WHEALS ON MEALS blu-ray review

Hong Kong Region A blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 1.85:1

Cantonese: Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Subtitles: English, Mandarin








The most interesting positive aspect about Wheels On Meals is that it’s very similar to the style of a typical French comedy film from the early 1980s starring the likes of Gerard Depardieu, Christian Clavier, or Pierre Richard – but one of the fair ones, not great ones. But other than that, Wheels On Meals is no classic. It’s just a good, not great, film starring the talented Chan, Biao, and Hung. I like that it’s got the pace and style of a European comedy from the 80s, but I would have preferred that the action be spread out evenly during the film instead of saving most of the action towards the end. Eventhough the film is generally entertaining, the majority of the film sort of drags till it reaches its action-packed finale. I was hoping that the comedy element would tide me over till the climax but even the usually funny Chan and Hung are pretty tame in this film. I probably laughed out loud three times during the whole film. Im not saying that the rest of the comic elements were not funny, I just thought it was pretty tame from what one would usually expect from a funny Chan or Hung film. The final action scenes are pretty amazing but I just was sort of tired by the time I got to that point. Another cool aspect about the film was that it was filmed in Spain. My favorite old Hong Kong films are the ones that take place in exotic countries, so it was nice to see the streets of Spain. Another big plus was casting the Spanish Lola Forner, who is as hot as a Bond girl. If the comedy doesnt grab your attention, then Forner will!

I really liked this blu-ray though considering Fortune Star’s past blu-rays of old films. It was generally just a positive experience watching this film because the video was totally clean and colorful. I wasn’t distracted by anything negative – positive video quality, non problematic audio, and here comes the big plus – almost perfect English subtitles! I don’t know how the previous dvd was, but if you dont have the dvd, this blu-ray is just a great way of enjoying this film regardless if it looks like an upconverted dvd or real HD. I’m a bit stricter grading Fortune Star blu-rays nowadays, but if I wasnt that strict, I would have given the video a 4 out of a 5. Of all the 1:85.1 Fortune Star blu-rays, I’m most impressed with the video on this one. The audio is like a 1.1 Dts-HD soundtrack with the subwoofer really kicking in with the big punches.  The extras include a Sammo Hung interview (in English), a Yuen Biao interview (in Cantonese without subtitles) and a trailer.

Wheels on Meals is a solid entertainer with a very pleasing blu-ray. I would recommend only to fans of Chan, Hung, and Biao and fans of movies filmed in Europe!

WHATEVER LOLA WANTS blu-ray review

Taiwan Region A blu-ray

1080i Widescreen 2.35:1

English: LPCM 5.1, DTS-HD HR 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English


MOVIE: 8.5






Whatever Lola Wants is an excellent French-produced, Moroccan-directed English-language film, starring the very underrated Laura Ramsey (most would know her from The Ruins or Middle Men) and a whole slew of great Arabic actors. This 8-million dollar film is like an epic indie film. One can tell that it’s an independent film, but it’s extremely ambitious and if it wasn’t for its group of unknown actors, it would seem like a very good blockbuster film starring someone like Amy Adams. Whatever Lola Wants is basically a good sports movie – A Brooklyn dancer is tired of her life and job in NYC and moves to Cairo, Egypt where she trains under the wing of a former famous Egyptian belly dancer. And the other story is about how different cultures handle each other – both are great interesting stories. The direction by Nabil Ayouch is really good and the Arabic actors (once she gets to Egypt) are excellent. Laura Ramsey is not a great actress, but she has tons of potential. This is one of those films where she would do better if she was improvising. The way she delivers her lines is almost like she was told that she has to stick to the script, but behind her eyes, she is a good actress, especially when she is dancing or emoting with her eyes. The best way I can describe her is that she is sort of like a combination of Jenna Elfman, Renee Zellweger, and Isla Fisher – in looks and acting style. And she is extremely hot and attractive with a great face and perfect shapely body. And she has an unbelievable amount of energy that makes her really likable. As a person from Brooklyn, I was pleased that they actually filmed in cool parts of Brooklyn (Dumbo and Williamsburgh) that we don’t often see when movies take place in NYC, all the apartments were furnished really nice, and the street scenes of Cairo make one want to visit Cairo.

Whatever Lola Wants is a totally touching and feel-good film. If this was a Hollywood blockbuster, it probably would get criticism for being a typical dramedy romantic film. But this film is not that. It’s a European film in the English language. And it’s more unique because of the Arabic flavor and showing the traditions and pop culture of Egypt. I don’t even know if it ever played in the USA, but it does feel like one of those nice light-hearted indie films that get a good word of mouth (a la Kissing Jessica Stein, Chasing Amy, Brothers McMullen, or Big Fat Greek Wedding).

There is so much eye and ear candy in this film as well: hot Laura Ramsey, hot Lebanese milf Carmen Lebbos (a la Monica Bellucci or Sophia Loren), sexy belly dancing, awesome music, flattering cinematography of New York City, Brooklyn, and Egypt, and so on.

The Taiwanese Region-Free blu-ray is excellent quality. Don’t get discouraged that it’s only 1080i – the 2:35.1 video quality is just beautiful. Great popping colors, crisp, good blacks, totally problem-free. The audio is excellent as well, just make sure to listen to the right audio which is the English: LPCM 5.1 track (which it automatically starts at). Do NOT listen to the DTS-HD 5.1 track which is totally messed up – it sounds like listening to something in an echo-filled tunnel. The LPCM 5.1 track rocks – clear audio and the music just wants you to get up and dance. This is a really excellent blu-ray. There are no extras. There are also Chinese and English subtitles. Please note that there are some scenes of just Arabic spoken, which is when you will have to manually turn on the English subtitles to see what they are saying. When watching this blu-ray, watch the NYC scenes without the English subs and then turn on the English subs when Laura Ramsey moves to Egypt.

The blu-ray also comes with a slip-cover.

Overall, this movie is an underrated gem and a total steal for 7 bucks on Taiwanese blu-ray. Whatever Lola Wants comes highly recommended!