Movie •••½ Picture/Sound •••• Extras ••½
In director Wong Kar-Wai's sumptuous and melancholy follow-up to his masterful In the Mood for Love, a bitter writer translates his failed love life into science fiction stories. Tony Leung's character is a variation on the one he played in the previous film, and romantic partner Maggie Cheung also makes an appearance. The handsome pair are joined by Gong Li, Ziyi Zhang, and a host of other gorgeous Asian stars, creating a dreamlike dazzlement of beauty. In the stream of striking images, colors are rich, detail is good, and the faces that emerge from the darkness - Wong's visual trademark - have compelling presence. The eclectic soundtrack (from opera to pop) is perfectly blended with the dialogue and effects, though the surround channels are used only sparingly for atmosphere. Extras include deleted scenes, interviews, and short featurettes. [R] Cantones, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.