Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vs. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

9 comments

7 comments

I like both equally

but you picked Crouching Tiger, so something must have compelled you to make that choice...

Both good. I've gotta go with CTHD for its beauty and (at the time) uniqueness.

Master and Commander was a much better move than I thought it would be going in. Russell Crowe has been in some movies that I feel are unjustly praised -- I thought Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind were both mediocre at best -- so I was really surprised by how well made Master and Commander was. I think it's the best work Crowe has done. That said, I had high expectactions going into CTHD and even those were exceeded. Amazing acting, great characters, beautiful cinematography ... there's nothing I didn't like about CTHD. It's currently the #1 movie in my list -- The Maltese Falcon is my all time favorite and when added to the db will take it's rightful place, but until then CTHD is a worthy steward of the top slot.

Tough choice. I am not sure if I can make this one. I love both movies and would watch either any time and feel really good about it. Hmmm....

Firstly, I was never much of a fan of "Crouching Tiger". When it came out, it was praised for being original in the West -- and I just laughed. Eastern filmmakers have been churning out movies in this genre for decades, and very often with better results. Ang Lee is very hit-and-miss -- I love "Lust Caution", for example -- but this one just didn't grab me. Even the choreography is sloppy. For a better Wuxia film, please check out Wong Kar-wai's "Ashes of Time Redux". Seriously, I can't recommend it highly enough to you "Crouching" fans :) Now, any time you put Russell Crowe in a period actioner you have me. Anytime Peter Weir makes a movie, you have me. And I love swashbucklers in general -- I love me Errol Flynn in "Captain Blood" even better. "Master and Commander" isn't flawless, but damn is it a fine film. Old-fashioned Hollywood epics made a compack in 2003 between this, "Cold Mountain" (yes, I liked it) and "The Return of the King". My choice, absolutely.

Have to give it to Crouching Tiger. No contest.

@Protozoid -- We'll have to agree to disagree on Ashes of Time, I thought it was a huge disappointment. Wong Kar-wai, IMO, is so overrated I can't even stand it. I'm not a huge Ang Lee fan outside of CT,HD either. HIt and miss sums it up. I think CT,HD was the right movie at the right time for him.

have to agree with Protozoid Ang Lee can be a bit hit or miss. Weir is always on the money!

This is an exceptionally difficult choice. I have to go with Crouching Tiger, solely because I haven't seen Master and Commander in years, so I don't remember a lot of it.

@cdogzilla -- Wong kar-wai is not for everyone, I agree. But he's an iconoclast, and his films are among the most personal you can find. I thought Ashes of Time has a better story, and was less derivative of what came before. It also may seem disappointing after Crouching Tiger, which was pop entertainment. Ashes is fairly inaccessible, and you'll be put off within five minutes if you were expecting something palatable. But if you saw Ashes first, I think your disappointments would flow in the opposite direction. That's my two cents.

Both are beautiful. The magic of CTHD is better.

First time I've seen the adjective "sloppy" used to describe CTHD's choreography. Yuen Woo-Ping is a legend in my eyes and Crouching Tiger is worthy of its place in his ouevre. That said, anyone that enjoys the borefest that is Ashes of Time will of course have a wildly opinion of things than I. NB I'm not saying that Crouching Tiger is original. Nope, and I'm not saying I like Ang Lee either. Definitely not, but Crouching's got all the polish wuxia has lacked for decades.

I haven't watched CTHD in years, and my memories of it are mixed. I was very young when I watched it, and while I thought the cinematography and choreography were amazing, I found the rest of it pretty slow and boring (bearing in mind that I was young, probably around the 10-11 years mark). If I watched it now, I would probably enjoy it very much, but I doubt it could top Master and Commander. I first picked up M&C at 12 years old, and have always returned to it and loved it just as much each time since, even now in my 20s. I haven't read the book(s) it was was based on, but still going to go with Master and Commander.

Master and Commander in every way.

Crouching Tiger for me.

Sure, the fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are dazzling, but I didn't find the plot all that engrossing. I can't choose it over Russell Crowe and Peter Weir.

Master and Commander is a fantastic period piece. I absolutely love the storylines within the storyline and of course the actors in this flick are some of the best at their craft.