Top

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

December 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 1991

DURATION: 137 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition, 2:40:1 aspect ratio, English, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, German 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  SUBTITLES: English, Spanish, French and German Subtitles

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Strong Sci-Fi Action and Violence and For Language)

RELEASE DATE: December 26, 2017


Directed by James Cameron

Written by James Cameron, William Wisher

Producer: James Cameron

Executive Producer: Gale Ann Hurd, Mario Kassar

Co-Producer: Stephanie Austin, B.J. Rack

Music by Brad Fiedel

Cinematography by Adam Greenberg

Edited by Conrad Buff IV, Dody Dorn, Mark Goldblatt, Richard A. Harris

Casting by Mali Finn

Production Design by Joseph C. Nemec III

Art Direction by Joseph P. Lucky

Set Decoration by John M. Dwyer

Costume Design by Marlene Stewart


Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor

Edward Furlong as John Connor

Robert Patrick as T-1000

Earl Boen as Dr. Silberman

Joe Morton as Miles Dyson

S. Epatha Merkerson as Tarissa Dyson

Castuolo Guerra as Enrique Salceda

Danny Cooksey as Tim

Jenette Goldstein as Janelle Voight

Xander Berkeley as Todd Voight


Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now he’s one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John’s mother, a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy: the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. Co-written, produced, and directed by James Cameron (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS, TITANIC), this visual tour de force is also a touching human story of survival.


For those who grew up during the early years of cable television, James Cameron’s 1984 film “Terminator” shocked and electrified audiences with its special effects and the film’s final scenes.

When it was announced that a sequel was being planned and would be released in 1991, bringing back Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the Terminator and Linda Hamilton, reprising her role as Sarah Connor.

Suffice to say, the second installment of the “Terminator” franchise didn’t disappoint.  Earning $523.7 million in the box office, which was a huge box office success and earning critical acclaim.

The film would also star a young Edward Furlong (“Detroit Rock City”, “American History X”), Robert Patrick (“The Faculty”, “The Marine”, “Charlie’s Angels”) and Joe Morton (“Justice League”, “Paycheck”, “Speed”) and the film has been released on video via theatrical version, special edition and extended special edition on VHS, LD, DVD, Blu-ray and now on 4K Ultra HD.

And I will be reviewing the 4K Ultra HD version.  It’s important to note that the 4K Ultra HD version features the original theatrical version, but it’s included Blu-ray includes all three versions of the film.

The film is set in 1995, John Connor (portrayed by Edward Furlong) is living with his foster parents and tends to get into trouble.  Meanwhile, his mother, Sarah (portrayed by Linda Hamilton) was arrested and imprisoned at a mental hospital after attempting to bomb a computer factory.

Prior to that, John’s mother had been preparing him for his role as the Human Resistance Leader against Skynet, the artificial intelligence that will be given control of the United States nuclear missile technology and would initiate a nuclear holocaust known as “Judgment Day” on August 29, 1997.

With 3 billion humans killed, Skynet would create robots known as Terminators to kill humankind.  But fighting them is the Human Resistance and in the future, John sends a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger) to find and protect his younger self back in 1995.

But Skynet sends a new Terminator known as T-1000 back in time to kill John Connor and this time, the Terminator is made out of mimetic poly-alloy (liquid metal), so this new Terminator can take any shape and appearance and make any part of its body a weapon.  In this case, transforming his arms into blades.

The Terminator T-800 is able to trackdown John, who is running away from the T-1000 Terminator disguised as a police officer.  Because the Terminator follows John’s instructions, fearing that the T-1000 will kill his mother, John orders the Terminator to help him rescue his mother Sarah.

As the two are able to free Sarah, she is intent in finding Miles Bennett Dyson (portrayed by Joe Morton), the Cyberdyne Systems engineer responsible for creating Skynet.

But hot on their trail is the T-1000 intent in killing all of them.

Can Sarah, John and the T-800 survive against the T-1000?


VIDEO:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is presented in 4K Ultra High Definition ala 2160p 4K Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).

Picture quality was a bit of a surprise.  Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) was utilized for the clean up for the video and so, the film is devoid of the grain that it previously incorporated.  While casual viewers probably may not be able to tell, videophiles will notice the change in details as picture quality is a bit waxy.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI (Category 2) Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Lossless audio quality is very good with an English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack and a German 6.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack.  With the high level of action featured in this film, may it be the T-800 vs. the T-1000 or the Terminator taking on the police with machine guns ablazing, this is no doubt an immersive action-driven soundtrack.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with the following special features (on the Blu-ray Disc):

  • T2: Reprogramming the Terminator – The Making of T2 Documentary from 1993 – (30:54) The original “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” documentary from 1993.
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio commentary – (3:13) Two deleted scenes with optional audio commentary from James Cameron.

EXTRAS:

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code (Theatrical Version).


“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is one of those films that I watch often, mainly because it’s a film that brings me a lot of memories.

Going out on a movie date with my girlfriend, who would eventually become my wife.  Purchasing the film on VHS, LD, DVD, multiple times on Blu-ray and now once again watching it on 4K Ultra HD.

Of all the “Terminator” film installments, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” resonates strongly for its storyline and character portrayals and it was an amazing follow-up to the first film.  It was James Cameron’s story, his vision and executed his way.  As for the other films that came after, unfortunately, other films were quite forgetful.

It’s a shame that director James Cameron never came back to “Terminator” soon after the 1991 release, but he, Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will be back with the sequel to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 2019 and for me, I just want to see the “Terminator” series done right and with James Cameron back, perhaps this is what the franchise had needed long ago.

