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I Am Bruce Lee
2011; directed by Pete McCormack

Since the years after Bruce Lee's death in 1973, there has been a myriad of documentaries released that have tried to tell the complete story of the Little Dragon's life. Produced in 2011, I Am Bruce Lee doesn't bring too much new information when it comes to the well-tread ground of Bruce Lee documentaries, but fans of mixed martial arts will want to check this out, as the movie goes into a lot of detail of how Lee influenced modern MMA styles. This take on Lee's life is not surprising once one learns that the movie was produced for and shown on the Spike cable network, which hosts lots of MMA-related content, including the popular show The Ultimate Fighter and UFC fight cards.

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Though I Am Bruce Lee is overall a quality production, with so many of these sorts of films done over the years, die-hard fans aren't going to find much, if any, in the way of new information here. There are a few pictures and video clips featured here that haven't been seen before, but if you're watching this documentary to see those snippets, you're probably going to be disappointed, as it equals only a few of the ninety-four minutes this movie runs.

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Surprisingly, given his iconic status even some forty years after his passing, there are still some segments of Bruce Lee's life that have not been delved into in much (if any) detail, and most likely should be done soon before the participants and compatriots in that timeline can still speak their mind with some clarity. In particular, the early days of Bruce Lee of a child star have only been touched on very briefly, as is still the case here. It would also be nice to see more a in depth presentation on Lee's productions that have something other than the seemingly same five or six people that appear in documentaries repeating the same stories. Certainly, Lee's tumultuous relationship with director Lo Wei would provide interesting fodder for a project such as this.

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Also, while the documentary does provide some good "talking heads" to give information about Bruce Lee's life, some of the takes and tangent get a bit silly, such as a couple that discuss if Lee could truly fight people like Chuck Norris or Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini. All of these segments are based on opinion, and come off a bit like useless wankery in the end. And does anyone really give a damn what Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas thinks? I think not. These sorts of things are relatively small detriments in what is overall a solid production, though. I Am Bruce Lee is something worth watching if you're into martial arts films in any way, shape, or form.

RATING: 7

I Am Bruce Lee

Blu-Ray Information

Overall, Shout! Factory's Blu-ray is a solid way to check out the movie. The picture is in 1080p in a 1.78:1 ratio, and the soundtrack is in a DTS-HD 5.1 mix. The audio/visual quality does vary a bit during the presentation, given the age and condition of some of the source materials. The extras consist of the trailer and four featurettes, including the full audition film Bruce Lee participated in for producer William Dozier.

The Blu-Ray and DVD are available from Amazon.

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