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Review

Harry says, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER is an exquisite mix of badassness and beauty!

God Bless Zhang Yimou! Just got in from a super secret private screening of CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. Yeah, I know – it’s opening today in markets all over the country – and it’s been playing in Los Angeles and New York and a few other lucky places. Why the intrigue about the screening? Well, when the press screening was announced here in town – it was at a theater that – well, I just don’t want to go to – to see a Zhang Yimou film. Zhang Yimou’s work is best seen in the most exquisite of circumstances. Tonight – watching CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER was an alternating delight between lickable eye candy that truly popped off that screen unlike anything I’ve ever seen in all the history of cinema… And then ass-kicking badassness that just was truly indescribably awesome. I don’t like going the spoiler route… And I won’t go into the actual plot points – but there’s shit here that I just have to get into. This film is fucking magnificent. First off – watching Chow Yun Fat be the biggest baddest damn emperor that China ever had – was just AWESOME. He’s got these eyes in this film that look wise, deadly, sad and… well… eyes you just don’t want to be fucking with. I love Chow Yun Fat – and too often we don’t get to see him used in a film in a way that makes him the goddamn God of Badassery that he is. There’s a point. A point where somebody does something to piss him off. I’m not talking about a little thing. I’m talking about… The sorta thing that makes one so pissed that you’ll beat someone to the point where they cease to be human, and they’re just a fucking bloody flank steak wrapped in silks and gold. It’s one of those things where he goes from unaffected – to intimately involved in whupass. His face goes from sorrow to rage. The sort of rage where you’re taking off your belt and you’re gonna kill someone with it. Now, I know. Who kills someone with their belt? Well – this belt has more metal on than a Wrestling Champion’s belt. And… man… it’s rough. Very rough. Unbelievably rough. Next – there’s the Ninja motherfuckers. Ok. Ninjas have always kinda wanted to be the badasses of cinema history, but they always seem to come across as Asian Red Shirts from Classic Star Trek. Bodies to drop. Well… Ninjas in cinema – ain’t ever been Ninjas like these. And technically – these ain’t ninjas, but they should be Ninjas. They’re doing the all black thing. They got their tricky shit. They’re doing Ninja shit. So – fuck the culture differences between China and Japan… Chow Yun Fat is so much a badass emperor – he’s got Ninja bastards working for him. And when these fuckers show up – the film goes from Intimate Fucked Up Royal Soap Opera stuff – to blowing your action jones so hard your ass becomes a cum fountain at the Bellagio. It’s just… you just begin thinking, “WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED THAT FUCKING NINJAS SHOWED UP IN MY THEATER?!?!?!!?” No menacing orders to men in black. Just they’re fucking there. How long were they there? Were they there 7 days ago or just showed up? All I know is this. There’s a lot of stuff that happens before the Ninjas turn this movie into a nightmarish blood bath. And don’t get me wrong – the drama, the soap opera stuff… I loved that stuff. It’s all sorts of fucked up in only the way that Asian family bullshit can be fucked up, but then… NINJAS ATTACK!!! And there’s no taking back NINJAS ATTACK!!! When ninja grappling hooks fly and bamboo rope slide shit happens and flying Ninjas from impossibly high altitudes come at a fortress set in a box canyon… And then there’s those fucking scythe things. They’re just fuck me awesome. I apologize for the cussing, but man – when I get a film that gives me that GRAB MY HEAD TO KEEP THE SKULL FROM EXPLODING BECAUSE THE AWESOME SHIT MY EYES ARE TAKING IN IS LIKE FILLING THE BRAIN WITH SO MUCH HOLY SHIT COOLNESS THAT I JUST CAN’T KEEP IT FROM EXPLODING… well, at a time like that – I just tend to lose any sense of control. You see – this film is stunningly beautiful. Just stunning. You want to hop up on the screen and start licking the image cuz you know those colors taste unbelievable. And it’s more than the set design – the sheer enormous amount of hot Asian cleavage is just – it’s absolutely indecently awesome. Then there’s CHOW YUN FAT – and he’s just a magnificent bastard in this film. Just magnificent. And the way that Yimou films the scale of the life of this Imperial Family – it’s just. Man. You know how from time to time you might think you’re life is pretty swank. That you’re living the life of Riley. And you think of the people that have it best in the whole wide world – and you think of someone like… PETER JACKSON or JAMES CAMERON. And you try to imagine what their rich ass life must be like. But then you think, ya know… They’re rich, but they ain’t like… BILL GATES rich. And ya think. Bill Gates. All that fucker does now is spend the rest of his life trying to give money away he’s so fucking rich. And how amazing must that be? Well… I’m sorry – Ain’t nobody that has ever lived – ever lived like these ancient Chinese fuckers. I mean… People carrying your ass around…. Sauna thrones… You change position in your seat and people are fucking massaging you. YOU HAVE A FUCKING WAR AND IT DOESN’T INTERFERE WITH YOUR DAMN FIREWORK SHOW. There’s just stuff in this movie that you look at. And you just have to redefine the words like opulence, luxury, affluence and prosperity. We don’t have an adequate reality definition for those words in the west. I watched that MARIE ANTOINETTE last year… that teenage girl had it pretty damn amazing. She had the hookup for all sorts of shit, but Emperor Chow Yun Fat… He’s the man. And never try to fuck with Emperor Chow Yun Fat’s flower party, cuz that shit will piss him off. And it’s ok. You can fucking trample his flowers and shower them with your own blood, but that’s alright. That’s ok. He’s got more people than Wal-Mart to clean up at night – and he’ll have his flowers, have his midnight dinner and that fucker will watch his fucking firework show. Cuz man… He’s the Man. And rule number one about being the man is this. NOBODY FUCKS WITH THE MAN… EVER! CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER is brilliant. It’s beautiful. It’s badass. It’s all that and a bowl of black fungus medicine soup!

