'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' [Blu-ray]
(Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (2000) 2010 / Sony Pictures Classics)
Overview: '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.
Blu ray Verdict: This movie, as I hope you all are well aware by now, was a new concept for both the viewer from the east and west. What director Ang Lee did was to take a Chinese martial arts fantasy film and add the true dramatic component so that it would appeal to all audiences. The sets, costumes and sound track are fantastic. The movie is set in 19th-centuary China and the clothing at the beginning of the period are of the correct period, but that soon goes out the window.
Though it does not detract from the movie in any way. And the casting is nothing short of phenomenal. With the great dramatic actor Chow Yun Fat staring in his first martial arts film and Michelle Yeoh bringing her acting talents from the heart. An epic movie that is sure to stand the test of time.
In this movie two warriors are faced with the duel challenge of retrieving the stolen treasured sword called the Green Destiny and dealing with their true affection for each other. The of course cannot speak of their love for one another for Yeoh's character was engaged to be married and her fiancé was slain by a woman called the Jade Fox. What we must understand that in China if your fiancée is killed, you are considered a widow, so they would be breaking the rules of society if they acted on their love for one another.
We then learn the young woman who stole the sword is the disciple of this Jade Fox, but also an aristocrat who is being forced into an arranged marriage of political convenience. We learn that Jade Fox has here own reasons for doing what she did out of bitterness. And we learn the true focus of the film is the young girl. With everything else going on, she is also in love with a desert bandit who she felt duty bound to leave. And once she marries she realizes she made a mistake, so she goes around getting into sword fights.
The movie express epic romance, honor and self-respect along with the martial arts wirework we expect from Chinese martial arts films. And though all laws of physics do not apply, the fights are simply wonderfully choreographed. In this movie each warrior battles for justice, they each face their worst enemies as well as their true love. This is a film I highly recommend, if you haven't done several times by now anyway, you now watch on crystal clear Blu ray. [MAR] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary: Ang Lee and James Schamus
Interview: A Conversation with Michele Yeoh
Making of: Unleashing the Dragon
Commentary with Ang Lee and James Schamus
Unleashing the Dragon: The Making of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Photo Montage
A Conversation with Michelle Yeoh