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Police Story/Police Story 2: Criterion Collection (1985/1988) - Blu-ray Review

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Police Story / Police Story 2 - Blu-ray Review

Chop-socky!?  More like cop-socky!  Police Story and its 1988 sequel are back in blu!

Jackie Chan is a damn legend.  Fight me.  For the nonbelievers, I offer this release from Criterion as proof of his agility, his professionalism, and his dedication to being a damn superstar when it comes to stunts and charismatic karate.  Hell, he directed these films, too, and they are still considered top tier selections when it comes to rousing stunts and developing an appreciation for the titanic phenomenon that is Jackie Chan.

"The slapstick! The goofball charm! The wit! It is all here in this new collection from Criterion.".


Inspector Chan Ka-Kui is back in action!  The Criterion Collection’s latest releases on blu-ray are the first two Police Story films that made Jackie Chan (as Ka-Kui) and the remarkable Maggie Cheung as his girlfriend, May, the certifiable stars that they are.  These films, complete with an AWESOME electronic score, kick all sorts of ass as only the graceful Chan can and, as Chan himself has described, are examples of his best feats.

Debuting in 1985, Police Story was a smash success in Asia as Chan takes on a crime syndicate led by crime lord Chu Tao (Chor Yuen).  When he is put behind bars, the case against him falls apart and, immediately upon release, he sets his sights on bringing down the high-flying wild antics of Ka-Kui, whose “go it alone” antics have everyone on edge.

Co-starring Brigitte Lin, Police Story contains some of Chan’s best stunts. We have rapid car attacks – with Chan ducking baseball bats on moving hoods, ramming vehicles, kicking bad guys through car doors and windows, and rolling and tumbling off vehicles like a damn pro (because he is) – and awesome choreographed scenes in a mall that feature Chan’s rapid speed and his graceful agility.

In Police Story 2, Chan has been degraded to a beat cop but that doesn’t stop him from taking matters into his own hands.  From amazing diner attacks where chairs and tables become shields to impressive abandoned warehouse beat-downs, the acrobatic fight choreography in this over-the-top (and amazingly satisfying) is yet another killer classic and so too are the explosions as Ka-Kui takes his flying fists from lowly traffic cop to stopping mad bombers intent on destroying the city.Police Story / Police Story 2 - Blu-ray Review

Chan sees the world and choreographs his fights as if the stage is a real life arcade game.. He ping-pongs back and forth against the cityscape and pulls off some incredible stunts, converting a warehouse full of oversized oil cans in to a life-sized round of pinball where they fall as drop targets straight into a drain full of baddies.  No tilt allowed!

The slapstick! The goofball charm! The wit! It is all here in this new collection from Criterion. The films, with brand-new 4K restorations, look better than they ever had and reveal, with their fireworks and the steely-eyed determination, just how AMAZING the early work of Chan actually was. 

Police Story and Police Story 2 are masterpieces of the chop-socky scene.

5/5 beers

Police Story / Police Story 2 - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Criterion
Available on Blu-ray
- April 30, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
Cantonese: LPCM Mono; Cantonese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new 4K restoration of Police Story and Police Story 2, complete with alternate 5.1 surround soundtracks and alternate English-dubbed soundtracks, are works of art.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the original uncompressed stereo audio for the film’s soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.

Special Features:

  • With new artwork from Jeremy Enecio, Criterion knocks their handling of these classic Cantonese flicks completely out of the park.
  • Alternate version of Police Story 2, presented in a 2K digital transfer for the first time from a subtitled 35 mm Hong Kong–release print
  • New interview with filmmaker Edgar Wright and a 2017 podcast conversation between Wright and actor-director Jackie Chan
  • New programs on Chan’s screen persona and action-filmmaking techniques featuring author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix
  • Episode of Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show from 1989 featuring interviews with Chan and actor Maggie Cheung
  • Archival interviews with Chan and actor and stuntman Benny Lai
  • Excerpts from Jackie Chan: My Stunts, a 1999 documentary codirected by and starring Chan
  • Excerpt from a 2017 television program reuniting Chan with the original members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team
  • Television program from 1964 detailing the rigors of Beijing-opera training, akin to the education that Chan received as a child
  • Chan stunt reel
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Nick Pinkerton

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Police Story / Police Story 2 - Blu-ray Review

 

 
 
 
 

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