The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year:
New Line - 1998
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish
Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Leung, Tzi Ma, Elizabeth Pena, Rex Linn, Mark Ralston, Philip Baker Hall, Julia Hsu
Jim Kouf & Ross LaManna
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
December 7, 2010
"Two cops. One is all talk. The other is all action"
Ain't never gonna have no partner, LAPD Det. James Carter insists. He gets a partner. And since that partner is played by dynamic martial arts legend Jackie Chan and motor-mouthed Carter is played by wisecracking Chris Tucker, Rush Hour zooms along with gleeful chemistry under the dynamic directorial hand of Brett Ratner. The case: rescue the kidnapped daughter of a visiting Hong Kong official.
I am a fan of the action comedy genre and I think part of my allegiance to it is owed to Rush Hour
. The plot is straight forward and basic and revolves around the kidnapping of a Chinese Ambassador's daughter both for ransom and retribution by an international art thief known only as Jintao. After the kidnapping the ambassador requests that his most trusted and loyal police officer Detective Inspector Lee (Chan) be brought to Los Angeles from Hong Kong in order to assist with the investigation. The local FBI office reluctantly agrees but decides to keep Lee out of the way by teaming him up with a borrowed member of the LAPD. Detective Carter (Tucker) is a bungling, fast talking egotist who frequently pisses off his bosses and co-workers but manages (usually by hook or by crook) to get the job done. When the request for a babysitter comes from the FBI Carter gets the assignment. After an inauspicious meeting Cater and Lee find themselves on the outside of the investigation. The shadowy Jintao sets up shop in LA and contacts the ambassador seeking millions in ransom. Detective Insp. Lee's is familiar with Jintao tactics and operation which keeps him one step ahead of the FBI. He and Carter need to work together in order to solve the case and hopefully save the girl. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First they will have to overcome a serious case of culture shock which is headed by a language barrier that frequently leaves them in the dark.
Rush Hour really isn't as much about the case as it is about the relationship that blossoms between Lee and Carter. While the plot may be formulaic and basic the strength of the film lies in the script and the engagingly funny situations/banter between the leads. My first experience with Chris Tucker was in Friday and I find him to have excellent comedic timing that perfectly coincides with his hysterical demeanor and high energy. Jackie Chan is likeable, charismatic and one of the most physically gifted actors I have ever seen. Rush Hour may only be considered a classic in the hearts of its fans but there is no denying its appeal as a great popcorn flick for its fun, mindless action, perfectly placed/integrated humor and entertaining chemistry between stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. It is a guilty pleasure that enjoy revisiting from time to time and I am pleased to now own it on Blu-ray.
The rating is for sequences of action/violence and shootings, and for language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
= 92-100 / EXCELLENT
= 83-91 / GOOD
= 74-82 / AVERAGE
= 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE
= under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
Rush Hour comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p VC-1encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
I have owned Rush Hour on DVD for years and have seen it numerous times. I have never found it to look particular good in standard definition but I wouldn't describe it as looking any worse than a typical MPEG-2 DVD encoding. It appears that this high definition release from Warner shares the same master and has retained many of its inherent drawbacks, edge enhancement being chief among them. I am disappointed and feel that this film is deserving of a retooled master. Resolution is a mixed bag. At times images exhibit above average clarity and determinable delineation that offer an appreciable sense of dimension. On the other hand there are many shots that lack those same qualities and appear less definitive and noticeably soft, although some of this is attributable to the photography. The film features a variety of colors with the visual range appearing (here and on DVD) as natural with fair tonal balance to oversaturated, with unnaturally warm highlights. This primarily applies to reds. As presented in high definition the rendering is a bit cleaner with colors exhibiting more punch. Fleshtones have a slightly pinkish hue that is obvious but not problematic. Contrast and brightness are balanced well. Blacks are dynamic but crushed and detail in bright and low level scenes is discerning. Scenes containing a mix of light and dark elements lack the pop that provides the perception of strong depth. The inconsistent rendering and edge enhancement are enough that it leaves the presentation appearing out of balance and lackluster. It should be noted that while disappointing by high definition standards this video presentation offers an improvement of its standard definition counterpart.
I have always enjoyed the soundtrack for Rush Hour on DVD and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Warner included a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio mix on this release. Dialogue reproduction is excellent as voices exhibit clear intonation with estimable room penetration. On a whole the mix does a nice job of integrating the various directional cues and front/rear pans featured in the soundtrack. Spatial ambience, discretely placed sounds and musical extension mixed to the four rear channels create a neatly balanced soundfield that seamlessly blends with the front soundstage. Dynamic range is notable and provides the action based elements and Lalo Schifrin's excellent music score with tangible presence and robust impact. The car and warehouse explosion sequences shakes things up nicely as the soundfield comes alive with the sounds of shattering glass, crunching metal, and room energizing bass. Comparing this to the lossy Dolby Digital audio track on the DVD is an exercise in futility. This audio presentation is a cut above in nearly every respect and makes an already well designed surround mix even better.
- Audio commentary by director Brett Ratner
- Isolated score with commentary by composer Lalo Schifrin
- A piece of the action: Behind the scenes of Rush Hour - 41 minute making of documentary
- Whatever happened to Mason Reese - 13 minute short film with commentary by Brett Ratner
- Deleted scenes - 3 minutes
- Theatrical trailer
- Nuttin by love music video by Heavy D and the Boyz
- How deep is your love music video by Dru Hill
may only be considered a classic in the hearts of its fans but there is no denying its appeal as a great popcorn flick for its fun, mindless action, perfectly placed/integrated humor and entertaining chemistry between stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. It is a personal favorite that I never seem to tire of and I looked forward to its release in high definition. Its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Warner features disappointing overall video quality that appears to be the result of utilizing the same master from the original DVD release. On a positive note the inclusion of 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio sound elevates an already good surround mix to an excellent one. The bonus material from the original DVD release is ported over and is highlighted by a decent audio commentary by director Brett Ratner and a good making of documentary that looks behind the scenes at the production with plenty of details provided by the cast/crew. So the question of the day is does this catalog release title makes for a worthwhile upgrade over the DVD? Even with its less than stellar high definition video quality it still improves upon the original DVD release. Add to that the noteworthy bump in sound quality via an excellent lossless 7.1 surround mix and this is worth considering for diehard fans. If you're on the fence feel free to give it a rent and go from there.
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