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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

Police Story (Jackie Chan Legendary Collection) aka Ging chat goo si [Blu-ray]

 

(Jackie Chan, 1985)

 

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Leonard K.C. Ho

Blu-ray: Fortune Star (HK)

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:39:56.156

Disc Size: 24,520,856,165 bytes

Feature Size: 23,575,308,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case w/ slipcover

Release date: September 15th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 2141 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2141 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core:
5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 2183 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2183 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core:
5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital EX Audio Thai 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English, Chinese, Thai, none

 

Extras:

• Ng Shots – in SD (4:40)

• Stills Gallery

 

Synopsis:
It all begins here! Director-star Jackie Chan's celebrated Police Story series began with this classic action comedy, which features the inimitable Jackie Chan charm and some of the most spectacular action sequences ever put to film. Jackie Chan is cop Chan Ka Kui, who's assigned to guard beautiful witness Selina (Brigitte Lin), the girlfriend of evil drug kingpin Chor Yuen. Selina's presence causes some friction between Chan and his petulant girlfriend May (international star Maggie Cheung), but when the bad guys come-a-calling, all that gets left behind. Glass breaks, bones crunch, and anything and everything becomes a weapon in Police Story!

A seminal film even in Jackie Chan's incredibly action-packed filmography, Police Story redefined action films with its undeniably creative and exquisitely choreographed mayhem. Unbelievable stunts and breathtaking set-pieces set the tone in this award-winning film, which earned a Best Picture award at the 5th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Action to watch for includes an amazing car chase through a hillside shantytown, a stunt-filled chase with Jackie Chan hanging onto a bus with only an umbrella, and a simply mind-blowing finale in a shopping center, which could qualify as a world record for collateral damage via punches, kicks, or people simply falling through glass. All the above, plus Jackie Chan's generous comic persona, are present and accounted for in Police Story!

Hong Kong Film Awards: Best Picture, Best Action Choreography 1985

Excerpt of review from YesAsia.com located HERE

 

 

The Film: 7   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.


Jackie Chan’s Police Story must have really taken its audience by surprise. It mixes low comedy with suspense and thrilling action scenes. There’s even an attempt to give characters some dimension – some. But it’s Jackie Chan’s bonecrunching stuntwork that boggles the mind. For a nice guy who isn’t obviously psychotic he certainly places himself in astonishing amounts of harm’s way – and these are just the shots that made it to film – what about all the stuff that required a second take! Determination, combined with skill, talent and a carefully crafted sweet persona – an unbeatable combination. Seen from a perspective twenty years later, Police Story does not rise to the level of effort that Jackie Chan put into it. In other words, the whole is actually less than the sum of its parts – but, oh, what parts!

 

 

Image: 4/6
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale. The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Fortune Star released a freshly remastered Police Story Trilogy for DVD in 2004. It arrived in a smartly crafted box, with each movie housed in its own sleeve plus a nice photo album – the sort of care and expense we see precious little of on Blu-ray from any studio. Compared to what preceded it, the remastered version was a knockout. It still had contrast issues and its share of source element deterioration and edge enhancement, but aside from these, it looked and sounded about as good as I thought we were going to get. Enter Fortune Star’s Blu-ray and – whoops. Even a casual examination of the comparative caps indicates that the usual improvement in sharpness is not there. Far from it. And if the DVD was too yellow, the Blu-ray is too red. Yes, the tendency for the DVD to appear polished, smoothed out and a little brightened is clear (we probably didn't used to think so, but the Blu-ray does make this evident), but grain, bordering on noise, begins to dominate – very likely because the Blu-ray is a more accurate reflection of the source elements. But, then, what about the loss of sharpness, suggesting the source is severely compromised, whatever it is? There is also a curious horizontal compression of the image at the sides, where figures tend to narrow, reminiscent of the earliest days of CinemaScope and later video renderings. Worse still is that the dizzying effect this produces when the camera pans in either direction. Dramamine is advised.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
 

DVD TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

DVD TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 3/6
There's just so much massaging you can do with a mono or simple stereo track in order to create a surround field of convincing proportions. MGM/Fox was hit and miss with the early Bond films on Blu-ray, but Disney seems to have gotten it right for Pinocchio. Fortune Star has been messing around with the audio for Police Story for some while, but had the good sense to offer the original Cantonese 2.0 along with a DTS and a 5.1 Dolby on their remastered DVD, but on their Blu-ray, we must suffer with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1, as if this settles the matter. The Mandarin uncompressed mix and Thai Dolby EX 6.1 are even less good (as expected since they are dubs.) But, alas, there is no original track at all. Not that the original was any great shakes, but neither did it have pretensions. So what we are left with on the Blu-ray is the Hong Kong old school sock 'em chock 'em effects where no sound is believable, save perhaps the dialogue, and even that, though clear, is pressured. Effects sound as if they have been squeezed through a tunnel, and then given a treble boost after the horse has left the barn.

 

 

Operations: 4
We might have hoped for better a revised English translation for Fortune Star’s Blu-ray edition, but it still suffers from occasional spelling and usage lapses – not nearly as bad as the old, old days, but hardly as good as should or can be.

 

Extras: 1
In addition to a stills gallery the Blu-ray includes "NG shots" – a collection of production footage of stunts and outtakes. Even the DVD had trailers.
 

Bottom line: 4
While the Blu-ray may be more filmic in presentation, it's not much fun to look at. But unless someone starts from a different source, this is about as good as we're likely to get. BTW, YesAsia indicates it still offers Fortune Star's region-free remastered Trilogy HERE.

Leonard Norwitz
December 11th, 2009

 

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...


 

About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.


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