Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


Action / Adventure / Drama / Fantasy / Romance


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April 01, 2016 at 05:50 PM



Ziyi Zhang as Jen Yu
Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien
Yun-Fat Chow as Master Li Mu Bai
Pei-Pei Cheng as Jade Fox
720p 1080p
876.14 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 5 / 27
1.82 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 6 / 30

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lawrence Santoro ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Magical Romance...

There's a telling moment near the beginning of Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

In closeup, we see the rough-hewn, heavy wooden wheels of a peasant cart. They nestle in deep ruts worn into the stone paving blocks of a roadway entering a gated city. The cart rumbles on, its wheels fitting perfectly into the grooves worn by unspoken centuries of just such passing one image we see how tradition creates its own paths, how contemporary reality is fabricated to fit such traditions... The camera rises, we see an almost impossible panorama of Peking, the Forbidden City spreading out before us like an Oz extending to the horizon.

What a film this is: a superb action adventure romance with terrific acting and a much-welcome heart underlying the technical superiority.

"Crouching Tiger...", I am told, is representative of a specific literary/cinematic genre in China: Wu Xia...the wizard/warrior piece...magic and martial arts blended. I'm not familiar with the form, but the world portrayed here is a breathtakingly fantastical one. The story is putatively set in 19th century China, but it could be anywhere, anywhen. It is a place of high honor and deep feelings, a place where people are bound by traditions and held captive by their forms. It is also a place of wild and mythic landscapes...from stark desert (thought nowhere do we get that featureless, wide-screen linear horizon seen in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia!") to magic misty green mountains with deep dark lakes and steeply cascading streams that come braiding, tumbling down the rockslide heights. High, reedy bamboo forests wave, wondrous, in sighing winds.

In this world people may do amazing things. The flying in this movie -- properly called "wire work" in film terms -- is fantastic. This technique, of course, was not invented by the Wachowski's, but the choreographer of "Crouching Tiger...", Woo-ping Yuen, also staged the wire-fights of "Matrix." Here, the ability of our warrior heros and villains to climb walls, to leap to the rooftops and soar from building to building -- not to mention engaging each other in aerial combat that soars from the peak of a mountain top to the rocks of a mountain stream in a single take -- or to duel on the very tips of dipping, waving bamboo trees -- looks almost plausible, just over the border of the possible, at least. The whole packed-in audience at the big theater at the advanced screening at Pipers Alley in Chicago burst into spontaneous applause several times throughout...

At other moments, I found myself in weepy transport. As I think of the fight in the treetops, right now, I become drippy -- tingly of eye and sinus.

Apart from all else, this is grand storytelling! It has passion, love, expresses deep need and longing.

And, yes, the woman are the action hearts of the film! Michelle Yeoh is wonderful...but I've been in love with her for years. Here, she is more mature, quieter, wiser than in any role I've seen her in. Her performance is strong and moving, her face registering, magically, a range of conflicting emotions, hidden secrets, crouching angers, all at once. In acting training we were always told you can't do that. She does it.

Chow Yun Fat, too...I've been a fan of his since I first discovered John Woo's Hong Kong crime the best I've ever seen, as well...magnificent in his silences. Strength without cruelty.

The center of the film is a girl who looks to be about 15! Ziyi Zhang whose date of birth is given as 1979. Zhang is from Beijing, China, and has only one other film credit. She is remarkable. Her story is the film's binding element. And this newcomer holds it together! Holding her own with Yeoh and Chow in both dramatic material and in the balletic martial pas des dieux's that frame the conflicts between characters. She is the "Luke Skywalker" of the piece, if you will...though "Crouching Tiger..." has everything the "Star Wars" saga aspires to: excitement, thrills and magic. Here however, technical fireworks are wrapped heart and deeply resonant spirit. Elements Lukasfilm wanted to have, but which it succeeded in providing only in the most self-conscious way.

By the way: this is an action film, almost uniquely without violence...or, rather, the violence is so stylized, so removed into some mystical realm, that it almost disappears into dance. There is, I believe, only one small splash of blood on-screen. Typically, I don't like that -- figuring that if you're going to do a film where violence is part of it all, where action advances plot, let's have it full-bore, the "Full Peckinpaw," if you will. Here, however, this stylization works beautifully with action sequences that take the breath away and inspire a sense of awe, rather than simply leave you white-knuckled and sweaty.

