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Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Movie Release Year: 1971
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits - Criterion Collection

Review Date August 4th, 2020 by
Overview -

Criterion gives the world Bruce Lee: The Hits, a new seven-disc Blu-ray set that features six Bruce Lee films, including, The Big Boss, Fists of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, Game of Death, Game of Death II, and a seventh film that is the special edition of Enter the Dragon. All films have brand new 1080p HD transfers where most were sourced from a 4K transfer, along with all the original audio tracks and one new DTS-HD 5.1 mix. There are over 650 minutes of new and old bonus material to boot as well. MUST-OWN!

OVERALL
Must Own
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: 7 Blu-ray Discs
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:506
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):2.35:1
    2.30:1
    English Descriptive Audio: Mandarin: LPCM Mono
    English: LPCM Mono
    Cantonese: Dolby Digital Mono
    Mandarin: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions: English
    Special Features: • 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks
    • New 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack
    • 2K digital restoration of the 102-minute “special-edition” version of Enter the Dragon
    • Alternate audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon
    • Six audio commentaries: on The Big Boss by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon by Hong Kong–film expert Mike Leeder; and on the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon by producer Paul Heller
    • High-definition presentation of Game of Death II, the 1981 sequel to Game of Death
    • Game of Death Redux, a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage, produced by Alan Canvan
    • New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly
    • New interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee
    • New program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge
    • New interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers
    • Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon
    • Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998)
    • Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah, and Simon Yam and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung, and Wong Jing
    • Promotional materials
    • New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Jeff Chang THE BIG BOSS Enter a legend.
    Movie Studio: The Criterion Collection
    Release Date: July 14th, 2020

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4 Stars out of 5

The Big Boss

The Big Boss originally titled Fists of Fury is Bruce Lee's first major film debut, which doesn't necessarily have all the Bruce Lee action that one expects from the martial arts legend. In fact, it takes more than half the film to have Bruce display his master skills in taking out the bad guys with ease. Also, this being his first film, Lee seemed a bit nervous on screen and didn't quite own every moment with that charisma and confidence that he exuded in later movies. But everyone has to break their first board, right?

This 1971 film centers around a man named Cheng (Bruce Lee), who moves to Thailand to live with his uncle. Cheng gets a job at an ice factory, but when one of the blocks of ice falls to the ground and shatters, drugs are found inside. Needless to say, the ice factory is just a front for a major drug trafficking organization, which is run by "The Big Boss", commonly known as Hsiao Mi (Han Ying Chieh). Cheng is mostly unaware of this as well as several co-workers who "mysteriously" disappear after questioning the drugs.

After an employee strike, more people turn up dead, including some of Cheng's family members, sending Cheng off the deep end, realizing he must take down the whole operation, thus finally witnessing the almighty power of Bruce Lee himself. This is a rough film where Lee nor the director really knew what they wanted to accomplish but just went with the flow. It's a troubling piece but is a historic moment for Lee into a giant Hollywood frenzy of fame, money, and power.

Fist Of Fury

One year after The Big Boss was released, Fist of Fury, otherwise called The Chinese Connection was shown to the world and instantly shot Bruce Lee to his deserved super-stardom. Even 12 months later, this film was leaps and bounds better than his previous outing that had Lee losing his mind constantly throughout the movie and destroying everyone in his path. Originally titled The Chinese Connection, with hopes that it would do similar business to The French Connection, this action-packed and brutally violent film, follows Chen (Bruce Lee), who returns to his old martial arts school in preparation to marry his bride-to-be.

He learns that his old master has suddenly died of a mysterious illness and at his funeral, a rival Japanese martial arts school shows up and begins mocking and taunting Chen, his deceased master, and everyone in attendance. Of course, this does not go over well with Chen, which leads him to head to this rival school and take on everyone there which inspired Tarantino's Kill Bill.

