Jackie Chan's Who Am I? (Blu-ray) (1998)
Alternative Version-SD, 2.35:1, identical running time.
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, a pipe|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† When a powerful new source of energy is discovered in a meteor deep in a mine in South Africa an elite team of CIA covert operatives intercept and capture the trucks carrying the source and its attendant scientists. However, the team are doublecrossed by rogue CIA operative Morgan (Ron Smerczak); he is working with retired US General Shaman (Ed Nelson) and they intend to sell the power source to the highest bidder. Morgan sabotages the helicopter of the CIA team which crashes, killing everybody expect one badly injured survivor (Jackie Chan). He is found and nursed back to health by a remote tribe but he has lost his memory and so is named Whoami by the tribe after the phrase he keeps repeating.
†††† After regaining his health with the tribe Whoami leaves. In the desert he comes across a stalled rally car driven by Yuki (Mirai Yamamoto), whose navigator / brother is dying from a snake bite. Whoami fixes both the car and the brother and drives them to the next rally checkpoint, becoming an instant celebrity, his picture in the newspapers. General Shaman and Morgan see his picture; they thought all the witnesses were dead so decide to finish the job, even though Whoami still has no memory. Whoami becomes a marked man, chased by Morganís thugs as well as the South African security forces who are seeking the whereabouts of the missing scientists. Helped by Yuki and South African reporter Christine (Michelle Ferre), in a series of chases on foot and by car Whoami manages to avoid his pursuers. But then a clue sends Whoami and Christine to a building in Rotterdam for a confrontation with their enemies. That is if Whoami can work out not only who he is but also who he can trust.
†††† Who Am I? (aka Jackie Chanís Who Am I? or Ngo si seoi) was released in 1998 just prior to Rush Hour when the Hong Kong superstar was getting attention from western audiences. Directed by Benny Chan and Jackie, Who Am I? is very much a Jackie film with the usual combination of stunts, athletic action sequences and humour. In much of the film Jackie is being chased by thugs (or police) on foot through and across buildings or in streets; there are the usual amazing stunts such as Jackie sliding hundreds of feet down a glassy, sloped building but it is also the little things that are impressive including Jackie displaying his athleticism shimmying down small gaps. There is also an extensive and amusing car chase where Yuki (or rather the stunt driver) shows off her rally driver skills to good effect. The fights, and stunts inside the fights, are also classic Jackie including the finale on a rooftop where he has the crap beaten out of him by Kwan Yung and Ron Smoorenburg before, in true Jackie style, winning in the end.
†††† This is the first time (as far as I can tell) that Who Am I? has been released in HD. It is a strange release. Who Am I? was released theatrically in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio; this HD version, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code, is 1.78:1 while the version referred to on the cover as the SD version included on this Blu-ray is in 2.35:1.
†††† While some of the wide shots of the African bush or cities are on the soft side, close-up detail is sharp. Colours are nice and natural, especially the yellows of the African desert, blacks and shadow detail are fine, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent.
†††† Light grain is present and other than some minor motion blur against iron pipes and railings and some tiny specks I did not notice any artefacts.
†††† No subtitles are provided although small white subtitles automatically translated sections of African tribal language.
†††† The audio is English DTS-HD MA 2.0 surround encoded. The audio on the SD version is Dolby Digital 5.0 at 384 Kbps.
†††† Dialogue is clear. Effects, such as punches, kicks, impacts and bodies hitting the floor are loud and effective while sounds including rally car engines, bumps and thumps, helicopter engines and music occurred in the rears. There was some minor subwoofer use for crashes and explosions. The original score by Nathan Wang is unremarkable.
†††† There are some minor lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† The cover can be reversed, showing the title without the ratings logo.
†††† Identical running time, 2.35:1 ratio, lossy Dolby Digital 5.0 audio. Both versions share the same Blu-ray disc and my computer reads this file as MPEG-4, 1080p but with a bitrate around a third of the HD version. Whilst this would mean that it is not technically standard definition, it is certainly of similar quality to upscaled SD. I will say that when I sampled and compared the framing of the two versions there was not a great deal of difference. However, the colours here were not as bright and there was a greater range of artefacts including aliasing and more motion blur with movement. The lossy audio was also duller than the lossless audio on the HD release.
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NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† There were various DVD releases of Who Am I? around the regions a couple of decades ago, including one here in Australia, that was 2.35:1, but this is the only Blu-ray release.
†††† Who Am I? is a fun Jackie Chan action / adventure / comedy with Jackie in good form. This is the first Blu-ray release of the film anywhere as far as I can tell. However, while the HD presentation of the film is to be welcomed by Jackieís fans, the 1.78:1 ratio of the HD presentation may not be. The previous Australian DVD version was reviewed on this site here if anyone wants to make a comparison.
†††† No extras as such, but a SD version of the film in 2.35:1. Both versions on this disc are still the cut US release; if either had of been the original HK cut of the film, even in SD, it might have been more appealing.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|