I got a chance to watch this on the plane over and loved it. The movie looks beautiful. It's one of these cast of thousands historical productions, that's a feast for the eye, has plenty of dark family drama and even has some kung fu. The action takes place almost entirely in the Forbidden City. There is gold and red everywhere, brocaded tapestries and richly decorated furnishings. The thousand of extras are exquisitely dressed and everything is color coordinated. All the splendor feels a little overwhelming at times, but it's part of the experience.

Here's a spoiler -free version of the delightfully melodramatic plot summary from imdb (courtesy of Sony Pictures):
China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang (Chrysanthemum) Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous.
Amid the glamour and grandeur of the festival, ugly secrets are revealed. As the Imperial Family continues its elaborate charade in a palatial setting, thousands of golden armored warriors charge the palace. Against a moonlit night, thousands of chrysanthemum blossoms are trampled as blood spills across the Imperial Palace.

The theatrical trailer:


A shorter, more action oriented trailer:


Think 'Rome' with ninjas, kung fu and haunting drum beat, and you've got 'Curse of the Golden Flower'. The film has all of the splendor of a Cecil B de Mille production, all the devious scheming and political maneuvering of 'Rome', but with more cool kung fu fights. It sounds like kind of a weird mix but kung fu is always a good addition to any plot in my book.
Throughout the movie, every hour is marked by eery chanting of a haiku like verse and the sound of a gong. Men and women all have long, flowing black hair and layers of robes, which increases the sex factor at least tenfold.

Spoilers ahead... )

Jill Wagner in the wardrobe department of Stargate: Atlantis.

From Gateworld

Jill Wagner, perhaps best known for her role as Krista Starr in the short-lived Blade TV series, will step up for a prominent role in the fourth season of Stargate Atlantis, executive producer Joseph Mallozzi recently revealed in a post at his blog.

Wagner will play Larrin, the leader of an unnamed, technologically advanced race who set off from their Wraith-stricken planet in a generational ship. When Larrin and her people capture Colonel John Sheppard, they hope to convince him to use his Ancient gene to aide their cause.

The 28-year-old actress was born in North Carolina, and has also appeared on such series as Monk and Dr. Vegas.

Larrin's race will be introduced in "Travelers," expected to air as the fourth episode of Season Four. They are meant to be a recurring "wild card" for the Atlantis expedition, as their allegiances may swing in many different directions.

"Travelers" goes before cameras soon, and will air this fall on The SCI FI Channel in the U.S. Stick with GateWorld for the latest on this episode and the rest of Season Four!

Joseph Malozzi posted a little more about 'Travelers' on his blog.

Amanda Tapping *and* Jill Wagner on Atlantis! Score! Now I just need to hear that Claudia Black will be making some appearances and all will be right with the world.
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