Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 3rd, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, March 22nd, 1972
Director: Wei Lo
Writers: Bruce Lee, Wei Lo
Cast: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi
|Approximate running time:||107 minutes||107 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono English||DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese|
|Region Coding:||Region 1 NTSC||Region 3 NTSC|
Fox’s Region 1 DVD
Spectrum’s Region 3 DVD
The Film :
Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) is over come with grief of the death of his recently deceased master that he tries dig up his masters’ grave before finally being restrained. To further complicate the matter a rival school shows up at the funeral presenting them with a sign that translates to “The Sick Man of Asia” which doesn’t sit well with Chen Zhen. Not amused by their disrespecting his master Chen Zhen enters the Japanese school to teach them a lesson. What starts as a far fight erupts into an all out brawl as Chen Zhen takes on the whole school alone. Will Chen Zhen avenge his master before his enemies do him in or before the police arrest him?
Fox’s release exhibits colors that bleed and the image looks soft through out. There is some minor grain present and flesh tones look unnatural. There source material used is not in that good of shape as scratches and artifacts plagued this transfer through out. Overall fox’s transfer is a mess. Spectrum’s transfer is obviously from a better source that restores Fist of Fury to its former glory. The colors palette is vivid and detail is sharp in every frame through out. The black levels are deep and rich in tone. Print damage is non-existent as grain is kept to a minimum. Both releases present the Fist of Fury in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Spectrum’s release has been given an anamorphic enhancement while Fox’s is non- anamorphic. Just like their other Bruce Lee DVD’s there also appears to be some minor cropping on their Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury) release.
Fox’s release comes with only one audio option a English dubbed audio track that is presented in Dolby Digital mono. The track suffers from some minor hiss and distortion through out. The action and dialog which sound thin at times is always easy to follow. Fox has also included English subtitles on their release. These subtitles are known as dub titles as they are just word for word the English dub translated. Spectrum’s release comes with the following audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks that both are in the films original Cantonese language. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks are pretty much the same with the DTS offer a slightly fuller audio experience. There is no sign of distortion or hiss through these audio mixes. The dialog is always easy to follow with the action and music adding some extra kick to the mix with their throbbing pulsing. English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included. Korean subtitles have also been included.
Fox’s release is a bare bones release that comes with absolutely no extras even the films original trailer which is listed on the DVD box. Spectrum release fares a little better in the extras department with trailers for Big Boss, Way of the Dragon and Game of Death as well as the Fist of Fury’s original trailer and a newly created trailer for this release. Other extras include Bruce Lee stills photo album and Bruce Lee photo slide show each DVD includes still and slideshow gallery.
Better technology should mean better product not worse product and yet again Fox drops the ball releasing DVD with quality just slightly better then a VHS release. Spectrum delivers the goods once again with their Fist of Fury release as it soundly beats Fox’s Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury) release in every which way.
Note: Spectrum’s Fist of Fury release is only available as part their Bruce Lee collection.