The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ging chat goo si aka Police Story (1985)

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Many people think I'm doing this series on Hong Kong films due to overwhelming support brought on by Mr. Kenner's (Movies in the Attic) impassioned pleas for it over the other potential genres. Though that's partially true, another big reason for it is to review this film-- which I guess I could've done on its own anyway, but whatever, and he should probably get some credit for that too, because he mentioned it among all the others he suggested I do. Quickest way to my heart? Mention one of the best fucking action films of all time.

Police Story has Chan as a cop who arrests a drug lord only to see the guy almost walk. He has to protect the guy's secretary so she can testify against him, but things go wrong when she's uncooperative. Does any of this really matter?

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Nope. In the interview with Chan that comes with the Dragon Dynasty version, we find out that he made this film after the debacle that was The Protector. He felt like it was Hollywood's fault that turned it out like such a sack-of-asscrack, so he said "here's what happens when you let me write my script, direct my movie, do my stunts, and choreograph my fights." Yeah, here's what happens: you get one of the best fucking action movies of all time. Jackie brings it on all levels, from the slapstick comedy, to the balls to the wall stunts, to the non-wire routine fights. His being pissed about the way he was treated by Hollywood was our gain. Boy was it our gain.

He said this film was made on a budget of only $2 million. What that means is that too sweet shantytown chase that transitions into the hanging off the bus scene-- yeah, that is done in one take, and everyone involved is literally risking their lives. Like, one of the dudes in the shantytown chase was critically inured. Like, when the bus stops and the guys fall out onto the street, they really do that, and it really hurts, and it happened because they couldn't rehearse it, and no one considered the air brakes in the bus would pull everyone back, so the guys jumping through the windows couldn't propel themselves onto the car they which was the original landing point. If you want to know why Chan does his The Tuxedo or the new Karate Kid, it's because his salary for that almost pays for something as awesome as this.

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Like the Tai Chi Master Dragon Dynasty DVD, this one comes with an interview by Bret Ratner (it also has commentary by him, but I may not have the time to watch it before I send this back to Netflix), and the number one thing he mentioned was how all of Police Story is so believable. If we look at all the other films we've reviewed, only the Bruce Lee ones have the level of realism this one has, and even they have Lee beating up tons of guys without getting a scratch on him. In Chan's fights, he takes hits, and uses everything around him to even the odds. Also, he seldom takes on more than a couple guys at once. I'm not saying something like Fist of Legend or Tai Chi Master or even Master of the Flying Guillotine aren't awesome, even if people are flying and standing on ceilings and taking out ten guys at once. There all awesome, I'm just pointing out that Chan's approach here is different.

Here we are, six paragraphs in, I haven't even mentioned the best part of the movie. That's right, the mall fight. We've seen great mall action sequences before: Invasion USA, Rage, and Commando. Police Story, though, has the best of the bunch, culminating in the crazy 70 foot slide down the pole into electrically charged wires and light bulbs. He burned his hands so much the skin was coming off them after. There's a reason why guys like Schwarzenegger and Stallone think Jackie Chan is the bee knees: because he has the fucking balls to get after it.

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After the mall scene, when you're thinking this can't get any better, Jackie Chan sings the song that plays during the closing credits. I thought about uploading it here, but then I was like, fuck that, if you want to listen to it, watch the whole fucking movie first.

Does it sounds like I'm swearing more than usual? I just don't know how to make the motherfucking kick ass energy Police Story has translate onto this page. This movie is beyond awesome, and if you haven't seen it, get that Dragon Dynasty version into your Netflix queue with the quickness.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089374/

8 comments:

  1. Yeah I love this film as well, but I also think The Protector is actually a pretty decent film in it's own way, I don't think that film be nearly as hated if ANY actor besides Chan was in the film, i'll admit that it didn't work as a Chan film very well at all, but as an 80s buddy-cop action-comedy I think it worked pretty well IMO. Anyways i'd say Chan's own New Police Story is even better then this film as Chan gets to play a much more serious role then usual(put it this way, it's the type of role you'd expect Chow Yun Fat to play)-and the bad guys in that film are unusual in that they're young kids who REALLY like playing mind games with cops and killing them just for the hell of it, they're very disturbing people but they're not compltely one-dimensional either, and the actions scenes are breathtaking and jaw-dropping, especially the bus chase-description simply dosen't do that scene justice.

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  2. My sentiments exactly. I also really liked Police Story 2 and 3 which are almost as awesome.

    As for The Protector that was a dreadful film. Although slightly better than Battle Creek Brawl (Big Brawl) Indeed better than a lot of Chan's comedies.

    Another must see if you ever have time is Dragons Forever and Drunken Master II. As well as the next ones in the series as well as the Project A films.

    Anyway great stuff as usual and it's not that I encouraged stuff so much as argued the influence on the genre that HK movies have had. Starting with how combat was depicted in films.

    Jackie Chan's truly last great movie was Who Am I, I liked that one, I also really liked Wheels On Meals and Snake In The Eagle's Shadow. Drunken Master was is pretty great as well.

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  3. Well, you won't have to wait long, because Drunken Master is coming tomorrow. Encouraged or argued, we have 32 comments on American Samurai's review where you, at the very least, make your case, and I think you making your case helped sway the vote that got us where we are now. As we get down to the end here, I think it's been a good ride, and it's allowed me to get some of my favorites up along with some new ones I hadn't seen.

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  4. Is this the last week?

    Are you not doibg Ringo Lam films?

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  5. Next week's the last week, and we do have Full Contact for you, along with Bangkok Dangerous for me. Then there's this business about a bonus post.

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  6. Did you get that link I sent you to see Wheels On Meals for free? I think it's on Hulu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgOtOHUcjAM

    This isn't for the site necessarily, I just think you should check this out. Also to action fans you will not be disappointed.

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  7. Oh god, I miss my Police Story trilogy box that Media Asia put out about 5 or 6 years ago... Incredible- wish I didn't lose it moving.

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  8. And yes, Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever are fucking masterpieces- never seen an audience mark so hard for that back when they played @ the local art house cinema when I was a kid. Just proves that Sammo knows how to do Jackie better than perhaps Jackie does. Those three need to team up again before its too late.

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