tdsra | Houston, Texas USA | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the movie: I was very hesitant to see this movie, as it is relatively old (released around 1986, I think). However, I've become a big fan of HK movies lately, and many critics consider this the quintessential Hong Kong movie. The story centers around the escapades of three women (played by Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh and Cherie Chung, all popular HK starlets), with plenty of action, comedy, espionage and political intrigue set in a Chinese opera house. Although this was one of Tsui Hark's (considered by some the "Spielberg of Hong Kong") earliest works, this is still considered to be his best. Very entertaining movie which, more than any other HK movie I won, is worthy of repeated viewing. One of the few TRUE Hong Kong classics. You won't be disappointed.The DVD: not the best video quality around, but surprisingly good considered this is a 15-year old Hong Kong movie. The sound is in 5.1 surround sound, and Cantonese and Mandarin audio are provided (with plenty of options for subtitles, including English). Of course, the subtitles can be horrid at times, but you can follow the dialogue easily and they certainly will not detract from your enjoyment of the movie. Trailers for this movie (and a couple others) are included. Nice menus.Highly recommended. You COULD wait for a special edition, or a remastered version to come out, but I haven't heard of one in the works. Plus, this is still a good quality disk that is worth the purchase."
Very strong female alliance and well character development.
CHLOE HUANG | TAIPEI Taiwan | 12/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I used to love this one and consider it as a sentimental drama. It do has meaning something, in a hilarious, entertainment way. Now I own the DVD, play it over and over again. Finally I can read the hidden message. In it's multilayers there's a little bit of everything. It's feminism above all, IMHO.It doesn't matter if you know nothing about Chinese history. Tsao Wan could be the most bewildered role to the audience, rebel without a cause. She should knew her action might lead to her father's collapse. Though dress like a man, she's fragile inside. Sheung Hung is a material girl care about only her own profit, provide comic relief. She has justified herself by come to the rescue for Tsao Wan, still lovable. Pat Neil seems to be quite ordinary in comparison, actually toughest of the three leads. Helping uncle Fa escape shows her tenderness. Her wish to be an actress only got the blame everytime there're bad things happen. ( For ex. Troops wrecked the theater. ) Cause only male were allowed to perform on stage at that time. Then I found similar tradition in ancient Britain too. ( Shakespeare In Love ) Women were under restraint by old culture. She grew up in the troupe. She tried to prove her talent, how good she could be, seize every chance. But the first obstacle came from her father, how ironic. ( Well. " It's the trend of time, and the father merely trying to protect her " kind of speech. ) Though she has no ambition, was drawn into the revolute unwittingly. Sally Yeh was trained hard to perform her own acrobatics, without a stunt double. To make the character convincible. She's at her best, never can be more gorgeous than this role. To see greedy warlords scramble for power and profit. How flexible the manager ( Wu-Ma ) is. There're diversity characteristic in this hilarious film.There're some outtakes in the trailer. The catchy ballad along with the soundtrack quite enjoyable. Those " hide and seek "roar with laughter scenes. And the metaphor " Life is dramatic " theme. You can watch this film many times and still find things you missed before. My only criticism would be, if they spent more budget on shoot some substantial landscape, might persuade me it's in real Beijing. By the way, I think the English subtitle is O.K. but there's a pun joke it can't deliver well. While the warlord took Pat Neil to blackmail her father, he asked what's tonight's show? It was named " Stubborn King " the true meaning is " force her to be my concubine ". Sorry force you to tolerate my poor English."
How about that fireplace scene, yeah???
E. Laway | Temecula, California United States | 04/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie a long long time ago in Burbank, CA when the mall theater was having a week long HongKong Film Festival. Like eating out, I wanted to try something new. That's why I always tell my little kids, "try it even if it seems a little different, a little strange, you might like it and it might become your favorite." This goes for everything, food, travel, books and movies. I own the VHS version. It is a little rough in quality so I am checking if there is a DVD version out there that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The VHS alone cost $27 some odd dollars in 1994. So I am very happy that it is in DVD version. Now, the is simple to follow. The tile roof scene is incredible and the three leading ladies are simply beautiful. I know Hong Kong Films are en vouge right now, but you must see this and own it because it is a classic and I agree, a quentesential of its genre. You will not be dissappointed. Just ignore the goofy English translation, it is part of the fun."
Hong Kong film classic!
leelee | Chicago, IL | 09/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great film for any Hong Kong movie buff or newbie. How can you beat having three of Hong Kong's most beautiful leading ladies - Brigitte Lin, Cherie Chung, Sally Yeh in the same film? The Chinese opera scenes are beautifully costumed and shot. Tsui Hark is a genius!"