But as I watch this film again, I still enjoyed it like I did when I was in my teens.  It’s an awesome sci-fi action film that builds upon the original and while there are plenty of action sequences, in today’s cinema world, which dominates many action films over its plot, Cameron wrote a film that balances its action with a storyline that matters.  A storyline that captivates you and a storyline that no doubt took advantage of the special effects of its time in its full efficacy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was fantastic as the reprogrammed T-800 trying to protect a young John Connor while helping his toned mother, Sarah, portrayed by the toned, muscular Linda Hamilton showing us that she has become a strong female character that can kick a lot of arse. I remember watching her scenes and being amazed of how much she worked out for this film and at the time, showing us a strong female character that took matter into her own hands in order to get the job done.  That was really rare to see in the early ’90s.

You then had the debut of Edward Furlong who had a promising outlook to another young actor at the time, Leonardo DiCaprio but both with two different outcomes in their personal life and acting career.  And sure enough, it was James Cameron’s 1997 “Titanic” film starring DiCaprio that would shoot the young actor’s career into superstardom.  And you had Robert Patrick in one of the coolest antagonist roles at the time.

The film just worked as the action and storyline went smoothly but what James Cameron has planned for the next film, will be exciting to see.  And I look forward to seeing it.

As awesome this film was and how many times I have owned it, I have been looking forward to this 4K Ultra HD version.  As much as I enjoy this film, there are a few problematic things with this release that prevents it from being a five-star release.  All three films are presented in this release, but only on the Blu-ray disc.  The 4K Ultra HD version only showcases the original theatrical version.

The next unfortunate part of this release is the choice to utilize DNR to strip the film’s grain and for videophiles who care about picture quality, this is a no-no.  When you remove the DNR, things look waxy and this may be fine for the casual viewer but for those who invested in 4K Ultra HD, the experience in watching these films in the best way and as close to the original presentation is important.  So, why the choice to use DNR, I am not sure but it affected the picture quality of this release.

But again, all is not lost, as you do get the three versions: theatrical, special edition and extended special edition on the Blu-ray disc and you do get an UltraViolet Digital HD code for the theatrical version.

As for lossless audio, the film sounds great especially how immersive things become during the more action-driven scenes in the film.  So, that’s a plus!

As for special features, the original 1991 documentary and two deleted scenes with optional commentary can be found on the Blu-ray disc.

Overall, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a magnificent, classic James Cameron sci-fi action film.  And as the film had various releases on DVD and Blu-ray, unfortunately this is not the perfect 4K Ultra HD release that fans may have wanted.  The film would stand on its own but this 4K Ultra HD release defeats the point of being a great release with the overuse of DNR.

Safe – The Criterion Collection #739 (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

safe-a

“Safe” is the film that help propel the careers of filmmaker Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and actress Julianne Moore.  But the film’s ambiguous nature, the unexpected and the magnificent performance by Julianne Moore and masterful direction by Todd Haynes makes this film worth watching!  One can only hope for the Criterion Collection to release more films by Todd Haynes on Blu-ray in the near future!

Image courtesy of © 1995 The Chemical Films Limited Partnership.  2014 The Criterion Collection. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Safe – The Criterion Collection #739

YEAR OF FILM: 1995

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 aspect ratio, English Monaural, Subtitles: English SDH

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics/THE CRITERION COLLECTION

RELEASE DATE: December 9, 2014


Directed by Todd Haynes

Written by Todd Haynes

Executive Producer: John Hart, Ted Hope

Produced by Christine Vachon, Lauren Zalaznick

Music by Ed Tomney

Cinematography by Alex Nepomniaschy

Edited by James Lyons

Casting by Jakki Fink

Art Direction by Anthony Stabley

Set Decoration by Mary E. Gullickson

Costume Design by Nancy Steiner


Starring:

Julianne Moore as Carol White

Xander Berkeley as Greg White

Ronnie Farer as Barbara

Jodie Markell as Anita

Susan Norman as Linda

Chauncey Leopardi as Rory

Steve Gilborn as Dr. Hubbard


Julianne Moore gives a breakthrough performance as Carol White, a Los Angeles housewife in the late 1980s who comes down with a debilitating illness. After the doctors she sees can give her no clear diagnosis, she comes to believe that she has frighteningly extreme environmental allergies. A profoundly unsettling work from the great American director Todd Haynes, Safe functions on multiple levels: as a prescient commentary on self-help culture, as a metaphor for the AIDS crisis, as a drama about class and social estrangement, and as a horror film about what you cannot see. This revelatory drama was named the best film of the 1990s in a Village Voice poll of more than fifty critics.


safe-b

Filmmaker Todd Haynes is known for his films “Far from Heaven” and the Bob Dylan biographical musical film “I’m Not There”.

While also known for “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story”, “Poison” and “Velvet Goldmine”.

But his second feature film “Safe” would garner critical acclaim upon release back in 1995, but the question is did audiences really understand the film at that time?

Nevertheless, “Safe” can be interpreted as a film of hope, a tragedy, a horror film and its ambiguity may lead to people being confused.

But the film would help propel filmmaker Todd Haynes towards the mainstream, would jumpstart the producing career of Christine Vachon and also giving young actress at the time, Julianne Moore, her first major leading role in a film.

And now “Safe” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

“Safe” is set in 1987 in San Fernando Valley and it begins with Carol White (portrayed by Julianne Moore) and her husband Greg (portrayed by Xander Berkeley) arriving home and then having sex.  While her husband is into it, you can see face of Carol who seems as if she is uninterested.

A normal homemaker that is planning on the interior design of her home, planting in the garden and going to aerobics classes with her friends, one day while going home, Carol begins to cough uncontrollably while behind a truck that has a lot of smoke coming out of its tailpipe.  Coughing to the point that she gets confused and starts coughing in a parking garage.

While going to the doctor for a checkup, the doctor feels there is nothing wrong with her and she is perfectly healthy.  But she starts to develop mild to severe symptoms as she begins to lose her breath, begins to hyperventilate, has a nose bleed and makes it difficult to live life and it begins to affect her family.

