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TOUCHSTONE

MOVIE INFO
Synopsis:
Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson jump back in the saddle for Shanghai Knights, the hilarious sequel to the hit action-comedy Shanghai Noon. When Chon Wang (Chan) gets news of his estranged father's murder in Shanghai, he leaves his honorable life as Carson City's sheriff in a cloud of dust and reunites with his yarn-spinning sidekick, Roy O'Bannon (Wilson). Together they make their way to London on a daring quest for honor and revenge.

Director:
David Dobkin
Cast:
Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Fann Wong, Donnie Yen, Aaron Johnson, Aiden Gillen, Tom Fisher
Writing Credits:
Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Tagline:
A Royal Kick In The Arse!


Box Office:
Budget
$50 million.
Opening Weekend
$19.603 million on 2753 screens.
Domestic Gross
$60.470 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for action violence and sexual content.

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 114 min.
Price: $26.50
Release Date: 5/7/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with David Dobkin
• Audio Commentary with Writers Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
• Deleted Scenes
• "Fight Manual": Special Documentary with Jackie Chan and Director David Dobkin
• "Action Overload": All the Action, Music Video-Style
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Shanghai Knights: Two Movie Collection [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson / David Williams (May 3, 2013)

After huge box office flops between films, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson re-teamed to try to recreate the magic of their previous outing together, 2000’s Shanghai Noon. Unfortunately, 2003’s Shanghai Knights rarely entertains as it vainly attempts to maintain the goofiness and camaraderie found in the first film.

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson pair up once again as they’re hot on the trail of a murderous Chinese noble who will stop at nothing to become emperor and an English baddie and partner-in-crime who wants the throne in England. Chan reprises his role as Chon Wang (ridiculously pronounced “John Wayne”), now serving as a sheriff in a small western town who has learned that his father, entrusted as a keeper of the Chinese Imperial Seal, has been brutally murdered.

When Wang learns that his sister, Chon Lin (Fann Wong), has tracked the killer, as well as the seal, to London, he immediately goes in search of his old partner, Roy O’Bannon (Owen Wilson), to retrieve some of their reward from the first film to aid in his journey. However, when Wang hooks up with Roy in New York, he learns that Roy has blown most of their loot on some bad investments and is now working as a hotel waiter to make ends meet, he’s more than a little miffed. One thing leads to another nonetheless and Wang and Roy head off to London together to meet up with Wang’s sister.

Along with the expected culture shock and bad jokes, Wang and Roy meet up with Lin in London and she’s hot on the trail of the prime suspect in their father’s murder, Lord Rathbone (Aidan Gillen). Rathbone is tenth in line for the throne and he has a plan to knock off the other nine in order to become King. He’s in cahoots with Wu Yip (Donnie Yen), who will assist him in the nine murders in exchange for the Imperial Seal. Assisted by a young pickpocket named Charlie Chaplin (Aaron Johnson) and a somewhat unusual Scotland Yard detective named Arthur Conan Doyle (Tom Fisher), the trio work to stop both of the madmen before it’s too late.

As the film comes to its telegraphed and obvious end, Wang and Roy prepare to ride off into the sunset together and head out for Hollywood to star in motion pictures – impossible to do in the late 1880’s and just one of the many historical liberties found here. But it’s Shanghai Knights, right? Not a history lesson?

The performances in Shanghai Knights feel rather tired, as Wilson comes off as particularly smarmy and unfunny. He seems to have taken on the role of a white Chris Tucker, as his performance constantly screams “Look at me!”, while Chan does all of the dirty work.

Chan on the other hand goes through the motions of his trademark choreographed brawls that emphasize humor over brute force. In Shanghai Knights, he manages to pay tribute to Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and even Gene Kelly during a fight that steals some impressive moves from Singin’ In the Rain. Director David Dobkin directs the film at a monotonous and droning pace and by the time it’s over, you realize that you’ve checked out your watch as much as you have the film itself.

In a nutshell, Shanghai Knights was pretty disappointing. You really have to tip your hat to the editor who put the trailer together, though, as it makes the film look tolerable. However, looks can be deceiving, and that’s definitely the case with Shanghai Knights. I’d say “skip it” unless you’re just one of those people who’s a glutton for punishment.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Shanghai Knights appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No significant issues cropped up here.

For the most part, sharpness seemed strong. I noticed some small edge haloes and a few slightly soft wide shots, but the majority of the flick demonstrated positive delineation. No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and the image lacked print flaws.

Colors became one of the best aspects of the presentation. The film went with a broad palette that looked vivid and dynamic throughout the film. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. The image barely fell below “A”-level consideration, as it looked quite nice.

I also felt pleased with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack – even if it came as a disappointment that the Blu-ray lacked a lossless option. Still, the DD mix gave us a broad, engaging soundscape with many exciting moments. Action components filled out the room and gave us a good sense of place. Elements moved smoothly and created a fine environment for all the material.

Audio quality was also good. Music seemed vibrant and bold, while effects showed clean, accurate tones with solid bite. Speech remained concise and distinctive. This was a quality mix.

We find the DVD’s extras duplicated here, and these include two separate audio commentaries. For the first, we get a running, screen-specific chat from director David Dobkin as he discusses how he came onto the project and challenges related to the creation of a sequel, sets and locations, visual design, period elements and costumes, action and stunts, cast and performances, story/character topics, music, editing and audio, and a few other areas.

Overall, this becomes an informative chat. Dobkin goes silent a little more often than I’d like, but when he talks, he delivers good information. Heck, he even refers to the movie’s surfeit of goofs and anachronisms. I find a lot to enjoy in this piece.

For the second commentary, we hear from writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar as they sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. As expected, they concentrate on story, character and screenplay areas, but they also talk a little about general filmmaking topics.

I think the commentary starts well, as Millar and Gough seem honest and informative as they get into the first film, issues related to sequels and aspects of their work. After the first act or so, though, matters become less consistent; while we still get good info, the writers tens to laugh too much at the film and leave useful notes by the wayside. This remains a good track overall, but it does sag after the first act.

Under Fight Manual, we get a nine-minute, three-second featurette with Dobkin and actor Jackie Chan. They sit together and discuss the movie’s fight sequences and action choreography. We get a decent look at these elements in this brisk piece.

11 Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 28 minutes, eight seconds. Most of these give us extended versions of existing scenes, so we don’t find a lot of truly new material. The majority of the additions seem pretty insubstantial, but they’re not bad to watch. “” should’ve made the final cut, mainly because it explains what happened to Roy and Falling Leaves from the first film.

Finally, Action Overload gives us a rapid-paced compilation. The one-minute, 34-second reel gives us an overview of the flick’s action scenes in one music video-style package. It also tints the footage and offers a silent movie feel. I think it’s kind of dopey, but maybe others will like it.

The disc opens with ads for The Lone Rangerand The Muppet Movie. Sneak Peeks also provides promos for The Lion King on Broadway and Baby Daddy. No trailer for Knights appears here.

Shanghai Knights could be funny at times, but it never became memorable. It offered a breezy way to blow a couple of hours and nothing more. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio along with a generally positive set of bonus materials that accent two commentaries. The Blu-ray upgrades the DVD but the movie itself remains mediocre.

Note that the Blu-ray of Shanghai Knights pairs it with the original film from 2000. Both appear on the same disc.

To rate this film go to the original review of SHANGHAI KNIGHTS

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