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DVD Shopping Bag: Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors Edition

The definitive edition

By Robert T. Trate     June 25, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Enter the Dragon first came into my life because of a little film called Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. I was looking forward to this biopic and, luckily for me, I worked at a video store that had a copy of Enter the Dragon. I was less than impressed. The copy we had was pretty beaten up and the picture quality was less than perfect. Yep, that was a kung fu flick and I went into “Dragon” with a little forehand knowledge about what the subject would be about. 

I am not the biggest Kung Fu action fan here, Mania. That might be our Shock-O-Rama columnist, Chuck Francisco. I thought I would give this 40th anniversary edition another crack. I have, in time, learned more about Bruce Lee and have grown to appreciate what the man represented. He was a pioneer for his people, highlighting that they could be more than what they were in Hollywood’s eyes. Up until that point, I knew of Bruce Lee only as Kato, sidekick to the Green Hornet, on that one TV episode of Batman. What would the 40th anniversary edition do to me that the 20th anniversary edition couldn’t? For one, I tackled the special features and, most importantly, the commentary by producer, Paul Heller. 

Let us get the transfer out of the way immediately. I have seen better. This might all have to do with the film stock the production used. At the end of the film, in the mirror room, Paul Heller discusses how much light they had to use because the color stock was so low. This clearly has had an impact on the film’s preservation as well as any transfers that were done to Blu-ray. Now this could all change, say, when the 50th anniversary edition arrives, but probably not. If it wasn’t on the 2007 edition or this one, I doubt a better one exists than what we are seeing. 

With that being said, the film stock dates the film in good way.  Sure, the likes of Jim Kelly’s haircut and clothes come back into style now and again, but there is no mistake that this film belongs in the sixties. The colors still pop, especially the red, and, to be honest, Honk Kong probably still looks the same, only now it has more skyscrapers.

Our introduction to Bruce Lee’s character, Lee, is a strange one in hindsight. Lee is in a training session at his temple and squares off against a fat opponent. Though much larger than Bruce Lee, the physical prowess is clearly in Lee’s favor. Lee wins and the film marches on. That is the problem with watching the film in hindsight. Bruce Lee is a legend. I once read that despite being dead, Bruce Lee could still kick all our asses. That’s a reputation and one that some fat guy in the opening moments of this film does not help to dissuade. What producer, Paul Heller, tries to do with his commentary is illustrate a time before the world knew of Bruce Lee. He offers great insight into the film, but he and writer, Michael Allin (who literally phones in his commentary), point out that Bruce Lee was a presence on film and something the world had rarely seen before or since: an action star that could truly act. 

Paul Heller also goes into great lengths highlighting the differences in the Asian cultures that worked on the film, that Chinese actresses would not play whores or even paint their faces for a scene. Getting arial shots of Honk Kong was also tricky due to the Chinese flight guidelines. A trip to the bathroom established the final fighting sequence. Heller even goes into detail to highlight that what might look like a mistake by an actor was done on purpose to demonstrate the power of a weapon Eastern eyes might have never seen before. 

When it is all said and done, you get a greater appreciation of what Bruce Lee did for this film. There is nothing he could not get done or accomplish. There was no ego in Bruce Lee and everything was for the good of the film. Not one person was injured during the film, except Lee, and he did all his own stunts. Yes, including everything with the Cobra. What truly makes you jealous of Heller’s experiences in working with the legend is that he, too, got to feel the power of Lee’s one inch punch. 

This is your definitive edition of Enter the Dragon on Blu-ray. It comes complete with production photos, a cover of the original script (“Blood and Steel”), and more special features than you could ever want. Well, it is the definitive edition until the 50th anniversary edition arrives. 

Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors Edition Blu-ray is out now from Warner Brothers.

New DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 25th, 2013

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

The Call Starring Halle Berry, Evie Thompson, Abigail Breslin

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Crashout [Blu-ray] Starring William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler

Death Race (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane and Joan Allen

Gladiator Starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen

Into the White [Blu-ray]

Lord of Darkness

The Mummy (1999) (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo and John Hannah

North Face [Blu-ray] Starring Benno Fürmann and Johanna Wokalek

Nothing But the Truth [Blu-ray]

Phantom [Blu-ray]

Pusher [Blu-ray] Starring Richard Coyle and Agyness Deyn

Pusher Starring Richard Coyle and Agyness Deyn

The Rambler Starring Dermot Mulroney and Lindsay Pulsipher

Scarface (1983) (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer

Shark [Blu-ray] Starring Burt Reynolds, Arthur Kennedy, Barry Sullivan

Troy [Blu-ray] Starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and Peter O'toole

Warriors of the Steppe [Blu-ray]

ANIME

Heaven's Lost Property: Forte: Season 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Greg Ayres, Brittney Karbowski, Eric Vale

