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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Drama > China > Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon/Curse Of The Golden Flower/House Of The Flying Daggers (Sony Martial Arts Blu-ray Box Set)

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon/Curse Of The Golden Flower/House Of The Flying Daggers (Sony Martial Arts Blu-ray Box Set)


Picture: B/B+/B     Sound: B-/B+/B     Extras: C/C/C+     Films: C/C+/B-



Sony has issued three films from the new cycle of Martial Arts films that have often been dubbed “Wi-Fu” and the like since the performers in action are being pulled around on wires, which is noticeable no matter how they are erased.  We have reviewed two of the films before and provide links on them, then technical details on each:


Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) is the grossly overrated award-winning Ang Lee film that remains as flat as it is boring, but instantly became a karate film for those who could not admit they could like such a thing.  It is the performances of the actors and the martial artists that make this watchable, but especially the performances by Chow Young Fat, Zivi Zhang and especially Michelle Yeoh (who often saves the film outright) that overcomes it many, many, many problems and limits.  It is also a film that does not hold up after many years, especially since it is not the first of its kind overall and all similar films that followed were either better or overpraised and overrated.  At least it is one of Lee’s less inept works.


Curse Of The Golden Flower (2006) Blu-ray review



House Of The Flying Daggers (2004) import DVD review




The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on all films were shot in the Super 35mm format, but all disappoint in their own ways.  Tiger and Flower are soft and have their share of noise, with Flower not looking as good as it did when I first looked at it, but just barely retaining its rating.  Daggers may have the best color of all, but more noise and I expected more after how good the import DVD looked, both looking like they were sourced from the same source.  All could use improved transfers.


All have PCM 5.1 as their best sound mix, but Tiger is actually Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and that is correct on the paperboard shell, if not on the Blu-ray case slip.  Flower sounds the best by default, but it is Daggers that should have been the winner considering how amazing the DTS sounded on the DVD import.  The PCM does not have an ES or EX track, so the surrounds are not as sonically vivid as the DTS was.  There are also lesser Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes in various languages.


Extras are all different on each Blu-ray.  Tiger offers a commentary by Lee & Co-writer James Schamus, Unleashing The Dragon making-of featurette and on-camera Yeoh interview.  Flower has the same extras as before including its Los Angeles Premiere footage and Secrets Within making-of featurette.  Daggers includes storyboard comparisons and Creating The Visual Effects making-of featurette, which are nice, but no match for the larger group of extras two versions of the import we covered offers.  Sony now has a second reason to upgrade and expand that one.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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