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Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Default Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame



    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, is an epic mystery film that is a fictional account of Di Renjie, one of the most celebrated officials of the Tang Dynasty. A co-production between China and Hong Kong, the film was directed by Tsui Hark from a screenplay written by Chen Kuofu. The film is an adaptation of the book, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, authored by Lin Qianyu. The film stars Andy Lau as the lead role, and features art direction and fight choreography by Sammo Hung. The film's supporting cast includes Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Deng Chao and Tony Leung Ka-fai. Principal photography for Detective Dee began in May 2009; the film was shot at Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang, China. Detective Dee was released in China on 23 September 2010 and in Hong Kong on 30 September 2010. The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. The film also made its North America debut by premiering at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

    For the lead role as Di Renjie, Tsui originally had Tony Leung Ka-fai, along with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in mind. Tsui commented on choosing an actor to play Di Renjie: "Who said that Di Ren Jie must be plump and old? He could also be very handsome. Wits and looks can balance one another." On 5 January 2009, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Andy Lau would star in the lead role. On 29 April 2009, it was announced that Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Deng Chao and Tony Leung Ka-Fai would appear in supporting roles.

    Andy Lau plays Di Renjie, an exiled detective of the Tang Dynasty. Lau felt that the character's psychic abilities was one of his greatest traits: "He is a forensic psychologist who knows what you're thinking, from your eyes, your breathing, the pauses in your speech, he could tell what you're withholding, a melancholic detective." To prepare for his role in the film, Lau studied criminal psychology.

    "He was someone very special, one possessing nerdiness, good deportment and great foresight. His mentality and philosophies were very different from Sherlock Holmes or James Bond. He can dwell forever in my heart, so I have a very romantic view on him, and must also be immaculate."
    —Director Tsui Hark on portraying Di Renjie.

    Carina Lau plays Wu Zetian, the Tang Dynasty empress of China. The film marks Lau's first feature film role in four years. On her role in the film, she commented on the strength of the empress: "I feel that Wu Ze Tian is a 'superman', her fate is very tragic, but she would find opportunities to defy her fate, to bring her, step by step, closer to her dreams. She has very strong willpower and is very wise, unlike myself." Lau had to practice horse riding for the film, accepting help from a professional trainer: "I have always been rather afraid of horseriding, afraid of such a large animal; but now I have overcome the mental obstacle and the lessons have been rather smooth."

    Li Bingbing plays Shangguan Jing'er, a highly skilled martial artist, who serves as Wu Zetian's maid and right-hand "man". The character is loosely based on Shangguan Wan'er, who was a poet, writer and politician of the Tang Dynasty. Director Tsui Hark decided to change the character, feeling that a more fictitious character would provide more room for creativity: "There're some things that Wan-er couldn't do, like being a top-notch martial arts expert."
    Last edited by xiaolong; 10-02-10 at 12:26 PM.

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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    This is a GREAT wuxia movie in terms of storyline, direction, pace and martial arts choreography. If only it has a more...er...appealing English title.

    With other whodunit movies, you kinda figure it out earlier. But the twists here can really take you by surprise! Wonderful acting by Andy Lau and Li Bing Bing.
    Last edited by xiaolong; 10-02-10 at 12:46 PM.

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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Detective Dee has broken cinema box office records in Mainland, surpassing Iron Man 2, Tangshan Earthquake, Pirates Of The Caribbean
    http://post.yule.tom.com/s/A000090A2819.html
    Last edited by xiaolong; 10-02-10 at 12:46 PM.

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    Senior Member Linda's Avatar
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    "Li Bingbing plays Shangguan Jing'er"

    Is this the character Eva Huang ShengYi played in that Wu Ze Tian drama?
    Currently in love with Bae Suzy...for superficial reasons.

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    Senior Member Surferket's Avatar
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    Deng Chao plays an albino agent of the Justice Dept working with Dee. Couldn't recognise him under that white paint and he seems to have slimmed down plenty after his Wuji.

    click to show/hide spoilers
    Both his and LBB's characters die towards the end.

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    Senior Member Cesare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolong View Post
    This is a GREAT wuxia movie in terms of storyline, direction, pace and martial arts choreography. If only it has a more...er...appealing English title.

    With other whodunit movies, you kinda figure it out earlier. But the twists here can really take you by surprise! Wonderful acting by Andy Lau and Li Bing Bing.
    Don't forget about Deng Chao and Carina Lau. They are both awesome. Pei Donglai is one of the coolest sidekicks I have seen in these past few years - and Carina Lau as Wu Zetian? She owns the screen every time she enters the scene. Just...regal.
    别想把黑暗放在我的面前
    太阳已经生长在我心底
    不再有封闭的畏惧
    奔腾的灵魂飞上天际
    太阳 我在这里

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    just saw the movie, it definitely kept me on my seat but it just lacked something, dont know what to say yet. also there are quite a lot of question marks that were unanswered like:
    click to show/hide spoilers
    who threw the knife at li bing bing when he was fighting andy lau? who saved andrew and li bing bing after she got pierced by the swords? why would tony leung tell andy lau about the fire worms and stuff?


    anyways i give this a 7/10
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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers
    who threw the knife at li bing bing when he was fighting andy lau? who saved andrew and li bing bing after she got pierced by the swords? why would tony leung tell andy lau about the fire worms and stuff?
    click to show/hide spoilers
    Wasn't it Tony Leung's character who threw the knife? I think Tony Leung told Andy/Detective Dee about the fireworms to make him suspect the temple

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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolong View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers
    Wasn't it Tony Leung's character who threw the knife? I think Tony Leung told Andy/Detective Dee about the fireworms to make him suspect the temple
    click to show/hide spoilers
    well it was unknown on who threw the knife, but i mean if that person wanted li bing bing dead, he could have killed both li bing bing + andy lau rite there
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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers
    well it was unknown on who threw the knife, but i mean if that person wanted li bing bing dead, he could have killed both li bing bing + andy lau rite there
    click to show/hide spoilers
    I really think it was Tony Leung. All the evil happenings were attributed to him in the end. But I must say I found Li Bing Bing character's dying scene in Wu Zetian's arms very touching.

