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  • Wuxia recommendations

    I was in the mood to watch some wuxia leading up to a new game I'm hoping to start soon. I was obliged to admit to myself that I don't actually know that many good wuxia movies. Does anyone have any recommendations? I remember Jen having some exciting-looking movie posters in that delightful romance thread. But surely Jen isn't alone in that, not on the Exalted forums.

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the first I ever saw in the genre. I also loved Hero and House of Flying Daggers. And I'm leaving at least one that I've seen unnamed in order to create the illusion that I've seen more than I actually have.

  • #2
    If you don't mind cheaper production values, there's quite a few Wuxia tv shows as well.
    I enjoyed Lotus Lantern as an introduction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yknG_TrWTw
    It's about a demigod who wants to rescue his mum (an imprisoned goddess). He has to steal power from the gods, learn kung-fu from Sun Wukong, etc.
    I also kind of enjoyed Xuan Yuan Sword, but like a lot of Wuxia Dramas, it has this problem where halfway through, the strong female characters, who earlier were kicking ass, turn into crying wrecks who spend all their time being sad because they can't be with the one they love. (I've also seen this in K Dramas, both historical and modern, so it's not just a Wuxia thing I guess.)
    I know Chinese Paladin is rated very highly, but I couldn't really get into it.

    Anyway, a quick google of "Best Chinese Wuxia Dramas" should give you plenty of recommendations.


    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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    • #3
      Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (movie. didn't see the 2018 series)
      The Drunken Master
      Call of Heroes
      Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (a sequel )
      Sword Master

      Undisputed (I jest XD But the fights there are great)

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      • #4
        I'd add Curse of the Golden Flower to this. Like Hero the visuals are just stunning.

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        • #5
          Fearless. Bit more realistic and less wire-fu; but still quite good.

          Iron Monkey as well.

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          • #6
            Looking for wuxia specifically? All right, here's a healthy stack for you.

            Brotherhood of Blades (The sequel is a prequel. It's also fun, but not as good)
            Shadowless Sword
            The Lost Swordship
            Reign of Assassins
            Secret Service of the Imperial Court
            Deadly Breaking Sword
            The Odd Couple (1979. It has Sammo)
            Wu Xia (localized in the west stupidly as "Dragon." Try to find the original hong-kong release, the western commercial one is missing almost twenty minutes.)
            Life Gamble
            Detective Dee (Not entirely wuxia, but there's a fair bit of melee shenanigans. The firs two are good, dunno about the third yet)
            13 Blades
            The Sentimental Swordsman
            The Butcher, The Chef, and the Swordsman
            The Sword Identity
            The Lost Bladesman (Donnie Yen plays Guan Yu. Good stuff.)
            Dragon Inn (1967)
            Last Hurrah for Chivalry (John Woo directed period wuxia film. Great shit.)
            Shaolin Prince (Kinda half wuxia and half straight martial arts. Great film regardless.)
            Legendary Weapons of China (Jeezus christ, how did I almost forget this one?!)
            The Great Wall (It's definitely not Zhang Yimou's best, but it's great Exalted fodder)
            Thunderbolt Fantasy (Series, not movie, but eh, it's awesome.)
            Flying Dagger (Wuxia sex comedy. No, I'm not joking. Yes, it's hilarious. Also, whoever subbed it clearly wanted it to be PG so the written dialog sometimes doesn't line up with the screen action in spectacular ways.


            There you go, a big ole pile of great wuxia films. Now, if you want to expand this to just martial arts films, this list gets soooo much longer. :-D


            Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge

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            • #7
              Ip Man and Ong Bak make for more modern setups as well. Both are great.

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              • #8
                I also would recommend "Red Cliff" it is a great movie and the visuals for the war scenes are really good for envisioning mass combat.

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                • #9
                  Mujuru-dono already mentioned "The Butcher, The Chef, and the Swordsman" ... which I thought was a really fun movie in a lot of ways. I've been sorely tempted to come up with a Soulsteel cleaver based on this movie - it would be incapable of actually cutting anybody because the soul of the Chef trapped inside really just wants to make delicious food. It might have two hidden Evocations though - one to subtly poison anyone that the wielder genuinely hates, the other to instantly kill and butcher any attacking creature that is potentially edible, even if it is being ridden.

