There is a lot to be said for the brilliance of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In effect Hollywood production values met the wonderfully fantastic style made famous by Golden Harvest productions. This is traditional story telling at its finest accompanied by wonderful acting and simply superb special effects. There is nothing that has been seen before on the special effects front it is simply the way in which the special effects are employed to add to the simple genius of the story that makes them so superb. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Blu-ray looks great but is a bit thin on special features. These are commentary track with Peter Pau; commentary track with Ang Lee and James Schamus; a making of; a conversation with Michelle Yeoh; and a photo gallery.
As leading actors go it does not get much better than Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. Chow Yun-Fat has been a star in Chinese cinema for years working frequently with legendary director John Woo. His style of acting is reminiscent of later Clint Eastwood and like Eastwood he has the ability to convince you of his power without so much as moving a muscle. Michelle Yeoh on the other hand is equally famous on the action cinema front having worked with the likes of Jackie Chan and is renown in the movie world for doing all her own stunts. Michelle Yeoh is a talented actress and her portrayal of Yu Shu Lien is a perfect match for Chow Yun-Fat's stoic master of Wudang, Li Mu Bai.
The story centers around a sword called Green Destiny. It is master Li's blade but as he is retiring from being a warrior he has decided to give his sword to an old friend. The sword however is stolen by Jen Yu, played to stunning perfection by Zhang Ziyi, who exhibits martial skills on a par with those of Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai. Her refusal to give up the sword when she is discovered as the thief propels the story forward as Master Li and Yu Shu Lien uncover secrets about Jen and her mysterious governess. The story has several subplots which flesh out the characters and bring a richness and depth to the story that is not normally seen in traditional martial arts movies.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Blu-ray belongs in the movie collection of any serious cinemaphile or chop sockie fan as it fits the bill of both Academy Award winning movie and damned good action movie.