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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid entertainment
This is a very traditional foray into the territory of the Chinese martial arts epic, with all the expected elements; wire flying, improbable stunts, glorious battle scenes, incredible sets and scenery, and (spoiler alert!) no happy endings. If there's anything in that which you don't care for, you probably won't like this film. If, on the other hand, you have enjoyed...
Published on 12 Dec. 2010 by Chinatown Blue

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 14 Blades
I found it a little hard to follow,
as the subtitles are small and are gone before you finish reading them! I lost track of who was who,
what they were doing and why! In the end i just gave up and watched the action,
of which there is plenty.
The blu-ray transfer is superb,rich in colour and detail,
some of the shots are stunning.Sound is...
Published on 14 April 2011 by dj666


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid entertainment, 12 Dec. 2010
By 
Chinatown Blue "cthulhoid" (S-O-T, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a very traditional foray into the territory of the Chinese martial arts epic, with all the expected elements; wire flying, improbable stunts, glorious battle scenes, incredible sets and scenery, and (spoiler alert!) no happy endings. If there's anything in that which you don't care for, you probably won't like this film. If, on the other hand, you have enjoyed the likes of House of Flying Daggers, Battle of Wits, or Red Cliff, this is definitely one to watch. The script actually makes a lot more sense than most of these genre movies, and ignore previous reviewers - the subtitles are perfectly comprehensible (there are one or two slips in use of English, but nothing you can't easily correct for yourself) and I never found them to interfere with the fight scenes. There is no dubbed version on the blu ray, but if you can read you can enjoy this anyway. Unlike another reviewer I did not find the sound effects overdone at all, can't help wondering if they have something wrong with their sound system; there are some instances where sound is deliberately heightened for a specific impact in a scene, and I found it a clever use of sound and as appropriate as the occasional use of slow motion to enhance a scene. The music is excellent, very stirring at appropriate points, and romantic at others. The cast are superb, and fulfil their roles to perfection. On blu ray, the sound is sharp and clear, and the picture quality is really stunning. One or two times I was a bit dubious over whether a particular visual effect was intended, or some unexpected consequence of the transfer, but having seen the same part on a friend's dvd copy, it was intentional and another of the innovative uses of sound and visual by the director. I found this a real treat, even if there was nothing very original in the plot; a banquet for the eyes and ears, and a very satisfying experience.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible force vs Donnie Yen prepare for Legendary confrontation!, 12 July 2011
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This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
***Some smallish spoilers in review***

Having recently watched Donnie Yen in IP Man i was keen to watch some of his other films. So i bought 14 Blades..little did i know what an Epic Masterpiece awaited me. I think this is one of his finest roles. He plays as Qinglong the leader of the Jinyiwei a sect of blademasters and secret police force who serve the Emperor and who are pretty much above the law. Anyway he is betrayed in a plot involving the exiled Prince Qing (Sammo Hung) who is trying to usurp power away from the Emperor. The love interest is Zhao Wei (she was very good in Red Cliff though her character in 14 blades is a bit more somber!). Other notables include the Flying Eagles(?) clan leader Judge (Wu Chun) and Qinglong's nemesis the invincible assassin Tuo Tuo (Prince Qing's daughter).

The last fight scene is seriously almost legendary in the way it is set up and the build up to the final confrontation. I am not sure i have seen a better fight scene. Though to be honest i think they should have made more of Tuo Tuo's role in the film. We only see her killing and annihilating those in her way, we dont explore her character or relationship with her father.

Ending is a bit sad but honourable in the Jinyiwei tradition. What can i say an Epic!

*edit picture and sound quality was excellent (1080p) playing on a HD projector with PS3.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 14 Blades, 14 April 2011
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This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I found it a little hard to follow,
as the subtitles are small and are gone before you finish reading them! I lost track of who was who,
what they were doing and why! In the end i just gave up and watched the action,
of which there is plenty.
The blu-ray transfer is superb,rich in colour and detail,
some of the shots are stunning.Sound is superb,
blu-ray extra's are thin on the ground,
but who cares!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, shame about the Blu-ray quality, 25 Oct. 2011
This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I don't need to repeat the rave reviews about the story or Donnie Yen's master performance. But I did want to mention the very poor transfer to Blu-ray. There are stunning set pieces spoiled due to over-sharpening. White fringes around any detail is a tell-tale sign that someone thought they could give us BLu-ray quuality just by applying sharpening to a DVD version without going back to the master film and starting from scratch. Really dissapointing, and the film looks much better upscalled from DVD in a BLu-ray player. I strongly advise you not to waste your money on the Blu-ray version - it's one of the seemingly increasing number of cheap video/DVD conversions to Blu-ray that are steadily giving HD a bad name.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poor start but good once it gets going, 20 April 2011
This review is from: 14 Blades [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
The first time I put this DVD on I watched the exposition heavy opening 15 minutes and decided it was just too laboured and heavy handed to endure.
Fortunately I gave it another chance and am glad that I do so because once it gets going this is an entertaining and surprisingly romantic foray into the wuxia/ martial arts genre.
The lead character played by Donnie Yen shows some depth and development and the lead female Wei Zhao is a good mix of gentle/tough and very easy on the eye.
Sadly, none of the supporting characters get the chance to breathe and the motivations of the 'Judge' - who is at best a sort of Robin Hood - are not fleshed out beyond sound-bites such as "i like stealing gold, but I like fighting more".
The plot is in itself a reasonably entertaining search for redemption mixed with an old style Hitchcockian MacGuffin in the form of an imperial seal, but the pacing is off and certainly plays second fiddle to the action set pieces.
On the action front I thought these were generally pretty good. The female assassin Tuo Tuo was perhaps just a little too super-humanly fast (even in the context of this sort of movie) and the 'special move' of discarding her outer clothes - mid fight- and then putting them on again before they hit the floor was a little over-used.
Overall, worth watching and although the gimmick of the 14 blades gets an almost worshipful introduction at the start, that focus doesn't persist throughout the movie. Once Wei Zhao turns up the story starts to emphasise character a bit more and the enjoyment really kicks in .
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The things you can do with a box full of blades, 18 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: 14 Blades [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Loved this film. Donnie Yen put in a great performance and all the supporting actors are great as well. One fight got on my nerves due to the CG used in it but the rest were perfect, especially like the first and last battles. The weapons deserve a special mention, whoever designed them done a great job as even the normal swords look exotic and stylish. The main characters have custom blades and bows which i would love to have mounted on my wall as they look great.

