I Am Bruce Lee (UK - BD RB)
Marcus enjoys a celebration of the movie legend Bruce Lee on Blu-ray...
I Am Bruce Lee is a documentary that covers a number of things. First and foremost we’re given a well paced history of Bruce Lee’s career. From his childhood acting right up to his death. Secondly we’re taught his philosophy. His key teachings and how that has reflected upon his fans. Thirdly we’re shown his cultural significance and finally there’s a little discussion raising the argument that Bruce Lee is the Father of Mixed Martial Arts.
With all this going on I Am Bruce Lee makes for an easy to watch documentary about a true icon of both cinema and martial arts. His widow and daughter talk about the personal stuff, sportsmen and actors talk more about what Bruce Lee meant to them growing up or how his legend affects their approach to their profession. This is all stylised talking head stuff intercut with clips from Bruce’s films as well as interviews and old footage and photos and makes for a feel good celebration of the man’s work.
I enjoyed this documentary a great deal but I wouldn’t say it was an exceptional feature. In fact, there are documentaries on various Bruce Lee DVDs and Blu-rays that cover much the same ground as this. This new documentary feels a little more ‘Pop’. It’s almost an entry point for any younger fans of Bruce Lee that want to get a basic look at who the guy was and what he did and that’s not a bad thing. It’s almost a ninety minute sizzle reel that a newcomer could watch before venturing into Bruce Lee’s movies. Little snippets of the good bits and plenty of footage of Bruce doing his techniques for an audience. The way the documentary is structured, it’s hard not to get inspired by everything Bruce Lee achieved and how he dealt with his fame. Bruce Lee has been inspiring for years after all, so just giving his story a new lick of paint and linking it to MMA, will probably please a lot of people out there.
There’s a lot of different source material here but even the worst of it looks good in this HD presentation. The talking head narration looks fantastic in 1080p, with the red and black backgrounds and slick lighting giving a cool modern look to the documentary. Of course being a documentary, there’s not a great deal of room for impressive visuals but that doesn’t stop I Am Bruce Lee from looking like a slick, sharp HD presentation.
The 5.1 track is largely for show as the rear speakers really only deliver the odd tweak of music. Pretty much everything resides in the front speakers. Strong, clear dialogue, even on the older footage is well presented in the mix and the jumps between the newly recorded talking head chats and the older movies and footage never feels drastic, keeping a nice balance to the overall feel of the audio.
With snippets used within the documentary, it's good to see the full 'Hollywood Audition' (09:03 HD) in the extras. Also it's good to see a reel of 'Bruce Lee in Action' (07:46 HD).
The 'Backyard Training' (11:27) and 'Inspiration' (03:11) play like deleted scenes with talking head stories intercut with footage and wrapping up there's the trailer (01:411 HD).
I Am Bruce Lee is set out to inspire the audience to be like Bruce and really it’s only re-presenting a desire people have wanted for years anyway, given Bruce Lee’s cultural significance. This documentary looks great in HD and offers up some pretty looking snippets of Bruce’s films in amongst the newly shot interviews with the movie stars, athletes and Bruce’s family. This one is a must for Bruce Lee fans but it’s target is more the younger crowd, the MMA crowd and those who might be on the cusp of wanting to learn more about the legend that is Bruce Lee.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Exempt from classification
Release Date: 23rd July 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo English
Extras: Hollywood Audition, Bruce Lee in Action, Backyard Training, Inspiration, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Pete McCormack
Cast: Bruce Lee, Linda Lee Cadwell, Shannon Lee, Mickey Rourke
Length: 90 minutes
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