This is a new film
by the director of Hero
(my favorite) and House of Flying Daggers
, and it has the two biggest movie stars in China, Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat, in a 10th century tale of a ruling family beset by infidelity, secrets, plots, mis-understandings, and death worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy. It also
has, rather unnecessarily and to some excess, the fantasy acrobatic violence characteristic of these films and of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, in this film mostly in the last 20 minutes or so, capped by an oddly inappropriately syrupy lounge song over the final credits. Those peculiar misgivings aside, it's a spectacular film and worth seeing.
On an entirely different matter, I can't help quoting this line from Dave Itzkoff's review of Michael Crichton's Next
, referring to Crichton's visit to the White House to discuss global warming.
Imagine: the modern era's leading purveyor of alarmist fiction, seated side by side with Michael Crichton.