As she continues to get more check ups, she is told to visit a psychiatrist and allergist as her body is producing strange reactions, coughing that she can’t stop and even convulsions that puts her into the ground.

She starts to meet groups with people who also have similar issues where doctors, significant others, friends don’t believe there is anything wrong with them but the individual themselves feel there is a significant problem.

What is wrong with Carol?


VIDEO:

“Safe- The Criterion Collection #739” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality for the film is fantastic as the 4K restoration has brought out much better detail.  There is a good amount of grain during the film and while the film is 20-years-old, it doesn’t look like it at all.  Better clarity, no signs of aging colors or problematic artifacts or negative issues.

According to the Criterion Collection, “This new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner from the original 35mm camera negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker were manually removed using MTI’s DRS and Pixel Farm’s PFClean, while Digital Vision’s Phoenix was used for small dirt, grain, and noise management.”

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for audio, “Safe – The Criterion Collection #739” is presented in English LPCM 1.0. The monaural soundtrack is clear with no sign of hiss, crackle or any popping.

According to the Criterion Collection, “The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from a 35mm magnetic track. Clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD, AudioCube’s integrated workstation, and iZotope RX3.”

Subtitles are in English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Safe – The Criterion Collection #739” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring a 2001 audio commentary by Todd Haynes, actress Julianne Moore and producer Christine Vachon.
  • The Suicide – (20:30) Todd Hayne’s first serious directorial effort was a surreal short from 1978. Haynes thought it was lost until producer, Michael Quinn Martin, discovered a print at his parents’ home.
  • Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore – (36:10) A 2014 conversation with director Todd Yanes and actress Julianne Moore.
  • Christine Vachon – (15:54) Producer Christine Vachon discusses her working relationship with Todd Haynes.
  • Trailer – (1:19) The original theatrical trailer for “Safe”.

EXTRAS:

“Safe – The Criterion Collection #739” comes with a poster-sized insert with the essay “Nowhere to Hide” by Dennis Lim.


safe-c

Todd Haynes is a filmmaker that creates films that people think they understand, creates films that may often alienate viewers and films with no clear cut ending.

Bucking the banal Hollywood ending, “Safe” is a film that may seem simple in describing but the film itself is not simplistic at all.

A normal housewife begins having illnesses that doctors are baffled by.  Each time she is told that she is healthy, her husband starts to be upset because he wants normalcy, when his wife is experiencing situations that should not be affecting her.    No one knows what’s wrong with her, she believes she has some type of environmental illness and seeks some answers for why her body is behaving like it is.

Watching “Safe”, I began thinking of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Red Desert” about a woman who feels that she drowning in her environment, lonely, isolated.  For “Safe”, while Carole is by no means lonely or isolated, her reactions seem as if she feels out of place.

While some may classify Carol’s medical condition as MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), it may easily be the case.  But this is a film made during the ’80s, before people had any answer to certain illnesses and watching Carol, I felt there was something unsettling about her.  The way she has sex, the way she seems a bit off at times, possibly even depressed.  The fact is that she is a woman that seeks the truth of why she is what she is. She seems rather empty, distant and alienated.

And sometimes in society, people feel comfort in the most unusual or unfortunate settings.  May it be cults or other forms of groups that have an outlandish ideology on life.   Her difficulty of breathing, perhaps its the people around her.  Her husband, the lifestyle…perhaps she feels suffocated by it all.

And possibly when the film was released, it was possibly a statement of America.  The fear of AIDS, the fear of something bad was going to happen.  From the wild and party years of the late ’70s, ushering towards a decade of conservatism and fear of AIDS and the Cold War but then ushering an era of the ’90s that began with war, plenty of attention towards money and social lifestyle and all in all, Carol is a person who has had enough and not sure how to deal with life.  Are people a product of their environment and is there any hope for her at all?

When I first watched the film, it was almost a similar feeling I had during my late teens ala the mid-90’s of listening to Morrissey’s album “Bona Drag” over and over and listening to “Everyday is Like Sunday” and “Suedehead”, just thinking at one point in my life that what I watched on television and the constant negative news and seeing the materialism of the ’90s, which was really a drag.

And so I watched “Safe” at the time as not a film about a woman with an unexplainable disease but a woman who was affected by her environment and had no way out, until she discovered a group of others who are like herself.

Misery likes company.

And my opinion hasn’t changed so much today because the environment has shapeshifted to another type of monster with the unknown of social media, technological advances and whichever crap that exists out there today.  But where people had aspired to be like 90210 back in the mid-90’s, our society has become much broker and are paying for the materialistic nature of companies of the past.

So, this film does have so much relevancy even today.

And actress Julianne Moore does a fantastic job in her first lead role of playing a character that is suffering.  A riveting performance by Julianne Moore with masterful directing by Todd Haynes!

The Blu-ray release of “Safe” is rather fascinating because it’s probably the best looking version of the film to date thanks to its 4K restoration bringing out the clarity of the film and making it look like it was a film that is more recent than older and aged.  The film looks magnificent and it’s monaural soundtrack is clear without any hiss.

You also get the original 2001 commentary with director Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and actress Julianne Moore.  You get a newer conversation from 2014 between Haynes and Moore and also an interview with Christine Vachon.  But possibly one of the coolest featurettes was the discovered surreal short film by Todd Haynes titled “The Suicide” from 1978 which definitely makes even sense today as bullying has made it mainstream as more education of how messed up it is to pick on people who are short, non-athletic and what happens to one child who is picked on constantly and tormented by his bullies.  A very deep short film from Todd Haynes that is probably much more relevant today than when it was created back in the late ’70s!

