Copyright Runningonkarma.com 2006
|House of Flying Daggers
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 250 reviews)
Sales Rank: 753
Publisher: Sony Pictures
Studio: Sony Pictures
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
Label: Sony Pictures
Format: Ac-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: Cantonese Chinese (Original Language), English (Subtitled), French (Subtitled), English (Dubbed), French (Dubbed)
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Running Time: 119 minutes
Number Of Items: 1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.2
Dimensions (in): 7.2 x 5.3 x 0.6
Release Date: April 19, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: January 14, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
No one uses color like Chinese director Zhang Yimou--movies like Raise the Red Lantern or Hero, though different in tone and subject matter, are drenched in rich, luscious shades of red, blue, yellow, and green. House of Flying Daggers is no exception; if they weren't choreographed with such vigorous imagination, the spectacular action sequences would seem little more than an excuse for vivid hues rippling across the screen. Government officers Leo and Jin (Asian superstars Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) set out to destroy an underground rebellion called the House of Flying Daggers (named for their weapon of choice, a curved blade that swoops through the air like a boomerang). Their only chance to find the rebels is a blind women named Mei (Ziyi Zhang, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who has some lethal kung fu moves of her own. In the guise of an aspiring rebel, Jin escorts Mei through gorgeous forests and fields that become bloody battlegrounds as soldiers try to kill them both. While arrows and spears of bamboo fly through the air, Mei, Jin, and Leo turn against each other in surprising ways, driven by passion and honor. Zhang's previous action/art film, Hero, sometimes sacrificed momentum for sheer visual beauty; House of Flying Daggers finds a more muscular balance of aesthetic splendor and dazzling swordplay. --Bret Fetzer
Customer Reviews: Read 245 more reviews...
Be sure to see the great supplemental features on the DVD version! June 27, 2006
I highly recommend "House of the Flying Daggers." a movie filmed in vibrant colors, beautiful Tang dynasty costumes with a plot full of action, surprises and twists. Zhang Ziyi playing Mei shows again why she is, in my opinion, the most talented young actress in contemporary Asia. As well as being a very beautiful young woman, Zhang Ziyi, who studied dance, works very hard in preparting for her roles whether in "House of the Flying Daggers" or "Memoirs of a Geisha." I was epecially very impressed by Mei's fascinating and brilliantly filmed dance performance near the beginning of the movie.
Other reviewers have aptly summarized the basic plot of the movie, so I will not further discuss it. What is especially worthwhile about buying the DVD version are the excellent supplemental features. I greatly enjoyed Zhang Yimou and Zhang Ziyi's informative and interesting commentary about the movie. One comes away with a much better understanding of the movie and how "House of the Flying Daggers" was made after listening to their commentary as the movie is played out.
I will give one relatively minor and entertaining example from their commentary. Zhang Yimou and Zhang Ziyi comment about how some people in the western world seem to have a hard time telling Asian actors apart. They amusingly make the same comment about how they view some people from the western world. The device the director employs to help some westerners distinguish between Leo and Jin in the beginning of the movie is rather funny.
Emotion! June 27, 2006
For me, this movie was nearly a mirror image of *Hero* in that it contained some of what was lacking about getting to know characters deeply, but it sacrificed, in my opinion, some of the ambition to Beauty and Message.
That isn't to say that it doesn't have the same ability to transport the audience into a different place, because it certainly does! There are fabulous concepts and scenes, but I surely missed the color dynamic of Hero.
there are far too few movies of this sort. I can't give fewer than four stars.
A classic in its own right June 2, 2006
Ziyi Zhang's performance as the strong-willed, kick-ass heroine Mei in House of Flying Daggers deserves a second look, now that the DVD release of Memoirs of a Geisha continues to catapult the Chinese actress into American movie fame.
In House of Flying Daggers, Director Zhang Yimou (Hero) shows us that you can only control so much in life and love before fate takes over.
Ziyi (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) plays Mei, a beautiful, blind dancer who may be the daughter of the murdered leader of the House of Flying Daggers, a rogue gang of Robin Hood-esque fighters in the middle of a war with China's corrupt Tang dynasty.
With hidden plot twists, people are never who they seem. And when Leo (Andy Lau) sends Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) on a mission to discover Mei's true identity, a complicated love triangle exploring the differences between love, lust, duty and devotion develops.
Oscar-nominated Director of Photography Zhao Xiaoding captures the culture of ancient China with superb compositions. A constantly moving camera complements the acrobatic nature of the fight scenes, and the special effects are typical of the slightly over-the-top martial arts genre. However, it is Xioading's wide, sweeping shots of misty bamboo forests, sunlit woods and snow-covered fields that truly make the film.
Nature plays an important role, and Yimou uses changing seasons to show the passing of time. The natural beauty of China's landscapes also adds greater perspective. In one shot, Mei stands in a bright green kimono--a thin green stick in a forest of skinny gray trees. The forest overwhelms Mei, making her troubles seem small.
A simple score of traditional Chinese instruments and the title song "Beauty" create a peaceful yet heartbreaking atmosphere that espouses the theme of the film. Love can't be controlled, but it can be taken away.
Beautiful! May 27, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
Artistically well done. I am impressed with the music and picture, only to be impressed again with the song by Kathleen Battle at the ending! Very violent, but not like the regular violent movies. And beautiful people too. The story has trwits and turns with a soap opera like drama. And beautiful costumes!
Not pure enough. May 26, 2006
2 out of 5 found this review helpful
too much of colors, too much of floating fight scenes, too much of illogical and often unneeded romance. basically ... too much of everything patched together at the same time!
I want to love this movie, but I just cant. After going through this movie I could not help but wonder that the director BADLY wanted to cash in on the 'consumed in love' + 'color arts' + 'floating fighting' factor. It struck me instantly that this movie is a sellout manifestation straight from directors brain. Its just not pure enough for the kind of movie it strives to be.
Net Effect: In totality HOFD exudes no magic. Break it into smaller pieces and observe -- why ppl are actually calling this movie 'good'