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39 Reviews
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth and with a good plot
I really like this film.

It uses special effects, but to help with the story telling rather than just create pretty effects: to be honest I'm getting a little bored of some eastern films where inclusion of choreographed mid-air flights seem to have higher precedence to story telling.

More importantly: the story has a start, middle, and end;...
Published on 18 Aug. 2009 by Amazon Customer

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent battle scenes in uninspired plot.
Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD]

It is 370BC and the rulers of the Chinese city state of Liang are resigning themselves to surrendering to the impending attack by their enemies the Zhao.

Then a black clad figure Ge Li (Andy Lau) strides confidently out of the desert claiming to be from the Mo-Tsu tribe and promising to use their legendary defensive skills...
Published on 29 April 2009 by Amazon Customer


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth and with a good plot, 18 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I really like this film.

It uses special effects, but to help with the story telling rather than just create pretty effects: to be honest I'm getting a little bored of some eastern films where inclusion of choreographed mid-air flights seem to have higher precedence to story telling.

More importantly: the story has a start, middle, and end; characters are three dimensional; and the plot kept me gripped.

The story plays like a good fantasy novel to me. In that vein, I think it is similar to The Warrior [DVD] [2001] which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps that explains the diversity of reviews it is getting here. If you bought this film expecting a martial arts film then I think you may well be disappointed. If on the other you are looking for a cinematic telling of a fantasy novel type story, then I think you'll enjoy this film.

In fact, I think film producers looking to turn fantasy novels into film should take a good look at 'Battle of Wits' and 'The Warrior', as I think they are excellent examples of how to do this with the story to the fore (rather than the special effects).
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall inspiring, 11 July 2009
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't expecting much as the film has had little publicity, I was amazed at the scope and vision of the film. It is a real attempt to create a film about war and strategy which many Chinese war books talk about but rarely translates to the screen.
The tormented hero, the drunken selfish unforgiving King and the overpowering enemy, brilliant. I sat for the two hours straight through; it was very satisfying on many levels. I particularly liked the screen when the hero is invited to a game of strategy sitting on a hill between the two armies.
Great fun and something substantial to think about too, and at the price I bought it here for great value too.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuously shot, hastily edited, 21 Feb. 2009
By 
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Like almost all the Chinese historical action dramas of recent years, Battle of Wits is sumptuously shot in gorgeous, riveting colour. The battle scenes are intense and (almost always) compelling, and the plot, based on a Japanese novel of the same name, is surprisingly complex, eschewing the grand sweeps of House of Flying Daggers, Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

However, the English subtitles are absolutely appalling, frequently failing to make much sense in English, and the cutting together of scenes is over-rapid and reflects video standards of thirty years ago, not the flawless visual brilliance we have come to expect from this kind of film.

I suspect this film was originally intended to be longer. It's especially at the beginning that shots are over-edited and cut together like a series of vignettes, with little continuity or explanation. As the film goes on, things settle down (or perhaps you just get used to it), although there are still plenty of unexplained moments which may or may not make sense in Chinese, but really don't through the subtitles. On the other hand, many of the subtitles are redundant, telling us what we are seeing on the screen (though this is what the characters are doing), when the glorious camera work is sufficient.

Why four stars, then? Despite all this, this is a really enjoyable film to watch, with a philosophic undercurrent (Mohism) which will be entirely new to most Westerners, although it was important in the time the film is set in. If you want to get a picture of what it's about, it's a sort of Last of the Mohicans meets Seven Samurai, although in a fully Chinese setting which is much more subtle, and carries a strong sense of history.

If you have already watched Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and are willing to broaden your horizons, this is a rewarding film, although darker in tone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent epic., 29 Dec. 2009
By 
Mr. T. A. Maurice "Film Addict" (Essex,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [Blu Ray] [2007] [DVD] (Blu-ray)
Having been somewhat disappointed with 'Three Kingdoms',which also stars Andy Lau,I had reduced expectations for this film which deals with a similar theme.
Well,'Battle of Wits' is in a different league.
An intelligent,literate,script,which allows actors to develop their characters,is alligned with spectacular battle scenes which are not allowed to overwhelm,and ruin,the storyline.
The only downside to this Blu-ray disc is the Picture Quality.
I don't know if it is a poor transfer,or the cinematography is deliberately muted,but the result is a softish image.
However,five stars for an excellent,spectacular,well acted film.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent battle scenes in uninspired plot., 29 April 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD]

It is 370BC and the rulers of the Chinese city state of Liang are resigning themselves to surrendering to the impending attack by their enemies the Zhao.