There are those who will grumble that Jackie Chan (another favorite of mine) does it all for real, without wires and tricks. True enough... But here that exuberance of motion is in service of a grand story and strong characters who carry worthwhile emotional burdens!

I won't be able to wait for the DVD, and will probably see it again, perhaps see it twice before it hits the home-market.

My recommendation: Just go see it.

Reviewed by jasmine_kung 10 / 10

My Dream Came True

As Ang Lee, I grew up reading wuxia novels in Taiwan. Those novels usually mixed engrossing history, thrilling action, enchanting romance. But when these novels were made into movies or TV series, none of them could match my imagination. It's either because of wrong casting, bad acting, tedious costumes, sloppy storytelling, minimal budget (so everything is shot in studio rather than in the grand Chinese landscapes as they were told in books), fake action... I could go on and on. Now Ang Lee finally made a wuxia film that captures my imagination and fulfills my dream of childhood.

The casting of CTHD is perfect. No disrespect to Jet Li, but Jet Li would not make Li Mu Bai into what he should be: noble, wise but weary. Chow Yun Fat conveys the unspoken feelings of Li Mu Bai in a way I can't imagine anyone else can. But he's known for his acting, Michelle Yeoh was known for her fighting skills. Here in CTHD, she proves herself as an excellent dramatic actress. The secrete longing for Li and the confusion of Li's true feelings were clearly conveyed by her eyes. The scenes between them are heartbreaking. Zhang Zi Yi is a true discovery! What a wonderful talent to steal scenes after scenes from the veterans around her. She ran from looking innocent, haughty, feisty to loving and distraught. She made the complex Jen a real flesh and blood believable human being. Chang Chen made a perfectly sexy and charming bandit.

The scenery and the photography was beyond belief. The majestic landscapes of China match my imagination when I read all the beautiful Chinese poems of the Tang and Sung dynasties. No wonder those poets could come up with those masterpieces. They sure had the best inspiration. Peter Pau not only captured the landscapes and the settings, he also managed to capture the fast-as-lightening action wonderfully. The shot of Jen gliding over water just lodged in my mind. The soundtrack is also excellent. Tan Dun used different instruments to match the different locales. He mixed in Central Asian music in the desert sequence and Chinese flute in the Southern China scenes. Yo-yo Ma's cello in the main theme makes me want to weep everytime I hear it.

The storytelling was also done expertly. As a romantic-at-heart, I love the desert romance between Jen and Lo. It's one of the most charming and believable love stories that I can remember. Most people gave credit of the fighting to Yuen Wo Ping. I'd give kudos to Ang Lee. I've seen Yuen's martial art films before, but they're never done in such an imaginative and artistic way. The artistic vision has to come from Ang Lee.

To sum it up, three cheers for Ang Lee! You not only fulfilled your childhood dream, you fulfilled mine too. It's such a pleasure to finally see a wuxia novel be done right. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Reviewed by gisele22 9 / 10

Extremely Captivating Film

I just saw this film today. I was totally captivated... when it was all over, and the credits began to run, it took me a couple of seconds to realize where I was. I didn't want to get out of my seat. And once I got out of the theatre, I couldn't even talk about it for an hour or so. I kept running the details over and over in my head. It's rare that a film has such an impact on me. The cinematography was stunning. The special effects were beautifully done. The characters' moves were effortless. The acting was wonderful. I really think that Michelle Yeoh should have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. I thought that the effects and storyline complimented each other brilliantly. There were so many different layers to the plot. There were many things that couldn't be explained with dialogue that were expressed in the characters' faces. This film had lighthearted moments, heartwrenching moments, romantic interludes, inspirational sentiments, wonderful plot twists, superb acting, beautifully done fight scenes, never before seen special had it all. Some scenes may have been a little over the top, but it's *fantasy*... and yet, after a few brief moments, it somehow became completely believable. That's how much this film draws you in. This is a one of a kind film; there is just no comparing it to any other. It transports you to another place and time. I highly recommend it.

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