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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Dragon Inn is one of my favorite movies (Maggie Cheung!). This is a sequel of sorts with much of the action taking place in the same inn. References are made to the first film, and there are some similarities in the plots. I'm a great fan of HK martial arts films, and this one satisfied in every respect, story, cinematography (3D!), acting and action. Tsui Hark directed...
Published on April 25, 2012 by William Bolton

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted and bogged down by sloppy special effects
It's been 23 years since Jet Li has worked with Tsui Hark and you'd expect something with better results or at least a final product that doesn't feel so cluttered. At times, it's difficult to distinguish the difference between the heroes and the villains. During the time of the Ming Dynasty, the emperor's eunuchs came into power and divided themselves into the East...
Published on October 7, 2012 by C. Sawin


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, April 25, 2012
By 
William Bolton (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
Dragon Inn is one of my favorite movies (Maggie Cheung!). This is a sequel of sorts with much of the action taking place in the same inn. References are made to the first film, and there are some similarities in the plots. I'm a great fan of HK martial arts films, and this one satisfied in every respect, story, cinematography (3D!), acting and action. Tsui Hark directed. Jet Li did much of the heavy lifting in the action department, but all of the actors and actresses made significant contributions. The ladies are very lovely and very lethal. (Would we want them any other way?) This is being billed as the first HK actioner in 3D, and the 3D is used very effectively. The same 3D cameras James Cameron uses were used filming this apparently. Another first I'm sure is a fight sequence inside a tornado. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that before. So, to sum up, the film is highly recommended if you're into this kind of movie or if you're looking for a good addition to your 3D collection.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't disappoint!, May 25, 2012
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I watched the original New Dragon Gate Inn a long time ago and that was a great film as well with excellent actors back then. Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen...the original had an amazing cast with some solid actors that it'd be hard to outdo it. I wasn't sure what to expect with this version going in but I figured it wouldn't be exactly the same. I much prefer the story line of this one. It was similar in some areas but not really. There were characters in this version that wasn't present in the original but it was done well. The film was beautifully shot with some wonderful scenic views and was just pretty to watch. I had the Blu-ray so the movie was super crisp and clear. I didn't realize that this movie was filmed in 3d at first but the effects were still great in 2d. You can definitely tell how it will look in 3d in some areas but the CGI was done very well. I watched a ton of Asian cinema growing up since I'm Asian, and I love wuxia movies. I love face-paced sword fighting and there was a lot of that in this movie as well as a lot of knife throwing, which is my kind of movie . I watched pretty much all of Jet Li's movies and he does a great job as always in this one. He is probably the most recognized name, however, the supporting actors are all actors that i recognize In other movies from mainland China films so it was a great cast. This was directed by Tsui Hark so you know it's going to be a good film. It's definitely one of the better movies that have come out in 2011 and I was so excited to order it off Amazon. Definitely would recommend this as well as the original so you can compare the differences and enjoy them both!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular 3D Presentation!!!!, December 12, 2012
This review is from: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Viewing Equipment: Epson 3010 3D PJ on a 92" Da-Lite screen. I just got done watching this and it blew my mind! The Chinese just schooled most American film makers and studios on how to really use 3D in a live-action movie. The only live action film that I have watched so far in 3D that this is comparable to is Avatar. Avatar has more jaw dropping visuals in 3D, but the action scenes in this film are truly spectacular and have to be seen to be believed. I would have loved to have watched this in Imax 3D. Holy smokes that must have been awesome!

The most negative thing about this movie is that the story telling is lacking at times leaving the viewer somewhat confused as to what is going on. The central premise of the plot remains the same throughout, so that helps. Unlike what the official Blu-ray.com reviewer alluded to; Jet Li has a solid supporting role in this film. He isn't the main star, but he is in a large portion of the film. This movie is very much an ensemble action piece. My big complaint with most 3D films is that they are conversions and aren't shot in native 3D. If you are going to charge a significant premium for 3D content than shoot the dang movies in native 3D, don't convert it! When I see Blu-Ray 3D conversions at retail stores and on-line being sold for $35-$40 I feel sick to my stomach. For every great conversion there are 10 that are just OK and nothing special. I have never understood professional reviewers who refer to pop-outs in 3D as gimmicky. 3D is all about utilizing the technology to tell your story and take it to a level that isn't otherwise possible and that includes scenes with objects that extend beyond the screen. Films that use the technology to only display depth are missing a real opportunity in most cases. Not taking advantage of what 3D is capable of is like having an exotic sports car and never testing its limits.

