Ang Lee doesn't consider himself an auteur filmmaker, but the reality is that he has no equal; A director who is able to make both a faithful adaptation of "Jane Austen" and a philosophical superhero film. He is an artist who can inject poetry into an action-martial work, offer a different take on the Western genre and the Civil War era, make a film that respects food, sings an elegy for one-sided loves, tells about human-animal friendship, American dramas to create original and at the same time remain loyal to the traditions and culture of his native country. Even in his Worst films, Ang Lee has fought for the advancement of cinema and is not afraid of trial and error with technology in order to improve our experience of watching a film.
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Ang Lee's productions are equally attractive to general and special audiences; He can create works that conform to the standards of high culture as well as works that conform to popular culture. He presents the contrasts and similarities of Eastern and Western culture in an understandable way, and his works are universal in terms of theme and content. It doesn't matter where you are from, you will connect with his movies. Although this Taiwanese-born filmmaker spent his adult life in the United States, he has never strayed From his roots and his devotion to Chinese culture can be seen in his works. He has a comprehensive understanding of American culture as much as he knows his motherland.
Lee examines the relationship between the individual and society, family, patriarchy, cultural differences and identity components, and his films are close to each other in terms of content. . Apart From this, his films are of high quality From a technical point of view and he shows off his directorial skills even in his weaker works. From the 1930s when German filmmakers came to Hollywood until today, there have been many directors who have experienced immigration and living in a new culture, but there are few directors like Lee who have examined the ideologies of multiculturalism so closely. p>
Ang Lee's films break cultural, national and gender boundaries; He gets the Best possible performance From any actor, big or small, and has the ability to implement his ideas in any genre. Lee is a postmodern and post-national artist, a filmmaker who has established his place in the history of cinema.
- Year of release: 2003
- Actors : Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 5.6 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62 out of 100
The Hulk could have been a masterpiece, a work that would change the superhero genre forever, but Ang Lee's efforts to The making of an action-philosophical film failed (a path that "Invulnerable" began at the beginning of the 20th century and that "The Dark Knight" culminated). The Hulk may be one of Lee's flops, but it still pulls off a lot of superhero work and has something to say. to promote Since human experimentation is prohibited, David conducts experiments on himself. Some time later, his child is born and David realizes that the DNA of his child "Bruce" is mutated. He tries to find a cure but fails. 30 years later, Bruce Banner is now a successful scientist who does not know about his past and has continued in his father's footsteps. After a laboratory accident, Bruce is suddenly exposed to gamma rays and soon turns into a gigantic green monster. With a budget of 137 million dollars, the film was sold for 245 million dollars, and although it was not an absolute failure, it did not satisfy "Marvel" and "Universal" so that in 2008, a completely different action version of the Hulk was made with the presence of "Edward Norton". .
Although the film faced many negative reviews From the critics, it was considered an experimental work for the superhero genre, Ang Lee did not want to continue the path of the previous films of the genre and used new formulas that might If Hulk had been shown at a better time, they would have responded. He portrayed the hero of his story not as a brainless monster that destroys everything, but as a human being with existential concerns.
The audience wasn't looking for such things, they wanted crazy action sequences and suspense, but Hulk had a slow rhythm, never peaked, and was overly sad and dark. The movie has many problems, its special effects are not acceptable by today's standards, the romantic parts are not impressive And Lee has failed to properly connect the philosophy with the story. Hulk still has a lot of fans and has become more positive in recent years, but there's no denying that the filmmaker didn't achieve what he had in mind, although he has to be admired for his ambitions.
13- Billy's Long Walk Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
- Year of release: 2016
- Stars: Joe Alvin, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Gareth Hedlund, Vin Diesel
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 6.2 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 43 out of 100
One of the criticisms that have been directed at Ang Lee in recent years is his extreme interest in technical innovations and new technologies, so that through them he can bring a different cinematic experience to the viewers, but the problem is that sometimes he forgets the importance of the story and characters. he does; As a result, his innovative film becomes an ordinary and unforgettable work. Billy Lane's long walk between the two halves is a perfect embodiment of All the problems that Lee's recent works suffer from. For the first time in history, he made a movie with a rate of 120 frames per second, that too with 4K resolution and of course in 3D format. The experience of watching a movie with such a frame rate could be unrepeatable for any audience, but even these visual tricks were not enough to distract the audience and not see the flaws of the story. Worse than that, the film is not even visually appealing, many shots are unnaturally used and sometimes annoy the audience. Watching the movie outside the theaters makes its weaknesses appear more and very soon you realize that you are facing a completely ordinary movie (at the same time, only a few limited cinemas had the ability to play the movie in the way the filmmaker intended).
