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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Hollywood Homicide (2003)

Kid: Are we going to die?
K.C.: No. Well yes. Well you will eventually, but not now.

- Paul Butcher, Josh Hartnett

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: October 21, 2003

Stars: Harrison Ford, Josh Hartnett
Other Stars: Isiah Washington, Bruce Greenwood, Master P, Lolita Davidovich, Lena Olin, Keith David, Dwight Yoakam
Director: Ron Shelton

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual situations, and language
Run Time: 01h:53m:41s
Release Date: October 07, 2003
UPC: 043396009271
Genre: action comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- BAA- C+

DVD Review

When director Ron Shelton teamed with former L.A.P.D. cop and current film adviser Robert Souza on the set of the underrated Dark Blue, Hollywood Homicide was born. Souza was a decorated police officer in Los Angeles who also moonlighted as a real estate agent and negotiated prices on large mansions while in the midst of several high profile cases. While the story seems too good to be true, the very idea of translating it into a screenplay comes with joyous possibilities.

Joe Gavilan (Ford) and K.C. Calden (Hartnett) are two police detectives with a desire for something more in life. For Gavilan it is his real estate business as well as a property that he is rapidly losing money on and is in dire need to sell. For Calden it is the dream of becoming an actor and at the first opportunity, his work as a policeman will be behind him. For now, though, the pair have been assigned to the murder of an up and coming rap group gunned down in an Los Angeles nightclub. Throw into the mix an eccentric music producer with property to sell (Landau), an internal affairs investigator (Greenwood) with a grudge against Joe, and a psychic (Olin) that ties into everything and you have Hollywood Homicide.

Hollywood Homicide succeeds largely because it ventures away from the cop aspect of the story and focuses more on the personal lives of the detectives. Shelton and Souza's script offers fully developed lead characters that distract from the forgettable crime aspect of the story. It comes to a point where the viewer is not as interested as to whether or not Joe and K.C. will find the killers, rather we want to know whether a house will get sold.

In terms of thrills and action, Shelton misses the boat with too many sequences that not quite energetic. His work during the final chase sequence (which seems to last forever) showcases a few moments where Shelton has effectively given the film an effective boost of energy, only to bring things down with a standard climax that negates much of what has come before it in terms of suspense.

Both Ford and Hartnett may seem odd choices for a film of this type and yet each pulls off their performance with a sense of grace as well as broad comedy. For Ford, the role is helped by his age, which is becoming a factor in nearly every film he has been in recently. As Galivan, Ford shows the wear of a life's work as a police officer while also conveying the hope for something better. The scenes in which Ford gets to show his more humorous side (notably in a sequence set in an interrogation room) are priceless. Although his rate of work has slowed in recent years, Hollywood Homicide proves that Ford is still amongst the best working today.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.40:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen image (a cropped, full-frame version is also available) for Hollywood Homicide ranks amongst the better efforts I have seen in recent months. Sharpness and detail are each the very definition of perfection as the image has a very film-like look to it throughout. Colors are vibrant and crisp with no bleeding, while black levels are crisp with no grain evident. No occurrence of edge enhancement or artifacting could be found.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for Hollywood Homicide is active throughout with good use of each separate channel in an effort to create a truly dynamic mix. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout, with the surround speakers providing nice back up to create an immersing soundfield.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Charlies Angels: Full Throttle, Air Force One, The Devil's Own, Radio, The Missing
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Ron Shelton
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: A commentary track by director Ron Shelton is the one significant extra feature for this DVD, and the track is rather average in my opinion. Shelton devotes a large amount of time to the locations as well as his cast and crew. He dotes too much on Ford in particular, though the performance by Ford is truly deserving of praise so it is not a large flaw. Overall the track is uninteresting, unless you are looking for basic footnotes about production.

Filmographies are offered for Ford, Hartnett, Shelton, and Souza, and a collection of trailers is also available.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Hollywood Homicide is not an action film. Those who look beneath the surface will find a humorous story that offers a showcase for Harrison Ford in a role that will likely get passed over in any career achievement ceremonies, but still ranks as one of his better works. Recommended.


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