The Ice Storm
Ang Lee's done many "big things" since he made "The Ice Storm" in 1997. He took "Life of Pi" and "Brokeback Mountain" to the Oscar stage, he revolutionized action cinema by getting "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" out into the mainstream, hell, he even gave us a take on "Hulk". But for my money, he's still never made anything as good as this early entry, an ensemble comedy featuring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver as the anchors of two weighed-down families lost in the post-revolutionary upheaval of 1970s suburbia.
Criterion's Blu-ray release of the picture is absolutely impeccable. There's a healthy level of grain in the video transfer, and it's clear that not a single iota of sharpness was scrubbed from the print. The colors don't artificially pop (it actually looks more like a film from the era in which it was set,) but every item is rendered in impeccable, textile detail: the posters on the wall, the polyester texture of the clothes, the crass red sofas.
But the selection of extras is why fans will need to pick up this package (if they don't already own the identical Criterion DVD.) You'll be digging through them for hours: a 40-minute retrospective documentary, an interview with author of the source novel Rick Moody, a few deleted scenes, a half-hour talk with Ang Lee at the Museum of the Moving Image, another 40-minute documentary on the films visual design, and a commentary with Ang Lee placed over the whole film. Fifteen years on and counting, "The Ice Storm" still holds up, and this release befits that reputation.
"The Ice Storm"