With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, January 12, 2009

ACF 203: Supercop 2-disc DVD release from Dragon Dynasty

Supercop / Ging chaat goo si 3: Chiu kap ging chaat
Directed by Stanley Tong
Starring Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh
Hong Kong 1992, 91 min
(Note: the original Hong Kong release ran 95 min)

Tomorrow. Tuesday, January 13th, 2008, Supercop, a.k.a. Police Story 3 (in Britain) and Police Story 3: Supercop (the Hong Kong English title), will be released as a "Two-Disc Ultimate Edition" from Dragon Dynasty. The M.S.R.P. will be $24.95. (See ACF 200 and ACF 201 for reviews of the DD releases of Police Story and Police Story 2, respectively.)

This time around, Jackie reliquished directing duties to Stanley Tong, who would subsequently direct him again in Rumble in the Bronx and in Jackie Chan's First Strike. The script is by Edward Tang, Fibe Ma, and Lee Wai Yee. The story kind of takes a page from the James Bond films in that it travels to several locations: from Hong Kong to Mainland China and eventually Malaysia. There are plenty of fight scenes, great stunts, and big explosions to keep things lively.

Jackie's character, Inspector Chan Ka Kui, is assigned to go undercover in Mainland China, help a gangster escape from a Chinese Prison (no easy matter, that!), all in order to ultimately bring down a large drug smuggling operation. His mainland contact is Inspector Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh, here billed as Michelle Khan).

Supercop was Michelle's return to film after a four year hiatus due to her marriage to producer Dickson Poon, which lasted from 1988-1992. And an incredible return it is, as she easily holds her own up against Jackie, who was still at the top of his game at the time.

As far as extras go, there's the feature commentary that we've come to expect from Bey Logan on Disc 1. The other extras consist of four interviews on Disc 2. And while I admit that I expected more on a "Two-Disc Ultimate Edition" release from Dragon Dynasty (who maybe have spoiled me with their other double disc DVD releases), these interviews ain't shabby at all.

The one with Jackie was especially interesting. He talks about the film being a number of firsts. It was the first film on which he really worked with Michelle Yeoh, although her first on-camera work was a 1984 commercial that featured Jackie. It was his first film with synchronized sound. The audio on his prior films were dubbed in post-production, which was standard practice in the Hong Kong film industry. It was also the first film he'd shot, at least partially, in mainland (i.e., Commie) China.

But the most interesting thing is Jackie talking about how they worked so hard to make the best film they could. While acknowledging that he understands why an in-joke for the Hong Kong audience would be cut from the U.S. release, he expresses displeasure with many of the changes in film editing and soundtrack substition that can be found on some U.S. releases of his films, including some on this disc. The U.S. version, for example, features urban/hip hop music, including the legendary song "King Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas.

There's also a fascinating interview with Michelle Yeoh. Most amazingly, she performed an incredible motorcycle stunt without actually knowing how to ride a bike! She could only steer and give it gas. In fact, her legs were too short to touch the ground when she sat on it, so stuntmen had to hold it up for her until she started driving.

The other two interviews are with director Stanley Tong and with Jackie Chan bodyguard, training partner, and stunt crew member/actor Ken Lo.

Supercop is another fantastic Jackie Chan film, one that's elevated to a whole other level by the presence of Michelle Yeoh.

The film gets a 4 out of 4 star rating, outstanding. It's an absolute "must see," and a "you really, really, really ought to own it" flick.

The extras are good, even if not as plentiful as I've come to expect from a DD double disc release: 3 out of 4 stars for the extras.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:11 PM

    they actually used "kung fu fighting" in the U.S. soundtrack ?!
    dont they realize how asians (at least asian americans) cringe and shake their heads everytime they hear that ?

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  2. Yeah, I wouldn't make up something like that. I can only assume that these sort of things - cuts, edits, soundtrack changes - are done in the belief that they'll make the film more appealing to the U.S. market. And greater, wider appeal makes for bigger box office and DVD sales. Sometimes the changes are relatively harmless, sometimes they're pretty gruesome. The problem as I see it is when the film gets butchered by the modifications. Of course, what it takes for a film to be "butchered" is a subjective call. I try to be reasonable and understanding of the financial needs of the U.S. distributors, but sometimes I'm rather bummed by certain changes. On the other hand, I know of others who are outraged if anyone even slightly tampers with the product.

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  3. God bless Dragon Dynasty.

    ReplyDelete