"What is even better is that Tai Seng has released this unedited! That means we get to watch all 39 episodes that come in at about 41 minutes a piece in their entirety. In China they run 5 new episodes a week and continue this during the weekdays until the show ends. In the past Tai Seng has released EXTREMELY shortened versions of these tv shows. Kung Fu Master and New Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon are 2 that I enyjoyed but had to find the whole show on VCD. These series run in cycles of 5 episodes and before this release we were only able to view maybe 20-30% of the show. Basically we see 40 minutes out of every 200. I think the reason they released the Seven Swordsman in it's entirety is because of it's huge popularity in China and it would be a crime to try and edit this great series.
The story starts off with the town called Martial Village gearing up for a fight with the Ching empire. The Ching's are coming to look for little King Lu, one of the last descendents of the former emporer. The Prince who is the leader of the army will certainly get who he wants. So an old master(Senior Fu) shows up willing to help these people in need. What they find out is that he was the executioner of the Ming dynasty! He has killed millions of people and now wants to do good deeds with his life. Why? He is not looking to make up for the killings he has done, he has just decided it would be better to try and help the country rather than stand aside. So he brings 2 young men from Martial Village and tries to recruit the 4 famed swordsmen from Mount Heaven. When the swordsmen's master Shadow-glow hears of this he says there is no way. Finally Senior Fu gets him to agree and even the 2 young kids become part of the Seven Swordsmen. All of them get special swords including Senior Fu who gets his old sword reforged. The story between master Shadow-Glow and Senior Fu was amazing but too short. So they leave on their journey to help the Red Spear Society get to another province where there are more of their members. The leader of the society(Leung Ka-yan, aka beardy) knows that there is a traitor in the society and does everything he can to find him. 2nd brother Yung Yangchong gets framed and is forced to leave the group and brother 1 ends up following him. He goes on a soul searching journey and finds a group called the Eagle's of the Desert who are in serious trouble and need to find water very badly. Now is when we meet Fei Hongjin. She has to be the most beautiful asian actress I have ever seen right up there with Christy Chung, Lily Li, and Brigitte Lin. She even has the acting ability of those 3 huge stars. This woman really made the show for me but the acting for everybody was as good as it can get overall.
So I really don't want to describe anymore as I already went up to episode 14 or so. The story revolves mainly around brother 1-Chu Zhaonan, played by Vincent Zhao of the Blade and Green Snake fame and brother 2-Yang Yungchong. Of course brother 3 and 4(of the original 4 master swordmen) have their stories and while I didn't like brother 3 at first, I really opened up to him and had me wishign he was in the show more. You may recognize brother 3 from the movie Tai Chi 2 and I think he is the dark skinned bald guy in Jet Li's Shaolin Temple movies. So brother 1 and 2 have some serious problems in their journeys and man do I mean serious.
The thing that I really liked about this show was the many different stories are going on and how detailed they go into them. All kinds of women problems, murders, being framed, you name it, these guys probably went through it. There is even your standard assassin who comes to kill the swordsmen and they even explore his personality.
Along with brothers 1 and 2 we get a look behind the scenes of the government. The prince-Duo Gedou has an odd relationship with the general's daughter-Menghui. And the daughter of the leader of the red spear society-Yufang, has love interests of her own. To my great liking, Fei Hongjin is the last of the major characters.
So will Yang Yungchong prove he is not the traitor? Will Chu Zhaonan ever shake his bad luck? Will Fei Hongjin ever be able to love a man? You will have to find out in this epic TV show full of love and chivalry.
Being a kung fu fan I must tell you that the martial arts are not great in this. Now the cinematography is very good and really sells all of the special effects going on so that the action does end up being very exciting. If you go into this expecting more of a drama than an action show, you will be very pleased.
This TV show has possibly the highest production value I have ever seen for China. Needless to say it has some of the best acting ever also. Tai Seng unfortunately didn't put any special features on any of these discs, not even a behind the scenes. Not a big deal though as the picture quality is PERFECT and is presented in a nice 16:9 widscreen picture format. There are chinese and luckily English subtitles. The subtitling job is very professional and has minor errors that can't really be avoided as this was most likely a Chinese person who translated this. You have to appreciate all of the time and effort that was put into it.
Now the box this comes in is really nice looking but ends up being a cheap plastic case that holds 8 discs yet looks like it should hold 1. My suggesstion is to never fully snap close the case. If you do it can all get stuck together and break your DVD's.
Also, please post on here if anyone hears about Seven Swordsmen 2. "
Great production of an epic Chinese Martial arts series.
