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How Bruce Lee Changed the World

38 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Aug 25, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With his laser-quick hands and feet, steely body, and vast knowledge of Chinese martial arts, Bruce Lee was a one-of-a-kind powerhouse, taking on and taking out the bad guys with gusto. His astonishing skills brought him fame and movie roles, but who knew the real man behind the flying arms and legs?

Now, HISTORY tells you the whole story, from his birth in San Francisco to his mysterious death some say the result of a curse at age 32, just three weeks before the opening of his only U.S. film, Enter the Dragon. Along the way, Lee introduced ancient martial arts to the modern world, securing a permanent place in our popular culture.

With seldom-seen interviews and rare home movies, hear from those he influenced from Jackie Chan to John Woo, Brett Ratner, LL Cool J, and Stan Lee as we explore HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD.

The History Channel's How Bruce Lee Changed the World explores the amazing multitude of ways that Bruce Lee--the first international Asian superstar--has influenced pop culture. Calling Lee "the biggest movie star in history" is a bit of a stretch (though every shot of this hypnotically charismatic performer argues that he might have been, had he not died abruptly before the release of his fourth and most successful movie, Enter the Dragon). A wealth of interviewees, ranging from filmmakers like Jackie Chan (who was a stunt man on Lee's movies in his early career), John Woo, and Brett Ratner, comedians like Eddie Griffin and Margaret Cho, musicians like LL Cool J, RZA, and Damon Albarn, athletes like boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and bodybuilder Flex Wheeler, and more, testify to the enormous impression Lee had on them. The documentary overreaches at some points, but there's no denying that Lee brought martial arts movies to the West and redefined the image of Asian men in the public consciousness (before him, Asian men were fiends like Fu Manchu, servants, or buffoons). Lee's life history is efficiently told and some of the details are delightful--who would have guessed Lee was a champion cha-cha dancer in Hong Kong? His audition for The Green Hornet reveals a movie star just waiting to be discovered. The man himself--lithe and muscular, capable of astonishing speed and grace, radiating both intelligence and passion--makes all commentary unnecessary. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Need to Know: Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee filmography

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Lee
  • Directors: History
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001OLY1YU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,861 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on July 3, 2009
Bruce Lee is referred to as "the king of martial arts" for a good reason. He was a man who was ahead of his time. Some would say a revolutionary. Having only four completed films under his belt (only one being a Hollywood film), Bruce Lee not only became an inspiration but still is one to this day. Many of his techniques (whether it's his physical training, dieting, filmography, directing, or philosophy) are still as influential and are being utilized everywhere from the east to the west and everywhere in between. There will never be another Bruce Lee, but the impact he left on the world is still being felt 35 years after his death. His popularity doesn't seem to be dwindling at all, but his methods certainly left a long lasting impression. How Bruce Lee Changed the World is a 90-minute documentary chronicling Bruce's amazing life, how his legacy is still in full swing today, and the influence he made on many people all over the globe.

This is a pretty incredible documentary that is almost every bit as good as A Warrior's Journey (AWJ has a slight edge since it has the remastered and original footage from Game of Death) that is a worthy watch for any Bruce Lee fan. Seeing how he influenced not only actors and directors, but musicians, boxing, MMA, and bodybuilders is pretty interesting. The film does a good job of putting into perspective of how big Bruce Lee really was. A man whose teachings seem more relevant today than they did 30-40 years ago deserves to be as big as he is even if he's no longer here to witness it. Bruce Lee jump started martial arts filmmaking and broke the stereotypes set in Hollywood for Chinese and Asian actors during the seventies. How Bruce Lee Changed the World is a great film to pop in to show that friend who doesn't understand why everyone has such a thing for Bruce Lee or is just a great watch to give Bruce Lee fans a better insight into the legacy he left behind and the phenomenon that continues to grow everyday.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alain B. Burrese TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 3, 2010
"How Bruce Lee Changed The World" is a very interesting and entertaining biography produced by the History Channel. Rather than just focusing on Bruce Lee's life, this program's focus is on how Bruce Lee influenced many areas of popular culture and society. Martial Artists and Bruce Lee fans will definitely enjoy this biography, but I think fans of action movies will also enjoy seeing Bruce Lee's impact on action cinema. However, what some viewers may be surprised to learn is that Bruce Lee influenced more than just martial arts and movies. For Bruce Lee fans, this DVD will be a must for their collections, for others it will be an interesting look at a man who had tremendous influence on different arts even though he died much too young in 1973.

The biography has chapters on Philosophy, Breaking Stereotypes, Martial Arts, Physical Fitness, Attitudes in China, Action Movies, Music, Branding, and a short bit at the end about where he is buried and about future plans for things regarding Bruce Lee.

The chapters of the DVD contain interesting segments on freerunning, mixed martial arts, and bodybuilding with several freerunners, mixed martial artists, and bodybuilders stating that Lee's philosophy, ideas, and training helped shaped these popular sports and training. I also really liked the segments with Shannon Lee in Hong Kong and China where a memorial park and museum are being created. They are also planning a museum in Hong Kong in Lee's old home. I also found the other chapters interesting as well.

It's a very well done biography, which one would expect from the History Channel, with footage from Bruce Lee films and private video of Bruce Lee as well as many other interesting scenes and interviews. It's fast paced and keeps your attention throughout.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Kleinschmidt on July 29, 2010
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I enjoyed this DVD. It gives a total picture of Bruce and his philophical approach to things. He has affected so many people in the past and still today with his messages. Much of the travails that he went through have helped Asian artists to this day as long as influencing others in the positive approach to the martial arts as a way of life and not just to learn how to fight, but to learn how not to fight along with other life lessons. Interesting also were the scenes showing how different activities have been influenced by him. Martial Arts movies are now main stream and even with subtitles, people are becoming interested and seeing the different aspects of martial arts as well as the history of some of the great masters of the past i.e. Wong Fei Hong and others.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jsreynoldz on March 17, 2011
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Disappointing. It's a given that Bruce Lee made a huge mark as the pioneering Chinese actor in Hollywood, on how martial arts movies are made today, and how how martial arts and mixed martial arts are practiced today. That said, to me, this one just failed to provide an interesting perspective from that meaningful angle. I mean, LL Cool J and Eddie Griffin providing commentary? Really?? (I actually like both of these guys otherwise). I would have enjoyed more insightful perspective on the subject from those who are relevant to the history, his life, and those within the martial arts community. Unfortunately, I found this to be a snoozer. Just my two cents...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gossamer on August 15, 2013
If MTV made a Bruce Lee documentary, it'd probably mirror this one's style. Crammed with brief snippets from interviews interspersed with narrated facts and jumpy visuals, oversaturated with background music. This film is as fast-paced as Lee's movements but lacks his depth, offering little insight into the man himself while being too loose and sweeping in making its case for Bruce Lee's impact on society. I'd suggest 'A Warrior's Journey' instead.
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