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on 17 November 2016
Never mind the martial arts, there are some in it and they are fantastic but that is not what makes this movie for me. But the plot. The dedication and strength of the wife/mother. The cruelty of her husband. The ambition of her sons. And there is love. The scenes are breathtaking. The colours in the palace. The extravagance of the chrysanthemums laid out for the festival.... and the ending.

Extremely watchable and haunting.
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on 1 April 2012
Curse of the Golden Flower is martial arts melodrama with amazing sets, costumes, cleavages, fight scenes and the best action star Chow Yun Fat. It's amazing visual spectacle and will satisfy wuxia film fans. The film comes with several extras including making of featurette, interviews and trailers.

Fearless is historical martial arts biopic starring awesome Jet Li. This film tells the story of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia (1869-1910). Huo Yuanjia was the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. This film has some really good fight choreography, beautiful sets, costumes and cinematography. This film has no extras what so ever. Not even a trailer. It's the theatrical cut not the directors cut.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the best film on the set. It's an amazing martial arts film and beautiful love story all together. It's nearly flawless. The acting is superb, cinematography is beautiful, fight choreography is amazing and it stars Chow Yun Fat. It was nominated for 10 Academy awards (won 4)... Well there's also some extras too. There's making of featurette, commentary track by director Ang Lee and interview with Michelle Yeoh.

All 3 films come in good video/audio quality. All 3 films come in original Chinese with english subtitles. Overall it's well worth your money.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2007
Yimou Zhang is a brilliant Director. He is arguably the greatest Director alive today. His best films like "Huozhe" and "House of Flying Daggers" are most certainly classics of modern Cinema.

"Curse Of The Golden Flower" is not.

In fact the star of this film is the Production Design. Normally that distinction goes to an actor.

My first problem with the film was with the musical score. It was an overly bombastic choral score that detracted from the visuals and performances. Simple dialogue scenes were pervaded by this histrionic music as if commanding the desired emotions at the desired moment. It failed on all counts.

The film is essentially an old fashioned melodrama. Some of the performances take us back to the acting style of the early silent picture days. The Martial Arts also strike a false note. They seem out of place in what is essentially a family melodrama.

The Battle scenes also have the aspect of a computer game. Ranks of CGI soldiers fill every inch of the screen and charge in a very controlled non-human way. This computer manipulation of great armies may make the directors life easy but it strips away any sense of human nature.

Li Gong holds the bare threads of this film together with another strong performance.

Yimou Zhang is resting on his technique as a Director. There are also an extra-ordinary amount of close-ups in this film as if he was making a drama for television. He makes no attempt to try something new. He uses motifs we have seen before. He uses action we have seen before. He uses Special Effects we have seen before. I hope this is a Yimou Zhang we will not see again.
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on 10 November 2011
Watching this epic, I was struck (and not for the first time) with the thought; "why can't we in the west make films as strikingly imaginative and visually sumptuous as this?"

From the opening shots of the decadent, opulent Emperors Palace to the finale, each scene is a masterpiece of colour, composition, attention to detail and sheer acting brilliance.

As has been said by another reviewer, this is not a martial arts film per se, so you can forget Loadeds' blurb that it is "filled with kick ass action";it isn't. Perhaps their reviewer saw a different film. It is a film of Shakesperean plotting, on a par with King Lear, Hamlet or Othello, but full of characters that one can relate to. The old themes of absolute power corrupting and jealousies will out, are handled in a sensitive and masterful manner.

Rarely have I enjoyed a film so much.
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on 17 November 2012
If you want to show your new TV off to friends then stick the blu of this on. The colours are eye popping! Nobody does historical epics like the Chinese and long may they continue. All the visuals from costumes to sets are simply stunning.

Unfortunately for me though it was too much style over substance. The story was too turgid and melodramatic and it was a relief when all the action set pieces arrived. It was pretty inevitable that few of the main characters would survive the carnage, and I would have been happy for all of them to get it (this imperial family was difficult to love!).

Gong Li was wonderful as usual, even if she did spend most of her time in tears, and I'd rather watch Chow Yun Fat in his pomp in John Woo's movies. I doubt I'll be watching this often, not when I can watch Flying Daggers, Fearless, Hero and Ip Man instead.

But oooh! those colours....amazing! Definitely five stars for the visuals.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 9 November 2011
I purchased this on the back of revisiting the 'Crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon, 'The legend of the shadowless sword' and a few other chinese and Korean historicals. I was really disappointed with the storyline. With most Eastern or martial arts movies I find deep and meaningful life questions well depicted with so much to learn and inspire one. But in this drama, there was so much senseless killing, evil machinations and plotting. No one was really worth looking up to or rooting for including the Emperor. The only thing that made me see it to the end was the fact that it was based on historical events. I was doubly sad because it really happened.On the other hand fans of flying martial arts combat will love this because there was plenty of action in that regard. It is a good movie on some levels and many may love it but it was not for me, hence the 3 stars.
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on 31 December 2012
From the start to finish, this movie is a visual treat & without doubt one of the greatest movie ever created.
The Chinese are the best when it comes to historical epic & long may this continue.

Yun Fat Chow oozes with sheer gravitas as the mighty Emperor of the Tang Dynasty & he was equally impressive as Hong Qi(Confucius), in fact all the characters are well played, the script flows with the acting like a stream following the meander.

Strongly recommended, visually no film comes close.
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on 15 December 2011
This is a classic movie. Worth every penny spent.
Excellent directing, acting and magnificently choreographed.
The super scale of the palace and the staff of the emperor is absolutely amazing.

I am not sure whether the various rooms of the palace were actual in those days but one gets a very constructive idea of the riches and wealth of an emperor's lifestyle and what sort of deceit and treachery goes into the making of a kingdom and it's consequent dissolution.

A classic you will watch with your friends and not get bored with
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on 24 February 2013
Adjectives like: Transcendental, mesmerising occur to you when you see the stunning colour used in the shots inside the palace. The ladies make-up the coiffure is bewitching and the story is dark and full of illicit passion. The English subtitles are so good that the story flows seamlessly and I forgot I was reading. When the headphone plug came out of my laptop, I hurried to plug it back in in case I missed anything. Excellent entertainment, beautifully shot and all the actors were superb.
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on 31 March 2016
Curse Of The Golden Flower/Fearless/Crouching Tiger, Hidden... [DVD] I’m a huge fan of martial arts movies and this box set is an absolutely great deal! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the movies. In fact, Crouching Tiger is worth the price of this box set on its own! You would be mad not to buy this. Enjoy!
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