The other day, my brother and I watched “House of Flying Daggers.” The Zhang Yimou movie has stunning cinematography – just beautiful colors. The cast is beautiful. The story – a little topsy-turvy stuff, but I watch “Alias,” so it’s not like I couldn’t grasp the Flying Daggers plot. The movie’s ending though… well, I don’t think it was Zhang Yimou’s intention, but I kept giggling. As NY Times’ A.O. Scott noted:
[Ziyi] Zhang plays Mei, a blind courtesan who turns out to be a member of the Flying Daggers, a shadowy squad of assassins waging a guerrilla insurgency against the corrupt and decadent government. She is pursued by two government deputies, Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), whose loyalties come into question as the chase turns into a love triangle. Everyone is engaged in several layers of deceit, and some of the third-act revelations are more likely to provoke laughter than gasps of amazement.
The story inevitably gets lost in this sensory barrage, and it is hard to feel much for the three lovers as they sing their climactic arias of jealousy and betrayal. The final confrontation takes place in the midst of a sudden snowstorm, which envelopes the sun-dappled field that had, a few moments earlier, been a perfect spot for al fresco love-making. And “House of Flying Daggers” itself, for all its fire and beauty, may leave you a bit cold in the end.
Frankly, I totally agreed. I’m not even a big martial arts movie person by any means, but aren’t they supposed to leave you feeling a tad satisfied rather than “huh”? I’ll give Flying Daggers a grade of B.
Anyway, speaking of the NY Times, apparently they’re considering the idea of charging for reading its articles on-line. Aww. Say it ain’t so, NY Times!
I’m pretty caught up on watching the series “House” on FOX – the series wherein British actor Hugh Laurie plays a grouchy American medical doctor, Dr. House of NJ, who solves medical mysteries (the most recent episode – figuring out that the patient has African sleeping sickness, contracting it via sex. whoops; moral: adultery is bad). The medical stuff kind of makes you sick, and the stuff is over the top (like, can a doctor with as poor a bedside manner like House exist?) – but he’s the doctor you’d love to hate – because the way Laurie pulls it off, you can sense the actual sympathetic human being there, despite all that grouchiness and weird behavior. The supporting cast is pretty good too (liked how the background of the woman doctor unfolded slowly – her sad story of being a young widow). Of the new medical series of the season, this one is better than “Medical Investigation” on NBC.
This should be interesting this week – “Star Trek: Enterprise” has a new episode this week! (yep, can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to a Star Trek episode again. Ah, the unrepetent Trekkie…)
Have a good week.