                  Detective Di (or Dee) was really good as well. I haven't seen the third movie yet, either. There is a TV series, but I've not found subs for it yet. The Demon-subduing Mace really needs to inspire an Artifact. Without spoiling too much, there are statues, bugs, fish, cliffs, and fleets of ships that would be good inspiration as well.

                  I don't see "Memories of the Sword" in the list yet, so that will be my contribution for this post. The story is a little bit jumbled to follow and the ending was... forced. But it's a heartbreaking example of one generation addressing the sins of the prior. Good dynastic story fodder


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Citadel97501 View Post
                    I also would recommend "Red Cliff" it is a great movie and the visuals for the war scenes are really good for envisioning mass combat.
                    IIRC though, the Western release was heavily cut, which makes it confusing.


                    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
                      Mujuru-dono already mentioned "The Butcher, The Chef, and the Swordsman" ... which I thought was a really fun movie in a lot of ways. I've been sorely tempted to come up with a Soulsteel cleaver based on this movie - it would be incapable of actually cutting anybody because the soul of the Chef trapped inside really just wants to make delicious food. It might have two hidden Evocations though - one to subtly poison anyone that the wielder genuinely hates, the other to instantly kill and butcher any attacking creature that is potentially edible, even if it is being ridden.

                      Detective Di (or Dee) was really good as well. I haven't seen the third movie yet, either. There is a TV series, but I've not found subs for it yet. The Demon-subduing Mace really needs to inspire an Artifact. Without spoiling too much, there are statues, bugs, fish, cliffs, and fleets of ships that would be good inspiration as well.

                      I don't see "Memories of the Sword" in the list yet, so that will be my contribution for this post. The story is a little bit jumbled to follow and the ending was... forced. But it's a heartbreaking example of one generation addressing the sins of the prior. Good dynastic story fodder
                      That's because I haven't seen it yet (one of the first in this thread! )

                      I'll add it to my personal watch list though!


                      Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                        IIRC though, the Western release was heavily cut, which makes it confusing.
                        US Release cut the two part/4 hour film into a single film about 2.5 hours. Because Weistein sucks balls at localizing films.

                        Apparently the full thing did eventually get a release.


                        Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge

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                        • #13
                          Oh, I forgot to add Saving General Yang to my list. That's a fun one, too.


                          Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge

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                          • #14
                            I really like the sound of Lotus Lantern, it sounds fantastic. Thanks, The Wizard of Oz , I'll look into it. It's a shame to hear about that being a problem in a lot of wuxia dramas. But it's hard to get away from sexism anywhere, so I guess the same critical approach needed for other media will have to apply here, too.

                            Synapse I did see the CTHD sequel, but I didn't think it was as good as the original. Still, it wasn't bad. I'll check those others out.

                            gribblethemunchkin I have seen that one! I dunno if it counts as Wuxia or not, but it's defs a good movie and probably good Exalted inspiration too.

                            the_larz idk, you kind of lose me at "less wire-fu," but Iron Monkey was a good one so I'll give it a shot.

                            SamuraiMujuru That is quite a stack. What exactly is the difference between Wuxia and "just martial arts?"

                            Citadel97501 There's this tiny, unimpressive little artificial river in my hometown. I had the Wrong Idea about the River Province as a result. I couldn't imagine how it could possibly be worth taking sail charms for river-based warfare. Then I saw the scene where they're moving the fleet down the river in the movie and kind of went "Oh... THAT's what a river looks like."

                            Simon Darkstep Interesting ideas, thanks. The cryptic non-spoiler is very enticing.

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                            • #15
                              Straight martial arts tend to be more modern, and lack the gods, demons and Taoist wizards of Wuxia.

                              Essentially, Wuxia is a fantasy genre and Kung Fu is an action genre.


                              "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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