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

Police Story 2 [Blu-ray]

(aka "Ging chaat goo si juk jaap")

 

(Jackie Chan, 1988)

 

 

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Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Leonard K.C. Ho

Blu-ray: Fortune Star (HK)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:01:25.278

Disc Size: 38,416,824,943 bytes

Feature Size: 36,331,493,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 12th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 2269 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2269 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 2254 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2254 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:

• Interview with Stuntman Benny Lai – SD (15:42)

 

 

The Film: 7
Jackie Chan has appeared in numerous noteworthy movies, but he seems to be in top form when playing policemen. In a career filled with high points, the Police Story and Project A series feature most of Chan’s greatest stunts and best acting. This is true even of the recent New Police Story (not connected to the other Police Story movies), which was a return to form for Chan even though he is no longer able to push his body to extreme limits. Chan is limited to playing a goof in the Rush Hour series and Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights, but he emotes mightily and credibly as a dedicated member of the Royal Hong Kong Police.

Police Story was defined by Chan’s stunning leap onto a light pole in the middle of a department store. That one stunt is probably his greatest moment. With Police Story 2, Chan tried to top the first movie’s department-store showdown with a brawl in an abandoned factory. However, since Chan has not yet found a way to top the light-pole stunt, the action is simply on par with what we saw with Police Story, though to be fair, the scale of destruction is impressive.

The movie’s strength lies in the further development of Ka-kui (Chan) and May’s (Maggie Cheung) relationship. Ka-kui is so dedicated to his job and so daring/reckless that May feels like an afterthought. Ka-kui and May nearly split, though when the villains kidnap May, Ka-kui finally learns how much she cares for him. Chan is at his best when his characters are forced into impossible situations; the sense of desperation and love that Chan and Cheung exhibit while being tortured is what makes the action so exciting. Because we genuinely care for characters that are simply trying to make a relationship work--something that we all do on a daily basis--we share Ka-kui and May’s commitment to each other and to justice.

Excerpt ofYunda Eddie Feng's  review from DVDBeaver located HERE

Image: 4/6  NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
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.

As noted in my review of the Blu-ray of Police Story, 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. As we can see from the comparative screencaps, the Blu-ray for Police Story 2 appears to be drawn from the same source as Fortune Star's 2004 remastered DVD, but fares better than its predecessor. Compared to that DVD differences are not great, but at least they are consistent and in a positive direction. While generally soft, sharpness and detail varies with the scene – some seem shot with a fog filter, others are reasonably crisp and clear, with less smoothing applied, especially to faces. The color palette is on the pastel side with contrast far less aggressive than we saw in the first movie. Gone is the tendency to overbrighten scenes seen on the Blu-ray for Police Story. Grain is present, but kept from overwhelming the image without heaps of DNR. As with the original Police Story on Blu-ray, where the DVD was too cyan/yellow, the Blu-ray is too magenta. The same curious horizontal compression of the image at the sides on the DVD, where figures tend to narrow, is corrected to an extent on the Blu-ray. It's still evident, however, in shots such as in the locker room (see cap.) The bitrate is quite high, for all the good it does. A grudgingly acceptable presentation.

 

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

1) Genius Products/The Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP
2) Fortune Star (Police Story Series) - Region 0 - NTSC -
MIDDLE

3) Fortune Star (HK) Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 4/6
There are times when the DTS uncompressed 7.1 comes remotely close to being worth the trouble, as when a caravan of trucks lumber down the highway or when rain is drenching the scene (as contrasted from when it is heard from under the protection of a pavillion ceiling.) Then there are times when the foley work is positively laughable, as when Chan and his superior are walking across a hotel lobby and, despite the visual presence of others, these guys are the only ones whose footsteps we hear. The lack of differentiation among body blows is a hallmark of this generation of martial arts movies: there is nothing about the Blu-ray that modifies this. Dialogue is clear enough, though sounding as if under some pressure. The Dolby Digital EX track, while closer to the original, has the misfortune of lacking ambiance in some scenes to the point that the added foley effects feel disconnected from the action.

 

 

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: 3
The HK Blu-ray for Police Story II includes an interview with stuntman and actor Benny Lai. Lai talks about his career as a martial artist, specializing in kicking and his work with Jackie Chan's stunt team. Police Story II offered Lai his first opportunity as a "visible" supporting character, the deaf/mute pyromaniac. The feature is presented in very good quality SD with alternating aspect ratios.

 

 

Bottom line: 5
Fortune Star’s new Blu-ray is a modest step-up from their remastered DVD of 2004. As compared to the original movie on Blu-ray, Police Story II has fewer annoying technical mishaps. If you already have the remastered DVD as part of the Trilogy, I wouldn’t say the Blu-ray is worth the price of an upgrade, but at least it is an upgrade.

Leonard Norwitz
January 2nd, 2010

 

 

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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