Press Release Criterion Press Release: Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits (Blu-ray)

Ryan Barrett

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Do we know yet if these are the same transfers from SHOUT! and if FISTS of FURY will finally include the uncut "saw" scenes in the ice house? If memory serves, it was missing from the SHOUT! transfer.
 

ScottJH

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Do we know yet if these are the same transfers from SHOUT! and if FISTS of FURY will finally include the uncut "saw" scenes in the ice house? If memory serves, it was missing from the SHOUT! transfer.
Since Fortune Star is the one who owns & licenses out the transfers they will probably be the same 4k restoration transfers that L'immagine Ritrovata did for them in 2016. Now the question is what color timing will these have. Shout did their own color timing of the 4k transfers for the Shout Select releases so will Criterion do their own timing or have access to what Shout did or just use the color timiing of the restoration by L'immagine Ritrovata?
 

Lord Dalek

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Since Fortune Star is the one who owns & licenses out the transfers they will probably be the same 4k restoration transfers that L'immagine Ritrovata did for them in 2016. Now the question is what color timing will these have. Shout did their own color timing of the 4k transfers for the Shout Select releases so will Criterion do their own timing or have access to what Shout did or just use the color timiing of the restoration by L'immagine Ritrovata?
Criterion's trailer showed grading similar to the Shout Factory blus.
 

Lord Dalek

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Beaver.

Interestingly, Criterion has done their own color timing on this set. It closely resembles the HKL discs from the early 2000s rather than the most recent Shout Factory discs.
 
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Lord Dalek

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Preorder came in early so here's some quick thoughts...

BIG BOSS

Video ****.5/*****: Iits kinda shocking how good this looks considering its low budget origins)

Audio *** to ****/*****: The PCM Mandarin (Wang Fu-Ling soundtrack) and English (Peter Thomas soundtrack) are unfortunately inhibited by the fact that they're taken from optical tracks and being offered uncompressed won't alleviate those limitations. However this release also offers two later redubs: one in Cantonese featuring a Joseph Koo score and Mandarin with Thomas' score. They're both in lossy Dolby 1.0 and actually sound a bit cleaner at least to me.

Extras ***: Every film has an intro by Lee's biographer Matthew Polly. They're really good and I wish he'd done fully commentaries on them. Speaking of which the audio commentaries from the previous Shout Factory discs are presented here so we have Brandon Bentley giving a rather fun and energetic commentary and an almost completely unintelligible Mike Leeder who was apparently recorded using VOIP and made worse by the fact that he's commenting over the Cantonese track which is somehow bleeding into the English dub. What a shambles. Bentley also contributres an audio essay about dub music composer Peter Thomas and we get a quick interview with Gene LaBell and the import title sequences for "Fists of Fury".

FIST OF FURY

Video *****/*****: Fist of Fury is the best looking film in the set by far. If you've only seen it on stream sites prepare to be amazed.

Audio ****/*****: The mono tracks for Fist of Fury have also fared better than the ones for Big Boss with noticeably less harsh trebble. We get one less though as there was no alternate musical scores this time and the Cantonese redub again is lossy only. FTR -- the English dub of Fist of Fury here conforms to The Chinese Connection version of the film and does not include the vocal version of the title song.

Extras ***.5/*****: Rinse and repeat what I said about Polly and Leeder (however Leeder isn't as painful to listen to this time as his comments seem to be synched to the right soundtrack). However we get some vintage interviews taken from older home video releases featuring Nora Miao, Riki Hashimoto, Yuen Wah, and Jun Katsumura. The japanese opening for Fist of Fury is on here and includes the opening song with the lyrics.

WAY OF THE DRAGON

Video **.5/*****: Ugh what happened here? After the detailed, highly resolved image for Fist of Fury, we get a soft smeary mess in the form of Way of the Dragon. Apparently the negative for this film no longer survives so that would explain why the PQ has take a hit. Either that or Criterion somehow got the wrong master from Fortune Star. Shrugs.

Audio ****/*****: On par with Fist of Fury but this time we get the bonus of an alternate English dub created for the Japanese market with a vocal theme song and some different music cues.

Extras ****/*****: The prerequisite Polly and Leeder lead into a one-hour fluff documentary The Legacy of the Dragon which I believe is not available anywhere else. A set of older interviews featuring Sammo Hung and Jon Benn from the old Shout Factory discs are here as well.
 
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Lord Dalek

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How does Enter the Dragon look?
Theatrical looks a little better than the extended. They're the same master so that might be down to compression though.

Surprisingly Way of the Dragon looks by far the worst though.
 
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ScottJH

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Beaver.

