23.3 C
New York
Monday, June 24, 2024
Advertisement

The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film (Winners and Sinners)
The Film (Wheels on Meals)
The Film (The Protector)
The Film (Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars)
The Film (Armour of God)
The Film (Armour of God II: Operation Condor)
The Film (Crime Story)
The Film (City Hunter)
The Video (Winners and Sinners)
The Video (Wheels on Meals)
The Video (The Protector)
The Video (Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars)
The Video (Armour of God)
The Video (Armour of God II)
The Video (Crime Story)
The Video (City Hunter)
The Audio (Winners and Sinners)
The Audio (Wheels on Meals)
The Audio (The Protector)
The Audio (Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars)
The Audio (Armour of God)
The Audio (Armour of God II)
The Audio (Crime Story)
The Audio (City Hunter)
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

Seven films from the height of Jackie Chan's career that capture the martial arts star as a globetrotting antiquities hunter, a gritty detective hunting kidnappers, a hapless food truck owner and more. A boon for fans of Chan and Hong Kong cinema.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 (1983-1993) brings together seven Jackie Chan films from arguably the strongest period of Chan’s career. Unlike the Vol. 1 Collection from Shout! Factory, there is no doubt in these films about Chan’s star power, what direction his career would go in, and there are no imitation Shaw Brothers films. This is pure Jackie, with his comedic bent and a couple of his more “serious” action-thrillers in here as well.

The set starts with the classic “Lucky Stars” film Winners and Sinners from 1983. It brings together the Lucky Stars crew, a collection of ex-cons who are unsuccessful at staying out of trouble and find themselves in the middle of a counterfeit money ring, with the Triads and police out to get them.

The second film in the collection is Wheels on Meals (1984). Directed by Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, who also co-stars as a private detective named Moby, the story follows two Chinese friends, Thomas (Chan) and David (Biao Yuen), living in Barcelona, Spain who make their living selling food from a van. The two friends and roommates first come across the beautiful Sylvia (Lola Forner, Armour of God), when visiting David’s father in a mental health facility. They later run into her again in the city’s red-light district as they are selling their food and they believe she is a hooker, only to find out she is a highly skilled pickpocket, but she runs into trouble and seeks them out for help. When she spends the night at their place, she not only steals their money and their neighbor’s car, but she gets them wrapped up in an investigation by their private detective friend Moby (Hung), who is seeking out a lost heiress. The two friends and Sylvia end up in danger as Sylvia has a group of gangsters and the law on her trail and they decide to protect her, which is not easy.

The story in Wheels on Meals – a regrettably awkward English title for the original Kuai can che — is not much to sink one’s teeth into, but from the beginning there’s a lighthearted atmosphere and energy that keeps one engaged in the story. Chan is charismatic and delightful to watch as always, and Forner plays the part as the charming and seductive, comedic femme fatale to a tee.

As with any martial arts film, its success or failure often comes down to how good the choreography of the fight sequences is and this one really does not disappoint in that regard. Throughout there are some amazing feats and they are conducted with whimsy suitable for this comedy, foreshadowing the sort of thing we would later see in films like Rush Hour. The dénouement is a showdown between Chan and Benny Urquidez that martial arts fans are sure to love.

Third in the collection is the first “serious” film in the set, and the first where we hear Jackie Chan in sync-sound, the international production The Protector (1985). Starring Danny Aiello alongside Chan, Chan the two play New York City cops who travel to Hong Kong to make trouble for a drug lord who is the prime suspect in the kidnapping of a wealthy businessman’s daughter. Gritty and full of gunplay, this film is hindered by the limited English dialogue capabilities of Jackie Chan, who still delivers the action goods.

The next film in the collection is Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars, also from 1985. Another entry in the “Lucky Stars” films, it sees the Lucky Stars help bring down a crime syndicate in the vacation paradise of Pattaya, Thailand, bringing their unique form of blunder, and high energy martial arts to the resort area. Full of the slapstick comedy and wonderful choreography courtesy of direction by Sammo Hung.

Jackie Chan now enters into his globetrotting, Bond-esque era with Armour of God (1985). Chan, playing the Asian Hawk, goes on a quest in Europe to find an ancient sword and along the way must rescue his girlfriend from a cult of Satanic monks. This film introduces stunning locales and literal death-defying stunts as Chan nearly lost his life doing the stunt in the opening scene.

