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The "butchered" version of HK film
on December 12, 2002
I'm sure most of us who have ever come across, and perhaps even have grown to like, some classic Hong Kong movie (such as Police Story, Drunken Master II), would have heard the not-so-secret about how Miramax/Dimension films bought most of the Hong Kong movies distribution right. It seems like they bought more than just the right the distribute, they have bought the films and, despite the Directors/Filmmakers original intention, they cut it as they see fit.
The problem is, they don't see very well. Without a good understanding of other's cultural background, they simply categorize what they do not understand as redundant. The result are some horrific, hollow effort that will lead the American viewers believe that Hong Kong or other countries are unable to produce quality motion pictures. While Miramax/Dimension are considered to be "Independant Studios" who respect the artisic view of the filmmakers, they are nothing more than bunch of short-sighted, self-righteous hypocrites.
Though they do make an effort to digitally restore/remaster the original film to provide a sharper, clearer image, they more than often largely mutilate the film: creating new, trailor-like (useless and sometime even become spoiler) credit sequence, replacing original music score with cheesy/ridiculous techno, awful dubbing and worst of all, cutting out numerous sequences of the movie. Slap on a laughable cover and it is ready to be re-sold as a Miramax/Dimension production.
To make this long aggravation short, The Miramax/Dimension version of "Accidental Spy" is a perfect example. The cover of the DVD has got nothing whatsoever to do with the film except it features Jackie Chan (Who the hell are the two women holding pistols?). Secondly, 20+ minutes of the film was trimmed (That is the equal length of an episode of "Friends"!), thirdly, a cool(?) titile sequence is inserted basically give away all the stunt and action scenes at the beginning of the film, and finally, though most of the dialogue in this movie are originally English, for the part when the characters are speaking Mandarin/Cantonese, they somehow got Jackie himself to do his own English dubbing, only they are bad, and does not provide the story as it should be (Note: Jackie's Character "Bei" actually has a certain "psychic" power). I mean, they even dubbed the "outtake" sequence, wouldn't you think it's absurd?
I eventually obtained an original version, and enjoyed it much more as I have a better understanding of the characters, or you could say I was into the story more simply because I was not distracted by the dubbing.
The original version even include some "making-of" documentary, cast & crew bio, trailors, and oh! DTS soundtrack (though somehow the DTS track on this disc proved to be a disappointment).
If you somehow got the Miramax/Dimension version, I am sorry but you are not watching this movie as it really should be. I give 2 stars for this version. For the original version, I believe it actually deserve a 4 star rating.