In the early 1600's, the Manchurians have taken over sovereignty of China and established the Ching Dynasty. The newly set-up government immediately imposes a Martial Arts Ban, forbidding the practice of martial arts... more » altogether in order to gain control and order. A group of soldiers travel the country seeking out those who would flout the law. A swordsman and his disciples decide to take the fight to the enemy, following a plea from a group of villagers. The SEVEN SWORDS is formed and their heroic journey begins. As they lead the entire village to the road of a safer place, they discover there is a trator amongst them. Between this narrow gap of life and death, the situation is further complicated by the blossoms of love.« less
Kara B. (Kara) from TALLAHASSEE, FL Reviewed on 12/5/2009...
This copy is the 2 disc, ultimate edition. Lots of action. Pretty good story!
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dragon Dynasty's release of Seven Swords
morgoth | omaha, NE | 01/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What starts out as a very violent and interesting movie ends up sort of floating the rest of the way. They don't have a lot of character development. Some characters you will understand but most will leave you with a lot of questions. Even Donnie Yen's character who they probably went the most in depth on didn't get full treatment. Maybe it was just that he was speaking Korean bugged me. It is just weird. There is nothing to really carry the story, except the General who is always going to come after the seven swordsmen and the villagers they are protecting. While the violence is well done and the General's top soldiers are truly wicked and have great battle sequences, everything else is just way too standard. The villian is ruthless and just cruel as he can be, the heroes are all very honorable, just nothing really exciting happens. The villain was by far my favorite character but he is not the main character. The acting is good and has some very nice touches with Lau Kar Leung playing Fu and Jason Pao Paio playing the leader of the town. The soundtrack is great. The locations and cinematography are stunning. Costumes really don't get any better than this. I liked the unique editing. The special effects are great and it was done by Weta Workshop who did the CGI for The Lord Of the Rings movies. Unfortunately all of this cannot overcome a story that just doesn't draw you in. By the end of it you realize that the swords were the main story which I liked and the final fight isn't too bad. Actually, the action starts out very well but doesn't really get good again until the end. You will most likely want to watch this movie again since its not half bad, it just doesn't make complete sense. After seeing it once and watching it again, for me there will be no 3rd viewing. I would no doubt watch a part 2 if Tsui Hark ever decides to makes it but I have heard talk of this ever since this "first part" was made and after a while it is too easy to forget about a movie project. I found the TV show 'Seven Swordsmen' with Vincent Zhao and Ada Choi much more enjoyable. Of course, it had a lot more time to explain the characters being 39 one hour episodes long. I was hoping to buy this movie and prove the other reviewers wrong but it just didn't happen. Luckily there are enough extras on this to keep me busy for a while.
Dragon Dynasty puts outs out the uncut version as opposed to the shortened version which is widely distributed. The sound and picture are truly some of the best you will find. 5.1 English and 5.1 with the original soundtrack. When the Dragon Sword gets pulled out expect a roar from the subwoofer. It is sad how neither Dragon Dynasty or Image's releases have had the subtitles properly in the black bars with all of them being widescreened. I suppose this is minor.
Special features include a feature commentary with the director of the movie Tsui Hark and Hong Kong film expert Bey Logan. That is 154 minutes with these 2. Very enjoyable. While I didn't love the movie, you may have, and this is the best special feature you could ever imagine. Not to mention the rest of the extras.
Six extended and deleted scenes and one 10 minute alternate take(final fight). Best part of this is that we get WAYYYYY more Donnie Yen action.
Four 5-7 minute behind the scenes featurettes.
Interviews include 45 minutes from Tsui Hark. Talk about in depth, with the commentary you get 200 minutes of interview time with the director. He knows there were problems with the movie as a whole and is not afraid to talk about any of it. Can't really complain about this special feature.
26 minutes with Donnie Yen. He talks about what is was like playing his character and gives his thoughts on the director and the movie.
18 minutes with Zhang Jing Chu talking about where she grew up and how she became an actress. I love the quote on her childhood about being 3 years older than the other people in her class. She says "her parents wanted her to be simply outstanding." At 16 years old she wants to become an artist which her parents disagree with. She ends up running away! Wonderful interview.
26 minutes with Duncan Lai talking about his windsurfing career and getting into the movies. Nice to get all the info provided here since I have never heard of him before.
Amazingly all of these interviews are English. I guess it is just a coincidence that they all spoke the langauge.
There is also a making of that is about 20 minutes long and is accompanied by some very good music. This includes interviews and a look behind the scenes. Steve Tung Wai and Xin Xin Xiong are the credited action directors but I only saw Lau Kar Leung in all of the behind the scenes featurettes and this making of special feature. I guess it is just a given that Master Lau and Donnie Yen had a hand in the action. In the commentary though, they actually do credit Lau with the biggest part of the action and planning everything.
