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Hero Review

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Kin Ho, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Kin Ho

    Kin Ho Stunt Coordinator

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    Hero
    Directed by Zhang Yimou
    Released By Edko Films
    100 Mins
    Firstly I was disappointed with Hero and overall it isn't as good a CTHD.
    It is however very different form CTHD and more akin to Chen Kaige's The Emperor and the Assassin in scale and theme ...
    It is a full blown art movie and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. After skirting around good simple fables Zhang Yimou goes back to what brought him all the attention from the west, beautifully filmed chinese flavour specific movie making.
    You won't see a better looking martial arts movie and it is everything that the legend of Zu was to SFX in Martial arts ... hmmm perhaps that wasn't a good comparison :p ...
    The film runs like Rashomon and follows the same plot/theme/ideals as the Emperor and the Assassin.
    The Rashomon like storytelling technique found in many hollywood whodunnits causes Hero's overall structure to suffer because Hero isn't the type of story that works in that way.
    Some may see this as a spoiler if so skip it but if you know what rashomon is like then I have already spoiled it for you so read on :p ...
    A much more conventional unfolding of the plot like that found in CTHD or the emperor and the assassin would have given the characters in hero far more depth because as it is now you care for nothing about the characters as they take on schizo personality interpretations depending on what angle the story is looked upon. ... saying anymore would be in spoiler territory ...
    ...............
    Zhang Yimou hasn't failed with Hero its just that I always expect a lot from him in the same way I expect a lot from John Woo (but he would be a failure in my books). Zhang Yimou has always been a favourite of mine since seeing Ju Dou at an art cinema way back in 1990 and I have only ever been disappointed with To Live. Well now I can add Hero to that short list of Zhang Yimou disappointment especially after just seeing happy times which I loved.
    It won't win any oscars and I doubt it will even be selected and I can now understand why Miramax has decided to release it in Nov 2003 ... they will definitely see it as another legend of zu failure and I can guess that their funding for chinese martial art movies will soon come to an end ...
    Someone asked what the fights were like:
    The fights in Hero are incredibly beautiful to look at but Yuen Woo Ping is the master and he wasn't hired to do this movie.
    As well as being very different to CTHD Hero is also very different from The Emperor and The Assassin. The latter has a very complicated and seriously deep story, the former simplifies it to an extent where you can just switch off and marvel at what is onscreen.
    Having had time to digest this movie over night I still feel my initial impressions of disapointment holds true. The general public in HK also feel the same and are queuing up in droves to see Harry potter 2 instead this christmas.
     
  2. Matthew Kiernan

    Matthew Kiernan Stunt Coordinator

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    I know for a fact that the film test screened in NYC at the end of November and went over like gangbusters. My friend who saw the film raved about it and said it was better than CROUCHING TIGER. I think Miramax is going to attempt to milk HERO for all it's worth and get it into festivals and such for a big unveiling next fall.

    Of course, they may want to revise this strategy once the DVDs are released in Hong Kong. Hell, I saw bootlegs of SHOALIN SOCCER and THE TOUCH available at my local shopping mall the other night.
     
  3. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    You tell em Matt!!!

    CTHD was a snooze fest even though Chow Fat, Michelle and I go way back.

    AND don't even compare the fighting between CTHD and Hero ok. Don't even try.
    CTHD was all exhibition and fluff.
    Hero was beautiful yet bionic with purpose in their martial arts.
     
  4. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote by Kin
    "Having had time to digest this movie over night I still feel my initial impressions of disapointment holds true. The general public in HK also feel the same and are queuing up in droves to see Harry potter 2 instead this christmas. "


    WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!!
     
  5. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    Thanks for the review Kin Ho... because it is one of the greatest living directors, I will definitely be seeing it... and I believe the DVD ( R2 ? ) comes out this week... and I know the VCD is available for $6 US right now... I can't wait to watch this... Zhang Yimou has not disappointed and I have seen all of his films... ( yes all! )

    Cheers,
     
  6. Simon Basso

    Simon Basso Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't wait for the HK dvd, thanks for the review.
     
  7. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    I relented and bought the VCD...
    I loved this film...
    My review with screen caps is HERE
     
  8. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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  9. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    I disagaree with the above post, Hero is 75 times better than CTHD.
    CTHD was a snooze fest. Ang Lee, please stick to Eat Drink, Man Woman and Sense and Sensiblity. The man doesn't know didly about making martial arts film.
     
  10. Joel_F

    Joel_F Extra

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    I've seen the theatrical cut of the film and I was kinda disappointed, I'm really looking forward to the director's cut though. Anyone know when it's supposed to be out? I was under the impression that the mainland Chinese DVD-9 version was going to be the 116 minute version, but it came out yesterday and apparently is only 98 minutes long.
     
  11. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    Uhhh... why would you want to supersize something if you were disappointed with the 90 min version?
    Got crack!
     
  12. Joel_F

    Joel_F Extra

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    It's obvious David, cut 18 minutes out of any good movie and you will no doubt lose things like character development, pacing, etc. Just look at the theatrical version of "The Abyss" vs. the Special Edition. Completely different film. Most Hong Kong movies that Miramaxe gets their hands on end up pretty bad in their shorter versions, "Hero" is likely no exception.
     
  13. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, I see. So you're saying that you saw nothing in the 98 min version that you could not muster anything postitive about the film except for: "disappointed"
    Disappointed = Sucks
    So let's say for arguement sake that the missing 18 minutes is just outright spectacular. That would change your mind?
    Those 18 minutes???????
     
  14. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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  15. Joel_F

    Joel_F Extra

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  16. Joel_F

    Joel_F Extra

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  17. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    Well big guy...
    kinda disappointed + no postive comments = Sucks in some minds.
    But since you put it that way, then maybe I could kinda apologize for the jumping the gun.
     
  18. Joel_F

    Joel_F Extra

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    It's cool, no hard feelings.
     
  19. Jason*O

    Jason*O Extra

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    I preordered the dvd from www.dddhouse.com, which is supposed to come out next thursday (it was pretty cheap too). It is 2-discs and has english subtitles.
    Jason
    My site
     
  20. Kin Ho

    Kin Ho Stunt Coordinator

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    There is a review of the 99 min cut DVD with screen grabs over at the DVD forums.
     

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