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Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 103 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Patty Schemel, former drummer for the 1990s grunge band Hole, fronted by Courtney Love, lays her soul bare in this gritty journey through the underbelly of the music industry. In Hit So Hard, the openly gay drummer for Hole who videotaped nearly every moment of the halcyon days of the 90s grunge explosion before it took the lives of three great musicians, including Hole’s own bassist Kristen Pfaff and the suicide of Nirvana frontman and Love’s husband Kurt Cobain, tells the tale of  the drug abuse, rise to stardom, inner politics of Hole, her personal struggle with substance abuse and the effect of Cobain’s suicide on the culture at large. It’s a story of super stardom and hitting rock bottom, before, finally, reaching the ultimate redemption. The documentary includes candid interview segments with Schemel, Courtney Love and fellow Hole band mates, members of fellow 90s grunge and alternative band members from Veruca Salt, Luscious Jackson, Faith No More, and even 80s icons The Bangles.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The 1080i/60 AVC picture is made up of mostly standard definition video camera home movies from the 1990s and some photo scans from the 1980s and 1990s that aren’t expected to look great. With that said, even the interview segment here don’t look very good and show some combing in areas. Colors aren’t quite life-like either.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The soundtrack is offered in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) or Dolby Digital 2.0. The mix doesn’t do much with the surround channels at all, not even during the brief snippets of musical performances. The dialogue is presented clearly.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are approximately 80-minutes worth of extras included on the disc plus an audio commentary with Patty and the director. The bulk of the extras are comprised of additional footage from Patty’s home videos, as you can see listed below, but a theatrical trailer, a brief archival Q&A appearance with Hole and odd clip with a Hole fan are also included.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with Patty and P. David (Director)
  • Patty’s Home Movies (1.33:1; SD; 01:04:00):
    • Australia: Patty Jams
    • Australia: Fans “Mob” Eric
    • Australia: Club Ride
    • Japan: Train Ride
    • Japan: Shopping Mall
    • Hawaii: Bootlegs
    • Hollywood: Limo Life
    • First Class Scam
    • Australia: Big Day Out
    • Chicago: Courtney’s Birthday
    • Boston: Thurston Moore’s Birthday
    • Los Angeles: KROQ Weenie Roast
    • Australia: Post Show
    • Japan Hole Life
    • Paris: Riot
    • Los Angeles: Courtney’s Purge
    • Paris: Backstage to Stage
    • Tuktoyaktuk: Hole & Veruca Salt
    • Silver Lake: A Couple of Dudes
    • Melissa on Ian Astbury
    • Ian Astbury as “Chantal from France”
    • Tuktoyaktuk: Backstage to Stage
    • Hollywood: MTV Unplugged Rehearsal
    • Chuckles Comedy Club
  • Q&A at Museum of Modern Art with Hole (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:52)
  • Hole Makes a Fan a Star (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:22)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; HD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Hit So Hard is a raw and unnerving look at the unforgiving music industry. It rarely lapses into glorification of its subjects, even though it is a bit heavy-handed in its praise of Schemel’s influence as a drummer and Hole’s reach and musical influence on the whole. Recommended for all music fans who lived through era.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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