From here, it's a tale of revenge as Lee leaves a path of blood chaos wherever he goes, culminating in an epic climax. Bruce seemed to have found his stride here where his charm, wit, and stature looked excellent, propelling him to biggest star at the time. Fist of Fury is a classic revenge flick with some wonderful fight sequences that showcase Lee's skillset.

The Way Of The Dragon

Another year later, Bruce Lee starred in The Way of The Dragon. Not only did Lee serve as the leading man in this movie, but he also produced, wrote, and directed this epic action film. Lee was on a non-stop trajectory towards the sky where nothing could stop him. He was a jack of all trades and quite successful at it, as the film is ripe with some truly remarkable action sequences, comedic moments, and an epic climax that pitted Bruce Lee against the American fighter Chuck Norris, which in movie fan terms is called Hollywood gold.

Bruce plays a man named Tang Lung who travels to Rome to help his uncle and niece with their restaurant. However, the restaurant is targeted by the local mafia and is being bullied into paying large sums of money. As Tang befriends all of the employees and other surrounding restaurant workers, he teaches them martial arts. The big bad mafia boss sends out his henchman to kill Tang, but they're all in for a taste of disappointment time and time again throughout the course of the film. For most of the film, Tang has to defeat a series of henchmen over and over, until Tang's sister is kidnapped, which is where Bruce Lee has a Bad Boys type of moment of things getting real. This sets the path of the ultimate showdown with Chuck Norris.

The repetitive plotline is the big sore thumb of the film, but it's fun enough that it doesn't really matter as long as Bruce Lee is showcasing all of his skills of the nunchaku, high powered kicks, and punches, and screaming in his famous war cry. It's a ton of fun with some brutal fight sequences and a dose of humor, which Jackie Chan took note of and followed suit in his career.

Enter The Dragon: Theatrical Version

Enter the Dragon is Bruce Lee's final film he made before he suddenly passed away and is his magnum opus of displaying his martial arts skills to the world. This was Hollywood's first foray into the genre, casting the recently departed John Saxon and Jim Kelly by Bruce Lee's side with Robert Clouse sitting in the director's chair. Warner Bros. saw something special in Lee and put their money where their mouths were and they reaped the rewards instantly. It's just so unfortunate that Lee didn't get to enjoy the success and acclaim of the film since he died only a few days prior to its release, where it went on to make over $350 million at the box office, which translates to around $1 billion in the present day.

There's a good reason the film made so much money too. It's just that good and not only on a fight choreography level but rather Lee's performance as he tracks down and destroys the villains. Similar to a James Bond film, Enter the Dragon follows Lee, a Shaolin warrior who is tasked by an intelligence agency to track down a billionaire named Han, who is holding a martial arts tournament. It turns out that Han is also trafficking in drugs and women for the wealthy elite, all who reside at his heavily guarded compound on a remote island. Saxon and Kelly join Lee as they kick and punch their way through a maze of henchmen, including Steven Seagal's mortal enemy Robert Wall. When Lee finds out his sister has been murdered by Han, the heat turns up, forcing Lee to showcase his excellent martial arts skills against the backs and faces of his enemies.

In addition to his physical dominance and quick speed, Bruce Lee revealed his intense emotional chops in his face and eyes that showed great anger and sadness in his character. It made the film more believable and that it had a purpose more than just some superhero ninja taking out bad guy after bad guy. With Lee's great performance and one of the top-grossing films of its time, it's wonderful to think about what could have been if Lee wasn't gone too soon from this world. Perhaps he would have been equivalent to Dwayne The Rock Johnson, ushering in a new wave of action films in the 70s and 80s. Still, Enter the Dragon is as good as it was when it debuted in cinemas in 1973.

Game Of Death

Game of Death was Bruce Lee's final film that was released and has a troubled history. Again, Lee wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Game of Death before his untimely and tragic death. During the film, he was offered to star in Enter The Dragon, which was Hollywood's first martial arts film from Warner Bros and had a sizeable budget. Lee agreed to star in Enter the Dragon, but passed away during shooting the movie, leaving Game of Death unfinished, but with about 100 minutes of shot footage.

