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Etan Cohen
Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie
Writing Credits:
Jay Martel, Ian Roberts and Etan Cohen

When millionaire James King is jailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.

Box Office:
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$33,803,253 on 3,175 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R/Unrated

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio (Theatrical Only)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 100 min. (Theatrical Version)
106 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $44.95
Release Date: 6/30/2015

• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts of the Film
• “Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow” Featurette
• “Line-O-Rama”
• “The Kevin Hart Workout” Featurfette
• “Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart” Featurette
• “Ferrell Fighting” Featurette
• “A Date with John Mayer” Featurette
• “Twerking 101” Featurette
• “Will Ferrell, Gangsta” Featurette
• “Inmates: Out of Control” Featurette
• “Bikers, Babes and Big Bangs” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Get Hard [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 22, 2015)

Two of cinema’s most ubiquitous actors pair up for 2015’s Get Hard. Financial wizard James King (Will Ferrell) enjoys a terrific life, as he plans a humongous new home with his gorgeous fiancée Alissa (Alison Brie) and gets promoted to partner by his boss – and future father-in-law – Martin Barrow (Craig T. Nelson).

All of this goes awry when he gets arrested for financial misconduct. Though he seems destined to spend a brief time in a cushy “Club Fed” prison, James instead receives a 10-year sentence at maximum security San Quentin.

Distraught about this, James hires Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart), the owner of a small car detailing company, to teach him how to survive his incarceration. What qualifies Darnell to tutor James? His skin color, as James simply assumes that because he’s black, Darnell must be an ex-con.

Though this offends squeaky-clean family man Darnell, he decides to use the situation to his advantage. Along with wife Rita (Edwina Findley) and daughter Mikayla (Ariana Neal), Darnell lives in a bad neighborhood and he needs $30,000 to buy a house in a nicer area.

When James agrees to pay that fee to learn the ropes, Darnell impersonates a hardened ex-con. We follow how he “trains” James as well as facets of their relationship and James’ attempts to prove his innocence.

Even with the star power Hart and Ferrell brought to the table, Hard didn’t do a ton at the box office. With a US gross of almost $90 million, it did reasonably well, but given the actors involved, I’m sure the studio expected more from it. Apparently critics felt let down by it, as Hard received pretty poor reviews.

While I won’t call it a comedy classic, I think Hard works better than those lousy notices might lead one to believe. Sure, it comes with a mix of problems, but it boasts enough laughs to make it mostly enjoyable.

Not that I don’t understand the criticisms, as they seem obvious. Hard trades in clichés on a frequent basis, and not always in a clever manner. Some of the film mocks stereotypes but it also indulges in them a bit more than one might like.

Hard also doesn’t exactly set the world on fire in terms of creativity. Some of that relates to the aforementioned clichés, but it also suffers from too many predictable moments. There’s not a lot about the film that stands out as especially new or fresh.

In addition, we find a muddled, messy story from Hard. While it alludes to aspects of James’ attempts to clear his name, in truth the narrative exists to place Ferrell and Hart in as many comedic situations as possible. It doesn’t matter if these make any sense – as long as they try to produce comedy, they appear.

And that’s where Hard redeems itself: for all its flaws, the movie does deliver quite a few laughs. Most of these come from the chemistry between its leads. While neither Hart nor Ferrell break a sweat here, they work very well together and manage to produce lots of amusement despite the limitations of the source.

In particular, Ferrell plays James in a delightfully innocent, disingenuous manner. No matter what he goes through, he never becomes harsh or jaded, and his inherent niceness creates a lot of comedic opportunities. Hart doesn’t offer a great counterpoint – Darnell is a pretty sweet guy himself – but he still manages to create strong comedic sparks.

In the end, the connection between Hart and Ferrell proves to be enough to make Get Hard a fun experience. Nothing about it breaks new ground or excels in any way, but it delivers solid comedy across its running time, and that’s enough.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Get Hard appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image satisfied.

Sharpness seemed fine most of the time. The occasional soft shot materialized, but nothing too severe occurred, as the majority of the movie looked accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. I also didn’t see any specks, marks or other print flaws.

Colors looked positive. The image took on an amber/orange tone much of the time, and some teal appeared as well. The hues seemed fine within those parameters. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed clear delineation. All of this was good enough for a “B+”.

I also thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Get Hard worked well. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got mostly what I anticipated.

In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. However, occasional action elements opened up the mix in a satisfying manner. Enough of the material focused on characters/comedy that we didn’t get a ton of involving material, but the track managed to provide a reasonably engaging sense of place/location.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, though I noticed a little edginess at times. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a somewhat better than average “comedy mix” and became a nice reproduction of the material.

The Blu-ray provides both the film’s theatrical version (1:40:18) and an unrated cut (1:46:43). By my count, the longer edition includes 13 altered scenes, almost all of which make small changes/additions to existing sequences. These tend to be funny, but I don’t think they create a more effective movie; they’re fun but insubstantial.

The unrated cut also gives us one totally new segment. At the 45:07 mark, we see James’ attempt to escape from his “home prison”. The scene goes for about 1:40 and can be amusing, but a later sequence that simulates a riot seems awfully similar. The movie can handle one of these but not both.

Next we find nine featurettes. The disc presents “Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow” (3:41), “The Kevin Hart Workout” (3:18), “Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart” (5:28), “Ferrell Fighting” (3:06), “A Date with John Mayer” (2:00), “Twerking 101” (1:15), “Will Ferrell, Gangsta” (1:45), “Inmates: Out of Control” (6:18) and “Bikers, Babes and Big Bangs” (3:15). Across these, we hear from director Etan Cohen, stunt coordinator Steven Ritzi, executive producer Chris Henchy, stunt woman Taryn Terrell, and actors Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Nito Larioza, Craig T. Nelson, Tip “TI” Harris, Dominique Perry and John Mayer.

The featurettes look at stunts and action as well as cast and performances and some general production notes. The clips tend toward shots from the set more than anything else, and that allows them to be interesting. They also throw in a bunch of alternate lines, a fact I appreciate.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 24 minutes, 47 seconds. These consist of extended versions of existing scenes, so don’t expect anything truly new here.

This doesn’t seem like a bad thing, though, as these extended sequences tend to amuse. Some are better than others, of course, but all offer humor. I especially like the absurdly long “keistering” segment.

More cut tidbits show up in Line-O-Ramas. We get four of these: “Swear-O-Rama” (1:44), “Pickup-O-Rama” (4:14), “Shiv-O-Rama” (2:01” and “Cry A River-O-Rama” (1:31). Like prior “Line-O-Ramas”, these offer multiple alternate jokes for bits that show up in the final flick. They’re consistently entertaining.

Finally, we locate a Gag Reel. It goes for three minutes, five seconds and shows the standard goofs and giggles. A few alternate lines appear, though, so that makes it a bit better than average.

The disc opens with ads for Entourage and San Andreas. No trailer for Get Hard shows up here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Get Hard. It includes the gag reel but lacks the other extras. It also presents only the theatrical version of the film.

With Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell as its leads, Get Hard boasts enough talent to make it enjoyable. Neither manages to dazzle, but they show nice chemistry and turn this into an amusing little effort. The Blu-ray presents positive picture and audio as well as a nice roster of supplements that feature lots of cut/alternate footage. Largely due to its cast, Get Hard packs good laughs.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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