Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated) Binding: DVD EAN: 0796019797580 Format: Closed-captioned Label: Weinstein Company Manufacturer: Weinstein Company Number Of Items: 2 Publisher: Weinstein Company Region Code: 1 Release Date: 2007-01-16 Running Time: 153 Studio: Weinstein Company Theatrical Release Date: 2005
As the title indicates, Seven Swords is in the epic spirit of The Seven Samurai and its American cousin, The Magnificent Seven. A grittier enterprise, it may not surpass Tsui Hark's 1990s classics like Once Upon a Time in China, but offers its own unique pleasures--like non-stop action (for which it received a coveted Golden Horse Award). Based on the book Seven Swordsmen from Mountain Tian, the action begins in rural China in the 1600s. The Ching Dynasty has just banned martial arts, and in response seven dissidents band together to fight against Fire-Wind (Honglei Sun) and his minions. The septet includes Hong Kong superstars Charlie Young (Wu Yuan Yin), Leon Lai (Yang Yun Chong), and Hero's Donnie Yen (Chu Zhao Nan). One of the mountain villagers they save is pretty Korean refugee Green Pearl (So-yeon Kim), who falls for the moody Chu. Filmed on location in scenic Xinjiang, Seven Swords is a feast for the eyes. Though some critics have taken Hark to task for the army's anachronistic goth-punk garb, it sure looks menacing. Originally four and a half hours long, this version clocks in at 153 minutes. Hark's soft-spoken commentary, along with Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan, is on the first disc. Deleted scenes and other extras are on the second. Because of the cuts, the complex narrative isn't always easy to follow--and the film still feels long--but the gold-tinged visuals and fight choreography by Kar-Leung Lau (The Legend of Drunken Master) helps to compensate. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Good if you can read fast. Comment: Great action. To much unnecessary violence towards women(raping). Subtitles were small & went by sooo fast it was hard to read everything & watch the movie. Customer Rating: Summary: Bubble Gum Action Flick Comment: 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. Customer Rating: Summary: Seven Swords Comment: It was not that good. I expect more fight if I know it was the way it I never buy it. Customer Rating: Summary: Looking for a Wuxia film that sacrifices most of the flying and art for epic characters and battles? You may have found it... Comment: 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). Customer Rating: Summary: Seven Swords (WOW) Comment: This is a great martial arts movie. We need more of these. The price that I paid for this move is good as well. I received from my seller in the stated time.