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House of Flying Daggers

474 customer reviews

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(Apr 19, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

"Prepare your eyes for popping," in this "martial-arts fireball that throws in a lyrical love story, head spinning fights and dazzling surprises" (Rolling Stone). "A gorgeous entertainment" (A.O. Scott, New York Times). Mei is an exotic, beautiful blind dancer, associated with a dangerous revolutionary gang, known as the House of Flying Daggers. Captured by officers of the decadent Tang Dynasty, Mei finds herself both threatened - and attracted - to the most unusual circumstances. Here, her heart and loyalties battle each other, amid warriors in the treetops and dazzling combat - the likes of which have never before been seen!

Special Features

  • Commentary with actor Ziyi Zhang and director Zhang Yimou
  • Creating the Visual Effects featurette
  • "Making of" featurette
  • Theme Song 'Lovers' Music Video
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
  • Costumes Gallery
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Previews

Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Lau, Dandan Song, Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro
  • Directors: Yimou Zhang, Zhang Yimou
  • Producers: Yimou Zhang, William Kong
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Anamorphic, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Q6VXC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,290 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "House of Flying Daggers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

252 of 285 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2004
Soon following the success of 'Hero,' director Yimou Zhang made another film featuring beautiful Zhang Ziyi. One of the good news for Zhang Ziyi fans (including me) is that 'House of Flying Daggers' features her almost all through the film. And this time director's stress is clearly given to the romantic side of the story -- and as if to match his intention, 'House' looks more beautiful, colorful, and gorgeous, than 'Hero.' And there are actions, and some of them are quite unique.

The film is set in 859 AD, last days of the now corrupt Tang Dynasty in China. One underground sect called House of Flying Daggers are openly challenging the authority of the government, and to crush these rebels, two officers Jin -- also known 'The Wind' (Takeshi Kaneshiro, 'Chunking Express') and Leo (Andy Lau, 'Infernal Affairs') think of a good plan.

Jin goes to meet a blind courtesan Mei (Zhang Ziyi), who is suspected to be connected with the secret clan, and he gains the confidence of this beautiful dancer by some tricks -- tricks meaning 'love.' Make her love you, and you get her secret. Hopefully she will lead Jin to the hiding place of the 'House of Flying Daggers,' but before the plan starts, Leo warns Jin: 'Don't fall in love for real.' But who can resist Mei's beauty? Or Zhang Ziyi's for that matter?

The rest of the story is very melodramatic, and the film sometimes needs a good amount of suspension of disbelief (especially for Western audiences, I'm afraid). But, though melodramatic, it is aptly so, as this is basically about a romance, or a love story. Those who love the romantic mood in films would understand what I say. It's all about the tension and mood, and 'House' has lots of them.
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236 of 271 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Lerch TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2006
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Since none of the other reviews for this movie seem to focus on the Blu-Ray disc, I decided I'll throw my $.02 in.

The movie is a very good, well told story. The other reviews tell you that. What they don't tell you is that the Blu-Ray version is a waste of money.

The first issue I had when playing the movie was the menu. Something told me that when the menu come on and it looked no better than DVD that something was amiss. I had hoped it was just the menu. I was wrong.

I then started the movie up with subtitles and when the actual movie started I raised my hand to my head and began to scratch it. The video looked HORRIBLE. Pixelated and blurry and lacking detail.

I paused the movie just before the drum scene. I then put the DVD into my Oppo 971 DVD player, switched the input on my TV to the DVD player and skipped to the same scene on the DVD. I was amazed. The DVD upconverted to 720p using the Oppo 971 looked BETTER than the 1080p image coming from the PS3 through HDMI! The only difference is that the PS3's image is a bit brighter. This may be because I haven't calibrated the color for the HDMI input and not a true representation of the transfer.

The sound is really good, but not a whole lot better than the DVD. It certainly isn't worth the price to upgrade to Blu-Ray when the sound nearly imperceptibly changes and the video looks this bad.

Looking at reviews on-line for the disc and given they were giving the movie decent video ratings, I thought it may be a problem with my setup, so I called Sony's PS3 support line and basically was told that as long as my other movies looked good (Corpse Bride looks simply stunning in Blu-Ray) that it was likely the way the movie was authored.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By ourlakelife on January 17, 2005
If you have not seen Hero, HOFD stands on its own for its gorgeous art direction alone. If you have seen Hero, you must see HOFD, because HOFD is a perfect contrast to Hero; "Hero" cannot be complete without HOFD. Both films are about sacrifice. So what set them apart?

While the message in "Hero" can be interpreted as "the greater goods outweigh the individual needs", the message in HOFD can be deciphered as "the individual needs outweigh the greater goods".

In "Hero", Nameless and Broken Sword gave up their plan to assassinate the emperor (thus giving up not only their desire to avenge personal hatred but also their individual happiness) because they realized that the power of the emperor might be the best solution to end the dreadful pains and suffers resulting from the a tangle of warring states.

In HOFD, Mei and Jin eventually chose to give up their mission to serve their respective political entity and instead, pursue their individual happiness and freedom.

In both movies, the outcomes are the same. No matter choosing the greater goods or individual needs ahead of everything, the individual cannot escape from suffering. In "hero", sacrifice of the individual dreams leads to the broken hearts. In HOFD, sacrifice of the greater goods leads to amplify the conflict of individual emotions (e.g., rejection and jealousy). At the end, the individuals still suffer and death becomes the best way to free it all.

While Yimou Zhang was criticized for the communism dogma in Hero (the importance of the greater good over the individual freedom), HOFD is his brilliant effort to silence the critics. HOFD manifests the unspoken (or relatively hidden) messages of Hero: the individuals' emotional baggage could outweigh everything after all. Humans are just humans. They suffer and search for ways to alleviate their suffering. And Zhang sympathizes with both forms of sufferings.
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