Chow Yun Fat
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.
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.