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When General M. Bison takes high-ranking hostages and demands $20 billion in ransom, he pushes an already incendiary crisis to the brink of global conflict. Meanwhile, Colonel William F. Guile's rescue mission remains stalled until the hostages' location can be determined. Guile and his British intelligence officer, Lieutenant Cammy, must recruit two unlikely heroes, small-time hustlers Ken Masters and Ryu Hoshi in an audacious plan to locate the sadistic general's futuristic secret fortress. But their entire plan is nearly derailed at the last moment when GNT news correspondent Chun-Li Zang, who wants much more than a story, intervenes.
For more about Street Fighter and the Street Fighter Blu-ray release, see Street Fighter Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 9, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Juliá, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Simon Callow
Director: Steven E. de Souza
» See full cast & crew
Street Fighter Blu-ray Review
Don't tune in for this mess.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 9, 2009
Goooooood morning Shadalooooo!
And welcome to another episode of everyone's favorite radio show, 'Bad Movie Time' with your host, Glutton For Punishment, broadcasting live from deep within the private screening room bunker below Shadaloo City, where we have just watched General Bison's favorite Action flick. Today we have a special treat for all of you faithful BMTers out there. That's right, dear listeners, it's Jean-Claude Van Damme's super-duper extra-corny lame-brained video-game-inspired Action dud 'Street Fighter!' What better way to start the day than with 102 minutes of pure movie bliss? It's got thrills! It's got chills! It's got Wes Studi in an eyepatch! 1994's 42nd highest-grossing picture was beat out by only a few of cinema's most notable titles and treasured classics, including 'Junior,' 'On Deadly Ground,' and Jean-Claude's very own 'Timecop!' So strap in, hold on tight, and don't let the bad dialogue bite as we endeavor to uncover the magical allure of 'Street Fighter' in yet another award-winning edition of 'Bad Movie Time!'
'Street Fighter' stars JCVD (yeah, as in 'JVCD') as the muscular and oh-so-guile Colonel Guile of the Allied Nations. His task: free our very own war-torn country of Shadaloo from the vile clutches of M. Bison (Raul Julia), a power-hungry dictator who wants only peace and harmony through absolute control. His method: mutate an army of average Joe's into green-skinned, orange haired killing machines! His first subject: Guile's friend, Carlos Blanka (Robert Mammone), who is injected with bags of DNA-altering molecules and is forced to watch some of the most repulsive images known to man, including speeches by Adolf Hitler and clips from 'Meet the Spartans.' When Bison takes hostages and demands a king's ransom for their safe return, it's up to Guile and some new friends -- reporter Chun-Li (Ming-Na) and her news crew Honda (Peter Navy Tuiasosopo) and Balrog (Grand L. Bush), and friends Ken (Damian Chapa) and Ryu (Byron Mann) -- to stop the evil dictator before his master plan is set in motion.
That's 'Street Fighter' in a nutshell, and it's a tough nut to crack. Is this movie supposed to be taken seriously? It's borderline parody, with exaggerated performances, unequivocally clichéd and poorly-delivered dialogue ('This isn't over, Guile!,' 'This place makes Detroit look like Disney Land!') and action scenes that play out with little intensity and no creative flair. It's so ridiculous that it couldn't have been made with a straight face -- or could it? The real conundrum here is the inclusion of several scenes and lines of dialogue that separate themselves from the onslaught of downright bad (intentional or not) moments in the film and play as clearly intentional moments of comic relief, for instance Honda's torture scene and, well, Zangief's and Dee Jay's very existences. Why toss such obvious comic relief into a movie that's seems to be one big joke? The answer, dear listener, is easy: 'Street Fighter' is really meant to be taken at least partially seriously, the story, the characters, their interactions, all meant to play out with a level of sincerity that was to elevate the movie to some level of respect. FAIL! In fact, it takes but mere moments to realize that 'Street Fighter' is nothing but one giant epic dud in the making. From the cartoon-like introduction of the DNA MUTAGENS and ANABOLIC PLASMA bags of liquid (that look more like Gatorade) to the downright horrible acting (only veterans Julia and Wes Studi ['Last of the Mohicans'] seem to 'get it,' delivering performances equally ridiculous and sinister), 'Street Fighter' seems to exist not to create some coherent motion picture but rather to assemble as many characters from the game as possible and toss them into the movie with little structure or purpose.
Street Fighter Blu-ray, Video Quality
'Street Fighter' assembles its armies (yeah, the movie has more army-on-army action in it than it does fighter-on-fighter action) on Blu-ray with a 1080p. 2.35:1-framed transfer. Ranging from "acceptable" to "ugly," 'Street Fighter' begins poorly with a fair amount of shimmering over the opening credits and never really improves from there. The image often appears overly sharp and processed with some edge enhancement plaguing some scenes. Featuring anything but a true film-like appearance, 'Street Fighter' features a few artifacts here and there and plenty of noise in some places while appearing terribly smooth in others, sometimes differing not between scenes but between shots. The image often takes on an incredibly hazy appearance that diminishes colors and details, and to such an extent in a few scenes as to practically wipe the screen clean of all but the most basic structure of the displayed imagery. Detail and color reproduction aren't bad in the better scenes. Outdoor shots hold up well enough, the film's colorful palette coming to life in both the dusty streets of Shadaloo City and in the rich, jungle-like areas outside of it. Colors on the Allied Nations Uniforms stand out nicely, particularly the bright blues, and the finer details to be seen in the uniforms -- flag patches and other adornments -- look rather good. The 1080p transfer does reveal some of the shoddily-constructed sets and props; close-up shots sometimes reveal unnatural seams or bad paint jobs. Fortunately, there's no major problems with banding or blocking, but even in the relative absence of these issues, 'Street Fighter' never looks all that good.
