flying swords of dragon gate

Find out why Black Belt's resident film critic believes this Tsui Hark-directed martial arts movie from 2012 beats big-budget flicks like Avatar when it comes to 3-D effects.

I was up late editing my next book when I decided to catch up on some DVR'd shows that I hadn't found time to watch. For some insane reason, before I could press play, I tuned in to a TV show that promised to reveal the top 50 3-D films of all time. The people behind the program wound up choosing James Cameron's Avatar (2009) as No. 1. Now, I've written film reviews for the past 24 years — covering horror, sci-fi, fantasy, animation, action and martial arts — so I've seen a lot of 3-D movies. In fact, my experience with them dates all the way back to Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954). That motivated me to start an Internet search for "top 3-D movies." Sadly, none of the lists I found named what I consider the best 3-D film ever made. To me, this indicates that when it comes to martial arts motion pictures, many critics still surround themselves with a bubble of cinematic illiteracy.

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