Shout! Factory’s “Jackie Chan Collection: Volume 1 (1976-1982)” showcases some of Chan’s early works.

When it comes to martial arts films, there are many great current actors who can pull off the action, but uncommon is the actor who can do so without the aid of a stunt double. Conversely, there are great martial artists who don’t always end up in the highest of quality productions. There are few who can manage to be the total package, with Wesley Snipes (Demolition Man), Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite), Jet Li (Hero), and Jason Statham (The Transporter) being part of the current class and Michelle Yoah (Yes, Madam!), Donnie Yen (Dragon), and Sammo Hung (Wheels on Meals) being their predecessors. But if there was a name who dominated the globe for some time in the ‘80s and ‘90s and still remains a major brand, it’s Jackie Chan. In celebration of his career, Shout! Factory is not only releasing a seven-film collection of his early works from the late ‘70s to early ‘80s on January 24th, they are also streaming six of his films on January 28th on Shout! Factory TV.

Let’s take a look at the seven-film collection and what you can expect within.

First of all, in order to manage expectations, this collection features films that aren’t going to be as notable or as widely known as projects like Police Story (1985), Dragons Forever (1988), or Rumble in the Bronx (1995). Additionally, many of the more popular films already have their rights scooped up by boutique distributors like The Criterion Collection and 88 Films. So while it’s great having a collection of 2K restorations of Chan’s work, do keep in mind that these are likely not ones you’ve heard of before. On the positive side, this means that the collection is likely best for Chan completionists or martial arts enthusiasts. If this describes you, snagging this set is likely a forgone conclusion.

So let’s talk about what’s under the hood.

Shout! Factory has released some beautiful single-film sets (BELLE in 4K UHD) and steelbooks (Coraline/ParaNorman), so there’s a precedent that the Jackie Chan Collection might follow suit. Sadly, this set has more in common with Paramount’s 2021 4K UHD 4-Film Indiana Jones Collection. The Jackie Chan Collection comes in a cardboard slipcover and the seven individual discs are kept in a standard seven-disc Blu-ray container. As can occur with the regular Blu-ray cases (singular or multiple), discs can slip out in transit and several had on the review copy’s travels to EoM HQ. None of the dislodged discs suffered scratches, which is likely to the tightness of the case. Yes, they can break free from the center mold, but with the other disc-trays, any loose discs don’t have far to travel. There are no bonus materials in the form of essays, a pictorial booklet, or a magazine (something which may be a deciding factor for some purchasers) and there’s no information regarding how the restorations for these films was completed. What we do receive is a general information on each included film via the reverse side of the liner.

By the by, the running theory is that the on-disc presentation with each of these films is the same as their 88 Films counterparts, so have some confidence that these are sourced from the same place. However, even if they are, each disc possesses something new not included with the 88 Films releases. In this case, it appears that the audio commentary on the 88 Films versions are replaced with commentary from either film critic/author David West or film critic James Mudge. This could be a licensing issue or they just felt that this release should include something specific to the collection. In addition to the swapped commentary tracks, the disc for Battle Creek Brawl also includes an 85-minute brand-new documentary called The Golden Boy: Harvesting a Major New Martial Arts Maverick with interviews from a variety of Chan colleagues and collaborators, as well as a brand-new interview with Brawl actor Kristine DeBell. Considering the run-times of the latter releases, The Golden Boy is essentially an eighth film within the collection.

Several of these releases are either already available or are coming available via 88 Films’s 88 Asian Collection with virtually the exact same on-disc materials. However, these films appear to only be available in Region A/1 via Shout! Factory’s Jackie Chan Collection; therefore, the best way to snag these films, especially all of these films, is to do it through this collection. Even if you’re not hot for The Killer Meteors (1976), a film which isn’t so much Jackie Chan-led but includes an appearance from him in a significant role, if you’re the sort who enjoys taking in the full breadth of an actor’s catalogue, then you’ll need to experience this at least once. The appearance is more than Jack Nicholson’s in the Roger Corman-directed The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), but if you want to get 100% on Letterboxd, you gotta watch it, too. This, of course, brings us to the price point. On average, the singularly available films run £13-15, so $16-18.50 before tax. Even on the low end, buying each one of the Jackie Chan Collection films, you’re looking at roughly $112 before tax and Shout! Factory is selling it for $99.98 before tax and when not on sale (which, at the time of this writing, the collection is $85.99). This is what makes the collection a bargain, even without the bells and whistles of Shout! Factory’s other special editions or re-releases: the collected cost savings. As someone who’s big on physical media, there’s nothing wrong with getting a deal, especially when the on-disc presentation is what matters.

Jackie Chan Brawl-A-Thon

If you’d like to give some of the films a chance before buying, be advised that on January 28th, 2023, Shout! Factory TV will be airing six Jackie Chan films starting at 12pm PT/3p ET. These films include: Battle Creek Brawl, Dragon Fist, Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin, The Killer Meteors, Shaolin Wooden Men, and To Kill with Intrigue. All six of these are included in the collection with the only odd duck being 1982’s Dragon Lord. So if the price point or your lack of experience with these films is a sticking point, this is a fantastic opportunity to try before you buy.

