Blu-ray Review “Charlie Chan Collection”

Number of discs: 4
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013
Run Time: 262 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit, I am a real sucker for a good detective story with mystery, twists and turns.  Thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment they are bringing us four great films from the Charlie Chan Collection. The films included are “Shadows Over Chinatown”, “Docks of New Orleans”, “Shanghai Chest”, and “The Golden Eye” dating from 1946-1948″.  The character of Charlie Chan was created by writer Earl Derr Biggers dating back to 1923 and over 50 films featuring the character. If you are into classic sleuth films then this release is definitely for you.

These films have never-been-released and are making their DVD debut. They come in a large slipcase with four individual DVD case inside for each film. They are newly remastered for this release.  They are not perfect but especially for films nearing over 60 years old, they look stunning. Warner really gave these some love and it shows on the screen. I hope that Warner is planning to continue this collection because I would like to see further releases with these great films.

Official Premise: The most popular American films in 1930s China, the Chan movies were based on a fictional Chinese-American detective originally created by Earl Derr Biggers in 1923. Over four dozen films featuring Charlie Chan have been made since 1926. In 1931, the Fox Film Corporation cast Swedish actor Warner Oland as Chan in Charlie Chan Carries On; the film was a success, and Fox went on to produce 15 more Chan films with Oland in the title role.

Following Oland’s death, Scottish American actor Sidney Toler was cast as Chan; Toler made 22 Chan films, first for Fox and then for Monogram Studios. After Toler’s death, six more films were made, starring Roland Winters. The character has also been featured in several radio programs, two television shows and a number of comics.

Charlie Chan Collection is available on DVD August 6 at the WB Shop

Blu-ray Review "Jackie Chan Double Feature: Crime Story / The Protector"

Actors: Jackie Chan, Kent Cheng, Danny Aiello
Directors: Kirk Woong, James Glickenhaus
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Run Time: 198 minutes

Double Feature: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love classic Jackie Chan? This double feature includes two films: “Crime Story” and “The Protector”. It is great to see Chan fly around without wires or CG effects. The US cut of “The Protector” is good but has never been my favorite of mine or Jackie Chan’s either hence his created his own personal cut with more action and less nudity. Luckily this edition is included in the special features. You can tell that Shout! but some love into this release and they are a real step up from Echo Bridge’s four-pack of Jackie Chan’s features on Blu-ray. If you are a fan of Jackie Chan, then you are going to want to check this out.  Looking for more? Shout! Factory is releasing another Jackie Chan Double Feature “Police Story / Police Story II” this April.

“Crime Story” Official Premise: Jackie Chan stars in one of his grittiest roles ever as a police detective on the edge, who must race against time to solve a deadly kidnapping case. Based on the shocking true story of a billionaire abducted in a bold ambush, and filled with explosive martial-arts battles, Crime Story pulses with tension and excitement. Director Kirk Wong (The Big Hit) deftly combines acrobatic fight choreography with edge-of-your-seat action for this thrilling and dramatic tour-de-force for Jackie Chan.

“The Protector” Official Premise: Written and directed by James Glickenhaus (The Exterminator), The Protector stars Jackie Chan and Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing) as a pair of NYPD cops sent to Hong Kong to catch a drug lord who has kidnapped the daughter of his former associate. Also starring martial-arts star Moon Lee (Angel Force) and Roy Chiao (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), this thriller features Hollywood-style action sprinkled with Chan’s death-defying stunts.

Shout! Factory has delivered decent but not amazing 1080p transfers here, both presented in their original aspect ratios of 1.85:1.  When I think about classic Jackie Chan action films, I think about the gritty feel though so they work for me to be honest.  They are not perfect but then again neither or the films themselves. The audio tracks on the other hand are much more solid.  “Crime Story” comes with both a Cantonese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Obviously the original Cantonese works the best personally.  Then there is also a Cantonese and English Dolby Digital 2.0. “The Protector” comes with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0.

The special features for “Crime Story” are good but not great. There is an interview with the director Kirk Wong in Cantonese, with optional English subtitles. There are a few deleted scenes also in Cantonese, with optional English subtitles. Lastly there is the original un-subtitled trailer and a US trailer. “The Protector” really delivers the best features on this release. “The Protector: Alternate Cut” is Jackie Chan’s personal cut of the film and is in Cantonese, with optional English subtitles but only in standard definition. “From New York to Hong Kong” is an interview with director James Glickenhaus talking about working with Jackie Chan. “Locations: Then and Now” is a shot featurette showing the shooting location, not narrated and can be skipped. “Behind the Scenes Featurette” is raw shooting footage in Cantonese and not subtitled. Lastly there is the Hong Kong and US trailer included.

