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Jackie Chan Double Feature

Crime Story (1993)               The Protector (1985)


(aka "Zhong an zu" or "Police Story 4")

 

directed by Kirk Wong
Hong Kong 1993

 

A multinational gathering of businessmen plot to kidnap corrupt businessman Wong Yat-fei (Law Hang Kang, GOD OF GAMBLERS' RETURN) and relieve him of his ill-gotten gains. Suspicious Wong - who already has enemies among his own workers - goes to the police in search of protection and Eddie Chan (Jackie Chan, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX) is assigned to the case. When Wong is nabbed, it is at the cost of the lives of two motor cops and Chan is driven to track down his kidnappers; little does he know that the investigation is being undermined from within by Detective Hung (Kent Cheng, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA) who is in fact one of the principal conspirators. Midway through the transfer of the ransom money by Wong's wife (Puishan Auyeung, VILLAGE ON FIRE), the police get a hit on one of the suspects Simon Ting (Fat Wan, POLICE STORY) that takes Chan and Hung to Taiwan. After the confusion of a massive raid - one of the film's thrilling set-pieces - Hung silences Ting, but not before arousing Chan's suspicions.

A mostly-serious turn for Chan, CRIME STORY has its basis in a true kidnapping story of a Chinese businessman who disappeared in 1990 and has not yet turned up. The usual Chan acrobatics are parsed out into a handful of major action set-pieces; and when they come, they are thrilling. The film is not without its comic elements; but most of them are to the it's detriment, with Hung's girth subtly associated with his corruption. The English dubbing doesn't help matters, but the script has the audience so far ahead of Chan and also makes Wong so unsympathetic (he has asked the police for protection from kidnappers but would also like them to arrest his workers when they demand payment, and he plots to make cost-cutting changes on his massive housing project under the noses of the permit officers) that some viewers may be rooting for the kidnappers; fortunately, Chan and the injured police officers are suitably wronged for the viewer to care more about them than whether Wong is recovered.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 24 June 1993 (Hong Kong)

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DVD Review: Shout! Factory (Jackie Chan Double Feature) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:47:04
Video

1.87:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.44 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.87:1

Edition Details:
• Deleted Scenes (6:24)
• Original Trailer (3:36)
• U.S. Trailer (1:40)

DVD Release Date: January 13th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Shout! Factory's DVD edition of their JACKIE CHAN DOUBLE FEATURE strips away some of the extras and specs from their Blu-ray edition (here) including the Cantonese 5.1 and mono tracks in favor of the English 5.1 track (which is horribly dubbed and features some terrible foley effects). The English subtitles are a nice inclusion, however they are synchronized for the Cantonese track (available on the Blu-ray HERE but not the DVD) and do reveal differences between the tracks in the naming of characters and in the order of lines in dialogue. Rapid dialogue during some sequences is run together as single lines without distinction that they are being delivered by different people (so some dialogue seems to contradict itself if you are not paying attention to the audio). The picture quality is an improvement over Dimension's non-anamorphic DVD (while that version was more or less complete - compared to some of the other re-edits of Chan's films by New Line and Dimension - and retained most of the dubbing and music, that version redubbed only Chan's voice and renamed his character "Jackie" instead of "Eddie"), being a downconversion of the HD master used for the Blu-ray. The new image also reveals slivers of additional picture information on the left, right, and top of the frame over the Dragon Dynasty anamorphic transfer despite the 1.87:1 matting (the DD disc is 1.78:1).

Extras include six minutes of deleted scenes and two trailers; however an interview with the director seems to have been a
Blu-ray exclusive.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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(aka "Wei long meng tan" or "Wai lung mang tam" or "Wei lung meng tan")

 

directed by Jackie Chan and James Glickenhaus
Hong Kong/USA 1985

 

After explosively taking out his partner's killer, Officer Billy Wong (Jackie Chan, OPERATION CONDOR) is busted down to crowd control, placing him at a PR event where Laura Shapiro (Saun Ellis, SWEET COUNTRY) - daughter of businessman/suspected drug runner Martin Shapiro (Ron Dandrea), the surname possibly chosen as a nod to director James Glickenhaus' own producing partner Leonard Shapiro - is nabbed by gun-toting thugs. Wong and new partner Danny Garroni (Danny Aiello, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA) trace a number called repeatedly by Shapiro's own muscle Benny Garucci (Bill Wallace, A FORCE OF ONE) to Hong Kong. The state department suspect Martin Shapiro of partnering with Hong Kong gangster Howard Ko (Roy Chiao, BLOODSPORT) in the heroin trade and, improbably, send Wong and Garroni to Hong Kong as special advisers to the police. When they arrive in Hong Kong, they face resistance not only from Ko's men, but also the police, and Garroni who has been sent to arrange an exchange more amicable to Shapiro's and Ko's drug trade (seemingly staffed by women who do all of their work in the nude).

THE PROTECTOR was a failed attempt by Golden Harvest and Jackie Chan to break into the US market, and it is easy to see why. Chan's English has improved since the eighties, but not by much; however, his newer vehicles at least better tailor the dialogue to his delivery. In THE PROTECTOR, all of his tough-guy and snarky dialogue rings false, and most of the English actors almost sound dubbed, or at least very stilted while Aiello's sidekick comic riffs are ill-timed (as does the attempted banter between the buddy cops). There's plenty of action (director Glickenhaus seems to enjoy the ability to better exploit Golden Harvest's financial resources in the NY first act) but little of Chan's acrobatics until nearly forty minutes into the film (and Chan would end up refilming some of the action scenes as well as cut the film down for pacing for the shorter Hong Kong version). Presumably the Chinese actors spoke a mix of English and Cantonese (and it seems like the dubbers only redubbed the Cantonese dialogue so one or two characters appear to have different voices at different times). The director's son Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus appears briefly as the toddler son of Billy's fallen partner.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 23 August 1985 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Shout! Factory (Jackie Chan Double Feature) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:35:18
Video

1.89:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.89:1

Edition Details:
• From New York to Hong Kong: Interview with director James Glickenhaus (9:31)
• Hong Kong Trailer (3:59)
• U.S. Trailer (0:47)

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Like CRIME STORY, THE PROTECTOR on DVD has been stripped of some extras from the Blu-ray. The Blu-ray featured the Cantonese cut (in SD and mono), as well as a behind the scenes featurette and one on locations. The cut featured here is the longer US theatrical release; however, the shorter cut (obviously left off the DVD for space considerations) features fight scenes refilmed by Jackie Chan, as well as a subplot with actress Sally Yeh. Mark Irwin's photography looks appropriately colorful but diffused in this HD-mastered transfer while the the original Dolby Stereo track (the Cantonese cut was mono) has been upmixed to 5.1. Optional English subtitles are included once again, but they actually are actually synchronized to the dialogue (which makes sense since the Cantonese track is featured on a different cut on the Blu). The extras the DVD does retain are an interview with director James Glickenhaus and the Hong Kong and US trailers.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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