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9.2 16 10
FanMix August 20, 2012 5727
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When the original was released in 2000, it sent thousands of Asia film fanboys into a tailspin tizzy.
“This is going to ruin all our cherished Hong Kong and Japanese exploitation fun!”
Apologists for the film and peddlers of imports did their best to mollify all those nervous Nellies.
And yet - - the mainstream Western world got exposed to and excited by Asian action cinema.
Crouching Tiger made a shitload of money, and, as doomsayers predicted, future Asian fare became ever more tasteful. Easier for the world digestion. The wackiness was on the fade.
All hail ssj for doing his best to return this talky bi-polar film to the crazy roots of Shaw Brothers!

Video - MPEG-4, 960 X 400p. Now this is widescreen. Plenty of dark scenes in this, though I saw nothing amiss. There were quick edits, but one gets so caught up in the goings-on that you don’t pay attention.

Audio - 2 Channel stereo, AAC. 160 Kbps. Subtitles - Yes, some of the best! This reviewer does not understand Mandarin, so I did more reading than listening. The audio seems exactly as the original. Fine for dialogue. Actiony bits by Shanghai Percussion Ensemble terrific. Anytime Yo Yo Ma picks up his cello, naptime.

Narrative - Bit overdone, with references to orcs and goblins and other creep-sters. If creatures get mentioned, then I want to see them. The Iron Chef theme comes and goes worse than a studied accent. Often I had no idea what was going on, plot wise. Jokes not necessarily relatable to ongoing screen follies.

Enjoyment - This is a great antidote to the borefest that the original was. Energy level diminishes in the final act, and jokes start to fall flat. The story tumbles into a confused mess, but I laughed out loud often. ssj has provides several generous extras, as well. Info sheet, trailer, and extraordinary press conference with Michelle Yeoh. Brilliant. I only wish I had a time machine and could kick a copy of this back to 2000 era readers of Asian Cult Cinema.

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