Enter the Dragon

I was glad that there was no rain. I watched the news about the snow hitting Boston. Elizabeth Wenger’s pregnancy is really visible. Michelle Griego is expecting a baby, too. I walked over to the office and got some work done. I went out to the grocery store and went home to take a shower. I walked over to the record store and bought a used copy of The Beatles’ white album. I already had copies, but I got another one to carry in my backpack. I went back to the office and spent a couple of hours grading papers before reviewing my notes. I talked with one of my former students about calculus and made my way to class. I gave a pretty long lecture and afterwards talked with the security guards about episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I ate at Bongo Burger before going home to watch “Enter the Dragon,” the classic Bruce Lee film. The sound effects on the hitting weren’t too realistic, but you had to like the setting and the action. I was impressed at how quick Bruce Lee was with his movements, especially when he fought the guy with the scarred face. There was a sequence with Lee’s sister, and there was a fake moment when she tripped over nothing. She also hesitated in running away, which I could not understand at all. It seems that any decent martial arts movie has to involve an Asian guy, a white guy, a black guy, and an island. The only person in the cast other than Bruce Lee that I know is John Saxon. I thought he held his own on the screen, although his character had an annoying flaw with a gambling problem. The Jim Kelly in the movie is not the Buffalo Bills quarterback. It seemed like his character was punishing for his sexual behavior, and I had to wonder if there was a racial issue in it. You can’t have more than one hero in the movie, because nobody competes with Bruce Lee. The big crime being committed on this island is supposed to be the production of drugs, but it’s actually a free for all in this place with all these people getting killed. How did they dispose of all the dead bodies? Lee had a rhythm going in his fighting with his pauses, grimaces, and yells. Some of the hitting was off camera, and you didn’t see him snap anyone’s neck. The camera would be on a close-up of his face. I don’t see how Lee was able to use the same secret entrance twice. The villains are really stupid. After Lee defeats about a million guards, the bad guy says that his performance was “magnificent.” The way he said the word “magnificent” made me think of Maria Schneider in “Last Tango in Paris.” The name of the bad guy was Han, and he rather reminded me of Joseph Wiseman in “Dr. No.” Like in a James Bond movie, when the hero defeats the right hand man, it’s rather anticlimactic to go after the Number One man because he has less fighting skill. The final fight scene was in a room of mirrors, naturally bringing to mind Orson Welles’ “The Lady from Shanghai.” The one thing I noticed towards the end was that the bad guys wore white. Jackie Chan is in this movie, not as a major character. The world of 1973 feels like it was a long time ago, and I guess that now it is a long time ago. It makes me think of movies like “The Sting” and records like “Band on the Run” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” I actually don’t remember Bruce Lee from anything else other than the Green Hornet television show. How much did he do that was worth watching? He’s the one person in this movie who holds the screen because of the intensity in his face. Was there something bothering him the whole time? His character is one dimensional when you think about it. What interests does he have? Does he have any thoughts about current events? I don’t think I saw him eat anything. Jim Kelly thought the food on the island was inedible. Maybe he was being punished for those thoughts, too. I wondered where all the toilets were on this island. The DVD had a special feature on the making of the movie. The lab that processed the film was a dirty place with cobwebs. Bruce Lee never grew old, so he never ended up doing movies like “The Expendables.” I don’t think he could have reinvented himself as an action star. It seemed that he would always have limitations with his English. Perhaps he could have directed movies. I’ll always appreciate how he existed in the days before wires and CGI. I like intrigue and conflict, not outrageousness. I had a dream that I would write and direct my own martial arts movie. I thought it might combine kung fu, rock and roll, and zombies. I fell asleep and watched a few minutes of Seth Meyers. I watched part of “Three Days of the Condor.” I had forgotten that Robert Redford was left-handed. Faye Dunaway showed that she was still a great movie star in those days. It’s hard for me to believe that both Redford and Dunaway are so old now. Redford wore those big eyeglasses, but it was hard to believe that he was any kind of a researcher. Max von Sydow’s last speech was quite chilling. Cliff Robertson’s hair was big. I wouldn’t have believe that he would be in a Spider-Man movie. John Houseman was an old man even in this movie. The ending had a bit of Edward Snowden in it. I thought that Turner was in a world of trouble and had no escape. Redford was still going strong when he directed “Ordinary People.” If I was in his place, I would have been tired after all those years in all those movies. Some of the people who died on February 11 include Sergei Eisenstein (1948), Sylvia Plath (1963), Lee J. Cobb (1976), Eleanor Powell (1982), Takashi Shimura (1982), Frank Herbert (1986), William Conrad (1994), Peter Benchley (2006), and Whitney Houston (2012). Today is a birthday for Sheryl Crow (53), Burt Reynolds (79), and Tina Louise (81). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 11, Julia Child’s public television show “The French Chef” premiered in 1963. In 1967, The Monkees’ second album, “More of The Monkees” reached the Number One spot on the album chart, replacing their first album, “The Monkees,” in that top spot. In 1994, William Conrad died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles at age 73.

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