The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1973
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Action/Martial Arts
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Bob Wall, Ahna Capri, Shih Kien
Directed by: Robert Clouse
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Written by: Michael Allin
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 11, 2013
Enter the Dragon takes Lee to the island fortress of criminal warlord Han, whose martial arts academy covers up opium smuggling and prostitution activities. To avenge the death of his sister, Lee infiltrates the stronghold and enters Han's brutal tournament-a breathtaking visual feast of competitions fusing skills in karate, judo, tae kwon do, tai chi chuan and hapkido,
I have clear recollections of the fervor that followed Enter the Dragon and the impact its star had as the new martial arts medium swept in. As kids we all reveled in the hand to hand art as we did our absolute best to imitate the moves of Bruce Lee. There is no denying his star power, charisma and prowess at his craft. He was an impressive physical specimen who lit up the big screen. Seeing Enter the Dragon back in the day I paid little attention to the story’s elements and focused only on the incredible fight sequences and Lee’s abilities. Watching the film as I got older I retained the appreciation for the action and saw the plot as a sort of James Bond like thriller with a shallower narrative and very basic characterizations.
Watching today it feels very much the same, perhaps even more so, however its nostalgic value and rightful place as THE kung fu movie of kung fu movies earns it a place upon the pedestal along with other classic films. Here is some information taken from Warner Home Video’s press kit that I thought would be of interest:
Bruce Lee was an incredible athlete and mixed martial artist who, despite making a limited number of movies during his short life, became a charismatic megastar and left a permanent mark on cinema and popular culture. Even Time Magazine agreed. They included Lee in the “100 Most Important People of the 20th century” issue (Heroes and Icons 1999*). Enter the Dragon continues to resonate with today’s audiences. It was a major theatrical hit 40 years ago, grossing approximately $25 million domestically – the equivalent of almost $180 million in today’s box-office. Enter the Dragon has sold more than 450,000 units on DVD and Blu-ray since 2004.
Lee was born in San Francisco on November 27, 1940. As a young boy in Hong Kong, he acted in some 20 films there and first became known in the U.S. in 1966 for his role as sidekick Kato in TV’s “The Green Hornet.” He also appeared in TV shows like “Ironside” and “Longstreet,” with his most notable American role coming in the 1969 movie, Marlowe, starring James Garner. Returning to Hong Kong, Lee starred in a number of successful films for Raymond Chow’s Golden Harvest Productions and soon became a superstar in China. His enormous overseas success ultimately reached Hollywood and the attention of filmmaker Fred Weintraub and Warner Bros., who produced Enter the Dragon and tapped the actor to star. Lee died suddenly in Hong Kong, at the age of 32, of a cerebral edema. That was on July 20, 1973, less than a month before the film’s August 17 U.S. premiere. Posthumously, Enter the Dragon rocketed him to international superstardom.
Enter the Dragon comes to Blu-ray in this 40th anniversary gift set edition that includes restored high definition video, collectible art cards, a lenticular photo card, embroidered Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon iron on patch, reproduction of the limited edition Deputy of The Dragon card (handed out at the film’s premiere) and photographer Dave Friedman’s photo journey that captured behind the scene pictures during the production. The memorabilia and disc case come housed in a fairly sturdy cardboard slipcase.
In 2004, Enter the Dragon was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." It is indeed a classic film deserving of the accolades bestowed upon both it and its charismatic star whose short but brilliant career and life made such an impact on the world of entertainment.
The rating is for martial arts action and brief nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.
According to Warner Home Video’s press documentation Enter the Dragon recently underwent a restorative process and the results, especially compared to the 2007 Blu-ray release, are impressive. This film’s 2.39:1 framed high definition video presentation on Blu-ray looks terrific on my 100 inch screen. Colors are tonally balanced with inviting primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question. While the film’s elements aren’t the type to yield razor sharp imagery resolution is excellent as the blend of interior shots and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that appear filmic and rewarding. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enlivens bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present and appears undisturbed. Warner is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel mix does a terrific job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has appreciable vocal character and above average room penetration. This is a more or less front oriented presentation that makes use of the entire system to deliver a rewarding audio experience that is highlighted by the richness and defining clarity of Lalo Schifrin’s memorable music score. The surrounds are utilized for atmospheric extension while appropriately applied dynamics and mid to upper level bass combine to provide solidity that enhances both the music and effects without sounding unnatural or over processed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this audio presentation. It highlights the strengths of the source material without ostentatious display and sounds great.
- Audio commentary by producer Paul Heller
- (HD)*NEW* No way as way – 26 minute documentary
- (HD) The return to Han’s island – 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Wing Chun – The art that introduced kung fu to Bruce Lee – 20 minute documentary
- Blood and steel: The making of Enter the Dragon – 30 minute documentary
- Bruce Lee: in his own words – 19 minute featurette
- Linda Lee Caldwell talks about Bruce Lee
- 1973 Featurette – 7 minutes
- Backyard workout with Bruce Lee (black & white) – 2 minutes
- Curse of the Dragon – 87 minute documentary narrated by George Takei
- 4 Theatrical trailers
- 7 TV Spots
Enter the Dragon is a classic martial arts film that made star Bruce Lee a household word among American filmgoers. This 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Gift set marks its second foray on to Blu-ray and gives fans the opportunity to bask in restored high definition video quality that easily surpasses any previous home video release as well as containing new bonus material and production related memorabilia that is perfect for collectors. If you’re a fan this is a worthwhile offering that deserves a place in your collection. Enjoy!
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package