Overall, “Safe” is the film that help propel the careers of filmmaker Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and actress Julianne Moore.  But the film’s ambiguous nature, the unexpected and the magnificent performance by Julianne Moore and masterful direction by Todd Haynes makes this film worth watching!  One can only hope for the Criterion Collection to release more films by Todd Haynes on Blu-ray in the near future!

Being Human: Complete Third Season (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

beinghuman-s3

Season three of “Being Human” was just full of excitement, humor and there was just more to love and be excited about as writing was top notch and the chemistry of the characters were fantastic.  For fans of “Being Human”, “Being Human: Complete Third Season” on Blu-ray is recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2013 B.H. 3 Productions (Muse) Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Being Human: Complete Third Season

TV SERIES AIR DATE: 2013

DURATION: 13 Episodes (572 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English SDH

COMPANY: SyFy, Muse Entertainment, eOne

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Directed by Pablo Barzman, Adam Kane, Stef Pleszczynski, Charles Biname, Jeff Renfroe, Stefan Schwartz, Mairzee Almas, Kelly Makin

Written by Kate Burns, Jeremy Carver, Chris Dingess, Anna Fricke, Craig LaMarsha, Michael Ostrowski, Lisa Randolph, Keto Shimizu, Toby Whithouse, Nancy Won

Producer: Irene Litinsky

Executive Producer: Anna Fricke, Jeremy carver, Michael Prupas, Rob Pursey, Toby Whithouse

Associate Producer: Elissa Lewis, Evan Tussman, Carl Dvine, Jeremy Spry

Supervising Producer: Gilles Perreault, Stefan Pleszczysnki

Music by FM Le Sieur

Cinematography by Pierre Jodoin

Edited by Simon Webb, Annie Ikow, Benjamin Duffield

Casting by Deedee Bradley

Series Production Design by Zoe Sakellaropulo

Art Direction by Pierre Perrault

Series Costume Design by Janet Campbell

Starring:

Sam Witwer as Aidan Waite

Meaghan Rath as Sally Malik

Sam Huntington as Josh Levison

Kristine Hager as Nora Sergeant

Mark Pellegrino as Bishop

Pat Kiely as Nick Fenn

Kyle Schmid as Henry

Erin Shepherd as Lydia Doesburg

Susanna Fournier as Zoe Gonzales

Alison Louder as Emily Levison

Angela Galuppo as Bridget

Deanna Russo as Kat Neely

Connor Price as Kenny

Xander Berkeley as Liam McLean

Robert Naylor as Stevie Atkins

Andreas Apergis as Ray

BEING HUMAN is not getting any easier for four twenty-something, supernatural roommates vampire Aidan,(Sam Witwer), ghost Sally,(Meaghan Rath)and werewolves Josh (Sam Huntington) and Nora (Kristen Hager). Together, they struggle to keep their dark secrets hidden from the world, while helping each other navigate the complexities of their double lives. Bonus Features: Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, Being Human Panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2013, The Cast on Cliffhangers.

Aidan White has been buried alive, Sally is stuck in Limbo and as for Josh, he must make a decision to kill the person that made him a werewolf.

With season three of “Being Human”, changes are in store for the three roommates as a vampire virus is killing vampires off, Sally is given an opportunity to become human again and as for Josh, what would happen when he is given a chance to be human and no longer change to a werewolf?

Find out in “Being Human: Complete Third Season”, available on Blu-ray in Jan. 2014.

What is “Being Human”?

The original “Being Human” is a British supernatural drama series that began in 2008 and is currently being shown on BBC Three.  The story revolved around a ghost, werewolf and vampire living together and trying to live a normal life with the humans.

With the popularity of the series, Muse Entertainment in Montreal began working on a remake for the SyFy network in the U.S. and Space in Canada.  The series would feature a similar storyline with a ghost, werewolf and vampire living together in Boston and trying to live a normal life, but while the first season followed the British original, because there were more episodes in the North American version (13 episodes as opposed to 6) the storyline added other elements.

And by season two and three, the writers for the series avoided watching the British version and have retained that policy in order to make sure the North American version of the series has its own different storyline.

In season three, the three friends experience major changes in their life over a year later.

Aidan who was buried alive was dug up alive and being held captive until being saved by his brother.  He finds out that all vampires are dying due to a virus hitting the vampire community and while Aidan wants to help, he begins reflecting back on his early life and the woman he once loved.

As for Josh and Nora, both work together to help resurrect Sally with the help of a witch.  As Josh is cured of being a werewolf, Nora is not and he tries to help her.

Josh wants to marry Nora but things change when they bring in a troubled girl named Elizabeth into their home, because she was scratched by a werewolf.  But what happens if Elizabeth turns out to be more trouble than the two ever thought.

And as for Sally, being brought back to life, Sally thought she could pick up where she last left off in life but when she was resurrected, Josh and Nora were told that Sally may not be in contact with anyone from her past.

While going out with Josh for dinner and to celebrate her life, someone in her past remembers her and the end result is that he dies.  Fearing that anyone that she sees from her past will be killed by her, it becomes very tough for Sally who was hoping to be alive and become human again.

