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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Buy the DVD  Barnes & Noble.com
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Genre:Art/Foreign
Year:2000
Rating:PG13
Length:2 Hours
Cast:Ang Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi

A hypnotically fascinating hybrid produced by crossing martial-arts adventure with fairy-tale romance, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon quickly became the most successful foreign film ever released in the U.S. Chow Yun-Fat, an international superstar whose English-language films include Anna and the King, portrays a Chinese warrior who retires from a life of violence and relinquishes custody of his fabled sword, the magnificent Green Destiny. Hong Kong action star and erstwhile Bond girl Michelle Yeoh plays the longtime friend and admirer whose father is entrusted with the sword. A thrill-seeking young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi), working with an evil mentor whom Chow once swore to kill, steals the sword -- and the chase is on. The characters square off in a series of exhilarating, occasionally dreamlike confrontations -- including a particularly memorable scene that unfolds amid windblown treetops -- staged with split-second precision and choreographic grace. As directed by Ang Lee (The Ice Storm), Crouching Tiger assumes multiple aspects; it offers two contrasting love stories that are at various points wistful, soaring, melancholy, and profoundly spiritual. It is, in every way, an impeccably executed film that refuses to be confined by formula and therefore delights on many levels. Ed Hulse

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