Police Story 2


Viewed – 16 August 2019. Blu-ray

I don’t think you can really go wrong with a Jackie Chan movie. Over several decades the kung fu star has perfected his brand of slapstick action-comedy which is showcased well in the long running Police Story series. This 1987 sequel to the now legendary original picks up shortly after the events of that movie and has Chan relegated to traffic duty. However the mobster from the last movie is out of prison on compassionate grounds following a terminal illness diagnosis and goes about harassing Chan and his girlfriend May (the lovely Maggie Cheung). Yet when a bomb scare at a shopping centre brings about a new threat to the city, Chan’s superiors call on him to help out again.

This movie isn’t quite as talked about as the original and it’s fairly clear to see why. It once again gets bogged down in investigative police procedure, mixed with Chan’s often quaint style of comedy which I’ll admit did bring a few chuckles. However this occasionally feels even more long-winded, with the subplot of the mobster seeking revenge needing to be significantly trimmed. Thankfully then when the action comes it’s still superb, lightening-fast, expertly choreographed and amazing to witness – if a bit low key compared to the last movie. Yet the playground fight especially is a stand out. The climax also boasts some impressive stunt work and a great, if brief fight against Hapkido expert Benny Lai.

Chan’s direction overall is slick. The camerawork, especially for its time is stylish and well, he totally understands how to present action in a way Hollywood failed to grasp for years. Just a shame a wafer-thin plot and too much padding stops this just short of another Chan classic.

The recent Blu-ray from Eureka Classics has a decent if slightly soft image quality, but the soundtrack is at least delivered in several options including a dubbed, subtitled mono and and all new subtitled 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio. The movie also gets three cuts, the UK video version, the shorter and I’m guessing better-paced Hong Kong version as well as the full, uncut version I watched. I’d be interested in checking out these other versions I must admit. Extras consist of trailers, an episode of the ‘Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show’ hosted by Jonathan Ross, outtakes, an interview with Benny Lai as well as a commentary by stuntmen Miles Wood and Jude Poyer. The Blu-ray, as part of a deluxe set that also includes Police Story 1, also comes with a detailed booklet. Very impressive treatment overall for a still fun entry in Jackie Chan’s career thats worth checking out.

Verdict:

(the movie). 3 /5

(the Blu-ray). 5 /5

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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.

Verdict:

(the movie)  3.5 /5

(the Blu-ray)  3.5 /5

Top Ten Movie Crushes


Inspired again from a post over at The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger and further more from the idea posted over at Cinema Parrot Disco, here are my own (to best recollection) ten movie crushes … in no particular order.

Scarlett Johansson in Lost In Translation

Back when she was a little less glamorous, she is an image of innocent beauty, and makes for a great partnership with Bill Murray.  First Johansson film I ever saw too.

lost in translation

Winona Ryder in Reality Bites

So many images in this movie of Winona looking sassy, cool, beautiful … her hair, those eyes, and it’s a great romantic drama too.

reality bytes

Mila Kunis in Black Swan

Seductive and dangerous.  Kunis at her sexy best.

black swan

Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return (aka The Assassin)

Vulnerable, tough and sexy.  This role should have made her a star, but sadly the movie bombed.

the assassin

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary

Launched this quirky, gifted actress and as a more girl-next-door-type, exudes subtle sexiness and weirdness.  My kinda gal!

Secretary

Marion Cotillard in Inception

DiCaprio’s phantom wife, seductive and deadly, but also tragic.  A great actress and such smoky eyes!

inception

Katherine Isabelle in Ginger Snaps

One of the hottest actresses to ever turn into a revenant snarling wolf – Isabelle exudes sex and eroticism, whilst also being rather funny!

ginger snaps

Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns

Forget Anne Hathaway, THIS is the only Cat Woman the movie industry ever needed.  Part dominatrix, part tragic victim, and Pfeiffer at her sexy, beautiful best.

batman returns

Sandra Bullock in Speed

Again another first and launched the career of this very likable actress.  Looking her prettiest and girlfriend-like in this classic thriller.

speed

Maggie Cheung in The Heroic Trio

Fell for her during my Hong Kong Action Cinema phase in the 90s … a stunning example of a hot female badass action hero!!  Oh and she’s a very good actress too, see ‘Hero’.

the heroic trio

So a few unusual choices there you might think, a few obvious ones but kind of sums up the kind of females I tend to crush over in movies.  Have you a list of your own?  Give it a go and lets see!!