Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Chow Yun-Fat
Director: Ang Lee Cast: Chow Yun-Fat
Chow Yun-Fat
, Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh
, Ziyi Zhang
Ziyi Zhang
Ang Lee

DVD (Wide Screen)

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Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Film, Ang Lee's sumptuous and romantic martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has been given an excellent DVD release from Sony Pictures Classics. The colors are always vibrant and alive (just check out the lush greens during chapter 25, "Li vs. Jen") and there is much depth to the many nighttime scenes as well. Picture and colors are stable throughout, though there are a few scenes in which background colors tend to slightly pulsate. Overall, the disc's transfer is superb. The film is offered in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The soundtrack has been digitally mastered and there are multiple listening options, including the original Mandarin language (Dolby Digital 5.1), an English-dubbed track (Dolby Digital 5.1), and a two-channel French track, as well as optional subtitles in English and French. The DVD also contains a commentary track with director Lee and co-executive producer and co-screenwriter James Schamus. Unfortunately, the commentary track is a major letdown, due mostly to Schamus' annoying and constant sarcasm and his uncanny knack for continually interrupting Lee and turning the attention back to himself. What could have been a great extra is sadly almost ruined by Schamus' input. Included on the disc is a 20-minute Bravo making-of special called Unleashing the Dragon, which gives a nice overview of the film, with plenty of interviews of cast and crew members. There is also a conversation with actress and martial arts icon Michelle Yeoh, a photo montage (accompanied by Tan Dun's haunting score), and a short interview with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This is a great release, though one that could be improved upon.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse

A hypnotically fascinating hybrid produced by crossing martial-arts adventure with fairy-tale romance, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon quickly became the most successful foreign film ever released in the U.S. Chow Yun-Fat, an international superstar whose English-language films include Anna and the King, portrays a Chinese warrior who retires from a life of violence and relinquishes custody of his fabled sword, the magnificent Green Destiny. Hong Kong action star and erstwhile Bond girl Michelle Yeoh plays the longtime friend and admirer whose father is entrusted with the sword. A thrill-seeking young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi), working with an evil mentor whom Chow once swore to kill, steals the sword -- and the chase is on. The characters square off in a series of exhilarating, occasionally dreamlike confrontations -- including a particularly memorable scene that unfolds amid windblown treetops -- staged with split-second precision and choreographic grace. As directed by Ang Lee (The Ice Storm), Crouching Tiger assumes multiple aspects; it offers two contrasting love stories that are at various points wistful, soaring, melancholy, and profoundly spiritual. It is, in every way, an impeccably executed film that refuses to be confined by formula and therefore delights on many levels.

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow

Billed as Sense and Sensibility with kung fu, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the wildest and most entertaining films to come down the pike in a long, long time. Ang Lee manages to spin stunning martial arts set pieces around a compelling and believable coming-of-age story. From Seven Samurai to the The Terminator, the key to a really good action movie is not the size of the gun or the variety of objects exploded, but the depth of characters; in Crouching Tiger, the players are given the same fine shading that Lee lent to The Ice Storm and other intimate character pieces. International superstars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh give perhaps the best performances of their careers as a couple bonded by the perils of war and an intense, yet unfulfilled, love. Despite the magnitude of their star power, Chow and Yeoh are all but upstaged by Zhang Ziyi as the impetuous Jen Yu. Gorgeous, graceful, and possessing a near-lethal high kick, she dominates the film. In one show-stopping sequence, this lithe young lass cleans the floor with a room full of thick-necked guys toting blunt weapons. In another she almost takes out a band of Mongol marauders in a wild Gobi Desert melee. There she meets and eventually falls in love with bandit king Lo (Chang Chen). Lee deftly structures much of the film like a Shakespearean romantic comedy -- the fiery passion of Jen and Lo are contrasted with the quieter, deeper love of Li and Shu Lien. The fervid romance of the young couple makes the sense of loss and repression in the older duo all the more poignant. The action is startlingly fresh: Drawn from conventions in popular Chinese Wuxia kung fu literature, the heroes are such masters of martial arts that they literally, and quite believably, fly. The first confrontation between Yeoh and Zhang -- a dizzying chase over the tiled roofs of a rich man's estate, in which the two adversaries literally bounce off the walls and sail over buildings -- simply has to be seen to be believed. Romantic, haunting, and sublimely entertaining, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon should not be missed.

Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is the most exhilarating martial arts movie I have seen.... But like all ambitious movies, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" transcends its origins and becomes one of a kind. It's glorious, unashamed escapism and surprisingly touching at the same time.

Boston Globe - Jay Carr

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a magical dream of a martial arts epic. It surpasses any you've ever seen.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2001
UPC: 0043396059900
Original Release: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Source: Sony Pictures
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 2:00:00
Sales rank: 6,010

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