Two stand-ins and a filmmaker replaced Lee to finish the film that is now Game of Death, which is a bit different from Lee's original vision. In fact, the original story was a lot like The Raid: Redemption, but the version that's usually seen now has the master of martial arts play a man named Billy Lo, a famous actor who is being bullied by a local mob boss for his movie earnings. Lo is shot in the face, but recovers, hence the two stand-ins. Billy Lo takes out all the bad guys and comes face to face with Kareem Abdul Jabbar in a restaurant.

This is the film where Lee wears the yellow and black gear that inspired Uma Thurman's outfit in Kill Bill, and Lee's fight choreography is top-notch. Other than that, Game of Death is a hot mess from top to bottom, despite some iconic sequences.

Game Of Death II

Capitalizing on Bruce Lee's fame, even years after his death, the movie studios wanted to make more films that centered around him. That's where Game of Death II comes into play. It's other working titles were Tower of Death and The New Game of Death, but decided to go with the easy sequel title in order to make more money and give the illusion to audiences that this is a direct sequel with Bruce Lee, which it is NOT.

The film centers around the younger brother of Billy Lo (Bruce Lee's character from the first film), who is named Bobby Lo who vows revenge when his brother is killed from a helicopter high in the sky. Bobby ends up finding the culprit but realizes there is an underground tower where he must fight his way to the top in order to find out who's really in charge of it all. Additionally, if Bobby or anyone else is defeated, they are fed to lions.

Now comes the question on Bruce Lee himself. No, he didn't film any scenes for this movie, but the filmmakers did use many deleted and extended scenes from his previous movies and just inserted them into this one, thus promoting it as another Bruce Lee film. It's not exactly a great idea or execution, but when the world wants more Bruce Lee, anything will do, right? Unfortunately, the film is loose, disjointed, and not a whole lot of fun, given that Lee's charm isn't exactly used here. In fact, the only similarity to the first Game of Death is Lee's character name and one would be hard-pressed to find a bridge that would connect the two movies together other than that.

Enter The Dragon: Special Edition

This is the Special Edition of Enter the Dragon, which is only slightly longer than the original version. It's not like an extended cut of Lord of the Rings, running in at around 45 minutes to an hour longer than the original theatrical cut, but rather only a couple of minutes to be exact. The theatrical cut to Enter the Dragon is 99 minutes where this Special Edition version is just about 103 minutes, which has some added dialogue from Bruce Lee and extra sequence not shown upon its original release in theaters. Other than that, it's the same movie.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Bruce Lee: The Hits nunchakus its way to 1080p HD Blu-ray from Criterion with brand new 4K and 2K masters with spine #1036. The discs are housed in a remarkable looking cardboard case with amazing artwork, where the seven discs are clasped in hard, clear plastic casings. This case is housed in a cardboard sleeve with original artwork. There is a Criterion booklet that features a fully illustrated booklet made to look like a cool magazine, complete with ads is included here in the set with cast and crew info, technical specs, and an essay by Jeff Chang.

 

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    7 Blu-ray Discs
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:506
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.35:1
    2.30:1
    Audio Formats:
    Mandarin: LPCM Mono
    English: LPCM Mono
    Cantonese: Dolby Digital Mono
    Mandarin: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English
    Special Features:
    • 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks
    • New 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack
    • 2K digital restoration of the 102-minute “special-edition” version of Enter the Dragon
    • Alternate audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon
    • Six audio commentaries: on The Big Boss by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon by Hong Kong–film expert Mike Leeder; and on the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon by producer Paul Heller
    • High-definition presentation of Game of Death II, the 1981 sequel to Game of Death
    • Game of Death Redux, a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage, produced by Alan Canvan
    • New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly
    • New interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee
    • New program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge
    • New interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers
    • Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon
    • Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998)
    • Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah, and Simon Yam and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung, and Wong Jing
    • Promotional materials
    • New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Jeff Chang THE BIG BOSS Enter a legend.
    Movie Studio: The Criterion Collection
    Release Date: July 14th, 2020