DVD Review “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: The Complete Series”

Created by: Earl Derr Biggers
Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Voices of: Keye Luke, Robert Ito, Brian Tochi, Don Messick, Gene Andrusco, Jodie Foster
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Episodes: 16
Running time: 344 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan” was not a long-running show from Hanna-Barbera but its certainly a fun show. It had an original run from September 9, 1972 – December 30, 1972, which included only 16 episodes. The show resolves Mr. Chan, his ten children and their dog Chu Chu. They go around the world and solve mysteries with the children helping their father in every episode. In fact it actually reminds me a lot of “Scooby-Doo”. They also even travel around in a van, but their’s is much cooler since it can transform into other vehicles with the push of a button. For a show that is aged 40 years, the DVD presentation looks sharp and very impressive.

The voice of Mr. Chan, Keye Luke is the only actor of Chinese descent.  Also another notable voice on the show is Jodie Foster as Anne Chan, that’s right THE Jodie Foster.  I love the cross-overs between about Hanna-Barbara shows like their is one of the characters  disguises themselves as Yogi Bear and their car reminds a lot of Hong-Hong Phooey’s car.  This show was also spoofed in Adult Swim’s “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law”. Props need to go to Warner Archive Collection for releasing this manufacture-on-demand (MOD).  If you are a fan of classic Hanna-Barbara series, this is a no-brainer to pick up!

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: The Complete Series is now available: (

Synopsis: Chinese-American supersleuth Charlie Chan made his cartoon transition with his customary grace, only this time he brought along the clan. Maintaining Hanna-Barbera’s winning formula (kids, mysteries, canine, van), the hit kid show also introduced some innovations (the van transforms, a double-sized team, HOWdunnits not whodunits). Most significant among these is the casting of the amazing Keye Luke (Kato, Master Po) as the voice of Charlie Chan. Not only was this the first time that an Asian-American would play Charlie Chan, it marked an apropos “graduation” for Mr. Luke, the original “Number One Son” Lee Chan of the classic Warner Oland Chan mysteries. Among those joining Mr. Luke on voice duties are Jodie Foster (Anne Chan), Lennie Weinrib (Stanley Chan) and Don Messick (Chu-Chu) in this complete 16-episode, two-disc collection.

Blu-ray Review “Miramax Multi-Feature: Jackie Chan Series”

Directed by & Starring: Jackie Chan
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Running Time: 386 minutes

Operation Condor: 3 out of 5 stars
Operation Condor- Armour of God 2: 3 out of 5 stars
Jackie Chan’s Project A: 3 out of 5 stars
Jackie Chan’s Project A2: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I remember dating back to 1994 when I first saw Jackie Chan’s “Rumble in the Bronx”, still one of my favorites. It changed my life and introduced me to kung-fu films. Since then Jackie’s films have been ported to the US over the years. The films included in this set are not his best but are still entertaining. Though since they are American versions of the films, they are badly cut and edited. They also are only available with a dubbed track not the original language with subtitles. Though with the low price, fans of Jackie Chan will enjoy a chance to see this films on Blu-ray.

“Operation Condor” features Jackie Chan as the world’s greatest secret agent, code name Condor, who is sent to track down stolen Nazi gold. “Operation Condor: Armour of God 2” features Chan back as the fortune hunter whose ex-girlfriend is kidnapped and held for ransom by an evil cult. “Jackie Chan’s Project A” features Chan as Dragon, a coast guard officer on patrol in late 19th century Hong Kong, who battles with a vicious gang syndicate for control of the waters. “Jackie Chan’s Project A2” follows its predecessor where Dragon is assigned to lead the local police force but discovers and aims to remove police corruption.

The Blu-ray transfers on these films are not the greatest. They are all presented in 1080p though, which is a plus at least. The video quality on “Operation Condor 2: Armour of the Gods” is the best on the disc but it only comes with Dobly Stereo 2.0 audio track, as does “Project A”. “Project A” and “Project A2” transfers are also very grainy and rough, despite the 1080p transfer. “Operation Condor” and “Project A2” comes with Dobly Digital 5.1 surround tracks. Overall mixed results on these films, leading up to barely satisfactory. But when it comes down to it, you can find this Bluray for $10 or less and for that it is worth your money.


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