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Jackie Chan: Beginnings - Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin / Magnificent Bodyguards DF
Jackie Chan: Beginnings - Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin / Magnificent Bodyguards DF
DVD ~ Jackie Chan
Price: $5.97
18 used & new from $1.37

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More overlooked Jackie Chan films from the Golden Harvest library..., June 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
From Shout! Factory's budget priced Timeless Media label, here is the last double feature set in the "Jackie Chan: Beginnings" line of Golden Harvest films. Below is an overview of this particular release...

Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin (1978)
From Shaolin Wooden Men director Chen Chi-Hwa, Jackie's comedic skills are put to good use here in what he considers his first dream project. Also featuring the likes of Kam Kong and Nora Miao, weapon-based choreography is at an all time high, and only Jackie can play off a sexual harassment Kung Fu fight as humor and get away with it.

Magnificent Bodyguards (1978)
Featuring tricky monks, "ooga booga"-style natives, and one lone warrior who really loves the color pink, Jackie teams up with James Tien and Bruce Leung for a Kung Fu mountain hike through criminal territory. Originally filmed in 3-D, this movie makes sure you know it thanks to the sheer onslaught of crap that gets thrown into the camera every 5 minutes. It's directed by Lo Wei, so of course he's got Jackie in another bad wig, this time combining a pompadour, bangs, a mullet, and a ponytail all into one.

Video:
Both prints have been remastered by licensor Fortune Star, with mixed but still very acceptable results. Despite a few out of focus shots here and there, Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin is arguably the better of the two prints with a slightly sharper image and stronger contrast levels. Print damage is mostly prevalent during the final reel, with several moments of heavy green staining and a few instances of scenes from another lower quality print spliced in during the final fight. Magnificent Bodyguards fairs a little worse with a softer image and flatter contrast, likely a side effect of the 3-D filming process. And despite being Fortune Star remasters, neither film suffers as heavily from "pinkification" as previous releases in the "Jackie Chan: Beginnings" line, with the majority of skin tones looking close to natural for once.

Audio:
Audio on both films is English dub only, which puts it in line with the previous budget priced releases in this lineup. Compared to the previous releases, audio is also much cleaner and clearer, although both films have had new Foley sound effects added in at irregular intervals, mainly for weapon clashes and whenever Jackie punches somebody with a closed fist (for some reason, open handed smacks and slaps do not warrant new sound effects). Fortunately, they don't sound too out of place, and you'll likely be too busy laughing at Magnificent Bodyguards' shameless lifting of the Star Wars soundtrack to care, which is intact on this release.

Extras:
Extras include trailers for both films, both of opposing quality. The trailer for Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin is for its Japanese release, complete with silly Japanese voiceovers, and looks to have been lifted straight off of YouTube from a worn VHS or laserdisc source. Meanwhile, the trailer for Magnificent Bodyguards is in its original language and looks fantastic, much sharper and clearer than the actual remastered film contained on this disc. Photo galleries are also included, mainly comprised of promotional images and lobby card scans.

Overall:
Although cutting the same corners in the audio department as the previous releases by not including the original audio track, there's no denying the entertainment value to be had at this price point. Improvements have also been made with both more natural looking video color and much clearer audio. Jackie's talents are on full display here, with both films having enough to offer even the most casual Kung Fu fan. Too cheap to say no to and very easy to recommend.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2014 11:04 PM PDT


Jackie Chan: Beginnings - Shaolin Wooden Men / To Kill With Intrigue Double Feature
Jackie Chan: Beginnings - Shaolin Wooden Men / To Kill With Intrigue Double Feature
DVD ~ Jackie Chan
Price: $4.99
22 used & new from $2.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good entry in a new lineup of Golden Harvest releases., June 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After an initial budget priced release of The Killer Meteors & New Fist of Fury through Shout! Factory's Timeless Media label, Shout quickly followed it up with another overlooked pair of Jackie Chan films from the Golden Harvest library. Below is an overview of this particular release...

Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)
One of Jackie Chan's earliest attempts at displaying his natural comedic talents (even if only in a few scenes), he shows some incredible martial arts skills all the while nary saying a word (his character having taken a vow of silence). Ignore the Lo Wei directing credit (he really only produced this), "Executive Director" Chen Chi-Hwa is the one who really deserves credit for allowing Jackie his first chance at breaking away from the "next Bruce Lee" image Lo Wei tried to impose on him.

To Kill With Intrigue (1977)
Starring a more sullen Jackie Chan in a bad hair piece, he spends half of the film wandering the cold Korean countryside crying out for his beloved, with the other half having him passed around between several characters who all want a piece of him for differing reasons. A Lo Wei-directed mess of a story saved by its excellent fight scenes.

