Criterion Releasing Bruce Lee ‘Greatest Hits’ Boxed Set    

The Criterion Collection July 14 will release a seven-disc Blu-ray boxed set containing five of kung-fu action star Bruce Lee’s greatest films.

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits brings together five films that define the Lee legend: furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy and whirlwind fighting style. Though Lee completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death in 1973 at age 32, he left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over.

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Game of Death

The set will include 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks. The set will also include two versions of Enter the Dragon digitally restored in 2K: the 99-minute 1973 theatrical version with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack, and the 102-minute special edition version.

The Blu-rays will include audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon.

The set will include six audio commentaries. The Big Boss comes with a voiceover by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; producer Paul Heller provides one for the extended cut of Enter the Dragon; and Hong Kong-film expert Mike Leeder offers his thoughts on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon.

Game of Death will include “Game of Death Redux,” a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage produced by Alan Canvan, and a high-definition presentation of the 1981 sequel Game of Death II.

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Other extras include:

  • New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly;
  • A new interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee;
  • A new program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge;
  • A new interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers;
  • Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon;
  • Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998);
  • Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah and Simon Yam, and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung and Wong Jing;
  • Promotional materials;
  • New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;
  • An essay by critic Jeff Chang.

Bela Lugosi Classic ‘The Human Monster’ Among Titles on VCI October 2019 Disc Slate From MVD

The classic 1975 documentary Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, the Kung Fu film The Leg Fighters and the Bela Lugosi classic The Human Monster are on the eclectic October disc slate from VCI Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

Brother Can You Spare A Dime?, available now on Blu-ray Disc, is writer-director Philippe Mora’s chronicle of the Great Depression, in both its bleak lows and its artistic highs. Featuring the grim reality that many Americans faced during the era, largely in the form of newsreel clips, the film also depicts how Hollywood dealt with this period of widespread poverty and unemployment. Much of the movie footage showcases glamour and extravagance, providing lively moments of escapism that contrast starkly with day-to-day life during the 1930s. The film features clips with Hollywood stars including John Wayne, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Jimmy Stewart, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Clarke Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Katharine Hepburn and Fred Astaire. It was a 1976 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Documentary Film.

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Also available now is The Leg Fighters on Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack. The Kung Fu film follows Phoenix, a rebellious young student in martial arts. When her father brings in a new Kung Fu instructor, she has to shape up quickly as a deadly master approaches looking for him to avenge his brother’s death. With action scenes from Sun Jung-Chi Sun and Kang Peng, the fights set new standards in kicking choreography under the knowledgeable action eye of Tso Nam Lee (The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious). The disc includes audio commentary by filmmaker, actor and Kung Fu film fan Michael Worth, who also visits with director Lee Tso Nam in the extras. The box includes an original illustration commissioned from popular genre artist Ian McEwan.

The 1939 classic The Human Monster: Collector’s Edition is due Oct. 29 on Blu-ray. Bela Lugosi gives one of his finest portraits of evil in this adaptation of Edgar Wallace’s terror-thriller-mystery The Dark Eyes of London. A series of drownings have Scotland Yard baffled. One common denominator; the dead men were heavily insured through a particular brokerage firm and all the policies were paid off. Larry Hold, a Scotland Yard detective, and a visiting American cop from Chicago get on the trail and, with the help of the daughter of one of the dead men, discover a horrifying cause to the so-called accidents/suicides. Behind it all is a human monster, a doctor who is using a home for blind men as a front for his nightmarish activities. His main tool is a gargoyle-like brute who eventually becomes the madman’s downfall. Filmed in England, The Human Monster features Lugosi as a fiend more diabolical than any criminal the encountered by Scotland Yard. Extras include a commentary track by noted film historian, author and Lugosi expert Gary Don Rhodes; a commentary track by film historian David del Valle and author, screenwriter and “monster kid” Phoef Sutton; liner notes written by film historian Patrick McCabe; the archival video “Intimate Interview with Bela Lugosi”; a poster and photo gallery; and the original U.S. re-issue theatrical trailer.

Chinese Fantasy ‘Kung Fu Monster’ to Bow on Blu-ray Oct. 8 From Well Go

The Chinese fantasy actioner Kung Fu Monster will come out on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 8 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In this epic fantasy in the waning years of the Ming Dynasty, the Bruneian Empire wants to offer a rare creature to the nation as a gift and has tasked Ocean, a member of the Imperial Secret Police, to capture and tame the beast. Upon discovering the beast’s gentle and kind nature, Ocean works in secret to release the beast back to the wild, keeping it from being turned into a killing machine.

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The film stars Louis Koo (Kill Zone 2, The White Storm), Cheney Chen and Bea Hayden Kuo and is directed by Andrew Lau Wai-Keung.

Doc ‘I Am the White Tiger’ Available on DVD and Digital From Random Media

The martial arts documentary I Am the White Tiger is available now on DVD, on demand and digital from Random Media.

Directed by Lei Chiu, the film follows stuntman, action director and martial artist Mark Houghton, who tells his story of breaking into the Hong Kong film industry, his struggle with injuries and depression, and the promise he made his teacher, the legendary filmmaker Lau Kar Leung. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Houghton learned martial arts after seeing the films of Bruce Lee. He befriended a young Chinese man named Willie Wong, who told him that if he wanted to learn kung fu, he’d need to go to Asia. As a teenager, Houghton left the United Kingdom and went to Malaysia to learn kung fu from a sifu named Ho Kam Wei. He returned to the United Kingdom and opened a Kung Fu school of his own. He traveled to Hong Kong and met his idol, legendary director Lau Kar Leung. Impressed by his knowledge of Hung Gar kung fu, Lau offered Houghton a supporting role in an upcoming film. Houghton closed his school in the United Kingdom and made the permanent move to Hong Kong to start his career in film. The life of a foreign stuntman in Hong Kong took a toll on Houghton’s body. Not able to do what he once could, he left the industry and battled his demons. However, a promise he made to Lau Kar Leung gave him the purpose and vision to build a new and better future.

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Filmed in Hong Kong, I Am the White Tiger has collected multiple awards including Best Action Film at the Iron Dragon TV Action Fest 2018 and Best Editing (Feature Documentary) at Nice International Film Festival 2018.