Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Format wars

We are currently enjoying the classic Bruce Lee films in the comfort of out own homes in 1080p resolution of Blu-ray discs.  Before that were watching them on DVD, and before that VHS tape and even before that Beta.  Also, don't forget laserdisc!  You may or may not have been around for it, but before Beta we were watching Bruce on CED disc.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It lives?

As you know Yahoo shutdown their web hosting service GeoCities back in October 2009 which is unfortunate because that was the home of Bruceploitation.  I  just assumed the old Bruceploitaiton website was gone from the web forever, but apparently all the GeoCities websites were archived under Reocities. That's right, Bruceploitation still lives.  Funny thing is that I had no clue about it and was only told about it today in an e-mail from an old reader.  Thanks for the tip Ryan!

Check out the archived site at http://www.reocities.com/many_bruces/, but don't read too hard because I was reading some stuff today and noticed a few spelling and grammatical errors.  It's driving me crazy I can't fix them!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DYNAMITE (magazine review)

After Bruce Lee died his star status continued to climb, eventually landing him on the cover of the classic kid's magazine Dynamite with issue #17 in November of 1975.  Today kids can find information on their idols almost instantly with the help of the internet, but back then it was probably a little more difficult.  Yes, it's a kid's magazine, but kids probably ate it up.

The article called, BRUCE LEE LIVES! is pretty short at only three pages, well two pages if you don't count the pictures.  It goes through the basics of Bruce's story from a kung fu crazy teenager up until his death.  It even talks about how some people think he's still alive and others believe his was killed because he was giving away kung fu secrets.  A basic article that probably couldn't be more that a couple pages anyway, but I imagine it entertained plenty of kids  when it came out. 

There is also another story titled THE MANY STATES OF KUNG FU-SION.  It talks about different styles of martial arts such as kung fu, karate, jujitsu, judo as well as the spirit of martial arts.  Martial arts aren't for beating people up and the stuff you see in movies isn't real, but it's a way to excercise your mind and body.  One thing's for sure, it's a healthy way to get your kicks!  I actually stole that last thing from the article.

If articles on Bruce Lee and the martial arts aren't enough for you there is also an article on Archie, joke about grapes, dogs dressed in funny clothes, a Terry Bradshaw article, Green Goblin facts and more!  Also be sure to check out next month's issue with free stickers!  Wow, I should look into getting a subscription.

click to embiggen

I can't even remember where I bought this magazine or why I bought it considering the cover is such horrible shape.  Stupid punk kid drawing all over the cover of his Dynamite magazine.  I hope someone gave him a wedgie!  I'm pretty I was at some collectible/comic/record/flea market/etc thing and couldn't find anything except this magazine.  Since I had gone all the way there I felt that I should at least buy something and this was the only thing that appealed to me just because Bruce Lee was on the cover.  He still looks cool!

Friday, January 28, 2011

CHINATOWN CONNECTION (movie review)

Year: 1988
Starring: Bruce Ly, Lee Majors II, William Ghent, Fitz Houston, Art Comacho, Brinke Stevens
Directed by: Jean-Paul Ouellette
Running time: 96 minutes

Lee Majors II is Warren Houston a LA cop forced to partner with John Lee Chan played by Bruce Ly after Chan's partner is shot in the line of duty.  Houston is one of those classic lone wolf cops who doesn't need a partner, especially one like Chan who doesn't like to use his gun.  Chan trains the "kung fu cops", a group of policemen/woman who are sent to him because they lack discipline and control.  Together Chan and Houston team up to find who is putting poisoned cocaine on the streets of LA.

I was in the the middle of this when my friend walked in and started watching it with me.  He came in during a scene in which Houston (Lee Majors II) is attacked in his apartment by a killer dressed all in black wielding a pair of swords.  Houston is crawling around on the carpet trying to load his pistol as his attacker stands over him swing his swords around hitting crap off his desk and table.  He is basically right in front of him and the guy is swinging side to side and not down.  My friend says, "That is a terrible ninja." to which I replied, "Well, this is a terrible movie, so what do you expect!"

I can forgive a movie if the story is bad, the acting sucks, etc as long as the action is entertaining.  In CHINATOWN CONNECTION the action is just boring, the gun fights are a snore and the fight scenes are just sloppy.  Bruce Ly aka Henry Yu Yung also is the martial art choreographer on the movie.  Henry Yu Yung is a Chinese actor who has had parts in many Hong Kong movies including classics like CHINATOWN KID, THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN and THE AVENGING EAGLE.  In CHINATOWN CONNECTION he is dubbed and it is almost as awful as his hair cut.   

So they rename Henry Yu Yung as Bruce Ly so people will associate him with Bruce Lee, but the exploitation doesn't stop there because they've also got Lee Majors II.   Turns out Lee Majors II isn't a rip off of Lee Majors, but Lee Majors actual son.  But wouldn't that make him Lee Majors Jr?  I guess Lee Majors was going for something a little more classy like King Henry VIII by using roman numerals.  I will keep that in mind if I have kids.

Anyway, unless this is on TV and it's free then don't go out of your way to watch it or buy it.  Unfortunately, I already bought it so I could write this review so I'm screwed.  Don't make the same mistake I did.  I want my money back.  I mean you it's pretty sad when in the movie credits the producers thank Royal Crown Cola.  Even in third world countries they can get Coca-Cola!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(VIDEO) GAME OF DEATH

Back on the old site William wrote an article about Bruce Lee in video games titled "PLAYING THE GAME".  Now I hate to step on his toes with another article about on the exact same subject, but I will do it anyway just because mine will be better.  Oh snap!

