Once Upon A Time In China II (1993)
Director - Tsui Hark
DVD Released by : Columbia/Tristar
Player reviewed with : Sony S3000
Receiver reviewed with : Sony 925
Cantonese and Mandarin Soundtracks
5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
French, Spanish, and English Subtitles
Widescreen Presentations

Widescreen English Dubbed Version

Bonus Trailers
Running Time : 113 mins

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II follows the further adventures of Wong Fei Hung. This time, he, Foon and Aunt 13 are off to a medical convention. While at the convention, they meet Sun Yat Sen. Once there, they find that the dreaded White Lotus Clan is trying to rid the country of all foreigners. As bad as the clan is, the army feels that Sun Yat Sen is more of a threat. Not only must Wong Fei Hung defeat the Clan, but he must battle the army.

Though I can say I liked OUATIC better than this sequel, this is still a good, solid movie. Jet Li reprises his role as Wong Fei Hung. This time, Max Mok Siu Chung replaces Yuen Biao as Foon. Donnie Yen also stars in this movie. One just wishes he was in it a little more. The action scenes are very good and are sure to please most fans of the series.

The picture is a little disappointing at times. The opening scene is horrible looking. In what should be a solid black background, there are terrible artifacts. Thankfully, the picture does get better. The rest of the transfer is good but the print sometimes has a brownish hue to it. There are imports that have a better picture. The movie is overall watchable but the picture rarely gets better than fair to good. I am surprised about the artifacts. I thought Columbia/Tristar could have done a little better with the transfer. The print itself isn't too bad other than the colors sometimes looking strange.

The sound is actually pretty good. The 5.1 sound mix is done well. Most of the sound comes from the front speakers with the back speakers only being used occasionally. The vocals are never drowned out by the music or sound effects.

The subtitles are pretty well done. They are for the most part free of spelling errors and grammatically correct. This is an anamorphic presentation so they will be viewable to those with 16:9 TV's. They are sized well and easy to read.

There isn't much by the way of extras unless you consider having the dubbed version a bonus. I haven't watched this version of the movie. I don't know why this is included as a bonus. I would think it would be better on the other side of the DVD or a separate DVD altogether.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA is a good movie and a must for fans of Jet Li and the OUATIC series. This DVD could have been a lot better considering that Columbia/Tristar put it out. Before considering buying this, rent it. If you already own this on DVD there probably isn't a reason to get this version. I think Columbia/Tristar might as well just import the existing versions of these DVD's if they can't improve on them. The DVD isn't horrible by import standards. Maybe the English dubbed version could have been left off so more space could have been used by the main attraction.