    Jing Er: "Have you ever loved someone?"
    Wu Zetain: "Yes, but I paid too high a price."
    Jing Er: "Do you still think love is worth dying for?"
    Wu Zetian: "Yes, it is."

    Something like that. Real solid acting by LBB and Carina!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolong View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers
    I really think it was Tony Leung. All the evil happenings were attributed to him in the end. But I must say I found Li Bing Bing character's dying scene in Wu Zetian's arms very touching.

    Jing Er: "Have you ever loved someone?"
    Wu Zetain: "Yes, but I paid too high a price."
    Jing Er: "Do you still think love is worth dying for?"
    Wu Zetian: "Yes, it is."

    Something like that. Real solid acting by LBB and Carina!
    click to show/hide spoilers
    then why didnt tony kill them both? also who saved both of them when bing bing stepped on that trap and a sword pierced her
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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    click to show/hide spoilers
    then why didnt tony kill them both? also who saved both of them when bing bing stepped on that trap and a sword pierced her
    click to show/hide spoilers
    I think Deng Chao's character saved the both of them. Tony may not have wanted to kill Detective Dee yet as he wanted the blame to be put on the temple.

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    Senior Member Cesare's Avatar
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    click to show/hide spoilers
    If by "throwing the knife at Jing'er when she was fighting Di Renjie" you mean the fight scene at the temple, that wasn't a knife but the tip of Jing'er's/chaplain's sword. Di hit the sword with his mace and broke it, but the tip of the blade hit one of the pillars and ricocheted back at Jing'er...

    After Jing'er triggered the trap, I think it was in the end Di Renjie who got them to safety. His wound couldn't have been too critical if he got up and walked so shortly afterwards. Maybe he just needed some time to pull himself together and get on his feet and Jing'er managed to buy him all the extra time he needed. Or maybe it was the doctor/donkey Wang? Couldn't have been Pei Donglai, as he had totally different things to worry about at that moment (like - being tied to a post and soaked with the fire turtle poison)...
    Shatuo (or whatever the name of Tony Leung's character was) probably didn't save them, as Di was of no possible use to him anymore.


    There are many odd twists and plotholes in the film. I think much was sacrificed in favor of the "coolness factor". But I love the movie, anyway...
    别想把黑暗放在我的面前
    太阳已经生长在我心底
    不再有封闭的畏惧
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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    I really want to watch this, especialy as I like Li Bingbing a lot. Can someone let me know if she ends well or dies like she does in almost all her wuxia roles? And um.. how do I view spoilers these days? I can't click on them to display hidden text anymore.. it's just plain text.

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    Senior Member xiaolong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
    I really want to watch this, especialy as I like Li Bingbing a lot. Can someone let me know if she ends well or dies like she does in almost all her wuxia roles? And um.. how do I view spoilers these days? I can't click on them to display Clitext anymore.. it's just plain text.
    Click on "Reply With Quote" to view the spoilers. Yes, LBB's character dies in Wu Ze Tian's arms while confessing her love for Dee.

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolong View Post
    Click on "Reply With Quote" to view the spoilers. Yes, LBB's character dies in Wu Ze Tian's arms while confessing her love for Dee.
    Thanks for the tip on the spoilers!!

    Man, why can't they give her at least one happy wuxia ending? Another show to give a miss then =(

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    Quote Originally Posted by xiaolong View Post
    Click on "Reply With Quote" to view the spoilers. Yes, LBB's character dies in Wu Ze Tian's arms while confessing her love for Dee.
    I think you should put the second sentence in spoiler tag (now that we know how to read the content of the spoilers).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
    Thanks for the tip on the spoilers!!

    Man, why can't they give her at least one happy wuxia ending? Another show to give a miss then =(
    It's a nice show. Give it a try.
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

    和諧唔係一百個人講同一番話,係一百個人有一百句唔同嘅說話,而又互相尊重 ~ - 葉梓恩

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidd View Post
    It's a nice show. Give it a try.
    I like Li Bing Bing more than I fancy watching a nice show. I remember watching Chang Jian Shang Si - all those episodes, and she was so cute, and at the end suddenly she dies in the final fight shielding her boyfriend when both of them could probably have taken a palm each and survived. I was gutted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
    I like Li Bing Bing more than I fancy watching a nice show. I remember watching Chang Jian Shang Si - all those episodes, and she was so cute, and at the end suddenly she dies in the final fight shielding her boyfriend when both of them could probably have taken a palm each and survived. I was gutted.
    li bing bing was awesome in this series. as a matter of fact, everyone was perfectly casted. the movie is worth it....li bing bing is so beautiful and such a wonderful actress. it's worth sitting through her ending just to watch her on screen.

    i finally saw reign of assassins and detective dee. i found ROA more enjoyable, but i think li bing bing is better female lead (her character was very great) in DD (imo) even though ROA is mostly about michelle yeoh's character, drizzle.
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    Since I am going to ask a question, I think it's alright not to put it under spoiler?
    At Wu Zetian's statue, there is good reason to kill the inspector since he learnt something wrong with the structure. The killing of the official from Supreme is deliberate. Why do you want to kill him?

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