Interestingly, Criterion has done their own color timing on this set. It closely resembles the HKL discs from the early 2000s rather than the most recent Shout Factory discs.
DVD Beaver is comparing the Criterion set to the older Shout Legacy/Premiere Collection discs not the most recent Shout Select Collector's Edition discs.
 

Lord Dalek

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ENTER THE DRAGON (Theatrical):

VIDEO ****.5/*****: Enter the Dragon is the only title on the box that wasn't given a 4k restoration. That said, the transfer here (taken from an IP due to the apparent loss of the oneg) still looks very good. Maybe a shade grainier than Fist of Fury but with even better depth of field (no doubt the result of the film being shot with better Panavision lenses as opposed to the already antiquated Dialyvision ones from the first three films). If you really need proof that a 4k master is always going to look better than a 2k, watch this back to back with Way of the Dragon. Yiiikes.

AUDIO *****/*****: Enter the Dragon is the only film on this set whose actual audio source is credited as being a DME Mag. As such the sound quality lacks the muddy, blown out, attributes of the past three films. This is a perfectly clean clear mono track. And this being the US domestic cut of the film, there are no extra dubs this time either.

EXTRAS ****.5/*****: The theatrical Enter the Dragon is the only film with no audio commentary on the set (instead there's the old one with the Extended edition on disc 8) so that Matthew Polly intro becomes even more important as he touches on most of the important points of the film's history. The rest of the disc is filled out by supplements ported over from Warner's own releases over the years such as the making-of "Blood and Steel" and "Bruce Lee in his own Words".

GAME OF DEATH:

VIDEO ***.5/*****: This is probably the best looking transfer of the bunch however it is hindered by the fact that Game of Death is assembled from footage shot for no less than four films, going all the way back to Fist of Fury. Its ultimately not quite as stable looking as Fist of Fury but the newer footage shot specifically for Game of Death looks great.

AUDIO *****/*****: Some may be disappointed to know that Criterion only offers the international english version of Game of Death as that's apparently the only one Fortune Star did a full 4k restoration on. They also didn't provide what materials were used for Game of Death's soundtrack but judging from listening to it, I'm going with a mag track. Fidelity is terrific and the post-sync recorded dialog blends in well with the actual studio sound (yes this is the only Bruce Lee film which had some production sound recorded for it)

EXTRAS *****/*****: Game of Death receives what could be considered a full on double disc set. Beginning again with the last of the Polly intros and Leeder commentaries, we get the old Game of Death Revisited documentary that's been on older home video releases. Criterion adds something unique and special to their release: "Game of Death Redux" a new reedit of what Lee completed for the aborted 1973 version of the film with new dubbing. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! While we don't get the Cantonese version of the film, we do get Game of Death II, the Bruceploitation pseudo sequel to Game of Death on Disc 2 (or 6) and the feature length documentary Bruce Lee The Man and The Legend (infamously the source for Game of Death's funeral scene) in HD
 
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ScottJH

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It's been determined that Game of Death 2 is unfortunately an upscale and not sourced from a HD master.
 

ScottJH

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Picked up my set today. Didn't have time to really dig into it. Compared about the first 20 minutes of Fist of Fury with the Shout Select disc. From a resolution/transfer standpoint they looked identical. Skin tones seemed to be the biggest difference that I noticed. Packaging on this is a little underwhelming. Wish they would have went with a thicker outer box eg limited editions from Arrow & Euerka MOC and used actual plastic cases and not the digibook with plastic trays eg UK Superman Anthology set.
 

TravisR

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I'm working my way through this set and the Bruce Lee: The Man And The Legend documentary is somehow both an amazing snapshot and a disgusting & repugnantly morbid exploitation of his death. As crass as the Game Of Death movies are, they're at least funny at some points (the Lee picture taped to the mirror has to be seen to be believed) when they're not mixing in footage from his actual funeral.
 

Lord Dalek

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I'm working my way through this set and the Bruce Lee: The Man And The Legend documentary is somehow both an amazing snapshot and a disgusting & repugnantly morbid exploitation of his death. As crass as the Game Of Death movies are, they're at least funny at some points (the Lee picture taped to the mirror has to be seen to be believed) when they're not mixing in footage from his actual funeral.
It is rather crass, especially considering much of the first hour or so is spent stalking Linda Lee Caldwell.
 
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titch

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Went to Amazon to order this - I have to save up my orders because only the most expensive shipping method is available for overseas - and now it's unavailable (except from resellers charging a small fortune). Will Criterion have to reprint, or will Amazon get restocked eventually? Same problem with Come And See.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I have my set, but no time to dig in yet. Maybe this weekend after I do my usual end-of-month binging on the Criterion Channel, LOL.

_Man_
 

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