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The Jackie Chan Collection: Volume 1 (1976-1982) Blu-ray Review)

Much of the deep catalog for Jackie Chan has been lacking in the United States. Overseas in the UK, 88 Films and Eureka Entertainment have been delivering quality releases of it. Now, Shout! Factory has come through with not just “a” release, but a set that includes 7 of Jackie Chan’s earliest works. Loaded with bonus features and each film to their own disc, their set includes The Killer Meteors, Shaolin Wooden Men, To Kill With Intrigue, Snake & Crane Arts Of Shaolin, Dragon Fist, Battle Creek Brawl and Dragon Lord. Entitled The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1 (1976-1982), it promises to be the first of at least a couple. This set arrives on January 24th, but you can pre-order it now using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review at the bottom of the page.

The Killer Meteors (1976)

A powerful nobleman believes his own wife has poisoned him. To find the elusive antidote in time and kill his evil wife, he hires his adversary, a rogue warrior known for his mastery of deadly explosive projectiles.

An interesting start to the box set finds Jackie Chan (“Jacky Chan”) top billed and his name in English lettering, but he is not our main character, nor in a lot of the film. He’s a key cog that gets the plot in motion and ends up becoming the antagonist of the feature. When it comes to him, he’s mostly lying down telling stories or giving information to our hero until the final act where he does battle.

When it comes to the martial arts on display, this is early in the Chan run where things are more traditional 70s kung fu and Samurai inspired action. We are not quite at the reactionary defense, tumbling, comedic kung fu slapstick for which he’d be known. Nonetheless, this is some exploitation/grindhouse fun with some good storytelling trade offs, lovley colorful sets and costuming, and big “one versus 5 or 6” action bits to round out a good time.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Killer Meteors has been given a 2K transfer from the original film elements. This one looks polished up a bit and may have had some DNR applied a bit more in some places than others. These films probably don’t have the best of elements, but overall it looks as slick as it probably can be. Colors look good and it has about as crisp an image as you’re going to hope for. Those looking for a rougher, grainer look are probably not going to be fans of the image.

Depth:  Depth of field is solid and a little bit above average. Movements and action are smooth and encounter no issues with motion distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep and inky. There are some areas hidden by deep blacks but overall its no deal breaker. There’s a tiny bit of crush in spots.

Color Reproduction: Colors pop pretty nicely and are well saturated. Most of this comes from the clothing and upholstery on display in the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are mostly good in close ups and start weaning the further from the frame the characters is.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: For these reviews, I’ll be covering the mono track since they are lossless and the 5.1 ones are not. These come with their source not being of the finest quality. Those going in to the films in this set are probably expecting that. The Killer Meteors has its fair share of analog hiss/pop to go along with areas of peaking. Nonetheless, it provides a nice genuine experience that provides the authentic feel one is probably looking for.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals come with a little heavier analog his that sometimes hits some bigger moments on S’s and such. There are also areas of peaking with higher pitched voices and yelling/screaming.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • by David West, critic and author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film

DRAGON LORD Hybrid Cut (1:50:40)

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4:22)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:28)

Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)

An orphan traumatized into silence by the death of his father finds himself living at the Shaolin monastery … and befriending a prisoner who teaches him a secret and deadly form of kung fu.

Shaolin Wooden Men is a pretty hefty epic that packs a lot of storytelling into a nice 100 minute film. There’s enough here where many would split into 2 or 3 movies, but this gets it all done in one. And it works quite well, and quite frankly, probably better without all the fat. With the multiple sections, or Acts, of this movie you get a variation on locations, sets, clothes and characters that make it feel like a pretty swift and varied experience.

The kung fu on display here is rampant and constant throughout from the very start of the film. It has plenty of big fights, personal fights and training moments to showcase a lot of impressive moves, body strength and athleticism on display. Many might take note of this film’s influence on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, which a few points from this film influencing those. And I must say, the film’s does live up to that title, as when we get to the part with said wooden men, its a well choreographed and shot sequence that is one of the things you’re going to get and take from this film.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Shaolin Wooden Men features a 2K transfer of the Hong Kong version from the original film elements. It looks rather untouched and is pretty crisp and clean here with a solid layer of grain intact. There is some good depth and color saturation to really bring out a nice filmic image.

