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The Flowers of War [Blu-ray]

346 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From internationally celebrated director Zhang Yimou ( Ju Dou, Raise The Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers ) comes a story of love and war. The dangerous streets of Nanjing throw together a group of opposites - a flock of shell-shocked schoolchildren, a dozen seductive courtesans, and a renegade American (Academy Awardr winner Christian Bale, The Fighter, The Dark Knight) posing as a priest to save his own skin, or so he thinks - all seeking safety behind a walled cathedral. Trapped by marauding soldiers, over the next few days the prejudices and divides between them will fall away as they unite around a last-ditch plan to protect the children from impending catastrophe.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tianyuan Huang, Xiting Han
  • Directors: Yimou Zhang
  • Writers: Geling Yan, Heng Liu
  • Producers: Chaoying Deng, David Linde, Leo Shi Young, Weiping Zhang, William Kong
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Cantonese, English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,415 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Flowers of War [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 139 people found the following review helpful By J. Keating on January 12, 2012
Format: DVD
I will not be a reviewer that drops the whole story on you! I really don't like that, as I think any movie should be judged by the viewer. That being said, This is a movie you must see for yourself! The story does start with a bit of the American cliche on Christian Bale's character, however, after that the story is so very good.

This movie effectively embraces and conveys so many human virtues and flaws in a way I think so many could relate to, and it is beautifully told. This movie is brutal at times and yet delves into the deepest parts of our souls.

The story itself is narrated from the viewpoint of a young Chinese girl involved in what happened. Without giving anything away the set-up is an American mortician is summoned to a Cathedral in Nanking in 1937 (the Rape of Nanking) he poses as a priest in charge of a group of convent schoolgirls, a group of Chinese prostitutes arrive, then the Japanese. No one here is perfect, nor is anyone evil, they are human and behave as such. Some die, all squabble, all want out of the city, sacrifices are made.

The acting is flawless on all parts, the story beautifully told. I guarantee, there will not be a dry eye in the house at the end!

To see a movie this good is a rare gift, embrace it!

Easily, one of the best movies I've ever seen. If you're a fan of Kurosawa, it's up there with his directing.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jay B. Lane TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 27, 2012
Format: DVD
If you've read Iris Chang's non-fiction book "The Rape of Nanking" you have some idea of what horrors to expect. As we know, in 1937 the Japanese invaded China; after conquering Shanghai, they turned their attention to the capitol, Nanking. The result was the slaughter of over 200,000 people.

In this movie, based on the novel by Galing Yan ("Xiu Xiu, the Sent-Down Girl"), we have a fictionalized story in this chaotic setting. We are in a church compound where two groups seek shelter: the first, a dozen convent girls fleeing Japanese soldiers, and the second, a gaggle of "working girls" from a prominent brothel who throw their suitcases over the wall and demand sanctuary. A drunk but frightened Western mortician has come to prepare a priest for burial, and our story begins.....

These were the few actors I could pick out of the cast:
* Christian Bale ("The Dark Knight") is the mortician, boozy and rude; Bale seems to enjoy playing a crude American who laughs in the face of their predicament. He first puts on a priest's robe to avoid Japanese bullets, but by the time he has to bury some of their little group, he isn't quite so blithe.
* Paul Schneider ("Water for Elephants") in a cameo as another American fleeing the massacre, is incredulous that our hero is choosing to stay and try to help his charges escape the city.
* Ni Ni in her screen debut is the lovely self-appointed leader of the prostitutes. None of the women like the "big-nosed" Occidental, but a job is a job.
* Xinyi Zhang ("Love is not Blind") becomes, by default, the leader of the convent girls. She is observant, multi-lingual and expects her father to help them escape.
Read more ›
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Cole on July 11, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I am a huge Christian Bale fan and have been before his mega Blockbusters and Academy Award. To put this out there now I would classify this as a Foreign Film with a great British Actor as the focal point. To be fair this is more of a survival movie than a war movie.It also has some intense scenes with violence directed at females so if that makes you squeamish, I would still recommend the movie, however turn away from said scenes.

This story does not try to overdo itself like many American Films that blow war movies out of proportion. It is not involved with an absurd love story, however hints at it. I cannot compare it to any movie I have seen because it is unlike any other I have viewed and really tugs at your heart strings. The musical score compliments the themes and atmosphere perfectly, with children's choir music to sad traditional Chinese music. The acting in this movie is great! Like many who see this movie, they probably will not identify any of the actors/actresses other than Christian Bale and everyone balances each other out perfectly. (Meaning it isn't one great actor surrounded by bad performances.) Character development in my opinion has the perfect amount. Not delving too far into one particular character, however leaving enough for you to feel connected with the individuals to "feel" for them as individuals.

I will not spoil this movie. I will tell you it is lengthy however it did not seem lengthy while watching it. (Sign of an enjoyable movie) For those who like a good survival movie, sprinkled with different forms of love, war themes, and change of heart stories, Definitely worth the watch!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By brainsickhorror .com on August 12, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
What's it about?

Christian Bale finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan's rape of Nanking in 1937. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

Is it any good?

When it comes to watching films, immediately my expectation changes upon hearing the cast and the director of a film. Therefore, using that logic I expected a film with Christian Bale by Yimou Zhang to be great...and I was not disappointed. The film is primarily shot in a church compound, so don't expect grand war scenes on the scale of `Hero'. Instead, we are treated to some top-notch acting and magnificent storytelling regarding one of the most awful periods of Chinese History. The film is startling in its unrelenting and unflinching accounts of brutality, and also beautiful in the courage displayed by the women with whom the film centres around. Considering the 146 minute run time, the pacing of the film does drag at points, but those who stick with it, should find themselves engrossed from its spectacular beginning, all the way through to its emotionally charged ending.

Best bit?

Although not a war film per se, the scenes which do feature battles are as realistic and intense as they come.

Did you know?

One challenging aspect in making the film, was what Zhang called the "very slow pace" of negotiation with the Chinese censorship authorities during the editing process.
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The Flowers of War [Blu-ray]
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