As good as the track is though it's an odd choice not include a lossless audio option for both or at least the extended cut which will most likely be the most watched version. I guess Warner had their reasons, but it adds a small disappointment to what is otherwise an demo worthy experience.

Extras
Watch closely now, because if you blink you might miss the special features included on this double-sided, Blu-ray/DVD combo disc. First up on the Blu-ray are nine-minutes of Thomas Lennon waxing poetic about the film in a series of EPK pieces. Funny stuff, sure, but there's nothing really informative here concerning the making of the movie. Also included is a featurette on the making of the film's claymation sequence that features a picture-in-picture comparison with the finished, onscreen result, but at just around four-minutes it's awfully short. The last of the features are about four-minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, many of which look as if they were alternate takes on existing scenes within the finished film. The set also includes an UltraViolet digital copy and a standard definition copy of the film on the DVD side of the disc.

Overall
Funny and surprisingly sentimental, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is a pretty good holiday comedy for the adult crowd. Warner Home Video's audio and video presentation of the picture on Blu-ray is great, but the extras are very brief and largely inconsequential. Overall fans of the series will want to pick up the title in either 2D or 3D flavors, with a slight nod to the 3D version for those with the proper equipment. It's a movie definitely made with the added dimension in mind and there are plenty of sight gags and goofy fun with the format that fall flat with the 2D version.

* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A
 Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, A


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