Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Butterfly and Sword|
Actors: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jimmy Lin, Michelle Yeoh, Joey Wang, Donnie Yen
Director: Michael Mak
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Military & War
This pinwheeling period-fantasy action film is all over the map--in its plotting, for starters, but also in its action sequences, staged by A Chinese Ghost Story's Ching Siu-tung, which are so frenetic that we can barely k... more »
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Very high on style, less so in substance
email@example.com | Verona, NJ USA | 09/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This high art fantasy over-the-top costume piece is a "wire fu" lover's delight. All characters are dressed in coloful drapey, billowy robes and garments. The musical score is unusually well-orchestrated from beginning to end. But does everyone have to twirl 10 times while going 16 feet from point A to point B. There is very little walking in this film. Everyone twirls, flies, swings, flips, rotates, revolves (is that different from rotate?), levitates, somersaults, jacknifes, or pirohuettes (sp?) in nearly every frame. The fighting is fantastical and violent, to say the least. While the film is certainly different from the classic old-school kung fu film, I do, in fact, give the movie high marks within its own fantasy genre. Technically, the wire artistry and effects are mind-boggling, yet at times numbing. If wire fu is your cup of tea, I suppose this is your eye candy. For others, it's probably worth a peek, as I would suspect it is probably one of the best in its genre."
Don't analyze, just watch
J. C. Jones | Leominster, MA USA | 11/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Do not try to apply western thinking to Asian movies! They are not done with the same intent or even at times for the same purpose. These movies go deep into culture and you have to go with it to enjoy what goes on. This movie has good action and fantastic plot lines! I searched until I found it. I like wire fu and prefer it to "real" kung fu movies because I like to escape. Butterfly and Sword will take you places you haven't likely been before."
A fantastic movie that only improves with viewing
J. C. Jones | 05/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Believe it or not -- this is a fantasy costume drama which actually has a complex plot, multi-layered meanings and ways of interpreting personal relations, quality dramatic acting (particularly from Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung) and comical scenes AS WELL AS unbelievable visuals and action sequences. The cinematography is rich, the pacing is quick...There's plenty for the eye to see and for the mind to absorb. In fact, almost too much the first time round; which is why you need to see it at least a second time to really appreciate it. Also, it may help to get a plot synopsis/summary (I would recommend Pete's review off the "Yes Madam" web site) to know what to watch for.On the other hand, one could just look upon it as eye candy, give up trying to understand what is actually going on (a love square amidst schemes to become master of the martial arts world) and just prepare to be blown away on a purely visual basis...Although that would be only half the experience, it would still be enjoyable enough for many Hong Kong movie fans and fans-to-be (if you crave something very different from American movies, this is it!).On a cautionary note: The action sequences feature "wire fu". This is NOT Jackie Chan -- not necessarily better or worse but definitely different...and actually way fantastically weirder (After this, "Supercop" is s-o tame!)!!! In fact, it might come closer to "Excalibur"...I KID YOU NOT."
A lot of good action but confusing as heck
Tensegrity Dan | Berkeley, CA United States | 01/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a pretty fun movie, with lots and lots of crazy action, and some pretty well acted scenes, but it is unbelievably confusing, so you never totally get behind the characters. Michelle Yeoh looks great and does a decent job but she just seems too wholesome to pull off the role of the somewhat evil kung fu master. She is not as intense as Brigitte Lin who is really the master of that sort of character. Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, and Joey Wang are all really great in this movie. This is highly recommended for HK fans but not so much for casual kung fu fans who are better off with something like Swordman II. Be warned that there are mandarin only editions of this movie on the market, so make sure you are getting a cantonese version if that is what you want."