Video Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

The Big Boss

The Big Boss comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 4K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

The Big Boss now looks much cleaner through and through than previous releases. The layer of grain doesn't fluctuate and gives the film a steady filmic appearance from start to finish. Colors are more vibrant and well-balanced, especially in the outdoor sequences where earthy tones look more natural. Green leaves tend to pop a bit more against the tan and brown furniture and tree trunks while the small amount of blood is lavishly red that contrasts perfectly with. darker backgrounds.

Black levels are mostly deep, however, there is some minor crush here and there that usually corrects itself quickly. The stability of this old movie is astonishing in this new transfer as well. Skin tones are natural and the detail in facial features, beads of sweat, and practical effects for wounds and gashes all look great. For a film that has pushed fifty years in age, it's never looked better than it does now without any major problems to speak of.

Fist Of Fury

Fist of Fury comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 4K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

The image has better clarity and an uptick in color due to the new 4K master where every small detail looks better than previous versions on home video. Colors are more nuanced as evident in the garden area where tons of flowers and greenery stand out more with a bolder and richer color palette that mixes nicely with the earthier tones of the ground and crystal clear blue sky. Other colors such as bright red doors with gold lettering and more neutral colors of tan and brown all have their different shades and varying degrees of color and lighting - all which look wonderful in this new video presentation.

Black levels are deep and inky and never cross over into any crush and the image stability is phenomenal. The detail in closeups reveal facial pores, individual hairs, and beads of sweat easily, while the threads in the clothes can now be seen perfectly. There aren't any major problems with video anomalies, while the filmic image is intact and looks top notch.

The Way Of The Dragon

The Way of the Dragon comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 4K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

The image and color palette looks great in this newly sourced picture with a much more vibrant color scheme and better detail. There are many different lighting conditions in this film where the scene can take place in a dark setting or in a brightly lit place. This transfer perfectly balances those intense sequences out to give one fluid looking picture from one scene to the next, whether it is the blueish tint of a city at night time with bright flashes of car lights passing by to the well lit and colorful nature of a restaurant and bar where the red, blue, gold colors, mix in together flawlessly.

Black levels are deep and rich without any major crush or murkiness and the skin tones are natural. The detail always showcases the vivid facial features of Bruce Lee himself and the other actors, along with some textures in the costumes that look great. Saturation levels are good too, however, a true 4K disc might have improved some of the color levels in certain bright scenes better. The image stability is fantastic and there are no major issues with banding or aliasing to hinder the image in any way.

Enter The Dragon: Theatrical Version

Enter the Dragon comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 2K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

This new transfer looks outstanding from the amazing range of colors to the intricate detail in each scene. The color palette is robust and bright, giving a well-balanced color spectrum that's not too hot or cool in any given moment. The different colors of uniforms displayed at the tournament are all bold and rich, ranging from the best primary colors set in front of a fantastic backdrop of greenery and blue sky. Interiors keep neutral with browns, whites, and gold with a slight int of red here and there, all of which are dynamic in every lighting condition.

Black levels are deep without any evidence of crush in lower lit sequences and the skin tones are all-natural, especially in exterior shots. The detail is sharp revealing intricate details in the actor's faces and costume choices as well. There is a nice layer of film grain, keeping the filmic image intact that never fluctuates and the color grading is spot-on in each scene. Lastly, there were no major problems with aliasing or banding.

Game Of Death

Game of Death comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 4K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

The color palette here is much darker than the rest of the films where some slight detail and color are lost throughout the film. The film itself is tonally dark, but also most scenes take place in a visually lower-lit scenario, whether it be at night time in a big city or in a musky, dank interior with barely any lighting. Even interior shots with lamps on in the background don't light up the visual space as it should, but this new transfer does the best it can with what it's given.

