Ang Lee

April 7, 2011

Ang Lee

One of the only (maybe the only) Asian filmmakers to make a successful transition to the States. John Woo floundered here. And in all honesty, it’s only his action sequences that were great in his Hong Kong films. Story and acting are not Woo’s strong suits (I’m gonna get crucified for that one).

The Wedding Banquet – Ang’s first foray into forbidden man love. You’ll remember Mitchell Lichtenstein from Altman’s Streamers (ok, maybe you won’t, cuz it’s not one of Altman’s best). He’s also the son of famed artist Roy Lichtenstein (I know you’ve seen his work).

Eat Drink Man Woman – Remade in America as the God awful Tortilla Soup. But see it just to see my little brother’s hands double for Hector Elizondo doing all the chef stuff.

Sense and Sensibility – I grow weary of Jane Austen adaptations, but this is a good one. Emma turned in an award winning script.

The Ice Storm – Great photography by Lynch’s buddy Frederick Elmes (why doesn’t he work more?). And for better or worse, the debut of Katie Holmes. She showed promise before she was Xenufied.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – I think it lives up to the hype. Some Wuxia purists don’t care for it because they feel it’s too Westernized (people had the same complaint about Woo’s Hard Boiled, which is his best movie). To those purists who feel it’s too Western, I can only offer these words of comfort: Blow it out your ass.

Hulk – Ya know what? I didn’t hate this. It has some issues (Hulk poodles? Are you kidding me?) and it’s too long. Eric Bana still has not been given a good American role. Seek out Chopper. It’s one of his Australian films, and you will not recognize him. Chopper is directed by Andrew Dominik who recently did The Assassination of Jesse James etc, etc. Ok, to be fair, he was very good in his small part in Black Hawk Down.

Brokeback Mountain – It suffered a praise overload backlash. I think Heath Ledger gave the best performance that year. He disappeared into this character. Sorry P.S. Hoffman, but Capote was not the best performance that year, and you’ve done better. Of course, this is the year Crash won, so members of the Academy were obviously suffering syphilitic dementia.

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