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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits, A Seven-Disc Collectors Set of Five Kung-Fu Classics

The Criterion Collection announces the release of a box set collection of Bruce Lee films, Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits. This is their red-carpet tribute to the life and work of the iconic Kung-Fu master. These five films star the international martial-arts legend at the peak of his abilities and apex of his superstardom. The seven-disc Blu-ray box set offers many special features, including alternate versions of films, interviews with collaborators and admirers, documentaries about his life and philosophies, expert commentaries, original promotional materials, and action-packed adventure. Coming this July, Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits is a collection of high-flying classics from the ultimate fighter, whose unmatched persona and influence will live on in cinema for generations of fans to come. As the Criterion website says, "Back in the early 1970s, a kung-fu dynamo named Bruce Lee side-kicked his way onto the screen and straight into pop-culture immortality. With his magnetic screen presence, tightly coiled intensity, and superhuman martial-arts prowess, Lee was an icon who conquered both Hong Kong and Hollywood cinema, and transformed the art of the action film in the process. This collection brings together the five films that define the Lee legend distinguishable by furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy, and whirlwind fighting style. Though he completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death at age thirty-two, Lee left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over."

If you know Lee then this is a must have for your collection. If you aren't already familiar with one of the greatest representatives of Kung-Fu cinema, then you're in for a real treat - especially if you like Tarantino films. Why Tarantino specifically? Because Tarantino has often referred to these kind of films as major influences upon his work. And that's beyond just the Kill Bill films. Lee films have inspired many of the top name directors in film, television, video games and every other possible media platform out there. See for yourself why. Are Lee's films the end all of Asian cinema? Of course not. But there is no doubt that the love of these films helped create an "accessibility" to Eastern cinema, which was greatly under-appreciated (except by serious critics) before Lee's films came along.

I'm sure just one look at any of these films will inspire you to delve deeper into a world of movies beyond the boundaries of Hollywood. You may even be inspired to move onto the films of India, or Korea, and more. There's so many interesting things to see in movies from all countries from all eras, it would be a shame for you to miss out on all of what movies have to offer. The Special Edition includes the following features:a 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks. a new 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack. A 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. A high-definition presentation of Game of Death II. A 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. A 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. A 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 is also included. 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. New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, plus an essay by critic Jeff Chang. WOW. That's a lot of extras.


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