Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Battle of the Warriors|
Actors: Andy Lau, Sung-kee Ahn, Zhiwen Wang, Bingbing Fan, Si Won Choi
Director: Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheung
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Stills from Battle of the Warriors (Click for larger image)
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An elegant surprise
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 01/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I started watching this one expecting a historical military drama. 'Battle of the Warriors' delivered that beautifully. It centers on the mysterious stranger who arrives just as the city is about to be over-run, and rallies a defense against a marauding army tens of times their size - a trope that works as well in classical China as in the American Wild West. Starting there, it offers exciting battles, humble heroism, intrigue, and all the rest that makes for quality entertainment of this kind. All of that comes through in sets and costuming with historical credibility, even though I can't vouch for literal accuracy. This isn't in the "flying swordsmen" genre, but a brilliant one of its kind.
This movie's pleasant surprise comes its major premise, an actual bit of Chinese history that many Westerners might not know. The mysterious stranger is a Mozi - a follower of Mo Di, an actual philosopher and leader from the Warring States period. His school centered their beliefs on universal brotherly love, something subversive in a Confucian society with rigid hierarchies of loyalty and affiliation. Rather than simply preach this doctrine, Moists fought for it. Their armies defended weaker city-states against unjust invasions by others in a policy of militant pacifism that might be unique in history. I know of no other movie that mentions Mo at all, so this one performs the worthwhile service of bringing this sage to Western attention.
If you want costume drama with plains darkened by swarming armies, with dramatic sieges and flaming attacks, with effete rulers undermining the commanders in the trenches, and with a near-subliminal hint of romantic interest, give this one a shot. But, while you're at it, remember that Mo was real even if this story's events weren't, and is well worth knowing.
Alan B. Richards | Denton, TX USA | 12/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're into Oriental art flicks, I would recommend a DVD called "Battle of the Warriers"
"Battle" certainly ranks, in my opinion, right up there with "Ran" or any of Kurosawa's or Ichikawa's films. Although lacking Kurosawa's camera work, I would have mistaken it for his if it had been in black & white. It's made in Hong Kong but much more western in style (more Japanese??) than most of the stuff coming out of Hong Kong or Beijing.
The movie is in Chinese but subtitled in English.
The story takes place in China 2300 years ago & is about a city that is the way of a large advancing army. The Army must take the city in order to proceed. The city hasn't much in defense & asks a clan of defense specialists, the Mozi, for help. They send one little guy. This guy, Ge Li, puts a whole new spin on being an army of one. Not because he's a killer but because he's a professional, knows what he's doing, & understands all of the consequences. If we had this guy in Afganistan, the war would have been over long ago.
The story is taken from a video game. Probably the only good conversion of a video game to full blown movie I've ever seen. The first half is battle and the preparations for them. The 2nd half has as much action but gets pretty heavy into the philosophy of war as well. One of those "Gotcha" movies that makes ya stop & think later about what was said.
This movie is excellent at all levels and would be enjoyable for just about every one although the violence might be a bit much for the younger kids. But not overboard with the blood & guts as so many movies are these days.
I recommend this movie enough I'm gonna buy a copy & add it to my collect. Well worth a watch."
Excellent Story and Good Cinematography!!
Flash | Cleveland, OH USA | 12/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like some of the more recent warfare/martial arts foreign movies as much for the cinematography as I do for a good storyline. After all, it's nice to experience the imagery and action of a beautiful film to go along with processing the information of the story from the English subtitles. (Note: As a rule, I don't watch foreign movies with the English overdub turned on. I prefer to read the subtitles.) Movies that come to mind are Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Hero and The Warrior. This movie, Battle of the Warriors looked really good from the stills that I had seen and the story concept of countering a siege with wits and savvy appealed to me. In it's basic essence, thats what this movie is about, a kind of thinking-man's warfare from the point of view of both the beseiged and the invaders. Additionally, there are a few subplots involving 1) choosing to love, 2) the high human cost of war and 3) the ignorance/arrogance of the ruling class.
And at the end of the movie, I was very pleased with the story, probably even more than the cinematography. Don't expect non-stop action as there are several interludes that deal with setting up the armies/defenses and the strategies involved. Also, this movie isn't over-the-top in it's brutality, despite the eventual battle scenes. Overall, my opinion is that this is pretty solid movie and I would recommend it to intelligent audiences."
A pretty good movie!
Frederick Pangborn | NJ United States | 12/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this through Netfix with hardly and idea of what it was about. Turned out to be a pretty good movie. Closet thing I can say to what it reminded me of was the ending of Kingdom of Heaven! The Zhao army is en route to conquer some large city or province, can't recall, and has to first take over a smaller city that stands it it's way. The majority of the movie is the army besieging the smaller city! I enjoy those ancient warfare flicks so this was right up my alley!"