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GORGEOUS ($25) is not a typical Jackie Chan movie. Fans who are expecting the typical blend of action and comedy may be disappointed by this film, which can be better described as a romantic comedy. Personally, I really liked GORGEOUS, since it allowed Jackie Chan's natural screen charisma rise to the surface, without being fettered by the need to perform outrageous stunts every five minutes. GORGEOUS does include a couple of very good martial arts sequences for established fans to latch onto, but they are secondary to the film's amusing story. In GORGEOUS, Jackie Chan portrays a millionaire businessman C.N. Chan, who has had an endless string of beautiful women in his life.

GORGEOUS also stars Qi Shu as Bu, a girl from a small Taiwanese fishing village, who rescues C.N. from a watery situation involving a jealous old friend and his beautiful girlfriend. Bu is immediately attracted to the millionaire C.N., but doesnít think he would be interested in a simple girl from a small village, so to get his attention she pretends to be the girlfriend of a notorious gangster. The entire plot is light and breezy, which had me smiling throughout, however there are a number of moments of genuine laugh out loud hilarity. As I stated above, GORGEOUS features a couple of martial arts sequences that are very slickly choreographed and executed, these should appeal to Jackie Chanís core audience who might be otherwise put off by this departure from his established formula. The cast of GORGEOUS also includes Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Hsien-Chi Jen, Elaine Jin, Ken Lo, Sung Young Chen and Bradley James Allan.

In keeping with the filmís title, Columbia TriStar Home Video has produced a DVD that is absolutely gorgeous. The dual layer DVD offers a full screen option, but this review will focus on the 16:9 enhanced wide screen version of the film. GORGEOUS could quite possibly be the best looking Hong Kong production that Iíve ever seen. The 2.35:1 image displays that slick and glossy quality one finds in Hollywood productions. If only the American producers hadnít chosen to cut over twenty minutes out of the movie, this could have been the definitive home presentation of GORGEOUS. The attractive cinematography is immaculately rendered, appearing ever so crisp and highly defined. Flesh tones are incredibly natural, while the rest of the nicely saturated hues are reproduced without the slightest bit of distortion. Blacks are very solid and the image provides excellent shadow detail.

Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks are provided on the DVD in English and the original Cantonese. Both tracks make good use of sound effects within the forward soundstage, although the rear channels are a bit light in that respect. I guess the standard comedy mix transcends language. There are a few instances where the surrounds spring into action, but there isnít enough activity to elevate it out of the comedy mix category. The filmís delightful musical score is nicely integrated into all of the discrete channels. As for the English track, it is a little disconcerting to hear another actor dub in Jackie Chanís lines, especially since his voice has become so recognizable to his American fans. English subtitles are encoded onto the DVD for anyone wishing to watch the film in its original Cantonese.

The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few supplements. Jackie Chan provides a running audio commentary in which he talks about the production, as well as the people involved with the film, although his comments do not always reflect on screen action. Also, Chanís imperfect mastery of the English language sometimes makes it a bit difficult to get his thoughts across. Still, fans will want to listen to the track. A Making-Of featurette is also included on the DVD. It is in Chinese, but does include English subtitles. A music video and talent files fill out the discís supplements.

GORGEOUS is not a typical Jackie Chan movie. However, fans that enjoy watching Chan flex comedic muscles will get a kick out of this enjoyable little movie.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 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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