Comparison between the cut British DVD by Miramax (BBFC PG) and the "uncut" international version on the British Blu-ray (BBFC 15)
- 10 cuts
- Cut length: 41.5 seconds
As should be known, this action stunner starring Jackie Chan was shortened about 20 minutes for the release on the non-Asian market (see: Cut Report). The uncut version is up until today only available in comparatively expensive import versions, which all have different disadvantages:
-the Taiwanese DVD by Funny contains the movie in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but has a somewhat blurred and lousy picture. Moreover, it comes only with the Mandarin dubbing with fixed English subtitles.
-the Japanese DVD by Pioneer contains the original audio track (ca. 95% English, 5% Cantonese) and has a slightly better picture, but the aspect ratio was zoomed to 1.85:1
The international version had to be additionally censored for the VHS/DVD release in Great Britain. The scene in which Jackie gets attacked with bottles by the street gang in the alley was censored at some points due to the risk of imitation. There is no shot left which would make clear that those guys prepared some baseball bats to attack him with the bottles with more power - and with which they also have a little bit more fun. Here, it looks like they would throw the bottles just with their hands (which of course is also not a good example for young viewers, but at least it doesn't look as spectacular as the baseball action).
It's interesting that the British Blu-ray released in June 2012 (first HD release worldwide) contains the international version, so also no censoring during the bottle scene. A new classification is not listed, but there hasn't been a note on cuts in the classification entry for the cinema release and the running time fits to the "uncut" international version. So it's probable that the movie was shown in British cinemas without the additional cuts and that this was the basis for the Blu-ray release.
It's rather unlikely that there'll be a decent release of the uncut version in the near future, because in Asia, more than 10 year old movies on Blu-ray are either just shabbily upscaled and/or based on badly preserved masters. DVD re-releases of the last years in Japan only contain the same version, too. It's a pity that there's still this difference to the uncut version of about 20 minutes, but anyway the British Blu-ray can be recommended for fans of the movie. This release isn't perfect either, but compared to the DVD alternatives of the international version (those based on the Miramax/Warner master), it's a quantum leap in the right direction.
The running time indications are listed as follows:
British DVD / British Blu-ray
The following cut report focuses only on the additional alterations of the British DVD. For other changes have a look at the comparison between international and uncut version.
23:19 / 24:18-24:20
When the gang approaches there's missing the beginning of a shot...maybe because the baseball bats of the gang members are visible more clearly.
23:57 / 24:59-25:02
Two baseball bats are being wrapped with clothes.
24:00 / 25:06-25:07
Another shot of this.
24:01 / 25:09-25:10
The blonde guy (Angelo) is shown a little bit earlier and says: "Batter up!"
24:05 / 25:14-25:15
A bottle gets hurled through the air with a baseball bat in a close-up.
(Due to this cut it looks like the bottle flying towards Jackie in the following shot were just thrown by hand.)
24:08 / 25:18-25:20
Jackie is visible for one more moment, then they hit another bottle and it flies towards him in two shots (the UK DVD sets in with the close-up).
24:10 / 25:22-25:32
The gang cheers and they put a bottle on Angelo's head. Jackie clenches his teeth, then the bottle is hurled against him.
24:11 / 25:33-25:34
Two shots from above in which a bottle standing on Angelo's head is hit.
(The following full shot is also contained on the British DVD, because again it looks as if the bottle were thrown by hand)
24:12 / 25:35-25:51
Jackie gets hit several times in a close-up, blood is visible on his forehead. But the gang still continues and some slow-motion shots and painful hits, e.g. in the lower region, follow.
24:19 / 25:59-26:03
Jackie lies injured on the floor. Two more bottles on Angelo's head are hit, both immediately break.
The UK DVD sets in again with the rest of this scene, where the guys are cheering.