Juden Chan

Momo Girl God of Death Complete Collection

Saint Seiya: Movies 3 & 4

Saint Seiya: Movies 1 & 2

Tari Tari Complete

CARTOONS

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Cartoon Collection: Looney Tunes

Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids: The Complete Series

Green Lantern: Animated Show - Manhunter Menace Starring Josh Keaton, Jason Spisak, Kevin Michael Richardson

CLASSICS

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [Blu-ray]

Rooster Cogburn [Blu-ray]

Once a Jolly Swagman

War Wagon [Blu-ray]

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

The Big Lebowski (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Hot Fuzz (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent and Paddy Considine

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone [Blu-ray] Starring Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi and Olivia Wilde

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi and Olivia Wilde

Paul (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen and Jason Bateman

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin

Criterion Collection

 

Shoah (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Shoah (Criterion Collection)

HORROR

Abandoned Souls Starring Allen Bergeron, Eyal Simko and Vicki Rivard

All American Horror: Gateways to Hell

Battledogs [Blu-ray]

Blade 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman

Blood of 1000 Virgins

Dead Souls [Blu-ray] Starring Bill Moseley and Jesse James

Dead Souls Starring Bill Moseley and Jesse James

Hansel & Gretel Get Baked [Blu-Ray] Starring Lara Flynn Boyle, Molly C. Quinn and Michael Welch

Heebie Jeebies

Killer Mountain

The Rambler [Blu-ray] Starring Dermot Mulroney and Lindsay Pulsipher

Ring of Curse

Shaun of the Dead (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis and Nick Frost

Tokyo Urban Legend Starring Mirai Aono, Toshisaku Fukuba, Hiroaki Kawatsure

Van Helsing (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh

Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

The Beatles - Help! [Blu-ray] Starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / SUPERHERO

Book of Eli Starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis

The Chronicles of Riddick (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench and Keith David

Clash of the Titans Starring Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith

Crawlspace Starring Nicholas Bell and Amber Clayton

Doom (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike

Flashback Starring Andrew Ramos, Will Phillips and Alexa Cappiello

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Jeffrey Tambor

I Am Legend [Blu-ray] Starring Will Smith, Salli Richardson, Alice Braga

The Incredible Hulk (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt and Tim Roth

Hangar 18 [Blu-ray] Starring Darren McGavin, Robert Vaughn, Gary Collins

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The Hulk (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte and Sam Elliott

Matrix: 10th Anniversary [Blu-ray]

Pan's Labyrinth [Blu-ray] Starring Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero and Doug Jones

Pitch Black (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David and Rhiana Griffith

Serenity (Steelbook) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin

Terminator 3: Rise of Machines Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes

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Terminator 4 Salvation Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin

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Upside Down (3D + 2D Blu-ray & DVD Combo) Starring Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess and Timothy Spall

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TV LAND

CSI: NY - The Final Season

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MADtv: Season Three Starring Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr and Artie Lange

Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis Season Six

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Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete Second Season Starring Alex House, Maggie Castle and Bill Turnbull

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
keithdaniel 6/25/2013 8:59:09 AM

Robert, I hate to break this to you, but you're wrong on several fronts regarding Enter the Dragon.  First off everyone has an ego and Bruce Lee was no exception, he just had his in check more than most.  Another thing, Lee wasn't the only one hurt during the making of the movie.  Bob Wall who played Ohara was injured by Lee himself when Lee kicked him during a scene and broke several ribs after he injured Lee with a broken bottle!  Finally, that so called "fat guy" from the opening shaolin fight scene that Lee had with is none other than Sammo Hung, one of Hong Kong's most successful and best known martial artists, fight choreographers, directors, producers, and actors who also happened to be among those responsible for bringing about the Hong Kong New Wave Movement of the 1980's!  With respect Robert, next time make sure you do all of your homework!

RobertTrate 6/25/2013 11:28:12 AM

 Everything I got Keith was from the commentary by Heller. Sorry I did know who the fat guy was. I was proving a point about physcal prowess. Heller stated no one was hurt expcet Lee. Thanks for the 411 though. Again it was Heller hat stated that he had no ego on the film. 

keithdaniel 6/25/2013 1:03:14 PM

That's alright, Rob, we're cool!  I've studied Lee and Enter the Dragon in depth so I just wanted us to get it straight.

monkeyfoot 6/25/2013 4:47:09 PM

Thanks to both of you for your diligence and info!

LOL! I think I've repeated Lee's post mortem butt kicking ability line! I didn't originate though. I think I say it on a bumper sticker years ago.

thezillaman 6/26/2013 6:31:18 PM

 ahahahah, Rob, just got schooled..lmfao!!!!

thezillaman 6/26/2013 6:57:27 PM

 dude,  the fact that it was an old beaten up film I probably would have thought the same, but then again I love anything bruce lee, ..   : )

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