The story tells the story of "Billy Lane", a 19-year-old young man who participated in the Iraq war. After the release of a video showing Billy rescuing a wounded soldier, he is recognized and becomes a popular media figure. He returns to his country some time later and is informed that for his brave actions, they plan to exempt him From being sent to Iraq again. He is tormented by this decision and at the same time remembers the bitter memories of the war. With a budget of 40 million dollars, the film sold 30 million dollars at the box office and was a failure.
Billy Lane's Long Walk is unfortunately a work of rhetoric, it has a clichd view of war and we have seen better examples of it many times. The useless presence of comedians like Chris Tucker and Steve Martin has not helped the film either. The making of this film should be considered the biggest mistake of Ang Lee's artistic career, a film that has a boring story and disappoints everyone. 12- Taking Woodstock (Taking Woodstock)
- Published year: 2009 Actors: Dimitri Martin, Dan Fogler, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff, Eugene Levy 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 48 out of 100
Watching The Catching Woodstock is recommended only for serious Ang Lee fans and that A group of movie lovers who are not so strict. Although the film has a nostalgic feel, makes you laugh at times and reminds you of Lee's filmmaking skills, you are more likely to be disappointed, especially when you realize how hollow the film is. The story takes place in 1969, Elliot is an interior designer whose parents run a small motel. Their financial situation is not good and if there is no change, there is a possibility that the motel will be closed. Eliot comes up with an interesting idea, to bring the organizers of the Woodstock festival to the motel and turn it into a concert venue. With a budget of 30 million dollars, the film sold only 10 million dollars and became a failure.
The film has taken an important cultural-historical moment (and one of the most symbolic events in the history of music) and added new elements to it. . The filmmaker's perception is not far From the reality, but the acquisition of Woodstock is incapable of emotional impact on the audience. The film doesn't even deal with the mechanics of the said festival, and although its story is tolerable, it has nothing special to distinguish itself From similar examples. Maybe it's better to watch the famous Paul Dino sequence on the Internet and skip the rest of the movie because you won't miss anything.
11- Ride with The Devil
- Year of publication: 1999
- Actors: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, Simon Baker, Mark Ruffalo
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 6.7 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the film: 64 out of 100
Although some moviegoers praise Ride the Devil for its visuals and atmospherics, and Although some elements of the film are brilliant, overall, Lee's production is not very commendable. The work is made in such a way that you feel that the filmmaker wants to win an award; While "Ice Storm" was at least cleverly crafted to win over the Oscars, Ride with the Devil is a typical movie that wants to make it to the Oscars with minimal effort.
In the days when America is involved in civil war, Jack's father is killed. He decides to join the war with his friend Jake, and they join the members of the guerrilla group Bush Hacker, whose mission is to disrupt and marginalize the political activities of the region. With a budget of 38 million dollars, the film reached a scandalous sale of 635 thousand dollars.
Riding with the Devil has aimless and extra parts, sometimes goes to the sidelines for no reason, and is unsuccessful in combining romantic, war and western genres. The motivations of the characters are not clear and the film cannot properly explain the reason for their strange behavior and actions. We mentioned above that the film has positive points, it uses a suitable rhythm and the dialogues are relatively good, but the problems cannot be ignored, and we can describe this production of Lee as an average film in the most optimistic state.
10- Man Gemini Man
- Year of release: 2019
- Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wang
- User rating IMDb for the movie: 5.7 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 27 out of 100
When the news The production of this film was announced with the presence of Will Smith, everyone was excited, but after the release of the first trailer, the audience became skeptical about the Gemini Moon Man; It seemed that this time, Ang Lee does not intend to make a first class action, but his concern is to play with technology. After the release of the film, it became clear that these theories are completely true. The film has no soul and focuses entirely on the "rejuvenation" of Will Smith, but even in this area it is not very successful. Gemini Moon Man forgets that technological advancements mean nothing without a good story.
