Theater of Fury Boxset Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Mark Botwright, 1st October 2009
It is hard not to like any boxset, whether production or retailer created, which gives you two classic Bruce Lee films. The fact that for a little more than the price of the two Lee Blu-rays, we get House of Fury makes this good value, but on the condition that you are a broad minded fan of such kung fu films. Many will find themselves gravitating towards the realism of Lee’s adventures or the fun based antics of the modern Jackie Chan produced offerings, and there are fanbases for both who refuse to cross over. Personally I found the light hearted more family friendly House of Fury a perfect pick-me-up after the darker brooding tales of doomed heroes that Lo Wei offered us and I remain a firm fan of both styles of action film-making.

The disc itself is likewise a mixed bag. The picture is a notable improvement over the DVDs, but by very differing degrees. The Big Boss looks every inch a restored classic, whereas Fist of Fury has the soft look and unrealistic colours of a print that either hasn’t had the attention it deserves, or (and I hope this isn’t the case) one that will never likely look that much better. Given the varying film stock used in the region at the time and the treatment such films received by way of storage, it is hard to gauge which is the case. Whatever the reason, it simply fails to prove as revelatory as its preceding Lee outing. Thankfully, House of Fury is every inch a modern Hong Kong Blu-ray, with all departments up to a fairly high standard. The sound options on all discs waver in a likewise manner, but all offer something in their lossless formats.

The extras are paltry to say the least, but I doubt this will matter a great deal to fans. I would have assumed most of those interested in Eastern action films would have already made their minds up as to whether this set was for them, long before they glimpsed what featurettes, commentaries and interviews were to be packed in as added incentives, myself included. The films may be a matter of taste, but for fans of the genre, this set offers plenty of action, enough variety and at least one must have kung fu Blu-ray.
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j0hn

Banned
The packet of crackers came into the film because he knew he was either going to die or at the least ruin his life. Upon passing the prostitutes place he decided there and then out of the blue, spur of the moment to go in and use up the last of his money and have one final good time. Obviously some people didn't get it (and so cut the scene), a dying or condemned man has one last act of pleasure. I think if memory serves, he picked up the crackers from her room.
 
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Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
The packet of crackers came into the film because he knew he was either going to die or at the least ruin his life. Upon passing the prostitutes place he decided there and then out of the blue, spur of the moment to go in and use up the last of his money and have one final good time. Obviously some people didn't get it (and so cut the scene), a dying or condemned man has one last act of pleasure. I think if memory serves, he picked up the crackers from her room.

Yes, he leaves all his money with the prostitute, knowing he won't need it anymore, and merely takes the packet of crackers from her table. I believe the scene was cut more on the grounds of characterisation, as some wouldn't have liked the idea of him choosing to go to a prostitute as the last act of a condemned man. ;)

It's a pity, as the nonchalance with which he's eating them as he turns up to the final confrontation seems to jar with the previous scene in the current edit.
 
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Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
Thats weird as Bruce himself agreed with it and said it was what a man would do.

I'm sure there are many who would agree with him, but the problem lies with those who made the decisions on such cuts, and Lee wasn't one of them AFAIK.
 

j0hn

Banned
Bruce had a big feud with the director Lo Wei. It ran for a great number of years culminatin with Lo Wei calling the police claiming Bruce pulled a knife on him, (weird why such a skilled man would pull a knife ;) so makes no sense). anyway...
Bruce altered lots of stuff in the two films he made with him so did have a big influence of what did or did not go in but im not sure about the scene, I think he talks about it online somewhere but I cant remember where so I emailed a friend to see if he knows. Hopefully he comes back with a link, you know just for knowing sake :)
 

Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the link, i was aware of that article (in fact i used it to check some facts when writing the review :D). AIUI Lee had an influence on what went in, but as with the cartoony human shaped hole in the ice factory wall which he disliked, he didn't have the final say. Ultimately, i'd say it seems Lo Wei won most arguments that mattered and placated Lee with others.
 
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j0hn

Banned
I think despite some of the issues on set Lo lost out in the end as Bruce formed Concord pictures with Raymond Chow. Then unless im mistaken Lo came running begging him to make another movie with him later when he realised how big Bruce was getting and how little he was, then got ****** when Bruce (politely haha yea right) said go away. It seems their fude (sp) never ended.

Yea the cardboard human cutout shape. Crazy Lo probably trying to **** him off!

If you like Bruce Lee you should check out my friends website as many of Bruces students have posted there over the years. Not just stories but training advice too. Not sure if im allowed to link (cant remember forum rules) but it should be in my profile as homepage.
 

Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
I think despite some of the issues on set Lo lost out in the end as Bruce formed Concord pictures with Raymond Chow. Then unless im mistaken Lo came running begging him to make another movie with him later when he realised how big Bruce was getting and how little he was, then got ****** when Bruce (politely haha yea right) said go away. It seems their fude (sp) never ended.

Yea the cardboard human cutout shape. Crazy Lo probably trying to **** him off!

If you like Bruce Lee you should check out my friends website as many of Bruces students have posted there over the years. Not just stories but training advice too. Not sure if im allowed to link (cant remember forum rules) but it should be in my profile as homepage.

I'd be very interested in that, thanks, i think you can post the link, as it's not really promotion and is pertinent to the thread. :smashin:
 

j0hn

Banned
ok if you use this one - Powered by ForumCo.com - The Forum Company and join (its free) bookmark it and everytime you log onto the forum it will be full screen. When I used to log on from the main site here Bruce Lee's Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do the forum used to show in a window frame view and wasnt so good. Though Paul may have changed it I thought i'd provide both.

It can get a bit loud in there sometimes. Just think of it as going down the pub and you'll be fine...theres always someone trying to choke your chain, it doesnt mean anything really :)

Lots in the archives to read and interviews also on site. Hope you find lots of stuff of interest :) oh If you have a specific question for one of his students post it or look for it, it may have already been asked.
 

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