Movies that are slightly off.
One man's strength will unite an empire.
One man defeated three assassins who sought to murder the most powerful warlord in pre-unified China.
whooh onomatopoeia ; sound made by swinging swords, arms, legs, and all forms of sticks or poles ( with, or without metal appendages )in martial arts movies. Sometimes associated with arrows. Usually repeated at least 3 times. whooh whooh whooh
whowh onomatopoeia; sound made by magically flying protagonists and or antagonists, often found in the Wuxia sub-genre of martial arts films, as they hurl toward their enemy, often somersaulting during the approach. Often repeated at least twice, corresponding to the number of summersaults. whowh whowh
woah onomatopeoeia; sound made by audience when witnessing spectacular choreography and sumptuous cinematography often associated with the Wuxia sub-genre of martial arts films. Sometimes repeated twice, once for choreography, and then for cinematography. woah…
*Potential spoilers for the broad strokes of the plot. If you haven't seen this yet and are looking for a quick reason to check it out, it has some of the most beautiful photography outside of a Terrence Malick picture. If you like kung-fu movies and don't mind "wire-fu" then you'll probably like Hero.*
"A warrior's ultimate act is to lay down his sword."
Hero is a historical wuxia, or a king-fu period piece, but the battles between warriors stand in for a more important battle happening beneath the surface of the film. The fight scenes are highly choreographed and excessively stylized (a practice commonly referred to as "wire-fu"), and this gives them a mythical quality that indicates they may…
A Rashomonian wuxia made by the person who brought us the bright, crisp melancholy of Raise the Red Lantern, this film more or less could not fail. Though one of its themes, as far as I can follow them, seem to be about sacrifice for greater ideals in unsettling nationalistic terms, the more intriguing idea of a warrior who is unwilling to kill, this paradoxical philosophy of strength through unwielded power, overwhelms the downside. More so, though, the beautiful dance of blade, elements, and environment that this film is dominated by puts everything else to shame.
There are some who might sully this film with the qualifier that it's "cool." Those people are boorish fools. "Cool" is for pop-art and…
Film #19 of 30 in my March Around The World | 2016 Challenge
In this beautifully choreographed and fanciful epic tale of ancient China, writer-director Zhang Yimou replicates the artistry of Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), but with a higher profile cast and double the production budget, perhaps to show that the PRC will not be outdone by the ROC when it comes to martial arts blockbusters.
The main character here is a master swordsman and provincial prefect referred to as Nameless, as portrayed by international superstar Jet Li. He's joined on screen by two Hong Kong cinema stalwarts: Tony Chiu Wai Leung as the assassin Broken Sword and Maggie Cheung as his mistress and accomplice…
A Man with no name approaches the throne of the emperor of the great Qin Dynasty. He comes with nothing but the weapons of the three most powerful assassins and warriors in the realm, all of whom have all vowed to kill him: a spear belonging to Long Sky, and two complementary swords belonging to the two lovers Flying Snow and Broken Sword. Nameless claims to have defeated all three of them, ensuring safety for the Emperor. Under scrutiny, he spins two stories before actually explaining his true intent.
In the first explanation, the story vilifies the three assassins, engulfing each scene with red- red gowns, red walls, red curtains.…
"All Under Heaven"
The imagery has to be seen to be believed,simply jaw dropping...It has spectacular fight sequences(especially the blue lake sequence being my favorite)..Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung(gorgeous as always) carry forward their magical chemistry..The score soars on all fronts..I know Jet Li is talented but he has a single expression the whole film...its a good film but i will prefer Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon over this for emotional heft.
This was great to look at and visually it is spectacular but I found the story to drag and fairly wank.
Visually stunning and exquisitely choreographed, Hero is an action film told through flashbacks, it's almost like if Rashomon were a martial-arts movie.
The cinematography is beautiful, particularly the use of color, with each section of the story having it's own color. The fight scenes themselves are a work of art, with incredibly swordplay as well as some gravity-defying (albeit ludicrous at times) wire-fu.
The story itself has some twists and turns but the whole film felt like fight scene after fight scene with some morals and eastern philosophy thrown into the mix. Constant action can work (i.e. Fury Road) but this became a tad repetitive. The ending however, is quite unexpected. The performances aren't really anything special with the exception of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai's performance as Broken Sword.
Overall, Hero is an entertaining and pretty martial-arts film, 'nuff said.
7.0 (out of 10)
This is one of Yimou Zhang's finest films and a complete masterpiece. Its about an attempt to assassinate the emperor of China during the xin dynasty. It tells the story through three different and one scenario of what the emperor thought what really happened.
The beauty of this began to try my patience.
The turning point in Zhang Yimou’s career: having made his name with women centred dramas (or Gong Li centred melodramas), he now turned to historical martial arts movies. When it was released I remember there were complaints that the film’s explicit theme about uniting China under the powerful leader was an apology for the control of the present regime, but that only comes to the fore towards the end of the film. The film is a series of flashbacks: Jet Li tells the King how he defeated the three powerful assassins who have been trying to kill the King; the King reinterprets the story, explaining Jet Li’s motivations in a very different way; Jet Li makes a further interpretation. This…
Poetry in motion.
This is probably one of the most beautifully shot films I've ever seen. It's amazing how a retelling of a series of events (three different times, actually) can move me in such different ways yet with equal fervor.
What a portrayal of love.
#2 of 2 Zhang Yimou film
I saw this film years ago, but I didn't remember the story. Now having seen it again, it's no wonder as...
It took me an hour before I realized I didn't know what the hell was happening, but who cares when the visuals are so engaging
Every time people make a huge deal out of the action sequences in a superhero movie, something like this comes to mind. One could argue that the dancing dynamic fail to communicate any sort of stakes to the viewer, however, as entertaining as most blockbusters can be, it's not like there's an actually convincing work by the filmmakers in that aspect. Either way, this film is competent even beyond its famous jaw-dropping set pieces, the cinematography is particularly stunning.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Some pictures and more recommendations and the reasons why this list exists over at The End of Cinema.