8:00 PM, 6th August, 2005
It is 859 AD and the Tang Dynasty is in decline. In Feng Tian county, an underground movement known as The House of Flying Daggers proves to be a thorn in the side of the local administrators. Two local captains, Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), are ordered to capture the leader of the movement. Leo suspects that Mei (Zhang Ziyi), the blind dancer at the Peony Pavilion, is a member of the movement and the daughter of the previous leader. Jin concocts a plot to masquerade as a renegade warrior, rescue Mei, earn her trust, and be led by her to the secret headquarters of the House of Flying Daggers, while Leo pursues the two of them. On their journey the two fall for each other and Jin is uncertain whether to betray the Emperor or his new love.
Zhang Yimou's follow up to the historical spectacle Hero is less complex but stunningly beautiful. The story of intrigue is secondary to the film's dazzling visual set pieces: the Echo Game in the Peony Pavilion, the fight in the bamboo forest (which is reminiscent of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but magnificent in its own right), and the climactic snow field duel which is operatic in its beauty.
10:00 PM, 6th August, 2005
Depressed that Jackie Chan's getting on a bit? Frustrated that Jet Li is still slumming it in Hollywood? Just plain ticked off that Bruce Lee is still dead? (and let's face it none of these are going to change) Before you cry like the sissies you've probably become in this kung fu slump, I have the answer! Tony Jaa is his name and Ong-Bak is his movie! Like the masters, no CGI, no wires , and probably no bone left un-broken. Ong Bak will have you cheering and wincing at the same time.
The story? I dunno, wasn't really paying attention to that- Something about retrieving a sacred Buddha that has been stolen from a village (or was that Around the World in 80 Days?). Who cares? Ong-Bak is a whoop-ass martial arts movie, the likes of which haven't been seen for a clear decade! See it now!