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CANNES: Froggy goes absolutely nuts over Ang Lee's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON!!!!

Published at: May 18, 2000, 4:50 p.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here... and frankly I'm very sad that I was unable to stick around another 20 hours or so to see this movie, but the sacrifices we make for family must come first. However, this is a film I've been dying to see ever since I heard "Ang Lee... Chow Yun Fat.... Michelle Yeoh.... Kung Fu Romance Epic." Then when I saw The Trailer, I really became jazzed for the film. From the sounds of things this might very well end up being that cool fucking movie that slaps you about and calls you the monkey. I can't wait to see it.

Harry.

Oh My God.

My hands are shaking from excitement. I don't know if you've been flooded with reviews yet, but if not, it's going to be my absolute priviledge to be amongst the first to spread the word on what will probably be the most talked about movie of the year. This may seem odd given that it's still only May, but it's been three hours since I saw one of the most extraordinary movies of my life and I still am having difficulty composing coherent thoughts.

Let me just say, that if I could speak to Spielberg, Lucas, the Wachowskis and Zemeckis, my words would be - "Give up now. There is nothing that your new movies can achieve that hasn't been achieved by Ang Lee".

Yes, tonight I saw CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. That little martial arts action romance that people have suspected might be pretty good.

Well people, start preparing yourselves to see a movie that is going to break all sorts of filmmaking and marketing "theories" about the audience for a non-English language movie. Harvey, you can kiss that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL record goodbye in about a year or so. Kiss my hairy, Chinese-action loving butt. I see no reason why this film won't be nominated for at least 6 Oscars, let alone make over $100 million at the U.S Boxoffice. This is, simply, a movie that ANY person, regardless of age, race or sex, will walk out of the cinema and call twenty people and say "Stop what you're doing. You gotta go see this movie."

It's a movie that no one has seen before. The best kind of movie - one that actually SUPRISES you, and takes your breath away, and after it's over you think - "Did I really see that? Was that real? REWIND, REWIND!! SHOW ME AGAIN!!!"

Harry I am going to go absolutely NUTS about going home from Cannes in a couple of days and not having anyone to reminisce with about this movie. If someone told me where the print was being stored I would probably break in and steal it to take home with me. If you have any pull with Sony, then you need to beg, borrow and steal to get a look. Just make sure you see it on a BIG screen, in digital.

I am not going to spoil the plot for anyone. My one line synopsis will be:

"Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat are warriors who unite to help shape the destiny of a troubled young woman"

You don't really want to know more. If you do, (and I beg you, don't) go to the Variety website and read Todd McCarthy's review.

What I want to talk about is how FUCKING AMAZING THIS MOVIE IS!! I saw it in the main venue at Cannes. It had one screening, at 6pm, to a not-very-full cinema.Everyone else it seems was at the Victoria's Secret parade AMFAR benefit loser Kenneth Branagh movie thing watching plastic titty jiggle. To those people who forfeited seeing CROUCHING TIGER for plastic titty, well, as hard as it may be for you to believe, you lost out bigtime.

I am convinced that tommorrow the trades will be full of this new movie. About how the audience erupted into wild applause at least 6 times during the screening. About how there was a wild, riotous standing ovation from the first end credit to the very last, and then for another 5 minutes. When the lights went up, you could see strangers looking at each other, dumbstruck in the knowledge that they were the first in the world to see a film that will ignite the globe.

I also think that Lars Von Trier, Liv Ullman, Neil La Bute or whoever wins the Palme D'or will have a very stupid Columbia executive to thank for the LUNATIC decision to screen CROUCHING TIGER out of competition. There are few sure things in this world, but let me tell you that if this film was in competition, it would have won. No doubt. No doubt at all.

Columbia, what were you THINKING????? D'OH D'OH D'OH D'OH D'OH!!!!!

Harry this is a film that will put a smile on the face of anyone who loves going to the movies. Kids will love it. Action fans will ADORE it. I've never seen stunts and action in this way. Seriously, for anyone who thought the fighting in THE MATRIX was ace, this film makes THE MATRIX look like a bad student film. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING!!

But the movie also has a brilliant story, characters you care about, the FUCKING FANTASTIC Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat who with the movement of an eyelid convey more than stupid old Harrison Ford does in an entire movie. I never wanted this movie to end, especially because I felt that I had seen the birth of a new international star, and that's Zhang Ziyi. There's no point waffling on about her because few people will know who she is. YET. Lordy, in a year the whole world will know who she is. Editors of VANITY FAIR, PREMERE, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, VOGUE, book your covers with the cast of this film NOW while you can.

I'm going to pick my jaw back off the floor and go searching for a VERY stiff drink because it's going to be three weeks before I recover from this movie. Tonight a movie changed my life. Ang Lee, I thank you.

Signing off

FROGGY.

p.s. I want my own GREEN DESTINY sword. NOW.