The other day I was at EB Games, Canada's version of GameStop and noticed a copy of BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON for the XBox just sitting there for a mere $4.99.  Desperate for something to write about I grabbed it which wasn't the brightest idea.  Make sure to do some research first especially when buying XBox games because not all of them are compatible with the XBox 360.  Unfortunately, BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON is not backwards compatible meaning I can't even play it.  That might be a good thing because after reading a few reviews for QUEST OF THE DRAGON it sounds like it sucks.  Since I can't deliver a game review, here is a list of all Bruce Lee games made to date.

BRUCE LEE (1984)
Developed by Datasoft and published by Datasoft, US Gold and Comptiq on a variety of platforms, half of which I've never even heard of such as Atari 8-bit family, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and Apple II.  Apparently this game is one of the originators of the platformer beat 'em up genre which received favorable reviews when it was originally released.  In the game you play Bruce Lee fighting your way through twenty chamber collecting lanterns with the evil wizard appearing in the final chamber.  Somehow, I doubt it stands the  test of time.



BRUCE LEE LIVES (1989)
A MS-DOS based PC game developed by The Software Toolworks.  You play as Bruce Lee (of course!) as he battles his way though goons and thugs to the final boss, Master Po, and put an end to his destruction of Hong Kong Palace.  Forget about Valve's Virtual Director in LEFT 4 DEAD, BRUCE LEE LIVES features an AI engine that changes the difficulty of the game depending on the player's technique.  The game even includes the biography book "Dragon's Tale: The Story of Bruce Lee" written by Linda Lee.

DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY (1993)
A fighting game based on the movie starring Jason Scott Lee which was developed by Virgin Interactive and published by Acclaim Entertainment.  The game somewhat mirrors the movie as Bruce fights thought scenes in the movie and if you die you must fight the Phantom, the personification of Lee's fear.  Apparently, the game was rather difficult, but did feature 3 player co-op.  The funny thing is that the additional players were just "clones" of Lee with different colored pants.  The game was available on a variety of systems like the Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Atari Jaguar and Nintendo's Super NES.

BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON (2002)
Bruce Lee has to save his kidnapped father AND retrieve a mystical artifact from the Black Lotus led by Dragon Lady Natascha.  As your progress though the 40 areas of the game you gather coins which can be used to purchase new moves.  Unfortunately, the game received less than favorably reviews due to it's bad controls, poor graphics and slow loading times.  The game was developed by Ronin Entertainment and published by Universal Interactive.


BRUCE LEE: RETURN OF THE LEGEND (2003)
A year later and Universal Interactive (this time with VU Games) is back at it with another Bruce Lee game exclusively for the Game Boy Advance and apparently it's actually supposed to be good.  A side scrolling beat 'em up has Bruce Lee playing the role of Hai Feng, a martial arts student out to avenge the death of his master.  I'm a bit confused here because it's a Bruce Lee game, but you are Bruce Lee playing a movie character?


BRUCE LEE DRAGON WARRIOR HD (2010)
The most recent Bruce Lee game from Digital Legends is a 3D fighting game for Apple's iPad.  IGN gave it a very nice review saying "it is a solid fighter with a great star."


So I haven't actually played any of those Bruce Lee games, but I could if I bought an original XBox, but I probably wouldn't want to because it sucked.  I'll probably never get an iPad unless I find one at the thrift store in about 10 years.  I might try and get my hands on Bruce Lee: Return of the Dragon for the GBA.  I've looked for it, but no luck yet, and if I do I'll let you know how it is.  With the exception of the iPad game all of these games can be found on eBay, although finding the systems to play them on might be a little harder.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

KUNG FU FEVER (movie review)

Year: 1978
AKA: Black Dragon Fever
Starring: Dragon Lee, Ron Van Clief, Amy Chum, Bill Stanley, Steven Chow (No, not that one!), Bruce Lee (clips...Classy isn't it!)
Directed by: Kao Ke


After the death of Bruce Lee various crime lords and gangsters are out to get their hands on Lee's Iron Finger technique book. It's up to Bruce's star student, Ricky Chan (Dragon Lee), to get to the book before they do and keep the Iron Finger technique safe. With two rival groups trying to get the book and a hot chick dressed in black leather thrown into the mix, Ricky doesn't have an easy job.

Before I watched KUNG FU FEVER it had been quite a while since I had watched a low budget old school kung fu flick. I had forgotten how bad they can be and it wasn't helping that the picture quality of my DVD was watching absolutely horrible. I almost turned the movie off as it started off pretty slow. Ron Van Clief just shows up to beat up some guy in some field and then he leaves after which Dragon Lee appears out of nowhere to console his fallen friend.  The movie took 30 minutes before Dragon Lee got around kicking ass, but when he finally did the movie turned around.

Dragon Lee looks pretty good here with lots of kicking and some impressive acrobatic flipping. He also pulls out all the stops in his imitations using all the gestures, taunts, howls, and yellow jumpsuits in the Bruce Lee repertoire. This is Bruceploitation!

During the opening credits there is a title card that reads the following:
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in the production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings and products is intended or should be inferred.
Okay, so they use actual footage of Bruce Lee, use footage from his funeral, refer to him by name, and still have the balls to put up a disclaimer up saying all names and characters are fictitious?! NOW THAT IS BRUCEPLOITATION!!