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST

    pls, leave Harry alone

    by BadMrWonka

    true.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Yay for him

    by blindambition238

    Too bad chow yun fat never got a break in american cinema

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Hmmmm

    by stemjsim

    Sounds good I suppose but I want to see the NINJAS ATTACK

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Oh and...

    by blindambition238

    Plant!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Ninjas...

    by Sword23

    A lot of westerners don't realize this, but most of the Japanese culture came from China. Japan has a real knack for taking credit where it's not due. Bonsai? tea ceremony? karate? jiu jitsu? Ha! think again! Heck, even sudoku didn't originate from Japan.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:25 a.m. CST

    really?

    by HEADGEEK

    COOL! Ok - so there is no accuracy problem then. Emperor Chow Yun Fat has a historically accurate NINJA ARMY OF BADASSES

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:40 a.m. CST

    where are the reviews lately?

    by ephor

    That was a nice rant. It almost competes with Massawyrm's tirade against Happy Feet. Give us a plot summary, tell us what works and what doesn't... it's called a review... We don't need 13 paragraphs describing how much Chow Yun Fat is a badass. and check your thesaurus. it may not have badass but I'm sure you can find the equivalent.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:54 a.m. CST

    the cum was

    by HEADGEEK

    from my own cock - as the blow was coming from this movie - so hard - it blew my jizz out my own ass.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:54 a.m. CST

    Fuck you, I love Frankenberry!

    by HEADGEEK

    'natch

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST

    The Geek got excited

    by Affleckwasthebomb

    Come on guys, it's not technically the most sound and proffessional review but Harry I hope is still a proper geek at heart. He just got excited about what he saw. Fuck, Ninjas are always guaranteed to get some one hard. Oh and anyone else think Chow Yun Fat could be Badass in this movie?

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    You cant go wrong with ninjas!

    by knifeandfork

    You just cant.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:16 a.m. CST

    All this and no mention...

    by Tin Snoman

    of Gong Li's cleavage? I've been distracted by it for weeks now in all it's pixely glory, and all Harry can talk about is Chinese ninjas. I agree that ninjas are important, but boobies are pretty high on the list too...

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a great movie, but come on Harry....

    by Klaus Herzog

    this is just ridiculous! I mean who do you think your audience is here? 15year old school boys who will giggle at any mention of the words cum, dick and fuck? It's just a little immature by now. Yes, I admit that using some of it in the right context can be delightful, but you're just way overdoing it. Yes, Chow Yun Fat is a motherfucking badass. Say it once, you don't have to say it in every sentence. Amazing how you managed to tell us almost nothing about the actual story (except that it's "ntimate Fucked Up Royal Soap Opera stuff") or the supporting performances in this movie. Ephor is right, this isn't a review, it's a childish collection of curse words. You should know better by now.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Curse of the Golden Shower is more like it

    by Dazzler69

    Had to say it!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:34 a.m. CST

    he didn't specifically point out Gong Li's cleavage,

    by just pillow talk

    just "Asian cleavage" in general. So I guess that means Gong's isn't more spectacular than anyone else's, or that means the overall quality of the fun bags is equal to Gong's. Plus throw in Fat and Ninjas and maybe, just maybe the cleavage puts it into the masterpiece category.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Snakes on a train,with ninjas!!

    by Snikkar124

    Sounds like this one could be really good.Can`t wait to see some footage...

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 6:55 a.m. CST

    About bloody time Harry

    by DirkD13"

    First review from you in ages. I am now so fucking amped up after reading that fucking motherfucking review that I just want to see badass black-cloaked ninja's fucking fighting Emporer Chow Yun-Hardnut with fuck-off huge scythes whilst gurt big asian titties wobble all over the shop. Fuck me this sounds so good, I'm going to attempt to lick my own balls.<br><br>There will, however, be no cum fountains spraying from my ass. No film's THAT good

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Style Over Substance

    by MonkeyManReturns

    Hero - style over substance Flying Daggers - Style over substance Is this also going to do the same? Yes, there is beautiful fighting, yes there is beautiful acting, yes there is beautiful cleavage, but...but...is there a beautiful story? These big Chinese-HongKong movies suffer from the 'head up owns arse' style of film making...looking great - like a pretty painting with pretty colors - but ultimately, they are boring...Ninjas attacking? Not that excited. Ninjas are soooo 1986! Shoulin Monks - now they kick posterior!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:14 a.m. CST

    All this cum talk

    by MonkeyManReturns

    distracted me into spelling shaolin wrong...I'm afraid I keep well away from the stuff...my girl friend seems to enjoy the drink though...

