Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

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Released 6-Jan-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternative Version-Alternate Director's Opening
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Discovering 'Around The World In 80 Days'
Featurette-Around The World Of Jackie Chan
Deleted Scenes
Music Video-'Everybody All Over The World' By Dave Stewart
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Elf
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 114:59 (Case: 119)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Frank Coraci
Studio
Distributor
Walden Media
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jackie Chan
Steve Coogan
Robert Fyfe
Jim Broadbent
Ian McNeice
David Ryall
Roger Hammond
Adam Godley
Karen Mok
Howard Cooper
Daniel Hinchcliffe
Wolfram Teufel
Tom Strauss
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Trevor Jones
David A. Stewart


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    'You had me at the nipples'

    The Jules Verne book upon which this movie is vaguely based has been used as source material many times over the years including the 1956 movie starring David Niven, a TV mini-series starring Pearce Brosnan and even a documentary series from Michael Palin . There have also been Mickey Mouse and The Simpsons versions amongst quite a few others.

    This version was released in 2004 and was directed by Frank Coraci, probably best known as the director of Adam Sandler films, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer and more recently Click. Luckily, the star of this film is not Adam Sandler, who I personally find very unfunny indeed. The star here is Jackie Chan who rather than playing the lead role of Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) takes on the role of Passepartout, Fogg's valet. His real name, it is revealed, is actually Lau Xing and he makes Passepartout up on the spot to avoid recapture by the police. In this version of the story, Fogg is an inventor whose valet has just resigned due to fear for his life after being involved in too many of Fogg's failed experiments. Lau Xing on the other hand, has just robbed the Bank of England, stealing back a jade Buddha which had been stolen from his village in China. It was stolen by General Fang (Karen Mok, credited here as Karen Joy Morris) so that she can bribe Lord Kelvin (Jim Broadbent) to support her in China with British troops. Kelvin is also the Head of the Royal Academy of Science and goes out of his way to rubbish Fogg's scientific work. Due to a disagreement, Kelvin wagers Fogg that he cannot travel around the world in 80 days. If Fogg wins, Kelvin will step down from his role and if Fogg loses he must give up inventing. Lau Xing agrees to travel with Fogg as his valet as it seems like the best way to get back to China with the Buddha. Along the way they run into Monique La Roche (Cecile De France) in Paris and she travels the rest of the way with them, despite Fogg's disagreement.

    There are numerous cameos in the film including Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger (in a very bad wig), John Cleese, Kathy Bates, Luke & Owen Wilson, Rob Schneider & Sammo Hung. The director even gets a cameo.

    This is a fun and light retelling of this famous story which is enjoyable and entertaining. It includes some funny comedic moments, some worthwhile martial arts action (whilst sticking within a PG rating) and lots of adventure and romance. The three leads work well together and seem to be having lots of fun in the exotic locations (although most filming occurred in Germany & Thailand) and with each other. Some of the landscapes are quite beautiful although there is some fairly obvious colour grading and CGI used. The costumes and props are very well done indeed.

    This is a fun film that you can happily watch with the family (with the possible exception of pre-schoolers). It's not great cinema but it is an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was very sharp and clear. There was no evidence of low level noise. I did not notice any grain or MPEG artefacts.

    The colour was excellent, very vibrant partially due to the obvious colour grading employed.

    I noticed one or two spots of very mild aliasing and one very minor bit of pixelization at 95:37. It affects Steve Coogan's shirt but it flashes by very quickly.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are excellent. They use the black bar between the 2.35:1 frame and the 16x9 screen edge most of the time but sometimes stray onto the picture.

    The layer change occurs at 76:05. It was very noticeable causing a sound dropout and bad pause on my equipment.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 320 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was very clear and easy to understand throughout (even taking into account Jackie's English issues) and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score by Trevor Jones was quite effective without being a standout.

    The surround speakers were used regularly for some effects such as the drums at 69:00 and bird sounds.

    The subwoofer was also used regularly for the music, things falling and fight scenes.

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

Extras

   

    All the extras are 16x9 enhanced.

Menu

    The menu included motion, music and is very functional.

Alternate Director's Opening (1:40)

    A bizarre dream sequence involving a chicken which was considered for the opening. A good idea to leave out but amusing to see nonetheless.

Discovering 'Around the World' (18:51)

    A behind-the-scenes featurette which includes outtakes, interviews with the main cast and crew and discussion of the book. Locations, sets, shootings and language issues, cameos, the inventions and the visual effects. Worth a look.

Around the World of Jackie Chan (6:32)

    Short promo piece on Jackie Chan and how he worked with the director and his involvement in the screenplay. Also covers him teaching the cast how to do slapstick and stunts plus doing his own stunts.

Deleted Scenes

    Eight scenes are included with director's commentary. They total approximately 6 minutes of footage and there is nothing essential included although the extra John Cleese material is better than that included in the film.

Music Video - Dave Stewart Everybody All Over the World (3:18)

    An interesting clip for a very ordinary song.

Theatrical Trailer (2:24)

Trailer - Elf

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie is available in both Region 1 and 2. Both Region 1 and Region 2 include a commentary by the director and Steve Coogan which is not included on the local product.

Summary

    A light and fun version of the famous book starring Jackie Chan.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    A selection of promotional extras are included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, April 16, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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