Comparison between the Normal Version and the Japanese Version (both contained on the Japanese Blu-ray by Paramount / Twin)
- 1 differing scene
- additional footage in the Japanese version: 95.3 sec (= 1:35 min)
In 1981 Jackie Chan took on a minor role in the star-studded US slapstick movie The Cannonball Run. They showed some bloopers in the end credits of this movie and Jackie obviously kept that in mind. Since the first installment of Police Story, this became a standard ingredient and trademark in his movies, and it is always an interesting thing to watch for the fans because of the spectacular stunts. But several of his other movies from the early 80s also contain such bloopers and outtakes. In some cases they were just added to the bonus features of the respective releases, but there are to be found some official versions in the Asian region (especially in Japan) in which these outtakes are a part of the movie.
Wheels on Meals is apart from this additional footage also interesting, because the version which was released in Japan features the old English dubbing. This dubbing is not contained in any other new release, although the fans clearly prefer it to the new dubbing. Apart from that, there's a difference in the end credits, as already mentioned, and this difference is the main reason for this report. In the normal version the end credits start rolling over a still frame, while the Japanese version shows several outtakes, for example of Jackie and Yuen Biao on their skateboards.
This version was obviously initially intended to be released on the English-speaking market, too, which can also be guessed from the credits. Unfortunately we were not able to find out whether these end credits were also contained on older VHS releases, for example from Europe. This was not the case for the DVD at least, and from this point onwards we will always call the version containing the outtakes "Japanese version".
A little note on the side: this Japanese version is contained in SD on the Japanese Blu-ray. The HD version of the normal version is just an upscale, as is often the case. The rest of the Japanese version is based on the Fortune Star master, which was also used for the normal version, but the picture was edited with a soft focus effect in order to match the footage of the Japanese version, which was not preserved that well.
So there are maybe some other little differences in earlier Japanese releases, which are now no longer to be found due to the, apart from opening/end credits, identical master. The end credits with the outtakes should be the most outstanding difference of the Japanese version anyway and it is nice to see that they have reconstructed it in the best possible quality here.
Running time indications are listed in the order
Normal Version / Japanese Version.
Logos / Credits
The Japanese version has an additional logo at the beginning. English credits follow after the Golden Harvest Logo, which is contained in both versions (no pictures).
Japanese version 10.1 sec longer
107:03-108:32 / 107:13-108:48
The car is shown in the normal version, then the end credits start rolling.
The picture is moved to the side next to the credits in the Japanese version and we see a few outtakes while the English credits are rolling.
First off is the stunt with the bike, and Jackie receives some hits from Benny Urquidez.
Next is the skateboard scene, during which Jackie as well as Yuen Biao fall down a few times.
The leap over the fruit stall from the beginning of the movie did also not work out at the first attempt; after that we see some missing kicks when Jackie and Yuen Biao try to get the rockers off of their bikes.
A bit of fooling around with the skateboard and some stills of Jackie posing wrap it up.
Japanese version 5.8 sec longer