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Bruce Lee: Ultimate DVD Collection review

posted Feb 16, 2013, 6:23 AM by Vu Sleeper

April 15, 2004
Fortune Star
Although Bruce Lee starred in countless Hong Kong pictures when he was a child, and then transitioned into television, he's only really made four movies between 1971 and 1972. Granted, they are four spectacular movies, and one could only imagine what his future movies would've been like if he had not died in 1973.

You can get various Bruce Lee boxsets in the world, but I ended up buying the Fortune Star/Golden Harvest set because it was remastered and came with a bonus disc, a booklet, and six movies: The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), Way of the Dragon (1972), Game of Death (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973) and Game of Death II (1981). 

You can find a US version of this boxset that includes all the movies except for Enter the Dragon (which is owned by Warner Brothers and available on Blu-Ray and various formats). I've seen this set at Walmart for cheap, like $10… if I see it again for that price, I will likely pick it up because I wouldn't mind having the English dub.

Having said that, the Region 3 boxset does not include English tracks (except for Enter the Dragon and Game of Death because they were English productions). The other movies do include English subtitles, so you can still enjoy the films if you don't speak Chinese.

Based on the lineup, you can probably toss out Game of Death and Game of Death II, since I don't really consider the first film an actual finished product - while Game of Death II was clearly just a money grabber. If you didn't know, during the filming of Game of Death, Lee died so the movie was later re-cut and edited with another actor. It's simply awful. Most of the fight sequences are Bruce Lee, so for completists, Game of Death is a must-have.

While Fist of Fury (known as The Chinese Connection in the USA) is probably more famous in Hong Kong, considering that there was a sequel (New Fist of Fury), and several remakes, including a Jet Li version (called Fist of Legend) and a Donnie Yen version (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen).

My favorite movie in the set is Way of the Dragon (it's re-titled as Return of the Dragon in the USA because it was released after Enter the Dragon and they wanted to capitalized on the hit film). What set this movie apart from Lo Wei's previous, more dramatic movies, is that Way of the Dragon was written, directed, and starred Bruce Lee. You can tell right away that this was a different Bruce Lee film. Set in Italy, a nice nod to spaghetti westerns, and included "comedy" that lighten the mood.

Anyway, I'm sure all of you already own these films on one format or another. I personally would love to see a deluxe edition in Blu-Ray for these the "trilogy": The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, and Way of the Dragon. I believe all these films are available in Blu-Ray in the Asian market.