Video:
Both prints have been remastered by licensor Fortune Star, but several instances of print damage are still on display, with the most obvious occurring during the final reels of both films. Shaolin Wooden Men's final fight scene includes several instances of slight discolorations and occasional dropped frames, likely removed because of excessive print damage from the original negative having been recut in the past for theatrical re-releases. To Kill With Intrigue's final fight includes some inconsistent contrast issues during scene changes, which appear to be inherent to the original print used for the remaster. Despite these flaws, this is still the best either film has looked in decades. Both prints have also been "pinkified" like most Fortune Star remasters, causing reds to push more towards magenta and giving our lead characters the occasional tomato face (although not necessarily as bad as the previous release for The Killer Meteors & New Fist of Fury).

Audio:
Audio on both films is English dub only, which is disappointing but not a surprise for what's meant to be a budget-priced release. Audio quality is a mixed bag, with several bouts of background hiss and crackling, especially on To Kill With Intrigue. The first couple dialogue scenes of Shaolin Wooden Men is also missing its original English dub because of damaged source material, so newer (and obviously much clearer) replacement English dialogue has been substituted in its place. There are also several instances of new Foley sound effects overlaid into the film's audio, with To Kill With Intrigue being the biggest offender. One sequence in particular takes place next to a waterfall, and if you can keep yourself from yelling at your TV to "turn down the damn waterfall" for it's entire duration, you are a true Zen master!

Extras:
Extras include trailers for both films in their original language but without subtitles, a minor annoyance. There is also a brief on-screen text article included outlining Lo Wei's attempt at making Jackie into the next Bruce Lee, and touches on the making of To Kill With Intrigue. However, despite being about To Kill With Intrigue, the article was erroneously included only on the menu for Shaolin Wooden Men (whoops). Also, unlike the previous Shout/Timeless release of The Killer Meteors & New Fist of Fury which listed Stills as an extra but included none, this disc DOES include Stills as an extra, mainly comprised of promotional images and lobby card scans.

Overall:
Although this release cuts corners the same has the previous The Killer Meteors & New Fist of Fury disc, improvements have been made in terms of extras, and it carries the same low price as well, making this an easy purchase and another easy recommend. To Kill With Intrigue is a mess of a movie with great fight scenes, while Shaolin Wooden Men is an underrated classic. Buy it for the Kung Fu.


Jackie Chan: Beginnings - The Killer Meteors / New Fist Of Fury
Jackie Chan: Beginnings - The Killer Meteors / New Fist Of Fury
DVD ~ Jackie Chan
Price: $4.99
4 used & new from $4.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An okay start to a new lineup of Golden Harvest releases., June 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Through their budget price-oriented Timeless Media label, Shout! Factory have begun dipping their toes into the often neglected Golden Harvest lineup of classic Martial Arts films. Below is an overview of this particular release...

The Killer Meteors (1976)
Once again misleadingly advertised on home video as a Jackie Chan film, this is actually a Jimmy Wang Yu vehicle that has Jackie playing the villain in a supporting role. He really only has three scenes in the film, but they're fairly substantial, and the movie doesn't suffer for it, with plenty going on to hold your general interest. Jackie fans may be disappointed, but Jimmy Wang Yu fans (and most Kung Fu fans in general) will be the ones to get the most out of it.

New Fist of Fury (1980)
A direct sequel to the original Fist of Fury and an attempt by director Lo Wei to launch Jackie Chan as a new replacement for Bruce Lee, the film at least deserves credit for not forcing Jackie to outright ACT like Bruce Lee, steering the film clear of being a blatant Bruceploitation film despite its title. This particular version of the film is the 1980 re-release, which cuts several minutes of footage from the 1976 original to better emphasize Jackie's role.

Video:
Both prints have been remastered by licensor Fortune Star, but don't expect anything along the lines of Celestial's Shaw Brothers remasters. Of the two, The Killer Meteors is in the worst shape, with an often unstable image and several instances of yellow stains and splotches littering the frame. New Fist of Fury is in much better condition, with only minimal print damage. And like other Fortune Star remasters, both films have been slightly "pinkified", causing reds to push more towards magenta and giving our lead characters the occasional fresh sunburn.

Audio:
Audio on both films is English dub only, which is a disappointment but not a surprise considering that this is a budget release (being a dub fan also helps). Audio for the most part is clean and clear, with only a rare moment of hiss or static, particularly on The Killer Meteors, the rougher of the two prints. New Foley sounds do pop up in both films, but they are rare and not always obvious.

Extras:
Extras include trailers for both films in their original language but without subtitles, a minor annoyance. The back of the DVD case also advertises Stills as an extra, but unless they meant the images on the DVD menus themselves, there were none to speak of.

