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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Foreign Film Week Part 1 “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” Review


Yes I know it’s been a while since I have posted a review, but it is actually a lot harder than I thought it was to keep doing something that is completely optional no matter how enjoyable it is. Anyway to make up for all the lost days I have prepared something special for you guys. I am going to review 3 films for you guys back to back! 3 foreign films to be exact and I want you guys to help me out here with some suggestions of movies I should review after the foreign week.


So let’s get to it shall we? Our first film is the martial arts film “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon".

In a time where gunfights and explosions dominate the box office, it is still possible to have films with ample sword fighting, hand-to-hand combat, and violence come off as quite dramas. Usually those are martial arts or wuxia movies from the east. “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” is probably the most famous of those, being the first to become successful and critically acclaimed.

Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi star as a group of people fighting over the Green Destiny, a special sword that resembles the wands in the “Harry Potter” universe; it might be useful but in the end it is only as good as it’s wielder. All three of them are very skilled fighters, so you can imagine that the sword doesn’t just sit in a single person’s hands for that much. Aside from the three warriors fighting for a sword, there is a criminal named Jade Fox who is just as skilled at martial arts as everyone else. But the film is essentially the quest for justice and honor rather than the quest for a weapon and a criminal, which separates it from most action movies.

Ang Lee directs the film with such precision you almost forget you are watching a live action film; some of the fighting is so outrageous but graceful you think it is a cartoon. Every fight scene is as magnificent as the next, and the choreography manages to make impossible stunts look easy for the fighters such as running across walls, jumping across buildings, or even gliding.

This doesn’t mean that the film is flawless; it loses points because Lee gives us too much of the good stuff. An audience is like a dog: if you keep feeding them juicy human food they aren’t going to like dry dog food. Same here, there are too many perfect action scenes making us feel bored with withdrawal between them even though normally the calmer, quieter sequences would be very interesting. It is much like the film “The Matrix” in a way because the fights are staged by the same martial artist but where they differ is in the quiet sequences; In Crouching Tiger you are waiting for the next fight scene whilst in “The Matrix” you are intrigued by the dialogue and the exposition and in that way I think “The Matrix” is a better film.

But nevertheless the fight scenes are more than worth the wait, and the overall experience certainly merits a watch.

9/10

Don’t forget to leave a comment suggesting a film I should review. Next it is “Run Lola Run (Lola Rent)” and after that is “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
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