Henry is an exceptional assassin who works for the US Defense Intelligence Agency and completes impossible missions. After a tragic event, he decides to retire but it is not possible and he is pursued by another assassin. After confronting this assassin, Henry realizes that he is a younger version of himself. With a huge budget of 138 million dollars, the film grossed 173 million dollars and, like the above works, failed at the box office.
In a rare occurrence, none of the subtleties of Lee's filmmaking are visible in Gemini Moon Man and From the same The moment it was shown, it was expired. For a great director, a film like this would indicate a dead end, but hopefully not with Lee. The dialogues are awful, the action sequences sometimes seem amateurish and out of the ordinary. It's a good thing that Lee didn't try to create excitement through the editing, but the bad design of these set pieces means that there is no suspense. The weaknesses of the screenplay are not hidden From anyone and make no mistake, The Gemini Moon Man is not one of those Movies where you imagine that no one understood it or didn't get what it was meant to be, the movie is literally bad, but anyway, Lee was going for trial and error.
9- Pushing Hands
- Year of release: 1991
- Actors: Sihong Long, Bo Zi Wang, Deb Snyder, Han Li>
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 7.2 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 100 out of 100
Ang Lee's first film that clearly shows that he was at the beginning of his career and had not yet become an auteur filmmaker. He brought everything he could into the film: kung fu, magical realism, the conflicts of the young and old generations, the cultural conflict of the West and the East, the social conditions of the middle class of society and the experiences of Asian-American people. Mr. Cho is a martial arts master who has just moved From Beijing to New York but cannot cope with this new environment. He lives with his westernized son, is not fluent in English and cannot speak properly to his daughter-in-law. Some time later, Cho starts teaching the martial art of tai chi in a local school in order to feel alive again and to be able to have a closer relationship with his loved ones. If we paid attention to them, we would have a better effect. But that's not to say that Handwringing is a bad movie, in fact we should even admire it for having the courage to ask for something. Be beyond a normal martial art. The dramatic moments of the movie will hit you, the actors are convincing, and there are a number of ridiculous and silly moments in the movie that will probably surprise you. The pressure of hands wants to address several important social issues at the same time, which unfortunately does not reach its goal, but the potential of Lee is noted, a talented filmmaker who flourished in the following years.
8- The Wedding Banquet )
- Year of publication: 1993
- Stars: Einstein Chao, Mei Chin, Sihong Lung, Mitchell Lichtenstein, Michael Gaston
- IMDb user ratings for the movie : 7.6 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes movie rating: 97 out of 100
The wedding reception won't blow you away But thanks to a good story, it will remain entertaining until the last moment and the optimism of the filmmaker will convey a good feeling to the audience. Unlike some of his other works, Ang Lee here has struck a good balance between the comedy and romance elements of the story, resulting in a cute and pleasant little film that doesn't make any pretensions. "Wai-Tong" against his inner desire, decides to marry a girl named "Wei-Wei" to make his parents happy; Wei-wei also needs this marriage because she is looking for a US permanent residence card. But things get complicated when Wai-Tang's parents decide to hold a lavish wedding, putting them in a challenging situation. The film was a success at the box office and with a budget of 1 million dollars, it reached 23 million dollars.
The wedding reception could undoubtedly have more humor and if it were closer to the traditional romantic-comedy works, it could have been a more attractive work. But regardless of the entertainment aspect, the film tries to be thought provoking and Ang Lee deals with his usual themes of culture and tradition. The wedding banquet satisfies the target audience.