For the North American version, the primary characters are:

  • Aidan Waite (portrayed by Sam Witwer)  – A man turned into a vampire back during the Revolutionary War.  He was turned into a vampire by James Bishop (featured in season 1) but eventually kills him.  Aidan is a very private person and worked as a nurse at Suffolk County Hospital in Boston.  Unlike other vampires, he wants to be free of the restrictions of the vampire community and began working with Mother and Suren (Season 2).  Because he fell in love with Suren, he was excommunicated by the vampire society and buried underground.  In season 3, he is unaware that during the year he has been buried, a virus has spread into the vampire community and killing them.
  • Sally Malik (portrayed by Meghan Rath) – A ghost who haunts the home that Aidan and Josh was renting.  She was engaged to the landlord but one day during a heated fight, she was pushed down the stairs and slammed her head on the floor, killing her.  In season 2, Sally made a decision to send herself to limbo in order to save her friends and is stuck there with two others.  In season 3, what she doesn’t know is that Josh and his girlfriend Nora are trying to save her by working with a witch in order to bring Sally back alive.  But when they do bring her back to life, while Sally is thrilled about being alive and having fun, she is also cursed.  If she comes into contact with anyone from her past, they will die.  While her soul will belong to the witch that has revived her.  But for some reason, she is starting to become a zombie and her skin starts to tear and rot.
  • Josh Levinson (portrayed by Sam Huntington) – A Werewolf who works at Suffolk County Hospital in Boston with his girlfriend Nora.  Josh is trying to find out how to cure himself of the werewolf curse but also Nora (who he scratched and turned her into a werewolf).  They find out that to lift the curse, they must kill the person that turned them into one.  In season 3, while he is cured of his curse, Nora is not and he wants to help her.  He also wants to marry her but things change when they bring a troubled teenager named Emily into their lives.  But Emily also has been scratched by a werewolf.
  • Nora Sargeant (portrayed by Kristen Hager) – Josh’s girlfriend and a nurse at Suffolk County Hospital in Boston.  Having been scratched by Josh when he was transforming, she now becomes a werewolf.

Other characters in season 3:

  • Donna Gilchrist (portrayed by Amy Aquino) – A witch who works as a soup kitchen who helps bring Sally back to life but also puts a curse on her.  What Josh, Nora, Sally and others don’t know is that Donna has something up her sleeve of why she has taken an interest in Sally.

VIDEO:

“Being Human: Complete Third Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  Picture quality is very good as closeups show very great detail, CG elements are also well-detailed but there was a lot of moodiness with this season.  Aidan’s past utilized a lot of blues, while outdoor scenes looked much better in HD.  But for the most part, “Being Human” looked very good on Blu-ray (much better than the first season and slightly better than the second season).

I didn’t notice any artifacts or major banding issues during my viewing.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Being Human: Complete Third Season” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Action scenes feature good use of the surround channels, may it be werewolves growling or its heavy hitting action scenes. Dialogue is crystal clear via the front channels but overall the lossless mix for this series was well-done.

Subtitles are in English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Being Human: Complete Third Season”  comes with the following special features:

  • Behind the Scenes Featurette– (47:34) Behind the scenes of the actors arriving to work, interviews with the talent and more.
  • Comic Con 2013 Panel  – (49:22) The entire “Being Human” Comic Con 2013 Q&A panel.
  • Bloopers – (2:40) “Being Human” outtakes from season three.
  • Cliffhangers – (1:32) The three major talents of the series talk about their feelings of their character for season 4 (of course, they are not allowed to say anything)

EXTRAS:

“Being Human: Complete Third Season” comes with as slipcase.

beinghuman-s3b

The third season of “Being Human” was another wonderful season that introduces us to new characters, made Nora a prominent character and a big part of the show, but also showing the viewers that these three friends who just wanted to live normal, are obviously going to have to go through hell as their lives are never going to be the same ever again after this season.

Aidan seems a bit more closed off, from the vampires now dying of a virus and his life going full circle as he remembers his past and his former loved ones (which leaves one fascinating spoiler for the season finale).  But Aidan is trying to find a way to cure his fellow vampires but things don’t go as well as he hoped for.

Josh wants to take the next big step with Nora.  Having had his dream of the werewolf curse being removed, Josh experiences new life changes with Nora as a werewolf, trying to get used to her dysfunctional family but also Nora bringing in a troubled girl who was just scratched by a wolf.

And we also get to see Sally, becoming a human via re-animation thanks to a twisted witch.  This will be a fascinating storyline as we don’t know what will happen to Sally but for season three, from being human who starts to give off some zombie problems (ie. rotting flesh), things are not going as well with her.  Especially when she finds out that anyone from her past who sees her, will literally die afterward.

But we get to see the creepy Liam make his return, wanting revenge on Aidan and Nora, and the intensity of the series with its twist and turns leading up to the season finale has definitely left fans highly anticipating season four.

Season three of “Being Human” was just full of excitement, humor and there was just more to love and be excited about as writing was top notch and the chemistry of the characters were fantastic.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality and lossless audio for this series was very good and you get quite a few special features such as the behind-the-scenes featurette, a San Diego Comic Con panel Q&A and more.  Granted, I would have loved audio commentary but fortunately the behind-the-scenes featurette and SDCC Q&A were quite lengthy!

Overall, “Being Human: Complete Third Season” was an exciting and captivating season as each character was really put through a major test this season and there is no doubt that the writers want to put these characters through hell for this season and also the next, because hell literally breaks loose on these characters.  Just when you think these characters can find some happiness, the rug is pulled underneath you and you literally go through twists and turns storyline-wise.

Season three of “Being Human” was just full of excitement, humor and there was just more to love and be excited about as writing was top notch and the chemistry of the characters were fantastic.

For fans of “Being Human”, “Being Human: Complete Third Season” on Blu-ray is recommended!

 

Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2-Movie Collection (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Shanghai Noon” was a much better film than it sequel “Shanghai Knights” and each are both entertaining popcorn action films.  For those who enjoy this film, while it doesn’t have the lossless soundtrack, it’s definitely worth upgrading for the better picture quality.   For fans of both films, “Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2- Movie Collection” , it’s worth the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray!

