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December 24, 2004

House of the Snoring Filmgoers

I liked Hero (though it went on about 30 minutes too long). I think Zhang Ziyi is beautiful. The reviews have been favorable, so I got a group of folks together yesterday to head out to see House of the Flying Daggers.

It was terrible. It was unremittingly dull. It's about 20 minutes worth of movie stretched out over two hours. We nearly considered leaving mid-way.

I mean, if you like extended shots of people on horses, this is the movie for you. The director makes very clear that these people are on horses, and are riding them for a very very long time.

But if you want emotion that has any feeling of truth behind it, forget it. And, no, I'm not seeking complexity in this film... But even the simplicity of the plot has no emotional logic, so you end up caught up in a love story that makes no sense.

Anyway, this is a deep deep disappointment of a film. And it's pathetic that otherwise seasoned filmgoers (i.e., The Critics) would get snowed over by the cinematography to the point that they seem to forget they're watching a movie, not staring at a painting. Carla Meyer is an exception, summing it up as "Beautiful but hollow."

Posted by peterme at December 24, 2004 05:36 PM


Wow, that's a shame. I thought Hero was a touch boring as well. Guess I'll have to go see "The Incredibles" again.

Rent the remake of Zatoichi for a good action movie.

Posted by: Andrew at December 24, 2004 10:36 AM

I literally just got back from seeing this movie and wish I had read your review first! I agree -- I liked Hero (tho it went on too long, it was pretty to watch) and the East Bay Express named Flying Daggers one of the 10 best movies of this year, better than Hero, and the most beautiful movie ever. Not!

Posted by: Nancy at December 24, 2004 04:53 PM

For some reason, the reviews I read generally suggested this to be true (I do have the benefit of hearing the HK reviews as well). Even with Hero, I felt was already more visual art than story. Thanks for confirming my suspicions. It hasn't come out over here yet and sadly, I'll probably still spend the money to see it.

Posted by: Kevin Cheng at December 25, 2004 06:06 PM

I liked it better than Zaitochi or Hero. The bamboo forest sequence really jazzed me. I hated Zaitochi and thought Hero was at most "okay."

But I agree that this film is overrated.

Posted by: Steve Portigal at December 28, 2004 08:29 AM