Star Trek Into Darkness
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
An ambitious film that unsuccessfully tries to mix elements of a movie Western with mystical elements from Buddhist folklore.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Warriors ransacks enough of the dust-swept battle genre (start with Sergio Leone, Akira Kurosawa, and John Ford) to have no rousing or opulent B-movie personality of its own.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Despite the breathtaking locales, Warriors of Heaven and Earth is impossibly cheesy.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
It's good to look at but plodding, even numbing.
Impressively filmed but not dramatic enough to justify its length.
| Original Score: 2/4
A handsome although dramatically muddled Noodle Western.
A fitfully rousing but too derivative mishmash of genre tropes.
Unfortunately, the two main protagonists, Lieutenant Li and Lai Xi, are too much the strong, silent type to engage us as heroes, or even characters.
| Original Score: 3/5
Shoots for a heavenly grandeur that it fails to achieve.
| Original Score: C
Takes all the elements of the classic Westerns, mixes them with Eastern spiritualism, and comes out with a film that is at least noteworthy, if not especially brilliant.
| Original Score: B-
There are scenes here that will stick in your brain for days.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's too busy courting genre cliches to mine anything transcendent, which runs counter to the promise inherent in the title.
For eyes that have overindulged in the stylized razzle-dazzle of Hero, the grit, dust, and occasional cheese of Warriors of Heaven and Earth come as a corrective slap.
An enjoyably pulpy story, occasionally slow-moving and pretentious
The best case for Warriors ... is its cinematic time travels and its peek into the natural wildness of a long-closed countryside.
Move over Peter Jackson and see battle scenes between human beings!
| Original Score: B+
Be patient, and you'll get rewarded with a good old-fashioned castle siege that's worth the wait.
It's well worth seeing just for the embellishments.
He Ping brings to his tale characters who are more dimensional than the usual symbolic figures of traditional Chinese period epics.