Images courtesy of © 2013 Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2-Movie Collection

FILM RELEASE: Shanghai Noon (2000), Shanghai Knights (2003)

DURATION: Shanghai Noon: 110 Minutes, Shanghai Knights: 114 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1), Dolby Digital 5.1, English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital (“Shanghai Noon”) and 2.0 (“Shanghai Knights”).  Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

COMPANY: Touchstone Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Action Violence, Some Drug Humor, Language and Sensuality)

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Shanghai Noon

Directed by Tom Dey

Written by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough

Producer: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman

Executive Producer: Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Solon So

Co-Producer: Jules Daly, Ned Dowd

Original Music by Randy Edelman

Cinematography by Daniel Mindel

Edited by Richard Chew

Casting by Matthew Barry, Nancy Green-Keyes

Production Design by Peter J. Hampton

Art Direction by Jeff Gin, Brandt Gordon

Set Decoration by Bryony Foster

Costume Design by Joseph A. Porro

Shanghai Knights

Directed by David Dobkin

Written/Characters by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar

Produced by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman

Executive Producer: Stephanie Austin, Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Edward McDonnell, Solon So

Associate Producer: David Minkowski, Matthew Stillman, Scott Thaler

Music by Randy Edelman

Cinematography by Adrian Biddle

Edited by Malcolm Campbell

Casting by Priscilla John, Donna Morong

Production Design by Allan Cameron

Art Direction by Giles masters, Tony Reading, Jaromir Svarc

Set Decoration by Barbora Bucharova, Peter Young

Costume Design by Anna B. Sheppard

Shanghai Noon

Jackie Chan as Chon Wang

Owen Wilson as Roy O’Bannon

Lucy Liu as Princess Pei Pei

Brandon Merrill as Indian Wife

Roger Yuan as Lo Fong

Xander Berkeley as Van Cleef

Jason Connery as Andrews

Walton Goggins as Wallace

Adrien Dorval as Blue

Shanghai Knights

Jackie Chan as Chon Wang

Owen Wilson as Roy O’Bannon

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Charlie Chaplin

Tom Fisher as Artie Doyle

Aidan Gillen as Rathbone

Fann Wong as Chon Lin

Donnie Yen as Wu Chow

Oliver Cotton as Jack the Ripper

East meets West in two wildly hilarious comedies starring legendary action star Jackie Chan and funnyman Owen Wilson. Experience Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Chinese Imperial Guard Chon Wang is in for a real kick when he travels to the rough and tumble Old West to rescue the beautiful kidnapped princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu). Teamed with laid-back cowboy outlaw Roy O’Bannon, the two mismatched partners face jail, brawls, and the vilest villains this side of the Great Wall. Then jump in the saddle for the wild and wooly sequel as the two unlikely heroes make their way to London on a daring quest for honor and revenge. These two uproarious comic adventures are even better on Blu-ray!

With the success of “Rush Hour” in 1998, more films to showcase martial arts movie star Jackie Chan continued well into the 2000’s and this time around, pairing him with actor Owen Wilson in the martial arts action comedy western film titled “Shanghai Noon”.

Earning over $99 million in the box office, the film featured the filmmaking debut of Tom Dey (“Showtime”, “Failure to Launch”) and feature a screenplay written by writing duo Miles Millar and Alfred Gough (“Spider-Man 2”, “I Am Number Four”, “Smallville”).

The film featured an all-star cast with Jackie Chan (“Rush Hour” films, “The Karate Kid”, “Shinjuku Incident”), Owen Wilson (“Midnight in Paris”, “Wedding Crashers”, “Cars” films), Lucy Liu (“Kill Bill: Vol. 1”, “Lucky Number Slevin”, “Charlie’s Angels”), Roger Yuan (“Batman Begins”, “Skyfall”, “Syriana”) and Xander Berkeley (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, “Air Force One”, “Gattaca”, “Taken”).

Set in the 19th Century, Chong Wang (portrayed by Jackie Chan) is a Chinese Imperial Guard and overhears Princess Pei-Pei (portrayed by Lucy Liu) wanting her freedom.  A foreigner working with the Emperor tells the Princess that if she wants out of the country, she must leave immediately as they can get her to America by ship.  Overhearing this, Chong goes after her but the princess yells at him.  While she leaves, she accidentally drops a book which Chong Wang picks up.

Fearing that the princess may have been abducted, the Emperor of China sends three of his best guards and Wang’s uncle are sent to retrieve her in Carson City, Nevada. Chong Wang is given permission as well, but only to help with carrying their luggage.

In Nevada, Roy O’Bannon is an outlaw, along with his gang, robs a train which Wang happens to be on and Roy O’Bannon’s new gang member Wallace (portrayed by Walton Goggins) gets carried away and shoots Chong Wang’s uncle and kills him.  Roy O’Bannon is upset that Wallace killed a person and reminds him that he is their leader.

When Chong looks for his uncle, he is shocked to find him dead and he runs after the robbers.  He manages to fight many of them off but thinking that Roy O’Bannon is responsible, Roy tells Chong Wang that Wallace did it and allows him to escape.  Meanwhile Wallace backstabs Roy and tells him that he is in charge now.  He and Roy’s former team bury him in the middle of the desert with only his head sticking out of the dirt.

Chong Wang manages to find Roy buried and asks where is Carson City and Roy gives him the wrong directions.  Meanwhile, Chong gives Roy two chopsticks to dig himself out.

Going the wrong direction, Chong ends up going into Indian territory and manages to save an Indian boy from another tribe.  Because he saved the boy, the Indian chief gives his daughter to Chong Wang as a wife. Despite Chong trying to refuse, he is unable to and he and his new Indian wife (portrayed by Brandon Merrill) head to the next village.

And in this next village, he runs into Roy O’Bannon once again.  And the two get into a lot of trouble and get themselves into a fighting match with other cowboys.

Meanwhile, in Carson City, Princess Pei-Pei finds out that going to America was all planned and she was kidnapped by a traitor to her people, Lo Fong (portrayed by Roger Yuan) who is using the princess as a way for the Emperor to give up their gold and for Lo Fong to also destroy the Emperor and his rule over China.  Because she refuses to submit to his demands, Lo Fong makes the Princess join the other Chinese workers who must endure harsh working conditions.

