SRP $29.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 COLUMBIA TRISTAR
 

BUENA VISTA has released the sequel to the popular “western-buddy” film, “SHANGHAI NOON”, titled “SHANGHAI KNIGHTS.”  The first film was much more entertaining than its theatrical trailer suggested, largely in part to the script, excellent direction, and a genuine chemistry between the two leads.  Thankfully, for “SHANGHAI KNIGHTS”, the film is also much better than its theatrical trailer suggests.  While still not as thoroughly entertaining as the original, it’s far better than most sequels, and plays better as a continuation of its predecessor better than “ANALYZE THAT” did.

Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan return, as do the same screenwriters.  The plot, involving a conspiracy to kill the royal family, is pretty ridiculous, but it matters little, as the film works mostly due to the banter between the two stars, often resembling the Hope/Crosby “Road” films, wherein locations and story were incidental to the dialogue and chemistry.

Chan fans will be more than satisfied at the variety of stunts he takes on throughout the film, and Owen Wilson’s fans will certainly be pleased with many of his humorous asides.

BUENA VISTA has preserved the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement.  It’s a great transfer, with vibrant colors and incredible detail.  Even with a few artifacts, the overall picture is sharp enough to compensate for this minor flaw. Fleshtones appear natural throughout.

BUENA VISTA has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundmix. It’s not as aggressive as the mix presented in the first film, however the front soundstage has a fair share of separation.  All speakers kick in to boost the wonderful score by Randy Edelman.  Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

BUENA VISTA has provided a number of extras for this release.  There are two commentaries, one with the film’s director and another with the screenwriters.  While both offer some entertaining moments, neither is insightful enough or entertaining enough to recommend a listen, other than to the film’s biggest fans.  Also, the director’s commentary is basically only descriptive of events occurring on screen in real-time.

BUENA VISTA has provided nearly a half-hour of deleted scenes!  Sure, there are a few that were rightfully excised, but most are hilarious, further demonstrating Owen Wilson’s terrific humor.

A short featurette as well as a music video and trailers are also included.