Overall:
For an early release meant to test the waters, there's definitely room for improvement, but the low price reflects its contents, making it easier to overlook the cut corners. And although New Fist of Fury may be the shortened version, it's the only version Fortune Star bothered to remaster, so its inclusion here shouldn't be held against Shout/Timeless since it was likely all they were offered. And unless you've seen the longer cut, you won't even notice. Fortunately, The Killer Meteors is uncut, with a runtime comparable to all other remastered releases currently available worldwide.

All things considered, at its current budget price, it's an easy recommend.


Pwr+® 14 Ft Ac Adapter Laptop Charger for Asus K55a K53e K52f K50ij K53u K53sv K50i K52j K53 K53s K53ta K60i K52 K50 U56e U46e U52f U50f U36 U43f U36jc U36s U56 U43 U46 X55c X75a X53u X52f X54l X53 X54 A53e A53s A53u A52f A53sv A53 N53s N53 N10j N82jq Ul30a Ul50vt Ul30vt Ul50v Ul80vt Ul50a Ul80v Ul50ag F55a P43e P53e; Asus Vivobook X401a X501a X401 X401u X450ca X501 X502ca X550ca X550cc X550la X550lb X550vb X552ea Q500a Q501la Q400a Q501 S400ca S500ca S300ca S405ca S550 S550ca S550cm R503u R500a R405ca R503a R503c R509ca V400ca V451la V551la D550ma K552ea P550ca; Pa-1650-01 Adp-65jh Bb 65w Power Supply Cord
Pwr+® 14 Ft Ac Adapter Laptop Charger for Asus K55a K53e K52f K50ij K53u K53sv K50i K52j K53 K53s K53ta K60i K52 K50 U56e U46e U52f U50f U36 U43f U36jc U36s U56 U43 U46 X55c X75a X53u X52f X54l X53 X54 A53e A53s A53u A52f A53sv A53 N53s N53 N10j N82jq Ul30a Ul50vt Ul30vt Ul50v Ul80vt Ul50a Ul80v Ul50ag F55a P43e P53e; Asus Vivobook X401a X501a X401 X401u X450ca X501 X502ca X550ca X550cc X550la X550lb X550vb X552ea Q500a Q501la Q400a Q501 S400ca S500ca S300ca S405ca S550 S550ca S550cm R503u R500a R405ca R503a R503c R509ca V400ca V451la V551la D550ma K552ea P550ca; Pa-1650-01 Adp-65jh Bb 65w Power Supply Cord
Offered by PWR+
Price: $25.00
3 used & new from $14.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works great when it works, but quality and durability is questionable., May 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After a relative's crazy pet Chihuahua chewed up my laptop's original charger, bought this particular 65W PWR+ charger mid-October 2013 which worked great right out of the box. Fast forward to early April 2014 and discovered that one of the three metal prongs inside the power brick port, where you plug in the AC cord, had broken off and was now stuck inside the connection plug of the AC cord. Surprisingly, the break point wasn't a clean fatigue-like snap like most breaks in small metal parts. Rather, it was rough and uneven, as if a (possibly pre-existing) crack had formed in the metal prong itself, and had eventually grown enough for the prong to give way and break off completely, giving the impression that very brittle metal was used in its manufacturing.

Was about ready to share my views about this on Amazon, when I noticed that PWR+ has an 18 month warranty for their chargers sold on Amazon, and decided to put that warranty to the test. Viewing other negative reviews here at Amazon showed that PWR+ often commented on these reviews, wishing to get in touch with the negative reviewers and posting their Customer Service contact info so the reviewer could do so. Contacted PWR+ using this info, stated my problem, and received a very quick response asking me to send in the charger, and they would immediately send a replacement. Was pretty impressed with this response and sent in the broken charger using pricier yet trackable Priority Mail, as suggested by both their email response and their official product website. Received my replacement charger within 4 days and would have been very happy about it, except right out of the box there was a problem. After a few minutes of trying to get the charger to power my laptop without success, I decided to switch the AC cord that plugs into the power brick with an AC cord from another laptop as a test, and sure enough the laptop began charging. Switched back to the replacement charger's AC cord and again, no charge.