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Right. But there was a chick in this film right Harry?

    by Kizeesh

    Not even a word about the most gorgeous Asian actress of all time?

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Cum fountain from the arse?!

    by Cat_Corporation

    For Pete's sake, Harry, that's just gross! You do know women log on to your site, right (me being one of 'em, for my sins)? BUT as a PS., you just got me really excited about a movie I feared would not live up to Zhang's previous efforts. Can't wait for this to hit the UK!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:31 a.m. CST

    now if only Kurt Thomas showed up in this

    by just pillow talk

    and GYMKATA! all the ninjas, then we are talking! Monkeydude, you are right about those other films. But I will check this out when it's on DVD, even if it is style over substance.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Cat_Corporation

    by MonkeyManReturns

    I think you are beautiful. Lets see this movie together, what say you? Lets see if it gets us as excited as it got Harry...might be an interesting evening...heheheh

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Can they stop making the same movie over and over?

    by Mr. Neutron

    This looks like a retread of every epic historical movie out of Hong Kong over the last 10 years. Hero, Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger etc etc - they're morphing into one long, boring wire-fu mess.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Jesus vs. the Ninja

    by ye olde shiza

    If Jesus were here, he'd be pretty upset about this review. Not only do I not trust that this movie was great and orgasmic ... mostly because of the numerous banner ads "Curse of the Golden Flower" has paid for from AICN, but also, this review just doesn't make me motivated. If you want cleavage, just go check out "Bandidas" with Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. It's out on video for all the ogling you'd ever need. <br><br> It'd be nice to get a review that explored something about the movie a little more in-depth than its powerful ninjas or big titties. This site gets so many sneak-peaks at things I want to see and wastes those opportunities half the time by writing reviews that just suck.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    w00t john cazale

    by white owl

    ?

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Jesus?! Hell, what would Brian Boytano do?

    by biggles2_22

    I'm sure he'd kick an arse, or two.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Get Jizzy with it

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Harry must have a "hair trigger", if you know what I mean. The only nuts I ever busted at a movie were confined to back seats at the drive in with my sweeties. You can't go wrong with chineese ninjas. Oh, Yoko...I'm never ever ever ever gonna let you go!! (J. Lennon)

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:17 a.m. CST

    GONG LI'S TIG OLE BITTIES ARE COOKIN THE BOOKS!

    by DOGSOUP

    And by "Books" I mean our pants.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Abomination, I almost laughed my ass off

    by Mr Incredible

    Man, that was funny. Harry, on the other hand: "You want to hop up on the screen and start licking the image"? Was that the time Gong Li and her magnicient visage (boobs) showed up? HENTAIGIOUS!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Good god, Harold.

    by Zarles

    "...blowing your action jones so hard your ass becomes a cum fountain at the Bellagio." LO-motherfuckin'-L. My cum-gushing ass will be in a seat for this one this weekend for sure.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Maybe harry watched Blade 2 before this...

    by Kizeesh

    just a thought.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:52 a.m. CST

    CURSE OF THE GOLDEN CLEAVAGE

    by CelestialPudding

    yup, Harry got so excited by ninjas and Chow Yun Fat's sexy eyes he forgot to mention the massive amount of steam buns in the palace walls. well those who want a more indept (wankier) review...read mine! hehe http://wensi.net/blog/2006/12/27/film-review-curse-of-the-golden-flower-%e6%bb%a1%e5%9f%8e%e5%b0%bd%e5%b8%a6%e9%bb%84%e9%87%91%e7%94%b2/

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Henry - Balls of Fury

    by just pillow talk

    Hmmm...maybe not. Breaking and Entering? Breach? I know what movie you are talking about, but can't remember the name.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    What about Gong Li?

    by Nerdboy1423

    Wow, I saw this movie a month ago on a screener, you should somehow get invited into the academy. But that you see it this far into the season isn't what dissapointed me the most, it's that you completely forgot to mention Gong Li in another one of her most memorable performances. She isn't just "asian cleavage", and her performance here is suspenseful and heartbreaking. It's the heart of the movie, in a world that has no room for compassion.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST

    HARRY THERE'S ONLY ONE REASON TO SEE THIS MOVIE

    by Deus Vult

    And that's Gong Li's amazingly rare large Asian knockers. Her cleavage in those banners on your site is a thing of beauty. I could get lost in those things for days, weeks, months even. The worst part is I've been talking about them in previous posts for the past few days and it took you all this time to post a review? I know Austin is laid back pal but come on, we're talking about GONG LI'S HOOTERS HERE!<p>in other news, what was with the cum out of the ass talk? that was awful, just plain awful.<p>finally big BIG ups to DOGSOUP for his fantastic work with the newest catchphrase. See boys, that's how its done.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    HARRY! DON'T EAT THE SCREEN!!!

    by BirdMcMonster

    (It doesn't taste good...trust me.)

