For more information, or to buy the DVD, please visit the official Dragon Dynasty site.
After a couple of covers from Dragon Dynasty that looked like bad student Photoshop entries, Protege's looks very nice. For those of you keeping score at home and are totally anal about these sorts of things, Dragon Dynasty seems to be now forgoing cardboard sleeves and cases with the two snaps. If it saves Dragon Dynasty a few bucks, but still allows them to make packaging that doesn't look like it belongs in the bargain bin, then I'm all for it.
The menus are nicely designed, favoring the dark tone of the movie, and are easy enough to navigate around. Like most of Dragon Dynasty's recent releases, trailers for their versions of The Rebel and Fist of Legend automatically play when you load up the disc, but they can be skipped though.
Dragon Dynasty seems to have used the same source material from the Hong Kong DVD, which was put out by Deltamac. The picture has been improved somewhat, mostly in the area of color saturation and dark tones, but it's a toss up as to which version is better in the picture department, since the Deltamac version seems to have a bit of a sharper image.
Audio-wise, both the Dragon Dynasty and Deltamac versions share a Cantonese language track, which is presented in Dolby 5.1. This isn't the sort of film that's going to give your speakers a workout, so the sound mix is satisfying enough for what it is. Dragon Dynasty's version loses the Cantonese DTS and Mandarin-dubbed tracks of Delamac's edition, instead going with a English Dolby 5.1 track that is surprisingly good for a dubbing job.
The subtitles can be viewed in English, English closed captioning, or Spanish. They're not dubtitles, and are clear, clean, and easy to read, sporting a slightly different translation and better grammar than those found on the Deltamac version.
Commentary with Bey Logan: One would think that since the film's star, Daniel Wu, is a native English speaker, he'd be a perfect fit for a commentary, but alas, once again we have Bey Logan doing the task. If you've seen a Dragon Dynasty DVD before, then you know what to expect here. Logan is excellent at pointing out stuff like the locations used in filming and names of the supporting cast, but he does come off as dry at points. He even repeats the same sentiments several times (such as saying some of the locations look like sets) which leads me to feel that he was a bit bored with the proceedings.
Interviews: Three interviews are contained here, with stars Daniel Wu and Zhang Jing Chu, as well as producer Peter Chan. Zhang's English isn't fluent, but she does go above what many Chinese actresses will talk about in interviews, especially when it comes to the subject of her love scene with Daniel Wu. Sit-downs with producers are very rarely seen for Hong Kong movies, and so Chan's interview will be of particular note for fans of the genre. But the crown jewel of the set -- and the DVD as a whole -- is Daniel Wu's time in front of Dragon Dynasty's cameras. Running for around a half-hour, Wu's interview presents himself as an actor who is extremely knowledgable about the process, offering some nice insights, not just into the making of Protege, but the Hong Kong film industry as a whole -- which makes the fact that he isn't on the commentary all that more puzzling.
The Making of "Protege": Running about fifteen minutes, this is pretty much your standard shot-for-DVD promo piece, with the actors and director participating in news junket-style "interviews" where they basically gush about how this movie was tough to make because it deals so frankly about the subject of drug running in Hong Kong. Like most extras of this type, it comes off as the filler that it is, and will probably only really be enjoyed by die-hard fans only.
Trailer: It's the original Cantonese trailer. 'Nuff said. It's a good addition, something sorely lacking on many Dragon Dynasty releases -- though it would have been nice to have the alternate trailers present on the Deltamac disc included as well.