The biggest spotlights of color come with neon signage in the big dark city as blues, reds, greens, and other bright primary colors burn brightly in the night. The fighting tournament showcases some white and gold throughout, but they are all on the cooler side of the spectrum and never really pop. Black levels are mostly deep, but there is a tiny bit of murkiness to some of the darker scenes, while the skin tones are natural. The detail isn't too sharp, but rather has a very filmic image with a nice layer of grain that never fluctuates much. Closeups in well-lit scenarios reveal good facial pores and individual hairs, but it's not too often. Lastly, there aren't any major problems with banding or aliasing.

Game Of Death II

Game of Death II comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a standard definition master with a 2.30:1 aspect ratio.

The color palette with this film is quite good with bright, bold colors in well-lit sequences, such as the vehicles driving on the road, the red sparring carpet, and even the green trees and bushes in the background the contrasts well with the blue skies and brown tree trunks. A night club showcases some nuanced reds and purples that dazzle and light up the screen. Black levels are mostly deep and skin tones are a bit warm, but none-the-less look good and mostly natural.

The newly added footage that was filmed for the movie looks great with detail that is vivid and sharp, however, the vintage footage that was spliced in with Bruce Lee doesn't fare so well that has some issues with delineation and clarity. The image looks dirtier and fluctuates with varying levels of grain that doesn't provide a cohesive visual from scene to scene. Like the film narratively, its image is less than stellar.

Enter The Dragon: Special Edition

Enter the Dragon comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer that was sourced from a new 2K master from the original 35mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The only difference here is the extra three or so minutes of footage, but ultimately, its the same exact transfer as the theatrical version.

This new transfer looks outstanding from the amazing range of colors to the intricate detail in each scene. The color palette is robust and bright, giving a well-balanced color spectrum that's not too hot or cool in any given moment. The different colors of uniforms displayed at the tournament are all bold and rich, ranging from the best primary colors set in front of a fantastic backdrop of greenery and blue sky. Interiors keep neutral with browns, whites, and gold with a slight int of red here and there, all of which are dynamic in every lighting condition.

Black levels are deep without any evidence of crush in lower lit sequences and the skin tones are all-natural, especially in exterior shots. The detail is sharp revealing intricate details in the actor's faces and costume choices as well. There is a nice layer of film grain, keeping the filmic image intact that never fluctuates and the color grading is spot-on in each scene. Lastly, there were no major problems with aliasing or banding.

Audio Review

4 Stars out of 5

The Big Boss

The Big Boss comes with four optional audio tracks to choose from. There's a Mandarin LPCM 1.0 mix, an English LPCM 1.0 mix, a Cantonese Dolby Digital 1.0 track, and another Mandarin track in Dolby Digital 1.0. All options come with English subtitles should the need arise.

The best option with this film is definitely the Mandarin LPCM 1.0 track because the English dub here has a lot of issues. The Cantonese and Dolby Digital Mandarin track do the job well enough, but that lossless LPCM Mandarin track is very solid with some good dynamics. Sound effects have a little power behind them and the music adds to the suspense of the situation. It's also of note that some of the music cues are different on each audio option. Lastly, the dialogue is clear and easy to follow along with the subtitles which are easy to read.

Fist Of Fury

Fist of Fury comes with three optional audio tracks to choose from. There's a Mandarin LPCM 1.0 mix, an English LPCM 1.0 mix, and a Cantonese Dolby Digital 1.0 track. All options come with English subtitles should the need arise.

The Mandarin LPCM track is the way to go with this film as it sounds the best and goes in line with the tone of the movie. Fist of Fury takes itself seriously and therefore the sound effects and musical score all represent a more serious tone that is well-balanced and has a bit of bite to it. If the English dub is on the table, the more enhanced and comical sound effects come to life, along with some extremely funny dialogue exchanges between characters. All three tracks are full of life with some robust sound effects that all sound great.

