I once watched a bunch of local kids perform choreographed martial arts moves to a medley of Michael Jackson songs. I was struck by the power and beauty that the music revealed. Seriously. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) takes that concept (minus Mr. Jackson), mixes Asian mysticism with the plot structure and cinematography of a cowboy movie, and creates a sublime result. For the most part, the acting is as emotionless as the subtitles. But in most subtitle movies I don’t really care, because I’m looking at words, not faces. The preposterously beautiful martial arts scenes are another matter entirely.

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