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GreenCine Movie Talk
In The Theaters
I just saw it and boy does it...
318

House of Flying Daggers
Topic by: mouldyboats
Posted: November 17, 2004 - 2:48 PM PST
Last Reply: December 27, 2004 - 6:22 AM PST

author topic: House of Flying Daggers
mouldyboats
post #1  on November 17, 2004 - 2:48 PM PST  
Recently visually stunned by Zhang Yimou's latest Wuxia
flick. It had a showing at the AFI fest in Hollywood.
Zhang ZiYi (leading role) showed up to walk the red carpet (it was more of a rug actually, hey, it's just AFI fest.) and introduce the film.

It's pretty good with awesome sound editing. Its got the standard fight and flight with some amazing never done before scenes thrown into the mix. Brilliant idea to release it for the holiday season. It's good popcorn movie with weepy drama and near to campy plot twists.

Great acting by the two male leads and Zhang ZiYi just gets better and better.
Catullus
post #2  on November 17, 2004 - 4:35 PM PST  
Great movie, visually stunning, only marred by a piss poor ending that is worse than CTHD and Hero by quite a godo margin... those quirky chinese endings seem to happen everytime i watch a chinese movie.
jross3
post #3  on November 17, 2004 - 10:52 PM PST  
> On November 17, 2004 - 4:35 PM PST Catullus wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> those quirky chinese endings seem to happen everytime i watch a chinese movie.
> ---------------------------------

Not to make an obvious statement.... but doesn't that seem natural? Chinese movie, Polish ending.... that would be weird!

I gotta say, that has to be the most interesting movie title I've heard in quite a while - and that includes "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie".
kamapuaa
post #4  on November 20, 2004 - 12:23 AM PST  
> Great movie, visually stunning, only marred by a piss poor ending that is worse than CTHD and Hero by quite a godo margin... those quirky chinese endings seem to happen everytime i watch a chinese movie.

I liked the ending! I thought the problem was the stupid plot holes. And the supernatural daggers. And how solemn everybody is. And that she can't walk down the street without getting sexually assaulted twice. So a lot of problems but I still liked it a lot.

The Chinese title is "10 Sided Attack!" which to me sounds a lot cooler, like some kind of exploitation movie.

markhl
post #5  on December 12, 2004 - 8:26 PM PST  
I recently heard (after watching the movie a few weeks ago) that perhaps Zhang Yi Mou's insistence in keeping the spirit of Anita Mui in the movie (who died mid-production) may have contributed to some of these apparent plot holes in the movie. Anybody have any insights or comments regarding this?

I'm a bit puzzled by the apparent sentiment of the chinese title. The House of Flying Daggers didn't seem to be an exploitation type of movie..
kohnfused1
post #6  on December 13, 2004 - 10:10 AM PST  
> On December 12, 2004 - 8:26 PM PST markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I recently heard (after watching the movie a few weeks ago) that perhaps Zhang Yi Mou's insistence in keeping the spirit of Anita Mui in the movie (who died mid-production) may have contributed to some of these apparent plot holes in the movie. Anybody have any insights or comments regarding this?
>
> I'm a bit puzzled by the apparent sentiment of the chinese title. The House of Flying Daggers didn't seem to be an exploitation type of movie..
> ---------------------------------

Haven't seen the movie yet, but Anita Mui is dead?

Is this confirmed?
markhl
post #7  on December 13, 2004 - 6:56 PM PST  
> On December 13, 2004 - 10:10 AM PST kohnfused1 wrote:
> Haven't seen the movie yet, but Anita Mui is dead?
>
> Is this confirmed?


I'm afraid so. According to IMDB, it was on 12/30/03. For whatever reason, I still remember her best from the Heroic Trio..
kamapuaa
post #8  on December 13, 2004 - 10:18 PM PST  
> I'm afraid so. According to IMDB, it was on 12/30/03. For whatever reason, I still remember her best from the Heroic Trio..

I have to admit that "Heroic Trio" was lost on me. I like "Wu Yen," where Anita Mui plays a male king, she mugs through the entire movie. It's not high cinema - it feels like a videotaped high-school production, despite the big actors and director. But it's goofy fun.

Some discussion of Anita Mui's death can be found in the "obituaries" thread.
KPman1
post #9  on December 14, 2004 - 3:43 PM PST  
Not a very engaging story, but it looked cool.
markhl
post #10  on December 15, 2004 - 9:22 AM PST  
> On December 14, 2004 - 3:43 PM PST KPman1 wrote:
> Not a very engaging story, but it looked cool.


If you're referring to the Heroic Trio, it was pretty campy indeed. But these were the days greencine and bittorrent sites existed. The movie did have some big names though huh?
NLee
post #11  on December 15, 2004 - 10:01 AM PST  
> On November 20, 2004 - 12:23 AM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> The Chinese title is "10 Sided Attack!" which to me sounds a lot cooler, like some kind of exploitation movie.
> ---------------------------------

A more accurate translation would be "10 Sided Ambush", which means "A Perfect Trap". This is consistent with the plot of the movie.