Nice story, nice characters, great sets (The last fight set is top notch), great effects and props. The action scenes do not disappoint, nice mix of full contact, Sword play, wires, a little CG, and acrobatics.

Wei Zhao is fast becoming an actress to keep an eye on, loved her in acting in Red Cliff and Mulan. Her ability to make each character she plays alive and realistic makes her support role in this film a pleasure to watch.

Overall, a great film with just a few little flaws which i enjoyed a lot. Can't wait for Wei Zhao or Donnie Yens next films. Daniel Lee done a great job and i will also be watching out for his next movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elite Assassins ( 14 Blades )., 13 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: 14 Blades [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I loved the story, Action, Scenery & attention to Detail in this film.

Orphaned children thrown into mini Arena's by the chinese Emperor & told to fight each other to the death, to survive another day, day in & day out. Untill, they reach a certain point where they are deemed worthy of Assassin training.

Donnie Yen is the loyal, Elite Assassin, continually haunted by his experiences as a child, where he had to kill his own little brother in the Arena.

The story takes off when the Emperor is betrayed. The Assassins are then sent on a mission that goes wrong, leaving only one of them left & badly wounded. The enemy is in hot pursuit & Donnie takes refuge with a group of Nomadic, Caravan Escorts, who dont know who he is. But soon will. (I dont want to say too much).

There are a few other Mystical Characters in this film & the action scenes are Amazing. The girl just has to have sold her soul to the Devil to be able to do what she does & the young fella's skills are swift & magical aswell.

Are they any match for Donnie though..........?

I loved it...Big Thumbs up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suitably spectacular, Suitably Epic., 22 May 2011
By 
A. S. Edwards (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 14 Blades [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Another tale from ancient China...

In a similar vein to House of Flying Daggers this is a tale of the corporate assassin rebelling against a system he realises is corrupt and then takes on the form of a pursuit in which he meets a woman and attempts to come to terms with his dastardly past before a final show-down with his pursuers.

It has fantastic special effects and a good plot though I understand some of the other reviewers who claim it's hard to follow. There is a growing plot which requires a bit of attention but it's a step-up on those martial arts films with no plot at all!

The special effects are not limited to the fantastic martial arts and sword-play there are also spectacular backdrops and digitally created cities. There is a certain amount of 'Suspension of Disbelief' required (as too with Crouching Tiger and others of this genre) but the ending is a real climax and jaw-droppingly good.

For those who like their martial arts and small-scale fast and furious battle-sequences mixed in with Chinese fairy-tale fantasy this is a good one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Film confusing but OK, however it's upscaled from SD, 24 Jun. 2011
By 
Mr. P. Galbavy "Peter" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 14 Blades [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Got this for a reasonable £5 and looking at the description and some other commentary thought "What's the harm?"

The film itself is fast paced, with lots of intersecting and confusing plot lines as is common to many of this genre. Multiple viewings are probably the way to get past this. But that's going to be difficult as the picture quality is, well, not quality. Speaking as someone who regularly watches upscaled DVDs on a Denon DDV3930, which has an excellent ability to make a well encoided SD film look good on a 60" screen, this Blu-ray is very clearly, and poorly, upscaled from an SD master. There is excessive sharpening and a complete lack of detail where there should be plenty of fine grained visuals.

Summary: Don't pay a premium for the Blu-ray, but as a film it's OK.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the subtitles, 31 Jan. 2013
By 
Geoff Webber (Camberley, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 14 Blades [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
If you are a fan of 'Crouching Tiger' or 'Flying Daggers' you will love this film. It is full of action and excitement but it also has its quieter, tender moments as well. Pathos in a martial arts film? Yes, and done very well too.

Donnie Yen is superb, as is the female lead, Zhao Wei. I had seen her before but couldn't think where, but after searching my collection I realised she was in one of my favourite martial arts films 'Warriors of Heaven and Earth' (she is also in Red Cliff).

The only thing to mar this film are the subtitles - also mentioned by others. They flash on and of the screen so quickly that I had to keep stopping and jumping back 10 seconds to review, to avoid losing the plot. The film would have had a resounding 5 stars otherwise.
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14 Blades [Blu-ray]
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