With today November 30, the month is waning and I am actually sad to see “All-Bruce Month” come to an end. A 30 day of reflection on Lee Jun Fan’s teachings and observation into his contributions to films have been a wonderful task and possibly the most fun I have all year, every year on this blog.
Look back and rewatching each film has actually changed my own rankings on his films and made me appreciate Enter the Dragon for the great film it is, not just what Hollywood holds supreme. To look at it objectively without my long-held bias has truly made me observe the great film it is and what I have been missing for 24 years because I have been irritated by a studios power over the media outlets. I believe Bruce summed that up in Enter the Dragon himself when he was teaching the young boy, “It is like a finger pointing at the moon. If you concentrate on the finger you will miss all that heavenly glory.” The Dragon is always teaching even 37 years after his passing; and I am listening still.
Set your DVRs, somewhere on the History Channel several times a week is a stunning documentary chronicling the impact Lee’s movies and lifestyle had on post-life culture not only in films but sports, music and health & Philosophy.
Right off the back LL Cool J hit it on the button why Bruce Lee is so beloved and was generations ahead of his peers in the 1970’s martial arts films. Bruce did not have to speak with words for you to understand him, he had his hands, not just for punching, but his body language. Even more so were his eyes, no actor has ever said so much with a look and a smile, his facial acting makes even a veteran like Morgan Freeman look like a soap star.
My only grudge with the documentary is the focus on Enter the Dragon’s impact on society. I recognize the films importance for the genre and bringing it to the forefront of media recognition of the art. Without Enter the Dragon Bruce is still a legend, frankly his prior 3 films were so much more amazing. Most believe his best work was that of his Hong Kong films before he filmed a movie famous in America.
This is my own design, hope you like it. – Obi
For years I actually resented Enter the Dragon because it was the Hollywoodizing of Bruce Lee’s movies. The simplicity of his Hong Kong movies and the style seemed to be lost in big vast sets, huge cast and production costs. But as I have over the years swayed from my perch and begun to accept it as a very good movie and worthy of its praise. Most of my gripe was with Warner Bros who has pushed individual collectors editions and large events surrounding a film that is 3rd or 4th best of his few films he made.
Everything that was wrong with Game of Death is made right with A Warriors Journey. John Little, one of, if not, the premier historians on Bruce Lee takes a look into the life of Bruce Lee prior to his death.
While Little covers many points of Lee’s life, philosophy and films, what really makes this documentary different from all the rest is the presentation of Game of Death. With the help of Lee’s notes and unused film Little brings us the intended vision of Bruce Lee. Continue reading
First off let’s get it out there, Game of Death as much as it is a Bruce Lee movie is not Bruce Lee’s movie. Game of Death was supposed to be a tower of challenge where in Bruce would climb 5 stages and fight a master of each art form and show why his Jeet Kun Do was more practical than traditional forms of martial arts. Instead we have 15 minutes of footage that Golden Harvest used to create their own storyline.
If you only see one Bruce Lee film in your life see Way of the Dragon, not because it is Lee’s best film, but for two reasons:
1. Way of the Dragon is Bruce, he wrote, directed, choreographed, produced and starred in this film. His personality and charisma comes through like no other and we really get a glimpse of who Lee was as a person.
2. Chuck Norris
Following the success of Lee’s first two major film he had in a year earned the power to create his own film in his own image in every aspect. While not a professional filmmaker he could have fooled anyone watching as this is arguably as good as any work he produced in his short career.
Fist of Fury, sometimes referred to as the Chinese Connection is the second film of Bruce Lee in his Kung Fu Cinema collection. The title confusion comes from the movies being sent to America and somehow The Big Boss ended up with the Fury title and the mo vie execs then gave Fury the Chinese Connection title in reference to the French Connection thought the two films have absolutely no plot relation.