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
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 II...well...it 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):
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.