REVIEW: The Accidental Spy DTS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeEckman, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Heres my first review for this board. Let me start off with saying, nothing in my HT setup can be considered top of the line. I have a run of the mill 27 inch Zenith TV, a Sony STRDE845 receiver with MTX AAL1540 fronts, a JBL S-center center channel, JBL N26 surround speakers, and a JBL PB10 sub. With that in mind heres my review of the latest Jackie Chan movie to hit DVD.
    Plot:
    This movie has a slightly better and more involved plot than your typical HK kung-fu movie, and considering this movie was made in 2000 and released to DVD in early 2001, I can see that Jackie Chan must be taking a queue from his American box-office success in that he is trying to blend his typical HK action/comedy style with a more involved story like American cinema. I personally find most HK action films to be very thin on plot. Anyways, in this movie, Jackie Chan finds himself in a mall where some bank robbers try to rob a bank, and as a good Samaritan, Jackie foils the thieves, recovers the money and returns it to the police. They put him on the news and during an interview, it is discovered that he is an orphan. Then, we find out that some really rich guy is dying in a hospital in Korea that had a child in 1958 that was given up for adoption. This man hires someone to find any person who was born in 1958 that was also an orphan, because this dying man wants to meet his son and give him something. Jackie soon meets the old man, gets what the old man wanted to give him. As a dying wish, the old man wants Jackie to spread his ashes on the grave of his wife. There he finds two things which end up being clues to a greater mystery. Jackie decides to investigate the clues, which leads him to Turkey, he finds a whole bunch of money, terrorists are chasing him, lots of fighting. He learns that his man who claims to be his father was really a spy, and the American CIA and some Korean reporter are trying to solve the mystery of something he was working on. I dont want to tell anymore to the story, but the title The Accidental Spy is a good one in that by being led to this man that Jackie's character has never met before, and asked to complete a dying wish, he "Accidently" picks up where his father left off. I think this move has a really great story, and some people complained because it didnt have as much fighting in it as some of his other movies, and although that may be true, it still has alot more fighting than any of Jackie's American movies, Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon. Although there is enough excellent action in the movie, there are two memorable sequences. One puts Jackie running through a Turkish market fighting bad guys....NAKED!! Thats right! Jackie's bare ass!!! This is an especially funny scene as we see Jackie beating up bad guys, all the while trying to cover himself up. This takes that sight gag in Austin Powers to a complete new level!!! The other memorable part of the movie is towards the end, and involves a gas tanker truck on fire in a sort of Keanu Reeves Speed sequence where they cant slow down the truck or else it will blow up and Jackie needs to jump on the truck and rescue the driver, his wife, and little child. As a whole, I give this movie an A- when it comes to story and acting. And thats high praise when comparing it to American cinema.
    Video:
    This is an all region DVD from Hong Kong, and with that in mind, as far as HK DVDs go, this is probably the best looking one I've ever seen. This DVD is a DVD-9 disc, which is rare for HK movies, so there was alot more room for picture quality. I will say that although the picture was decent, if you take into consideration this movie is only a year old, I thought it could have looked better. This movie is not anamorphic, but is framed at 2.35:1. The daylight scenes showed acceptible detail and sharpness, and not too much artifacting. I didnt notice any excessive edge enhancement, but remember, this was being watched on a 27" TV. Some of the darker scenes had an overall brown tint to them, and some detail is lost in the darker scenes as it doesnt appear that certain scenes were lit properly. Film grain is present, but minimal, and the colors are solid, albeit a little weak. This movie doesnt compare to a modern Paramount or Fox release, but it is in good shape considering its source.
    Audio:
    Perhaps the most impressive thing about this disc is that it has a DTS track. I dont have a bitrate feature on my DVD player, so I dont know if this was full or half bitrate, but it sure did sound good. There is alot of music in this movie, and consdering he goes from China, to Korea, to Turkey in this movie, there is alot of ethnic music being played throughout which sounds good in the 5.1 mix and didnt appear to be strained at all in DTS. Dialogue seemed okay, I've heard better, but its probably not fair to compare this to a big budget Hollywood movie. There is alot of surround activity and some really good imaging. The LFE channel is used often, but I wouldnt exactly call it a U-571 caliber workout. There is also a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on here, but I didnt get a chance to listen to that yet. As a whole, the audio was very impressive considering the source, and even when compared to US titles, its better than some DTS tracks Ive heard released here.
    Supplements:
    The movie is in Cantonese or Mandarin language only, although there are quite a few parts of the movie that are actually spoken in English. There are English subtitles on the disc which allow us non Chinese speaking people to follow the story. There is also a behind the scenes featureette on the disc, but its not in English, and there are no subtitles available, so I didnt bother watching it, since I couldnt understand it. Theres a trailer for the film, and some cast and crew bio. I dont have alot of HK DVDs in my collection, nor have I seen too many, but with the ones I've seen, this is the most feature laiden DVD from HK I've seen, and the closest thing to an SE I've seen.
    Final Thoughts:
    As a whole, the story was better than I expected. Good acting, good action, good video, and very good audio. Like I said before, it wouldnt be fair to compare this to an American big-budget DVD, but considering its source, I highly recommend this movie to any Jackie Chan fan, and anyone thats just a fan of the action/comedy genre.
    I purchased my copy of this movie from www.dddhouse.com as I found they have the best prices for HK DVDs on the net. I ordered it with 4 other movies, and after shipping, this movie came out to less than US$20.
     
  2. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I thought at least someone would find this interesting. This is a good movie and I assumed thered be some Jackie Chan fans here.
     
  3. Alex Johnson

    Alex Johnson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    this was a fun film. i picked it up last year..
    i think there is a u.s. release scheduled for the end of the year?
    a
    ------------------
    visit neverville
     
  4. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 1999
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
  5. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm a very big Jackie Chan fan (I even watch the Saturday morning cartoon [​IMG] ) and have not even seen this movie. Thanks for the review. I think I'll wait to for the US release.
    -Andre F
    ------------------
    -= Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape! =-
     
  6. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think, as an American movie fan, I liked the movie more than some of the die hard Jackie Fans might have. I think if this movie is marketed properly, it can be at least a decent success if it is released here as it is a somewhat typical American action film with some good comedy sequences.
    I played mine on a first generation Zenith DVD player and it passed the DTS signal to my Sont STR-DE845 without a problem.
     

Share This Page