The House of Flying Daggers

Just got back from seeing this. I have to admit, the director kept surprising me at the end. Good movie, probably going to buy the DVD. Don’t know whether or not the comparisions to Crouching Tiger are fair to either movie. Has anyone else seen this?

Saw it. LOVED the cinematography and set design. The actors were stunning and the martial arts choreography wonderful. The melodramatic plot was find for the most part, but it ended a little blah. Given the rest of the movie, I can live with that.

Similar in genre to Crouching Tiger from an epic, no apologies for telling a good vs. evil melodrama that is well done standpoint, but Flying Daggers was more about the relationships and Crouching Tiger was more about honor…

Zhang Ziyi is in it. Say no more.

Yes, Zhang Ziyi just gets more and more beautiful every time she’s photographed.

Could have done without the downer ending that seems to be de rigeur for this kind of film, though. I half-expected to see Elmer Fudd in Viking horns and carrying Bugs Bunny, who would then lift his head and say “so what did you expect, anyway? A happy ending?”

It’s twue, it’s twue.

I liked the first part of the movie for the reasons stated, but the end sucked.

I don’t mind about the friends turning against each other and Mei dying, but the last fight went way beyond ridiculous into just plain stupid territory. Yeah, I know, all the characters can make huge graceful leaps and fight from the tops of bamboo stalks, but you seriously expect me to believe the guys fought continuously for months in the same spot, through a change of season and into a raging snowstorm? These are supposedly normal people, or even highly talented and trained people, but not demigods. And then, when Jin and Leo finally start actually spilling each other’s blood artistically across the snow, Mei gets up from her not-quite-fatal wound received back in the fall? Come on already.

Sturmhauke, I didn’t interpret it that way. I just assumed that there was a very rapid change in the weather accompanied by a very fierce snowstorm.

[spoiler]I thought the movie started out well (and it goes without saying that the entire thing is beautiful) but dragged in the middle and sort of sucked at the end. I was looking forward to seeing the battle between the soldiers and the HoFD.

I also thought the whole thing was kind of repetetive. How many times did what’s-his-face save Mei?

Glad I saw it, but probably not something I’ll get on DVD.[/spoiler]

I own the movie. I thought the ending was silly, too, but I definitely liked it better than Hero - more actual fights, and less playing with the buttons on the camera during the fights.

And I am totally in love with both of the male actors. The younger one is half Korean half Japanese I think, and the combination makes him very handsome, I think. When he’s in the brothel he gives a certain look to the camera that i just adore. The elder is an actor that’s been around for a while and actually has quite a bit of talent.

I nominate House of Flying Daggers for the position of Best Comic Book Movie ever.

Not that I’m suggesting that it came from a comic book. I’m saying that it is a comic book, and a comic book done properly. It’s the first movie I’ve seen that really understood the physics of comics and put that onto the screen.

Scene after scene shows this. The Echo Dance, not just for the nuts (or whatever they were) bouncing off of multiple drums but for Mei brandishing a sword at the end of a 15-foot piece of silk. The flying daggers in completely flat arcs that race across countrysides, bounce off several objects and still hit their targets. Or spin around a thicket of bamboo stakes and lop off the entire circle of them. Jin shooting off four arrows that not only caught up to one another so that they hit their targets simultaneously, but pin them to the ground without doing any damage. That’s Green Arrow/Hawkeye territory.

The surprise revelations of who’s who and what they mean are delicious comic book plotting as well.

The final fight that turns the weather from fall to winter is more fairy tale than comic book, but it serves the same purpose - visuals defining the story. As is Mei’s rising from the seeming dead to play a decisve role in the ending.

I think Hero is still the better movie. Although the visuals in Dagger were often stunning, they didn’t compare to those in Hero, not were they used as thematically crucial pieces of the storyline. But Dagger is a wonderful movie in many ways. And I never want to hear anyone praise the crude, boring, and ugly swordplay of Kill Bill ever again.