Shout! Factory released a little more than a year ago, a new documentary centered on martial arts legend Bruce Lee titled I Am Bruce Lee. Lee’s career was not the longest of any star foreign or American. But as audiences will see in this latest documentary, the short time that he spent on screen was only part of the reason that he was so revered. He remains today one of the most influential figures in martial arts whether it be on television, in movies or in general. That information shared through the course of the documentary’s ninety-four minute run time is one part of what makes the documentary well worth the watch for anyone that is a fan of martial arts in all of its avenues. Also to be taken into consideration in this documentary is the editing. Editor Tony Kent expertly assembled the different bits and pieces of the documentary in such fashion as to keep viewers completely engaged throughout the program. The editing and information shared throughout the program are accompanied by additional footage that didn’t make the primary program. That bonus footage of Lee’s “Backyard Training” and deeper discussions on Lee’s continued influence on the world make I Am Bruce Lee complete. That bonus material partners with the primary program and its editing to once again make this documentary one that any of Bruce Lee’s legions of fans will appreciate.
I Am Bruce Lee is not the first documentary to focus on the legendary star of film and television. Warner Home Video released Bruce Lee—A Warrior’s Journey in 2001. That documentary was followed up in 2009 with History Channel’s How Bruce Lee Changed The World in 2009. The amount of time that has passed since each documentary was released means that chances are great that both are going to be very difficult to find. That being the case, I Am Bruce Lee becomes an even more valuable piece for any martial arts enthusiast and fan of Bruce Lee. That’s because so little time has passed since this documentary was released early last year. The information shared throughout the course of the program is quite similar to that of both of the aforementioned documentaries. Audiences will appreciate learning that as much of a star as Lee became in his life, he apparently wasn’t always fond of his stardom. His wife notes in her interview that he actually got to the point that he hated going out because he was followed so much. On another note, audiences not so familiar with Lee’s life will find just as interesting how little stigma Lee and his wife experienced despite the views on inter-racial marriage at the time that they were wed. Even more interesting to learn, is the contrast of Lee’s own view of his success versus its reality. The comparison to Jimi Hendrix having to go to London to become famous is an excellent illustrator of what Lee ended up having to face, despite his early beliefs of how successful he would become in America. This and so much more shared throughout the program makes for a solid foundation on which the documentary rests.
The information shared throughout the course of I Am Bruce Lee is the foundation for the success of this latest Bruce lee documentary. Just as important to the program’s success is the editing. Editor Tony Kent expertly and seamlessly assembled the entire feature. The skill that Kent exhibited in this piece keeps viewers fully engaged from start to finish. Most notable of his editing is his ability to use vintage clips from Lee’s movies to semi-playfully add to certain discussions. Such technique is not necessarily anything new for any documentary. But Kent uses the technique sparingly whereas other editors might have taken it over the top and overdone it. So for that, Kent is more than deserving of his due credit. Kent is also to be applauded for his seamless editing in terms of the discussions by the features celebrity guests on how Lee influenced them. The guests, which include some of the biggest names in MMA, acting, and even sports discuss what makes Lee so influential to this very day. They use very specific examples of what continues to make him the iconic figure that he remains today. Kent cuts directly to the vintage footage of Lee both from his film career and from personal interviews that he conducted to illustrate those discussions. His editing makes the discussion perfectly clear. Audiences will see that for themselves and more when they purchase the documentary for themselves.
The editing and overall content that collectively make up I Am Bruce Lee are both important factors in the overall success of the feature. The finishing touch to the whole thing is the additional material included as bonus features. The vintage footage of Lee’s “Backyard Training” is the best of the bonus features. It is the best of the bonus material because it completes the material shown in the main feature. Audiences get a glimpse into Lee’s own home training setup in the main feature. This bonus material expands on the glimpse given into that training. It is essentially material that likely ended up on the cutting room floor as it might have made the main feature too long in the eyes of those at the film’s helm.
The second feature, “Inspiration – Bruce Lee’s Global Impact,” is a bonus in that it expands on the snippets of the interviews used in the presentation’s main feature. As with the bonus “Backyard Training” featurette, odds are that these snippets were material that ended up on the cutting room floor for time’s sake. As audiences will see and hear for themselves in the expanded interview footage, Lee’s influence on the world today is as strong as it has ever been. It will be even stronger when audiences take in this material and everything else presented in I Am Brice Lee for themselves. Audiences will agree in watching everything included in this documentary that I Am Bruce Lee is a welcome addition to the home library of any martial arts enthusiast and Bruce Lee devotee.
I Am Bruce Lee is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/i-am-bruce-lee. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.