Depth:  Depth of field is pretty strong and showcases many of the exteriors with a bigger sense of scale. Motion is smooth and natural without any issues causing any jitter or blurring distortion.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and very slightly grayed. Finer details, patterns and textures do show through quite well despite how dark a scenes or surface is. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors pop decently when they are around, mainly on clothes, upholstery or banners. Reds, purples, greens and such standing out.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures are discernible in close ups and most medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Alternate Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Shaolin Wooden Men comes with a pretty solid, similar to The Killer Meteors, mono track that is pretty effective and has some nice slap to the punches and kicks. Its a decently balanced mix, given the analog hiss and some of the distortions creeping in due to the quality of the source.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals carry an analog his to them and can fuzz up or peak in certain given moments, but its to be expected.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with James Mudge, veteran Hong Kong film critic at easternKicks

Ricky Baker on Shaolin Wooden Men (HD, 9:14) – This one is a ported over from the 88 Films release. Baker gives a bit of the background on the film but also a sort of guide to finding the right appreciation for the movie.

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4:16)

English Trailer (HD, 4:17)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:04)

Japanese Trailer (HD, 2:08) 

Japanese TV Spot (HD, :16)

To Kill With Intrigue (1977)

A young master sends his pregnant girlfriend away from the family’s castle, fearing for her safety from a vicious gang led by a vengeful woman who had her face scarred as a child by his father.

I gather this isn’t one that is a favorite among the Jackie Chan films in this set, but I don’t think it isn’t without merit. While it has a story that’s a little hard to follow, To Kill With Intrigue brings more to it in the details. The film features some lovely looking costumes and sets. There are also more focus on weapons in this one as well.

Which, as much as the story fails, the fight scenes in the film are quite good and work very well. There’s a lot more focus on gore with this one than the previous two as well. There are facial prosthetics and good make-up work to go with it. The fights a little more brutal and there’s plenty of blood here. In some ways, when you just focus on the action sequences, its more impressive and entertaining than Meteors or Wooden Men, but the whole package just isn’t as slick or complete.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: To Kill With Intrigue is a 2K restoration from the original film elements. Interestingly enough, its appearance feels like a cross between the first 2 films’ restorations. Its got a bit of a nice filmic look while also having a little slicker finish. There’s plenty of detail, depth and good color to it as well.

Depth:  Depth of field is solid and it features some good spacing and nice free reign for the fight scenes. Motion is smooth and filmic with no issues coming from any kind of distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and inky and can find themselves consuming but don’t really radiate over too much detail on the screen. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors contrast with the dark or the generic and really pop on outfits and upholstery. Reds, blues, greens and such really have a nice zap to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from the open to the close of the film. Facial features and textures obviously look best the closer you go and start disappearing or becoming less apparent the further back an actor is in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Japanese Theatrical Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Audio for To Kill With Intrigue is up to par with the other films so far in this set. Expect a good amount of dated analog recordings with some audio hiss, peaking and muffling time to time. That’s really nothing do with the restoration, and everything to do with just how the source is and has always been.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals range around in terms of clarity with hiss, muffling and peaking from time to time. Always plenty audible and able to make out the dialogue.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with David West, critic and author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film.

Intriguingly Jackie: Interview with Rick Baker (HD, 19:57) – Baker starts with discussing Jackie’s breakthrough, the time and vibe with which these movies were coming out and then goes into a defense of To Kill With Intrigue. “You got to just move away and enjoy the action.”

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4:53)

Japanese Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:07)

Japanese Teaser Trailer (HD, :49)

Japanese TV Spot (HD, :14)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:29)

Snake & Crane Arts Of Shaolin (1978)

Entrusted with the book Art Of The Snake And Crane after the mysterious disappearance of the Shaolin Masters who wrote it, a young man must fight off numerous clans to learn the true reason for the disappearance.

Snake & Crane Arts Of Shaolin is a real standout here in this run in the set. There’s a clear personality to the fights and the characters that feel all unto their own. The film also features a story with a rock solid hook that keeps a level of intrigue and interest as it carries on. In addition, things keep ramping up with more and more people involved and our protagonist getting deeper and deeper into battles you’re not sure he’s gonna be able to get out of.

This is a tremendous showcase for Jackie Chan here. His ability to do kung fu, as well as featuring him with weapons and then doing some tumbling on top. The “Buster Keaton of kung fu” really starts taking shape here as he continues to bounce and bop in every fight showcase that happens. Whether its against 1 opponent or 10, each fight has its own story. Its own beginning, middle and end and even kind of its own genre. Some are straight action, others adventure and many feature the comedy. This one resembles mostly the Jackie Chan you know and love and its awesome to see it take shape.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Snake & Crane Arts Of Shaolin comes from a 2K restoration from the original film elements. This one feels a step up from what has come before. Its got a more crisp picture with natural depth and a good filmic look to it. There’s a lot more detail and better color saturation abound in the image.

