Bulletproof Monk [DVD] [2003]

For stateside cinema fans who long for more Fat in their cinematic diets, MGM/UA's release of the breakneck action flick Bulletproof Monk is sure to satisfy. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is rich and vivid, presenting the film's well-planned color scheme to great effect. The notable progression from light to dark through the course of the film lends a truly cinematic feel to the film which translates well to the small screen, with spot-on skin tones and solid blacks rounding out the impressive visual presentation. Likewise, the English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio mix utilizes directional effects well and is clear of any notable hiss or distortion. Composer Eric Serra's grandiose, swelling score more that adequately fills the room while simultaneously providing the mystical backbone of the film. Much touted for its abundance of extra features, this disc does indeed contain an impressive number of goodies, though fans of Hong Kong film legend Chow Yun-Fat will no doubt find disappointment in his exclusion from the two audio commentary tracks. Though director Paul Hunter and producers Charles Roven and Douglas Segal's commentary is technically competent (Hunter comes off as a humble director who was truly dedicated in making the film a rich, character-driven effort), it would have been great to hear Fat discussing his role given that he has been suspiciously absent from commentary tracks on releases from any of his American efforts. The commentary track by writers Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris is also lively and informative, and it's obvious that their understanding of the action genre sprang from a solid background in martial arts films. Deleted scenes and an alternate ending show many comic elements lifted from the final cut of the film (especially Karel Roden's über-hammy performance as an ageing Nazi determined to regain the vitality of youth), and insightful commentary from editor Robert K. Lambert discusses in detail why the scenes were left on the cutting room floor. Featurettes included on this release of Bulletproof Monk offer a comprehensive look at nearly every aspect of the production. "The Tao of Monk" consists of five behind-the-scenes featurettes that discuss in detail everything from the choreography to the character and story arcs to the visual design of the film and the sometimes-subtle special effects. Likewise, the humorously titled "The Monk Unrobed" featurette takes an interesting look at the translation of the film from the comic-book to the big screen, and it's interesting to hear just how the filmmakers decided to flesh out a character who, in the comic series, remained a seldom seen mystical figure. Overall a more than commendable presentation of a film that, while it may not have struck box-office gold, rarely fails to entertain less-demanding action fans.
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Deleted scenes commentary by editor Robert K. Lambert
  • Alternate ending commentary by Robert K. Lambert
  • "The Tao of Monk": five behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • "The Monk Unrobed" featurette
  • Audio commentary by the writers
  • Audio commentary by director Paul Hunter and producers Charles Roven and Douglas Segal
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Synopsis

Bulletproof Monk
A monk and a pickpocket become unlikely allies in this action adventure story. Sixty years ago, a nameless monk (Chow Yun-Fat) was appointed the guardian of a mysterious scroll that grants remarkable powers to those who possess it. After six decades of traveling the world to protect the scroll, the monk must find someone new to assume the responsibility, but as fate would have it, the new caretaker turns out to be Kar (Seann William Scott), a scruffy and distinctly non-enlightened petty thief living in San Francisco. As the monk attempts to educate Kar in the powers and responsibilities of the scroll and the ways of a monk's life, they discover they have a rival for the possession of the valuable scroll. As Kar and the monk fend off their mysterious adversary, they are aided by Bad Girl (Jaime King), a beautiful Russian mob affiliate with amazing martial arts skills and a vested interest in keeping the scroll in virtuous hands. Bulletproof Monk was based a comic book series published in 1999; Chow Yun-Fat's frequent collaborators John Woo and Terence Chang produced. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Chow Yun-Fat
    Chow Yun-Fat - The Bulletproof Monk
  • Seann William Scott
    Seann William Scott - Kar
  • Jaime King
    Jaime King - Jade/Bad Girl
  • Karel Roden
    Karel Roden - Strucker
  • Victoria Smurfit
    Victoria Smurfit - Nina

Overall Customer Rating

100%of customers recommend this product.

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