House of Flying suxxors

This movie was awful. The first half was amazingly predicable, but at lea it was emotionally involving. The second half had so many “twists” that I’m still not sure what the point of the whole thing was. At the end, it seems to have made no sense at all.

And, it being a Chinese epic, I wanted to smack all the characters at the end and tell them to wake up and stop acting like spoiled children. Sorry.

OK, I’ve calmed down a bit.

  1. The film is fantastically pretty. I’m serious. I’ talking thousand-watt sun OH-MY-GORD this is pretty pretty.

  2. The plot makes no sense.

Mega-Spoiler:

Everyone has a secret undercover job in the film. And I do mean everyone. Every character you hear named has a secret identity save one who appears for 5 seconds at the end of the movie.

which means

The whole thing was an elaborate farce. If they were trying to lure the government soldiers into a trap, it seems like they were really complicated about it. And the end implies that the government forces got them anyway. Why they didn’t just take their super-dagger technique and go for it I don’t know. They can apparently kill 6 people at once apeice from cover from arrow-shot range almost without fail.

And the characters

Have this elaborate love triangle which doesn’t get revealed until the last act. And they’re all mopey over it in a disgusting way, then kill each other.

I didn’t finish watching it, but I agree that it was visually stunning.

its a chinese folk tale…get out and give another culture a chance.

how would hansel and gretel look to somone who never heard the tale?

and what was so hard to figure out about the plot? existing government vrs revolutionaries? (wtf is that spelled right?)

Awful movie. The plot makes no sense, the characters make no sense, the fight-scenes are overly-choreographed to the point that they no longer in any way resemble combat, and the story just stands there. Plus, what’s-her-face annoys me.

BTW, I liked CTHD a lot and LOVED Hero.

I wasn’t even sure that this was the case. We never see the supposed revolutionaries doing anything except planting double agents. Heck, we don’t even see them actually hurting the government. As near as I can tell, all they did was fling knives at soldiers who came around. We never get any sense of why th government is after them, or what they want, nor nothin’. They’re a total macguffin, but not in a good way.

CTHD and Hero share those qualities as well, what made them enjoyable for you where HoFD fails?

I’ll come in as apparantly the sole lover of the movie. I knew what to expect going in though, I’m a big fan of Chinese wire-fu morality plays.

The heart-wrenching whininess is typical of these movies though, as is the predictably tragic ending. Aside from Jackie Chan movies, where everyone has a Disneyesque happily ever after resolution, most Chinese kung fu movies have lovers dying, heros dying, horses dying, children dying…you can’t have quality revenge and angst otherwise.

SPOILERS, unboxed

I thought it was quite good as well, although I thought that the length to which Mei survived with a dagger sticking in her heart got silly.

It was not as good as Hero, which was magnificent.

–Cliffy

I just watched this film last week and for whatever reason I had to watch it over a period of 4 days because of my schedule.
Like others have said, it’s a beautiful looking film.
But because I saw it in 4 installments i’ll give my quick review-

First 30 minutes- This looks to be pretty good like expected. Pretty straight forward.
Next 30 minutes- Wow, some plot twists to go along with the action. This is getting good.
Next 30 minutes- This is fantastic. I can’t wait to see how they rap all this up.
Last 30 minutes- Meh. That ending was fairly sappy and too slow moving and trying to be too artsy for me. Snow?

I thought it was pretty awful, too. It’s the supermodel of kung fu flicks: pretty, but stupid. By the end of the movie, I was just laughing at it. I was expecting someone’s horse to suddenly reveal that all along it had secretly been a mule. I found most of the characters uninteresting, and deeply, deeply stupid. And the action scenes were poorly edited, with many glaring continuity errors.

Some specific problems I had: what the hell were the rebels rebelling against? Why should I care that they succeed or fail? What are their grievances? Are they a legitimate revolutionary front, or just a bunch of terrorists? And WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENS TO THEM AT THE END? We see a shot of government forces closing in on their headquarters… and then nothing. We never go back to find out if they got arrested, slaughtered, escaped, or were victorious.

“Leave the knife in. It will make your cover more believable. Now go back to your secret identity. I have no doubts about your loyalty to the rebellion, despite the fact that you’re a would-be rapist whose lover has deserted you and whose boss has literally stabbed you in the back. You still seem perfectly trustworthy to me.”