Depth:  Depth of field is strong here, which you can see right from the jump in the opening credits. Its big and spacious with some nice pushback. Motion is smooth, natural and has no issues with any sort of distortions from rapid action or camera movement.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and flirt with a more natural look to them, while still holding a little bit of a light gray tone to them. Details hold stronger here in the darker areas which carry a bit more grain to them. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are well saturated and really feature plenty of tints and shades. There are really good blues, reds, purples and more here that give a nice natural bump without bleeding too much from their contrast pop.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from opening to closing of the film. Facial features and textures are plenty discernible in close ups and most medium shots

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Japanese Theatrical Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: I hate to be a broken record, but Snake & Crane Arts Of Shaolin’s mono tracks sound pretty much similar to the previous 3 films in this set. Old school analog dubbing (all languages) which carry a variety of quality on each actors, analog hiss, muffling and some peaking in spots. But, if you’re a fan of these movies, this is nothing new and the quality is what it is.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals carry a base of an analog hiss, some muffling and peaking in certain areas. Plenty discernible though.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with David West, critic and author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film.

Pick Your Poison (HD, 19:46) – An interview with Hong Kong film expert Rick Baker. Indeed he talks the film, but this one covers a lot of Jackie’s rise to fame, the growing popularity of his films and what it was that ticked with the ones that did. And he has a lot to talk about with the home video market and his movies.

Trailer (HD, 1:59)

Japanese Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:13)

Japanese TV Spot (HD, :16)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:24)

Dragon Fist (1979)

After his master is murdered, a martial arts student departs on a sacred journey to avenge him and honor his memory. But when he tracks the killer to a remote village, the evil warlord tries to blackmail him.

Dragon Fist is one of the more complete and competent films here in the first batch. There’s more of a traditional martial arts adventure sense to this one. Jackie Chan is less comedic in the film and plays the more known type of hero that is straight. It comes across in not just his demeanor but the fighting styles as well. That’s sort of the fun thing with these films is that there is a lot of characterization in the fighting styles and movies as there is in dialogue and acting.

As a martial arts flick, Dragon Fist is in the upper tier of them from the 1970s. There’s an engaging story at its heart and plenty of easily identifiable characters, personalities and moments in the film. While we love comedic Jackie, he’s more than capable of hard nosed or compassionate roles. And we’ll see that throughout his career. His bread and butter may in being a goof, but like an Adam Sandler, the dramatic chops are a lot of time overlooked.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Dragon Fist comes with a 2K restoration from the original film elements.  The image here is one of the best of the set, with a nice, crisper, sharper picture showcasing a bit more finer details. Its a cleaner image with good depth and color saturation all throughout the film.

Depth:  Depth of field comes across rock solid here. There’s a grander sense of scale translated here and the pushback is pretty decent. Movements are filmic and smooth with no issues caused by motion distortion the rapid action scenes.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and play well in this image. This movie has the least amount of information hidden or heavier grain in the super darker areas. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty refined and well saturated. There’s a good contrast and pop but with out a burst or bleed from blues, reds, purples and the like. They look pretty rich, but also natural.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are are natural and find consistency from the opening fight to the closing punch. Facial features and textures are good from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Mandarin 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Mandarin Japanese Theatrical Audio 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Dragon Fist features a pretty solid mono track that is well balanced and effective. It still comes with its share of muffling, peaking and the like, but in the least distracting fashion so far. And the voices and effects feel a bit more consistent and even keel in this mix than the others.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are more top tier and cleaner here. They still come with their fair share of old beat up analog sounds, but at the more minimal side of things.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with James Mudge, veteran Hong Kong film critic at easternKicks

A Dragon Rules (HD, 21:45) – An interview with writer/journalist David West. West goes over a lot of Jackie Chan’s career in the early 70s and some of his personal life. Its a more rounded interview that take s a little bit more time on Dragon Fist. There’s plenty of information from the Rick Baker interviews repeated here, but overall its still good material with someone else’s input on similar notables here.

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3:58)

Japanese Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:50)

Japanese TV Spot (HD, :15)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:14)

Battle Creek Brawl (1980)

A man seeking fame and fortune in Chicago in the 1930s has his life turned upside-down when a merciless mobster takes his brother’s fiancée hostage and forces him to enter a no-holds-barred combat tournament in Texas.