The Way Of The Dragon

The Way of the Dragon comes with four optional audio tracks to choose from. There's a Mandarin LPCM 1.0 mix, an English LPCM 1.0 mix, a Cantonese Dolby Digital 1.0 track, and another English track in Dolby Digital 1.0. All options come with English subtitles should the need arise.

All four tracks are a winner here, but the biggest bang for the buck is actually the English LPCM 1.0 mix. Despite its comical and upgraded sound effects along with some truly funny dubbed dialogue exchanges, it's the most powerful of the set with good music cues and earned audio sounds of punches and kicks from Lee himself. The Mandarin LPCM option is also just as good, but it doesn't have the oomph that the English track does here.

Enter The Dragon: Theatrical Version

Enter The Dragon comes with only one audio option, being an English LPCM 1.0 track with optional English subtitles if the need arises.

The lone audio track sounds fantastic and robust on all fronts. Sound effects are large and boisterous with a ton of effects going off during the extensive fight scenes. The music cues sound great too and add that necessary suspense in each scene. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow along as well and free of any audio issues.

Game Of Death

Game of Death comes with two audio options, both being English LPCM 1.0 tracks. One is the original lossless mix and the other is from a previous release of the film. Not quite sure why both are included here, but here they are for fans and completists to enjoy.

The original track sounds very good with clean and healthy dialogue and sound effects throughout. The music score adds to the intensity of the fight scenes as well. There are some fluctuations with some of the sounds with different levels and volumes, but that might be a source issue and not something from the transfer. The other English track is a little less put together, but both still get the job done.

Game Of Death II

Game of Death II comes with only one audio track, which is an English Dolby Digital 1.0 mix. There are no subtitles included here.

The film itself isn't that good, but the English dub makes the movie worth the time and effort in such a big and funny way. It's almost as if the people at Mystery Science Theatre 3000 created the track because it's ripe with laughs and silliness. Sound effects are louder than normal and the dialogue is simply hysterical, yet clean and easy to follow. The music cues are tons of fun as well here.

Enter The Dragon: Special Edition

This Special Edition of Enter The Dragon comes with two audio options, including an English LPCM 1.0 mix and a great lossless English DTS-HD M1 5.1 track.

The one extra scene features the voice of Bruce Lee on the 1.0 option, but on the 5.1 track, it is a dubbed voice. Still, the 5.1 option is the way to go here, because all of the sound effects sound more robust and full with an added low end of bass that has a good smooth quality to it. Directionality pops up here as well with some great musical cues that always adds to the suspense in each scene. The dialogue is clean and clear and free of any audio problems.

Special Features

5 Stars out of 5

There are about 650 minutes of bonus material included here, featuring tons of new and vintage interviews, with actors, filmmakers, and family of the legend - Bruce Lee. There are also a ton of trailers and deleted scenes, as well as commentary tracks. This is an ultimate collection of bonus features for fans of Bruce Lee, all located in one set.

The Big Boss

  • Audio Commentary 1 - Film critic Brandon Bentley delivers a commentary track here that was recorded in 2016 where he discusses the film in detail, the production, casting, and Bruce Lee himself.
  • Audio Commentary 2 - Film expert Mike Leeder recorded this commentary track in 2013, where he discusses the behind the scenes, Bruce Lee, and martial arts.
  • On The Big Boss (HD, 11 Mins.) - Biographer Matthew Polly talks about this first feature film of Bruce Lee in detail. This was made specifically for the Criterion release.
  • Bruce Lee: The Early Years (HD, 14 Mins.) - An older interview with martial arts instructor Gene LeBell talks about Lee's career and his martial arts training.
  • Bruce Lee vs. Peter Thomas (HD, 3 Mins.) - Film critic Brandon Bentley talks about the soundtrack and composer in this video essay.
  • Alternate Footage (HD, 12 Mins.) - There are alternate opening credits, extended scenes, and an alternate ending included here.
  • Trailers (HD, 8 Mins.) - A few trailers and a tv spot for the film.

