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Iron Chef USA, Two Culinary Clashes

2.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Willliam Shatner hosts this American version of the surprise hit Japanese import which became a cultural phenomenon through its airings on the Food Network. The world's top chefs compete against the clock, using exotic ingredients to create unusual culinary masterpieces to be sampled by a panel of judges. This program compiles the two hour-long network TV specials--Showdown in Las Vegas and Holiday Showdown, featuring Todd English, Roy Yamaguchi, Jean Francois Meteigner, and Alessandro Stratta s...howing off their skills in the kitchen. Detailed info -+

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Alessandro Stratta, Todd English, Jean Francois Meteigner, Roy Yamaguchi
  • Writers: Jay Falk
  • Producers: Darren Maddern, Larry A. Thompson, Michael Pearson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000694ZH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,198 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Iron Chef USA, Two Culinary Clashes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Hart on October 18, 2004
Format: DVD
Between 1993 and 1999, a popular television show in Japan called "Iron Chef" ("Ryori no tetsujin") pitted its acclaimed one of its professional chefs against a challenging chef each week using a particular theme ingredient in all of the dishes made. The show was hosted by the flamboyant Chairman Kaga (Takeshi Kaga) who opened each show, presented the challenger, unveiled the theme ingredient and gave a brief synopsis before the winning chef was declared. The show gained popularity in syndication in the U.S. on the Food Network using a mixture of dubbed English and subtitles.

Due to the rising popularity of the show from cable subscribers, the UPN TV network decided to broadcast an American version of the show in 2001 that was produced by the Larry Thompson Organization and Lions Gate Television of Canada. Unfortunately, these two companies failed to effectively reproduce the elements of the Japanese show that had made it so popular. Instead, they created a poorly written & directed substitute that was akin to watching a WWF wrestling match, not a challenge between two professional chefs.

The first mistake that the Larry Thompson Organization and Lions Gate Television made was in their selection of the new chairman for "Iron Chef USA". Though I very much enjoy William Shatner in his roles as Captain Kirk in the original "Star Trek" TV series, T.J. Hooker in the show of the same name and his more recent role as an attorney in "Boston Legal", his attempt at being chairman of "Iron Chef USA" was far too farcical and clownish to be taken seriously in trying to replicate Takeshi Kaga's flamboyance from the original Japanese TV series. Their next mistake was in the commentaries.
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Format: DVD
Torpid excuse for a domesticized version of an already classic cooking show from Japan. I only give credit for UPN 9's attempt to "cross over" the original IC from its inspirational Asian origin and into the American mainstream, but really this wasn't to much avail. I've read so many insulting remarks on this IC, and I believe them all...ESPECIALLY after my seeing only a few minutes of each of IC USA's only two specials (these). From that point on I was like, "Never again." The entire mess looks like it wants to blow the original off the face of the earth, but it didn't. I mean, this IS fine for people who like "Star Trek" pioneer William Shatner and who want a taste of crossover if little more.
The original's translation from Japanese to English while maintaining its original form is fine enough. Even "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" was done more justice when brought into America from Japan's "Go Rangers." And the stars of that series were very easy to handle, no problem. I stopped watching them after the "Lightspeed Rescue" came into play. But since I'm talking culinary programs like IC, I love EVERYTHING about the original: the Kitchen Stadium, the cinematography, the seven talented Japanese cooks themselves, Chairman Takeshi Kaga...you name it. To me the true IC looks and feels like NOTHING on the Nielsen ratings - then, now, or probably ever. That's proof of my love for it. Emeril would have done a better take on it than Chris Kattan, Horatio Sans, and Charlie Sheen.
I didn't think Shatner would be the host of these limited edition "Iron Chef USA" specials. Unfair to the original, because I don't like this IC's scenery and the audience. The Kitchen Arena (based in Las Vegas!
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Format: DVD
For years when the DVD revolution started, there were moments of pure frustration in the titles being released. One could not buy the pilot of "Twin Peaks" on DVD (perhaps the best television pilot ever) but you could get 25 cheesy movies on DVD that were mind numbing at best. Seeing this title on DVD reminds me of those days.
I watched the first episode of this show on cable and did not like it at all. But I rented this DVD the other night regardless. Since I had not seen the second episode of this series, I rented it just in case the television folks had "tweaked" some things after the first episode aired. Now it is pretty clear to me that these episodes were shot back to back--both were equally poor.
Now I loved the original Iron Chef series--it was different, educational, gave insights into the Japanese culture, etc. The American version just checked all goodness at the door. Instead of content, the series is filled with over the top hype (a crowd reminiscent of a Jerry Springer audience, a motorcycle onstage, goofy announcers complete with yellow jackets which reminded me of Monday Night Football circa 1979.) The cooking process and quality of the food are almost treated as secondary items. Even the description of the dishes during the tastings are poor; I half-expected someone to say, "Uh, this is some pretty good grub."
And William Shatner is almost a comic foil here--for the DVD I was at least hoping for some strange "extras" that would spotlight this (for example, how about William Shatner watching footage of Chairman Kaga, or practicing his chairman pose, or even humorous outtakes?) But there was nothing like this.
I guess that I can summarize all of this by stating that I would not tell Iron Chef fans to go out of their way to even watch these episodes on television, for free! Paying for the DVD makes no sense at all. This both a waste of time and money.
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