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Rush Hour 3(2007)
When a Chinese criminal mastermind flees to Paris, there's only one culture-clashed, crime-fighting duo for the job. Ready to raise hell in the city of lights, Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter instead get caught in an explosive battle between the French police, the Triad gang and two gorgeous femmes fatales! With everybody kung fu fighting to the top of the Eiffel Tower, this one-two punch of hilarious action doesn't let up until the final heart-stopping au revoir!
For more about Rush Hour 3 and the Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray release, see Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray Review published by J.C. Ribera on March 29, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Youki Kudoh, Max von Sydow
Director: Brett Ratner
» See full cast & crew
Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray Review
the closer i get to you
Reviewed by J.C. Ribera, March 29, 2008
I must say upfront that I haven't watched neither Rush Hour nor Rush Hour 2, so watching Rush Hour 3 I approached it as watching a new movie on its own. Reuniting the popular acting team of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, and director and writer Brett Ratner and Jeff Nathanson, the new movie is constructed well enough that even not knowing anything about them, you can jump right in.
The two main characters have their own "get to know what they're made of" introductions: We have the off-beat funny cop and the dedicated action cop, and immediately enough their paths join and they get involved in a detectivesque investigation that takes them to exotic lands (Paris this time), shady villains and unexpected allies, going through several comedy/action skits in the process while they have the usual "we fight among ourselves but we really love each other and work well" shenanigans of odd couples. The movie has a well produced and slick feel to it, between actual location shots in LA and Paris and studio locals you can never tell them apart, and several fast paced action sequences. The film has some references to the previous movies, a closer look to part of Jackie Chan's character's past, an exotic and beautiful female actress (French model Noémie Lenoir) and the appearances of Max Von Sydow and Roman Polanski . Polanski's brief appearance as a oily French detective greeting our detectives is nicely effective and probably part of a subtle if not unconscious in-joke.
So was it a good movie? Well I enjoyed watching it but I must confess that I didn't find it particularly exceptional. (Which makes writing a review of it slightly slower than ordinary ;) ). A good action/comedy yarn to be entertained, and pass the time with the good action scenes and comedy sequences and situations. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are simpatico, and we feel at home watching them, like the familiar feeling of being in good company. Just like catching a Star Trek episode where you get a nice story but it's not one of the seminal ones that make you watch the series. I must say that the movie is fine enough that I'll probably buy the other two when they come out on Blu-ray. May be that if I had seen the previous two I would have gotten a bit more out of it. One thing I might add, is that the disc on the supplements brings an "alternative" ending (actually a sequence that would come next chronologically), and though not exactly polished, it brings a nice closure and reward to our protagonists, than the current ending which has more of a meh feeling. Simpatico good guys should have a little something for their troubles in a fun movie. So maybe if one could have optionally chapter programed that to show after the credits sequence, I might've stood up from the watching chair a little more enthusiastic ;)
Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Well good news is that it's a nice clean, sometimes grainless, sharp contrasty disc. Presented at 2.40 in a VC-1 transfer of about 17 Mb/s, the opening in LA looked super, and made me double check the rate meter. It has a look that I would call a high contrast serious palette and I liked it. Great color that looks realistic without being intense. Watching at 3-4PH most everything looks sharp and contrasty and what grain is on the screen is fine, and even at 1.25 PH (closer that Cinema viewing sizes) the image held it's own. It's not the top notch in film detail transfer I've seen but overall is was very very nice. The Paris shots look postcard clear and the exotic women review has silver dollar potential. Night shots at the "Eiffel Tower" sequence sometime don't look as well but many are CGI shots so they have to blend in. The motorcycle chase sequence looks as good as any top notch Hollywood production. The detail in the taxi driver's face in those shots makes the sequence even funnier.
Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Another DTS HD MA 7.1 transfer from New Line, this one is aggressively punchy, as an action movie should be. Only evaluated in DTS core (Waiting for that PS3 update, the review will be updated to full MA when it does) there were no speaker destroying pops but plenty of gunshots, tire squeals, vigorous music (by Lalo Schifrin , I can still hear the motorcycle chase music in my head), and sound effects surrounding the viewer to immerse you on the viewing experience. That's a good sign that we have good audio, when you "forget" about it and you just "live" the movie. You can hear Chris Tucker's voice, perhaps all too clearly :).
There's no other sound or language option, but English SDH and español subtitles are included. Rush Hour is a Region A disc, playable in America, Japan, Corea, and South East Asia.
Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Well the New Line Blu-rays have all come with great extras and this release is no exception. Apart from the movie disc there is a second BD full of extras.
The menu on Disc one has a warm orangeish tint and on Disc two a cooler blue or violet tint, maybe to distinguish them easier.
On the movie disc we have the usual Audio Commentary, this time by director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson presented in DTS stereo. They talk with enthusiasm all about the shooting locations, the process of bringing a new Rush Hour movie after a few years and make it fresh, the exponential increasing costs of each sequel, lots about Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, the cast choices for the secondary characters, the SFX sequences, etc etc.
If you prefer to watch them too as they speak, you can select the Enhanced Visual Commentary version which shows them in a small 1.78 window on top of the Scope movie, with a few storyboard sequences sprinkled throughout the commentary and green-screen and/or CGI SFXs on the motorcycle chase and Eiffel tower sequences. One minor thing that I realized was bothering me while watching it was that on the on-screen commentary, the director and writer are shot looking at their monitor towards the right of the BDs image, and the visual commentary window is set on the the right too, making it seem that they're looking out of your monitor towards your right speaker instead of towards the movie playing in front of you, which would have been solved by putting the visual commentary window on the left, or shooting them from the opposite angle.
The theatrical Scope Trailer is also included in the first disc in 1080p VC-1.
Moving on to the second disc we have:
Outtakes including several takes of about a dozen scenes where they mess up their lines or stunts totaling about 2 and a half minutes presented in 1080p VC-1 and DTS stereo
Deleted/Alternate Scenes has 7 sequences: Extended Airplane, Extended Taxi, Extended Elevator, Hotel Hallway, Spotlight Guy: Follies, Extended Eiffel Tower, and Alternate Ending, with optional writer and director commentary, presented in 1080p VC-1 and DTS stereo, totaling more than seven minutes. I though specially worthwhile to watch the Extended Elevator scene (I found it funny), and as I mentioned earlier, the Alternate Ending, which even has a nice cameo appearance.
Lasting an hour and a half, the Making of Rush Hour 3 is presented in 1.78 1080i VC-1 with the bit-rate sometimes reaching into the high 20's with sections that look great (The movie clips are in 2.35, and a couple brief ones from Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 are included) . Composed of the following 5 chapters: The Story - The Script, Casting The Rush, Teaming Up, Creating The Rush: Scene by Scene (having additional subchapters for all the main scenes), and Cuts, Sound, And Music; it's nice to see making of documentaries in high def which brings you a more "you are there" feeling that all the SD "making of"s we've been accustomed to for many years.
The 2 minute Visual Effects Reel goes back to 1080p VC-1 and is a good example to see all the layering that goes into making a realistic CGI scene, again looking great in 1080 after decades of watching things like this on SD
And if all the above wasn't enough we have the more than one hour long "Le Rush Hour Trois" Production Diary, also presented in 1080i VC-1 with more than 2 dozen chapters. After watching all the supplements you'll probably feel you know about all you ever wanted to know about Rush Hour 3, think you're like part of the cast and crew, and actually witnessed most of the shooting days ;).
Rush Hour 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Well with a great transfer and sound, a likable cast, excellent supplements, nice action scenes and funny jokes, though not an exceptional film by any measure, Rush Hour 3 is a well produced film. Fans of this dynamic duo will probably like revisiting their old friends, while others might get to pass an enjoyable hour watching a good yarn. Just don't expect anything more than a good action comedy flick. In any case, any movie that has both Max Von Sydow and Roman Polanski in it, is worth being watched once.
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