Police Story

Viewed – 22 August 2018  Blu-ray

A few years ago I was heavily into all things Hong Kong Action Cinema and explored not only the movies of the legendary Jackie Chan but everything from John Woo to Tsui Hark and Jet Li.  I got pretty burnt out it has to be said but occasionally I’ll revisit that interest when I see one of the classics get the Blu-ray treatment.  This 1985 action comedy has Chan as rule-breaking super-cop Ka-Kui, who following a successful raid on a shanty town to capture a notorious drug dealer, finds himself looking after a witness (played by genre queen Brigitte Lin).

Police Story

This 1985 movie, the first in the long-running series … was a huge hit and won awards in it’s native land whilst helping turn Jackie Chan into the superstar we all know him as.  Watching this movie now, whilst well structured and very entertaining throughout, seems to lean a little too heavily towards comedy with drawn-out scenes devoted to silly gags and comical situations involving his girlfriend (Maggie Cheung) and often bumbling co-workers.  Thankfully when the action does kick in it’s terrific, showcased in three varied scenes that prove without a doubt why Chan’s so respected, not just as a martial artist but also as a choreographer and daredevil with his unique brand of environment-using stunt work.  Influences from the likes of Buster Keaton are obvious and even all these years later, watching him is mesmerising.  Not exactly the greatest action movie Chan’s ever done or even his best movie but it’s still a classic for what it set in motion.

Police Story Blu-rayThis UK Blu-ray from Eureka! Is presented as a double feature box set with Police Story 2 and boasts a detailed booklet as well as a wealth of extra features.  We get three cuts of the movie (the original release, the Japanese extended cut & a shorter American home video cut), behind the scenes featurettes, archive interviews, a brief over-view of Chan’s stunt wok, deleted scenes and trailers.  The movie itself is in decent shape, with a 4K re-mastered image that whilst boasting nice detail and vibrancy, some darker scenes suffer from a smudgy, overly dark appearance.  The soundtrack is good though with both 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtracks presented in English dubbed and Cantonese subtitled, although the movie’s age means those surrounds are barely used.  Overall, solid treatment for a movie that’s still a great deal of fun.


(the movie)  3.5 /5

(the Blu-ray)  3.5 /5

Chung-king Express

Viewed – 14 Feb 2009  Blu-ray

I’ve always loved this film.  I recall catching it late night on TV around the time that all things Hong Kong movie related got me all moist (Jackie Chan, John Woo, Jet lee).  Yet this offered something different from a bullet-ballet or wire-enhanced kung fu, this had heart head and shoulders above the rest.

Directed by Wong Kar Wai, one of the most celebrated auteurs to come out of the far east, this follows two very similar stories about unrequanted love, break up and loneliness.  Now that may sound a bit depressing, but in-fact this is one of the most uplifting films I have seen with a quirky sense of humour and an abstract, unconventional style brought to life by cinematographer Christopher Doyle.  Starring such far eastern star names as Takeshi Kaneshiro, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chui Wai and Fay Wong, there’s a charm and an innocence to this that just feels so fresh and different.  Bridget Lin’s shady blonde-wigged femme-fatale is an instant cult icon (sadly her last screen role) and Fay Wong’s sparky, free spirited waitress is a joy every time she’s on screen dancing to The Mommas & The Poppas ‘California Dreaming’.  On that note I’ll also mention the use of music in this film is fantastic, from Indian bangra to American jazz and a perfect rendition of the Cranberries ‘Dreams’ by Fay Wong, who is also one of Asia’s biggest music stars.  Sheer bliss.

The Blu-ray from Artificial Eye offers a clean and vibrant picture, which although pleasing to the eye offers little of the format’s fine detail, but the DTS Master Audio is very strong with the music especially impressing.  Extras-wise we have footage of cinematographer Christopher Doyle revisiting key locations from the film, a very informative introduction from Quentin Tarantino, an interview with director Wong Kar Wai, and a trailer.  Not too shabby.

Verdict:  5 /5