Street Fighter Blu-ray, Audio Quality
'Street Fighter' pummels Blu-ray with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Loud but somewhat muddled, this aggressive presentation excites the senses but never really satisfies them, the track delivering all the makings of a first-rate soundtrack but not quite managing to squeeze enough clarity or realistic ambience out of the material to create a seamless environment. Sound is often tossed all through the listening area with only moderate regard for precise placement. Sure, a cage fight in chapter three features cheering crowd noise pouring from every speaker, but there is more a sense of phoniness than realistic immersion in the moment. Such scenes place most of the emphasis across the front with only a few cursory sounds thrown into the rears. A soundtrack need not offer a full-throttle back-speaker assault to be good, but this track uses them in such a way that they don't generally serve their primary purpose of delivering good, supportive atmospheric sounds, both small and large. Action sound effects -- punches, gunshots, explosions -- pack plenty of heft and tend to deliver the goods. Dialogue is also consistently reproduced adequately. Not a bad soundtrack but sounding more like a preliminary effort rather than a final, finished product, 'Street Fighter' sounds good but not great on Blu-ray.
Street Fighter Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Like the laundry list of characters that appear in 'Street Fighter,' this Blu-ray contains plenty of extras that do little other than look good on the back of the box. First up is a commentary track with Director Steven E. de Souza. He discusses the process of bringing the game to life and making it seem "real." He also speaks on the challenges of creating a feature film, the cast, the trio of primary environments that populate the film, some of the nuances scattered about the film, the role of the "Allied Nations" in the film, and plenty more tidbits. A decent track but not one that's a must-listen, fans of the film might want to skim through it. Next are several pieces that deal with the 'Street Fighter IV' video game: 'Street Fighter IV' Game Trailer (1080p, 3:08), 'Street Fighter IV' Game Teaser Trailer (1080p, 0:36), and 'Street Fighter IV' Anime Trailer (1080p, 3:12).
Moving on, "The Making of 'Street Fighter'" (480p, 5:56) is a generic making-of piece that features a look at all of the characters and the story and contains interview snippets with cast and crew and plenty of clips from the film. Also included is a series of outtakes (480p, 3:08). Next are a pair of deleted scenes (480p, 0:56 & 1:13) followed by 'Storyboard Sequences' that showcase a series of storyboards followed by the actual footage from the film. Scenes compared include 'Boardroom' and 'Prison Break'. 'Video Game Sequences' contains clips of Guile fighting Bison from both 'Super Street Fighter II' (480p, 0:32) and 'Street Fighter: The Movie' Game' (480p, 0:46). 'Cyberwalk' takes users into the world of 'Street Fighter' by going through some of the phrases required of a Bison soldier in 'Recruiting Center' and replaying some of the newscasts as seen in the film in 'Crisis in Shadaloo' (480p, 3:46). Finally, 'Archives' contains a collection of 'Street Fighter'-related materials: 'Publicity Stills' (1080p, 1:06), 'Arcade Movie Game Trailer' (480p, 0:50), 'Concept Drawings by Nikita Knatz' (1080p, 0:32), 'On the 'Street Fighter' Set' stills (1080p, 0:40), 'Ad Campaigns' stills (1080p, 0:28), 'Trading Cards' (1080p, 0:16) images from Upper Deck, and 'Toys and Tie-Ins' (1080p, 0:08) images.
Street Fighter Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
So there you have it, dear listeners. 'Street Fighter:' good game, bad movie. Not the worst movie ever to stink up the silver screen but definitely one of the most confused, its very existence a quagmire that begs one simple question: intentionally bad or not? Either way, the filmmakers failed to make this one even remotely interesting, the shoddy dialogue, over-exaggerated characters, and boring action sequences lending no charm, no appeal, no reason to exist to this turkey. Universal's Blu-ray disc, however, is up to par for a movie of this level of excellence. It's got a passable picture; a loud, sometimes obnoxious, not completely natural, but in no way bad lossless soundtrack; and a long list of extras that don't really add up to anything of value. Farewell, and until we meet again, this is Glutton For Punishment, signing off.
Street Fighter: Other Editions
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Street Fighter Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Street Fighter Comes to Blu-ray - November 11, 2008
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced that they will the 1994 live action film 'Street Fighter: Extreme Edition' to Blu-ray on February 10th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. Staring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the film will be presented in 2.35:1 ...
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