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    About 600 new catchphrases in that AWESOME review

    by Doctor_Sin

    Sounds boss, Harry! Thanks for the review. I am seeing this as soon as possible.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Super secret my ass

    by Seph_J

    This has been out here for weeks. I saw it 3 times already. Harry, you are so behind.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    this is not a good review...

    by Seph_J

    ... this is really a bad 'review'. Infact, this is the worst piece of 'writing' I've ever forced myself to read. It just gets worse and worse. Yimou deserves better Harry. Why dont you try reviewing it again.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Review.... MINOR SPOILERS

    by Seph_J

    (I sent this in weeks ago, but it wasn't used. I'm not a literary genius, but I thought you all deserved to know more than the crap Harry gave us, so here it is...) The amount of times people compare EVERY Chinese film that gets released to 'Crouching Tiger' really pisses me off. They are NOT all cashing in, and they are NOT all poor imitations. Therefore, I will not mention that particular Ang Lee film by name again in this review. I do not spoil the film, but there are a few SMALL SPOILER details that follow. Quite rightly many people have mentioned that 'Golden Flower' is a very different film from Yimou's previous two. Whilst 'Hero' probably takes place on the grandest geographical scale, and 'Daggers' is essentially a love triangle, 'Golden Flower' is a closer relation to Feng Xiaogang's 'The Banquet' which was released earlier this year. Yimou obviously noticed the apparant lack of both pace and spectacle, from Xiaogang, and goes out of his way in 'Golden Flower' to mix some genuinely innovative fight choreography (including some awesome tarzan-guys, swinging on ropes) with a haunting familial drama, which takes place (similarly, yet less depressingly) within the walls of a royal palace. Zhang Ziyi's ruthless scheming bitch from 'The Banquet' is as shakespearean as any Lady Macbeth need be, yet here Gong Li expertly manages to retain the audiences sympathy despite being a traitor to the Emperor and having a relationship with her 'son' (albeit not her birth-son). Much has also been made of Jay Chou's casting in the role of... Prince Jai. And whilst his dialogue scenes dont convince (possibly because of my prior knowledge of his 'image'), Yimou is sensible enough to limit these scenes, instead allowing him to fight (rather well actually) and merely look cool most of the time. His casting here is actually a rather sensible move from Yimou. Never is Chou given an opportunity to ruin the movie, and indeed his character demands that he be a rather fearsome and charismatic leader, and regardless of whether you like his music or not, the fact that you know his name going into the movie allows him to fill this criteria with ease. The set design is spectacular, and the art department on this film is certainly my choice for an Oscar this year (if that means much), with the obvious yellow, gold and red literally allowing the screen to explode with colour. The stark mixture of blood-red and yellow in a scene towards the end of the film is a nice colour-coded bookend to the movies visually amazing opening scenes. When thought and detail such as this is placed in a film, it is stunning to see. For example there is an early scene which takes place on a circular terrace within the palace at which the entire imperial family congregates, where the placing of a square table inside a circular terrace and the meaning of this geometrical juxtaposition is explained. This symbolism (representing heaven) is a visual motif which I saw repeated in a number of designs and sets throughout the film. I think it is to Gong Li's credit that the camera is allowed to explore her lovely face in close-up many times in this film, especially as she is not as young as she once was. On the flip side to this, I would have liked to have seen more of Chow Yun Fats increasingly craggy face, which (due possibly to his beard) has developed even more in wisdom and mysticism since his incidents with the Green Destiny. Even in scenes where it appears the emperor is beaten, Chow Yun Fat manages to retain psychological control over everyone around him. And his golden belt (which also is at one point covered in the smatterings of red blood) is an awesome weapon, the damage which it inflicts being seen only after Yimou cuts away from it. What I feel 'The Banquet' lacked, was any action. I am aware that it was not an 'action' film, and apart from one scene in particular was devoid of fighting, yet I saw many opportunities within that film to really cut loose, and yet nothing ever came of it. The same can most definately NOT be said of 'Golden Flower'. The battle scenes in this film are rather damn original too, in that they take place within the walls of the imperial palace and yet still feature an army that is large enough and would feel quite at ease charging the black gates of Mordor. The glittering COLOUR of this army however, and the spectacular surrounding palacial environment can only be done justice on the big screen. There are a few breathtaking Peter Jackson shots, and some extremely inventive fighting ballet, courtesy of Jay Chou and his men, and some rather awesome scythe-swinging, courtesy of the tarzan-ninja-men-in black (though it was more impressive in the spider-man-esque gorge-swinging scene from the middle of the film). Shigeru Umebayashi's score is a powerfully dramatic choral work, which is about as different from 'House of Flying Daggers' and Wong Kar Wai's 'In The Mood For Love' and '2046' as is possible. Though at first I was a little startled by the sudden use of it during a static shot which is held on Gong Li's face, I came to see that it was an extremely important part of atmosphere, and creating a slightly unbalanced feel to the story, originating from the themes of gradual insanity (mentally unbalaned) and incest (balance within the family)..... balance being a key theme of this movie. Instead of one sip of poison, it is important to get the balance of the ingredients right, and the dosage right. Likewise the balance of power between the three sons becomes important in the second half of the movie... along with who can speak to the emperor harshly and who can't... when to punish and when not to. And if you thought the rebels celebrated hard on Coruscant, and the Ewoks put on a show on Endor, just wait till you see the fireworks that the emperor arranges to celebrate crysanthemum day. I was very relieved to see this film, as so often when I have high hopes going into a film, I often am disappointed, until at least I have watched the offending movie many times, and conned myself into believing I like it. With this film though, I need not bother conning myself. Aside from the battle scenes which deserve repeat viewings alone, there are so many small moments - the occasional outburst from the emperor, the slightest sweat on Gong Li's brow... Jay Chow's beard (!) which make this film a rarity.... a character piece, with a HUGE soldier-filled finale, in which Jay Chow triumphantly arrives with the cavalry. Whilst I believe a film should be taken as an individual piece, it seems that to recommend a film to someone these days it has become necessary to compare it to a mixture of two other films. Therefore, if you enjoyed 'The Banquet' (but thought it needed more action) and if you liked 'Hero' but wanted to see more heaving chinese-lady cleavage, then this film is about as enjoyable as it gets.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST

    i cannot fucking wait

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    Yimou makes some of the most beautiful films ever. hope they show it at the Imax like HOFD...god that that was amazing. im gonna miss Zhang Ziyi tho :( but Gong Li should suffice ;)

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Seph_J, thanks for the review

    by Mr Incredible

    I had my doubts, but I may give it a try.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Hire Seph_J. He knows how to write.

    by Doctor_Sin

    I liked Harry's review, but it was a given I'd see this anyway - he just got me pumped for what I was wanting. The better review is of course Seph_J's - who no doubt was not used because he's not a pal or insider or friend or whatever. Seph, Thanks for the info on the score - that was something else I was interested in.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Thanks Seph_J

    by DirkD13"

    It's always nice to get a "proper" review, as well as a "geek" review.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    brilliant

    by sokitome

    i saw this movie a week ago and was amazed. I was expecting more kung fu like the advertisements here in LA are promoting it but what i found was shakespeare with kung fu. It's fucking brilliant. Yeah the first two acts have little action but the plot culminates and just explodes in the last act. excellent flick

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    he's just sore from sliding down that pole

    by just pillow talk

    man needs a break!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Gong Li was in this movie.

    by CZ

    She was by far the most interesting thing onscreen, and Harry somehow decides to write three paragraphs on ninjas. (Which any self-respecting Asia-phile knows is a Japanese term for cloaked assasin that doesn't belong to any description of a Chinese film) I thought the movie was moderately entertaining but fell short in the end, due in part to the over-the-top pageantry that Harry couldn't see past.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    gotta disagree...

    by Jonesey1111

    this was a very bad movie. very very bad

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    ok, now with a couple of talkbackers

    by just pillow talk

    giving it a thumbs up, I'll definitely see it.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I miss the days of bad subtitles, though

    by Doctor_Sin

    My ancient Hong Kong vhs collection still reeks of lines like "Eat the coffin mushroom" and shit like that.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Henry Jones...

    by TELF

    It's called, fittingly, Stay. Directed by Bobcat from Police Academy. I saw Golden Flower and thought it was pretty poor to be honest. Amazing visuals, but very soapy, and a just a bit too silly. Preferred his other ones, but it is still worth seeing if you are a fan.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 1:19 p.m. CST

    I've seen Bobcat's movie advertised as

    by zombieslayer

    "Sleeping Dogs Lie" which is funnier. Wish we got a review of that one from these guys...

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Some of best movies ever ...

    by ye olde shiza

    Were the collection of old Wu-Tang videos I had when I was a kid. The subtitles on those movies made me laugh for hours. <br><br> If anyone on here's been priveleged enough to watch "Secret of the Water Technique" with the hopping vampire, and the alien from another dimension, you can count yourself as one of the lucky few.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Oh Great!

    by jimmy_009

    More ridiculous wire-fu! More 'poetic' imagery! More of the same old shit!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 2 p.m. CST

    Wuxia needs wire-fu and soap opera

    by Doctor_Sin

    How else can you have flying martial artists and an overly intricate plot full of melodrama? It's the genre - live with it.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Harry Is A Geek First;

    by georges garvaren

    film buff second; writer third; amateur pornographer last. And when a Geek gets excited, especially if he happens to be a Geek who is known to review films with high notes of sexually explicit metaphors, then commonly only one outcome is often brought to pass: he is going to write a movie review. But remember Children, he is a Geek first and a writer third, precisely the reason why Harry's reviews can - how You say - contain "abundant amounts of pooply-poor structure and often masturbatingly repetitive with style.” but that does not mean that the review does not contain a somewhat logical explanation of why the film was worth the time it took to watch. You just have to swim your way through the angry waters of cinefile seaman and hopefully wash ashore on the crowded beaches of So, That Was Your Fucking Point. If you are a Geek, or think you may be coming down with a serious case of the Geekioitis, then cut the guy some fucking slack; he’s a little excitable. Or don't. Who cares, really (and don't you say Me because that would make you a real Cheese-fart.)

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Cheadles Cheese-farts: The new afterschool snack.

    by Doctor_Sin

    They make you GOTTA EAT.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Is this out already?

    by Johnno

    Because I'm about ready to get up right now, walk out the door, and go straight to the theatre and see it!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Missed the first 30-45 minutes

    by Jason B. Swaim

    ***************HERE BE SPOILERS************* So, did not understand the reason the first wife was so pissed. Nor was not sure if the Emperor was the hero or anti-hero. All in all, beautiful movie, story, fight scenes (albeit CGI obvious in come parts) Someone enlighten me?

