Rush Hour 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image came across well.
Overall sharpness worked fine. A few slightly soft elements appeared during interiors, but the majority of the flick appeared accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and neither edge enhancement nor source flaws interfered.
Colors went with the usual teal orientation as well as some amber. These options led to a limited palette but the disc reproduced them well. Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows showed good clarity. In the end, the transfer satisfied.
I thought the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundfield seemed acceptable but not as involving as one might expect. Music received the most attention, as the score spread to all the channels in a satisfying manner. Effects were a less involving element, though – at least in terms of our expectations for a big action flick like this.
The various channels provided a good sense of ambience but didn’t present the life I’d anticipate. They broadened matters to a decent degree but weren’t particularly active or engrossing. This left the soundfield as satisfactory but not memorable.
Audio quality was largely fine, though the mix seemed compressed and loud. I needed to set my volume much lower than usual, and this left the mix as a little lifeless, as it lacked real dynamic range.
I thought music could sound a little dense, and effects appeared somewhat overbearing. Both segments came with reasonable clarity if I got past the loudness, though. Speech also sounded natural and distinctive, so edginess or other problems interfered with the dialogue. The mix was acceptable but not great.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio didn’t show obvious improvements, as the mix’s compression meant the lossless option didn’t give us the range I expected.
On the other hand, the visuals demonstrated a good step up in quality. The image appeared more concise and film-like, so the transfer became a solid improvement.
The Blu-ray duplicates the extras from the DVD, and Disc One includes an audio commentary with director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson. They provide a running, screen-specific chat. The track looks at cast, characters and performances, challenges involved in the third chapter of the series, influences and inspirations, sets and locations, the film’s tone, story and the approach to the material, stunts, music, visual effects, and a few other areas.
If you’ve listened to prior Rush Hour commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here. The chatty Ratner dominates, which is usually a good thing, though his propensity to praise everything he sees gets tedious.
Nonetheless, Ratner also includes a lot of good information and helps flesh out our knowledge of the production. Nathanson throws in some useful notes as well, but this is Ratner’s baby, and he makes it a reasonably interesting and enjoyable session.
In addition to the film’s trailer, Disc One offers the opportunity to screen the Ratner/Nathanson chat as an Enhanced Visual Commentary. While this provides the same discussion found in the audio-only piece, the “Enhanced Visual Commentary” lets us view Ratner and Nathanson via a small inset window.
The piece also adds occasional glimpses of the shoot and storyboards/previz, but the images of Ratner and Nathanson in the studio dominate – and make it a snoozer. While I like the commentary itself, it gains nothing from our ability to watch Ratner and Nathanson talk. Stick to the piece as an audio-only program.
Over on Disc Two, we open with Outtakes. This two-minute, 33-second reel gives us the same kinds of goof-ups found during the end credits. I’m happy it doesn’t just repeat the same clips, but that doesn’t make these particularly funny.
Seven Alternate/Deleted Scenes run a total of seven minutes, 12 seconds. These include “Extended Airplane” (1:34), “Extended Taxi” (0:57), “Extended Elevator” (1:01), “Hotel Hallway” (0:40), “Spotlight Guy: Follies” (0:35), “Extended Eiffel Tower” (1:01) and “Alternate Ending” (1:22).
Most of these give us pretty insubstantial additions to existing scenes, so they don’t contribute much. At least “Hallway” clears up some plot holes, and the “Alternate Ending” allows a prominent character from the second flick to return.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Ratner and Nathanson. They give us some insights into the shooting of the scenes and also let us know why they cut them from the final film. The remarks prove useful.
A documentary called Making Rush Hour 3 lasts one hour, 28 minutes and 11 seconds. It mixes movie clips, shots from the set, and remarks from Ratner, Nathanson, producers Arthur Sarkissian, Jay Stern, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman and Andrew Z. Davis, production designer Edward Verreaux, costume designer Betsy Heimann, director of photography J. Michael Munro, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano, US stunt coordinator Eddie Braun, special effects supervisor Clay Pinney, visual effects supervisor John Bruno, choreographer Marguerite Derricks, editors Mark Helfrich and Don and Dean Zimmerman, sound designer/sound re-recording mixer Tim Chau, composer Lalo Schifrin and actors Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Roman Polanski, Yvan Attal, Julie Depardieu, Noemie Lenoir, Youki Kudoh, Hiroyuki Sanada, Zhang Jingchu, Sun Ming Ming and Tzi Ma.
“Making” looks at the development of the story and staying true to the Rush Hour series, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, cinematography, stunts and various effects, shooting the action sequences, music and choreography, editing and audio, and a few other production elements.
The first 35 minutes or so of “Making” offer fairly superficial thoughts about the film. They include some basics but these come with a lot of praise and fluff, so they can be tedious at times.
Once we get 35 minutes into “Making”, though, matters improve as we get a “scene by scene” take on the flick. That side of things fills about 38 minutes and gives us plenty of good looks at the set.
We learn a lot about the production via these shots and various comments, so they help make the show more involving. Some happy talk still emerges, but at least we learn a lot along the way.
Next comes a two-minute, three-second Visual Effects Reel. It shows elements like digital doubles for actors, 3D models of sets, and comparisons between rough effects and the finished product. It provides a quick but interesting view of these pieces.
Finally, ”Le Rush Hour Trois” Production Diary goes for one hour, five minutes and five seconds. This divides into different segments that all provide “fly on the wall” glimpses of the shoot. I like this kind of material, and we get plenty of fun takes here. There’s nothing remarkable but it’s enjoyable to feel like we’re there on the set.
After six years, the Rush Hour franchise returned with a thud. Rush Hour 3 did passable business but seemed to disappoint on all levels. Anyone who expects great comedy or action from this messy affair probably won’t go home satisfied. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and supplements but the audio seems too compressed. Nonetheless, this becomes a competent release for a flawed film.
To rate this film visit the original review of RUSH HOUR 3