been stung by critic's comments that he was just another action
movie director, Jackie Chan took it upon himself to craft a film
which would not only bring him financial, but also artistic, success.
This new approach brought about the creation of Miracles - a story
far removed from Jackie's many cop-socky productions of years gone
Jackie plays Kuo Chen-Wah, a naive young Cantonese man just arrived
in 1930's Hong Kong.
Upon his arrival, a seemingly excellent job opportunity falls into
his lap, and Kuo quickly parts with the bulk of his savings. After
finding the job to be a hoax dreamt up as a 'get rich quick' scheme,
the virtually penniless Kuo realises his fantasy of a better life
may be short-lived.
Buying a 'lucky rose' from a kind-hearted woman on the street with
his remaining money, Kuo's future instantly takes a dramatic change...
After rescuing the boss of a Triad
gang following a street shoot-out, Kuo is appointed as their new
leader - a position coveted by other members of the "family".
In the process of attempting to ward off their biggest rival, Mr.
Tiger, and living up to his role as the new boss, Kuo sees his opportunity
to help the elderly seller of his 'lucky roses', and make her dreams
The tone of the piece is far removed from the likes of Police
Story, and Armour Of God,
with Chan making even the fight scenes seem more like extended comedy
This 'lightening' of the action is placed alongside a more dramatically
led plot, which, whilst being very well acted, remains fairly lightweight.
Still, there is much to be enjoyed. In particular, the costumes,
set design, music and not least direction, are all of an extremely
high standard. Although not containing as many "I've got to
rewind that" moments, the film's stunt and fight action is
also very good.
It's fair to say that Miracles is Jackie's finest directorial effort,
as the grand scale of the nightclub scenes in particular are shot
with some superb extended camerawork.
As mentioned, the set design, and costumes show that this production
meant a great deal to Chan. Each scene is meticulously shot and
designed, keeping the viewer firmly in the belief that they're watching
a 1930's drama.
Although I'd be lying if I said that I thought that this was Jackie's
best film, in terms of its quality and dramatic content, it's far
in advance of anything Jackie's done before or since.
been Jackie Chan's "baby", the print has been very well
preserved, and as such is in quite exceptional condition.
I was unable to notice a single mark, nick or sparkle throughout,
and was just left to marvel at the stunning job HKL have done.
'Faultless' may be too strong a word for the transfer's quality,
but it's certainly deserving of 'superb'.
The crisp detail of the suits, sets and costumes are reproduced
with great clarity. Allied with the beautiful colour evident throughout,
this transfer gives most mainstream UK DVD's a run for their money.
I honestly wouldn't have believed that a Hong Kong film from the
late 80's could look this good, but to their credit, HKL have once
again managed to convert me.
unfortunately where the disc's biggest failing surfaces.
Three or four times during the film, dialogue becomes drowned out,
overpowered by the left and right channels.
This quickly becomes extremely irritating, especially as at one
time, it occurs during the film's song and dance sequence. The music
suddenly drops in volume and it feels as if your ears have popped
- not a good thing. Other than this, the sound mix is fairly
natural, with music emanating from the front speakers, along with
the occasional directional sound effect.
liberties are taken with the translation of certain sentences, but
the subtitles are otherwise very good - clear and grammatically
There are, however, a few lines of completely mis-translated dialogue.
the best designed menus produced for a HKL release, their composition
and more importantly, the way they compliment the film, are excellent.
No navigational problems, and a theme which is very much in keeping
with the movie's 'flavour', add up to a great DVD environment.
The same animated biography which adorns every HKL Jackie Chan disc,
read by voice-over-man....no comment.
30 film stills, although no behind-the-scenes shots.
The UK Promo Trailer and the Original Theatrical Trailer, which
contains removable subtitles.
Information and/or Trailers for:
The Big Boss Fist Of Fury Once
Upon A Time In China Snake In The Eagle's Shadow
Armour Of God Battle Creek
Brawl Iron Monkey Purple
Stom Drunken Master
Jackie Chan (10 mins)
An interesting chat, in English, with Jackie. The interview covers
Jackie's opinions of film making and fight choreography.
The most fascinating aspect, from my point of view, is the short
clip of Jackie in his own archaic-looking editing suite. He moves
through Miracles' song and dance scene, explaining the camera movement,
and how he cuts the shots together.
It lasts little more than two minutes, but manages to provide a
glimpse of how in love with cinema Jackie really is.
How does Bey Logan do it? Yet again, a fascinating and good humoured
commentary is provided, saving the otherwise rather limited extras.
It's always a pleasure to listen to Bey waxing lyrical about all
aspects of a production, and especially so on a film of this scale.
pinnacle of Jackie's directorial career, and a genuinely fun film
to boot, HKL's constantly improving DVD technology pays it the respect
it so richly deserves.
The exceptional picture quality is enough to show that Hong Kong
films finally have found their rightful owner in HKL, and also prove
that Miracles really can happen...