Probably like most Bruce Lee fans, a big part of my love for the classic action flick Enter the Dragon is the nostalgia factor, the childhood memories of watching the movie on TV and hearing the legendary martial artist's signature "Wataah!" yell. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Warner Bros. brings the film to 4K Ultra HD with a top-notch HDR10 presentation, a highly entertaining Dolby Atmos track but sadly, a lackluster and disappointing assortment of bonus features. Nevertheless, this UHD edition is a Recommended addition for owners of the Blu-ray releases.
A big part of my love for Lee's final film, Enter the Dragon, is really the nostalgia, the bittersweet memories I have of watching the classic martial arts actioner on television as a kid. I recall the movie playing like twice a year on a Sunday afternoon throughout the early and mid-80s. And every time it did, I just had to watch it, laying on my stomach in front of our Zenith wood cabinet TV and be mesmerized by the kickass action, as well as hear Lee's signature "Wataah!" yells. Funny enough, considering how often I've watched the movie, I always seem to forget that Lee's character is originally enlisted by British intelligence at the start of the movie to infiltrate Han's (Shih Kien) criminal operations. Yet, I've never forgotten about the subplot revealing that Han's bodyguard O'Hara (Bob Wall) is the man responsible for the death of Lee's sister, so I keep expecting this story to be a straightforward revenge tale, only to be pleasantly reminded that the script is bit more complicated than that. However, since childhood, I've always distinctly remembered the fight between John Saxon's Roper and Bolo Yeung, the cool and suave Jim Kelly's Williams and, of course, Han's three-knives prosthetic while going toe-to-toe against the unbeatable Bruce Lee inside the mirror room. Enter the Dragon is my most fondly remembered and beloved Lee movie.
For a full and more detailed review of the film, check out our review of the 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Blu-ray Edition HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Warner Home Video brings Enter the Dragon to Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Digital Copy code, which can be redeemed at WB.com and MoviesAnywhere, giving users access to the Special Edition in 4K Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos audio. The triple-layered UHD100 disc contains both the 99-min theatrical version and the 103-min Special Edition cut. The single disc is housed in a black, eco-vortex case with a cardboard slipcover. At startup, viewers are taken to a generic static screen with the usual options along the bottom and music playing in the background.
The classic martial arts flick enters the Ultra HD arena with an impressive, top-notch HEVC H.265 encode that trounces the previous Blu-ray release, making this the best the film has ever looked in any format. Struck from a fresh restoration and remaster of the original 35mm camera negatives, the native 4K transfer comes with sharper lines and details, from the threading and stitching of each outfit to both the interior and exterior architectural design of Han's mini fortress. Understandably, there are several softer, blurrier moments sprinkled throughout, which is expected for a production of this vintage, but all things considered, the source is in excellent condition without any serious or glaring issues to report.
Furthermore, the HDR10 presentation supplies the action with improved contrast balance and clean, brilliant whites. Specular highlights add a tighter, crisper glow in the lighting and edges of clouds without ruining the finer aspects while metallic surfaces, especially during the iconic mirror-room fight finale, come with a radiant, realistic sheen. Black levels are inkier and darker with better, stronger shadow details within the murkiest corners, providing the 2.39:1 image with some depth and a lovely cinematic appeal. Colors are also richly-saturated and bolder than its HD SDR counterpart with primaries looking more accurate and dynamic, and facial complexions appear more natural with a healthy peachy-red tone in the cast. (HDR10 Video Rating: 88/100)
Undoubtedly, the biggest surprise of this UHD edition is an excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which was also remastered from the same source. As expected, the new mix remains a mostly front-heavy presentation with much of the action and background activity subtly occupying the front three channels, creating a broad and highly engaging soundstage. On some occasions, several atmospherics travel into the sides and rears, such as the cheers of the crowd during the tournament, and the overheads are employed from time to time, like the sounds of the underground compound. Altogether, it makes for an understatedly immersive soundfield that never feels forced or artificial. Lalo Schifrin's original score really makes the best use of the upgrade by spreading into the surrounds and lightly bleeding into the height channels while exhibiting outstanding definition and fidelity in the mid-range. Dialogue can sometimes come in a tad lower than the rest of the mix, but overall, conversations are mostly well-prioritized and intelligible. There isn't much of a low-end to speak of, but the bass is nonetheless hearty and ample enough to add some appreciable weight. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 84/100)
Probably like most Bruce Lee fans, my first — or perhaps, most memorable — introduction to the legendary martial artist is Enter the Dragon. And a big part of my love for the classic action flick is the nostalgia factor, the childhood memories of watching the movie on TV and getting a kick out of hearing Lee's signature "Wataah!" yell. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Warner Bros. brings the film to 4K Ultra HD with a top-notch HDR10 presentation and a highly entertaining Dolby Atmos soundtrack, making this the best the film has ever looked on any format. Sadly, this UHD edition comes with a lackluster and disappointing assortment of bonus features, yet in spite of that, the package is nonetheless a Recommended addition for owners of the previous Blu-ray releases.
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