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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Bulgarian
  Extras
  • 2 Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 4 Filmographies

Beverly Hills Ninja

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 85 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Chris Farley is one of those actors that people seem to love or hate. He became popular doing sketches on Saturday Night Live and from there ventured into films with supporting roles in such productions as Wayne's World and Coneheads. He then went on to star in films such as Tommy Boy and Black Sheep with fellow comedian David Spade. His style of slapstick humour, along with his quick wit, made him very popular with cinemagoers. He also used his larger physical size to gain laughs while not offending larger viewers. Sadly he passed away on December 18 1997 from an accidental overdose, having made only one more movie after Beverly Hills Ninja.

Ninja legend has it that that one day a white child will appear to become the Great White Ninja. After a shipwreck a basket containing a white baby is washed ashore and discovered by the ninja clan. He is adopted by them, named Haru and is assumed to be the ninja from the legend. The problem is that Haru is very lacking in the ninja department. He resembles a sumo wrestler more than a ninja and has the balance and grace of a bull in a China shop. His adopted big brother Gobei is a true ninja and duly receives the medallion for being the best ninja at graduation, Haru does not graduate.

"The blackness of my belt is like the inside of a coffin on a moonless night."

One day a stunning American woman (Sheridan) comes looking for help. She is seeking a skilled ninja to track her boyfriend and confirm that he is up to no good. Haru is the only one home when she calls and he accepts the mission. Through some fumbling he discovers that the boyfriend is indeed up to no good, as he is involved with counterfeiting. The beautiful woman disappears but Haru thinks she still needs him, he must follow her to the hills of Beverly and come to her rescue. Once there Haru enlists the help of hotel worker (Chris Rock) and sets about locating the woman and saving her from her evil boyfriend.

"Holy Shinto!"

Now I must admit I do like Chris Farley and find him to be quite amusing in this role. His physical humour is quite infectious and this role certainly calls for a lot of physical humour. On the other hand, I am not a fan of Chris Rock but due to him only being a supporting character here his appearance is not as annoying as usual. Nicollette Sheridan (Knots Landing) is very good in her role, but I doubt it was a great stretch for her.

This film is light, does not challenge the viewer and is just a bit of fun. The plot may be a little predictable, but the humour is what this film is about and there are plenty of laughs. Those that dislike Farley may not find so much to laugh about, but most should enjoy. The supporting music is also very good. There is a mix of Japanese or martial arts influenced songs such as Kung Fu Fighting and Turning Japanese and you canít help but sing along. There is one thing for Big Brother fans to look out for, during the bar scene where Haru is up on stage, we discover where the infamous Sara-Marie bum dance originated...

This film is worth a rental, but with such a low recommended retail price, is really worth adding to the collection for those nights when you need a no-brainer fun film.

  Video
Contract

Beverly Hills Ninja is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 for widescreens. Picture is sharp throughout with very few faults. Colours are true and blacks are deep with good detail overall. Grain is very rarely seen, as is aliasing. There are some film artefacts, but these cause very little distraction and are of an acceptable level. There is an absolute ton of subtitles to cover almost every language and the English ones viewed are true to what is said on screen. There is no layer change on this single layer disc.

  Audio
Contract

Audio supplied is a choice of English, French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1. The English one listened to is very good while being nothing spectacular. Dialogue is clear at all times with no synch problems. Sound is kept primarily across the front speakers with the rears being used for some directional effects and for music ambience. The subwoofer is reasonably silent throughout and is only called into action for some of the music and during explosions. Overall the sound is very good and does its job well.

  Extras
Contract

Extras supplied with this release include a Theatrical Trailer for Beverly Hills Ninja plus Teaser Trailers for Roughnecks 2: Starship Troopers Chronicles Ė The Tesca Campaign and The Karate Kid. There is also a series of Filmographies for director Dennis Dugan, Chris Farley, Nicollette Sheridan and Chris Rock.

  Overall  
Contract

Overall this is a fun film with some good laughs. The video and audio are good, but it is a bit light on with extras. If you are not a fan of Chris Farley then you may not enjoy this, but most will get some pleasure from it. This film is definitely worth a look or a revisit for those that havenít seen it for a few years.


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      And I quote...
    "The late Chris Farley is the Master of Disaster in one of his funnier roles."
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS305
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DE685
    • Speakers:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SAVE815ED
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SAVE815ED
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