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Confucius (2010) [Blu-Ray + Dvd]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Not Available
  • Format: DVD + Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Mandarin Chinese, English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Funimation! Unidisc
  • Release Date: March 27 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006MWA8UW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,713 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Screen legend Chow Yun-fat stars as Confucius in the inspiring, action-packed saga of a leader whose wisdom and cunning were more powerful than any sword. In this sweeping battlefield epic, Confucius finds his lands threatened by the fires of war. After leading the nation’s most powerful army to victory against hordes of invaders, the new hero finds even greater danger in the jealous eyes of the aristocrats he fought to protect. From the Producer of John Woo’s Red Cliff and Jet Li’s Warlords, and captured on camera by Oscar-winning Director of Photography Peter Pau (Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon), Chow Yun-fat delivers the award-nominated performance of a lifetime as a teacher, a military leader, and a legend in Confucius.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Blu-ray
“Confucius” “I wonder if there is any documentation left of this mans life on record, the one they called
the Scholar to the people, who wanted his people free from oppression by the bad Warlords,
trying to do a two hour movie of his life is no feet, but this was not bad at all, things to consider too,
here they’re showing mostly the battle that the man had to face.... because of the Jealous aristocrats
who was plaguing his land with fires of war....of course you can say it’s missing parts, it’s missing allot,
That should not deter from seeing this, I would think you’ll need about thirty or so make it right,
it’s sad when people see a movie like this and actually know of the mans life, and how many decades it spanned,
but can’t see the reality of the man himself, it’s like they think there're more intelligent than most,
which brings us to the same problem the man face, people who think they know more than you an me,
and what’s better for us,
English & Mandarin 5.1 True HD.
Widescreen 2.35:1
Run Time 125 Min.
I Though It Was Very Good... for What Was Given..
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wayne on Jan. 3 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Recently got around to watching this film and was amazed with the whole production. I knew little of the man called Confucius other than he was a scholar that to some extent became a religious figure. I was wrong on the religous figure part after watching the film but was amazed to learn a bit about the life of this great scholar and thinker. Overall it was a fabulous film about a man who tried to better the world around him and in essence the whole world itself through education. I am sure there are many things left out in this film just because it is very hard to capture a person's entire life in just 2 hours or so. If you like historic films (in this case historically based and set, not sure of entire accuracy due to the feeling that there is some much missing in the story) you will enjoy this. During my entire viewing of the film not once did I feel it drag out in any place, just wish there was more story to the man's life. Maybe BBC will do a multi-part sereis covering the entire life of Confucius.
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By Ross Walters on March 9 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vegalady on April 1 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this movie for my mom, she likes it a lot! I haven't seen it yet, but will !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 78 reviews
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Learning from a Master July 31 2010
By Lloyd Lofthouse - Published on
Format: DVD
The visuals through the movie are stunning and Chow Yun Fat does an incredibly convincing job of playing Confucius, who, no matter how much he was abused by his rulers, he still honored them, one of the flaws in his philosophy.

If you don't speak Mandarin and must rely on the English subtitles, be warned that most of the time the subtitles are mangled and do not stay on screen long enough to read. The challenge is to read the subtitle while keeping an eye on the stunning visuals.

This movie is an epic equal to Cleopatra, Moses or Sparticus. However, if you expect a potboiler, you won't get one--not all the time. This movie was filmed for a Chinese/Asian audience and their tastes are not as shallow as what most Americans prefer so there are slow but meaningful scenes that I'm sure are there for people to actually think. I'm sure the Chinese didn't want to ruin the movie by letting Hollywood get hold of it.

The DVD I bought and watched had a photo of Confucius with a beautiful woman on the cover. They must have added her to the cover for the Western audience since she is a beauty. However, in the movie, she plays a minor role and is assassinated for being too smart and wanting too much power in a violent world dominated by men, who are busy killing each other. She doesn't have much screen time. In fact, there are not that many women in the movie.

From what I know of Confucius, the movie showed him close to who he must have been--an honorable man who wanted to bring peace to a war-torn land and end the people's suffering. Like Moses, he spent more than a decade wondering the country in search of someone who would listen besides the rag-tag band of students who stuck to him like glue. If anything, we could learn something about dedication and loyalty from this band and their master.

