Bruce Lee & I DVD Review
PictureThe disc has a theatrically correct 2.35:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs picture with an astonishing average bitrate of 9.12 Mbps. For a film that is thirty years old the picture is quite remarkable. The picture was clear and bright with precise detailing. Colours are bright and vivid with contrast levels set to give pleasing deep blacks. The style of film gives the overall soft focus look to some areas and a soft white sheen to others, but I remember from the time these effects were common place among many films and entirely intentional and though look dated now, are actually perfect in representation. Digitally I spotted no compression artefacts, but there was clearly some edge enhancement visible, a shame because everything else was so good. There were a few spots of print damage here and there but it was completely free of film grain, even the wide open beach areas with deep blue skies looked completely free of any problems; quite excellent and no doubt a product of the large average bitrate.
SoundOnly one soundtrack to choose from; a Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Quite honestly if the sound had lived up to the visuals this would be a very impressive package, as it was you could re-label the 5.1 to 3.1 as I did not hear the rears employed once. The frontal array gets a reasonable work out with everything being clear and audible and the LFE gets one or two thumps in but is mostly used to fill out the bass of the score. Talking of bass there is not much, everything sits in the mid to upper range but it is not unpleasant and must be a by product of the original mono being utilised to fill the channels. It is no where near as bad as some of the travesties laid on us by the likes of Anchor Bay for example, but really for the amount of work the 6 channels have to contend with it might just have easily been a 2.0 stereo mix. The subtitles are quite large and in an ok white font and placed in the bottom black bars of the widescreen making for an easy read, they are reasonable English, if a bit literal and reasonable grammar too.
ExtrasSee that list of extras? Don't bother with them, apart from the pictures; all are just one or two lines of text. Better than nothing? I'd rather have nothing. What about the trailers? Bah, blatant advertising for other films available, won't catch me like that.
VerdictBruce Lee and I was no doubt a huge success on its initial release due to is 'explicit' content and story of a legend format. However, it's so dated now it remains a window into movies past and really I think that is where it should stay. As a DVD there is not much to recommend unless you really want the film, an excellent picture is spoilt by poor sound and rubbish extras. Is that the discount bucket I hear calling? I think so.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.39
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