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Confucius (DVD/Blu-ray Combo)
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If you don't speak Mandarin and must rely on the English subtitles, be warned that most of the time the subtitles are mangled and do not stay on screen long enough to read. The challenge is to read the subtitle while keeping an eye on the stunning visuals.
This movie is an epic equal to Cleopatra, Moses or Sparticus. However, if you expect a potboiler, you won't get one--not all the time. This movie was filmed for a Chinese/Asian audience and their tastes are not as shallow as what most Americans prefer so there are slow but meaningful scenes that I'm sure are there for people to actually think. I'm sure the Chinese didn't want to ruin the movie by letting Hollywood get hold of it.
The DVD I bought and watched had a photo of Confucius with a beautiful woman on the cover. They must have added her to the cover for the Western audience since she is a beauty. However, in the movie, she plays a minor role and is assassinated for being too smart and wanting too much power in a violent world dominated by men, who are busy killing each other. She doesn't have much screen time. In fact, there are not that many women in the movie.
From what I know of Confucius, the movie showed him close to who he must have been--an honorable man who wanted to bring peace to a war-torn land and end the people's suffering. Like Moses, he spent more than a decade wondering the country in search of someone who would listen besides the rag-tag band of students who stuck to him like glue. If anything, we could learn something about dedication and loyalty from this band and their master.
I recommend this movie to anyone interested in China.
All of this brings me to CONFUCIUS. History tells me that Confucius is one of China's most revered and beloved scholars. He's known for being a skilled orator, quick with a reflective phrase, mentally adept with a command of didactic language. He was a sought after by leaders to provide counsel on a whole host of matters, from military engagements to advice in private affairs of state. What emerges from this motion picture, however, is befuddling, at best.
According to the box art: "In this sweeping battlefield epic, Confucius finds his lands threatened by the fires of war. After leading the nation's most powerful army to victory against hordes of invaders, the new hero finds even greater danger in the jealous eyes of the aristocrats he fought to protect.Read more ›
Unfortunately, I do not understand Chinese, so like the other reviewers, I am reduced to reading subtitles. There are "double subtitles," too. Some subtitles are incorporated into the film that provide historical background, another set of subtitles provide dialogue translations at the very bottom of the screen, and, yes, they move a bit quickly and can appear simultaneously, so you might miss things the first time through. Fortunately, the film is worthy of multiple viewings, so don't worry about this too much. The two scenes that impressed me the most were a dialogue between Lao Tzu and Confucius, probably inspired by the Chuang Tzu, shot as a dream sequence, as the two of them probably never met and the actual existence of Lao Tzu still a subject of debate, and the death of Yan Hui, one of Confucius' favorite disciples, who loses his life trying to save books from a lake.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this to be a great movie. From the start, it evokes the ancient times of constant warfare and the philosophical problems of endless social conflict he aimed at solving. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul Connors
I bought this movie, just because I wanted to see Chow Yun Fat in more movies. It was a good story and Chow does awesome job. If you like Chow, you should see this movie. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Aradiel
Chow Yun-Fat is at his BEST! I am used to seeing him in action movies but this drama allowed him to expand his genre of character roles. Read morePublished 12 months ago by High Hurdles
If you have any respect for your money, forget this movie it puts you to sleep withing the first 10 minutes then it gets worse!Published 13 months ago by Unhappy fellow
A very good movie but hard to follow. I plan to watch again. The subtitles left a lot of the conversations untranslated. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Buyer90630
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