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In the realm of video game to movie adaptations, STREET FIGHTER ($30) ranks as a camp classic. This movie is just so bad… and that it is the exact reason why STREET FIGHTER is a whole lot of fun to watch, the film now exists just for the sole purpose of making fun of it. While marveling at the unintentional hilarity of STREET FIGHTER, one may come to realize that this was last theatrical film made by Raul Julia… and in the next step of the deductive reasoning, one may come to suspect that the actor died of embarrassment, as a result of appearing in such god awful movie. However, from his intentionally campy over-the-top performance as the film’s villain, it’s obvious Julia knew what he was getting into, which ultimately allowed him to become one of the true bright spots in the whole cornball production.

The plot of STREET FIGHTER really matters very little, but I will give a brief summary anyway… Jean-Claude Van Damme is the good buy Colonel William F. Guile, while Raul Julia is the bad guy- an evil dictator called General M. Bison. Bison has taken a large number of international hostages and is demanding twenty billion dollars for their release. It is up to Colonel Guile and his troops to get inside Bison’s stronghold and free the hostages. Of course, no one is really watching STREET FIGHTER these days for its plot. STREET FIGHTER is like a train wreck, one knows they should be looking elsewhere, but they are hard pressed to take their eyes off of this guilty pleasure. The cast of STREET FIGHTER also includes Ming-Na, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Simon Callow, Roshan Seth, Wes Studi and Byron Mann.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made STREET FIGHTER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation impresses far more than the movie itself ever could. Sharpness and image detail are generally very good, but not exemplary in comparison to brand new films. Close ups look best and deliver the finer details that one would expect from a high definition release. Medium and long shots are not as detailed, but there is a lot of smoke and fog utilized on set, so the level of detail and dimensionality is reduced. Colors are rendered at a fairly realistic level of saturation. Flesh tones appear pretty realistic. Blacks are reasonably accurate, while the whites are stable. Contrast appears more than adequate, while shadow detail is a little variable, with certain dark sequences being slightly muddy. The elements from which STREET FIGHTER have been transferred do show some minor blemishes. Grain is ever-present and sometimes a little heavy, but accurate to a film of this vintage.

STREET FIGHTER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For a mid-1990’s movie STREET FIGHTER features a fairly aggressive sound design the makes terrific use of the outlying channels. While the track isn’t as smooth as newer feature, there are plenty of active sound effects deployed throughout the action sequences. The bottom end of the track has plenty of depth and percussion. Fidelity is fairly impressive for fifteen-year-old film. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Director Steven de Souza is on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary. Other Supplements include the following: The Making Of Street Fighter, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Storyboard Sequences, Video Game Sequences, Cyberwalk, Archives, Street Fighter IV Game Trailers and Street Fighter IV Anime Trailer. STREET FIGHTER is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

STREET FIGHTER is a guilty pleasure that will appeal to a certain audience. Credit goes to Universal for bringing the film to Blu-ray in such a strong presentation.



Street Fighter Extreme Edition [Blu-ray] (1994)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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