The Volume 1 Jackie Chan Collection seems like a great place to explore some lesser known Chan works. I only began exploring his work when Rumble landed on home video in the United States and I still have a long way to go to get a full sense of his on-screen legacy. The case may be standard and the off-disc materials lacking, but for the price point, this is a solid pick-up for any newb, completionist, or general martial arts fan to lock down a few Chan films for their collection without completely breaking the bank.

The Jackie Chan Collection Volume 1 (1976-1982) Special Features:

DISC ONE: THE KILLER METEORS (1976)

  • 2K Transfer From the Original Film Elements
  • Audio: Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with New Subtitle Translation, Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Dub Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, English Dub 5.1 Dolby Digital, Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • NEW Audio Commentary With David West, Critic And Author Of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Dragon Lord (1982) – Bonus Hybrid Cut (Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio)

DISC TWO: SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN (1976)

  • 2K Transfer of the Hong Kong Version from the Original Film Elements
  • Audio: Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with New Subtitle Translation, English Dub Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, Alternate Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • NEW Audio Commentary with James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic at easternKicks
  • Ricky Baker on Shaolin Wooden Men
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • English Trailer
  • Still Gallery

DISC THREE: TO KILL WITH INTRIGUE (1977)

  • 2K Restoration from the Original Film Elements
  • Audio: Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation, Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Dub Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, Japanese Theatrical Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • NEW Audio Commentary with David West, Critic And Author Of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film
  • Intriguingly Jackie – An Interview with Hong Kong Cinema Expert Ricky Baker
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese Teaser Trailer
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese TV Spot
  • Still Gallery

DISC FOUR: SNAKE AND CRANE ARTS OF SHAOLIN (1978)

  • 2K Restoration from the Original Film Elements
  • Audio: Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation, Cantonese Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio, English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, Japanese Theatrical Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • NEW Audio Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film
  • Pick Your Poison – An Interview with Hong Kong Cinema Expert Ricky Baker
  • Trailer
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese TV Spot
  • Still Gallery

DISC FIVE: DRAGON FIST (1979)

  • 2K Restoration from the Original Film Elements
  • Audio: Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation, Mandarin Japanese Theatrical audio DTS-HD Master Audio, Mandarin 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Dub Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • NEW Audio Commentary with James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic at easternKicks
  • A Dragon Rules – An Interview With Writer/Journalist David West
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese TV Spot
  • Still Gallery

DISC SIX: BATTLE CREEK BRAWL (1980)

  • Audio: English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio , English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Cantonese Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio, Mandarin Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation
  • NEW The Golden Boy: Harvesting A Major New Martial Arts Maverick – An 85-Minute Feature Length Documentary, Exclusive To This Release, On The Sensational Seventies Emergence of Jackie Chan Featuring Contributions From Chen Chi-Hwa (Director Of Shaolin Wooden Men), Andre Morgan (Producer of Battle Creek Brawl), Actress Kristine DeBell (Battle Creek Brawl) Lin Kuang-Yung (Actor/Stuntman, Half A Loaf Of Kung Fu), Film Critic Ricky Baker, Chinese Cinema Academic Dr. Lin Feng, And more!
  • NEW Audio Commentary with James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic at easternKicks
  • NEW Interview with Kristine DeBell (2022)
  • Interview with Jackie Chan
  • Interview with Producer Fred Weintraub (2013)
  • Interview with Actress Kristine DeBell (2013)
  • Battle Hardened – An Interview with Critic and Author David West
  • Rumble In The USA: Jackie Chan Takes On America – An Interview with Martial Arts Expert Ricky Baker
  • Battle Creek Brawl Theatrical Trailer
  • The Big Brawl Theatrical Trailer
  • The Big Brawl Opening Titles
  • Still Gallery

DISC SEVEN: DRAGON LORD (1982)

  • Two Cuts of the Film Restored In 2K From The Original Film Elements – The 96-Minute Hong Kong Theatrical Cut And 103-Minute Cut That Was Released In Some Territories With Approximately 15 Minutes Of Extended And Alternate Footage
  • Audio (96 Minute Hong Kong Theatrical Cut): Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation, Alternate Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, 1982 English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, 2003 English 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Audio (103 Minute Cut): Cantonese Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • NEW Audio Commentary with David West, Critic and Author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film
  • An Interview with Louis Sit
  • An Interview with Actor Mars
  • An Interview with Actor Whang In-sik
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Cantonese Trailer
  • English Trailer
  • Behind-The-Scenes Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Available from Shout! Factory January 24th, 2023.

For more information or to purchase, head to Shout! Factory’s The Jackie Chan Collection: Volume 1 (1976-1982) webpage.

Jackie Chan Collection TJCCV1_BR_Cover_Slipcase_72dpi



Categories: Home Release, Recommendation

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