Fist Of Fury

  • Audio Commentary - Film expert Mike Leeder delivers a commentary track from 2013, where he discusses the production of the film, Bruce Lee's performance, the political and social nuances in the film, along with some cultural stereotypes. It's an excellent listen.
  • On Fist Of Fury (HD, 10 Mins.) - Biographer Matthew Polly talks about the making of the film, Lee's performance, the character, and his fighting style. He also dives into his Hollywood image and some of the more serious tones of the film.
  • The First Lady (HD, 18 Mins.) - This 1993 interview focuses on actress Nora Miao as she talks candidly about working with Bruce Lee, the film, and being trained by the martial arts stunt people.
  • Blade Of Fury (HD, 13 Mins.) - Another 1993 interview has actor Riki Hashimoto talking about working on the film, some of the improv and stunt work, along with working with Lee himself. He also talks about the difference between certain martial arts films.
  • Master Of Bushido (HD, 13 Mins.) - Yet another 1993 interview centers around actor Jun Katsumura where he talks about his martial arts experiences and what he added to the film.
  • Yuen Wah (HD, 11 Mins.) - Another vintage interview talks with actor Yuen Wah as he talks about working on the film and as a stand-in for many movies.
  • Alternate Opening Credits (HD, 8 Mins.) - Different credit sequences for separate movie releases.
  • Trailers (HD, 18 Mins.) - A ton of different trailers for the film.

The Way Of The Dragon

  • Audio Commentary - A vintage 2013 commentary track by film expert Mike Leeder is available here as he discusses the production of the film, Bruce Lee's performance, and much more. There's a ton of great info and tidbits on how the movie got made and some easter eggs. This is a great listen.
  • On The Way Of The Dragon (HD, 9 Mins.) - A brand new bonus feature focuses on biographer Matthew Polly as he explains the film, Lee's role in the movie, and audiences' reaction to it.
  • Legacy Of The Dragon (HD, 47 Mins.) - This 2001 documentary also talks about the life and career of Bruce Lee with some interviews from actors and martial arts champions.
  • Bruce Lee Remembered (HD, 8 Mins.) - Another vintage set of interviews with actors talking about Lee and his contribution to film and martial arts.
  • Kung Fu (HD, 22 Mins.) - Another vintage interview with actor Jon T. Benn who recalls working with Bruce Lee and making the film.
  • Alternate Opening Credits (HD, 6 Mins.) - Two different versions of credits were used in separate releases of the movie.
  • Promotional Materials (HD, 5 Mins.) - Trailers for the film and a radio spot.

Enter The Dragon: Theatrical Version

  • On Enter The Dragon (HD, 10 Mins.) - Biographer Matthew Polly talks about the film, Bruce Lee's performance and what he brought to the role, and how much change from the original concept to the final product took place. This was made strictly for the Criterion release.
  • Blood And Steel (HD, 31 Mins.) - This 2003 documentary focuses on the movie and Bruce Lee's career. There are clips and interviews with more fellow actors talking about working with Lee.
  • Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (HD, 20 Mins.) - Made in 1998, this extra actually has Bruce Lee talking about his martial arts style, acting, philosophy, and more.
  • Linda Lee Cadwell (HD, 17 Mins.) - Another 2003 bonus feature that is imported to this release has Lee's wife talk about her relationship with her late husband, his likes and dislikes, along with how he handled film and education.
  • Tung Wai (HD. 4 Mins.) - Another vintage interview with stunt choreographer Tung Wei, where he recalls his first meeting with Lee.
  • Promotional Materials (HD, 25 Mins.) - A collection of interviews, press kits, trailers, tv spots, and radio promos.

