Jet Liís Fearless (HD-DVD Combo Format + DVD-Video versions)
Picture: B/B-†††† Sound: B/B-†††† Extras: C†††† Film: B-
If it was
not enough that Jet Li has not managed to have a good or great Hollywood film,
he announced that Ronny Yuís Fearless
(2006) would be his last Martial Arts spectacular.† He has done so many and though fans will are
likely still very upset about it, it may be the only thing that will allow him
to grow as an actor and film artist into new roles and opportunities.† Playing Huo Yuanjia, the founder of The
Jingwu Sports Federation, it is a biopic of a sort.
not totally follow that formula or the usual Martial Arts formula; it does not
just compromise in the middle.† Instead,
the Chris Chow/Christine To screenplay makes an interesting effort to get into
the psyche of Yuanjia and Li has the charm, grace and actual acting talent to
bring him to life in a warm, believable way.†
The story is told well, though we still do not learn enough about the
school, Yuanjia and a bit more about the history.† Despite minor shortcomings, it is a beautiful
and enjoyable film, including down to the visual costumes and production
values, as well as what the film wants to say about character.
Li, his star is far from dimming and goes out in top form and high style with
this sign-off role.† No wonder he picked
this one to stop on.
X 1 image is beautifully shot by Poon Hang Sang, H.K.S.C., with colors pulling
through the sometimes dim imaging and the clearer shots more so.† The two formats the film is being issued on
are regular standard DVD and the HD-DVD/DVD Combo format with a DVD side that
is virtually identical in this case to the stand alone DVD.
of the image are anamorphically enhanced, with detail and Video Black limits,
but the 1080p digital High Definition side of the Combo disc is more like it,
with richer Blacks, more detail and more depth.†
It still has limits from the intentional darkening of the image and the
fact that it is also stylized and shot in Super 35mm, but this version best
represents the way it was intended to be seen.
regular DVDs have virtually identical Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes in Mandarin and
English, with the Mandarin more naturalistic.†
Both have issues with sound effects and some other moments where
location recording seems compressed.†
That is also the case in the HD sideís Dolby Digital 5.1 Plus versions
of the same soundtracks, but they tend to be fuller and the music score by
Shigeru Umebayashi (House Of The Flying
Daggers, In The Mood For Love, Curse Of The Golden Flower) benefits
from the higher bitrate as well.
include both versions of the film, a featurette about the film & Liís
career decision and deleted footage from the film worth seeing.† Outside of that, whichever version you get, here
is the link to the new on-line viral game you may find of interest, but donít
miss the film:
-†† Nicholas Sheffo