Once this movie got rolling I didn't want it to stop. Keep in mind that this movie is very much fantasy with characters flying around and doing things with super human strength very much like a comic book. Ghosting was an issue at times with the subtitles I was reading since the English dub just wasn't that great as usual so I left the English subtitles turned on for most of the film. The PQ, AQ, and 3D are an easy 5.0 on this release. If you own a 3D display, order this thing today! It's worth every penny and you will want to show it to your friends. It has a lot of replay value. Highly recommended!!!!!!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted and bogged down by sloppy special effects, October 7, 2012
This review is from: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It's been 23 years since Jet Li has worked with Tsui Hark and you'd expect something with better results or at least a final product that doesn't feel so cluttered. At times, it's difficult to distinguish the difference between the heroes and the villains. During the time of the Ming Dynasty, the emperor's eunuchs came into power and divided themselves into the East Bureau and the West Bureau. Eunuchs in both bureaus abused their power and were notorious for being some of the most corrupt individuals around, but the West Bureau was the more feared of the two. Stuck in the middle is a vigilante named Zhou Huai'an (Li), a skilled swordsman who rejects both Bureaus and desires order to be restored to the royal throne.

That summary doesn't sound all that complicated, but once Dragon Gate and its innkeepers are introduced along with Zhang Xiao Wen (Kwai Lun-mei) and her tribe and the wandering Gu Shaotang (Li Yuchun) and her traveling partner Wind Blade (Chen Kun) who looks exactly like the head of the West Bureau Yu Huatian (also played by Chen Kun) all while a mysterious woman named Ling Yanqiu (Zhou Xun) does her best to hide a former palace maid who's now pregnant and on the run named Su Huirong (Mavis Fan), things get more than a little convoluted very quickly.

The wuxia film isn't without its strengths though. The cinematography is stunning and is nearly as beautiful and as colorful as "Hero" at times. Colors, specifically reds, blues, and greens, leap off the screen and the extremely elaborate detail of the palace walls or the designs on someone's armor look only better in high definition. Wheat fields by the water, the sepia and dry tones of the desert, and its massive impressive landscapes are just a few examples of the film's incredibly absorbing camera work.

There are at least portions of the screenplay that are well-written; its best moments are in the first half of the film when someone is being threatened with their life. "Give me some wine. Time to taste some pickled body parts," and Yu Huatian's speech about how he'll fix the East Bureau's botches are just a few examples.

All of the film's strengths are bogged down by its weaknesses though; the most guilty culprit being the wuxia itself. Most wuxia films are out of control as everyone is flying around with superhuman abilities that just leap over the line that divides the possible from the impossible. Many of the action sequences come off as goofy and extremely overzealous. If that isn't enough, the special effects will get to you.

Half the time, the people bouncing around the screen are completely computer generated and it's not even well done CG. Things like drops of blood and tables float in the air during the most heated battles. Add that along with everyone flying about and it's as if some weird anti-gravity setting was established for everyone but purposely left you in the dark about it. The entire second half of the film revolves around this massive sandstorm at Dragon Gate and these really bizarre looking yet menacing storm clouds. It sounds like it has potential, but nearly everything in the last hour is noticeably done in front of a green screen.

Having at least part of the final battle take place inside one of the several tornados caused by this sandstorm sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it? It turns out to be one of those ideas that sounds a hell of a lot better on paper as the execution comes off looking really cheap.The CG gets more and more heavy as the film progresses and it seems like things only get more and more ridiculous; not only visually but structurally as well.

In the middle of all this is this really bizarre, "let's play hard to get for three years and act like we don't need each other" love story between Zhou and Ling. Then the ending rolls around and just kind of leaves you hanging without much closure on most of the characters. Imagine hanging out with your best friend or significant other and your siblings, if you have any. The best friend tells you they're going to the store while your siblings say they're off to the park on the other side of town, but you never see any of them ever again. They're still at those locations and are still perfectly healthy. You just never bother seeing them ever again. Pretty crummy way to end a relationship, right?

"Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" looks spectacular during the scenes that were actually filmed traditionally, the screenplay at least seems to start off strong, and much of the action is extremely fast paced, so it's at least able to get your adrenaline pumping at times. Everything seems to crumble apart as soon as you try to compliment it though. The dodgy special effects really put a damper on everything as does the conclusion that doesn't really feel like it resolves much of anything. Although there is some enjoyment to be found in "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate," it's a wuxia film that is mostly very messy in every sense of the word.

Special features include Making of "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" Part 1 (4:48) and Part 2 (9:16), Interviews with Cast and Filmmakers (20:21), Behind the Scenes (32:21), and the trailer. The only difference between the single-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray release of the film is the inclusion of the film in 3-D.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (2.5 STARS) Just an OK Action Film from Jet Li and Hark Tsui, January 30, 2013
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Following the success of "Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame," Hark Tsui went on to make "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" ("Long men fei jia"), a very loose sequel to a 1992 martial arts action film "New Dragon Gate Inn" ("Sun lung moon hak chan") directed by Raymond Lee and written and produced by Hark Tsui. But the more important thing about the director's new film is Jet Li's return to Hark Tsui movie. I still remember the sensational action sequences of Li as Wong Fei-hung in "Once Upon a Time in China" (1991).

I know the comparison is unfair, but still cannot help feeling that "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" is a disappointment. I tried to ignore the film's obvious flaw, a convoluted storyline, having seen so many Hark Tsui movies including "Detective Dee" and thinking I am pretty much accustomed to that. No, he went too far this time. With so many things going on at the same time, I just couldn't follow the story.

Set in the Ming Dynasty, "New Dragon Gate Inn" follows a group of characters, mostly warriors with swords, who arrive at the eponymous inn in the desert when a massive sandstorm is about to hit.

The story is often confusing with too many characters (with Kun Chen playing a double role), but what really disappointed me is action. First, after the impressive opening action set-piece opposite veteran Chia Hui Liu, Jet Li's swordsman Zhao (played by Tony Leung Ka Fai in the original) is practically absent from the story only to come back much later.

Besides the underused Jet Li, "New Dragon Gate Inn," made with a 3D release in mind, suffers one major problem: overuse of visual effects. The production design is wonderful, and so is the costume, but if you want some creative and ingenious action sequence that occurs every few minutes, sorry, you just don't get that.

It seems Hark Tsui is more interested in computer graphics than martial arts choreography. It's his decision and I know I should respect that. I don't say the film is a letdown. It is just OK, but I just don't want an OK action film from Jet Li and Hark Tsui.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li, December 20, 2012
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This review is from: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Jet Li is back in this sequel to Dragon Gate Inn. The story is very good the Kung Fu and Sword Play were amazing. Check this one out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars action movies, December 16, 2012
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This review is from: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (DVD)
recommended for people who likes another view of action thrillers. it is done masterfully especially the fighting scenes and the story behind it. perfect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this movie!, December 9, 2012
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I do have a bias though... I love most of Jet Li's movies... have watched quite a few of them... because I love kung fu movies....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying Swords 3D blu ray, June 15, 2012
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This is labeled as region free. I am in the US. I have a Panasonic 3D player and a Toshiba 3D tv. The main feature played fine. Trailer #1 played fine. I did not try trailer #2. When trying to play the other extras, such as behind the scenes/interviews, I got audio only, and the on screen message "unsupported video signal". Now I do have an Insignia player, a few years old, that I have been able to watch "region free" Dr Who and Torchwood blu rays on successfully. This did play the behind the scenes extras without any problems. So just be aware if you order this, there is a good chance that you may not be able to see the extras, depending upon your 3d player and tv.
As for the movie, it was great. The 3D effects were better than most US 3D movies I have watched, and I have seen dozens now. Looking forward to them making another one of these. Keep in mind that there is no English audio, however the show is just as watchable using the English subtitles, and I don't feel the subtitles detracted from the movie any anyway.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inoperable, March 18, 2013
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Purchased this NEW 3D bluray movie but it would not play on my new Panasonic 3D player (with 3D projector) or my friend's LG. Movie package says A coded, and this is the only disc my player could not play. Bummed out.
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Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray]
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate [Blu-ray] by Hark Tsui (Blu-ray - 2012)
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