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Bodyguard from Beijing (中南海保鑣), aka 'The Defender', Film Whisperer ultimate package
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Bodyguard from Beijing, Film Whisperer ultimate package

If you're interested in other projects of mine (which I posted on this website), please click on the link in my signature! It's just a harmless TXT file which lists everything and gives you links you can copy & paste into your browser
WTF is this film?
Bodyguard from Beijing is one of Jet Li's less famous films, but is worth having in your collection if you're a martial arts/HK film fan and/or a Jet Li Fan. It takes place in the "modern day" (1994). And the action in this film is much more "gun fu" heavy than martial arts heavy (without the John Woo slo-mo). No "wire fu", except during the climactic fight scene between Jet Li and Coliin Chou/Ngai Sing. They obviously didn't think we could see the wire  Big Grin

Synopsis
Jet Li plays Hui Ching-yeung, a bodyguard from Beijing (who I guess is part of the Chinese army? I dunno Confused ). Ching is tasked with protecting Michelle Yeung (Christy Chung), the girlfriend of a rich businessman James Song Sai-cheung (Ng Wai-kwok). Michelle is the last surviving witness of a murder by assassin Chiu Kwok-man (Wong Kam-Kong), in a case involving more than $10 billion (HK) of insider-trading.

Ching arrives at James' mansion, and his strict rules cause him to immediately butt heads with Michelle's loyal HK bodyguards Charlie Leung Kam-po (aka "Fat Po", played by Kent Cheng) and Keung (Joey Leung). He puts tight restrictions on Michelle's movements and whereabouts, and Michelle cannot stand it.

Then yada-yada, Ching protects Michelle from a bunch of killers, yada yada, she begins to fall in love with Ching. They even almost have sex but Ching wimps out. Ching eventually dies protecting her from the deadly assassin Killer Wong (played by Collin Chou/Ngai Sing), but not before leaving Michelle and "Fat Po" with a little something special to remember him by.

Versions

Miramax/Dimension
This film was of course one of many to be altered by Saint Harvey Weinstein. It was given a new stupid title ("The Defender"), along with a new dub, score, and sound effects. Only about 2 minutes were cut, and most of the cuts appeared to be for violence-based censorship. However, the movie was never released in theaters in North America and was still given an R rating.

You can read/see more about it here.

Export version (via VCD)
Someone online was kind enough to share a VCD from a distributor called "Diskovery". It ran at the PAL speed and frame-rate, and it contained an export dub which kept the original score and sound effects. This version actually cuts out A LOT more footage than Miramax did, although none of them appear to be for violence-based censorship (almost all of what was cut from Miramax remains in this version) Instead, a lot of the cuts seem to be for pacing, and eliminating conversations about the upcoming retrocession (this movie came out in 1994, when Hong Kong was still a British colony, but the scheduled retrocession was 3 years away and is a topic of conversation between some of the films' characters).

The VCD, when converted to the HD frame rate and speed, runs at about 1:15:34 (credits included). My reconstruction runs at 1:32:43 (credits included).

I honestly do not know if this is the ACTUAL export version of the film, or if these cuts were made by the distributor "Diskovery". Is there anyone who knows if this is the truth?

Do you have a longer or uncut "export version" of the film with the export dub? If so, please tell me (and share)!

My Sources
Visually, I used two sources
  1. The Dragon Dynasty DVD (part of a Jet Li 4-pack), which has the Miramax version. This version was anamorphic remastered, with a little bit of film dust and scratches, but nonetheless a solid print. This version had the best look overall in terms of coloration and sharpness.
  2. The French DVD from Metropolitan. This was version was uncut and anamorphic. However, colors were quite ugly, and some scenes aren't lit very well. Nonetheless, I had to use it for the scenes cut by Miramax.

The audio for the Cantonese mono track is superior on the French DVD, so I used that for the original track

Specs
  • File type: MKV
  • Size: about 7GB
  • frame rate and speed: 23.976fps
  • Resolution: NTSC DVD (720 x 480)

Audio
  1. Cantonese mono, 2.0 LPCM (Metropolitan DVD)
  2. English hybrid, Miramax-majority dub sync. This is a "hybrid" dub, with an attempt to use the Miramax dub as much as possible while using the Export dub from the Diskovery VCD to fill in for spots missing from the Miramax version. I often had to loop music in places where the Miramax dub was just totally wrong  Big Grin ! Or I would just use the export dub even if Miramax didn't have anything missing there.
  3. English hybrid, Export-majority dub sync. This is also a "hybrid dub", with an attempt to use the export dub as much as possible. However, the Miramax dub had to be used A LOT, given how much shorter the export version is (on the Diskovery VCD)
  4. French dub, 5.1 Dolby Digital. This dub is not part of the MKV and must be downloaded separately.

Subtitles
All subtitle options come with a "no bi-lingual option", to avoid having bi-lingual English/Chinese lyrics when the theme song plays
  1. English for Cantonese track.
  2. English for "hybrid" Miramax dub majority
  3. English for "hybrid" export dub majority

Anyways, ENJOY!
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CashApp: $FilmWhisperer
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Thanks given by: stwd4nder2 , PDB , DanTheMan2150AD


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