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JACKIE CHAN’S WHO AM I ($25) is an enjoyable outing for fans of the Hong Kong action star. In WHO AM I Jackie Chan plays Jackie, a commando left for dead in the African jungle in a CIA double cross. The natives find Jackie, however he awakens in their village with amnesia. Not knowing his own name when the natives ask, they come to refer to the amnesiac as Whoami (who am I). After his other injuries heal, Jackie is able to make his way back to civilization. However without his memory, Jackie soon finds himself targeted by the same parties who tried to kill him once before. WHO AM I contains the typical bend of martial arts, death defying stunts and signature physical comedy that one expects from a Jackie Chan movie. While WHO AM I sticks to the standard formula, the execution is fresh thanks to the locations in Africa and The Netherlands, as well as the top-notch stunt direction by Jackie Chan. The cast of WHO AM I also includes Michelle Ferre, Mirai Yamamoto, Ron Smerczak, Ed Nelson and Tom Pompert.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has made JACKIE CHAN’S WHO AM I available on DVD in both wide screen and full screen presentations on opposite sides of the DVD. Since watching a cropped martial arts film is about as much fun as having teeth pulled, sans novocaine. Therefore, stick with the wide screen version. Despite what it says on the packaging JACKIE CHAN’S WHO AM I is presented in its 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The DVD also includes the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. Judging by this release, I’d have to say Hong Kong productions are definitely getting better looking. JACKIE CHAN’S WHO AM I looks as good as most American films, plus Columbia TriStar’s transfer of the film is sharp and superbly detailed. Colors are quite vivid and the richly saturated hues reproduce with nary a problem. Digital compression artifacts were seldom evident on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack had an explosive mix. There were, however, portions of the film where the dubbing of English speaking actors wasn’t perfectly synchronized. Still, the track made aggressive use of the discrete nature of the Dolby Digital format. Sound effects emanated from everywhere, while bass reproduction was very strong. A matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack has been included, as has a French language track. Subtitles are available in English and French.

The simple interactive menus provide access to a theatrical trailer, plus the standard scene and language selection features.





DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 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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