After having one PWR+ charger essentially break apart after 6 months and it's replacement charger having a bad AC cord right out of the box, I can't wholly recommend PWR+ products to anybody considering them. The fact that I wasn't reimbursed on return shipping costs for the first busted charger doesn't help any, even though previous reviewers who have dealt with PWR+ customer service apparently were (look for a review posted on February 5, 2014 and another on November 7, 2013 for examples). Which is too bad, because the original charger worked great for the brief time that it did. And Customer Service was very friendly and seemed interested in resolving my problem almost immediately. But after the first one went bust and its replacement arrived with a problem of its own, it's obvious they just aren't built to last, and good customer service can't save that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2014 2:38 PM PDT


Rice Krispies Treats 3-Flavor Variety Pack, 40-Count Treats
Rice Krispies Treats 3-Flavor Variety Pack, 40-Count Treats
Offered by Escape Concepts
Price: $19.13
18 used & new from $12.44

4.0 out of 5 stars Bad math at the Kellogg's factory, September 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Purchased a box of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats advertised as containing 40 treats, but count came up short at 37 treats. Other reviews have suggested similar bad counts, usually at 36, so I guess I came out on top with one extra treat. Retail box was completely sealed, so it does not appear to have been tampered with in any way. Amazon only sells the item, so is not at fault for Kellogg's faulty math skills. I am guessing that Kellogg's automated factory setup boxes their treats based on weight and not by count. Was still a good deal overall, but with less than 40 treats, item is technically not as advertised. Would still recommend purchasing at a cheap price, but go into it expecting to be slightly shortchanged.


The Delightful Forest [Blu-ray]
The Delightful Forest [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Ti Lung
Price: $10.99
19 used & new from $5.87

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon still selling defective copies?, December 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When Well Go USA originally released The Delightful Forest on Blu-ray in early 2010, all copies were unfortunately defective due to a bad glass master used for disc replication. Well go USA acknowledged the problem and quickly set up a replacement program. Also, all affected stock sent out to retailers was supposedly recalled. All should be well now, but over two years after being released on Blu-ray, even now defective copies of this title still exist on the market.

I recently purchased my own copy of The Delightful Forest from Amazon, assuming the disc would be fine after all this time, only to receive a copy that glitched and froze on my player. I tried to contact distributor Well Go USA through their website about obtaining a fixed replacement, but after two weeks have not received a response. They also took down their webpage detailing the replacement program, suggesting that the program has ended and they are no longer sending out fixed replacements. I ended up exchanging the title for a replacement through Amazon, but as expected received only another defective copy. It now looks like Amazon is selling old, unsold stock from other retailers that was never recalled as intended. Even worse, they probably received the old stock from distributor Well Go USA, which wouldn't be a big issue if only it was clearer whether or not the replacement program was still in place.

If you have any interest at all in this Blu-ray, DO NOT BUY from Amazon. You're better off taking a chance with other retailers who might have fresher stock, although with Well Go USA possibly sending out defective copies again to retailers, there really are no guarantees. Which is too bad, because the first few minutes of this movie that I was able to watch before it froze were actually pretty good. If only I could watch the rest of the movie to give it a proper review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2014 3:32 AM PST


Warlock Moon
Warlock Moon
DVD ~ Laurie Walters
Offered by closeoutmovies
Price: $6.78
33 used & new from $0.50

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They did it again..., September 1, 2004
This review is from: Warlock Moon (DVD)
I really don't like repeating myself but yeah, this DVD is missing several minutes of footage and basically everything I said about the Hell High DVD applies here as well, except this time I can not recommend the purchase of this release one bit. As of this writing, Media Blasters have released six Joe Bob Briggs DVDs, and of those six, two of them (Hell High and this one) are missing several minutes of footage as well as the Joe Bob commentary which accompanies this footage. Since the only reason anybody would really want to buy these DVDs is for the Joe Bob commentary, I consider this a very big negative. Somebody in the quality control department is obviously sleeping on the job at Media Blasters, and with three more Joe Bob DVDs slated for release before the end of this year, I fear for my fellow Joe Bob fans.

Avoid this DVD and tell Media Blasters you'll continue to avoid their future releases until they get it right.


Hell High
Hell High
DVD ~ Maureen Mooney
Offered by closeoutmovies
Price: $8.24
13 used & new from $5.95

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good DVD except..., July 28, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hell High (DVD)
This is a good DVD of a little known slasher film but as previously mentioned, it is indeed missing a couple minutes of footage. I seriously doubt this editing was intentional because if you listen closely it affects both the Joe Bob Briggs and the director's commentary tracks. If you listen to Joe Bob's commentary track about seven seconds into chapter 10 there is a slight pause (possibly a layer change) and it immediately goes to chapter 11 and you suddenly hear Joe Bob in mid-sentence talking about parts of the movie included in that missing footage. If you watch your DVD player's display, you'll notice there is no time gap and that chapter 10 really does last only a mere seven seconds, meaning that not only is there missing footage but missing Joe Bob commentary as well! Since the Joe Bob commentary was the main reason why I bought this DVD, I consider that a pretty big negative. Overall, it's still a good DVD that could have been great were it not for that one flaw. I still suggest buying the DVD and then e-mailing Media Blasters about it like I did and hopefully they'll consider fixing the problem.


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