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Sunday, March 20, 2011

G's Siskel and Ebert Classic Review: DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY (1993) & ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)

G’s Take: DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY - *** - While I agree with both Gene and Roger that Jason Scott Lee delivers an amazing and special performance as Bruce Lee, I disagree that the film does a disservice to Lee’s fans by not spending a large amount of time on Lee’s death. For a life that was as dramatic, successful, and interesting as Lee’s, the cause of his death is the least interesting part of the story. People die, even the really famous ones. I don’t know whole lot of people that think there was a curse. However, that story is a lot more interesting than a brain aneurysm. DRAGON is a smart bio-epic directed by Rob Cohen that manages some very well-choreographed fight scenes done in the tradition of Lee’s best work. Thumbs Up!

G’s Take: ESCAPE FROM L.A. - ** ½ - Let me preface this review be saying how much I dig Carpenters work. When he is on, he is one of the best directors around. HALLOWEEN, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, THE THING, and of course ESPCAPE FROM NEW YORK, are some of my favorite films. Carpenter has a very distinct style that is M.I.A. on ESCAPE FROM L.A., in fact, it was M.I.A. throughout the 90’s. Carpenter didn’t make a single film in the 90’s that I could recommend (VAMPIRES comes close) and ESCAPE FROM L.A. is no different. I don’t know what happened in the process of making this film but nothing works here outside of an okay chase. Even Kurt Russell falls flat in his iconic role. I agree with Gene on this one. Thumbs Down.