The Young Master: Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray review

The Young Master: Deluxe Limited Edition, 88 Films, Region B BD, £25

Movie: Following his directorial debut with 1979’s The Fearless Hyena, Jackie Chan really began laying the groundwork for the sort of films that he wanted to make with 1980's The Young Master, which made an obvious shift towards death-defying stunts and peppered its fight scenes with inventive use of props.

As dazzling and important in martial arts history as The Young Master is, however, it’s not without some issues. The story is shockingly threadbare, and Chan’s growing confidence as a director sees him going overboard with crash zooms in places. Meanwhile, the final 17-minute showdown between Chan and Hwang In-Shik remains an endurance test for even the most dedicated fan. A scrappy film, then, but enjoyable all the same.
Movie rating: 3.5/5

Picture: Restored in 2K from the original 35mm camera negatives, The Young Master’s new 2.35:1 Blu-ray transfer is a tangible step up in quality over previous releases. There's an enhanced clarity and stability to the 1080p imagery that means previously unnoticed picture information in the backgrounds of wide shots becomes apparent, as do the fine details of facial close-ups. Contrast is generally strong, resulting in deep black levels – although the colour palette does look a tad flat in some sequences.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Once again, 88 Films spoils us for choice when it comes to meticulously restored audio options. The film's 'Hong Kong Theatrical Cut’ carries no less than four soundtracks – an LPCM 2.0 dual-mono presentation of the original Cantonese; an LPCM 2.0 dual-mono presentation of the alternate Cantonese ‘home video’ mix; an exclusive LPCM 2.0 dual-mono ‘hybrid’ track that mixes the original Cantonese-language dialogue with the alternate music score from the film’s original export release; and a DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix of the English dub. Meanwhile, both the ‘International Export Cut’ and ‘Extended Export Cut’ feature an LPCM 2.0 dual-mono English dub with alternate music.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: In addition to those three different cuts of the film (which vary in length from 91 to 106 minutes), this double-disc Blu-ray is loaded with extras. An obvious place to start is the new commentary track by genre expert Brandon Bentley, before digging into an appreciation of the film, a look at its editing, reconstructed extended fight sequences, rare deleted/extended scenes, archival interviews, outtakes, trailers, and alternate audio cues. It also ships with a double-sided poster, six replica lobby cards and an 80-page booklet.
Extras rating: 5/5


We say: A brilliant release for a template-setting Jackie Chan flick.

The Young Master: Deluxe Limited Edition, 88 Films, Region B BD, £25