Anchor Bay's Goodbye Bruce Lee VS IVL's New Game of Death

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Old Pang Yau
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Anchor Bay's Goodbye Bruce Lee VS IVL's New Game of Death

Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 13 Jul 2007, 02:03

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Well, this is a comparison that is certainly strange on several levels. Anchor Bay, the company that had been known for years for releasing old horror films, especially the 4-disc/3-cut edition of Dawn of the Dead, decided to release a DVD of Goodbye Bruce Lee: His Last Game of Death a few years back. Without a doubt, it was the best a Bruce Li film EVER looked... on possibly ANY format. Too bad it's not one of Bruce Li's best films :P So when Celestial announced that it had this film under its original "New Game of Death" title as part of their restoration process (and just recently finding out it was one of their HD masters), I got a smidgen curious. So, I pre-ordered the IVL DVD of Celestials new master, and it arrived today... now, let's see the screencaps:

AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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AB:
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IVL:
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VIDEO: Well, it's a mixed bag. The Anchor Bay disc is a bit sharper and is encoded in NTSC progressive scan, but as you can see, it's heavily cropped all around, the contrast is a bit high, and the color is washed out... and it's cut. The IVL disc is much more colorful, and there's a lot more visual information, plus it's the original (previously rare) uncut Hong Kong print, but as usual with IVL's Shaw DVDs, this is an improper PAL-to-NTSC interlaced transfer, causing the "double motion blur".

AUDIO: Well, pick one disc or the other. The AB disc only has the English dub while the IVL disc only has the Mandarin, both in mono. So, while IVL has the original language... it's missing the oh so wonderful "King of Kung Fu" theme from the English dubbed version :D In fact, many of the music cues in the Mandarin version are different, and the original opening theme is "Love's Theme" from Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra.

EXTRAS: Neither disc has an abundance of extras, but IVL slightly edges out. The AB disc only has an English language theatrical trailer, while the IVL disc has not only the usual Celestial-edited trailer, but even has the original Hong Kong theatrical trailer. Here are "screen cap collages" from both:

Celestial Trailer:
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Original Trailer:
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Overall, if I had to pick one... well, it'd be the IVL disc. Better colors, far less cropped, original language, original theatrical trailer and uncut (aside from the usual Celestial frame cuts). But, for those who want a "cheesier fix", pick up the AB disc :P

P.S.: I'll be putting together an alternate versions list of what scenes are in what in the Asian DVD section too... stay tuned!

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Unread post by thelostdragon » 13 Jul 2007, 09:20

What's the audio track like? Does it have the fancy song "King of Kung Fu"?
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Unread post by thelostdragon » 13 Jul 2007, 09:28

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Ivan Drago
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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 13 Jul 2007, 09:54

I think the skintones on the IVL are a tad too hot, like some of their other releases - Savage Five and Mighty One look like that too

Thanks for the review!
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Unread post by saltysam » 13 Jul 2007, 11:44

i have the uk arrow disc which looks nice but is english dub only.
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Unread post by HungFist » 13 Jul 2007, 13:20

Thanks. Great comparison.

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Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 13 Jul 2007, 16:01

thelostdragon wrote:What's the audio track like? Does it have the fancy song "King of Kung Fu"?
As mentioned above, "King of Kung Fu" is only in the dubbed version, which is something I kinda predicted anyway. The opening overall of the Mandarin version is bizarre because it does indeed start with the classic Shaw Brothers "Shaw Scope" logo, then goes into a shot of clouds with the production company credit appearing, following with "The New Game of Death"... as "Love's Theme" begins playing!

Also, hopefully I can finally put up an alternate versions comparison later today. I'm trying to do it "Schnittberichte style" with a bunch of mini screen caps and descriptions of the differences. The first full deleted scene I noticed is an extension of "Ho Chung Tao as himself" talking to his girlfriend about whether or not he should accept the part of Bruce Lee's role, when they'll get married, if he can pull off acting in front of the camera, etc. More info soon!

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Unread post by Linn » 13 Jul 2007, 16:31

FYI, King of Kung Fu was actually a song lifted from the film of the same name. It was never actually "supposed" to be on the film. It was added by the distributor for international release.

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Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 13 Jul 2007, 16:36

Linn wrote:FYI, King of Kung Fu was actually a song lifted from the film of the same name. It was never actually "supposed" to be on the film. It was added by the distributor for international release.
Huh... that's new to me. I know a 45 single of the song was released, but it's incredibly difficult to find. But, I guess that's where they got the "Goodbye Bruce Lee" title since the singer screams "BYE BYE BYE BYE BRUCE LEE!" :P

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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 13 Jul 2007, 19:46

King Of Kung Fu - who's in that film?

The Arrow disc uses the same transfer as the Anchor Bay
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Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 14 Jul 2007, 00:05

Ivan Drago wrote:King Of Kung Fu - who's in that film?

The Arrow disc uses the same transfer as the Anchor Bay
I went looking up King of Kung Fu... and as usual, it was a disaster trying to figure out what movie was what. One box showed Bruce Le, another said it was an alternate title for Young Bruce Lee... so in other words, Linn might have to help us out here :P

And yeah, I've read that both Anchor Bay and Arrow used the Atlas transfer. Strange thing is, the Anchor Bay, while properly progressive scan NTSC, sounds like it has PAL speed up, at least in comparison with the old Tai Seng VHS I have... which has left me more than a little confused.

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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 14 Jul 2007, 00:12

Bruce Le didn't do any Bruceploitation until after this film was made

The Young Bruce Lee...that's the title for my Goodtimes DVD of Bruce Lee Superstar, a Bruce Li movie made around the same time as The New Game Of Death. The film has the same dubbing artists as Goodbye Bruce Lee
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Unread post by thelostdragon » 14 Jul 2007, 00:14

It might be one of the two:

Enter the Game of Death:
http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=film&fid=10999
UK Disc:
http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=fassun ... &vid=90625


Valley of the Double Dragon:
http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=film&fid=85281
UK Disc:
http://www.ofdb.de/view.php?page=fassun ... vid=211465

I have the German disc of "Enter The Game of Death".
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Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 14 Jul 2007, 00:36

Err... DAMN CONFUSION! Trying to figure out the names of "Bruceploitation" films have always been a royal pain in the ass... but that "Valley of the Double Dragon" film looks interesting... apparently it has Robert "Petrov" Baker!

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Unread post by Ivan Drago » 14 Jul 2007, 01:10

Enter The Game Of Death was released in 1978. I've seen a US lobby card calling it King Of Kung Fu
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Unread post by saltysam » 14 Jul 2007, 12:00

no bruceploitation movie can live up to the majesty that is the dragon lives again :)
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Unread post by Knetan » 14 Jul 2007, 12:06

hey,

that's a lovely film. Bruce Lee in the afterlife along with James Bond, Clint Eastwood, Popeye and the One-Armed Swordsman!

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Unread post by Old Pang Yau » 14 Jul 2007, 17:58

I still need to watch DLA! One of many movies I have, but haven't actually watched :P Got it as part of Video Asia's "Bruceploitation Seizures" collection... I swear, the quality on those movies are so bad, I started to get a headache... I don't even want to get into the disasterous quality of Enter the Game of Death!

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