Readers Talkback

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  • May 18, 2000, 4:52 p.m. CST

    That's what I call an endorsement

    by Smilin'Jack Ruby

    Can't wait to see it, now.

  • May 18, 2000, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Hey, lay off Harrison......

    by monkeylucifer

    He's got that whole "finger of death" thing going for him, man....anyways, did you like the movie or not?!?!? don't beat around the bush, tell us how you REALLY felt. =) Seriously, though, I have really been looking forward to this film, because Ang Lee is a director with real honest to goodness vision, and that is so rare in this day and age.

  • May 18, 2000, 5:25 p.m. CST

    funky chicken?

    by Devils Halo

    what the hell is that 'lift up your shirt and dance' animated picture all about? harry's new exercise routine? harry, master geek of the dance dance revolution video game? i don't know.. some how it just kinda frightens me.

  • May 18, 2000, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Oh hell yea.....

    by Manaqua

    The fact that Yen Wo Ping is doing the choreography would be enough to get me all drooly. But nooo, they have to toss in some digital effects, a couple Hong Kong screen gods, and a highly skilled director that was raised on the shaolin shit, and I'm just geeking!! To see a flick of this caliber and content on the big screen is a rare gem if its half as good as they say it is. I hope it does boffo American BO to pave the way for more high budget phat kung-fu flicks......

  • May 18, 2000, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I don't think I'll bother with this one....

    by mephisto666

    ....like HELL I won't! Aw yeah baby, I feel a trip to the cinema coming on. Sounds like a potential purchase here too. Damn, I hope they give this film a decent release. Our cinema has six screens, and last summer three were dedicated to Phantom Menace, and another one to Wild Wild West. Please just give this film a few showings, even if it's Screen Five that floods when it rains and smells of rotting popcorn. Pleeaasse!

  • May 18, 2000, 5:52 p.m. CST

    A little exaggeration... I hope not

    by fazer

    I saw the trailer for this movie about two months ago and thought...wow, pretty damn cool. The idea of Yeoh and Yun-Fat together just gets my Fazer sense tingling. Now if this screener's enthusiasm is actually called for, i feel even better. I hope this movie is as awesome as he says it is. Frankly, Yun-Fat has not done very well in Hollywood, he needs a movie that American audiences will appreciate, or just get with Woo for "A King's Ransom" and light Hollywood up with double gun action.

  • May 18, 2000, 6:04 p.m. CST

    What do you mean it doesn't come out until December 22?

    by Killgore

    What the hell!?!?! Excuse my language. What I meant to say was WHAT THE FUCK!??!!??!

  • May 18, 2000, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Who do I have to kill . . .

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    To see this movie right this instant?

  • May 18, 2000, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Thankyou!

    by JMAX

    Thankyou...thankyou...thankyou! This is what I want to hear about a film. An awesome review froggy! You didn't tell us any spoilers, and you spoke pure passion about a film that should affect me equally as much! I know it's easy to crap on a film when it has some minor plot flaws or chessy one-liners...but by-jolly-by-crikey, when a film is spectacular in every sense of the word......then say it is! Simply from your passionate words...I WILL see this film and know that I will love it.

  • May 18, 2000, 10:45 p.m. CST

    This movie will rock! (not a plant!)

    by spider-man

    For those crying studio plant: Mr. Showbiz has already run a story with this headline: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Martial Arts Epic Tiger Wows Cannes Crowd."

  • May 18, 2000, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Ummm...is it true this is only showing in NEW YORK???

    by zalasta

    I saw the listing on cinematter, only have the movie listed as "limited." I sure hope not...for someone like me who have seen the newest martial arts Hong Kong movie "The Duel," I don't know why I've never seen Crouching tiger hidden dragon, can't find it anywhere, it must have been released in HK already....blah blah

  • May 19, 2000, midnight CST

    glad I haven't eaten

    by brush420

    That Harry tuffle shuffle animation is disturbing. I can't wait to see this movie though.

  • May 19, 2000, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Asian cinema makes me cum.

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    Two of my most fave films are HEAVEN AND EARTH (NO. . .NOT the Oliver Stone flick) and THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR, from Japan and China, respectively. This new one sounds like it's right up my alley. Oh, and by the way, Disco Harry up in the corner is well and truly terrifying.

  • May 19, 2000, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Where the hell's Chow Yun Fat in the trailer?

    by YerAllAgainstMe

    They never show him. Or do I need to freeze frame it somewhere?

  • May 19, 2000, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Sweetness

    by Ambrose Chappell

    Can't wait until December 22!

  • May 19, 2000, 4:42 a.m. CST

    This is the one!

    by Mad Dog

    I fuckin knew it Ive been ranting on and on about this flick for ages no one would listen. I was so close to going to Cannes for this viewing and damn it I didn't, shit, tortured! I saw Eat drink Man women ages ago with my girl and for this 'Kung fu, action loving' film fan, I was really amazed and touched at what seemed on the surface very much a chick flick, Ever since watched all Ang Lee's work and he is amazing, when I heard he's taking on Kung fu I knew it was going to be special. At least Ive got Gladiator to tide me over until this arrives. On a post note : Are we seeeing more and more amazing films? Is this a new golden age or what?

