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Plot: Bruce Lee is universally recognized as the pioneer who elevated martial arts in film to an art form, and this documentary will reveal why Bruce Lee's flame burns brighter now than the day he died over three decades ago. The greatest martial artists, athletes, actors, directors, and producers in the entertainment business today will share their feelings about the one who started it all. We will interview the people whose lives, careers, and belief systems were forever altered by the legendary "Father of Martial Arts Cinema". Rarely seen archival footage and classic photos will punctuate the personal testimonials. Prepare to be inspired. Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 08 Feb 2011
Here we have it, folks! The Ultimate Bruce Lee documentary! I AM BRUCE LEE celebrates the legend of martial arts cinema like never before. Featuring a whole host of fascinating interviews from Lee's widow, daughter, Dan Inosanto, kick boxing champion Bob Wall, Mickey Rourke, Ed O'Neill, Kobe Bryant and several other important names. Along with some extremely rare footage including interviews, this documentary leads us on a journey through Lee's past to his tragic and untimely death. His undeniable influence can still be seen today and this documentary captures and explores this <more>
incredible man to the full. The extras included here are also superb, consisting of several personal home videos and a look at Bruce Lee's phenomenal influence around the globe.This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the only Bruce Lee documentary you'll ever need to see. The documentary is such an in-depth tribute that even the most knowledgeable of fans will find plenty here to entertain and educate them.A must have!
Bruce Lee wasn't just a great martial artist, actor, teacher or man, he was it all. He's the James Dean or the Tiger Woods of his era. He was one of the purest martial artists and totally determined to find the best fighting style there was even if that meant combining multiple fighting styles together to achieve that goal. He wasn't blindly standing behind a single style of martial arts just because that was what he started out in that style. And as a teacher he didn't care about race he trained everyone that was willing to learn. Most Chinese martial arts instructors of the <more>
time would only teach other Chinese students. The bad thing about Bruce's early death is that he was just starting to scratch the surface as a movie star, who knows what kind of great movies he would've gone onto doing if he didn't die at such a young age.
THE DEFINITIVE Bruce Lee Documentary hands down (by JDMP10)
I, like many who are die-hard Bruce Lee/Martial Art fans have probably seen each Bruce Lee work more times than we can count without getting tired of seeing that same scene one bit or at least I can speak for myself in this regard .I AM BRUCE LEE, gives the viewer, who they assume know of Bruce Lee and his movies and are fans of the man and his work, an inside perspective of who he was, as a human being, martial artist and movie star. I have seen to my knowledge, most if not all of the notable Bruce Lee documentaries prior to this one and although most of the footage are archived material <more>
seen in those previous documentaries, because it is being commented on by close friends, admirer's, family members, followers, the whole documentary feels very intimate and most definitely emotional.I highly recommend this title for even the most faintest of Bruce Lee fans and or fans of one of the most inspirational and honest human beings who has ever lived.
In "I Am Bruce Lee" there is a famous interview where Bruce distinguishes his philosophy: "Empty your mind. Be formless like water... If you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. If you pour water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be like water, my friend." Bruce eloquently relates Tao Te Ching. Amazingly, these were the words of Stirling Silliphant "In the Heat of the Night" from an episode of "Longstreet" back in the 1970's starring James Franciscus. Silliphant was a student of Bruce Lee, and the <more>
episode was called "Way of the Intercepting Fist" which many know is Bruce's creation, Jeet Kune Do. I remember watching Lee in the TV series. This was before he became the martial arts icon—he was magnetic and compelling. In the interview Bruce said he got to play himself, not some character. What struck me was that Bruce Lee was the awesomely gifted martial artist, who was also an amazing teacher. That is a rarity. I think had Bruce lived, he would have become the great martial arts teacher and transformed the distinction martial arts.Silliphant went on to write the TV series "Kung Fu" from Bruce's original concept. But instead of the casting Chinese Lee as the lead Warner Brothers went with David Carradine. Lee eventually made "Enter the Dragon" for Warner Brothers, he tragically died before the release of the movie. I know this is a lot of history, and