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Curse of the Golden Flower
DVD disk
03.28.2007 By: Sturdy
Curse of the Golden Flower order
Director:
Zhang Yimou

Actors:
Chow Yun Fat
Gong Li
Jay Chou

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A beautiful empress discovers that her husband has been slowly poisoning her over the past couple of weeks. Determined to avenge the plot against her, she puts in place a plan that will destroy her family and the entire empire.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Let it be known that beautiful cinematography and colorful sets are not enough to carry a film. I was excited to finally see CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, but it didnít take long to realize that all of the effort in this film was put on the costumes and lavish sets. It was one of the incredible movies to look at, but it lacked the substance to actually be a good film.

I should probably mention that if youíre looking for a CROUCHING TIGER type movie, youíre not going to get it here. This one has next to zero action and what little it does have feels forced and out of place. This film relies solely on the relationship between the empress and her ďsonsĒ. Itís through those relationships that everything else in the film grows on. Unfortunately, none of those relationships are developed with any attention and almost every plot point seems to come from nowhere. In fact, my biggest gripe with the film is the fact that the ďepicĒ battle at the end was never discussed and the audience had no reason to think a battle of that nature was even in the works. Up until that point, everything had been about slow poisoning and secret plots. What made matters worse was that the battle itself was boring and offered zero excitement.

Aside from the pretty colors, the one bright point in the film was Gong Li. Iím sure you already knew how hot she is, but she does a good job despite the poor performances from the rest of the cast. Even the normally great Chow Yun Fat manages to stink up the screen in an uninspired turn as the evil emperor. I enjoyed HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, but Zhang Yimou didnít even come close to replicating his previous film. All in all, GOLDEN FLOWER was a disappointing film and left a lot to be desired.
THE EXTRAS
Secrets Within (21:52): This is your standard making-of featurette complete with excessive movie clips and boring interviews. It also looked like it was a collection of smaller featurettes spliced together. It didnít offer anything new or exciting, but it will probably please fans of the film.

Los Angeles Premiere (2:30): Simply put, this is a collection of clips shown at the LA premiere with narration over it. I found it to be very boring and completely unnecessary.

There are also some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Needless to say, I was severely disappointed with this film. Iím also surprised at how poorly developed the plot was and how boring all the characters were. Chinese cinema has a lot to offer American audiences, but you wouldnít know it by watching GOLDEN FLOWER.
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