POLICE STORY 1 & 2, Jackie Chan & Chi-Hwa Chen, directors/Eureka Blu-ray These lively, tongue-in-cheek martial arts thrillers (the first of which made the likeable Jackie Chan an international star) are already favourites for many viewers, even though they have heretofore only been available in less than ideal issues. But this 4K restoration makes previous versions of the films look like something seen through a gauze. The films are a curious blend of straightforward police drama and outrageously inventive martial arts sequences, with tongue firmly planted in cheek in the latter. Having said that, the stuntmen who were hospitalised after taking spectacular falls in both films were probably unable to see the funny side of things for a while, but their sacrifices certainly paid off in remarkable action scenes – as did those injuries that Chan himself famously endured many times. Basically, both films are great fun – and it goes without saying they have never looked better than in these incarnations. Available late August.
DETECTIVE BUREAU 2-3 GO TO HELL BASTARDS! Seijun Suzuki director/Arrow Blu-ray The in-your-face title of this kinetic offering gives some idea of what to expect. These are the yakuza films which established the identity of Japanese crime drama, and feature violent grudge matches between cops and criminals, invariably orchestrated in over-the-top-style. And that latter phrase characterises everything here – nuance doesn’t get a look in — but there is no denying the energy that’s on offer. The cult status already accrued here will be further burnished by the impeccable transfer Arrow have accorded Seijun Suzuki’s work.