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Bruce Lee 'enters' 40th anniversary

Classic martial arts flick gets ultimate collector's edition.

June 26, 2013|By Andy Klein
  • Bruce Lee as himself in "Enter the Dragon."
Bruce Lee as himself in "Enter the Dragon." (Courtesy of Warner…)

Amazingly, it's been 40 years since Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" demonstrated the cross-cultural appeal of martial arts movies. (To give credit where it's due: "King Boxer," aka "5 Fingers of Death," with Lo Lieh, came out four months earlier in the U.S. and was a small hit.)

Lee started as a child actor in Hong Kong films, moved to America, and made a big impression on TV in both "The Green Hornet" and "Longstreet." He returned to Hong Kong to shoot "The Big Boss" and immediately became the colony's foremost star. Finally, Warner Bros. cleverly saw the potential of making a Lee vehicle, on a relatively small budget, directed primarily to American audiences. The rest, as they say, is history.

Warner Home Entertainment has released "Enter the Dragon" several times on DVD and once before on Blu-ray. This "Ultimate Collector's Edition" seems to have the same nice sharp transfer that was used in the earlier Blu-ray. There are a few new supplements, totaling about 50 minutes. The rest of the material, which adds up to about 2 1/2 hours, has been harvested from earlier editions and dates from the late nineties, including the feature-length "Curse of the Dragon." Among the old material, there is also a commentary track from producer Paul Heller. Sadly, missing in action is "A Warrior's Journey," another feature-length documentary that appears on the original Blu-ray.

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If you already have the older Blu-ray, buying this one (particularly at a $49.99 list price) will be a tossup, unless you're a big fan of geegaws and tchotchkes. The sturdy slipcase includes photo cards, a sew-on patch, and some other stuff.

"Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" (Warner Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, $49.99)

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ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on "FilmWeek" on KPCC-FM (89.3).

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