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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Meng long guojiang" or "Fury of the Dragon" or "Return of the Dragon" or "Revenge of the Dragon" )

directed by Bruce Lee
Hong Kong 1972

Known in the west as Return of the Dragon, Bruce Lee's The Way of the Dragon is another classic martial arts film featuring the Dragon at the peak of his powers! Bruce Lee is Tang Lung, a Hong Kong expatriate in Italy who gets the opportunity to use his fists when local thugs begin muscling in on the local Chinese restaurant. It's a simple exchange: the thugs set foot in the restaurant, and Tang Lung cuts loose with a flurry of kicks and punches designed to inflict the maximum amount of damage with the minimum amount of effort. Then, more fighting ensues.

The Way of the Dragon co-stars popular starlet Nora Miao, and is a true tour-de-force for Bruce Lee. Not only did he star in the film, but he also wrote, produced, and directed - and this is in addition to his expected action choreography duties. The results of his labor are a wildly entertaining martial arts film that's sure to make kung-fu fans of all ages grin from ear-to-ear. Most famously, The Way of the Dragon features a dramatic showdown between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in the confines of Rome's ancient Colosseum!

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 30, 1972 (Hong Kong)

Reviews                                          More Reviews                                      DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Kam & Ronson - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Shout! Factory (The Bruce Lee Legacy Collection)  - Region 'A' Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and Ole Kofoed for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Bruce Lee on Blu-ray

The Big Boss Fist of Fury

Way of the

Dragon

Enter the

Dragon

Distribution

Fortune Star

Region 3 - NTSC

Hong Kong Legends
Region 2,4 - PAL
Kam & Ronson
Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Shout! Factory

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:38:28 1:35.00 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:38:40.915 1:39:12.279
Video

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.42 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.45 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 23,048,493,427 bytes

Feature Size: 21,909,725,184 bytes

Average Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 37,479,542,581 bytes

Feature Size: 29,108,072,448

Average Bitrate: 28.63 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection)

Bitrate:

 

Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition)

Bitrate Kam & Ronson:

 

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Shout! Factory:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Cantonese Mono, 5.1 Dolby Digital Cantonese / Mandarin, DTS Cantonese / Mandarin

5.1 Dolby Digital Cantonese / 5.1 Dolby Digital English Dub

DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 2635 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2635 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 1909 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1909 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital EX Audio Chinese 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital EX Audio Thai 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio Chinese 2418 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2418 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3057 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3057 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1569 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1569 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles Traditional, Simplified, English, None English, Dutch, None English, Chinese, Thai, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fortune Star

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Limited Edition (10,000)
• Each box marked by little 'silver' platter
• Menues available in both English and Chinese

DVD Release Date: April 29, 2004
Digipack

Chapters 21
 

Release Information:
Studio: Hong Kong Legends

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Bey Logan and co-star Jon Benn.
• Interview with Andre Morgan (14:21)
• Interview with Jon Benn (4:26)
• Interview with Anders Nielsen (7:21)
• Reflections on the little dragon - Interviews (13:26)
• Trailers (Orginal Chinese and UK + HKL).
• 2 UK TV spots.
• 2 photo galleries (production, stills, posters, lobby cards..)
• Way of the Dragon - A Retrospective (text)
• Info of other HKL titles

 

DVD Release Date: June 11, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 30

Release Information:
Studio:
Kam & Ronson

 

Disc Size: 23,048,493,427 bytes

Feature Size: 21,909,725,184 bytes

Average Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Interviews

photo gallery
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 15th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard box

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

Disc Size: 37,479,542,581 bytes

Feature Size: 29,108,072,448

Average Bitrate: 28.63 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Commentary by Hong Kong Film Expert Mike Leeder

• Trailers (2:12)

• US TV Spots (:27)

• Alternate Title Sequence (4:54)

• Celebrity Interview including Sammo Hung, Simon Yam and Wong Jing (4:34)

• Kung Fu? Jon Benn remembers the Shooting of the Film (21:42)

• Stills Gallery

Blu-ray Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Custom Blu-ray Case (see photos below)

Chapters 12

 

Package Shout! Factory - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

Comments

The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

NOTE: The entire Legacy Blu-ray collection is reviewed HERE.