I wish the movie was good enough to give it a rating of at least a 4 but the DVD itself gets a 5 star rating for the amount of special features and the quality of it overall."
Enjoy the movie
A. Lee | San Francisco, CA USA | 01/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes the other reviewers are correct. Its difficult to go into a lot of character development when you have 7 characters (not counting the bad guys) to fit into a two hour movie. It would have been nice to find out more about the bad guys also. And yes you have to "fill in the blanks" because it doesn't explain a lot but hey its not a four hour movie so they can only do so much. But you can also simply relax and just enjoy an action flix. It reminded me of the Magnificent 7 and 7 Samurai in that there are 7 of them coming to the aid of a 'helpless' village against the bad guys. If you like action/martial arts movies at least rent this one. While its not the best action flix its not the worst neither. I certainly enjoyed it more than Crank (which I had high expectations for, hoping it would be as good as Transporter.)
I'd give it 3 1/2+ stars but bumped it up to 4 rather than down to 3 due to the extra features along with an uncut version (haven't viewed that just yet but did go through most of the interviews.)
I'm considering getting the Seven Swordsmen DVD box set which according to reviewers of that TV Series is a more detailed story about the individual characters."
Bubble Gum Action Flick
Ping Lim | Christchurch | 11/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike Seven Samurais (by Akira Kurosawa) & the Magnificent Seven (American version) which explored the pscyhes of the rogues who formed the seven characters and their relationships with villagers that they were protecting, Seven Swords is more akin to a manga (comic books) where the seven characters were literally two dimensional. The seven swords from Mountain Tian had their own distinctive personalities and they only fitted to the beholders. I believe that Tsui Hark is to a certain extent influenced by Lord of the Rings trilogy where the so called baddies had those gothic-emo look (talking about mixing the old with the new). Considering that this is a triple joint venture with various film studios, more budget is expended in giving it a more authentic look by filming it at the picturesque XinJiang. There's also a subplot of love triangle between the main character (Donnie Yen) and the Korean female love interest. Truthfully, the movie feels a tad slow with nonstop action sequence. Perhaps, I expect Seven Swords to have more depth. For those that are enthusiastic with martial arts flick, this movie might not disappoint but for those that are into slow and arty martial arts flick such as the Banquet, this is definitely NOT the movie for you. Commendable effort."
Good movie, GREAT soundtrack
Snappy Cat | 02/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually bought this movie after hearing its soundtrack, and was not disappointed. Apparently, the original book was huge and complex, and the task of condensing it into a movie was akin to trying to take the entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and putting it into one movie. That being said, it tends to leave the viewer begging for more details. I believe the director did an admirable job with what he had, and the actors themselves were spot-on! I think that the fact we WANT to know more says that it was engaging enough to make us curious. I am even tempted to read the 700-800 page book it was based off of, and it is apparently just the first of a series of books about the Seven Swords. It may well turn into the Chinese/Martial Arts version of Harry Potter (for adults, that is)..."
Looking for a Wuxia film that sacrifices most of the flying
D. Wilson | NY by way of Cali | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seven unique swordsmen(including one swords-woman) band together to save a village and its people from the evil General Fire-Wind. And that's about all you need to know about the plot... and that's what is so great about this film! Although two and a half hours long it has so many fantastic characters and battles you won't find yourself checking the timer on the DVD player once. For those who find Wuxia films like Hero, House Of Flying Daggers, and Curse Of The Golden Flower to be perfect you may lose interest in this quickly. Gone is alot of the "beautiful" and artistic fights only to be replaced with more brutal swordplay action that leaves heads split and limbs detached... and thankfully next to zero flying! Many reviewers have blasted the movie for cutting its original runtime of over four hours(!) to the aforementioned two and a half, and although I'm one of the fans who would love to see the full version too, I can't knock the reasoning for the edits(although a second disc with the full-length film would have been nice Dragon Dynasty!) and they seem to have been done as well as was posible. It's true that you don't get to know all of the characters as good as you would like, but you get enough to keep you more than interested in them until the very end. Another knock is the stylish garb of the villains, who look like they have been displaced from a Mad Max movie rather then ancient China. But still, once you see just how vicious and ruthless they are, the costumes seem like a perfect choice. This is a must see for fans of Asian cinema, epic action films, or just plain old good movies... not to mention it's a nice return to form for director Tsui Hark(The Blade, Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain, Once Upon A Time In China 1-3)."