Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
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Named "Best Picture of the Year" by over 100 critics nationwide! Two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword isstolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her deeply romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face to face with their worst enemy - and the inescapable, enduring power of love. Set against 19th-century China's breathtaking landscape, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is the action-packed, box office smash from acclaimed director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm) featuring stunning martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix). 2016 release Two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword isstolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her su
Hong Kong wuxia films, or martial arts fantasies, traditionally squeeze poor acting, slapstick humor, and silly story lines between elaborate fight scenes in which characters can literally fly. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has no shortage of breathtaking battles, but it also has the dramatic soul of a Greek tragedy and the sweep of an epic romance. This is the work of director Ang Lee, who fell in love with movies while watching wuxia films as a youngster and made Crouching Tiger as a tribute to the form. To elevate the genre above its B-movie roots and broaden its appeal, Lee did two important things. First, he assembled an all-star lineup of talent, joining the famous Asian actors Chow Yun-fat and Michelle Yeoh with the striking, charismatic newcomer Zhang Ziyi. Behind the scenes, Lee called upon cinematographer Peter Pau (The Killer, The Bride with White Hair) and legendary fight choreographer Yuen Wo-ping, best known outside Asia for his work on The Matrix. Second, in adapting the story from a Chinese pulp-fiction novel written by Wang Du Lu, Lee focused not on the pursuit of a legendary sword known as "The Green Destiny," but instead on the struggles of his female leads against social obligation. In his hands, the requisite fight scenes become another means of expressing the individual spirits of his characters and their conflicts with society and each other.
The filming required an immense effort from all involved. Chow and Yeoh had to learn to speak Mandarin, which Lee insisted on using instead of Cantonese to achieve a more classic, lyrical feel. The astonishing battles between Jen (Zhang) and Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh) on the rooftops and Jen and Li Mu Bai (Chow) atop the branches of bamboo trees required weeks of excruciating wire and harness work (which in turn required meticulous "digital wire removal"). But the result is a seamless blend of action, romance, and social commentary in a populist film that, like its young star Zhang, soars with balletic grace and dignity. --Eugene Wei
- The Making of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Conversation with Michelle Yeoh Featurette
- Photo Montage
- Talent Files
- Link to website
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The story of two legendary warriors (Chow-Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh)who fight to recover a legendary sword is beautifully told by director Lee. The fight scenes are well choreographed by the same choreographer who did the chops in "The Matrix". Many people would consider them exaggerated, especially the fact that the warriors fly over roofs and trees, but Peter Pau's cinematography and Tan Dun's enchanting music make those scenes so subtle, so delicate.
This is an excellent DVD, and viewers may find it a good addition to their collection. At least in mine, it's a great item. The extras are very good. Go see for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
Yes it is also a rollicking martial arts flick. "How do they do it?" I know -- they use wires and speeded up (ie slowed down) takes.
It is also a touching love story. The stars of the film express considerable emotion with very modest looks and gestures. The line at the end of preferring to be a ghost close to his love over a spirit in heaven ranks up there with the best love lines in film.
But most of all I thought this was a film about narcissism. There is the narcissism of the main character who is so touched with despair that he momentarily forgets his duty. There is the narcissism of a different kind of duty that prevents him from "disrespecting" the memory of his friend -- the deceased fiancee of the woman he loves. There are the complicated alliances, including one with a man who seems to be in league with a mafia-like underworld. (And this is a good guy!!) There is the bitter narcissism of Gray Fox, the proto-feminist warrior who kills our hero out of rage over a supposed seduction at the hands of his master. By the way, that was one spot that did not make full sense to me. Would we expect a Wudon master to have a casual affair with one of his students?
The most narcissistic character is Jen, the Governor's daughter. She is blessed with native talent which she has begun to cultivate. She has a feisty spirit. But over and over again she chooses self-indulgence and narcissism over discipline, over love, over doing the right thing. She destroys the lives of everyone around her before narcissistically taking her own life in the final scene.
It was the waste of talent resulting from narcissism and the wreckage left in its wake that haunted me for a long time after the film ended. The meditation on love, duty, discipline, and narcissism is what the film finally was about for me.
I agree heartily with those reviewers who felt the film was poorly served by the DVD transfer. It is not really terrible, but it is sub-par. A film of this greatness deserves a first class DVD edition. I hope one will be forthcoming soon.
My favorate part was the bittersweet inner-play between Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat's characters. It is sad when two people truely love each other but never know it...it is sadder when they do but will never realize it. They are both at the twilight of their careers and too much history had past for anything to change but the realization of their feelings.
The direction by Ang Lee was superb, but given his catalog of movies to date that is simply expected. The number of oscars Crouching Tiger garnered is testament to how good his direction was and how good the movie is.
Don't watch this movie with English dubbing. It frankly is not good dubbing and it really takes away from the experience. Also some of the translations are subtly different than the subtitles of the Mandarin dialogue. While I had no problems with the Mandarin spoken, my Mandarin speaking wife chuckled that it was VERY poorly spoken. Fat and Yeoh are not native Mandarin speakers so that is to be expected I suppose. An intertesting side bar that takes nothing away from the movie.