  • May 19, 2000, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Wow! That review practically spewed off my screen.

    by Lance Rock

  • May 19, 2000, 8:40 a.m. CST

    December 22nd?!?!?!?!?! what happened to the summer?

    by MightyBluJ

    Am I mistaken in assuming that this was gonna come out this summer? When/why did they push it back? (Besides the fact the studio hasn't bothered to run any trailers or anything yet.) This movie has got the best trailer I've seen in at least a year, and now I got to wait until december to see this AND the new Coen flick? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?...

  • May 19, 2000, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Remember how cool "The Ice Storm" looked? That kind of uber-shar

    by THE SALEM SLUT

    sounds like a potential classic, I heard the budget wasn't massive but thats not a consideration with these ingredients. CIAO!

  • May 19, 2000, 1:23 p.m. CST

    A little too much drool

    by iaido

    i've been a martial arts fan since i was in the womb, and i'm not talking lightly. i'm talking dig into the dirt and burrow straight to China to find the most obscure martial arts films. i'm the guy who when asked fifteen years ago who my favorite action hero was, i said Jackie Chan, and ten years ago said Jet Li. Until recently, most people said Jackie who? and Jet who? That said, i cant help but think that this reviewer is going a little overboard. It s doubtful this film will beat the Matrix in terms of box office and effects, Crouching Tiger is the most expensive Hong Kong film ever, $10 million, that isnt even the catering of the Matrix. Still, it will be better, i'll take the cheapest kung fu film over that eye candy crud of the Matrix, but i just dont see his rationalizing the effects tricks being superior. Maybe in execution they look better, simply because they arent too overdone? In terms of box office, i dont know. For years and years, segments of the film world have been spouting off about HK action becoming mainstream hits, but it hasnt really happened. No doubt, it has broke through a little, but mainly all that has happened is good HK creators and stars like Woo, Yun Fat, Jet Li, Jackie, and Tsui Hark have just become more and more Westernized, diluted by Hollywood producers ("Hey!, lets combine Martial Arts with Urban Hip Hop! Arent I brilliant?") i think this reviewer just has his hopes up way too high. Look at it this way, i can remember first watching The Killer ten years ago. i sat down every single person i could find and made them watch it. One out of twenty or so, liked it, the rest just laughed and said it was dumb, not realistic, too over the top. Believe me, half of those people suddenly turned, five years later, when Tarantino and the rest of Hollywood started going gaga over John Woo. If it becomes trendy, the dumb asses of film land will suddenly become converts. Will that happen with Crouching Tiger? i wouldnt bet on it, but you never really know.

  • May 19, 2000, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Released in Asia first.. then North America.

    by Wesley Snipes

    I may be mistaken, but I heard that CTHD will be released in Asia during the summer and North America in the winter. Which means half of you will be watching pirate copies from alt.binaries.whatever months before the US premiere... Hmm, come to think of it, the official legit Asian VCD/DVD release might be out before the US theatrical release!

  • May 19, 2000, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Hey, hey! ...Watch the Harrison.

    by Shrevie

    I love Chow and Michelle as much as anyone, but there's no need to knock our generation's utimate hero. He who brought us Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Rick Deckard, John Book, Richard Kimble, and sings a mean "Some Enchanted Evening". I mean just 'cause it's suddenly fashionable. Did anyone see "Anna and the King"?

  • May 24, 2000, 3:38 a.m. CST

    re: a little too much drool

    by alexrinse

    Hi Iaido. CTHD isn't a HK film, nor is it a chinese film. It's a Hollywood film. Also, there have been numerous HK productions with higher budgets than $10m, even 20mUSD. Cheers, Alex...

  • July 8, 2000, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Premiered today

    by vinsontan

    I saw CTHD today mainly becuz of one reason only, Chow Yuen Fatt. I saw the Cantonese dubbed version and it sucked. Chow Yuen Fatt's voice was spoken by some half assed sissy so I'm gonna catch the original mandarin version soon. One word of advice, if you are going to watch the film becuz of CYF, you'll be dissapointed becuz this film is evenly spread out amongst all the actors, focusing abit more on Zhang Zi Yi than the others. I was abit dissapointed with the whole feel of the movie which was abit slow and mellow. However the acting was the most authentic I've ever seen. Even so, I wouldn't go as far as the reviewer in calling this movie as one for the Academy Awards. Granted it's a good show but it's in mandarin with unwhite people and culturally centered on the Chinese. But I do feel, if there's justice in the world, the brilliance of the acting would be recognized. And hell, to see Zhang Zi Yi's nipples near the end of the movie is damn near worth my RM9.