As for Chong Wang and Roy O’Bannon, the unlikely two decide to become partners as Roy wants to help Chong Wang get to Carson City (but also thinking their will be a wonderful reward if he saves the Princess).  But because both are wanted men, they are also being pursued by Marshal Nathan Van Cleef and his posse.

Will the two unlikely partners be able to save Princess Pei-Pei?

With the success of “Shanghai Noon” in the box office, it would guarantee a sequel in 2003 titled “Shanghai Knights” but this time directed by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”, “Fred Claus”, “The Change-Up”).  But bringing back both writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.

“Shanghai Knights” takes place in 1887 and we are introduced to Chong Wang’s sister Chon Lin (portrayed by Fann Wong, “Dance of the Dragon”, “The Truth About Jane and Sam”) and Chong’s father.  We learn that with Chong Wang deciding to stay in America and not return back to China, it dampered relations between him and his father.

One night as Chong’s father is putting away a seal, a group of men led by a British man named Rathbone (portrayed by Aidan Gillen, “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Blitz”, “The Wire”) comes for the seal and kills Chong Wang’s father and beating his sister up.  As Rathbone and his men leave, Chong’s father tells Lin to bring back a puzzle box to her brother.

In Carson City, Chong Wang is still a sheriff but we learn that Roy O’Bannon had left to become a businessman in New York City.   And there have been fictionalized books about Roy O’Bannon’s exploits and his partnership with a cowardly sidekick known as the Shanghai Kid.

After receiving a letter from his sister about her father and how he was murdered and that she hopes he can meet her in London as she tries to reclaim the family, Imperial Seal but also get revenge on Rathbone for the murder of their father.

Chong Wang goes to New York City to get some of the gold that both had earned after saving Princess Pei-Pei (from the first film “Shanghai Noon”), so he can go to London.  But while in New York, Chong learns that Roy has lost all the money, investing it in bad business deals and now he is a waiter for a restaurant.

Despite having no money, both men hide themselves in a crate in hopes it will get them to London.  And while there, Roy has items pickpocketed by a young boy named Charlie Chaplin (portrayed by Aaron Johnson) and as they try to reclaim these items, they are caught by the police.  Inspector Artie Doyle (portrayed by Thomas Fisher) doesn’t keep them in prison but congratulates the two for taking down the Fleet Street Gang. But with a serial killer on the loose named “Jack the Ripper”, Doyle must now work on a case trying to catch a woman named “Looney Lin” who tried to assassinate Lord Rathbone.

The two try to find a way to get inside Rathbone’s mansion to find the seal, meanwhile we learn that Rathbone is dealing with Wu Chow (portrayed by Donnie Yen), who we learn is behind the death of Wong’s father, while Rathbone was just helping out Wu Chow, so he can become part of the new royalty and find his way to be come part of the next line in the throne.

Will Chow Wang get his revenge and as for Roy O’Bannon, will he be able to win the heart of Chong Wang’s sister, Lin?

VIDEO:

“Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2-Movie Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1).  Having owned both DVD’s, picture quality for both films look amazing on Blu-ray!  Colors are much more vibrant, the film doesn’t look like it’s nearly 14-years-old.  Colors are vibrant and sharp outdoors, black levels are nice and deep.  If anything, both films definitely looks much better in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital (note: Spanish is 5.1 on “Shanghai Noon” and 2.0 on “Shanghai Knights”).  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that the films did not receive a DTS-HD Master Audio conversion as most films from Buena Vista or Touchstone Home Entertainment receive a lossless audio conversion.  With that being said, both films had active surround Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks when they were released on DVD.  As can be said with the soundtrack on Blu-ray!    Good use of surround channels for the action sequences and LFE, while the second film tend to utilize the music soundtrack a bit more with its modern music.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2-Movie Collection” comes with the following special features:

Shanghai Noon

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with director Tom Dey and Owen Wilson, with a separately record audio commentary with Jackie Chan incorporated.
  • Deleted Scenes – A total of eight deleted scenes (no choice for “play all”).
  • Making an Eastern Western – (3:23) A featurette about bringing two cultures together in one story.
  • Partners – (4:09) Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson are two different people but how they work well together and what they brought to their characters.
  • Jackie’s Comedy – (3:48) Giving Jackie a chance to do Buster Keaton and bringing comedy to his action scenes.
  • Western Stunts, Eastern Style – (3:39) Utilizing both Hong Kong and Western fight choreography for “Shanghai Noon” and the differences.
  • Hanging with Roy and the Kid – (2:16) Planning for one of the most riskiest stunts and destruction of a major set piece for the film.
  • Action Overload – (2:41) A glimpse at action scenes with music.
  • Choo Choo Boogie – (3:09) Making of the train scene and behind-the-scenes footage played to banjo country music.
  • “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” Music Video – (4:09) Featuring a music video performed by Uncle Kracker.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (1:18) The theatrical trailer for “Shanghai Noon”.

Shanghai Knights

  • Directors’ Commentary – Featuring audio directory by David Dobkin who discusses the challenges of shooting in another country, the importance of time management and the difficulties experienced and more.
  • Screenwriters Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Alfred Gough and Miles Miller.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring eleven deleted scenes total.
  • Fight Manual – (9:03) The difficulty of comedy and action and Jackie Chan talking about working with director who knows editing.
  • Action Overload – (1:34) Featuring the action scenes done in a silent film style with intertitles and music.

It was a chance to see a different side of Jackie Chan, combining martial arts, action and western?  Who would of thought that this concept would work?  But in 2000, people came out to see Jackie Chan, the legendary martial arts actor who has been in movies since the 1960’s.

