I found Curse of the Golden Flower painful to watch... and by that I mean, the use of color was too in-our-face, the spouting of Chinese riddle-knowledge was unintelligible filler, and the killings were overly gruesome; plus the themes of incest and power-grabbing were incredibly unsavory.
I'm very glad that I didn't see this in the theatres -- I fast-forwarded much of the second hour of the movie because of the fighting and because I didn't see its value. For such a vast country and population, I felt that neither was utilized very well -- the movie had a claustrophobic and hollow feel to it, especially when the CGI is so obvious. The costume were beautiful (and the tight-fitting bodices mesmerizing) but I wouldn't say it was worth trying to watch the entire movie. Too bad. And after watching this, I'm seeing the value of The Forbidden Kingdom more and more.