A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »
Franklin J. Schaffner
This big hit at the Sundance Film Festival had audiences cheering. Set during the Ming Dynasty, this acclaimed production tells the story of a power hungry eunuch who employs an evil sect ... See full summary »
Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930's. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir... See full summary »
Feature film debut of later comedy star Michael Hui, who already was quite famous at TV and worked with director and author Li Han Hsiang on 3 more films after this. Story is about Pang Ta-fu [ Hui ], who becomes warlord of Shantung at the beginning of 1900 and his strange view of law and governance and also his addiction for pomposity and extravagance. Till he goes too far....
Expecting a comedy is quite wrong, there are some funny moments, but mostly with a dark tone right after them, is rather a pure dramatic history pic. The movie is episodic, some of the episodes are quite useless for the plot, dragging down the whole pic.
It starts with a 20min lasting court hearing of a possible rape case, even with back-flashes; after the verdict you'll get the next episode, and the former ones has no relation to the rest of the story. That goes on and on, and is mostly simply uninteresting [ a BIG party, his 4th wife does it with another guy,.... ] , so you'll never get the feeling of a clearly arranged direction, or that Li Han Hsiang really knows, what to tell and why. On the other side the movie is really beautiful, full-plugged pictures with excellent setting and decors; and the womens are quite nice and revealing. Michael Hui play his Pang very demonstrative and fancy, a little bit like Jack Lemmon in THE GREAT RACE, so that the death serious moments simply doesn't fit the otherwise loose representation. The movie could have been very well, you see the possibilities everywhere, but a good script is missing and the light and serious moments doesn't fit.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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