I recommend this movie to anyone interested in China.
73 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Confucius Says "Making My Biopic Will Be Troubling" March 21 2012
By Edward L Zimmerman - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Usually, I love films that depict the peoples, places, and events from history. Granted, I prefer that films "do it right," don't exaggerate the importance of people and events because, when they do, I think those pictures rob the audience of experiencing, first-hand, those moments of discovery ... let's call them even `moments of appreciation' ... for what a person, place, or event meant to all of history. When you rob the viewer from reaching that conclusion on his own, one could make the case that the flick is little more than historical propaganda. What emerges is a stream of half-truths - all bloated to underscore the producer's particular obsession with what he believes is inspiring - and nothing about the central figure is genuinely "learned" in the process. All that is "learned" is what the producer or the writer or the maker wanted. What's lost - the true impact on history - is often far greater than what's gained.

All of this brings me to CONFUCIUS. History tells me that Confucius is one of China's most revered and beloved scholars. He's known for being a skilled orator, quick with a reflective phrase, mentally adept with a command of didactic language. He was a sought after by leaders to provide counsel on a whole host of matters, from military engagements to advice in private affairs of state. What emerges from this motion picture, however, is befuddling, at best.

According to the box art: "In this sweeping battlefield epic, Confucius finds his lands threatened by the fires of war. After leading the nation's most powerful army to victory against hordes of invaders, the new hero finds even greater danger in the jealous eyes of the aristocrats he fought to protect." Now, those two sentences make perfect sense when read; but, sadly, what emerges on film is a man who tricks their enemy into surrender, and then he's snubbed by those - the aristocrats - he helped pull the wool over the eyes of their mutual enemies. The rest of film presents Confucius's life as a wanderer from land to land, and, somehow through it all, he manages to maintain a loyal following, though I couldn't - for the life of me - tell you why.

In fact, Confucius utters few epic phrases in this epic picture ... about epicness. At best, he pulls off a few solid suggestions, maybe a witty implication or two, but nothing I'd print on a fortune cookie. I say this not meaning for any of it to sound disrespectful or insulting, certainly not to any of the Chinese people, but I have to believe Confucius did far more good than what gets screen time in this two-plus-hour "epic." As usual, I've done some reading, and while I've read a far amount of praise for Chow Yun-Fat in the titular role, I have to admit some shock in saying I just don't see it. Chow Yun-Fat has always seemed far more at home with a blazing .45 in his hands. Here? I think his talents are wasted, though he did receive a nominee for `Best Actor' in the Hong Kong Film Awards.

It all looks very impressive, though. Peter Pau - the cinematographer for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON - makes it all look wonderful, and the special effects for what few battlefield sequences are shown here (there's essentially very, very little warfare because Confucius's strengths were avoiding it) are, indeed, wonderful. It's just all told with an overemphasis on maintaining a timeline; the people are completely and utterly lost - and devoid of any luster - within the frame.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the only person plucked from history and put up on the screen who appears even remotely legitimate (or real) is actress Xun Zhou. She plays a royal consort, Nan Zi, who apparently secretly loves (or admires?) the teachings of Confucius, though the film provides no essential backstory as to why. Also, her role here is very brief - it's hard to even justify it as a cameo, she's given so little to do - but the actress actually breathes life into her scant scenes in a way any talent should in a biopic. Everything else here is drily academic ... and not in the good drily academic way.

CONFUCIUS's greatest failure is that it's progressively frustrating. I'll try to explain that, though I'll admit this may be a bit difficult as the experience was more than a bit confusing.

The picture begins with a series of character introductions - seemingly every person and period involved requires a specific subtitle introducing or highlighting the importance to back to Confucius's timeline - and the narrative device simply never lets up, implying that the viewer might be loss without this service provided by the filmmakers. Then, the film unfolds as if requiring this ongoing familiarity with all of Confucius's entire life. It's almost as if the script were written only with "fans of Confucius" in mind, entreating the viewer to marvel, "Oh, yeah, this is the moment when Confucius first said ____" and "that's the first time Confucius said ____." (Confucius fans can fill in the blank.) Biopics aren't always this force-fed to an audience. At least, many of them I've seen haven't used this narrative device. I can't help but wonder if the screenplay required a few more drafts OR were the producers pressed for time and simply decided to go with what required the least participation on the part of only an informed audience. Having known absolutely nothing about the life of Confucius, I can say that, after viewing the film, I'm not inclined in the slightest to want to run out and read more.

In fact, how can a film detailing the life of one of China's greatest thinkers, speakers, educators, be so flat, dimensionless, and uninteresting?

