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December 29, 2004


Well, my tolerance for long, melodramatic Wu Xia remains undiluted. Jean gracefully allowed me to join my friends Tom and Alan downtown this afternoon/evening to see a theatrical screening of House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou's second Wu Xia movie, after Hero.

Turns out that there were a couple other people I recognized as well. James was there, with his friend Jeremy (and one other guy I confess I didn't recognize). So we had a little crowd in our own row.

All the principals (Takeshi Kaneshiro as Jin, Andy Lau as Leo and Zhang Ziyi as Mei) were great. The action sequences were fun, sometimes lyrical, and almost always over the top, though usually more polished and believable than in classic flying people movies like Deadful Melody. In the last few years, the bar seems to have been raised for credible special effects and martial arts stunts. I'd credit Storm Riders and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for this shift, though what do I know?

This seems to be my week for seeing movies about blind martial artists, as Zhang Ziyi plays a blind daughter of a now dead revolutionary. Or is she really blind? Zatoichi had folks asking the same thing...

Posted by dpwakefield at December 29, 2004 09:04 PM


I dunno, the blind thing wasn't all that unpredictable, at least to me.

Posted by: Kylanath at January 4, 2005 09:02 AM

Okay, maybe I was predisposed to be credulous by having watched Zatoichi first. I almost wrote a spoiler here, but suffice to say, he's a demon with a sword, and some characters question his blindness, which is played with in three end scenes...

Posted by: Don Wakefield at January 4, 2005 09:24 AM