Full Disclosure: Although Mill Creek Entertainment sent us a copy of “The Jackie Chan Adventures,” the opinions expressed are 100% honest and our own.
Jackie Chan seemed almost fit for his own kids show. While the international action movie star was in fact known for a slew of iconic movies that continue to win the hearts of movie buffs to this day, Jackie Chan’s methods of self defense always made him look like a walking, talking cartoon character—but, you know–deadly. To tap his ever-rising popularity, the WB network eventually gave him his own animated series for kids. Unlike other action stars, it seemed like a natural fit that wouldn’t alienate any of the fan base including the action aficionados. Basing a show on a hero that avoided getting hit as well as avoiding actually hitting his enemies was a breath of fresh air, and it seemed like Saturday morning kismet.
Severin films feeds the appetites of action movie buffs once again with their second part of “Kung Fu Trailers of Fury.” The region free Blu-Ray comes packed with over two hours over kung fu movie trailers that also delves in to comedy, animation, and drama, even. There are thirty five trailers total that skim over the massive landscape of Asian cinema, and fans will be very pleased to indulge in an uncut look at some of the best and most noteworthy films in the sub-genre. While the trailers aren’t all at even volume, with most of them presenting louder or softer volume as a whole, the trailers are offered in their original aspect ratios.
Courtesy of Shout! Factory, fans of Jackie Chan will be able to get their hands on a double feature from the master of comedy kung-fu, and take hold of two of his notable features from Hong Kong and America. Mostly for Chan buffs, the “Jackie Chan Double Feature” is an interesting double package for bargain hunters alike. The weaker of the duo is 1985’s “The Protector.” Written and directed by James Glickenhaus, this American debut of Chan features Chan teaming with Danny Aiello as two NYPD officers that have to high tail it to Hong Kong.
Almost thirty years later, Sammo Hung’s “Wheels on Meals” is still one of the technically proficient martial arts films ever made. It’s just too bad there’s not much to it beyond the martial arts. Primarily it works as a comedy of two men fallen for the same woman whose entire antics are steeped in silent comedy that doesn’t club us over the head with obvious gags. But “Wheels on Meals” is sadly lagging and long in the tooth as an action film that professes mid-way to be nothing more than a romance comedy with martial arts back drops that do nothing to enhance the overall narrative.
You could have called this “Fist of the East,” or “Test of Fortitude” and it would have grossed obscene amounts of money at the box-office, regardless. It’s a movie that is so meticulously built to appeal to audiences and tickle every emotion possible, that it’s so much more a marketing gimmick than it is an actual movie. Calling it “Karate Kid” is just the icing on the cake. Eighties exploitation is huge. There are currently dozens of overgrown men on the cusp of forty mourning the days of Rocky Balboa, and cassette tapes, still bawling about how the eighties were so much better that calling it “Karate Kid” was a bonafide ticket to box office gold. Plus Jaden Smith is Will Smith’s son, and Will Smith always equals big bucks.
Taking its cue from “Golden Child” and just about every other fantasy film, a young child, a “chosen one” is chosen to guard the medallion, cue candles, a temple, and guards who are supposed to protect a lethal weapon but are knocked out with a tap on the head, also, cue spooky British villain Snakehead who plans to steal the medallion for immortality, but first he reads from a book at the very start of the film introducing the concept of the medallion in a low spooky British voice: “Every so and so, a child from so and so, is chosen to do so and so, to protect the medallion!” The term “immortality” is hard to define in this film; if you take one half of the medallion you can’t be killed.
The numbskull duo from the bland action yarn “Shanghai Noon” return for yet another vehicle sequel “Shanghai Knights.” I was not a fan of the original film, I thought it was yet another bland vehicle for Wilson and Chan who seem to only be charismatic and funny when paired with a complete opposite. This sequel didn’t prove to be anything new or innovative as well; it was just an endless sequence of comedic dialogue, fight scene, comedic dialogue, fight scene, and so on, so it’s obvious I felt jumbled by the sloppy story and cheap plot devices.
Jackie Chan seems often bored and detached from this film, never giving the charisma he displays in his movies. It dawned upon me that he might be aging or running out of ideas as he starts using wires to help with most of his stunts. We open with him attempting to ask a sexy art dealer on a date and ultimately screw it up. I found it hard to believe that an art dealer would go out with a creepy stuttering taxi driver, so I wasn’t surprised when she rejected him like a bad habit.