How Bruce Lee Changed the World
It's pretty safe to say that not many actors have gained world-wide notoriety after they died, and prior to becoming an international icon. Moreover, not many actors have a documentary made to highlight this fact either; entailing video clips, narration by Charles Parnell, tons of stock-photography, plus one on one pre-recorded interviews substantiating this dichotomy.
Still, that's Bruce Lee for you. Martial arts legend. Child star. Television luminary. Writer. Philosopher. And
Hong Kong action ace. All rolled up
into one for people to praise from here to eternity. However, what do Bruce's
forbearers say about him I wonder? Let us see, shall we?
- Bey Logan -- He revolutionised how martial arts was presented on screen.
- LL Cool J -- A lot of his speaking he did through movement.
- Brett Ratner -- Bruce had such a unique style. Fluid, like water.
Griffin-- His movies were better to watch than a porno.
- Margaret Cho -- I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for him.
- Sugar Ray Leonard -- Bruce's fighting was more mental than physical.
- RZA -- His philosophy was translated into life. He was a prophet.
Yen -- I could totally relate to him whilst growing up as an immigrant in
- Grady Hendrix -- He was someone who stood up for the minority.
- Rob Cohen -- Think about it. Just one man changed the image of Chinese men forever.
- John Saxon -- I didn't think 'Enter the Dragon' would be as big as it was.
- Taky Kimura -- When I first met Bruce, he was already an athlete.
- Yu Pang Lin -- What he achieved was simple, direct, and non-classical.
- Dana White -- Bruce Lee is the father of MMA.
-- He has the same spirit as
China: 'Never Say die'.
- David Tadman -- All he did was show us how to be ourselves.
- Ken 'Flex' Wheeler -- He had a great Christmas tree back.
- Wah Yuen -- I'll always remember seeing him drink blended raw-beef mixed with egg.
- John Woo -- Bruce's first movie was so different, he instantly became a legend.
- Shannon Lee -- He bridged the gap between the East and The West.
- Jackie Chan -- He felt really bad when he hit me. He came rushing over and kissed me on my face. Nobody is like Bruce Lee. He's the best.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- What he wanted to achieve with 'Game of Death' was versatility.
- Lalo Schifrin -- We had something in common. We both broke the rules in our chosen fields.
- Stan Lee -- You can say he was a superhero without a costume.
Now apart from the aforementioned quotes, this feature-length presentation also tells us about the life and times of Bruce Lee as well, structuring it within the following framework: (1) Inspiration. (2) Philosophy. (3) Breaking Stereotypes. (4) Martial Arts. (5) Physical Fitness. (6) Attitudes in
(7) Action Movies. (8) Music. And (9) Branding.
People live, people die, and legends live forever. Say no more.
If truth be told, I've always found it very difficult to review a Bruce Lee documentary. Well, I'm a big Bruce Lee fan, and I've watched so many of them in the past, that they've always fallen into a number of pre-assigned categories in my mind. For example; there's the basic 'Rise and Fall of Bruce' type documentary -- which is always good for someone who does not know too much about him. Then there's the more 'focused' Bruce-documentary -- detailing a specific aspect about his life, which is normally great for the 'Bruce-Nerd' like myself. After that, I suppose there's the more 'exploitative' type of Bruce-documentary -- which tells us nothing new, and is only made to promote an up and coming film project or some other related nonsense. And finally, there is the 'full on' Bruce Lee extravaganza type documentary -- which presents us with something different, something innovative, and something that compels us to watch it again, and again, and again.
Errr... if I'm being honest about it, it was all of them really. Some of the segments did come across as 'Bruce the product' or 'Oh no! Not that story again'. Where as some of the other segments felt more original somehow, as if a select few of the interviewees had something more relevant to say about Bruce and his teachings.
Granted, I cannot say this about all of the interviewees -- or the stock footage either. Not all of them were that relevant (you know who you are). Yet, in the same breath, I did like the way that this piece made me think about my own 'relationship' with Bruce, because -- lets face it -- how did 'Bruce Lee Change My World'?
Please allow me to brainstorm for a moment if i may: (1) I don't think I would have thumbed my nose as much if I never saw him doing it first. (2) Maybe my appreciation for the oriental culture wouldn't have been what it is if I never saw his movies. (4) I'm nigh on positive that my counting wouldn't have been impeded if I wasn't inspired to jump out of a tree, as I saw him do in 'Enter The Dragon' [click on like for review]. (3) If it wasn't for Bruce, I would not have grown fond of Jackie Chan and Hong Kong Cinema in general [ditto]. (5) I'm sure he's one of the main reasons why I go HAI-YA! WOOOOOOOO! And SAT-OWID! From time to time. (6) I would never have attempted to penetrate that drug-lords island dressed like a hood-less ninja. (7) I never would have painted my hair black, wore my Grandad's baggy trousers, and drew red lines across my face to attend my nephews christening. (8) I don't think that I would have been the confident and adaptable person that I am, if I never heard his proverb about 'being like water'.
Do you see what I mean, dear reader? That's how 'How Bruce Lee Changed the World' affected me [click here for my Bruce Lee section]. It made me think about why I love this great martial artist's. Not what 'whoever' thought about 'whatever'.
Hmm? Very Ying and Yang, right? And somehow apt as well. Don't you agree Bruce?
What a guy?
THE RATING: A