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But if you want a glimpse into my personality, think someone still suffering from tinges of having been like Enid Coleslaw with somehow who's headed down the road of Melvin Udall.
In any case, I'm going to stop being a prick and just list the damn films:
1. Ed Wood
2. Raise the Red Lantern
4. Ghost World
6. To Live
7. Tokyo Story
8. As Good As It Gets
9. Chungking Express
Keep in mind, these films just stick out to me as being the ten that I can most comfortably watch and be enthralled; and I know their flaws--such as, where the hell does Zwigoff get his editors?
Also, I came up with this screenname from an e-mail address I had in sixth grade. I'm MUCH older now, but I still find it funny, because of what a moronic pre-teen I was. It's my joke to myself that I still use such an immature moniker. Har har har.
Wo hu cang long (2000)
A Stand-Out Example of Wuxia in America
I'll start with the action, which is a minor controversy among people unfamiliar with the Chinese wuxia genre. Martial arts ballet is very common among these films. While this is not the first movie to use it, it is one of the few movies where it fits so well. It layers seriousness when Jen Yu and Shu Lien fight in the dojo; and it adds a lightheartedness when Li Mu Bai fights Jen Yu in the bamboo forest, as if he is toying with her; and it adds comedy when Jen Yu takes on the men in the restaurant. It's kind of an artform. It doesn't matter that it can't happen in real life; if anything, the unbelievability of these scenes makes them exciting to watch. It is, after all, a fictional story. Don't expect everything to be believable.
Another noteworthy element of the film which makes this movie a cut above is the acting. There is not a single actor in this movie that did not inhabit his character. Zhang Ziyi, the main character (though Chow Yun Fat mistakingly gets first billing), pulls together the role of a selfish aristocrat's daughter, unfaithful more to those closest to her than anyone else. She also creates good chemistry with many of the other actors in the film, especially Cheng Pei Pei. Chow Yun Fat also does well, even if he was stiff as Val Kilmer. Michelle Yeoh, who acted surprisingly well considering her staple as an action star and despite the poor Mandarin accent, did well to raise the bar, and captured the love-hate relationship between her and Zhang Ziyi's characters. Chow Yun Fat didn't do too well with the fake accent either, but still, the acting was well done. Even the smaller roles--such as Cheng Pei Pei as Jade Fox, Gao Xian as Bo, or Lung Sihung as Sir Te--were amazing. Cheng Pei Pei really made herself a powerful force She may not have been on screen often, but her character, who ties the stories together, is such a presence. Considering the astute use of gesture, it can't be said that this movie had acting that was anything less than amazing.
However, the score especially stands out as incomparable. The constant use of string instruments and drum beats is fitting for the action. But what was especially interesting about this score is that a separate theme is composed for each individual relationship: one for Jen Yu and Lo, one for Jen Yu and Shu Lien, etc. You'd think this would be common sense, and many other composers would follow suit, but strangely enough, this doesn't happen often. The only mistakes Tan Dun made were writing the excruciating Coco Lee love ballad "A Love Before Time--striving to mirror the success of "My Heart Will Go On"--as well as plagiarizing his own score when composing for Zhang Yimou's Hero.
After examining all of that, it is not an overstatement to say that this movie is, by far, one of the greater movies ever made. Ang Lee accomplished his goal of directing a story that would capture the aesthetics of China, utilizing powerful female roles and revolutionizing the American viewpoint of wuxia films. Both the visual and literary elements of the film meld together and create something on a level of its own.