Director Pete McCormack brilliantly connects the dots in this refreshing and compelling documentary of Bruce Lee's life and death. There is an undercurrent of racism and fighting the establishment in this story which Bruce lived with. McCormack blends a captivating mix of interviews with celebrity fans, and those close to Bruce. Kobe Bryant is captioned as NBA All-Star/ Martial Artist. I wondered what he trains in. Did not know Ed O'Neil "Modern Family" was a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu—which is awesome. UFC Champion Jon Jones is very cool in his admiration of his hero Lee. However, McCormack goes sideways with some of his guys including skateboarder Paul Rodriguez and some dude from the Black Eyed Peas. Cantankerous Judo expert Gene LeBelle comes across as a weird skeptic of the Bruce Lee prowess, though it turns out Bruce trained with him.Bruce Lee is an icon and iconoclast. Linda Lee Caldwell, Lee's widow, amazingly tells the story of how Bruce defeated a fighter from China, because Bruce chose to teach Wing Chun which he learned from the legendary Yip Man to anyone, not just Chinese. Linda tells how Lee made the fighter submit within 3 minutes. After the fight Lee lamented that he should have been able to end the fight sooner—Wing Chun alone was not it. Thus, Bruce began the evolution of Jeet Kune Do-- all styles and no style. His first students Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillio convey their love and awe for their fallen friend. Bruce Lee transcended race and even martial arts. "I Am Bruce Lee" in its own unique way captures that feeling: Everyone wanted to be Bruce Lee. Bruce taught Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Linda Lee Caldwell tells how Bruce wished Steve could be more like James and James could be more like Steve. Linda says that Bruce was her strength, but you get that she was his rock. This is particularly evident in the story surrounding Lee's death.Poignantly, Kobe Bryant talks about the downside of celebrity. Bruce Lee may have been seduced by fame. His friend and "Enter the Dragon" co-star Bob Wall talks about Bruce's phenomenal prowess. But he also talks about Lee having an allergic reaction to medication, and being found in another woman's apartment. Caldwell is gracious in that she has made peace with that, and to this day finds joy in seeing him on screen. Lee's daughter Shannon Lee, also the movie's Producer, fondly remembers her father and the spectacle of the funeral. Bruce was a man with an upside and a downside. Most importantly, he is still loved to this day.The footage of the Bruce Lee movies reminds us of the icon, who was total genius in his body. He was 5'7" and 135 lb, and so fast and so strong. The clips of his "one-inch punch" are astounding. He was beautiful and immortal. His goddaughter Diana Lee Inosanto says, "He put balls on Chinese men." Provocative. More to the point: Bruce had the perfect body, was charismatic, and sexy. MMA Champion Gina Carano "Haywire" vehemently agrees. It is interesting that there have not been any crossover Asian stars as compelling as Bruce. Then again, how often does Bruce Lee come along in a lifetime? What landed for me was Linda talking about Bruce's legacy even today. She said she is touched by the fact that Bruce inspired generations to be great. As a kid watching his movies, he inspired me to pursue the martial arts. Now I am a Sensei, and have the opportunity to give something back to others. Bruce made us dare to be great. And that is an amazing legacy.
It's always hard to sit through one of these documentaries- emotionally difficult: Bruce Lee was one of the most positive role models I ever had, growing up; as I've pointed out elsewhere in these comments, he was the living embodiment of the promise of unlimited potential. It's THAT, more than anything else, I think, that people respond to. As far as his Real World abilities, no one mentions his in-the-ring boxing experience or his hand speed- which would've been THE determining factor in ANY street fight. Only Dan Inosanto points out that Bruce Lee's cobra quickness <more>
would've brought ANY fight to a quick conclusion had he opted for a simple finger jab to the eyes. Show me a fighter who can continue to function when he's been blinded and I'll show you a character from one of the more fanciful martial arts movies. I've NEVER met a blind man in my life who could hold his own in a street fight... When Ed O'Neill points out that Bruce Lee wouldn't've stood a chance against Brock "What A Crock" Lesnar, he fails to take this into account. Nor, apparently, had O'Neill seen Les's last two UFC fights, in both of which he showed that not only does he not have the "stomach" for full-contact fighting, but, like Sonny Liston and Mike Tyson before him, he lacks the true HEART of a champion. Watch the fight with Overeem very closely and you'll see Les looking to the referee to stop the fight even before he goes down. Bruce Lee will ALWAYS be an inspiration to anyone who aspires to ANYTHING in life; that's a fact.
