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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon DVD

A 2000 drama and martial arts film directed by Ang Lee.

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An end to conflict at the Video Store is nigh!

  • Jul 1, 2001
  • by
Rating:
+5
This is a terrific film, combining the once-again-fashionable grandiloquent, epic sweep, stunning choreography (never before have fight sequences so resembled classical dance) and most remarkably, a stiffly extended middle finger to conventional blockbuster wisdom. Martial Arts movies typically obey pretty rigid conventions - they're not especially challenging on the cognitive functions and they're macho, violent and action-obsessed to the exclusion of all else (in particular characterisation and plot).

So in putting together this piece Ang Lee got his box-office smash the hard way: Not only did he film in Mandarin (which might explain to the perceptive reviewer below why they "couldn't get the lips to sync right"), but he has as the two lead protagonists and fighting extraordinaires, women. And while there's action to do you Tuesday next week, for all the sword play, there's not a great deal of *violence* (the swordfighting is more like ballet than combat), and the voguish brutal realism is replaced by surreal, liquid movement and total disregard for gravity.

Theme-wise, for once there really is something happening - a subtext of struggle against social convention, no small irony given the revolution against cinematic convention which the film represents. There are two love stories, but for the most part they're airily sketched - having said that, the climatic scene, involving one pair of star cross'd lovers, has all the weight of Shakespearian tragedy.

If anything is underdone it's the exposition on the bad guys; It's not clear (in the dubbed version, at any rate) what Jade Fox has done, nor why she's gone over to the dark side, nor why the Diplomat's daughter should be siding with her (other than on account of a wild streak). To my mind Jade Fox could have been left out of the film altogether - it would have required minimal re-writing and perhaps closed off a number of side plots (such as that concerning the police chief) which were not properly developed in the end anyway.

While it's not perfect, it's a landmark film, for if it achieves nothing else it provides an ideal compromise at the video store when *she* wants the English Patient and *he* wants Die Hard II. No mean feat.

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More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon reviews
Quick Tip by . November 10, 2010
Frankly, I didn't enjoy this one as much particularly since I'm not a fan of Chow Yun-Fat. I remembered it as being too long and I don't even remember what the entire show is all about anymore!
Quick Tip by . October 12, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
What amounts largely to what I'm told as an Asian Fairy Tale with it's wire work and legends in a movie. Chow Yun Fat is awesome as is Michelle Yeoh in this story of a powerful sword taken by a young woman who gains power from it.
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
This film has visually stunning fight scenes and set design.
Quick Tip by . March 16, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
I respect the fact that it opened America's doors to Chinese Wuxia, but NOT the best wuxia out there
Quick Tip by . March 15, 2010
posted in Reel Overseas
Overrated and over long. I love martial arts movies, but this was just too melodramatic and predictable for me.
Quick Tip by . March 15, 2010
posted in Reel Overseas
I pretty much grew up on Chinese martial arts flicks. I've seen better.
Quick Tip by . March 12, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Caption
Chinese Oscar winner for best foreign film serves well as intro for uninitiated but may leave old fans wanting more.
Quick Tip by . March 11, 2010
posted in Reel Overseas
An amazing special effects movie built around a warm story.
review by . February 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's been a decade since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon first came out, and there have been dozens of copycat and other Chinese epic movies in the meantime, but this one is still the best. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is chock full of strong characters, beautiful music, and exciting fight scenes. Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh make an excellent pair as warriors who try to suppress their feelings. Moreover, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has a lot of heart. The movie doesn't have a lot of violence …
review by . February 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's been a decade since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon first came out, and there have been dozens of copycat and other Chinese epic movies in the meantime, but this one is still the best. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is chock full of strong characters, beautiful music, and exciting fight scenes. Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh make an excellent pair as warriors who try to suppress their feelings. Moreover, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has a lot of heart. The movie doesn't have a lot of violence …
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Olly Buxton ()
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Member Since: Sep 26, 2009
Last Login: Dec 22, 2010 09:37 PM UTC
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Wiki

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a Chinese-language film in the wuxia martial arts style, released in 2000. A China-Hong Kong-Taiwan-United States co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. The movie was based on the fourth novel in a pentalogy, known in China as the Crane-Iron Pentalogy, by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu. The martial arts and action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, well known for his work in The Matrix and other films.

Made on a mere US$17 million budget, with dialogue in Mandarin, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became a surprise international success. After its US premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival, it grossed US$128 million in the United States alone, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. It has won over 40 awards. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Taiwan) and three other Academy Awards, and was nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film also won three BAFTAs and two Golden Globes, one for "Best Foreign Film" as well as additional nominations for ten BAFTAs including "Best Picture".
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Details

Director: Ang Lee
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 15, 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
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