Happy 40th, “Enter the Dragon”!
By Whitney Moore on June 25, 2013
The quintessential martial arts film and Bruce Lee’s magnum opus, 1973′s Enter the Dragon, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and to commemorate the milestone, Warner Brothers has released a special commemorative Blu-ray package filled with goodies for the ninja in training.
The collector’s edition comes with a red envelope that includes an iron-on patch (so bullies can easily identify who NOT to mess with), an official “ally of the dragon” card (to post in your locker so your sweetie can see how tough you really are but you don’t need to brag about it), several commemorative stills from the film, and even a sweet lenticular of Bruce swingin’ around his nunchucks.
The Blu-ray of the film itself has been fully revived to be enjoyed in all its ass-kicking glory; the rich color palette and crisp sound ensures you won’t miss a single chop or signature “HI-YAW!” Additionally, the release is jam packed with bonus features, like an insightful commentary by producer Paul Heller about the making of the film, and the documentary “No Way is Way” by Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and widow, Linda, which features interviews with notables such as George Takei, Steve Aoki, and Sugar Ray Leonard about their knowledge of self mastery through Bruce Lee’s teachings. The Blu-ray also offers several behind the scenes featurettes, interviews with Bruce and his family, and a 90-minute documentary entitled “The Curse of the Dragon,” chronicling Lee’s life from child actor to charismatic superstar.
Whether you’re a hardcore martial arts film fan or you’re just being inducted into Lee’s universe, this is definitely a collector’s edition to pick up. For those Philistines unfamiliar with the plot, Enter the Dragon is Bruce Lee’s final masterpiece, about a spy competing in a deadly tournament whilst infiltrating a crime lord’s opium operation. During a time when almost every role for an Asian or Asian-American was either a servant, a fool, or a villain, Lee became an international icon and role model for the under- and misrepresented races in film. Enter the Dragon has frequently been the subject of homages and been copied in films (Kentucky Fried Movie and The Last Dragon, among many, many others) and basically the entire Mortal Kombat series.
Watching this movie for the first time since I was a kid was a glorious experience on two levels. First, the transfer is probably the best version of the film we’ll ever get to see and hear, and that alone makes it worth shelling out the scrilla. Secondly, now as a full grown lady with lady-feels, witnessing Bruce Lee kick, punch, chop, and toss around extras while doling out sagely advice and flipping his perfect Beatles hair was pretty spectacular.
And did you know that Enter the Dragon was inspired by a comic book? I sure didn’t, but according to the producers of the film, the 1930s comic strip Terry and the Pirates was responsible for much of the style and rich colors, which were even kept in mind when retouching the color for the Blu Ray.
What could have been another racist, misguided B action movie was turned into one of the most influential martial arts films of all time simply because Bruce Lee had the charisma, talent, and will to break outside the conventions that had been set for him.
Appreciate the legacy and nab the collectors edition at Amazon; for a cool $35, you’ll be reveling in all the classic kick-ass moments.
What’s your favorite scene from Enter the Dragon? What other Bruce Lee films have gone under appreciated? What has Bruce Lee taught you? Tell me. Leave a quemment, or tweet me!