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Gong Li a goddess!!

    by Spender

    The most beautiful woman in the world and the heart of this film and she does not get ONE mention Harry!!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Seph J

    by Spender

    Seph J. the woman's lovely face? Lovely? Gong Li is Gorgeous!!! She looks about 28.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 7:44 p.m. CST

    huh!

    by Aunryok

    Gony Li was the best and most beautiful part of the film....again. Not CYF. Too bad GL will AGAIN be overlooked for an Oscar nom.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Gong Li rules!

    by Clio

    I'm glad Harry was enthusiastic--this film deserves it, but come on, Harry, cool it on the pornographic descriptions--it's really juvenile. I just got back from seeing it---yep, greatness. But it is Gong Li who steals the show! Sure, Chow Yun Fat is "badass," but my God, Gong Li is magnificent. And no, there is no nudity in the movie--just low cut bodices. Don't miss this one!!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 9:34 p.m. CST

    THIS MOVIE BLOWS ASS!

    by K_Darklighter

    And Harry put together such an awesome top 10 list for 2006. Who sucked on Harry's cock during this screening? Okay, I saw this flick a few weeks ago and MAN was I disappointed! Zhang Yimou's HERO is possibly the best martial arts film ever. It is up there on the shelf with MASTER KILLER & THE 36TH CHAMBER, and FEARLESS. But after seeing the lame-ass water-sword-bouncing scene in HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, I was like, okay, this director may be losing his touch. When I saw CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER I knew I was right. There's no fucking action! No martial arts! No swordplay! They bill this picture in the trailer as a really hyper kung-fu extravaganza. NOT SO! If you want to see Shakespeare in dynastic China, then by all means go see this. Incest, hokey acting, poor comedic timing, meandering subplots and absolutely NO ACTION whatsoever. That's what this film is all about. There is one brief swordfight in the beginning. Chow Yun Fat doesn't even get a chance to shine! Oh, and the Ninja Wraiths were just completely lame. They like scream and make these weird animalistic noises as they flail through the air on impossibly connected cables. The battle scene at the end doesn't even touch HERO, it looks like a really poor rendering job. Very cartoonish. And did I mention that there is hardly any martial arts to be seen in the film at all? Sure, the bright colors are nice, and it's really pretty, and the story isn't awful, but c'mon! Gimme some goddamn REAL BADASSERY. Fuck me, if this is what Harry thinks "Badass" is, he needs to rewatch ONG-BAK, IRON MONKEY, the LONEWOLF & CUB series and DISTRICT B-13. Save your money to buy Jet Li's FEARLESS on DVD. Much better use of your hard-earned funds. Unless, that is, you wanna see a bunch of pretty asian chicks running around with their tits pushed up. And a bunch of yellow flowers. And the same sequence of tea-serving like ten times. And this really bad actor who...aw hell, you get the picture. Don't let this review fool you. You have been warned by Mr. Darklighter. Just go to your local massage parlor.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST

    I normally like to stick to bashing U.S. propaganda ...

    by Ringwearer9

    ... but come on, people. HERO, and this movie are glorifying the antics of a brutal dictator of long ago. He was brutal, but he united China (the basic message of HERO as well) and evil women conspired to make men weak and prevent his glorious and benificent plans. That's what HERO was about, and that's what this is about. Hey, it's all Chinese, so to us Westerners it's harmless exotic fantasy, but Mr. Yimou is the Leni Riefenstahl of the modern Chinese State. Nothing good ever comes from glorying the military might of the State, people.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 9:53 p.m. CST

    what kind of a warning

    by Seph_J

    is it to say "save your money... unless you like shakespeare". Shakespeare is no bad thing, darklighter. And this is not a shakespeare film, the plot is simply reminiscent of it. Clearly you didn't like 'The Banquet' then. Also, if you thought the trailer was inaccurate, dont watch the trailer again! But the film is what it is. And Ringwearer, comparing any filmmaker to Riefenstahl is a compliment :)

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Shigeru Umebayashi

    by nemesisdarkside

    Love his music. His music from In The Mood For Love still haunts me. I can listen to the extended version of "Yumeji's Theme" for hours.

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:47 p.m. CST

    THE REASON GONG LI DOESN'T GET ANY MENTION IS BECAUSE..

    by Deus Vult

    Harry lives in AUSTIN fellas, and if you're not from Texas, don't know no one in Austin or Texas, hadn't never been to Austin or Texas, or just generally don't know nothin' 'bout Austin or Texas, boys in Austin (like Harry) don't like girls who are hot with big knocks like Gong, they like tall, skinny, flat-chested, plain, pale, near-death looking, high as a kite, post-hippie punk new wave-secretly rich yet dressed like a bag lady-too indy for a sorority but still love good charlotte-kinda girls.<p>HENCE, HARRY IGNORES THE BEST PART OF THIS MOVIE AND THE BANNER ADS FOR THE MOVIE ON HIS SITE WHICH IS GONG'S SWEET LARGE ASIAN TITS!<p>now, us houston boys on the other hand, the city that invented breast implants by the way, LOVE GONG'S SWEET LARGE ASIAN TITS!!!!