To be honest anything about Bruce Lee and I am going to watch it. It was interesting seeing the mix of people some of who actually knew Bruce and some who are fans talk about him. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that Judo fool who said Bruce was more entertainer than fighter just made himself look silly. And Ed O'Neil who I liked on Married with Children also got it wrong saying that today's fighters would have beaten Bruce easily. He is missing a very important fact, that is, that Bruce 'adapted' to whoever he fought. That is the essence of JKD. As Bruce got <more>
older he got better and better and bigger men would be no match for his skill and speed. I have never seen another martial artist as fast as Bruce or as adaptable. And I am talking about the real Bruce fighting, not what we see in his films. although much of that is pretty impressive Bruce once said that the most dangerous opponent was someone determined to do something regardless of the consequences, so if they were determined to bite your nose they probably would. Bruce was like that, he did whatever was needed to win. That is why he grew to hate styles because they restricted the mind. By the way this is what is behind the 'honestly express YOURSELF' speech. Linda Lee and Shanon and Dan Inosanto stood out for me as they were talking first hand and with such obvious affection. Could have done with more clips of Bruce fighting but apart from that I liked this documentary.
Bruce Lee's innovative Martial-Arts and unique movie-Presence introduced explosive Asian culture to the Big-screen! (by Ed-from-HI)
"I am Bruce Lee" is a worthwhile documentary although long-time fans probably already know a lot of the information discussed here, the presentation of key film clips, interviews, screen-tests of Bruce Lee along with the new as of 2012 extensive interviews with Linda Lee-Cadwell, daughter Shannon Lee, Jeet Kune Do master Dan Inosanto, and other celebrities he influenced like Mickey Rourke, Ed O'Neill, Ray Mancini, even Kobe Bryant and Manny Pacquiao!Growing-up in Hawaii, one couldn't help being a super Bruce Lee fan! Of course during his brief Life and much beyond, Bruce <more>
Lee has continued to be a gigantic international Superstar up to the present-Day, and his films and undying-Legend continue to inspire people of widely-diverse backgrounds e.g. from everyday movie-buffs, to current professional martial-artists and MMA/UFC champions, to boxers and top-athletes in other non-combative sports like basketball, to a number of other current celebrities and artists! Much of this 2012 documentary by Pete McCormack focuses on Bruce Lee's overall philosophy of Life about how determined he was to become an international success in both developing the perfect combination of multi-disciplinary martial-arts without 'dogma' or overly constraining & rigid 'rules' also creating/developing the image of an authentic Chinese/Asian 'hero' for the Big-screen! goals which he amazingly completely achieved within the course of only a few years! I was too young to see his movies in the theaters when they first came-out in the very early-1970's - but I remember being completely enthralled/ blown-away when I saw them in the early-1980s on VHS, etc. To this day, I don't think anyone on screen has figured-out how to generate those lightening quick, explosive but still totally fluid and of course highly effective moves and choreography Jet Li and Donnie Yen come very close - but still not quite with the electrifying-impact of Bruce Lee! But really what seems to be at the heart of the irrepressible inner-drive of Bruce Lee was his unshakable idea/ motivation that he must continually 'break-barriers' no pun intended he needed to keep innovating and breaking new-ground in terms of martial arts i.e. Jeet Kune Do and especially the presentation of martial arts on screen designed specifically to excite and intrigue movie-goers > bringing not only those innovative martial-arts moves to the Big-screen but also introducing mainly to Western-audiences the underlying Asian culture & philosophies inherent generating immense respect & amazement from audiences in the process. Again, Bruce Lee succeeded phenomenally in such a brief period!Of course everyone wishes Bruce Lee could have lived even a few years longer "Enter the Dragon" seemed like just a beginning for spectacularly intriguing action films with deeper-insights into the Asian arts - had he lived longer, I'm sure Bruce Lee would have changed the face of Hollywood films to an even greater degree - shinning a brightly intense spotlight on Asian culture with intensely-realistic heart-pounding action would have surely become the order of the Day!note: the Hollywood biopic 'Dragon' starring Jason-Scott Lee from 1994 is also a great film to watch if you haven't seen it already!