Game Of Death

  • Audio Commentary - This commentary track was recorded in 2013 and features film expert Mike Leeder as he discusses the production of the film, casting, and a ton of detailed information that went into making this iconic movie.
  • Game Of Death Redux (HD, 35 Mins.) - This new feature showcases the new footage of the film with brand new audio mixing, edits, and voice acting.
  • Game Of Death (HD, 29 Mins.) - This older interview features actor Robert Wall who talks about working with Bruce Lee in the film.
  • On Game Of Death (HD, 7 Mins.) - This brand new extra focuses on biographer Matthew Polly as he talks about the film and Bruce Lee's involvement in the movie.
  • Alternate Footage (HD, 20 Mins.) - A collection of alternate openings and endings, along with bloopers, outtakes, and deleted scenes - all of which are worth watching.
  • Trailers (HD, 6 Mins.) - Original trailers for the film.

Game Of Death II

  • Bruce Lee: The Man And The Legend (HD, 87 Mins.) - This 1973 documentary tracks the life and career of Bruce Lee. Interviews with his wife and other actors including Chuck Norris are included as they discuss working with the legend.
  • Alternate Opening (HD, 3 Mins.) - A different opening to the film that was sourced from an old VHS copy of the movie.
  • Trailers (HD, 10 Mins.) - Trailers for the film and the documentary are included.

Enter The Dragon: Special Edition

  • Audio Commentary - Producer Peter Heller delivers a commentary track here that talks about the film, the production, Bruce Lee, and the impact this film had in America. The commentary was recorded in 2003.
  • Risk And Reward (HD, 17 Mins.) - This new bonus feature produced for this Criterion release features producer Andre Morgan who talks about Bruce Lee's charm and image for American audiences, along with working for the Golden Harvest Production Company. He also dives into how martial arts films became so popular in the states.
  • Bruceploitation (HD, 11 Mins.) - Another extra made for this release features author Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend's Exorcism) who talks about all the spinoffs and imitations of Bruce Lee that were rampant in Hollywood after his death.
  • Bruceploitation Promos (HD, 14 Mins.) - There are several trailers for films that showcase some of the films from the Bruce Lee imitations.
  • Match The Lips (HD, 12 Mins.) - This new feature focuses on the English dub voice actors for Bruce Lee, as the talk about providing those audio tracks in a fun way. Some great information here.
  • The Grandmaster And The Dragon (HD, 55 Mins.) - This extra was made in 2009 and is imported here that features Grandmaster William Cheung as he talks about working with Bruce Lee through the years.
  • Criterion Booklet - A fully illustrated booklet made to look like a cool magazine, complete with ads is included here in the set with cast and crew info, technical specs, and an essay by Jeff Chang.

Final Thoughts

Criterion has definitely fought and won this battle in the Tower of Death with this amazing Blu-ray collection of Bruce Lee films. It's outstanding, to say the least. Six different films with an added special edition have given new life to these films with brand new 1080p HD transfers that look amazing, along with the original audio tracks for each film. There are hours upon hours of new and old extras as well, all situated in a tight, beautiful look Criterion case. MUST-OWN!

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    7 Blu-ray Discs
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:506
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.35:1
    2.30:1
    Audio Formats:
    Mandarin: LPCM Mono
    English: LPCM Mono
    Cantonese: Dolby Digital Mono
    Mandarin: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: Dolby Digital Mono
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English
    Special Features:
    • 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks
    • New 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack
    • 2K digital restoration of the 102-minute “special-edition” version of Enter the Dragon
    • Alternate audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon
    • Six audio commentaries: on The Big Boss by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon by Hong Kong–film expert Mike Leeder; and on the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon by producer Paul Heller
    • High-definition presentation of Game of Death II, the 1981 sequel to Game of Death
    • Game of Death Redux, a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage, produced by Alan Canvan
    • New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly
    • New interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee
    • New program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge
    • New interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers
    • Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon
    • Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998)
    • Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah, and Simon Yam and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung, and Wong Jing
    • Promotional materials
    • New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Jeff Chang THE BIG BOSS Enter a legend.
    Movie Studio: The Criterion Collection
    Release Date: July 14th, 2020