Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
House of Flying Daggers
In 9th century China, a corrupt government wages war against a rebel army called the Flying Daggers. A romantic warrior breaks a beautiful rebel out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.
A blind showgirl and the undercover agent sent to catch her run away together, pursued by scores of soldiers AND OH MY WORD, WILL YOU LOOK AT THOSE COLOURS, I THINK MY EYES HAVE AN ERECTION. Zhang Yimou's stunning, vivid, extremely green contribution to the wuxia genre is like opium for your optics: beautifully designed and filmed in colours both bold and gentle, vibrant but never garish, its vast widescreen frame filled with an abundance of detail: drums, trees and ribbons all seen as if seen for the first time.
There's also like a story. Zhang Ziyi stars as a blind, dancing prostitute and enthusiastic insurgent - allied to a revolutionary movement called the House of Flying Daggers - who's…
It's my birthday today. I am 20 years old. Which feels weird. But throughout the day, instead of celebrating, I've been writing an essay about Guillermo Del Toro and in particular Pan's Labyrinth. Not the usual activity one would usually indulge in on their birthday but otherwise it's been a peaceful day and that, in spite of my noisy nephew visiting - shouting and screaming and beating me up is all I really want in general, and also because a birthday is albeit an almost inane celebration, a nice day.
It's a time when oddly, some people say happy birthday and I say thank you and I open gift wrapped presents from my mother (she bought me Under the Skin…
Shi mian mai fu (House of Flying Daggers) was for me nothing special. I know it got out before the movie I'm about to mention, but this movie really reminded me of 300. Two different cultures (Chinese and Greek mythology) , but the same kind of style and use of slow-motion. Where 300 is darker, House of Flying Daggers is more colorful.
The choreography in the movie is really, really good, but of course it falls in the category of being very unrealistic, usually I'm not the guy who is really picky about things being far from realistic or not, but I just didn't get that ''wow''-effect. The story itself isn't anything extraordinary either, was just so and so for…
Wife: Why are you watching House of Flying Daggers again?
Me: It's been awhile since I've seen it. I've watched a lot of martial arts and Hong Kong movies in the last couple of years and I'm curious how it holds up.
Wife: How is it?
Me: Kinda weird. It's so ornate, rococo in costumes and sets and plot and everything. So pretty, but it feels like there's something missing. The plot is so ridiculously convoluted and hard to follow: everyone is lying to everyone else all the time so no one's motivations are ever really clear and even the ostensible conflict of the film, the fight between the rebellious Flying Daggers movement and their Tang Dynasty rulers, is totally…
Without a doubt, some striking visuals and impressive action sequences. But, House of Flying Daggers is let down by its paper-thin plot and even less fleshed out central characters.
The film is also guilty at times of being over-repetitious (think, the soldiers throwing swears while chasing them through the trees) and you are just begging for the plot to be moved forward.
Enjoyable for the action and the ending, but fairly sparse otherwise...
Wonderful adventure from Zhang Yimou features incredible fight scenes with swords, arrows, and -you guessed it-daggers.
What would be a standard action flick with a standard love subplot is raised to near masterful storytelling thanks to strong filmmaking. This story of a blind princess warrior as well as the two men who love her is immensely entertaining. Huge achievement in digital cinematography-almost the Chinese version of The Matrix.
Story, which at first appears to have many flaws, is filled with so many twists and double crosses that in the end a viewer will feel slightly dizzy just for having kept up.
Beautiful photography and art direction throughout-not to mention a smart cast that plays up all the dramatic angles.
Suspenseful and exciting, even operatic at the film's finale.
A great Chinese action flick, with a moving love story mixed in. The acting is great, and the acrobatics very impressive. The movie is also beautiful aesthetically.
This film is visually sumptuous. There's no way one could deny this. The colors are so beautiful. It has a fairly strong first half too that plays with the dynamics well enough. I personally loved the brothel scene the most. Not to mention, the fight choreography is awesome. The problem is, it relies heavily on this love triangle in the second half. And, boy, did I find the love story absolutely yawn-inducing. I literally could not have given less of a crap. That really killed the film for me, honestly.
A strikingly beautiful movie on every level. Great fight scenes & love story.
A wuxia film shot in some near unearthly landscapes, and full of beautiful people, but somehow seems more down to earth. Stereotypical love triangle, but I love how angry the final fight gets. Have some problems with those bean physics, though.
definitely not Zhang's finest hour, but definitely his most entertaining. The bamboo sequence is orgasmic.
A great looking with film with such a beautiful color palate, great cinematography of action sequences that are so fluid in their execution and the spectacle of the story itself, but the actual story itself is not quite as impactful as the feel of the film as a whole (look to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as an example of how style meets functionality well in a film) and some of the acting feels wooden, although Ziyi Zhang is quite delightful in her role.
The movie has a this great look and feel as the decoration for the film, but the skeleton of the film just doesn't support its ambition.
An alright kung fu film.
My Take: The film has some great scenes, but the film as a whole cannot stand up to greats in its genre.
(Rachel) I love Zhang Ziyi. I think she's so incredibly beautiful all the time. The movie was really just a love story with some fight scenes. I think it was a beautiful looking film. The fights are soo graceful. I'm not really used to the wire effects since I haven't seen very many Chinese movies where this is used except like Crouching Tiger so it was definitely different to see. It's a very pretty style though. I was invested in the two main characters and I was saddened at the end. I think maybe seeing the battle at the end would've been really cool, but like I said this was really just a love scene with fights. I give it…
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- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
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This is a response to this list from Film4 of the 100 Must-See Films of the century so far that…