In Armour of God II: Operation Condor Chan reprises his role as Asian Hawk and is hired to find Nazi gold in the Sahara with the aid of three beautiful women. As always, Jackie Chan brings amazing martial arts skills and his unique brand of comedy to this role and the film expands the location visual and globetrotting era of Chan.

In the penultimate film in the collection, Crime Story (1993), Jackie Chan tackles a serious crime-thriller playing a detective who is assigned to protect a real estate magnate who ends up being kidnapped under his watch. When he tries to foil the kidnappers’ plans, he his thwarted by his own partner who turns out to be working with the criminals. For this film, Chan tones down his usual martial arts skills and his comedic abilities for a more straightforward, gritty, darker-hued crime thriller.

Rounding out the collection is City Hunter (1993). Jackie Chan does a complete 180 from Crime Story and goes back to comedy for what is an over-the-top satire based on a comic book. Detective Ryu (Chan) is hired to find the runaway daughter of a wealthy businessman which leads him to a cruise ship. The cruise ship is then hijacked and he must contend with both the bratty runaway and the hijackers. This film falls flat, trying too hard to be funny, almost as if Chan and his handlers were overcompensating for going so far over to the serious side on Crime Story.

  • Jackie Chan in Crime Story (1993)
  • Lola Forner in Armour of God (1986)
  • Jackie Chan in Armour of God (1986)
  • Jackie Chan in Crime Story (1993)
  • The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 (Shout! Factory)
  • The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 (Shout! Factory)

The Video

These films all come from restorations by Fortune Star, as were the Eureka Entertainment releases of the previously released films that appear here. Winners and Sinners and Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars are from 4K transfers from the original film elements. The rest are from 2K transfers from the original film elements. While generally speaking the films improve in quality the younger they get, The Protector looks the worst of the collection with more softness and murky detail in the shadows. Apart from that, we do see good vibrancy in the colors, especially in the Lucky Stars films, and natural film grain. There is no edge enhancement or video noise in any of the films. Crime Story is one of the best looking films in the collection overall for both dynamics, shadow nuance, and color coding. All films are in 1.85:1 AVC 1080p except Meals on Wheels, Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars, Armour of God, and Armour of God II which are in 2.35:1 AVC 1080p

The Audio

All the films in the collection come with their original monaural sound mix (The Protector comes with the original stereo mix) as well as lossy 5.1 and English dubs. The mono mixes have never been great, especially since almost all of them are dub-synced mixes and also have some minor clipping issues. Crime Story sounds the best and is the only one other than The Protector (which is originally in English) which is a sync-sound track that uses Chan’s real voice. With all that said, these tracks sound about as good as they ever have especially over older releases and just as good as the recent releases from Eureka in the UK.

The Supplements

Each disc has a variety of archival featurettes, interviews, and an audio commentary, plus theatrical trailers and deleted scenes. The commentaries are the highlight of each disc, but some of the interviews are also interesting to watch.

Disc 1 – Winners and Sinners

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film
  • A Winning Formula – An Interview with Author Dr. Luke White (1080p; 00:13:54)
  • Archival Interview with Director/Actor Sammo Hung (1080p; 00:06:03)
  • Teapot Tango – An Interview with Director/Actor Sammo Hung (720p; 00:13:29)
  • The Man Behind the Legend: Sammo Hung (720p; 00:19:58)
  • Outtakes (1080p; 00:04:59)
  • Alternate Japanese End Credits (1080p; 00:02:11)
  • Original Hong Kong Teaser and Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:55)
  • English Trailer (1080p; 00:02:39)
  • Japanese Trailer and TV Spot (1080p 00:02:49)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 2 – Wheels on Meals

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film
  • Break-Neck Brilliance: A New Era of Jackie Chan and Skeleton Shattering Stunts (1080p; 01:28:03)
  • Outtake Footage (1080p; 00:04:00)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:46)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 3 – The Protector

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary from Author and Film Critic Kim Newman, Moderated by Filmmaker Sean Hogan
  • Alternate “Hong Kong” Cut by Jackie Chan
  • From New York to Hong Kong – An Interview with Director James Glickenhaus (1080p; 00:09:32)
  • Locations – Then and Now (1080p; 00:04:20)
  • Behind the Scenes Trailer (1080i; 00:04:59)
  • Original Trailer (1080p; 00:04:34)
  • Hong Kong Trailer (1080p; 00:03:53)
  • Japanese Teaser and Trailer (1080p; 00:01:46)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 4 – Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film
  • Extended Taiwanese Version
  • A Life of Laughter – An Interview with Actor Richard Ng (720p; 00:21:04)
  • Gentleman Warrior – An Interview with Actor Richard Norton (720p; 00:32:50)
  • Outtakes (1080p; 00:03:48)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:24)
  • English Trailer (1080p; 00:02:28)
  • Japanese Trailer and TV Spot (1080p; 00:02:25)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 5 – Armour of God

