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House of Flying Daggers [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 500 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"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!

Amazon.com

No one uses color like Chinese director Zhang Yimou--movies like Raise the Red Lantern or Hero, though different in tone and subject matter, are drenched in rich, luscious shades of red, blue, yellow, and green. House of Flying Daggers is no exception; if they weren't choreographed with such vigorous imagination, the spectacular action sequences would seem little more than an excuse for vivid hues rippling across the screen. Government officers Leo and Jin (Asian superstars Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) set out to destroy an underground rebellion called the House of Flying Daggers (named for their weapon of choice, a curved blade that swoops through the air like a boomerang). Their only chance to find the rebels is a blind women named Mei (Ziyi Zhang, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who has some lethal kung fu moves of her own. In the guise of an aspiring rebel, Jin escorts Mei through gorgeous forests and fields that become bloody battlegrounds as soldiers try to kill them both. While arrows and spears of bamboo fly through the air, Mei, Jin, and Leo turn against each other in surprising ways, driven by passion and honor. Zhang's previous action/art film, Hero, sometimes sacrificed momentum for sheer visual beauty; House of Flying Daggers finds a more muscular balance of aesthetic splendor and dazzling swordplay. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Creating the Visual Effects
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Product Details

  • Actors: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Ziyi Zhang
  • Directors: Zhang Yimou
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (500 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EZ7ZYK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,347 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "House of Flying Daggers [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Some people call this movie a 'bad kung-fu flick', one person in particular who posted their review on this movie earlier. I say their wrong. Way wrong. This movie wasn't created to be a world class kung fu flick, but rather to satisfy the desires of the followers of the newest type of motion picture: visual poetry.

This movie relates to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, and I'm sure you can figure out why without even watching it. The visuals are ASTOUNDING and the acting is far from weak. It even features cast members who were in Hero and CTHD.

The music intertwines with the fight scenes to create a breathtaking experience that you couldn't even imagine reading this review. This is one of those movies where 'words can't describe the beauty'. Do yourself a favor and buy this movie (or rent it, if you are one of THOSE people).
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Format: DVD
With visuals adorned by nature's beauty and a story as passionate as the human spirit, time will give House of Flying Daggers the great appreciation it deserves.

I just saw the movie last night after purchasing the soundtrack, out of curiosity, the week before. (I, finally, went to get the one for Hero and saw the one for this nearby.) I became familiar with the music first, and then I surfed the Web for movie reviews and viewer commentary. Unfortunately, I encountered many negative interpretations of the film's story, action, acting, direction etc. After seeing the movie, I realized that the same elements which were criticized in this film were celebrated when presented within more "conventional" productions.

As wisely pointed out by a reviewer on another website, the tale is from the tragic tradition of storytelling. Similarly, the exquisitely choreographed action sequences and the breathtaking cinematography are based in artistry - not reality. Although the plot - which wasn't that logic-defying (especially, when compared to those of Star Wars and The Matrix) - revolved around issues that may feel foreign to some, the drama's emotional core resonated with the most fundamental of human longings: The need for a life of freedom and the yearning for love without fear.
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