Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
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.