Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection


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Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection
The Masked Reviewer

If you like martial arts (and you know you do) then you've seen Bruce Lee.  Even if you've never seen a Bruce Lee movie (though that's hard to imagine) you've definitely heard of Bruce Lee, at least, as he was one of the biggest icons of the 70's.  He brought martial arts into the mainstream, though he only did a handful of films before dying mysteriously.  Was he assassinated?  Did someone put a curse on him?  Did he have an allergic reaction to marijuana?  The legend lives on.

Bruce Lee only completed one big budget American movie, Enter the Dragon.  If you're expecting to see that film in this ultimate collection, you'll be disappointed.  The films included are The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Game of Death, and Game of Death II

"Hey!" you may exclaim to yourself.  "What about those other movies I remember?  What was it called?"

You may be thinking of Return of the Dragon, which is another title for Way of the Dragon.  That's the one with Chuck Norris at the end.  And The Chinese Connection is another name for...well, one of the other ones.  It's all so confusing.  But, all the Bruce Lee movies are there.  Except, as previously mentioned, Enter the Dragon.

It's nice to have one complete set, and the video quality is a bit better than anything to have come along so far (including other Fox releases and HK Mega and HK Legends editions).  The transfer quality is far from perfect, but definitely an improvement on previous releases.

Sound is good in English DTS 5.t, and different films have options for dub or subtitles.  However, the sound effects were remixed to sometimes (unintentionally) hilarious results.  Way of the Dragon features echoing super-loud nunchaku effects that are just plain goofy.  They tried a bit too hard with the effects dubbing.

The extras are fine, though nothing that's an absolute must-see.  Overall, the Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection is a great edition to the collection of any Bruce Lee fan...the picture improvements, while not dramatic, are worthwhile.  If you don't own any of the films (or you only own Enter the Dragon) then this is something you'll want to pick up.  Sure, not all the films are brilliant all the way through (if at all...ahem, Game of Death II), but there are moments of brilliance definitely worth your attention.

As for Game of Death did include some footage that wasn't used in Game of Death and...well...those of you who want complete collections might be glad to have it someday.

Meta Scores (out of 5):

Movie Average:       4.2

Video Average:      4.0

Audio Average:      3.5

Extras Average:     2.3


DVD Extra Features: Interviews, trailers, a few outtakes.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Bruce Lee seems like he'd be a nice fellow, if he didn't run around bashing people with those sticks.  Oh dear.

The Pros: It's Bruce Lee!  Improved video quality, all (or nearly all) of his films in one place with the best picture to date.

The Cons: Extras aren't hugely awesome.  Sound effects remixes are goofy.



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Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn