Search - Bruce Lee (The Master Collection) Box set (2002) on DVD
Bruce Lee Box set The Master Collection Actors:Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Chuck Norris, Gig Young, James Tien Directors:Bruce Lee, Chia-hsiang Wu, Leonard Ho, Robert Clouse, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo Sinewy, sleek, and oozing charisma, Bruce Lee brought sex appeal to the martial arts genre, dominating even the most cliché-riddled adventures with his mix of good-humored geniality and focused intensity. His first film, t... more »he low-budget Hong Kong adventure Fists of Fury (as it was titled in the U.S.), is exactly that: a raw, rough-edged revenge drama of a country boy who uncovers a heroin-smuggling ring. Yet the film comes alive when Lee pounces into action, his wiry, well-muscled frame erupting in lightning moves. His follow-up, The Chinese Connection, keeps the revenge theme going for a tale of a kung fu student who avenges his teacher's death at the hands of a Japanese rival. The international success of both films enabled the increasingly ambitious Lee to write and direct his own feature, Return of the Dragon, a more-comic tale of a Chinese country boy who travels to Rome to help out cousins under the thumb of local mobsters. Though filled with excellent martial arts bouts, all choreographed by Lee, the highlight is a death match between Lee and karate champion Chuck Norris in the Roman Colosseum. Lee died before completing his last feature, Game of Death, and a rather unconvincing double runs around much of the film between footage of the real Lee, but the climax features an impressive bout with basketball star and Lee student Kareem Abdul-Jabar. Though a cut above most martial arts movies of the period, these are no masterpieces, but then who watches a Bruce Lee film for the story? In these films, plot is simply there for the scenes between Lee's amazing fight sequences. The documentary Bruce Lee: The Legend completes the collection. --Sean Axmaker« less
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"So, here it is, the latest collection of DVD's featuring all of Bruce Lee's Hong Kong movies (Fists of Fury aka The Big Boss, The Chinese Connection aka Fists of Fury, Return of the Dragon, Game of Death, and an additional documentary Bruce Lee, the Legend) in one pretty package. Note that Enter the Dragon, made by Warner Brothers and considered by many to be Bruce's finest (and certainly his most polished) film, is not included in this boxed set. Likewise, the version of Game of Death offered is the original 1977 release, without any of the recently unearthed and restored footage featured in A Warrior's Journey. Also, these are English-dubbed, edited (for the western market) versions of the films. All in all though, this is probably the best collection of Bruce's films available in the U.S. Of course, 30 years after Bruce's death, these movies are a bit campy now -- with Fists of Fury only a few steps up from Sunday afternoon 'action theater' crapola, and Game of Death (pieced together after Bruce's death with an actor double, clips from old movies, and even a cardboard cut-out to make up for his absence in all but the final fight scenes) an unmitigated travesty -- but the charismatic screen presence and fighting skills of Bruce will always satisfy die hard fans (which are the likely target consumer for this boxed set). After all, you don't really watch this genre of movie for plot, but for the fighting, which was innovative at the time (differing from both the usual chop-sockey shenanigans as well as today's wushu-style 'wire-fu'), and to see the man who started it all and has attained an almost Elvis-level deity status.Okay, so here's the bad news... These U.S. Region 1 DVD's pale in comparison to the versions available in Region 2 put out by the Hong Kong Legends company (http://hongkonglegends.co.uk/ -- see for yourself). They have just released a 30th Anniversary boxed set of these movies -- their editions (which can only be viewed on DVD players that can play Region 2 movies) feature the original Cantonese language versions of the movies (as well as the English), the uncut/unedited versions (in which mild nude scenes or corny comedic sequences are left intact), with lots of additional features (critical commentaries and other extras). There simply isn't any comparison and it is a crying shame these are not available in the U.S. (though apparently some HKL titles are beginning to come to the U.S. market). Any serious Bruce Lee fan will want the HKL versions instead -- as for me, I'm off to buy a region free DVD player."
Seriously deficient DVDs; crappy transfer and no bonuses.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 12/01/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Every couple of years we get a batch of Bruce Lee re-releases, and none of them has ever impressed me.Thanks to the thoughtless original distributors who had handled the films on their first run in the U.S., American audiences have never been able to get official releases of Bruce Lee's films in their original language. Even modern companies like Dimension (with their disgraceful dubbing on Jackie Chan's films) have been disrespectful to kung fu films by never including the original dialogue tracks and credit sequences, meaning fans of Bruce Lee will still hear a fourth-rate voice actor on these films rather than Bruce himself.That was to be expected. What was not expected was how bad the quality of these transfers was. I don't know how much work they did in picture restoration or colour timing; judging from the picture quality, my guess would be: None. The three Hong Kong films -- Fists of Fury, The Chinese Connection and Return of the Dragon -- have too much contrast and unnatural desaturation, making the characters pasty-faced and the lighting seemingly too dark. Whether that was the original intent of the filmmakers is unknown, but I know that even the old VHS editions of these films I bought 10 years ago didn't have the number of scratches, bad sprockets and picture jumps I see here. These *are* letterboxed, (...) though it's small consolation for the number of frozen frames I see before cuts. Even the Transformers DVD collections have a better restoration job than this, to say nothing of the impressive array of Shaw Brothers films that Celestial Pictures has been releasing. This set is a disgraceful treatment of the master Bruce Lee's films.The thoughtlessness continues into the fact that there are absolutely no bonus materials on the DVDs of the films. No commentary tracks -- it should have been easy enough to get some kung fu film experts here, even if they can't get Raymond Chow, James Tien, Nora Miao, Linda Lee Cadwell or Lee's Hong Kong contemporaries; no trailers (again, an easy dig through the archives); not even film stills or essays. You just get the film, subdivided into overlarge chapters that don't reflect the structure of the films: The *entire* Colosseum scene in Return of the Dragon, up until the graveyard scene, is one big chapter. Are you kidding me?The documentary Bruce Lee: The Legend is a curiosity. While it has some major faults -- the horrible dubbing on Bruce Lee's very early films as a child actor, factual errors and omissions -- it also has a wealth of archival footage that is a joy to behold. If the DVD distributors had done this kind of homework! This documentary is definitely worth seeing for Lee fans, though I would tell them to just get this single DVD and skip the rest.Compared to the Shaw Brothers re-releases and the bonus materials for the excellent DVD edition of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, these DVDs are shameful -- another quickie repackaging of Lee's films for some quick cash, with no thought. (...) (...)"
A definite must buy for any Bruce Lee fan.
Joe Pierre | 10/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most complete Bruce Lee DVD set you can ever own. This collection plus Enter the Dragon will make your Bruce Lee DVD collection complete. You will have all of his films. Collection contains remastered movies, cleaned up and sharp looking. Other DVD releases by lesser companies offer horrible image quality but not Columbia. Enter the Dragon is owned by Warner Brothers, otherwise it would have been included in this DVD kit. On the down side, the DVD collection offers just the movies and nothing else. There's no bonus materials on any of the DVDs. I guess you can consider the documentary DVD a bonus. There's five DVDs in total and in my opinion worth every penny. Summary: IMAGE QUALITY (A+) Bruce Lee's films have never looked better or so new, SOUND (B) mono only, . It would have been nice if they had redubbed all the movies for this release in Dolby Digital 5.1."
It's Great, but...
Mark A. Davis | Midwest, USA | 12/30/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I give this DVD set 3 stars solely because of "The Game of Death." The rest of the DVD set gets 5 stars or maybe 6. For those of you who have seen the wonderful documentary "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey" you will be sorely disappointed in this cheap studio rip off of what Bruce Lee intended "The Game of Death" to be. They cut out a good 30 minutes of quality Bruce Lee footage, and totally changed the story. The 5 level pagoda becomes a restaurant! What a load of crap. Bruce Lee's movies always have a underlying message of truth, and "The Game of Death" was supposed to have one also (see the above mentioned documentary for details), but because the stupid movie studio decided to change the entire plot and theme of the movie after Bruce Lee's untimely death, that underlying message is missing... in short, "The Game of Death" is a disgrace to Bruce Lee.
Well, now that I have that off my chest, the rest of the DVD is unbelievable. Some don't like the cheesy dubbing (the movies were made in China for a Chinese audience), but I think that is all part of the charm of the classic Bruce Lee movies. I watched the other 4 DVDs with a huge smile on my face the entire time. In the end, I do recommend this DVD set wholeheartedly."
GET THE HONG KONG LEGENDS VERSION!!!
Dan Cimino | usa | 10/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Warner Brothers set is very good-I bought it, but it's annoying that these discs are not anamorphic and you don't get the original soundtrack. However, if you are a Bruce Lee fanatic, and you have a PAL converter, and a multiregion dvd player that can play Region 2 discs, you must get the Hong Kong Legends releases. This is a UK company. They put out the four Bruce Lee films, minus Enter the Dragon, in beautiful, restored, remastered, anamorphic widescreen versions with Dolby Digital sound. This is heaven for people with widescreen TVs. They are loaded with extras(Game of Death has 2 dvds!) and also have several soundtracks so you can watch the original Chinese with English subtitles, or the English dubbed version. It's amazing, but Region 2 really outdid Region 1 in this case. You can buy them from Amazon.com.uk. Hong Kong Legends has a website that lists all their releases, including many Jackie Chan and Jet Li films, all made to the same high standards."