Bonus Features:

  • International Cut
  • Commentary from James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic at easternkicks.com
  • Rise of the Phoenix – Radek Sienski on Armour of God (1080p; 00:20:49)
  • Interview with Jackie Chan (720p; 00:04:06)
  • Interview with Willie Chan (720p; 00:03:40)
  • Interview with Editor Peter Cheung (1080p; 00:04:41)
  • Japanese Release Outtakes (1080p; 00:04:29)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:54)
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:01:09)
  • English Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:02:06)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 6 – Armour of God 2

Bonus Features:

  • Extended Cut (1080p)
  • Audio Commentary from Film Critic James Mudge (Extended Cut)
  • Notes for a New Direction – An Interview with Composer Stephen Endelman (1080p; 00:13:54)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:03:20)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

Disc 7 – Crime Story:

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary from James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic at Easternkicks
  • Criminally Creative: The Story of a Stylistic U-Turn (1080p; 00:10:19)
  • Interview with Bruce Law (SD; 00:57:03)
  • Interview with Writer Teddy Chan (SD; 00:11:42)
  • Interview with Director Kirk Wong (SD; 00:10:31)
  • Deleted Scenes from the Singapore Version (1080p; 00:06:37)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:13)

Disc 8 – City Hunter:

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Films
  • Slapstick in the City: Jackie Chan Enters the Nineties (1080p; 00:12:40)
  • Interview with Jackie Chan (1080i; 00:13:46)
  • Interview with Director Wong Jing (1080i; 00:07:14)
  • Interview with Stuntman Rocky Lai (1080i; 00:10:59)
  • Interview with Richard Norton (1080i; 00:15:17)
  • Interview with Gary Daniels (1080i; 00:29:53)
  • Outtakes Music Video (1080p; 00:02:36)
  • Outtake Montage (1080i; 00:04:39)
  • Japanese Ending Credits (1080p; 00:03:37)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:04:00)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

The Final Assessment

This is the Jackie Chan collection you have been waiting for. While Vol. 1 was purely for the completist, hardcore fan, this is for everyone or the more casual fan. This is the crux of Chan at the height of his career, pre-Hollywood anyway. The films have never looked as good – and they are all in one place thanks to Shout! Factory. Recommended!


The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 is out on Blu-ray April 25, 2023 from Shout! Factory


  • Studios & Distributors: Golden Harvest Company | Golden Way Films Ltd. | Dimension Films | Miramax | Fortune Star | Shout! Factory
  • Directors: Sammo Hung | Kirk Wong | Jackie Chan | Eric Tsang | James Glickenhaus |
    Jing Wong
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: Mandarin DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Winners and Sinners) | Original Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Wheels on Meals) | English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo (The Protector) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Original Theatrical Mix) – Lorelei Ending Them, Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Original Theatrical Mix) Flight of the Dragon Ending Theme (Armour of God) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Armour of God II) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Crime Story) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (City Hunter)
  • Secondary Audio: Mandarin DD 5.1 | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono | Alternate Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Winners and Sinners) |
  • Cantonese DD 5.1 | Cantonese Alternate Soundtrack DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono | Original English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono | English (Classic Dub) DD 5.1 | English (2006 Dub) DD 5.1 (Wheels on Meals) | English DD 5.1 (The Protector) | Mandarin DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | Alternate Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars) | Mandarin DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | Classic English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono — Lorelei Ending Theme | Classic English Dub DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono — Flight of the Dragon Ending Theme | Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo | English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo | English DD 5.1 (Armour of God) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | Classic English Dub DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono (Armour of God II) | Cantonese DD 5.1 | English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono | English DD 5.1 (Crime Story) | Cantonese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | Cantonese DD 5.1 | English DD 5.1 (City Hunter)
  • Subtitles: English
Advertisement

Related Articles

Join the Discussion on TheaterByte!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
184FollowersFollow
1,710FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment "screeners" and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Seven films from the height of Jackie Chan's career that capture the martial arts star as a globetrotting antiquities hunter, a gritty detective hunting kidnappers, a hapless food truck owner and more. A boon for fans of Chan and Hong Kong cinema.The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 2 (Blu-ray Review)