Flowers of War [Blu-ray]
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It s 1937 and China is on the brink of collapse. Nanking is under siege from the Japanese Imperial Army, the streets awash with violence, the civilians desperate. The protective walls of a western church provide the only haven from the vicious battles outside. Here, an American John Miller (Christian Bale) caught in the midst of the chaos, joins a small group trying escape the violence wrought by the Japanese army. Through one act of heroism, this group of disparate refugees fight back, risking their lives for the sake of others and the nation. Inspired by true events, THE FLOWERS OF WAR tells the incredible story of an unlikely group standing up against an unimaginable and overwhelming evil.
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The Dark Knight Rises, The Fighter, Public Enemies, Terminator Salvation, The Dark Knight, I'm Not There, 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige, Rescue Dawn, The New World, Harsh Times, Batman Begins, The Machinist, Equilibrium, Reign of Fire, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Shaft, American PsychoSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The dvd jacket states subtitles are in English:yes there are English subtitles but ONLY to cover the dialogue that is in Chinese/Mandarin and/or Japanese, NOT for the English spoken for much of the film.As much as I admire the Chinese actors for their ability to speak in English I found it difficult to follow at times.It was a bit Benny Hill-esque to my ear.
The film itself is magnificent.I have seen City of Life & Death [DVD] and City Of War: The Story of John Rabe [DVD] which are extremely harrowing,with little respite from depicting the horrors of the occupation of Nanking by the Japanese.
This film manages to show some humour and compassion as well as the extradordinary horrors experienced by the Chinese.
As such it can draw a much wider audience to see this terrible event in 20th century history.Even my wife was impressed with the production watching with me.
I've always wondered how and why the Japanese have gotten away with the atrocities committed during this pre-WW2 battle and occupation; perhaps the treatment of our own prisoners of war during the larger war overshadowed Nanking's massacre.The scale of the rapes and killings have never matched the supposed justice meted out after the war against the little men behind the sun.
While heavy handed, 'Flowers of War' is one of the better foreign epics of recent times by comparison to duds like 'For Greater Glory' and 'There Be Dragons'. Not just because of production values and scope to rival any Hollywood production, the battles being exceptionally bloody, grimey and tense while the city genuinely looks like war torn ruins, but in a fairly strong cast with a genuine sense of camaraderie. Despite being top billed, the show stealing is done not by a grizzled, weasely Bale as a mortician turned priest who acts as the women's guardian, though he is still solid, but by the ragtag group of prostitutes who grow a heart and become almost big sisters to the sheltered convent girls. You get your mix of the loveable goofballs, the stuck up snobs, the needy ones and then the sultry, determined leader of the group (played by Ni Ni) but none ever feel like obnoxious caricatures and the actresses make them very endearing.
Also, the film is not exceptionally focused on religion despite the setting, thus allowing us more to focus on human nature and individual willpower as opposed to some hamfisted 'divinity' that would typically crop up in this sort of story.Read more ›
John Miller immediately shows us his bad side. In addition to the conflict between the Japanese and Chinese, the students don't want the working girls there. The working girls want out of Nanking too and promise John "unimaginable pleasures" from all of them for safe passage.
Eventually, Miller dons a priest cloak and goes from zero to hero as he works relentlessly to save the girls. It is a story which shows how the least of us become heroes.
Much of the movie is in English, the rest has subtitles. There is some first person narration by one of the students. I thought the oriental actors did a better job than Christian Bale who reminded me too much of Jeff Bridges. Chinese actress Ni Ni as Yu Mo gave us a good performance.
There are war scenes, killing, and a few rape scenes, although this is not a grindhouse exploitation film. No nudity, some f-bombs lobbed in Chinese. The film, as expected, has its emotional ups and downs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another superb film, goes alongside The City of Life and Death excellently, although a fictionally story, Bale is mesmerizing as the Rev who helps a group of school girls and later... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Michael Livesey
Very sad story. The whole episode was vile and evil beyond belief and the film handled it well with just minimum examples of the real barbaric acts. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ATLANTIS
was delighted with the 2 great movies and deliverytime was spot onPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer