Rumble in the Bronx (Hung faan aau) (1996)
|Year Of Production||1996|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Stanley Tong|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Chan Man Ching
J. Peter Robinson
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.30:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the usual Jackie Chan outtakes|
Jackie Chan's breakthrough movie in the US, Rumble in the Bronx, tells the story of Ah Keung (Chan) arriving in New York (well, Vancouver actually, but what the heck - a city's a city) for the wedding of his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung), who owns a supermarket in the Bronx. After selling his market to Elaine (Anita Mui) and tying the knot, Uncle Bill departs the scene and leaves Keung to keep an eye on things in New York.
Of course, being a Jackie Chan movie, "things" don't turn out to be that simple when a local biker gang crosses paths with everyone's favourite grinning butt-kicker, and starts terrorising his Uncle's old supermarket and its new owner. Many fights and chases ensue, and Keung ends up befriending one of the gang girls and her wheelchair-bound little brother. To add some more spice to the mix, some organised crime/Mafia types come into the picture, and these guys have the biker gang feeling a little out of their depth.
Can Keung sort out all the troubles on his own, whilst getting one or more of the girls? Will the gang members learn to be nice to people? Will there be lots of character development and deep, poignant commentary on society? Let's face it, these things are pretty unimportant in a Jackie Chan vehicle, and the only real question that needs answering is: will we see Jackie kick bad guys all over the screen, and risk his life for the sake of our entertainment? Yes.
I hadn't actually seen this offering until now, which is surprising since I am one of a multitude of Jackie Chan fans. I don't claim to be an expert on the man, but I have watched all the older Hong Kong films that SBS have in their library, as well as all his Hollywood productions, and many DVDs to fill in the gaps. It's no secret that there is a real difference between early Chan films (like Police Story/Project A) and his recent Hollywood efforts (or even his recent Hong Kong films, for that matter), and I was expecting this to fall more into the latter camp, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see some vintage Jackie set-piece stunts and fight scenes.
Don't try and get too involved in the story in this one, since you'll be sorely disappointed. Characters appear, disappear and sometimes re-appear later, logic is absent in many of the story threads, editing seems to make huge jumps at times, the ending is abrupt and inconclusive, the English dub is laughably bad, and so on, and so on. If you're planning to watch this movie for any other reason than seeing Jackie in action, I'd recommend you stay well clear, as this is what it's all about. Here he fights mobs on his own with his usual unique brand of improvisation, jumps off bridges, gets run over by a hovercraft, cartwheels around the alleyways, and much more. He really exhibits speed and flexibility that rivals his early films, and there are even some points where I wondered if the film had been sped up slightly, but I'm willing to be corrected on this (knowing that Bruce Lee sometimes did moves that were too fast for the camera to really catch properly). If this is what you're looking for, then certainly give it a go.
One thing that did strike me about this film, though, is that it's a little more dark and violent than most of Jackie Chan's other movies. There are still some of the usual jokes and slapstick, but they seem almost out of place alongside people getting knocked senseless and bloodied with bottles, or fed into woodchippers (not to mention the inclusion of some bad language). As part of a boxset where the other two movies are suitable for leaving the kids with, this one sticks out as the exception.
This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.30:1, 16x9 enhanced, and is therefore pretty close to the original aspect ratio of 2.39:1.
Sharpness leaves a bit to be desired. It's not exactly bad, but lacks the clarity and detail that we've become accustomed to these days. There are also examples of grain in some shots, for example 32:42. There are a lot of dark scenes, taking place in alleys or badly lit interiors, so fortunately shadow detail is good, and blacks are nice and solid.
Colours are accurate, and although not a particularly colourful movie, on the occasions when we do get out in the sun everything is distinct and well separated, with no signs of bleeding.
There are no MPEG artefacts visible. Film to video artefacts consist of occasional mild aliasing (one of the worst examples being 15:44). There are also film artefacts frequently appearing throughout the movie, but these are mostly very minor, with only the odd exception (such as 60:39 and 81:50).
There are two subtitle streams; English, and English for the Hearing Impaired. I sampled the English one, and found it to be fairly accurate to the dub (assuming the dub is accurate to the original script).
This is a single layered disc, hence there is no layer change.
Shown theatrically with a Dolby Stereo SR soundtrack, this has been converted to the 5.1 format for the sake of this DVD.
There is only the one track on this disc; English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).
The dialogue is a pretty awful English dub. As a result of this, audio sync is laughably bad and unfortunately the dialogue itself is not very clear either. Add to this the imbalance in volume levels between dialogue and the music/sound effects, and you have a bit of a problem in this department.
The music by Al Jourgensen, J. Peter Robinson and Nathan Wang is a mixture of orchestral themes with an Eastern flavour, and loud dramatic chase music that sounds a little dated now.
The surrounds come into play for such things as aircraft, alley noises/drips, motorbike engines and so on. For a remix, they've managed to put the rear speakers to an acceptable level of use.
The subwoofer is not used all that frequently, but there are times when it is used that you'll risk shaking the house down! The bass in the music gets the most use from the sub, with car crashes and most action scenes also getting their share. It's all a little boomy and indistinct though, and during a couple of scenes (notably 62:20 and 70:00) you'll really test the limits of your .1 equipment, as very low frequencies are boomed out for an extended period.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version certainly looks like a better option on first glance, but I don't really think any of the extras are that worthwhile, unless you're a fan of trailers. Due to the advantages of the PAL format I'm going to call this one a tie.
The movie that brought Jackie Chan to the attention of the Western masses, displaying his incredible fighting/stunt/gymnastic abilities, before age started to catch up with him. Don't watch it for the story/characters, but if you can't get enough Jackie action then you'll want to see this.
The video is acceptable, but could have been better for something produced so recently.
The audio has its problems, namely; unclear dialogue, boomy bass, and unbalanced volume levels.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Omni 3600, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Accusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer|