The pot smoking duo of Harold & Kumar is back in a Christmas extravaganza for the ages. The two bring their usual batch of immature stoner jokes we’ve all learned to adore from their previous films in A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. Of course, it’s not a Harold & Kumar film without the legendary Neil Patrick Harris, who makes an epic appearance that keeps you laughing at a consistent rate. The film also takes advantage of the latest 3D craze, which seemed dead and useless until they got their hands on it. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is a continuation of the first two films, keeping the humor the same, but adding some 3D Christmas fun to the mix.
Six years after they escaped Guantanamo Bay; Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) are thrown together once again on one of the most important nights of Harold’s life. The two have basically split up after the events of Guantanamo Bay, with Harold going on to become a respectful businessman with a steady relationship and hopes for a family, while Kumar flushes responsibility down the toilet and continues to smoke.
They haven’t kept in touch for a while, but that all changes when a magical joint falls into Kumar’s lap. It has Harold’s name on it, which leads Kumar to Harold’s house. Shit hits the fan almost seconds after the two get back together. Harold’s father-in-laws Christmas tree gets burned down because of the joint, causing Harold and Kumar to race around New York, looking for a replacement tree. The tree becomes the prime target, yet they somehow get side tracked into a whole new level of messed up, from a hot young virgin with a mob boss father to cocaine induced babies; A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas amps up the level of insanity like no other.
The film can’t be a real Harold & Kumar movie without a little White Castle and a heavy dose of Neil Patrick Harris. Thankfully both are present at some point during the films running time. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is traditional Harold/Kumar fun, but with an added Christmas element topped with an extra dimension.
3D is fully utilized in the film, providing the viewer with an extra dimension of interaction. Things like eggs splattering across the screen and smoke puffing out all over the place are the types of 3D novelty director Todd Strauss-Schulson uses for the film and they work effectively. It helps you feel even more connected with the film. I prefer gimmick 3D films like this because they often times try to always keep things popping out at you and reminding you why you’re paying an extra $3 bucks at the box office.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is something that will please the fans for sure, but I can’t see any new comers wanting to join in after watching the film. The Harold & Kumar films are for a focused audience group and you’ll either love them all or hate them all. I happen to enjoy them and fans of the series will find A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas to be a worthy entry.
The film looks great on Blu-Ray, with bright 1080p transfer. Colors are warm and eye-catching while detail is never sacrificed. It’s a strong transfer for sure, but the film feels like it’s missing something when viewed in 2D. Lots of shots were catered to the 3D format and they come off looking kind of odd in 2D.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. The theatrical cut of the film contains a quality 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track while the unrated extended cut only comes with a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. It’s really weird for a studio not to include lossless tracks for both cuts of the film, but it doesn’t totally ruin the package because the Dolby Digital track is mixed fine for a lossy track. There’s not much action in the film, but most of the channels keep active with surrounding effects.
The disc is a little bare, only packed with a handful of short features. Check out a full list below.
- Theatrical Cut & Extended Cut
- Through the Haze with Tom Lennon (HD): A funny batch of segments with Tom Lennon cursing left and right while trying to discuss random topics related to the film.
- Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation to Life (HD): A detailed look at how they established the excellent claymation sequences in the film.
- Deleted Scenes (HD): A very short crop of deleted scenes that only hold onto gags a little too long; be thankful that they were cut.
- DVD Copy (The disc is a Blu-Ray/DVD flipper disc)
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
It’s a little tricky recommending this Blu-Ray because the film caters largely to the 3D format and this disc only provides you with the 2D version of the film. I saw the film twice in 3D in theaters and I’ve watched the 2D Blu-Ray a total of 3 times (for review purposes) and I can honestly say the lack of 3D makes a really big difference. The film isn’t nearly as enjoyable in 2D. If you can’t support proper 3D at home and you somehow missed the film in theaters, then by all means check the film out if you’re a fan.
But if you do have a proper 3D setup and want to view the film in the best way possible then I suggest you seek out the 3D combo pack. The 2D combo pack comes with the same bonus content and extended cut of the film, but it’s just in two dimensions! The video is festive and bright while the audio track is a split between great and good. The Tom Lennon special feature is humorous, but the rest is passable.
One thing I really dislike is flipper discs. I prefer having the Blu-Ray version on one disc and the DVD on another, but studios get cheap and it looks like Warner Brothers has finally adapted the horrid concept. That in no way should knock down the Blu-Ray though, because the disc is sound and the film is great.