Review: The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman DVD – strange, but in a good way

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You know how a lot of Hollywood movies have happy endings? Well, it’s the opposite for many Chinese films. Their endings tend to be sad (like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). I was expecting the same type of sad ending for The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman DVD (sent to me via Fox World Cinema for review on my dad blog). However, the movie actually has a happy ending, but it’s a happy ending in an unexpected way. Bottom line: The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman was odd at times, but the kids and I enjoyed the movie. The 92-minute DVD is available now for $29.98 (Amazon is currently selling it for $21.99).

Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman DVD (Fox World Cinema)

It’s three stories in one
The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman is actually three related stories in one. The three stories are tied together by a powerful blade. One story is about a swordsman who wants to be the greatest swordsman ever. To achieve his goal, he has a swordsmith forged the greatest sword ever. In another story, a thief becomes a chef and plans to seek revenge with a mystical cleaver. In the main story, which the other two stories/flashbacks relate to, a butcher falls in love with a beautiful courtesan. In the process of wooing the courtesan, he is embarrassed by a bearded man. Naturally, the butcher gets his hand on a magical blade and uses it in an attempt to get even. The movie also has an unexpected twist at the end.

Strange, but in a good way
The movie is odd, and took a little getting use to. The film features a mix of diverse filmmaking styles, including black-and-white sequences, animation, split screen, pop-ups and a music video (first time I’ve seen/heard Chinese rap). However, once I got use to the unexpected twists and storytelling, I enjoyed the DVD.

It’s in Mandarin
If you don’t like reading subtitles, you probably won’t like this movie. It’s in Mandarin and there isn’t a dubbed option. You have to read the English subtitles if you want to know what’s going on in the movie.

It’s kinda funny
The main story, the one about the butcher, was kinda funny. Personally, I thought it was only a little funny, but my kids thought it was hilarious at times. And two of my children couldn’t even read the captions.

Rated PG-13
It’s rated PG-13 for violence, some bloody images (but not as bloody as most Chinese martial arts films), a little crude humor and brief nudity. In my opinion, it’s ok for kids to watch. My children did, but now they’re all carrying magical blades made out of paper.

My new girlfriend is Kitty Zhang Yuqi
Kitty Zhang Yuqi plays the part of the lovely courtesan, Mei. The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman also features Liu Xiaoye (butcher), Masanobu Ando (chef), and Ashton Xu (swordsman). The movie was directed by Wuershan.

Fox World Cinema trailer
Check out the Fox World Cinema trailer for their current movie line-up.

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