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 10:53 p.m. CST

    SEPH_J LEMME HELP YA OUT THERE KILLER

    by Deus Vult

    just a few days ago I was just like you but I believe "sledge hammer" helped me out...here's the deal...to insert a break in your reviews and posts, simply use < p > with no spaces b/w the p and the <> aight? it'll add a carriage return if that makes sense. <p>now, although sledge wanted some bow-down style cred, I'll simply take $5 via paypal. lemme know when you want my id...

  • Jan. 12, 2007, 11:01 p.m. CST

    cheers dude....

    by Seph_J

    you are <p> a true <p> gentleman

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Saw It At The Alamo @7:15 Tonight

    by VWantsRevenge

    And it was awesome. Stunning to look at. The set design is brilliant and beautiful. Gong Li is fucking HOT, and it was so great to see Chow Yun Fat play EVIL. The film was so damn bitter and depressing, but when it kicked in with the fucking WAR it was INSANE. I wish I would have seen this last year because it would have made it on my Top 10 for sure. That was the closest thing to a Shakespearian tragedy I've seen in cinema that wasn't BASED on a Shakespeare film! God bless Zhang Yimou and all the cast and crew of one hell of a masterpiece.

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    I liked Hero, House of flying daggers was utter shit

    by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies

    I hope this one is a return to form. And yeah the politics of hero did make me uncomfortable.

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 3:49 a.m. CST

    just came back from seeing it...

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    and yeah Harry, i thought the exact same thing...most beautiful film ever...the colors of this film and the insane ammount of detail was just breathtaking. just a fantastic piece of cinema. <BR> btw Judge Dredds Dirty Undies, if u thought HOFD was "utter shit" i'd love to know what u think makes a good movie because "Daggers" is fucking great and one of my all time faves

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 4:38 a.m. CST

    So you're telling me it's not a remake?

    by gotta_eat

    Bullshit! We need more remakes, DAMMIT!

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    HAH!

    by streakerfreak1983

    TomBodet- Harry said fuck you to you. Almost, but not quite as good as what happened with Ak-47 and Sly.

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 9:10 a.m. CST

    oh and about film releases

    by streakerfreak1983

    yeah this is opening today here in Eugene, Oregon. But the one film that I want the most still is not here yet. In fact it is no where within 100 miles of me that I can find and that is Pan's Labrynth. What the fuck gives? I am getting really pissed off.

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 9:50 a.m. CST

    geez.

    by Aunryok

    ""And did I mention that there is hardly any martial arts to be seen in the film at all?"" It NOT a martial arts film!!!

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Saw it two weeks ago - it sucked...

    by Ernie Souchak

    The martial arts confrotnations and battles were shot well and looked great but the narrative was disappointing to say the least. It was meandering and did not seem to add up to much and had a ton of loose ends. The film is in not in ANY way like a Shakespearean history play - in structure, style, or tone - and to the poster above who said "That was the closest thing to a Shakespearian tragedy I've seen in cinema that wasn't BASED on a Shakespeare film!" I rest my case.

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 4:24 p.m. CST

    I'm telling you........

    by Doc_Strange

    If ninjas showed up in more action movies, the badass quotient would go up 100%. A good question is, how come we don't see any new ninja movies that aren't comedies? Hell, I have an idea for a futuristic ninja movie, kind of like Blade Runner but with more action, and kick ass ninjas. Who wouldn't want to see that?

  • Jan. 13, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST

    GONG LI'S GOTTA EAT!

    by Kampbell-Kid

    I am a sucker for the guilty pleasures that have come from Asia these days. Zhang Yimou's films just have that colorful flair that Akira Kurosawa had in his films so that is another draw to see this besides Gong Li, Chow, and the director. I think Gong was perhaps not mentioned because she has done better work than a glorified martial art flick.

  • Jan. 14, 2007, 8:47 a.m. CST

    streakerfreak1983

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    patience...Pan's gets its wide release on friday :) been waiting for it too

  • Jan. 14, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST

    To GEEZ...

    by K_Darklighter

    You're right it isn't a martial arts film. Unfortunately, the West Coast ad campaign for the film did a really good job of tricking the moviegoing public into thinking it was a martial arts film. I think had I gone into the movie anticipating a Kurosawa film, I would've appreciated it more. I admit my posting was a bit harsh. I thought the film had merits, I just felt gypped.

  • Jan. 14, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST

    saw it today...

    by Sir Loin

    ...and was blown away. It takes awhile to set up the entire plot, but it's worth the wait. Seriously...go see this on the bigscreen, don't wait for the DVD because it deserves to be seen on a HUGE screen with a good sound system. Gorgeous sets and wideshots, not to mention Gong Li looking absolutely stunning.

  • Jan. 14, 2007, 10:04 p.m. CST

    People who see the film as...

    by chaplinatemyshoe

    glorifying a ruthless emperor don't get irony. I guess Shakespeare was pro Richard III, and Bruno Ganz played Hitler because the Fuher was a personal hero of his. OR maybe the movie was using the Chrysanthemum Festival as an ironic backdrop for a standard tragedy piece. I mean, overall, I thought the movie was weak compared to Hero or House of Flying Daggers (which feel more and more like companion pieces back to back with their mirror opposite views on human will vs. collective good), but it's still the kind of movie that Yimou seems to do better than anybody else right now.