BTW, I thought this Zhang Yimou's latest movie is a piece of special-effect-ridden crap compared to all those down-to-earth movies he made eariler. Change the knives to katanas, daggers to shurikens, and what do you get? a Ninja movie!
KPman1
post #12  on December 15, 2004 - 11:16 AM PST  
As campy and low brow as Heroic Trio was, it was still a better story than House of Flying Daggers. House of Flying Daggers had an exciting beginning, but after that it was all down hill. It's a good thing the visuals were so exciting. Hero and CTHD both had a lot more substance.

On the other hand, movies don't often look this cool, so I'll take what I can get.
underdog
post #13  on December 15, 2004 - 1:30 PM PST  
> On December 15, 2004 - 9:22 AM PST markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On December 14, 2004 - 3:43 PM PST KPman1 wrote:
> > Not a very engaging story, but it looked cool.
>
>
> If you're referring to the Heroic Trio, it was pretty campy indeed. But these were the days greencine and bittorrent sites existed. The movie did have some big names though huh?
> ---------------------------------


Since when did we stop existing? Or renting Heroic Trio for that matter? ;-)


C of GC
markhl
post #14  on December 15, 2004 - 3:00 PM PST  
I'm with y'all on the criticisms of House of Flying Daggers. If it wasn't for the vivid scenary.. it wouldn't be worth seeing at all.

Underdog.. GC wasn't even a zygote back in the mid-'90s :) I "rented" Heroic Trio the old fashioned way (those were the days.. ne?) from this student-run closet-of-a-video-store with an "international movie" sliver-of-wall. I think their entire section was HK wire-fu/gangster type of movies actually.. kinda reminds me a little of GC now that I think of it... except that you guys are bigger... better staffed... and... greener...
kamapuaa
post #15  on December 15, 2004 - 3:21 PM PST  
Didn't know that about "perfect trap," interesting. Although a "perfect" trap would have less plot holes.

> BTW, I thought this Zhang Yimou's latest movie is a piece of special-effect-ridden crap compared to all those down-to-earth movies he made eariler. Change the knives to katanas, daggers to shurikens, and what do you get? a Ninja movie!

I wouldn't call any of Zhang Yimou's movies "down-to-earth," they're all high-minded and even the small-scale movies are basically epic.

Also, plenty of martial arts movies have secret fighting techniques and special weapons, it's not limited to Ninja movies. Flying Guillotines is the first thing that comes to mind.
NLee
post #16  on December 15, 2004 - 8:01 PM PST  
> On December 15, 2004 - 3:21 PM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I wouldn't call any of Zhang Yimou's movies "down-to-earth," they're all high-minded and even the small-scale movies are basically epic.

What I meant is Zhang's earlier movies ("Not One Less", "The Road Home", etc) are closer to the world of an average person. The type of simple, honest story about common people that touches the rest of us. His latest pictures (HERO and House of Flying Daggers), however, rely more on special effects and presumptuously artistic imagery in order to gain commerical success.
oldkingcole
post #17  on December 24, 2004 - 11:02 PM PST  
I just got back from seeing The House of Flying Daggers. Plot holes? C'mon folks! It's a mythic Mission Impossible story, with double agents and double crosses galore. It's no less realistic than most American musicals, spy films, crime movies, or big-budget Hollywood sci-fi epics like Armegeddon or The Fifth Element. And those movies rarely look as sumptuous as the House of Flying Daggers.

I thought the movie was spectacular, and I actually prefered its ending to the one in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The older I get, the less important realism becomes to me as long as the metaphorical and emotional truth remain undamaged. I think The House of Flying Daggers succeeds very well on those terms.

And did I mention it looks fabulous?
kamapuaa
post #18  on December 26, 2004 - 12:36 AM PST  
> I just got back from seeing The House of Flying Daggers. Plot holes? C'mon folks! It's a mythic Mission Impossible story, with double agents and double crosses galore.

I dunnow. I realized the movie was about the looks, not the plot, and overall I liked the movie fine. So it was a strike against, not a fatal flaw.

But to my mind, it was stupider than a Mission Impossible TV show, and those movies sucked. All the double-agents and double-crosses added nothing. Also, some of the plot twists partially negated what made earlier scenes cool.

If there's going to be a plot, it might as well make sense, and not get in the way of the money shots.
JBellows
post #19  on December 26, 2004 - 7:25 PM PST  
I am in complete agreement with the other negative criticisms of HOFD. It was visually stunning. But you have to be high to ignore the plot holes, entire lines of character development going at right angles, the laws of physics painfully subverted as opposed to 'cool' physics--and appreciate the beauty in the thing.

The entire premise of the movie is based on a plot hole. And a major character isn't given any room to develop until the last twenty minutes of the movie (and by then I had stopped caring).

My. Zhang Yi Yi is flexible!
ALittlefield
post #20  on December 27, 2004 - 6:22 AM PST  
This one left me really cold; so cold I was surprised by how dull and uninteresting I found it. For one thing, I thought the romance, which took up a lot of the story, was a dud (Which was a major part of CTHD's success, that had TWO moving romantic stories), especially since it was hard to tell just who cared about whom. Furthermore, we never know just how to feel about the Flying Daggers; is the leader they're fighting against a tyrant? Benevolent? Are they good or bad? Even the visuals failed to impress me when compared to Yimou's own RAISE THE RED LANTERN and JUDO. Sadly, I do think he has sold out by playing up to the stereotype that all Asian films are martial art movies. I say, Yimou, lose the wire work and bring back Gong Lee!

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