Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; MICHELLE YEOH WEB THEATRE; CHOW YUN-FAT: GOD OF ACTORS; ZHANG ZIYI FOREVER THE ICE STORM
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is creeping up on box office success like a stealth ninja — which is to say, without much fanfare. But the kung fu Oscar contender is already kicking butt online. In fact, a hammerfist strike of traffic brought the official website (crouchingtiger.com) to its knees last month. Still, as robust as the site is, it only grazes the surface; the film’s cast and crew have high-flying websites of their own.
— MICHELLE YEOH WEB THEATRE (owl.usc.edu/~hding/main.html) Yeoh is best known to Americans as the babe on the back of 007’s motorbike in Tomorrow Never Dies. But Tiger’s star swordswoman has been knocking out Hong Kong cine-fans for more than a decade, and this site’s photo-laden filmography stretches back to the former Miss Malaysia’s 1984 debut in The Owl vs. Bumbo. The multimedia assets include easy-to-download fight clips, but to truly appreciate this actress’ talent, click on the theme song from 1993’s Butterfly & Sword — it’s sung by Yeoh and you can hear sound effects from her fight scenes in the background. A
— CHOW YUN-FAT: GOD OF ACTORS (geocities.com/Athens/8907/factor.html) After seeing the swift hero in Tiger, it’s easy to forget that Chow is most famous for his role as the dapper-but-deadly assassin in John Woo’s action flicks. Although only haphazardly updated during the past year, this retrospective lists Chow’s television work going back to 1975, and it links to profiles of the actor from around the world — but it somehow neglects to aptly translate the word hunk. C
— ZHANG ZIYI FOREVER (geo cities.com/ziyiforever/) Tiger’s rebellious babe-in-training is sure to pierce hearts everywhere. The reviews, bio, and modeling photos on this site are sparse but sweet. A
— THE ICE STORM (foxsearchlight.com/ice/) Despite the amazing range of Tiger director Ang Lee’s films (Sense and Sensibility, The Wedding Banquet), there aren’t any worthwhile sites dedicated to his multifaceted work. But Fox Searchlight Pictures maintains a sensuously Flash-animated site for 1997’s The Ice Storm, which includes a fine biography of Lee and Tiger coscreenwriter James Schamus. B.
— WOO-PING YUEN (optimusfilms.20m.com/directors/wpy) Master fight-scene choreographer Yuen and the visual-effects crew from The Matrix teamed once again for Tiger. As this website shows, Yuen’s been perfecting those otherworldly leaps for years in such films as Iron Monkey, Drunken Master, and Black Mask. This first-person appreciation includes a movie-poster filmography and a page full of video clips of fight scenes. Don’t try these stunts on your trampoline at home. A