Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Film, Ang Lee's sumptuous and romantic martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has been given an excellent DVD release from Sony Pictures Classics. The colors are always vibrant and alive (just check out the lush greens during chapter 25, "Li vs. Jen") and there is much depth to the many nighttime scenes as well. Picture and colors are stable throughout, though there are a few scenes in which background colors tend to slightly pulsate. Overall, the disc's transfer is superb. The film is offered in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The soundtrack has been digitally mastered and there are multiple listening options, including the original Mandarin language (Dolby Digital 5.1), an English-dubbed track (Dolby Digital 5.1), and a two-channel French track, as well as optional subtitles in English and French. The DVD also contains a commentary track with director Lee and co-executive producer and co-screenwriter James Schamus. Unfortunately, the commentary track is a major letdown, due mostly to Schamus' annoying and constant sarcasm and his uncanny knack for continually interrupting Lee and turning the attention back to himself. What could have been a great extra is sadly almost ruined by Schamus' input. Included on the disc is a 20-minute Bravo making-of special called Unleashing the Dragon, which gives a nice overview of the film, with plenty of interviews of cast and crew members. There is also a conversation with actress and martial arts icon Michelle Yeoh, a photo montage (accompanied by Tan Dun's haunting score), and a short interview with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This is a great release, though one that could be improved upon.
The movie may be bizarre because of how the characters battle each other, but it's also entertaining because of how they think. I found it compelling when a character wants to teach the sword thief to be more disciplined. I think anyone who watches this may find lots of things to be interesting.
An excellent story, beautiful cinematography, combining Romance, Drama, Mystery, Intrigue and Action. This is the film that made Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi International Stars and introduced Chinese Wuxia Cinema to a new generation of movie fans worldwide.
I loved the colors and cinematography of this film. But it is not as impressive as the amazingly choreographed action sequences, compared to that of "The Matrix". And the female protagonists in this film are, to put it simply: Extraordinary.
Firstly, I love this film, so although the review is about the product more than the movie, I reserve the right to gush about it being visually and audibly gorgeous.
This release is the 4K UHD blu-ray in steelbook casing. The case is beautifully designed, with genuine Scanavo steelbook construction.
The UHD disc includes a Dolby Atmos track, which is compatible with TrueHD 7.1 for those who do not yet have height channels. The soundtrack is generously spacious, with most of the primary sound being distributed near the display, and limited effects being sent out to blend between surround and height channels. Yo-Yo Ma's terrific instrumental work is haunting, and stayed with me for days after revisiting the film.
I have not verified this by scraping the video, but there is no indication on the packaging or the disc that any advanced HDR is in use, so it is likely the baseline HDR10. The video has otherwise received very little visible treatment, which is largely a good thing. In a world where many films would have had overbearing digital noise reduction applied (making people look like plastic) to combat the natural film grain, the original material is mostly intact. The grain could be considered distracting, since a lot of scenes were shot in lower light situations, which really exhibit that grain across much of the screen. I only found it distracting on occasion, but tried to be forgiving, considering the age of the film, and that this is not the same kind of treatment that was given to many of the older classics, which had tremendous budgets to spend on retouching the film more meticulously.
Overall, this is a beautiful presentation of a beautiful film. It readily holds up after over 20 years, and despite the fact that the video has not been given a massive amount of extra attention, it looks fantastic. And it sounds terrific. Did I mention that I might gush about this? Yes, it's that good, and I would happily spend to buy it in the 4K steelbook again.
This is an excellent action movie for anyone that even has a remote interest in king-fu. The picture and audio are fantastic and are a huge upgrade from the original BluRay disc. The Steelbook artwork is great although I do wish the animator would have got a little more original with the design.
My favorite international film of all-time. Also easily my favorite Wuxia film ever. Ang Lee's masterpiece. The action is easy to follow, the stunt work done by the actual performers themselves is commendable, the music is perfect, and the scenery is breathtaking. Also a very easy plot to follow. Should have won the Oscar for Best Picture over Gladiator, in my opinion.
I can’t believe it’s been 21 years since this film debuted in the cinema. It was excellent then and it’s still excellent today this transfer is Will not disappoint. I’ve been sitting on the fence about purchasing this film because I didn’t think it would look as good as it did in the Cinema . I was a wrong it looks just as good and I think you will be greatly satisfied with it’s quality