Video Picks Archive

June 6, 2001
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <matt@filmhead.com>

This week my picks are Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) (2000 - ) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980 - ).

This weekly feature has become somewhat less than weekly over the last couple months because of my tight schedule, but I couldn't allow this week's first pick go by. Ang Lee's brilliant Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has arrived on video, after the most successful run in history for a subtitled film and four Academy Awards. It stars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh as a couple of Chinese warriors who attempt to train a wayward heiress (bright newcomer Zhang Ziyi) who stole a magic sword. I've said so much about how wonderful this film is, and now you can finally enjoy it at home. I just hope you have a really big TV to show it properly.
Full review from December 12, 2000

In my first review of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I compared it to Star Wars in both thematic terms and its cultural impact (as I had predicted it at the time). Having already used that film for a video pick, I turn to its superior sequel for this week's second pick. In fact, one can find an even greater similarity with Empire's more poetic, humanistic touch. While the original Star Wars was a brilliant exercise in pulp space opera, this film gets deeper into the myth and the characters, thus standing out among the (so far) four films as the true masterpiece. Of course, there's also Yoda. Need I say more?


For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Wo hu cang long (2000)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - English subtitles -- VHS
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - dubbed in English -- VHS
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) -- DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: A Portrait of Ang Lee's Epic Film -- Hardcover
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: A Portrait of Ang Lee's Epic Film -- Paperback
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
The Empire Strikes Back - Special Edition (1980) -- VHS
The Empire Strikes Back: The Illustrated Screenplay, by Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, and Irvin Kershner -- Paperback
The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc


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Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan