(aka "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" or "Ngo foo chong lung")

directed by Ang Lee
USA / HK / China / Taiwan 2000

Synopsis
Known for making films about familial relationships, director Ang Lee surprised everyone with his martial arts epic CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Based on a novel by Wang Du Lu, CROUCHING TIGER starts with the revenge plot common in the wuxia stories that Lee loved as a child, then adds a feminist twist. Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) is a legendary martial artist who has decided to pass on his sword, the Green Destiny, to a friend. Soon afterward, the sword is stolen by a masked female, setting in motion events that test the bonds of family, love, duty, and sisterhood. Chow appears with three generations of female stars: Cheng Pei Pei, a 1960s action heroine; Michelle Yeoh, the beauty queen turned 1980s action goddess; and newcomer Zhang Ziyi, who smolders as the princess who wants more than domestic tranquillity. Famed action choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping (THE MATRIX) stages jaw-dropping zero-G fights across rooftops, rivers, and bamboo trees, while Yo-Yo Ma punctuates the fisticuffs with dramatic cello solos. Described by Lee as "SENSE AND SENSIBILITY with martial arts," CROUCHING TIGER recalls the best wuxia films of the 1960s and pushes the genre in new directions.

From the studio
Named "Best Picture of the Year" by over 100 critics nationwide. Two master warriors (Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword isstolen. A young aristocrat (Zhang Ziyi) prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her deeply romantic past. As each warrior battles for justice, they come face to face with their worst enemy - and the inescapable, enduring power of love. Set against 19th-century China's breathtaking landscape, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is the action-packed, box office smash from acclaimed director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm) featuring stunning martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix).

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 6th, 2000

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (UK) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Guillaume Mareri for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

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Distribution

Columbia Tristar

Region 2 - PAL

Columbia Tristar
Region 3 - NTSC
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (UK) Region 0 - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:55:09 (4% PAL speedup) 2:00:08 2:00:14.207
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.31 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2:35.1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate 7.58: mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,491,644,004 bytes

Feature: 31,738,970,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.)

 

Bitrate:

 

Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.)

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio Mandarin DD5.1, English DD5.1, French 2.0 Mandarin DTS & DD5.1

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1423 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1423 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Chinese 1434 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1434 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Russian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

Subtitles English, French, Dutch, none English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese traditional, Korean, Thai, none English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tristar

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Michelle Yeoh Interview (14 min)
• Making Of
• Director commentary
• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: June 6, 2001
Amaray Keep case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tristar

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2:35.1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: February 26, 2004
Amaray Keep case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Sony (UK)

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,491,644,004 bytes

Feature: 31,738,970,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Ang Lee and James Schamus

• Michelle Yeoh Interview (14 min)

• Unleashing the Dragon (Making of... - 20:46)

• Photo Gallery (1.33:1 - 6:44)

Blu-ray Release Date: July 6th. 2009
Metal Blu-ray-sized case

Chapters 16

 

Comments  NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Addition: Sony (UK) Blu-ray - July 09': I'll try to be brief here... The Blu-ray transfer has moments of great strength but overall the improvement only seems moderate. It also appears to be cropped on the top, bottom and right edges but is in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors are richer and bolder while grain/noise is more apparent in some of the film's many darker scenes. Detail delicately improves but I suspect that it is probably reporting the film sharpness as accurate as possible - it's dual-layered with the film taking up over 31 Gig but there is not an abundance of depth. In the end, the higher resolution has definitely improved the film's visuals and Crouching Tiger has benefited from the move to hi-def.

NOTE: This is also available, in probably the same transfer, in a the 'USA' in a 3-pack which includes, the already released on Blu-ray, Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers HERE.

 



 

The TrueHD 5.1 audio (available in both English DUB and original Mandarin) is not overwhelmingly buoyant at less than 1500 kbps. Tan Dun's excitable score does sound quite good though - bass is responsive and the mix offers some effect separations. There are extensive subtitle options and 3 other foreign language DUBs. My Momitsu tells me this disc is region FREE playable on Blu-ray  machines worldwide.

Supplements offer nothing new but duplicate the Belgian DVD, although I assume other editions around the world have similar or improved extra features. The commentary is kept light by James Schamus and it's never particularly informative as the participants (Lee + Schamus) kind of stretch out the 2 hours. Strangely Sony offer all extras, including the commentary (which is in English), with optional English subtitles. We get 14-minutes of a very 'self' Michelle Yeoh being interviewed and a more informative 'making of...' for 20-minutes entitled Unleashing the Dragon. There is also a bland photo gallery in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio running a a transition slideshow for 6:44.

Well, this is not as glowing an endorsement as many may have hoped for. Sony have left some holes here with the cropping and lack of new supplements but technically the transfer betters the image of the DVDs and, at present, is the best option for the best digital home theater presentation.

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


Recommended Reading in Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Menus

(Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Columbia Tristar (Belgian Ed.) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Columbia Tristar (Superbit Korean Ed.) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures

 

 

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Belgian CTS DVD / Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Columbia Tristar

Region 2 - PAL

Columbia Tristar
Region 3 - NTSC
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (UK) Region 0 - Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze