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Bruce Lee - A Warrior's Journey
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Bruce Lee was an enigmatic, legendary figure at the time of his death in 1973. His popularity has never waned and this 2001 documentary on the black belt movie star attempts to explain some of his magnetic appeal. Included in this biographical film is footage of The Game of Death, the film that Lee was involved in at the time of his death. Pieced together by Lee aficionado John Little, the film's finale is a flurry of images of the master in action for over 30 minutes.
Bruce Lee's life, philosophy, and final film are examined in this reverent documentary, which traces the master's path through the development of his own style, his battles with mainstream Hollywood and martial arts traditionalists, and his emergence as the world's top box-office draw. Just as interesting as Lee's life is the chance to see lost footage from The Game of Death, Lee's final, unfinished film. Outtakes offer the opportunity to see Lee's perfectionism in action, and the reconstructed storyline reveals how Lee's personal martial arts philosophy shaped the film. And yes, there is a spectacular nunchakau fight. Interviews with Lee and those close to him highlight his energy, intelligence, and remarkable charisma. Fans of Lee will welcome this new insight into his filmmaking, and those unfamiliar with his life and work will come away with a new respect. The DVD includes a Lee filmography, the theatrical trailer for The Game of Death, and audio commentary by the director. --Ali Davis
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Top customer reviews
His dilligent research and careful application of putting the footage together from Bruce's own notes and illustrations is obvious and well appreciated, unlike the ones who hap-hazardly put together their own version of Bruce's movie over 20 years ago. They obviously lacked the kind of clear, crisp vision that Bruce had in the way he envisioned martial arts to be, as a true artform. Not just people beating the heck out of each other (especially in action movies today), but to have a purpose or reason for violence and learning to adapt within one's own self to the outside environment to overcome challenges, as Bruce does on each level of the pagoda.
As I have learned recently, asian movies were usually shot without a soundtrack to make it easier for international showings that had to be dubbed in various languages anyways. Therefore, Bruce's war-cries are from his previous movies but add excitement nevertheless. And yes, you will hear Kareem's voice too! And other good stuff you don't want to miss.
Bruce's humour and "serious play" attitude, as in "Way of the Dragon", is as vibrant as ever in various restored scenes of The Game of Death. You can just imagine how much fun Bruce and his friends had in making the movie in getting to "express themselves freely" as Bruce always encouraged. Also, the work done by Dan Inosanto, Ji Han Jae, and of course Kareem are finally in its entirety. This restored vision of The Game of Death alone is worth getting the DVD.
The Biography segment contains more of Bruce's philosophy and footage from his screen test, movie and TV appearances that you might not have seen before. This even includes audio clips as well as some home movie footage. Brand new interviews with Bruce's family and friends are also among its features.
I would have liked to give 5 stars for this DVD but just one warning. The DVD advertises a music video and a feature-length audio commentary by Little (it does not specify whether this a narration throughout the biography or a separate track for T.G.O.D. portion). Both of these are as elusive as Bruce's bamboo whip. If anyone knows what and where these features are, please let us know. That aside however, this is a MUST for your DVD library. If you don't get it, "...you'll be in deep trouble".
Bruce Lee: A Warriors Journey focuses on Bruce's rise to fame in both the Martial Arts world and the film world. It explores his struggles against prejudice in Hollywood. On top of all that Bruce's original vision for The Game of Death is revealed. His original script is uncovered. Completely different from the released version. This was going to be the film that finally focused on Bruce's personal philosophy.
The real gem of this documentary comes at the end. For the first time. The full thirty minutes of Bruce's lost footage for the Game of Death is revealed and let me tell you it's glorious to behold. These thiry minutes featuring some of the greatest martial arts I've ever seen on film. If there ever was any reason to think that Bruce Lee was the master it's proven in this footage. Had he lived to finish the film it could of possibly been his masterpiece.
Skip the released version and watch this documentary instead.
NOW, the The Game of Death as Bruce intended it to be shown is actualized by the sheer brilliance of John Little, in "A Warrior's Journey." Fans of Bruce Lee.. THIS IS ONE DVD that you cannot miss!
I particularly like the part where Bruce bends the bamboo and says to Dan:"This bamboo is longer.. more flexible and very much alive.. and if your flashy routine cannot keep up with the speed and the elusiveness of this thing (the bamboo) here.. all i can say is that.. baby.. you are in deep trouble.." And later again Bruce says to Dan:"Rehearsed routine is difficult to keep up with broken rhythm.."
The Game of Death as Bruce intended it to be shown, as represented in "A Warrior's Journey" has become my most favourite Bruce Lee movie!
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