Now available in a Limited Steelbook is Sony Picture Home Entertainment and director Ang Lee is the stunning film CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
Li Mu Bai is a Wudang swordsman (Chow Yun-fat) living in China during the time of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century. The person he cares for is Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) but honor keeps them apart because of the death of her fiancé Meng Sizhao. Deciding to lay down his sword Green Destiny, asking Shu Lien to take it to Sir Te’s (Sihung Lung) estate in Peking where she meets the Governor’s daughter Jen (Zhang Ziyi).
Later in evening, someone steals Green Destiny, and it is traced back to the Governor’s house and Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei), a woman who wanted to learn the Wudang way. Shu Lien tells Mu Bai what happened when he arrives and when a showdown between Mu Bai and Jade Fox happens, she tells him about her anger at not being trained. Mu Bai is not swayed and that is when a masked fighter appears to save Fox.
Jen has her own interest in love when Lo (Chen Chang) sneaks into her room to ask her to run away from her arranged marriage. At the wedding, Shu Lien and Mu Bai want to help Lo telling him they will send Jen to Mount Wudang. What happens from that moment on are rivals, mercy, final words and a sword that will not be destroyed.
Yun-Fat as Master Mu Bai is perfect to put opposite Yeoh as Shu Lien. There is something extraordinary about these two actors sharing a story line together. It is breathtaking and heart breaking at the same time. Of course, once the action comes into play, they glide as they are meant to with such timeless grace.
Pairing Zhang as Jen and Chang as Lo is another stroke of beauty. It is interesting that Zhang’s portrayal of Jen comes out as a girl who has more secrets than the rest of the characters put together and she pulls it off magnificently. Chang as Lo is the rugged desert pirate that may have no trouble cutting down anything that gets in his way, but he sure has a heart for Jen.
Cheng as Jade Fox is out for one thing and one thing only, to make darn sure that everyone who has hurt her in the past will feel her wrath now and in the future. She is swift, vengeful and has someone on her side who will have her back, front and anywhere else someone is pointing a sword at.
Other cast include: Li Fazeng as Governor Yu, Hai Yan as Madam Yu, Wang Deming as Police Inspector Tsai, Huang Suying as Aunt Wu, Li Li as May, Li Kai as Gou Pei, Feng Jianjua as Gou Sinung, Ma Zhongxuan as Mi Biao, Xian Gao as Bo, Li Baocheng as Fung Chang, Zhang JinTing as De Lu, Du ZhenXi as Uncle Jiao, Wang WenSheng as JiangHu Jia and Song Dong as JiangHu Yi.
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The Special Features include: 2 Feature-Length Audio Commentaries, Exclusive Introduction from Director Ang Lee, Six Deleted Scenes, The Making of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON: Retrospective with Ang Lee, James Schamus and Tim Squyres, “A Love Before Time” Music Videos, A Commentary by Cinematographer Peter Pau, Photo Gallery, Theatrical Trailer and A Conversation with Michelle Yeoh.
The cinematography is stunning with a mixture of the old and new surrounded by a lushness that adds depth to the story director Lee is trying to tell. I love a film that uses beauty as a character that is just outside the story but always in front of our eyes.
The soundtrack is ethereal and moving which is just another layer the film cannot do without. The stunts are nothing short of a ballet with the boldness of swordplay that never took away my belief in what I am seeing on the screen.
Inside the stunningly beautiful and colorful Limited Edition Steelbook are two discs coming in at 120 minutes and in Mandarin. This is a fantastic way to own one of the most stunning films of 2000.
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Peter Pau), Best Music-Original Score (Dun Tan), Best Art Direction (Tim Yip) and Best Foreign Language Film and six more nominations. The film won Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Direction-Motion Picture (Ang Lee) at the Golden Globes.
In the end – it is a timeless story of strength, secrets and two warriors who would never surrender!