Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ekin Cheng, Louis Koo, Ziyi Zhang, Cecilia Cheung, Patrick Tam
Director: Hark Tsui
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
From the legendary martial arts choreographer of THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON and the acclaimed director of BLACK MASK comes ZU WARRIORS, the fast-action fantasy about an incredible fight for freedom again... more »
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Another MIRAMAX "Hack Job"! (Don't Say You Weren't Warned)
Ace-of-Stars | Honolulu, Hawaii | 12/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
[[IMPORTANT NOTE!: Amazon has regretably been combining ''ALL'' of the reviews of the two different films mentioned in this review-- "THE LEGEND OF ZU" and "ZU WARRIORS" --into one lump group of reviews (extremely confusing & annoying!). So please be aware -- If you are reading this review on the "THE LEGEND OF ZU" ("China Star") import DVD page, that this is a review of the ("Miramax") 'Region-1' DVD, "ZU WARRIORS" and that this review does not apply to the import DVD.]]
It should come as no great surprise that MIRAMAX is in the habit of destroying decent films -- (they have routinely overstepped their bounds of reasoning ever since the company was bought out by DISNEY all those many years ago). Add THIS movie to that long list!
"ZU WARRIORS" is a "hack & attack" piece of "re-editing" of the ORIGINAL Hong Kong version of this film, "THE LEGEND OF ZU" (which is the official English "dual title" to its original Cantonese title, "SUK SAAN CHUEN" (trans.: "Zu Mountain Legend").
Not only did the "brains" at "DISNAMAX" needlessly change the title, but they went so far as to change it in such a way that would allow it to become easily confused with an earlier Tsui Hark movie about the "Zu" legend called, "ZU: WARRIORS OF THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN" (dual Cantonese title, "SUK SAAN: SUN SUK SAAN GEEN HAP" - trans.: "Zu Mountain: New Zu Mountain Sword Heroes") -- a couple of unfortunate examples of just how much damage this "name change" caused can be readily discerned from the Amazon "customer reviews" of this film by "Mojo Jojo" from Dallas and the reviewer calling him/herself "Bumbo clot," both of whom clearly having never seen this film but are very familiar with that earlier film: so as a result they both attribute things related to that earlier movie over to this one -- things which have no relevance to this newer film whatsoever; "Bumbo" even going so far as to apply that first movie's original titles to this one! (Sorry "Jojo" and "Bumbo," but it was not my intention to pick on you, but merely to show just how easily "Disney/Miramax" set everyone up to be so effortlessly misled -- it was THEIR fault for changing the title in the way they did, NOT your fault for being caught off guard because of it! That's the only point I'm trying to make by using your reviews as examples, and I only picked yours to highlight simply because they were the first of however-many that are likely to follow that were posted.)
In addition to this, if there is one thing I have learned about American film distributors, it is that whenever they change the title of a "foreign" film-- ESPECIALLY one from Asia --you can reasonably expect that they have changed other more IMPORTANT things about the actual content of the movie itself. And, sure enough....
This "hack job" version of "The Legend of Zu" was so bad that it had been left sitting on the distributors' shelves for several years after they had "test screened" it on at least one occasion (some sources say a couple of them) and found itself being booed right off of the court. No $#!T, Sherlock??? What did those geniuses at DISNAMAX honestly expect would be the audiences' reaction??? Rather than showing their test audiences the movie in its original 'unadulterated' form (then editing afterwards, if necessary), they instead insisted on showing their audience a version of the movie in which they had stripped out around 20 minutes worth of celluloid (from a movie that the larger number of viewers already find confusing enough as it is). They had also covered over the original actors' own voices with a "dubbed" English track (rarely a good idea for Asian movies). Then to top it all off (as if all that were not bad enough), they proceeded to engage in the same kind of sneaky and sleazy "false marketing" tactics that American film distributors have of late become unashamedly guilty of when marketing lesser-known Asian films to American audiences -- by "giving credit" where such credit is NOT DUE (for instance, such as when "BANGKOK HAUNTED" ["Pee Sam Baht" - trans.: "Three-Baht Ghost"] was credited as having been directed by "Oxide and Danny Pang" [the brothers who co-directed "THE EYE"] when, in truth, ONLY a single 'vignette' of the entire movie had been directed by "OXIDE" Pang alone): In the case of "ZU WARRIORS," the transgression comes in the form of an announcement or "implication" that the very lovely & popular ZHANG ZIYI is the "STAR" of this movie, when, in fact, hers is a very MINOR (almost peripheral) role!
If you don't mind having your intelligence insulted by DISNAMAX, then go right ahead and waste $21 bucks on this diced & shreaded bastardization -- Lord knows you could just as easily waste it on something much worse! But if you are at all like me-- or like those 'test audience' members who PANNED this remolded abomination --and you really want to see this movie for what it was MEANT to be, your options are to find a "region-compatible" official release DVD from the Asian market, or snatching up any one of the many "all-region" pirate DVDs on eBay, or tracking down a VCD version -- all of which, in either case, will cost you CONSIDERABLY LESS MONEY than what Disney/Miramax is expecting you to shell out for their "Region-1" 'shicken-chit'."
Hong Kong rivals hollywood
D. Mueller | Milan, MI USA | 04/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Tsui Hark's follow up to his 1983 "Zu Warriors of the Magic Mountain". While this film is visually dazzling, the earlier film is something of a visual treat in its own right. Unfortunately the sequel lacks the charm of the original, at least for me. While Legend of Zu certainly rivals the special effects ability that we've grown accustomed to from Hollywood, the story seems a bit empty. Zhang Ziyi's role is nearly a cameo--don't expect to see much of her. Still, I found the film entertaining and, if you like Asian cinema, it's worth a look."
Roy | Texas | 07/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not many movies capture the inspiration of a mixture of fantasy and reality to the point that you can't decifer between the two.
I like the briliant colors and CGI intergrations, outstanding story line. One of the greatest movies I have seen...so far."
Impressive Special Effects but no convincing story
Kyon Lee | Zürich, Switzerland | 04/29/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Like the title says, the special effects, although sometimes a bit too colorful for my taste, were very impressive. But they are the only thing this movie got going for itself. The story was one of the most confusing I ever witnessed. Perhaps some of it would make some sense to a connaisseur of Chinese legends but I was completely lost. Fans of Martial Arts movies will be equally disappointed by the lack thereof. There is only a single and short fight which involves martial arts (between Hollow, Joy and Thunder). All the other fights are resolved by overpowering the enemy with ones magic and are mostly overshadowed by special effects. My guess is that Tsui Hark got a bit carried away by his special effects and in the process neglected the other components of the movie, mainly the story."