Shanghai Noon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer usually pleased.
Overall definition worked fine. A few slightly mushy shots materialized, but those remained in the minority, as most of the flick demonstrated good accuracy and definition. I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws failed to be a problem in this clean image.
Noon went with a lively palette, and the colors appeared positive. At times they could be downright impressive, and they never seemed worse than pretty good. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows showed good clarity. The image wasn’t quite strong enough for “A”-level consideration, but it held up well.
To my disappointment, Shanghai Noon came without a lossless option, so we simply got a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. At least it seemed satisfying, if not as full as it could’ve been.
The soundfield showed a forward emphasis but it offered a pretty well rounded affair in any case. The spectrum provided a nicely broad and engaging display. Sounds were placed accurately in the environment, and they moved cleanly and smoothly across channels. The score also featured very good stereo separation. The surrounds added good reinforcement and plenty of unique elements.
Audio quality also appeared to be positive. Dialogue consistently sounded warm and natural, and I discerned no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. The music showed nice fidelity, and effects came across as clean and realistic. This was a positive presentation.
The Blu-ray repeats the old DVD’s extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Tom Dey and actors Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Dey and Wilson sit together for a running, screen-specific piece; Chan’s remarks come from a separate interview and get edited into the main commentary. They discuss story and character areas, sets and locations, costumes, visual design and period details, music, effects, editing, stunts and action, cast and performances, and a few other issues.
While Chan and Wilson toss in decent notes, Dey dominates this piece. That's fine with me, as he presents clear info about the movie and covers a nice array of topics. The other two help flesh out the track and make this a worthwhile listen.
Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Most of these tend toward exposition, especially in terms of Roy’s old gang and what Wallace does with them. We also get a major action piece that showcases the end of the line for the train and some added bits from the film’s conclusion. These are actually fairly decent; I’d assume most got cut for time.
Under “Featurettes”, we get seven pieces: Making an Eastern Western (3:23), Partners (4:09), Jackie’s Comedy (3:48), Western Stunts, Eastern Style (3:39), Hanging with Roy and the Kid (2:16), Action Overload (2:41), and Choo Choo Boogie (3:09). Across these, we hear from Dey, Chan, Wilson, editor Richard Chew, and production designer Peter J. Hampton. The featurettes look at story/character topics and the film’s origins/development, the Western setting contrasted with Asian elements, stunts and action, cast and performances, comedic moments and inspirations, set design, effects and editing.
With so little time at their disposal, none of the featurettes deliver much depth, and they also tend toward praise – especially for Chan. Still, we get some nice shots from the production and find enough decent details to make the clips worthwhile. I wish the disc had come with a “Play All” option, though.
Next comes a Music Video for “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” by Uncle Kracker. This eschews the usual movie clips and instead offers a Western battle sequence with unique footage of Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. That makes it significantly more fun than most videos for songs from films.
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. We also find the trailer for Noon.
Shanghai Noon attempts a minor variation on the buddy flick with lackluster results. It never quite comes together and remains a forgettable effort. The Blu-ray gives us strong picture and audio along with a reasonably useful little set of supplements. This ends up as a quality release for a mediocre film.
Note that the Blu-ray of Shanghai Noon pairs it with its 2003 sequel. Both appear on the same disc.