There’s a small stack of movies on my DVD shelf set off from the others. Loners, outcasts, many still in their plastic shrink wrap, these films sit, collecting dust, waiting for me to finally pop them in the DVD player.
I often rummage through my DVDs, looking for ones I seldom watch, or have over-watched to go out with the next round of Amazon sales or Goodwill boxes. But, I will not oust a film I have not seen. And so, these lonely films continue to wait.
Then a moment comes, a moment like today. A day for me to do me things. So while sorting laundry, eating meals and straightening up my home, I popped in one of these lonely waiting movies, Jackie Chan’s The Young Master.
Pretty sure I picked this up from one of those $4.99 crazy bins in Walmart some years ago. You know the big baskets in the middle of the store aisle where you rummage through has-been films, straight to DVD duds and classics no one appreciates any longer. Piled willy-nilly on top of each other, it’s like a Chuck-E-Cheese ball pit of rectangular plastic cases. I must have had The Young Master sitting around for awhile, “Chapter Stops” are listed as a special feature on the case. That’s like listing the ability to rewind as a special feature on a cassette tape.
The movie’s pretty cute. I suppose that’s not really an appropriate word for an action movie, “cute,” but that’s what this movie is, cute. At least, that’s what this American release DVD version is. The whole audio-track is dubbed. It’s funny to see Jackie Chan’s mouth move and hear some random American. It’s even more amusing to see a cross-eyed cop that sounds like Yogi Bear. Other characters have all sorts of random English accents from different parts of the world. The music sounds like it’s also been replaced, being almost completely late-70s rock music. I’m also still trying to figure out why the Master reminds me so much of Tim Curry.
Silliness created by odd dubbing aside, I quite enjoyed the film for its story and very well choreographed fight scenes. One of the neatest things about the film is that it could be taking place at any time – or at least, I couldn’t put it in any specific period. Maybe someone more familiar with China or the history of Kung Fu could date it.
Now I just have to decide, keep the film? Or send it to Sir Barnabas, royal knight and protectorate of Queen Jackie Chan.