By Vernon Felton
Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection
Price: $90 (available from Amazon.com or countless vendors on street corners, selling toaster ovens, R Kelly CDs and Bruce Lee movies)
After writing yesterday’s ode to the Leatherman Raptor, I received a few emails from people asking if I’d really bought my wife the Bruce Lee Ultimate Collection on DVD. Of course I did. The real question is: Why haven’t you?
Come on. A house is hardly a home without Bruce Lee in it. This DVD collection takes care of our about 80 percent of the average American’s Bruce Lee needs. The collection features The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Game of Death and Game of Death II.
I admit, calling this string of movies “ultimate” is a bit of a stretch. Game of Death II is just a heartless attempt to eke some money out of the man’s name. They should teach a lesson in Sunday School on why you don’t make movies like this.
And, of course, the collection lacks Enter the Dragon (Warner Brothers owns the rights to it).
Having pointed out the flaws, let’s peruse the positives: you do get The Big Boss and Fist of Fury (excellent), plus you get to see Bruce Lee tear Chuck Norris’ chest hair out in Way of the Dragon and, really, that merits the sticker price right there. Game of Death also has its moments–watching Kareem Abdul Jabar unfold his limbs like some kind of awful, giant Kung Fu-wielding spider is always a treat.
Bruce Lee for Christmas? I know what you’re thinking–Why not Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master 2? Good point.
Maybe grandma and grandpa are coming over, the kids are playing around the Christmas tree (or staring forlornly at their dreidels)…at times like that you might want something a bit more festive than Bruce Lee kicking Chuck Norris’ sorry ass. I get it. Well, nothing punches that ticket like Jackie Chan. Drunken Master 2 is, for my money, the best Chan film ever. You have humor, family drama and a fighting style that requires Jackie Chan to get blind-drunk in order to fend off bad guys and save the day.
Jackie Chan? Bruce Lee. Either way, it’s going to be a hell of a Christmas.