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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Fist of the Dragon
Fist of the Dragon
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // January 20, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 23, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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-*Short Review*-
The Movie:

Apparently also known as "Hero Among Heroes", this 1993 effort stars Donnie Yuen and revolves around an attempt to run opium dealers out of the country and save the local citizens. Woo-Ping Yuen (famed Hong Kong action director and choreographer for the "Matrix" films) directs.


The DVD

VIDEO: This 1993 film is presented by Columbia/Tristar in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. While the opening credits made me think this presentation was going to be something of a disaster, the presentation noticably improves after the first couple of minutes, with much less in the way of wear and tear. Sharpness and detail actually remain pleasing, if not terribly consistent, as some scenes look crisp and well-defined, while others can appear almost hazy.

While the picture does seem less worn after the opening moments, it's not entirely free of debris. Although not terribly distracting, the picture did show some instances of specks, marks, hairs, and a couple of scratches in several scenes. The picture started off with some light edge enhancement, which only appeared again in a couple of scenes scattered throughout the film. Colors remained vivid, nicely saturated and clean throughout the picture.

SOUND: In a move that will disappoint a lot of the film's fans, the presentation is only offered in dubbed English 5.1 and 2.0. While the English dubbing isn't as horrific as most translations, it's still pretty irritating at times. As for the 5.1 presentation, there's little to distinguish it from a stereo offering, as the surrounds aren't used and most of the film remains fairly dialogue-heavy. Sound quality is average, as the music and dialogue can sound a little shrill.

EXTRAS: Trailers for "Fist of the Red Dragon", "Legend of the Red Dragon", "Returner" and "So Close".

Final Thoughts: Offering a decent (if rather incoherent) plot and a few solid action sequences (although there's certainly been better Hong Kong action films, this last several minutes of this one are impressive, and there are a few other exciting moments scattered within), I'd be more willing to give "Fist of the Red Dragon" a rental recommendation if the DVD actually had the original language soundtrack.

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