Javabear | Ramona, CA United States | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Famous director Tsui Hark turned Leung Yu Sang's well-known swordplay novel into the epic film Seven Swords, but that was only the beginning of the project. Directed by Clarence Fok, television series Seven Swordsmen expands the story and world of Seven Swords into a more complete story. Featuring action star Vincent Zhao Wen Zhuo (Once Upon a Time in China V and Fist Power) and a line-up of well-known Hong Kong actors, including Ray Lui, Ada Choi, and Patrick Tam, Seven Swordsmen is as captivating as its cinematic counterpart. In the chaotic years of the early Qing Dynasty, the land is torn from years of fighting and the people are suffering under the hard hand of the new Qing government. Dangerous times call for true heroes. The Seven Swordsmen, with the help of their powerful weapons, decide to leave their quiet, cloistered lives with a noble mission... "
To me, this martial arts series is extremely enjoyable. Awesome cast including Ada Choi and Zhao Wen Zhou. Very nice production value."
Intermittant fun with lots of cgi sword-fu.
John P. Marsh | North Las Vegas | 08/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seven Swordsman is very repetitive with lots of plot twists that stretch credulity (Tsui Hark trademark.) Some of the melodrama is simply laid on too thick. The romantic aspects sometimes make you gag, while others grow on you. There definitely is an accumulation of interest in the series if/when you stick with it for 20-30 episodes. (20-30 episodes!!) Toward the end, say reel 7 or so, there are some fairly tightly plotted and well shot sequences/episodes (wonder if they used different directors etc.) that really kicked it. Oh, and I should mention that, for wire-fu, CGI oriented sword fights the fighting is often terrific, really top level (especially for TV.) The tedious episodes in the cave, the lame scenes about taking care of the kids nearly kept me away. But all in all, after watching all 39 episodes (over 2 months or so,) I really enjoyed this handsomely mounted series. Swordsman Fu (not always present) and the Hawkess of the Desert were my favorite characters (besides the showcased "star" V. Zhao.)"
M. MOUA | 09/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a 39 series Martial Arts Drama made for TV in China. This movie starts out as a new Dynasty has come to power in China and currently bans martial arts to help curve rebellions. An emperor who wants to unite the people rules the New Dynasty. But his most trusted warrior, Prince Duo Gedou feels that to end all wars and bring peace to the country, he must capture the last remaining royalty from the previous empire, a little boy named, King Lu. So the Prince along with his generals marches toward a town called Martial Village. They believe that the Red Spear Society in Martial Village is hiding King Lu.
During the invasion, Prince Duo Gedou and his army runs into a former executioner, Senior Fu of the previous Dynasty who decides that due to his evil past deeds, he must be a better person and joins the fight to defend the Red Spear Society. Along with his 4 martial arts brothers and 2 Martial Villagers, they become the 7 Swordsmen from Mount Heaven. They each were given a special sword made by Master Shadow Glo. Each of these swords are special and specially tailor made for each warriors. Each of the members of the 7 Swordsmen form Mount Heaven have a past that will test their wills, beliefs, and their souls as they venture off to save these people from execution. The battle in this movie is between the new empire and The Red Spear Society. Actually it's a one sided beating if it weren't for the 7 swordsmen aiding the Red Spear Society along the way.
Many of these series eventually concentrates on each of the 7 seven swordsmen. It deals a little with their pasts and their current situations. When they left Mount Heaven, they were sure of whom they were, what their purpose was but the more they kill, the more they become tested and the line between good and evil begins to blur.
Along the way, they will be betrayed, they will betray, they will love and they would lose what they hold dears to them. In the end, they will no longer be the same again.
Well done, as far as asian movies are concern.
Good overall. Sometimes, its predictable and at times you wonder why? But its still an enjoyable movie. Weak ending. They spent the least storyline on the Emperor and one of the brother.
Average, considering the technology we have now but I guess they decided to go cheap since it's a TV show.
Decent action. Enough of fights, swordplay to keep you entertain. There were small battle scenes but nothing like Braveheart or Lords of the Ring type of battle.
They spend a great deal of time on each characters even the villains, which was good. It makes them real and you learn to appreciate them. For a moment, I even have sympathy for the Prince, who is the main villain. Most of the time the Prince is extremely ruthless, cold hearted, calculated and yet intelligent. Most movies don't spend anytime making the villains humans, just cold-hearted killing machine with no purpose except to kill the heroes and innocents. Towards the end of the series, the movie will focus on the softer side of the Prince as he pursues his general's daughter's love. It shows that even a man like the Prince, who deems to have no weakness that uses other's weakness to attain victory, will bend over backwards to win the heart of his general's daughter.
If you know anything about Asian movies, there are a lot of tragedies. Unlike Hollywood movies, there is not always a happy ending.... At least not for everyone. There will be a lot of tragedy, sadness, and it sometimes it leaves a bitter taste afterward.
Overall, a very good movie. With enough of fighting and swordplay. The storyline is very good but yet still left me disappointed when the movie ended. "
Glen W. Knape | CA USA | 03/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No ending! A decent example of its genre, up to the end of episode 39 which ends in a cliffhanger. Then, no episode 40! The last few episodes were stuck repeating the same themes, as though the screenwriters were trying to stretch out the series. The movie version is nearly as satisfying and has an ending, if not a final conclusion."