Jackie Chan making his big stateside debut working in tandem with the director of Enter The Dragon? That would be the ultimate lift off, right? Well, as history would show, Robert Clouse may have lucked out on his Bruce Lee epic or perhaps that one could have been even better. Battle Creek Brawl is probably one of the better efforts and this one shines through with some good playful, slapstick style martial arts stuff from Jackie Chan in the early goings. However, it takes a turn and gets a bit more serious and hardnosed with the fighting in its later half.

This is a pretty easily enjoyable film, following a more easy to follow and traditional kung fu narrative about protecting your own from the outside bullying force. In this film its the 1930s Chicago mob. There’s some fun Chan has with them and he’s also portrayed in a nice romantic lead with a girlfriend in tow to boot. Overall, this first attempt at establishing himself in America didn’t quite work out, but its still an enjoyable flick and showcases some of his stronger attributes.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: There are no details provided about the transfer on Battle Creek Brawl, but this was previously released by Shout Factory in a double feature set (paired with City Hunter in 2013), so we can possibly assume its the same one. Its pretty decent and gets the job done. Which doesn’t sound like the highest of praise, but its a clean image with some very nice detailed touches on it.

Depth:  Depth of field is about smack dab average. There’s some solid spacing and the motion is smooth without running into any jitter or blurring from the action sequences.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep but have a little bit of that light gray look to them. Nothing too much is hidden in the darker areas of the screen. No crushing witnessed either.

Color Reproduction: Colors are a bit on the lower end, more muted and not a lot from the film delivering anything with a more playful burst. Nonetheless, its decently saturated and carries an overall look that one may be accustomed to watching a lot of older kung fu flicks from this period.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and texture come in pretty good in close ups and many medium shots, though lose some finer points the further back in the frame a character is.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Mandarin 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Battle Creek Brawl boasts probably the best audio here, with the least amount of source distortion. There’s a clean sound design that breathes and sounds loose and full through the room. Some nice impact and deeper elements (for a 2.0 track) lend generously in its favor.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are solid and feel on the same wavelength with one another. Some nice clarity with them with little hiss base distortion.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with James Mudge, veteran Hong Kong film critic at easternKicks

The Golden Boy: Harvesting A Major New Martial Arts Maverick (HD, 1:24:44) – Here’s a documentary exclusive for this Shout! Factory release. Running at feature length, exclusive to this release, on the sensational seventies emergence of Jackie Chan featuring contributions from Chen Chi-Hwa (director of SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN), Andre Morgan (producer BATTLE CREEK BRAWL), actress Kristine DeBell (BATTLE CREEK BRAWL) Lin Kuang-Yung (Actor/Stuntman HALF A LOAF OF KUNG FU), film critic Ricky Baker, Chinese cinema academic Dr Lin Fung and more.

This documentary comes with art, photos, clips and such from the movies, but its a very nice, colorful picture painted of the era and how Golden Harvest came to be as well as Jackie Chan fitting into. It starts from what the Shaw Bros studio was and how Golden Harvest had to separate from it. How they followed the death of Bruce Lee and Jackie’s entrance and emergence. Our talking heads also go through the films on this set as well.

Interview with Kristine DeBell (2022) (HD, 9:22) – Jackie’s costar in the film talks about the discomforts and not as fond memories of working in motion pictures as well as the experience on the film. Most of that comes from her first film, the X-rated Alice in Wonderland movie.

Interview with Jackie Chan (HD, 3:33) – An archival excerpt from something that was probably a longer interview where he talks about Battle Creek Brawl.

Interview with producer Fred Weintraub (2013) (HD, 11:51) – Archival interview with the producer as he looks back on the film and Jackie Chan.

Interview with actress Kristin DeBell (2013) (HD, 5:12) – An archived, quicker, more focused on the film at hand interview with the actress.

Battle Hardened (HD, 14:06) – An interview with critic and author David West. He gives an historic account and analysis of the film’s legacy and the idea of what this film was supposed to be at the time.

Rumble in the USA: Jackie Chan Takes on America (HD, 18:46) – An interview with martial arts expert Ricky Baker. Another like the previous featurette, but with the Ricky Baker flavor and expertise on it. Some of the same stuff is gone over, but still interesting nonetheless.

Original US Theatrical Trailer (HD, 5:53)

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3:14) 

The Big Brawl Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:36)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:09)

The original press release listed a bonus feature that was “The Big Brawl Opening Titles”, though it is not found on this disc.

