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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Once Upon A Time In China III
Genre: Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 53 (Oct 2001) Of Widescreen Review®

Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan & Rosamund Kwan

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 2
DD Sound Rating: 3
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3
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Special Features
Includes a 108-minute English-dubbed edition, filmographies and bonus trailers.

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 05674
(MPAA Rating): R
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $24.95
(DVD Type): Single Side, Dual Layer (DVD9)
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 112
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 1993
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 07/17/01
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Tsui Hark
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Once Upon A Time In China III, justice seeker, defender of the poor, and upholder of Chinese tradition, Dr. Wong Fei-Hung (Li) and his sidekick arrive in Peking just in time for a Lion King martial arts competition. The doctor's father is known for delivering the best Lion King, but is caught up in a rivalry with the local gangs. However, they had not counted on Wong

DVD Picture:
Once again, the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD exhibits smeared, hazy image quality, with little detail or clarity. Pixelization and shimmering details create even more distraction. Colors are muted and wanting in true saturation. Contrast seems low and shadow delineation is wanting. Edge enhancement creates ghostly halos around images. Dirt and artifacts from the source element are revealed. (Suzanne Hodges)

Similar to the second installment, the two Dolby Digital 5.1-channel remastered soundtracks sound imbalanced between the frontal and surround soundstages, with the surrounds carrying much of what would conventionally be carried by the screen channels, rather than ambience. For whatever reason, the Mandarin language version sounds slightly louder and has more sparkle than the version in Cantonese. The sense of spatial coherence is compromised, due to the surrounds seeming to duplicate content in the front channels. Nonetheless, this is a spatially active soundtrack, and there is some noticeable low-end content with some .1 LFE activity. The dubbing quality of either language version is poor. This production certainly has its rough edges. (Perry Sun)