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Ultimate Fights
FlixMix Volume 2

review by Zach B.

 

 

Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 54 minutes

Studio: Universal

Retail Price: $19.95

Features: Audio Commentary with Directo/Producer Tsui Hark, Audio Commentary with Fight Master James Lew, Ultimate Rumble Techno Mix, "Behind The Punches" Featurette, Fight Cards/Fight Master, Fighter Profiles, Name That Frame, My Top 5, Theatrical Trailers. DVD-ROM: Downloadable Fight Sounds, Skullcrusher Trivia Game

Specs: Various Aspect Ratios, Processed English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selections (18 Scenes)

Released: April 16th, 2002

 

 

Screw classic films, screw masterpieces, screw character dramas and screw all other type of films. Okay, so I happen to enjoy those. But when you're watching an action movie and want mindless entertainment that's just fun for a great escape, you want to see a good bout. You want to be on the edge of your seat, see gore, see people die, see fists, see weapons and just see something that drives up your feelings of excitment. Cheer on the good guys, cheer on the bad guys and basically just have a good time.

Okay, so action films with all that stuff aren't for everybody. Basically, if you're the target demographic male with a lot of testosterone, you probably get a kick out of fight scenes in films (of course, I know a lot of females who do too). So in a very good move, and after the success of FlixMix's first DVD outing dealing with some of the best horror scenes in movies, they're back with the best fight scenes (a natural progression for their demographic, I'd say) in movies. Here, you have some well known and not so well known films with awesome fight scenes. Swordplay, fists, guns... a whole wide array of nice clips. Universal has gotten the rights to a good amount and quality clips. The films included on this release are "Rumble In The Bronx," "Blade," "Fist Of Legend," Snatch, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, "Scarface," "Legend Of Drunken Master," "Crossing The Line, "The Player's Club," Gladiator, "Timecop," "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," "They Live," "Black Mask," "First Blood" and "The Killer."

It basically comes down if you like action scenes or not. If you do, and know when you watch a movie again and skip straight to them, then this DVD is perfect for you. But if you just want some mindless entertainment and want to watch key action scenes over and over again, something you can pop in when your friends are over and enjoy anytime you want (this is probably something you'd never get tired of, a lot of the clips here are great and are fun to watch over and over again), then "Ultimate Fights" is still worth checking out.

 

"Ultimate Fights," naturally consists of all those different movies and is presented in a variety of different aspect ratios. Clips are either in non-anamorphic widescreen or full frame. The quality varies. Some prints of the films look clean, others have blemishes, scratches and pieces of dirt. Still, there is some grain on most clips, but in total, everything looks really nice and rather sharp. Colors are well saturated and detail in most of the clips are also quite nice.

 

There is an English Dolby Surround track and a processed 5.1 Dolby Digital mix in English. The Dolby Surround mix is straight forward, while the 5.1 mix is better. Still, I must admit I found the 5.1 mix a little disappointing. Obviously, the original sound elements weren't taken to make their own mixes and all, so I believe a straight forward master was taken to give the whole "processed" effect. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice surround effects in all the clips through the kicks, gun shots, falls and bashes dealing with the sets and what's used, but it just doesn't sound as natural as one might expect. Also included are English subtitles, Spanish subtitles and French subtitles.

 

Wow, "Ultimate Fights" is rather loaded with some awesome supplements that really add more depth and fun to this release. We have two audio commentaries. The first Audio Commentary with Directo/Producer Tsui Hark. I'm a fan of Hark's work (check out Time and Tide if you've never seen it), and he was a great choice to talk throughout the series of clips. Hark has the most to say about his own films that he was involved in and offers very nice insight on the fight sequences in "Black Mask" and "The Killer," but for everything else, he offers nice things to say about the fights and the films themselves. Hark talks about their influences, his views on them and what they bring to the action genre. Overall, solid stuff.

The second Audio Commentary with Fight Master James Lew is quite good. Lew is a longtime and famous stuntman, and for each clip, he talks about why he likes each scene, fight techniques used and why things are pulled off well. Lew brings nice perspective here so fight fans should be pleased.

The Behind The Punches featurette lasts nearly ten minutes, and is quite neat. Here, Lew guides the viewer through creating their own movie fight. He focuses a little on each thing, but just enough so you can get a good sense of what you're doing ever happen to stage your own film fight. He talks about punches, technique, sound effects, makeup, camera techniques and a few more tidbits, and then two other stunt guys show what Lew talks about in action. Jean Claude Van Damme also chimes in briefly from time to time on what he does during a fight scene. This is quite a solid watch.

The Fight Cards/Fight Master screens are pretty neat. Each "Fight Card" gives stats on the fight shown with a one line summary, the characters names and relevant information. From here, we can access Lew's commentary as well. Under Fighter Profiles, we get seveal biographies on actors and their fight experience. These bios are really informative. Also, there's a game. Name That Frame has a frame from a movie pop out and you choose from a list which it is.

Another audio track is available, the Ultimate Rumble Techno Mix. This is pretty sweet. No dialogue or noises, just great techno music at a strong beat to go along with each fight. My Top 5 has you choosing any one of the clips in your own order, while there are a bevy of Theatrical Trailers... ten trailers, and each trailer is a film featured on the DVD.

On the DVD-ROM side, we have some nifty goodies. There's a trvia game, downloadable sounds you can add to your own film fight scenes and more.

 

"Ultimate Fights" is a solid release really worth checking out. If you like movie fights, then this is for you. The presentation is pretty decent, but the key thing here is having all these fights in one nice collection with some rather strong supplementary material. It's also priced nicely, so this is a no-brainer to pick up if you love action.