While many Americans saw Jackie Chan in the popular 1981 film “The Cannonball Run”, while martial arts fans were treated with fantastic Jackie Chan films through the ’80s such as the “Police Story” films, “Supercop” films and “The Legend of Drunken Master”, many had to import these films or watch them at a film festival.

Until 1995 and many had the opportunity to see Jackie Chan in a film that was dubbed but tailored to Western tastes with “Rumble in the Bronx”.  This led to past films he made, being dubbed in English and being released in theaters or direct-to-video and by 1997, he was making films such as “Mr. Nice Guy” and “Who Am I?”.

But it’s the police comedy “Rush Hour”, where people had a chance to see a film directed by an American and combining Jackie Chan’s martial arts skills with comedy, playing opposite to an American talent.  “Rush Hour” was a box office success and would spawn two more films, writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar would create an action western but utilizing another American collaboration with Jackie Chan but with Owen Wilson, who was not the big star as he would later become, as the only major films he had appeared in were “The Haunting”, “Armageddon” and “Anaconda”.  Suffice to say, “Shanghai Noon” would continue showcasing Jackie Chan as the legendary martial arts actor on the big screen, while Owen Wilson would show that he can do comedy films and be a headliner.

The film would also allow Jackie Chan to incorporate his Hong Kong fight choreography using his crew, but also working with an American crew to have an East meets West type of production, but to also showcase Jackie Chan’s Buster Keaton physical comedy-style that he has been known for.

“Shanghai Noon” would go on to make over $99 million and in 2003, it sequel “Shanghai Knights” would go on to make over $88 million.

It has probably been a decade or more since I have watched each of these films.  At the time, I was still on a Jackie Chan high, and really wanting to watch every film that he has starred in.  One thing that we know about Jackie Chan is that he is an actor that is so dedicated, but also willing to sacrifice his body in order to make these films.  He makes it look easy, when you know, he’s probably been hurt countless times while shooting the film.

My thoughts on “Shanghai Noon” was that the film gave Jackie Chan a chance to show that collaborations between an Eastern fight staff and a Western staff can be done and how important fight scenes are in getting the timing right.  That is the experience that Jackie Chan brings to a film.

While “Rush Hour” plays on the racial card for a lot of its humor, “Shanghai Noon” is more or less about two guys who were not that great at what they do.  Jackie Chan was not a good Imperial Guard and Owen Wilson was not a good Outlaw.  But these two found a way to work with each other and take on significant odds.  It’s a classic story of underdogs managing to get the job done!

“Shanghai Noon” also starred Lucy Liu who was best known during the ’90s and early 2000’s for “Ally McBeal” but 2000 would prove to be a banner year for Liu who would star in both “Shanghai Noon” and as one of the angels in “Charlie’s Angels”.

But the film was fun and a pure popcorn action film with two unlikely talents to be put together in a film and it worked!

As for “Shanghai Knights”, the film tries to bank on new director David Dobkin (who would later direct comedy films “Wedding Crashers”, “Fred Claus” and “The Change-Up”).  When I watched this in the theater back in 2003, there were a few things that bothered me about the film.

For one, how would they address the women that were part of the lives of Chon Wang and Roy O’Bannon from the first film, how would they utilize one of the most well-known martial arts actors from Hong Kong with Donnie Yen and how would the story be with the characters leaving America and going straight to London.

While bringing the story to London would allow for great play of names such as Charlie Chaplin and Artie Doyle (or Arthur Conan Doyle), it’s one thing to have fun with that.  But the problem was that the writers tried to take what made the first film enjoyable but taking them out of the western environment and bringing them London.  It just didn’t seem right, nor did the character of Rathbone in the beginning, killing Wong’s father.  The character didn’t seem ominous, he looked too much like singer, Josh Groban.

And while Jackie Chan was able to deliver in action as expected, the story also suffers from third wheel problems, by giving too much time for Chon Lin.  While it’s great for the film to showcase Fann Wong in action scenes, I often wondered if they knew how awesome of an actor  Donnie Yen was.  This could have led to one of the greatest matchups in an American martial arts film (ie. think Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li), but instead, they gave more screentime to the character of Rathbone and it just didn’t seem right. The battle between Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen’s characters just fell flat and how it ends was just terrible.  The utilization of supporting characters and antagonists didn’t seem right and while the film was OK, “Shanghai Noon” was so much better!

As for the Blu-ray release, having owned both DVD’s of the films, both films definitely look so much better in High Definition, but I was surprised both did not receive the lossless treatment.  Both are Dolby Digital 5.1 instead of DTS-HD MA 5.1 and I found that to be surprising.  But both had wonderful soundtracks when they were released on DVD years ago and still sounds active through the surround channels and a bit of LFE utilized as well for this Blu-ray release.  Both films are featured on one Blu-ray disc.  You also get all the DVD special features content included with this Blu-ray release.

Overall, “Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2- Movie Collection” are entertaining as popcorn action comedy films.  These films are definitely not the best Jackie Chan films, nor his worst.  But I found these films much more easier to stomach without the racial comedy as seen in the “Rush Hour” films.

“Shanghai Noon” was a much better film than it sequel “Shanghai Knights” and while I don’t see a third film ever being released (especially with Jackie Chan’s comments on America and his previous American films made earlier this year), the release of both films back in the early 2000’s was about interest in both talents, good timing and the timing was just right as people wanted to see more of Jackie Chan, the martial arts action star and Owen Wilson, the up-and-coming star.

For those who enjoy this film, while it doesn’t have the lossless soundtrack, it’s definitely worth upgrading for the picture quality and I do recommend this “Shanghai Noon/Shanghai Knights: 2- Movie Collection” for fans of the two films or are fans of  Jackie Chan or Owen Wilson.

Bottom