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Also known as "Glass Bottle", this is possibly Jackie Chan's first foray into the love story genre, however action fans are definately not forgotten with this outing.  This is also probably the first film he's been in where nobody actually dies, mainly because this is meant to be a very light-hearted piece of fluff that the whole family can enjoy.  However it delivers on the action front too, and while the action set-pieces are not at all original by themselves they are still wonderfully funny and inventive.  If I didn't know any better, the first action sequence portrays the 'ex-presidents' from "Point Break" being beaten to a pulp, which has to be 10 years too late for their comeupance :-).

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As with all Jackie Chan outings you are thankfully not asked to tax your brain a whole lot, but you are expected to stomach the dripping soppiness.  The actress who plays Bu can make your skin crawl sometimes but Jackie Chan has managed to justify her inclusion in this flick - and after hearing his audio commentary on this matter I'd have to say I agree with his assessment (oddly enough).

Movie
Bu (Qi Shu), a local Taiwan girl, discovers a message in a bottle that has floated all the way from Hong Kong.  So being the eternal romantic, she tracks down the author of this note only to find that he is not really interested in her, but offers to make it up to her.  Afterwards she sees C.N. Chan (Jackie Chan) from afar fighting some of his rival's henchmen (and winning), then when Bu helps Chan to escape they are soon dating each other.  Chan is a multi-millionaire businessman who has had very little time to develop any long-term relationships and he learns some of these lessons the hard way.  He also has a passion for kung-fu (of all things!) and his business rival uses this as a way to save face when his business is bought out by C.N. Chan.
(Note:- I have no idea what the C.N. stands for :-).

Video
Columbia/Tri-Star have done a very good job transferring this film to 16:9 video, although it was most likely accomplished near the time of its 1999 Hong Kong cinema release.  The colours are vibrant and the image is very clear with only a few nicks and scratches that hardly detract from the viewing.  There are a couple of instances of the typical 'fly-screen' look that grills and striped shirts are especially difficult to counteract, but these are nearly impossible to avoid considering they fill up the whole frame.

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Audio
This is very clear and the dialogue is never drowned out by either the music or SFX, and the tell-tale sign of the obvious synth-score leads me to believe that all of the sound elements originated in Hong Kong including both the dialogue dubs.  All the music and SFX are exactly the same for both the Cantonese 5.1 and English 5.1 mixes, with the Cantonese dialogue recorded on-set and the English redubbed in a studio.  There is a sync issue that I am not entirely happy with (some environmental cues are complete misses) but the fighting sounds are ever-so-slightly miscued and they luckily do not distract as much as I'd expect them to, but I can still notice their presence when I feel the need to get picky about it.

I thought by now that Hong Kong films had given up on the terrible cheesy American dubbing, but not so, even in 1999.  Jackie's English voice is clearly not his own in the movie, but in the Cantonese dub it is.  The rear speakers hardly get used in this movie but then it's not the kind of flick that I would expect to have much in the way of wrap-around effects, however the sub-woofer gets a nice workout with all the body hits etc.  And as always, to avoid any major cringe-attacks whilst watching this movie the Cantonese dub is the preferred listening environment.

Extras
Not a lot here for this to be considered a 'Collector's Edition', but they are a very welcome addition for this movie.

Firstly, a 20min Making-Of documentary which is thankfully subtitled in English and contains the original Cantonese dialogue.  It's more of a promotional piece but it's still worth looking at for the behind-the-scenes work.  This is then followed by two music videos of the two major love songs which are in the movie, nothing special even if you speak Cantonese I reckon.  (And unlike all his previous HK films, Jackie does not sing the songs - a little trivia for you).

There is also a full-length audio commentary solely voiced by Jackie Chan (his first I believe).  In it he discusses the reasons how and why he made this movie and what kind of talent he was looking for to play the characters.  Unfortunately, he makes virtually no mention of the work that went into the fight scenes or even the actors & stuntmen he used to create them, which would otherwise have made this movie nothing more than a soppy chick-flick that even the girls would choke on.

Oddly enough there is a full Isolated Score by Dennie Wong which is nothing more than a synthesiser composition, and a very sparse 2-page profile of Jackie Chan's career to round out the package.

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Summary
What else can you say about Jackie Chan?  He never fails to impress, even on the most doubtful of projects that he undertakes - this movie will easily win over fans for his hilarious hand-to-hand combat sequences.  And regarding the major cuts made to this movie by the U.S., for once I am not upset that I don't get to see every frame of the original Hong Kong release.  In fact, I'm quite glad that they have been trimmed down to something that holds my interest throughout - I have seen the HK version already and it definately drags out in the dialogue, however the action content remains pretty well intact in both versions which is what Western audiences no doubt are after.  At least rent this if you have any doubts.

Region Comparisons
[R3 DVD presents the full uncut 119min movie;
 R1, R2 & R4 DVDs have 22min of footage cut out;
 All DVDs include English subtitling]

R1-NTSC & R2/R4-PAL (all issued by Columbia/Tri-Star) contain
 - English 5.1 & Cantonese 5.1 soundtracks; US 95min cut; Making-Of; Audio Commentary; Isolated Score

R3-NTSC (issued by Universe) contains
 - Cantonese 5.1 & Mandarin 5.1 soundtracks; HK 119min cut; Making-Of; Press Conference footage


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