There's a certain kind of sumptuousness to Chinese period epics, like John Woo's Red Cliff or the films of Chen Kaige. Zhao Yiyang's The Assassins has a pretty good vibe going here in this trailer, and I'm interested to check this out since it'll at least be visually interesting. (Eventually I'll understand the Three Kinngdoms epic... eventually.) Here's a synopsis for The Assassins:
In the year 198 BC, Cao Cao (Chow Yun-fat), Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty, ventured to the east and defeated China's greatest warrior Lu Bu, terrifying every ambitious warlord across the country. Several years later, after taking the Han Emperor under his wing, Cao crowns himself King of Wei. He built a magnificent Bronze Sparrow Island to symbolize his power and rumors spread that he would replace the Emperor.
Meanwhile, young lovers Mu Shun (Tamaki Hiroshi) and Ling Ju (Crystal Liu Yi Fei) are taken from a prison camp to a hidden tomb, where they spend five cruel years together, training as assassins for a secret mission. In the year 220 BC astronomical signs predict dramatic change. As a result, Cao's son Cao Pi (Qiu Xin Zhi) and Cao's followers urge Cao to become the new Emperor -- but unknown and opposing forces plot against him.
The Assassins comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on January 8th.
UPDATE: According to the good folks at Variety, it looks like Weinstein Company's deal with Netflix has rubbed some theater chains the wrong way. AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Carmike have all refused to show the sequel. Each the...more
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