Skinny Tiger Fatty Dragon (Shou Hu Fei Long) (1990)

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Released 15-Dec-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)
Theatrical Trailer-2
Interviews-Cast-The Weapons' Master: An Interview With Lau Kar-Wing
Interviews-Cast-Partner In Crime: An Interview With Ridley Tsui
Notes-Sammo Hung - The Bruce Lee Connection
Trailer-Hong Kong Legends
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 100:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (86:18) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chia Yung Liu
Studio
Distributor
Cinema Capital Ent
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Chia Yung Liu
Karl Maka
Carrie Ng
Po Tai
Ridley Tsui
Gabriel Wong
Fung Woo
Xin Xin Xiong
Ridley Tsui
Ridley Tsui
Xin Xin Xiong
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Tiger (Karl Maka) and Dragon (Sammo Hung) are a couple of cops who go up against a drug syndicate. Inadvertently they disrupt the Superintendent's wedding while bashing up a couple of suspects and get thrown off the force. So they head off to Singapore for no apparent reason, then return to battle with the evil drug fiends.

    This movie is an excuse for a lot of action scenes and a lot of comedy that will seem to Western eyes to be lame or forced. The action scenes are well directed by Lau Kar Wing (brother of Lau Kar Leung) who also plays the evil drug baron. The comedy is pretty bad, mostly revolving around Tiger's relationships with his overly tall girlfriend and his attempts to chat up women. He also goes in for a bit of Three Stooges style comedy - not for nothing do people keep calling him "slaphead".

    The fights are pretty impressive, more so when Sammo is involved. On breaking up a robbery at a jeweller's I realised that the moves and sounds he was making were taken straight from Bruce Lee. It turns out that he was making a deliberate homage to the legendary martial artist, but for copyright reasons there are no references to Bruce Lee in the entire movie. So Sammo (or his voice artist) makes those weird sounds, he strikes those poses of strength and wields a mean nunchaku. Maka on the other hand plays his action scenes for laughs, and as a consequence they come off as much less impressive.

    Carrie Ng plays a woman involved with the drug runners, and my watching this on White Ribbon day turned out to be ironic given the level of violence against women displayed on screen. Not only the bad guys but also Tiger and Dragon take the opportunity to beat her up. In fact the attitude as well as the violence directed towards women in this picture would make it less than pleasant viewing for many people. The producers also hired two Thai "lady-boys" to play a pair of lethal assassins who get beaten up as well. All persuasions get a thumping in this film, so maybe there is no discrimination.

    The Singapore interlude seems to be there mainly as travelogue, and given that our two heroes get involved with two women played by former Miss Singapores, one suspects that the Singapore Tourist Commission or equivalent was involved.

    As Hong Kong action-comedies go this one is no better than average, and while it has some virtues in the action sequences the comedy and the misogyny are a bit hard to take at times. The fast-forward button on your remote can deal with these effectively.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is transferred in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. While the original aspect ratio was 1.85:1, some of the film seems a little cramped.

    This is a pretty good transfer with no serious problems. The image is a little soft at times but generally is sharp and clear. The standard film stock of the time seems to have been used, which has a slightly less than vibrant appearance to it. Colour is adequate but rarely vivid as a result. Contrast levels are okay but not perfect, with some poor shadow detail. For example in most shots Sammo's dark hair looks like a black blob, with no definition at all.

    Film to video artefacts are limited to some aliasing, mainly on car grilles. Film artefacts can only be spotted as faint tramline scratches or minor spots of dirt from time to time.

    The disc comes with English subtitles, which are quite good grammatically and contain no spelling errors. They are well-timed with the dialogue and there appear to be no untranslated lines. I am unable to comment on how well they render the dialogue.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change being placed unobtrusively at 86:18.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The default audio on this disc is Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1. The original sound mix was mono, so this is a recent remix.

    I fail to see why anyone bothers to remix mono tracks into surround. Either they are poorly done or they add little to the audio experience. This remix falls into the latter category. There is little in the way of surround activity, with just some music and occasional effects at a low level in the rear channels. The subwoofer gets some use for gunfire and explosions. There was some unwanted subwoofer activity midway through the movie when my idiot neighbour fired up his motor vehicle and its stereo system. Otherwise the sound mix is very much geared to the front channels.

    There were no noteworthy issues with the sound quality. Dialogue seems to be clear and there was no hiss or obvious distortion. Music and effects were well rendered, though due to the original mono recording they sound a little flat. Audio sync is approximate due to being completely dubbed afterwards, but given that I was reading the subtitles most of the time it failed to be an issue.

    The music score is very typical of Hong Kong films, with some very 1980s music that doesn't seem to have been written specifically for this movie, though much of it probably was. There are long stretches without any music whatsoever.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The usual gamut of extras from Hong Kong Legends, all of which are 16x9 enhanced.

Menu Animation & Audio

    A simple animation featuring scenes from the film plus the usual generic Hong Kong Legends music.

Audio Commentary-Bey Logan (Hong Kong Cinema Expert)

    The usual verbal history of Hong Kong cinema from Bey Logan, who recounts visiting the set during filming, and the actors and crew being warned not to speak to the looney Englishman. This is an entertaining as well as informative commentary and is well worth listening to.

Theatrical Trailers (7:01)

    Trailers for the original Hong Kong release and the UK DVD release.

Interviews-Cast-The Weapons' Master: An Interview With Lau Kar-Wing (24:52)

    Lau Kar Wing reflects on his career and his work with the stars on the film, and gives some background to his beginnings in martial arts. In Cantonese with English subtitles.

Interviews-Cast-Partner In Crime: An Interview With Ridley Tsui (18:30)

    The talented Mr Ridley Tsui was action director on the film and also appears briefly both as an actor and stuntman in the movie. He gives some background on himself and also discusses his work on the movie. This extra is in English.

Notes-Sammo Hung - The Bruce Lee Connection

    Several pages of text on Sammo's connection to Bruce Lee, as you guess from the title. He met Lee in the late 1960s and fought with him at the start of Enter the Dragon.

Trailer-Hong Kong Legends (8:29)

    The usual batch of trailers for other releases from this outfit. They are Dragon From Russia, Postman Fights Back, Crime Story, Moon Warriors and Game of Death 2.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release appears to be the same as the UK Region 2 release, which also comes from Hong Kong Legends.

    The Hong Kong Region 3 release comes from Mei Ah. It has soundtracks in both Cantonese and Mandarin and in both surround and mono versions. It is not 16x9 enhanced and has difficult to read subtitles. There are no substantial extras.

Summary

    A very average police action-comedy with some good action and some poor comedy. It sags a bit in the middle, a bit like Sammo himself nowadays.

    The video quality is pretty good.

    The audio quality is okay but a mono track would have been better.

    A good range of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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