RECOMMENDED with strong reservation: certainly not for everyone, but it's worth a single view, if even for its prettiness.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Funimation provided me with a DVD screener for the expressed purposes of writing this review.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Good film on historical philosopher Aug. 5 2010
By Brian Gammill - Published on
Format: DVD
I saw this movie on an international flight, on my way through Asia. The small screen may have diminished the beautiful cinemetography, but I found the film quite enjoyable. It follows the career of Confucius from his role as a governmental minister who tries to bring virtue into the political rule of his homeland. His political philosophies develop into a more general social philosophy that he teaches to a band of loyal followers. They persevere through alternating seasons of favor and disfavor with various rulers. Ultimately, his philosophies of virtue prove to have pragmatic value to the governing of cities and territories. Consequently, his followers become desireable as governmental advisors or rulers in positions of authority. Seeing this film brings the ideas of Confucius to life and helps develop a sense of familiarity with one of the major figures of history.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Confucian Cinema Dec 26 2010
By John C. Marshell Jr. - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am not sure I would rank this film with Spartacus or The Ten Commandments, but it is a very good movie, well filmed, with many aesthetically pleasing scenes. I cannot really speak about the historical accuracy of the film. The last book I read on Confucius was in college many years ago written by Herrlee Creel (Confucius and the Chinese Way). Though my Chinese history professor thought it was the best book Creel ever wrote, I am sure it is dated by now. The more current biography by Ann-ping Chin, The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics, has received good reviews and may provide more insights into Confucius' life.

Unfortunately, I do not understand Chinese, so like the other reviewers, I am reduced to reading subtitles. There are "double subtitles," too. Some subtitles are incorporated into the film that provide historical background, another set of subtitles provide dialogue translations at the very bottom of the screen, and, yes, they move a bit quickly and can appear simultaneously, so you might miss things the first time through. Fortunately, the film is worthy of multiple viewings, so don't worry about this too much. The two scenes that impressed me the most were a dialogue between Lao Tzu and Confucius, probably inspired by the Chuang Tzu, shot as a dream sequence, as the two of them probably never met and the actual existence of Lao Tzu still a subject of debate, and the death of Yan Hui, one of Confucius' favorite disciples, who loses his life trying to save books from a lake. Both scenes have beautiful color and use light with great effect, especially Yan Hui's death scene in which the action is slowed down. You don't have to be a book lover to appreciate his courage and nobility in trying to rescue the things of greatest importance to Confucius and his disciples.

Chow-yun Fat's performance is very human. Confucius is portrayed not as an icon, but as a multi-dimensional and somewhat complicated character who maintains his principles despite adversity. However,I would have liked to have seen more in the way of relationship building between Confucius and his students. The film portrays Confucius' interaction with his students in wide bipolar swings, either aloof and restrained or deeply emotional and attached, depending on the narrative's needs. Developing the student-teacher relationships would have provided a venue for revealing more of Confucius' philosophy, which, I am sad to say, is a little weak in its presentation. While there is much mention of "humanity" and "propriety," important Confucian themes, discussion of the "Five Great Relationships," the character of human nature, or "filial" obligations seems slight and indirect. Though these themes are well incorporated into the plot, they somewhat suffer from it, as the plot can become complicated and hard to follow demanding careful attention from the viewer. Confucian philosophy can become secondary and obscured by the narrative. Notably, in first half of the film, when a political triangulation and court intrigue undermine Confucius' authority and sends him into exile. Confucian ritual is portrayed, but I think its significance is lost to the Western viewer. Consequently, Confucius, though very human, lacks intellectual depth, and a shallow sage he was not.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Visually Impressive But Feels Like Reading a Textbook Sept. 23 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
He has a bow and arrow in his hands, but no, this is not a historical action movie. Chow Yun-Fat is Confucius (551-479 BC), a Chinese politician, writer and philosopher whose eventful life story is chronicled in this so-so bio-pic that is beautiful to look at, but lacks compelling narrative.

Confucius was in the center of political intrigues in the court of the small kingdom of Lu, before enduring the long years of living in exile that started in his mid-fifties. The story, which should be dramatic and emotional with charismatic Chow Yun-Fat in the titular role, turned out disappointingly dry and unappealing due to the film's too earnest approach to the subject matter, which is like reading a beautifully printed textbook with too many footnotes.

Though Chow Yun-Fat as always delivers a solid performance as a wise philosopher and able war tactician, whose ideas often clash with the political rulers', the unfocused script does not know what to tell in the right order. There are too many characters in the film that is busy trying to include in its uneven narrative everything about the protagonist including Confucius' imaginary dialogue with Lao Tzu.

I know the film is trying to be historically accurate, but reading subtitles like - `During Ding's reign, power in the Kingdom of Lu has devolved to three aristocratic clans, known as "The Three Noble Families": the Jishi, Shushi and Mengshi clans' - is too much for the uninitiated in Chinese history. With gorgeous costumes and sets, "Confucius" is visually impressive, but the condensed and confusing storyline needs improvement.