7- Sense and Sensibility
- Year of release: 1995
- Actors: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 7.7 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 97 out of 100
Moving past Lee's bad or mediocre movies, we can now turn to his top-notch and lasting works. Sense and Sensibility may not have the subtleties of Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice (2005), but it is a worthy historical drama and a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen. After the death of the father, the three daughters of the rich "Dashwood" family face absolute poverty and have no choice but to marry to improve their situation. The film, with a budget of 16 million dollars, sold 135 million dollars and received many nominations; After the release of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's writings became more popular and many Movies were inspired by it. Emma Thompson's screenplay deservedly won the Oscar. In writing this adaptation, Thompson has removed relatively unnecessary elements and kept the dialogues soft; In this regard, the film accurately evokes the mood of the novel. Sense and Sensibility is not Ang Lee's Best work, but you won't find many problems in it, the film has a solid structure and the unique poetics of the filmmaker can be seen in it.
6- Lust, Caution
- Published year: 2007
- Stars: Tony Liang, Tang Wei, Juan Chen, Wang Lihum, Anupam Kehir
- IMDb rating for the movie: 7.5 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes Movie Rating: 72 out of 100
If you want to know why Ang Lee is a great filmmaker, This movie reminds you time and time again that you have to respect him and admire his directorial skills. The story takes place between 1938 and 1942, when the city of Shanghai was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army and the Wang Jingwei regime ruled China. A group of Chinese students decide to assassinate a high-ranking Japanese officer. To do this, they hire a girl and set a trap for the said agent. Although the story of the film (and the original book) is fictitious, it was probably inspired by Zheng Pigrou, a real-life spy who in 1939 attempted to assassinate a high-ranking member of Wang Jingwei's regime. With a budget of 15 million dollars, the film had a successful performance at the box office and achieved sales of 67 million dollars.
Ang Lee has designed each of the key sequences of the film with special obsession. Although some of the unconventional moments were accompanied by criticism and contributed to the fame of the work, the fact is that the story and characters are not overshadowed by these sequences. The chemistry of the relationship between the two main characters is amazing, and even though the film is more than 150 minutes long, it is your moment. does not tire The stage design of the work should not be forgotten, which will take you to the past and you will have a close look at an important historical moment in China. Lust, Caution also reminds us that Ang Lee has an uncanny ability to create powerful dramas if he doesn't indulge in trial and error with fancy special effects and technology. He slowly turns his different take on the espionage genre into a suspenseful thriller and doesn't need any cinematic gimmicks to stress you out.
5- Life of Pi
- Published: 2012
- Actors: Sooraj Sharma, Irfan Khan, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Gerard Depardieu
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 7.9 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie: 86 out of 100
Life of Pi was a surprising work; Some of its visual effects are still breathtaking and it is one of the few works that conveys a pleasant feeling to the audience without sloganeering and has a positive view of the world and life. The film evokes the emotions of the viewer and can also inspire. The final farewell sequence is one of the bitterest moments of recent decades of cinema, and the story of the film about "faith" makes you think that with its help, even the most difficult moments of life can be overcome. The story is about two survivors of a shipwreck, a 16-year-old Indian boy named Pi and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. They wander in the Pacific Ocean for 227 days and experience strange events. With a budget of 120 million dollars, the film grossed 609 million dollars, was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 4 awards (Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Soundtrack and Best Special Effects).
Ang Lee has tried to deliver the most mystical depictions possible, and while these dreamy moments were admirable in 2012, they don't hold the same wonder now. Of course, these shots are still beautiful, but as always, they are more like a trial and error and sometimes there is a gap between them and the story. Additionally, the integration of Pi's past with the present could have been done better, especially in the first hour. Lee could have done a little better in the adaptation of the original novel, but he has compensated for these weaknesses with his direction. Pi's life is a well-made movie that is undoubtedly worth watching.
4- The Ice Storm
- Year of publication: 1997
- Actors: Kevin Klein, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Henry Cherney. Rotten Tomatoes for the movie: 86 out of 100
The coldest part of this movie is not the weather, but the dry and soulless behavior of the characters towards each other. Ice Storm is a serious drama through which Lee intends to portray the enmities, jealousies and disputes of an American family. The story takes place in the 1970s and on Thanksgiving Day, and deals with a family that looks happy on the surface, but the truth is something else. With a budget of 18 million dollars, the film sold only 8 million dollars and was unsuccessful at the box office.
