Tag Archives: rape

Flowers of War: DVD Review

Flowers of War is available to own on August 14, 2012. Courtesy of eOne Media


It is odd when a movie can be panned by critics, but enjoyed by most audiences. Yimou Zhang’s Flowers of War did exactly this and I’m glad audiences didn’t listen to most critics.

The film depicts Japan’s rape of China’s then capital, Nanking, through the eyes of an alcoholic Westerner (Christian Bale), innocent school children and a group of rowdy prostitutes (A very colourful band of survivors to be taking refuge in a church, to say the least).

Chinese writers Heng Liu and Geling Yan, and director Yimou Zhang created a fictional tale rather than basing the story on documented events. After reading some of the historical documents on the massacre that took place in 1937, I think they made the right decision. They crafted relatable characters and brought us into their horrid world effectively.

I had a hard time watching the grotesque acts of the Japanese soldiers, but it did not deter my enjoyment of the film. It actually motivated me to research this stain on human history.

Having a fictitious Westerner as the ultimate hero in this film no doubt ruffled a few critical feathers. Regardless of the historical inaccuracy, Christian Bale added dimension with his first-rate performance which justified this imperfect character’s inclusion. Not to be overshadowed by Bale, every child and adult actor gave the same level of commitment to their roles.

For the DVD release, we’re treated to one of the best special feature sets I’ve ever seen. The features include The Birth of The Flowers of War, Meeting Christian Bale, The Newborn Stars, Hard Time During War, and finally, Perfection of Light and Colour. Each feature gives you an in-depth look into every aspect of production, from casting, training, shooting, colour design, make-up, etc. This is a wonderful experience for all those interested in the filmmaking process.

Bottom Line: This DVD release hits a home run with a fantastic film and bountiful special features to boot!

Movie Grade A
Blu Ray Grade A

Runtime: 143 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.4:1


The Prodigies: DVD Review

The Prodigies is Antoine Charreyron first attempt at a feature length film. Courtesy of eOne Entertainment


The turmoil of being different is not easy to deal with. Imagine the anger that would build inside of you if you were treated like a freak day in and day out. What you would do with that anger, if by a change of events you had the power to control other people. This adaptation of Bernard Lenteric’s novel examines this in The Prodigies – An animated film for grownups.

In this movie, Jimbo, the main character in the film, discovers he has tremendous power as a youth and grows up to find every other person who shares his gift, or curse, depending on how you choose to see it.

It’s not a perfect movie, but the positives outweigh the negatives and the end result left me wanting a sequel.

The story is unique. It examines these borrowed themes (super powers, prejudice) in a violent way completely unsuitable for children. Because of this depiction there is an added element of realism to a film that could otherwise be considered juvenile.

On the other hand, the animated movement of the characters make the video games of yesteryear appear believable. This stylistic choice by video game turned movie director, Antoine Charreyron makes the entire production look very dated. For what it’s worth, the backgrounds and inanimate objects looked quite good.

Another negative is the DVD itself. The picture and audio quality are solid, but there isn’t a single special feature to speak of (Surprising given the relevant nature of the film).

Bottom Line: This sci-fi animation will satisfy fans of the genre. I’m sure excited about the story evolving into a sequel.

Movie Grade B-
Blu Ray Grade C-

Runtime: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1


Flowers of War: Blooms with beauty among the carnage

Flowers of War cast of Chinese actresses. Courtesy of eOne Entertainment


In 1937, then capital of China, Nanking, was successfully invaded by the Japanese who committed rape and slaughter upon thousands of innocent women and children. As I’m sure with many of you, I was not aware of this disgraceful piece of history… Until now.

The film depicts the “Rape of Nanking” through the eyes of an alcoholic Westerner (Christian Bale), innocent school children and a group of rowdy prostitutes (A very colourful band of survivors to be taking refuge in a church, to say the least).

Chinese writers Heng Liu and Geling Yan created a fictional tale rather than basing the story on documented events. After reading some of the historical documents on the massacre that took place in 1937, I think they made the right decision. They crafted relatable characters and brought us into their horrid world very effectively.

Yimou Zhang took their script and made the emotional interactions between all of the characters the forefront of the movie. I enjoyed the balance between the edge-of-your-seat suspense, intense action and the conflicting relationships.

I had a hard time watching the grotesque acts of the Japanese soldiers, but it did not deter my enjoyment of the film. It actually motivated me to research this stain on human history.

Having a fictitious Westerner as the ultimate hero in this film no doubt ruffled a few critical feathers. Regardless of the historical inaccuracy, Christian Bale added dimension with his first-rate performance which gave this imperfect character justification for being included. Not to be overshadowed by Bale, every child and adult actor gave the same level of commitment to their roles.

Bottom Line: Expect to be disturbed by this film. However, you can also expect to be captivated by the outstanding filmmaking, heroism and humanity encompassing it.

Grade A

Runtime: 146 minutes

IMAX: No

3D: No