  • Jan. 18, 2007, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Needs a Western director

    by Dazzler69

    I thought the movie was very visually appealing but the story sucks and dragged. The fights were great but silly (the whole army gets mowed down by arrow fire). A Western director even Ang Lee would hash out a better and smoother story with a better ending than this. There was no surprise ending or it was too predictable at the end. Maybe that's what they like in the East?

  • Jan. 19, 2007, 10:47 a.m. CST

    dazzler 69 you racist twat

    by Seph_J

    No surprise ending? oh no... must be a rubbish film! Moron. EVEN Ang Lee? why do you say EVEN? Ang Lee is a better director than you, you asshole. "Maybe that's what they like in the East?" What the fuck does that mean? go fuck yourself. Then die.

  • Jan. 22, 2007, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Screw Ball-and-Chain

    by vertigirl

    Sickle-and-Chain FOR THE WIN! And Gong Li's cleavage. And Chow Yun Fat's badassery. And rebellion scenes that are more massacre than battle. And one kick-ass review (thanks for the amusement Harry!) For the lose? Racial twats and haters!

  • Feb. 6, 2007, 1:47 p.m. CST

    The problem with the Shakespeare comparison

    by Tesarta

    ... is that there is a much better comparison to be made, and one which far more effectively explains why films like this have the complex and meandering plots that they have. Three Kingdoms (commonly known in the West as "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"). That one epic book is "China's Shakespeare" and a lot of the narrative devices and structures of Chinese cinema come from it. Meandering irrelevant subplots with multiple loose ends? Westerners would think so, yes, because we're used to a different style of storytelling. But once you read Three Kingdoms a lot of stylistic and narrative choices start to make much more sense.

  • Feb. 8, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST

    best bitch-slap in Asian cinema HISTORY

    by captainCAPSLOCK

    movie had some great cleavage, and the Emperor slapped his youngest _silly_ like a true pimp "KAPROW!" BUT the ending was hot garbage.

  • March 2, 2007, 9:06 a.m. CST

    wicked yet graceful

    by ibbster

    curse of the golden flower is an amazing movie. chow yun fat is an amazing actor and has deleivered a spectacular preformance

  • March 5, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Colorful Piece of Crap

    by curtis3martin

    I saw Curse. I was SO dissapointed. It was beautiful, but also ridiculous. Just a big soap opera with some REALLY bad acting. People were laughing in the theater I saw it in. And the computer generated armies have become a parody of themselves. I can't decide if the thing sucked more because it was too stilted and stylized to be taken seriously as a drama, or because it wasn't stilted and stylized enough to be interesting in a Beijin Opera kind of way. Flying Daggers is the only successful film of Zhang Yimou's Crouching Tiger ripoff trilogy.

  • March 6, 2007, 5:40 a.m. CST

    curtis3martin, I still read this talkback...

    by Seph_J

    ... so don't think you can write shit like that and get away with it. You are clearly a moron and I won't waste much of my time. First you contradict yourself. Did you think the film was 'stilted and stylized' or not? You say it was and it wasn't. Idiot. Also, how much 'Bejin Opera' have you seen? Enough to dismiss it as stilted? Im intrigued as to how many Beijing Opera's you have seen. 'Crouching Tiger Ripoff Trilogy'.... if you read my review, posted above some time ago, you will see how inaccurate it is. To an idiotic typical western tosser like yourself, I suppose any film with asians as the lead characters are all ripoff's of each other right? So 'Hero' is a ripoff of 'Ringu', and 'Curse' is a blatant ripoff of 'Seven Samurai'....right? You are a dick. You aren't quite as racist as Dazzler69, but the thoughts that your words imply certainly place you in the same category of fucktard. Enough.

  • March 29, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Gerard Bulter to Star in the remake

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    seriously, there is no real solid resolution to this movie. The victory that Gong Li experiences is an act of defiance at the end of the movie. This is not a bad movie, it is just not a great one either...

  • March 31, 2007, 2:36 a.m. CST

    awww, darfur.... did the final shot confuse you?

    by Seph_J

    what a shame. I suppose every film needs to have a crane shot as the films hero walks away into the distance right? Any film without this comes into the 'no real solid resolution' category right. Mate, this film had a sold resolution. It is a great film.

  • May 3, 2007, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Last

    by Quintus_Arrius

    !

  • May 16, 2007, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Why... thank you!

    by Quintus_Arrius

    !

  • May 20, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Hey, I'm sorry man..

    by Quintus_Arrius

    My bad.

  • May 21, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I gladly accept.

    by Quintus_Arrius

    Thanks for the invite. I was bored at home one day (recovering from illness) and decided to just cruise around and look at some archives. I was convinced I was the only one posting on old stories until I saw the mighty Orcus! Drives my wife up the wall sometimes although she is fascinated with how geeky we are. So where are you based? And who are the 'others' I should be looking out for? I am a Brit based in London so the 'zone' is beyond my understanding. What 'time zone' do you currently exist in? Hail the Conspicuous Time travelers! (Sounds like a good title of a geeky sci-fi movie)

  • Aug. 8, 2007, 6:43 a.m. CST

    do you get a card when you are in

    by just pillow talk

    Time Travelers Society? :-) <p>By the way, this movie was okay. I'd say my opinion of the movie falls somewhere between curtis3martin and Seph_J's. It was good but not great.