Enter the Dragon

Considered Bruce Lee’s best film, “Enter the Dragon” was also his last to be completed. Directed by Robert Clouse from a screenplay by Michael Allin, “Enter the Dragon” was Lee’s first English-language feature, and produced on a much higher budget than his previous entries, provided the martial arts star a larger canvas in which to demonstrate his craft.


enterthedragon.jpg (10658 bytes)Told with it’s tongue definitely in cheek (and sometimes ripped out of cheek), “Enter the Dragon” was the perfect showcase for Lee.

His lightning-quick kicks and punches found plenty of opponents to connect with, including the evil Han, who has invited the best of the best to his island fortress for the tournament of a lifetime. Lee teams up with Americans John Saxon and Jim Kelly to infiltrate the fortress and prove that Han is up to no good. I was never a fan of martial arts films, but I thoroughly enjoyed “Enter the Dragon.”

COMPLETE CHECK-UP

VISION: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

“Enter the Dragon” looks better than I have seen it in years. The sharp, vivid transfer makes the film feel fresh. The 2.35:1 widescreen presentation is the only way to enjoy all of the kick-butt action that has been carefully choreographed to fill the entire frame.

HEARING: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

Thanks to the remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, every punch and kick fills the room with a vengeance. The dialogue is a little tinny in moments, but that’s due to the original print, not the transfer. The score by Lalo Schifrin sounds vibrant and full-bodied.

ORAL: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

English, French and Spanish language tracks complimented by sub-titles in all three languages. Surprisingly, “Enter the Dragon” doesn’t feature a Chinese or Japanese language track or sub-titles.

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Considering the price point, Warner Home Video’s Special Editions are a sure bet. The DVD of “Enter the Dragon” celebrates the film’s 25th anniversary with tons of extras that will surely please fans of the film. Aside from the traditional features (trailers, production notes, scene access and interactive menus), the DVD features the 1973 Behind-the-Scenes documentary “Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon,” plus a new documentary “Bruce Lee: In His Own Words.” Both are timeless treasures that provide a thoughtful and interesting look at Lee and his work. Lee’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, also provides a new introduction and sticks around for an interview. An alternate audio track features commentary from the director and writer. Finally, the DVD includes three minutes of additional footage that was trimmed from the original U.S. release. The scenes have been cut back into the film at the beginning and end, and even though they provide no major plot points, they’re a welcome addition.

PROGNOSIS: [ X ] EXCELLENT [ ] GOOD [ ] RESUSCITATE [ ] D.O.A.

Bruce Lee may have died shortly after “Enter the Dragon” was filmed, but his legacy lives on in this handsomely produced DVD.

VITALS: $24.99/Rated R/102 Min/Color/29 Chapters/Snapcase/#15921

ATTENDING RESIDENT: John Larsen

PATIENT: ENTER THE DRAGON-25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION

BIRTH DATE: 1973

HMO: Warner Home Video



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