Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (6)
This dazzlingly designed, mega-budget, period costumer offers further proof of Feng's increasing versatility, expansive vision and bravura technique.
...mesmerizing but often empty...
Visually opulent but stately and stygian.
A production that's both amazing to look at and hard to enjoy, The Banquet contains plenty of visual pleasures, but ties its gloomy story in too many knots to be truly entertaining.
Equivalent to attending a massive feast only to discover the main course is missing, The Banquet is frequently stunning, beautifully shot, but ultimately undernourishing.
For all its visual splendour, The Banquet has none of the pathos or originality of Crouching Tiger, nor does it endear us to its characters through its 140 minute running time
This may be one of the year's better films, and some of the rawest Shakespeare you'll ever see.
The Banquet should launch Feng's international career, but its odd mix of slow-paced drama and martial arts has created a lacklustre movie that won't make the mark its predecessors have.
A beautiful, if incomprehensible and interminable film with fest-fav Zhang Zi-Yi.
Staunch in its belief that bigger is better, The Banquet piles up enough condiments for a dozen meals but never really tries to cook them into one satisfactory repast.
The crown prince of a 10th century Chinese kingdom is summoned back to court when his father is assassinated and usurped by his uncle. Yet another Crouching Tiger wannabe starring the ubiquitous Zhang Ziyi, The Banquet is in fact a loose adaptation of Hamlet. I must admit to fearing the worst for the opening half of this film as it seemed to contain many of the same mistakes the very similar Curse Of The Golden Flower made in that it seemed to concentrate far more on overblown and superfluous set pieces and elaborate costumes than its plot and characters. Fortunately once the prince reaches the palace the story gets a kick start and the schemes and machinations of the various factions make for a much more interesting watch. It was nice to see Zhang Ziyi in a meatier role than the innocent porcelain doll she always seems to play and the supporting cast bring presence to their roles although it is often difficult to connect with any of them on an emotional level. It looks glorious, which is pretty much par for the course for this kind of thing and despite some pacing issues with the first half is a pretty decent stab at Oriental Shakespearian tragedy. Much better than the aforementioned Golden Flower, but obviously not in the same league as Kurosawa's forays into Bard territory.
Xiaogang Feng creates a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet known as The Banquet.
The story involves deceit, betrayal, and all the other good stuff in the royal court. It does have a play-like feel to it with a run time of 2 hours and 10 minutes and a pace that is quite slow. Yes, the film does drag at times, however the cinematography, costuming, settings, and acting save this film from total boredom. Besides, the final 30 minutes, which is the banquet scene, is highly intriguing. Hence, The Banquet.
The action is minimal, and like mostly everything else in this film, very dramatic. Most of the shots are in slow motion and the orchestra type music tones down the bloody encounters. One of the sequences is more of a dance than a fight too. The martial arts choreography is there and it is a shame that a good portion of it isn't seen in real time speed.
The acting is good, albeit seemingly unemotional at times. Zhang Ziyi keeps the viewer at bay as she keeps switching sides with her actions. Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, and Ge You round out the rest of the major cast.
The Banquet is not the most entertaining of films, as it is mostly for people that enjoy theatrical arts. It is worth a check out if time allows.
Outstanding Movie, A Romeo & Jullet / Hamlet Story in Asian Theme, love the way people just float thur the air when fighting, much better then the ole school Kung Fu Movies (trash Can Lids). Rent or Buy you will not be sorry.
This movie is one hell of a masterpiece! Anyone who has a passion for theater arts would surely love this!
Note: Get a copy with proper subtitles!!
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