Entertainment » Television

How Bruce Lee Changed The World

by Steven Hammond
Contributor
Friday Aug 28, 2009
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How Bruce Lee Changed The World offers to tell the whole story of Bruce Lee’s life, from his birth to his mysterious death at age 32, with seldom-seen interviews and rare home movies, but the documentary is overrun with opinions, anecdotes, and much deserved praise.

Having starred in only four motion pictures, Bruce Lee’s style and philosophy revolutionized not only martial arts cinema, but influenced generations across all mediums. And for all that Bruce Lee accomplished, for all the lives he touched, this HISTORY documentary does more to shine a light on people’s opinions of Lee, and draw weak connections between his actions and the effect it had upon music, dancing, and other actors, rather than discussing Bruce Lee the man and his life story. LL Cool J, Margaret Cho, "Sugar" Ray Leonard, a Shaolin Monk, the Rza, and Eddie Griffin, are only a few of the people on the DVD that testify to the mark Lee has left on their lives.

Sadly, this DVD takes a terrible turn an hour in when it switches the focus to Jackie Chan, LL Cool J, and Eddie Griffin as they cite Bruce Lee as the motivation behind parts of their acting. Also, as a segment of the film is devoted to pop culture references to Lee, it is bothersome to see how Bruce’s image has been used to market and promote products.

Bonus features include Bruce Lee’s filmography, and "Need to Know: Bruce Lee" a featurette that is less than five minutes long but offers a more in depth, albeit abbreviated, look into Bruce Lee’s life than the main feature.

"How Bruce Lee Changed the World" comes across as a celebrity tribute to one of the world’s greatest martial artists, but it is not an adequate documentary in the way of chronicling his life and times.

Steven Hammond is a Chicago poet, photographer, and author of the book P, Anyone?

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