There are glimmers of hope in most of Ang Lee's works, but Ice Storm does not and it induces a sense of depression and disappointment. Black and bitter truths are revealed one after another and there is no bright spot. The main couple of the story gradually show more hostile behavior and think more seriously about the idea of betrayal. The daughter of the family does not receive love From her family and has to solve her emotional deficiencies in other ways. With the decisions the characters make, it's obvious that the moment of collapse is near. The dramatic and sensitive moments of the film are less impressive compared to the quiet moments, and it is in these quieter moments that Ice Storm shines. Lee has correctly depicted the decline of a family to tell us that he knows how to make first-rate dramas.
3- Eat Drink Man Woman
- Year of publication: 1994 li>
- Actors: Sihong Long, Cui-Mi Yang, Chien-Lien Wei, Yu-Wen Wang, Winston Chao
- IMDb user ratings for the movie: 7.8 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie: 88 out of 100
A small and unpretentious movie about a father And the girl who is emotionally on the scale of "interstellar" and her lovely devotion to food may remind you of "Big Night" (1996). Eat Drink Man Woman is actually Ang Lee's first major film. If Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead 2" strikes the Best possible balance between the comedy and horror genres, Lee here strikes the Best possible balance between comedy and drama. The film also shows the director's attention to detail, he got the Best performances From His actors understand the importance of food in the story and he has created powerful dramatic moments.
The opening sequence of the film, which is about cooking, is perhaps one of the Best sequences in Henry Lee's career, and the love of eating waves in it. . But food here is an excuse to bring people together; The film is also a critique of chain restaurants that have pushed out small, high-quality eateries. Ang Lee is also grappling with tradition here, exploring old dishes that hold a special place in his country's culture. But as much as it is about food, the film also deals with family and social problems. Eat, drink, man, woman, is a cinematic meal that will make you hungry.
2- Brokeback Mountain
- Year of release: 2005
- Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
- IMDb user rating for the movie: 7.7 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating To the movie: 88 out of 100
Brokeback Mountain may not be suitable for every taste, but for those who do not have a problem with the themes discussed in the story, it is an impressive and sad film. The strength of the work is the unique acting of Gyllenhaal and Ledger, who have tried to give a deeper meaning to the different emotional elements of the story with a realistic game. Williams and Hattoy are also satisfying; Even if we leave the technical aspects aside, these four actors alone have made the film a better work.
Even though you can guess From the beginning that the story's relationships will not end happily, you will still not be fully prepared. And the end of the movie is painful. Although Lee has paid a lot of attention to the two main characters, by addressing the two secondary characters, he also puts them in the spotlight so that the audience can understand their current state. Regardless of gender themes, Brokeback Mountain is about love, ideal love and lost love, something that most people have experienced in different ways.
1- Crouching Tiger , Hidden Dragon)
- Year of publication: 2000
- Stars: Cho Yoon Fat, Michelle Yeo, Zhang Zai, Chang Chen
- IMDb user rating to Movie: 7.9 out of 10
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for the movie: 97 out of 100
It doesn't matter From which angle You look at Ang Lee's works, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is always first, his Best work and an unrepeatable masterpiece. The film has All the signatures of the filmmaker: his special poetics, beautiful images, a wonderful story, complex characters and philosophy. Before "Engle" took home the Academy Award for Best Picture for the first time in history, Crouching Tiger was the only foreign-language film that came close to the award, and many still consider it deserving of the award. This movie was a phenomenon and in terms of action sequences, it looked better than most of the works of that era. The fight sequence between Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Zai is still one of the Best in history, and the whole film should be considered a great success in the field of cinematography.
But Crouching Tiger is more than an action work about fencing; The film tells the story of self-actualization, love and the collision of traditions with the modern world. The three main characters have a perfect harmony and the action parts never make the story and characters less important. In addition, these action set pieces are storytellers themselves and talk about "bravery vs. experience" and "skill vs. power". The story of the sword "Green Fate" should be considered one of the Best MacGuffins in the history of cinema, which is not only drawn as a deadly weapon, but as a symbol of pride. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is undoubtedly Ang Lee's Best film and one of the Best films of the 21st century.
Source: Taste of Cinema