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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Oh, and at some point, Chow Yun-Fat grew straight out of his annoying Hollywood sneer and into the role of a wise master. The real star, however, has to be Ms. Zhang. The restarant scene ("I am the invincible sword godess!") is worth the price of admission alone.
On dvd, this film looks just spiffy. The picture is good and clear without any visible edge enhancement, and the colors (which Ang Lee uses to great effect) are vivid without being over-saturated. The audio, especially the really cool music by Yo-Yo Ma, is perfectly clear.
My only gripe, and it's a small one, is with the relatively anemic extras. The commentary's nice, but it mentions twenty minutes of cut scenes, none of which are on this disc. There's a neat television documentary that shows how some of the choreography was done, and there's also a suprisingly good English-language dub, although I prefer the Mandarin with subtitles. What I would have loved to see, however, are extra-angle options for the fencing scenes, especially the treetop scene at the climax (which looks beautiful on this dvd, btw). Still, this is a good solid transfer of a great film.
I found Michelle Yeoh in particular to be marvelous; her performance is the one that really ties the whole film together. Chow Yun-Fat was very good, as were the entire cast. As with any good foreign film, after a time the viewer gets caught up in the plot, and language really becomes a minor issue. Good acting is good acting-period.
Some of the other reviewers seem locked into the Western film tradition, and expect all movies to fit within preconceived formulaic categories. While influences from the West are certainly evident in "Tiger", it is not rife with cliches, as so many recent films are.
I for one have a generally negative view of modern cinema; perhaps one film in twenty really hits me in a positive way. Poor writing and the substitution of special effects for same are all too common today. All this being said, I found "Crouching Tiger" to be simply mesmerizing, and with the all-too-rare plot that requires some thought to follow...terrific!
If you are a human being (and I assume that's the case!) with any emotion at all, I bet you'll like this beautiful movie.
I have one little gripe (sorry) about some reviews on this page where people have said that the dubbing doesn't match the mouth movement. To be frank, that is an ABSOLUTELY IDIOTIC observation! Please, this is an Asian film, something so trivial as mouth movement, when you're aware the movie was not in English, should NOT even be a factor in a movie as wondrous as this. PLEASE tell me that these people were kidding! Do you actually think the people in non-English speaking countries complain about the actor's mouths in, say, the Godfather not matching the dubbing in their native language?
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.