Then a black clad figure Ge Li (Andy Lau) strides confidently out of the desert claiming to be from the Mo-Tsu tribe and promising to use their legendary defensive skills to repel the siege.

The plot switches between superb battle scenes, and intrigue and deception in the Liang court, confronting Ge Li with two battles of wits, one with the enemy without and another with the enemy within. Although Ge Li proves a superb military improviser and tactician, he also fights an internal battle between his military actions and his belief in peaceful conflict resolution.

I kept watching for GE Li's unending ingenuity in repelling the Zhao, but the plot seemed very routine and never gets off the ground, although this may be partially the fault of the sub titles. It would have been far more interesting if there had been a real personal animosity between the Zhao general Xiang Yangzhong and Ge Li, instead of just encapsulating it in mutual admiration over a board game.

So excellent siege scenes but little else to recommend "Battle of Wits", if it appeals to you definitely rent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to win a battle in easy lessons, 9 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This is a film in the best tradition of war films. Exciting, well thought out, excellent acting and realistic battles. From the first attack to the last there is heart in the mouth moments and the yes!! factor. You will sympathise with the people under seige and want them to win. You will be amazed by the plans and the ideas used to win the battle and understand their logic. It is not a far out one man against thousands - it is the minnow against the shark battle. It is only better planning and execution that ensures that the shark has really bitten off more than it can chew. This film would make Sun Tzu proud. This film is a worthy companion to the wonderful Red Cliff.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of the genre, 11 Feb. 2010
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great film. One of the best in it's genre I would say. But even if you don't like films like Hero, the Banquet and Crouching Tiger etc. I reckon you'll still enjoy this. There's plenty to keep you occupied on many levels and you really get sucked in. One of my fave films I reckon - I realy want to watch it again, but I lent my copy to a mate in excitement after watching it, and never got it back. That says a lot too I guess.

The story is interesting and involving, as are the characters and you really get sucked in and invest in them - indeed you're outraged by the double crossing and so on. The scenery and costumes are stunning. And the plots, plans and military tricks keep you riveted. Really good all round!

BUY IT NOW!!!

PS - if this review has helped you at all please give it a thumbs up for me. Thanks! And enjoy the film!!

*** UPDATE***

I like this film so much, I just had to buy myself another copy. I got fed up of waiting for my friend to return it. So... it's so good I bought it twice - except this time on Blu Ray.... What more do you want? What are you waiting for? Buy it!!! Personally, I can't wait to watch it again!
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2.0 out of 5 stars The film has a good concept, except the "mozi" who comes to help ..., 27 Dec. 2014
The film has a good concept, except the "mozi" who comes to help the town is just confused. First he stirs the people up to fight, then he decides to run away because his true ideals tell him that pacifist ideals are actually what is needed in the situation. But then everything goes downhill from there. The film is depicted as a fight for freedom and to stand firm against whatever happens but instead at the end of the film everything turns to pot anyway and the mozi is basically a chinese hippy who is clearly confused.

Don't waste two hours of your life by watching this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Battle of Wits, 29 Nov. 2009
By 
A. J. Harrison (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Battle of Wits is a very good film which mainly focus's on the relationship of the characters than huge battle sequences but the film does however have one battle scene which I found very exciting and the ending had me on the edge of my seat.

Andy Lau once again is brilliant in the lead role as is Kenji Kawai's stunning music score. I really liked this film but if anyone is after films like this that are more action packed then they need check out The Empress and the Warriors and The Warlords (also with Andy Lau) both of which are very good films.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Andy Lau stars without flying, 14 Nov. 2009
By 
Mr. A. R. Pratt "Alan Pratt" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Of Wits [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw clips of this film advertising Panasonic TV's. If was exciting enough for me the find out it's name. If you like historical war epics with thousands of troops, seige towers etc. but without all the stupid sword fighting whilst flying around the sky, it will be for you. It is well made, with good acting, sets and cinephotography, with the expected pyrotechnics. Andy Lau who I knew as a singer when I lived in Hong Kong carries on his good acting. It is no 'Kingdom of Heaven', but well worth watching.
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Battle Of Wits [Blu Ray] [2007] [DVD]
Battle Of Wits [Blu Ray] [2007] [DVD] by Chi Leung Cheung (Blu-ray - 2008)
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