PictureJump comes presented with a solid 1080p High Definition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen (and not, as stated on the cover, 2.4:1). Detail is generally very good throughout, although the image does display softness, variable grain levels and some digital issues (like edge enhancement/haloing). Probably as a result of the budget, the picture fails to remain pristine throughout, varying massively (particularly during the numerous montage sequences) from almost camcorder-quality to proper studio-lit High Def shots. The colour scheme is generally good, skin tones consistent and the colour range extending massively when the dancers are in the studio. Black levels are solid and overall this is a perfectly acceptable presentation for the material, just perhaps not one that stands out in any way on the format.
SoundOn the aural front we get three solid mixes, a Mandarin DTS-HD 5.1 flavour, and two standard DTS dubs in Thai and Cantonese. There really is no choice here for those who don't speak any of the three, if you want the most technically sound mix then you go for the Mandarin in High Def DTS. The trouble comes where you want to avoid lip synch issues. If you don't want to watch a dubbed version of the movie then you've got a slight problem. All of the tracks are dubbed. Whilst this is a Hong Kong movie, and you would thus probably expect it to be in Cantonese, some of the cast - most notable the lead actress, only speak Mandarin. So you either watch the Mandarin version, where her lips synch but some of the others don't, or the Cantonese version, where many of the supporting roles fit but the lead actress's voice does not match up. Insane. We're not still in the 60s doing a Sergio Leone film with only one guy who speaks English, so what's the big deal? Why can't they get tracks right on Asian releases? (every other film I pick up to review has these sort of issues) And surely it would make sense in a Musical to make more effort to have the dialogue correct?? Sigh.
The track itself is pretty good, as you would probably only expect from a modern musical movie, and it is a loud and boisterous, comically-embracing mix that adds to the silliness of the proceedings, but in a way that fans would probably appreciate. The dialogue is presented clearly across the centre and fronts, the effects (this is a Stephen Chow film after all) getting some keen presentation too, offering up some nice dynamic range. The music is, of course, the highlight, and gets presented as such on the track. Every one of the many song numbers performed, and even the cheesy score, invigorates the film, bringing your living room to life (in a High School Musical kind of way). Bass is also present as well - sure there aren't any explosions, but the mix still has some nice depth to it nonetheless. We get coherent and accurate, as far as can be discerned, subtitles to accompany the dialogue too.
ExtrasThere are no extras whatsoever on the disc, not even a trailer.
VerdictJump gives a bad name to dance-movies. And they don't have a great reputation to begin with. There is no requirement for decent plots, dialogue, characters or performances. All they really seem to need is a bit of energy, some style, some good dance sequences and a couple of likeable actors. The lead here just about lives up to her end of the bargain, but the rest of the movie falls apart with its low-budget, poor dubbing, random humour, generally lacklustre cast and - worst of all - disappointing dance elements. Perhaps I'm expecting too much to think that somebody could add a quality movie to the inexplicably growing sub-genre, but surely it wasn't too much to ask for them to at least get the dancing bit right? On Blu-ray we get a very fluctuating video presentation that really isn't consistent enough to call good, and a couple of decent audio tracks which are both shamefully marred by the fact that they are both dubbed. No extras round off a disc that really isn't going to attract many customers. Those dance rom-com fans out there actually could do better than this, which is a shock to admit, so I'd only really consider a rental if you've exhausted all the others out there.
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