Dragon Lord (1982)

A martial arts student named Dragon is in constant pursuit of romance when he runs afoul of some nefarious bandits trying to steal antiques and decides to put a stop to their plans!

Now we are talking. Like a good cliffhanger or finishing point on this Volume 1 set, Dragon Lord feels like we have watched our star build up to what we would know him to be. This is the first in the set directed by Jackie Chan and features many of the hallmarks that have made him such a beloved icon. From the type of character he plays, to the comedically based action to the behind the scenes/how the soup was made/stunts gone wrong end credits, this is a refreshing thing to take in as you wind down the set.

Dragon Lord is almost like a hang out martial arts movie, too. And its very much in tune with our whimsical lead. While there’s some treachery going on in town, he’s neither interested or knows much about what is happening until he’s forced too. We get a lot of funny bits of Chan with girls as well as a spot in the middle of the film where we get a sporting even played. Said event could’ve been a filler, but its actually well choreographed, shot and cut to where its rather exciting and fun to see.

Jackie Chan’s only directed film on the set is pretty memorable and leaves us here on a very high note and finally feels like he’s found himself and is uncompromised. It features some excellent action and good character relationships. Nonetheless, the comedy of the film hits well too and does that thing where you’re laughing and squirming at things at the same time. A craft that Chan would only go on and continue to excel at in the years to come.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Dragon Lord features a transfer restored in 2K from the original film elements. And it fares as one of the most well rounded and best transfers in the set. It looks like its been rather left alone and has some finer details, good depth and solid color saturation on display.

Depth:  Little bit above average depth of field here on display and a good presentation of scale. Movements are filmic and smooth with no issues from any motion distortions during the action bits or fast camera pans.

Black Levels: Black levels are in the dark but every so slightly gray category. Nothing really is lost in the more darker corners here as textures, patterns and finer details still are able to come through. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty well saturated here in this image. Its a lot of regular colors with some nice touches that flash in contrast to the browns and the like. Red sashes pop, as do some of the dresses that the females wear in the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features are easily discernible in close ups and most medium shots and become lesser apparent in the further ones, but still carry some information.

Noise/Artifacts: None

Audio

Format(s): Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, Alternate Cantonese 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, 1982 English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, 2003 English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: This has a rather rock solid Cantonese track that holds up with the cleaner production that was Battle Creek Brawl. There’s some good balance here, actually, and the effects hit pretty nicely and feel loose as they can considering.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and audible in any circumstance with a softer hiss as a base behind the vocals.

Extras

Audio Commentary

  • with David West, critic and author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film.

Two Cuts Of The Film – Both restored in 2K from the original film elements – the 96-minute Hong Kong Theatrical Cut and 103-minute cut that was released in some territories with approximately 15 minutes of extended and alternate footage. The theatrical is the default cut  and the extended cut is found in the bonus features.

An interview with Louis Sit (HD, 9:40) – He speaks of what his role was here with Golden Harvest and for this film but then goes into how he respects how they separated Jackie Chan from Bruce Lee, his appreciation for Jackie and how Jackie always goes over time and over budget because you can’t predict how his shoots are going to go.

An interview with actor Mars (HD, 29:47) – He goes through the difficulties of stunt work, applying it to the film and showcasing just how many times and how much time things can take.

An Interview with actor Whang In-sik (HD, 11:53) – Not only does he talk his craft, including some rehearsal/teaching footage, he gets pretty philosophical in this interview.

Original Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4:13) 

Cantonese Trailer (HD, 4:04) 

English Trailer (HD, 1:31)

Behind-The-Scenes Teaser (HD, 5:21) 

Still Gallery (HD, 1:54)

Summary

This Jackie Chan Collection set feels like we are just getting started right as its ending. A nice place to leave off for Volume 2 (I’d imagine that’s in the cards, right? Why else name it Volume 1?). The transfers, for what we have to work with here are pretty solid though the elitist probably will turn there nose up wanting more. Though, they work just fine and the audio tracks are probably best they can be. I’m sure its either a source thing or there just isn’t the money for a massive restoration job. Having seen plenty of kung fu flicks from the 70s on Blu-ray, these are pretty standard and par for the course, with a couple films being decent lookers. The extras here are awesome and they really pull the set together. Its a terrific collection and history lesson in seeing one of martial arts biggest stars start to make their rise. For those who haven’t been keeping up with the UK 88 Films releases, you can catch up real fast and save shelf space picking this one up!

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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