Just before Yuan Chieh "falls" down the stairs from the fifth to the fourth floor, we see a silhouette of him getting ready to jump. See more »
Do you speak any English?
Of course I speak English!
I hope you don't mind if we move our man, so that the two of us will have more room to groove.
[indicates that It's okay]
But keep your man as far away from the stairs as possible.
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This Japanese film is part docudrama and part Bruce Lee film. Bruce and a couple of other people work together to create the Game of Death story, and its philosophical messages along with it. The first 40 minutes of the flick is just that, plus his interactions with young brandon and wife Linda. Much of it is spoken in English (broken English I might add,) while the rest is in Cantonese (odd for a Japanese flick but not considering what the film is about.) There are interviews with men who worked with Bruce, but the most insightful is Dan Inosanto's, mainly because his interview is the only one done in English! He even goes into the meaning behind the "shave and a haircut- two bits" routine he and Bruce get into in the GOD nunchuku scene.
Finally, we get into the REAL GOD footage--in its entirety. I am a fan of the Robert Clouse GOD film (mainly because it is fun despite what it is) but seeing the real footage made me regret what could have been if Clouse was faithful to Lee's script. The fights are outstanding and due to the storyline of the Clouse version, they had to be edited to hide certain other characters who were either "killed off" quickly in the Clouse version or just didn't exist. The James Tien character was described as a friend of Billy Lo in the 1978 version, but he is actually a man working for the kidnapper of Bruce' family in the real version. ANother man working for the kidnapper is completely omitted in the 1978 film, thus the choppiness of the fights. Here, you see the fights in their entirety and how smooth it looks. The biggest change is the fight between Bruce and the Japanese karate expert. The karate expert looks completely more threatening and skillful then he did in 78 (no thanks to a chop edit job.) Bruce even has dialogue with all three of his fighters, and we get to see Bruce instill some humor into them, showing that he was starting to lighten up and get comfortable with the art of kung fu filmmaking.
His fight with Kareem Abdul Jabar gave us perhaps the most bizarre deleted shot in the entire footage: Abdul Jabar's eyes turning into cat's eyes as the sun rays hit his face. Unfortunately the footage does not explain why (but we know now why he wears sunglasses and he is distracted by the light in the pagoda fight scene.)
The footage looks crisp, and the music used to score it is outstanding. I'm a big fan of John Barry's score for GOD (I even have the soundtrack on CD) but the new score used here is utterly enjoyable and used alot of different themes (as opposed to the variations of Barry's theme.) As a matter of fact, one of the themes used here is a variation of Barry's GOD theme. Bruce's screams and cries are dubbed with his own voice (his speaking parts most likely a new dub) and the fighting sound effects were taken from Clouse' GOD.
THe DVD contains trailers for this film, and is available online. Unfortuantely, it is not available in the domestic market but I advise you if you are a Lee fan to get it. The image and sound are superb, and makes a great companion piece with Clouse' GOD. I will watch both back to back- Clouse' film to enjoy the camp and cheese, some excellent fights and a great score--and Bruce Lee in G.O.D, to enjoy what could have been, but at least watch the man as he was meant to be watch, in his own way.
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