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Enter the Dragon Special Edition DVD Review

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Bruce Lee is probably one of those people who will never be forgotten. His legacy is simple invicible, staying alive in movies like this. Enter the Dragon is the epitome of martial arts movies, a genre bogged down by so many cheap low budget knock offs that it’s downright disgusting. Here is the pinnacle on DVD yet again, this time in a 2-disc form for the first time.

Han, a rich, mysterious man invites a group of the worlds best fighters to his island to compete in a tournament. Here, he trains hundereds of students in the martial arts and completes some rather shaky buisness deals involving illegal drugs. Bruce Lee gets caught up not only in the tournament, but has been hired by the British government to figure out exactly what Han is doing on the island.

I’m not a big fan of martial arts movies. I’ve seen a few in my time, but I always end up with the same opinion of them: “That wasn’t Enter the Dragon.” The acting here is rather weak and story is just put in place to start up the action, but everyone here was recruited due to their fighting skills first. It shows in every frame. The choreographed battles are on an epic scale, light years ahead of anything that has been put on the screen to date. This is certainly Bruce Lee’s best, though almost every film he starred in was thoroughly enjoyable (and available in a seperate DVD box set). If you a fan of any type of action film and have yet to see this masterpiece, now is a better time than ever. (**** out of *****)

Enter the Dragon is presented in widescreen, roughly 2.35:1. This is proclaimed to be an all new digital transfer according to the case. It’s certainly believeable. A comparison to the 25th anniversary set reveals brighter (and sharper) colors, less grain, and minimal compression issues. Even more of the scratches have been fixed and only a minute few still remain. This is the best this movie has ever looked and the few minor issues will only bother nit-pickers. (****)

The remixed 5.1 soundtrack is nice, though only the soundtrack really finds it’s way into the rear speakers. The fight sequences usually stay in the center, though a few stereo effects creep their way in. The voices sound a bit cleaner than the previous release, but that’s the only noticeable difference. This is one of those tracks that won’t blow you away, but it’s still the best way to hear the movie. (***)

Extras, extras, extras. This is a packed set with a few carry overs from the previous Warner disc. Disc one has a new commentary track by the producer Paul Heller. This is a nice touch since the first release had a commentary and it could have been used. Next up is an all new 30 minute documentary called Blood and Steel: Making Enter the Dragon. This is basically a collection of interviews culled from various sources. There is some brief behind the scenes footage and there are some great stories shared by the various people who were lucky to be on the set. The rest of the first disc is filled with features from the first disc including Bruce Lee: In His Own Words, a 20 minute feature with a black & white interview and various home videos. There are 10 interview segments with his widow, Linda Lee Caldwell and some home movie footage of his workout regiment.

Disc 2 contains two spectacular documentaries, both full lenth. First is a 90 minute feature called Curse of the Dragon. It’s completely in depth about his life, death, and legacy. There’s some funeral footage and lots of interviews with people who were close to him. You’ll also get some thoughts from the various people who were behind the scenes during his movies. Yet another lengthy feature is Bruce Lee: Warriors Journey. This one comes in at 100 minutes and has a large focus on Game of Death, a movie Bruce died before he could finish filming. There are extensive outtakes from the film, but also from Bruces other movies as well. There’s a great focus on his death and conspiracy theories also. Rounding out the disc are some various trailers and TV Spots. (*****)

This is an excellent update to the 25th anniversary disc in every way. The two features on the second disc are worth the price alone and almost run as long as the movie itself. The new transfer here probably won’t blow you away, but it is a nice step up. This is the best version of the film on DVD and it will probably stay that way until HD-DVD makes it’s way into stores.

Originally posted at Breaking Windows.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • HW Saxton Jr.

    Great review Matt P. I’ve picked this up
    already but haven’t had the chance to
    watch it yet. Now I know what to look
    forward to.A lot of people consider this
    the “Citizen Kane” of chop socky movies.

    I agree. I love this genre too by the
    way.Can’t really explain why but I guess
    sometimes the brain just craves junk
    food.

    There is a documentary out right now
    called “Red Trousers” which is about the
    making of flicks such as this.It’s more
    interesting than many of the actual
    movies are.