ADDITION Shout! Factory Blu-ray - September 2013: This is the first Blu-ray of the 4-Blu-ray 7 DVD Bruce Lee Legacy Collection being released by Shout! Factory. It is a large book-style package (see photos above) with The Big Boss, Fist Of Fury, The Way Of The Dragon and Game of Death in 1080P. We hope to cover the entire set by later this week.

In comparison to the Kam & Ronson Asian Blu-ray - this is a little different than the what we saw with The Big Boss and Fist Of Fury, in that Shout! Factory's The Way of the Dragon has a significantly more robust bitrate (is dual-layered) but is similar in that the US 1080P has cooler, and I feel more authentic, skin tones. I feel the higher bitrate manifests itself in the contrast which is marginally more layered and supports the detail a notch higher. Actually this appears more pronounced in-motion than in the static stills. Bottom line is that this Shout! Factory Blu-ray is superior visually and the best transfer of the film to date despite the sources inconsistencies

Shout! Factory go whole hog again with the audio options:

The surround bump on this sounds decent if not exhibiting modern-level crispness or range. Purists will appreciate the, original, mono tracks although it would have been preferential to have them lossless (LPCM.) There is a lot of fighting effects in The Way of the Dragon and they sounds very punchy (no pun) via the Mandarin DTS-HD Master. It was my choice when viewing and, although imperfections arise, I was reasonably pleased with the results.

We get yet another commentary by Hong Kong film expert Mike Leeder, plus (similar to the other Blus) Trailers, a lone US TV Spot, an alternate 'Title Sequence' (running 5-minutes) and a Stills Gallery. A video piece of celebrity interviews, same as found on the Kam & Ronson, includes Sammo Hung, Simon Yam and Wong Jing but runs a scant 4.5 minutes. New (I think) is a 21-minute piece entitled Kung Fu? Jon Benn Remembers the Shooting of the Film. The highlight is Leeder's commentary but there is value in the other bits and pieces - especially Jon Benn's.

Once again the Shout! Factory eclipses the other 1080P in every area - image, audio and extras.

***

ADDED: Kam & Ronson Blu-ray - January 2010: Well, it does look better - colors are richer, detail up a small notch, more grain (or what appears to be grain) and certainly darker and more film-like - whether the screen caps bear that out or not. Skin tones are slightly warmer. It's even more 'Asian' blue-green than the HK Legends. I have no reason to support or doubt that this is not more theatrically accurate representation. It looks the best I have seen the film anyhow - despite the modest Blu-ray single-layered transfer.

Audio is a step up too with a DTS-Master and TrueHD lossless track - respectively in original Cantonese and dubbed Mandarin - a shade sync-off on the English parts. Bruce Lee's kicks and punches crack a little crisper. There is minor separations to the rear speakers. There are also optional subtitles - English seems précised a bit - and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked (playable on North American machines).

Extras don't consist of much - the same 9-minutes of 'celebrity' interviews (really just sound-bytes) about Bruce Lee as found on the Fortune Star Bruce Lee boxset. There is also a photo gallery.

So, who should buy? Bruce Lee hardcore fans and those that haven't seen the film. Those who own the HK Legend DVD will have to have a pretty decent-to-discerning system to warrant the upgrade - although it is easily noticeable for the audio.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON the DVDs: The image of Hong Kong Legend is slightly squeezed horizontally, about 1.5%, giving it 2.35:1 in AR.

This time around, Hong Kong Legend has the "eastern" greenish look, while Fortune Star is "western", almost the exact opposite of "Enter the Dragon". As both are almost identical in detail, Hong Kong Legends just looks a bit better.

Fortune Star has the original mono track, which is the one to chose. The 5.1 tracks have the added rear speaker sounds, which, at least on the Fortune Star, sound inserted.

In terms of extra, HK Legends wins again. A commentary by Bey Logan, three interviews and a bio. This is the DVD to go for.

 - Henrik Sylow

 


Menus

(Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)
 





Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fortune Star (Ultimate Collection) - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Hong Kong Legends (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kam & Ronson- Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kam and Ronson - Region 'A" Blu-ray - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A" Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Shout! Factory Blu-ray

Sound:

Shout! Factory Blu-ray

Extras:

Hong Kong Legends /Shout! Factory Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

Bruce Lee on Blu-ray

The Big Boss Fist of Fury

Way of the

Dragon

Enter the

Dragon

Distribution

Fortune Star

Region 3 - NTSC

Hong Kong Legends
Region 2,4 - PAL
Kam & Ronson
Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Shout! Factory

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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Gary Tooze