The “spear cage” that captures the two leads in the bamboo forest.

The aforementioned surprisingly non-mortal knife in the heart.

Meh. Hero was twice as good as this, and CTHD twice as good as Hero.

I qwouldn’t call this one much of a morality play. What’s the moral? Everyone’s a lying bastard?

Yes, you can. Tragedy isn’t about mass slaughter; the Chinese substitute quantity for quality there. Even in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,

The girl’s suicide at the end was only marginally acceptable as a tragic ending. All in all, it was mostly a pathetic waste

Tragedy isn’t made up of people dying; it’s people dying for cause that doesn’t work out, or even people living for a cause that doesn’t work out. Death isn’t tragic. It’s sometimes sad, but not tragic.

“What’ve you got?”

“To be free…without being hassled by the man!” A story as old as China.

Yes and yes…all revolutionaries are terrorists to the government in power.

You shouldn’t really, the politics and revolution aspect was just a framework to set up a love story. It is a morality play in the sense that the struggle is between dedication to duty and empire vs “twoo wuv”. Not terribly original, I’ll agree, but still very well done.

Okay, then why should I care about the lovers? I’ve got no idea what sort of people they are, because for 90% of the movie, they’re all pretending to be someone else! Sorry, but I’ve seen better love stories in television commercials.

HoFD is like a 5.5 outta 10… the cinematography is excellent, the costumes are gorgeous… the movie looks great.

But I have to agree that, even for Chinese stories, the crossed-lovers-who-kill-each-other-to-win-the-girl-who-kills-herself story is pretty lame. I’m a big fan of asian cinema, and I can attest that Critical1 is correct, this isn’t that weird for the culture. But that doesn’t make it good.

Shakespeare, for example, is fond of having all his plots tied up with a family… the son wants to kill the uncle who killed his father so he can marry his own mother thereby enabling him to have royal incest with his sister while she plots blah blah blah… I hate those types of stories, too.

I echo the comments above also: I will never understand how she survived so long with that knife in her, nor will I ever understand how it came to be snowing.

Good looking film, but only for the die-hard Hong Kong fans to own, even at $10/dvd.

CTHD is still the best martial arts film, as well as one of the finest films, that I’ve ever seen.

suxxors???

Hero, for me anyway, is all about the spectacle. It’s just beautiful to watch, even though I could take or leave the plot. House of Flying Daggers didn’t have anything on that scale – there was the drum echo game scene, which was excellent, and then a bunch of riding through plains and woods on horseback.

And Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had the spectacle, plus intrigue and characters that had a lot more depth. It still had the feel of a Chinese folk story, but without having characters that were ciphers – you really knew what was driving all of them, even Jade Fox.

It’s not just that everybody died, it’s that everybody died for no real reason. House of Flying Daggers is even more shallow than the Jackie Chan movies you mention, because there’s never any chance to get attached to any of the characters. They do things because some predictable plot orders them to, not out of any genuine emotion. The love story (or stories) were just as pointless and meaningless as the betrayals and twists, with no weight to any of it.

What pisses me off the most is that I have two copies of the damn movie now. I got it on UMD as my first “let’s see what movies look like on the Sony PSP” experiment, and was so impressed with the echo dance scene that I wanted to see it full-screen, and I bought the DVD. Which sucked.

I agree with the general sentiment here: visually stunning, bad otherwise.

And, for the record, none of my Chinese friends had a higher opinion of it, so I doubt it’s a cultural-misunderstanding-thing.

There’s a user-name joke in there somewhere…I know it…

Y’all bring up very good points, and I agree that CTHD and Hero are both better overall plot and storywise, but I still enjoyed it as a well done wuxia movie, my only gripe being that it was a bit one-dimensional on the plot.

it came to be snowing because the fight between the 2 guys was supposed to be an epic battle, they fought for literal seasons.

it didnt translate well but thats my take on it.

I liked the flick, not my favorite but it was worth the price of admitance. I mean give me Zhang Xiyi over another dumbass lame cookie cutter American film any day.

of course I watch CThD about once or twice a year…only saw HoFD the one time.

That was my impression too. I can accept that movie characters might have magical powers, but these guys were practically minor deities. A battle between minor deities is very difficult to do in live action without looking cheesy.