Shanghai Noon

Shanghai Noon (2000)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu
Extras: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Trivia Game, Photo Gallery

With his feet firmly rooted in Hollywood and the American market, Martial Arts superstar Jackie Chan has slowly begun to explore cross-over themes in his past films, but in none was the attempt to showcase ’East meets West’ as clearly as in his latest outing, ’Shanghai Noon.’ Jackie plays a Chinese Imperial Guard who is sent to America to rescue Princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu) who is held captive. Unfamiliar with the language, the customs and the country, he soon teams up with Roy O’Bannon (Owen Wilson) a local desperado. Before he knows it, Chan is running from the law, known as the Shanghai Kid with a $1000 reward on his head! Dead or alive!

Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents the movie in a beautiful widescreen presentation that is enhanced for 16×9 television sets. Framed at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the image is clear and entirely free of blemishes or scratches. Colors are beautifully vibrant, creating a bold and colorful presentation. Blacks are deep and solid without ever losing detail, not even in the most dimly lit interior shots. Skin tones are very naturally rendered, making this movie a pleasure to behold. The compression on the disc is flawless and not a hint of compression artifacting is evident anywhere.

’Shanghai Noon’ features a dynamic and aggressive 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix. It is very dynamic and features a wide frequency response, covering the entire sonic spectrum from the highest end to the lowest frequencies. The LFE channel is engaged quite often for additional effect and the overall presentation is powerful, rich and engaging.

The disc also contains a few entertaining and informative bonus features, such as featurettes, a photo gallery and trivia games. A series of deleted scenes can also be found on the disc and in this case, it is one of the rare occasions where you have to really wonder why they have been cut. Not only are these scenes of excellent dramatic and narrative quality, furthermore they fill some of the serious plot holes that are now gaping in the final cut of the film.

’Shanghai Noon’ is not Jackie Chan’s funniest movie and it is certainly not his most furious in terms of its action. However, it is a highly entertaining comedy that is easy to digest and completely Americanized – with all its advantages and disadvantages, I may add.