HTF UMD REVIEW: Hero

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by David Galindo, May 31, 2005.

  1. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    [c]Hero (UMD)
    Region 1 • PG-13 • Subtitles: English, Spanish • Available Now

    [​IMG][/c]

    Hero, which is “presented by Quentin Tarantino”, gets a really great UMD whose faults are only because of the original DVD presentation.

    Thoughts on the Movie

    You either love films like Hero, or have never seen films like Hero. That’s essentially the only thing I can say about this great movie, having never seen it until now…and what a treat it was.

    Jet Li stars as a hero who has killed the mighty enemies that have eluded the Emperor. For this, he is allowed to go and drink with the Emperor, and with this comes many stories of his adventure, all of which are fascinating and exciting, although it may not be the complete truth. And so on.

    This film has many great visual moments, some from the fighting, others from the background they fight in. It all moves as fluid as poetry as they engage in swordplay…sometimes with one person, sometimes with thousands.

    You have to believe that people can jump onto the ceiling and continue to fight upside down…that people can jump up higher than the trees, that warriors can walk on water for as long as they wish…and once you believe that, you will really enjoy this film. It’s a great movie, one that does have many great surprises that kept me wondering how the film was going to end. At 100 minutes, it feels just right. Fantastic stuff.


    Video Quality

    Hero is presented in it’s original 2.35 ratio, which is great. The black levels are near perfect, and the video is sharp and smooth. But…this is a great transfer of a poor treatment of the film to DVD. That is, all of the colors in the film, which should have been absolutely beautiful, are muted and dull. This was a problem on the DVD, and a problem here as well.

    The way it looked in the theaters, I’m told, does not even come close to the bland transfer we got on DVD. If you look at the bonus feature interview, you can see that the clips of Hero look far better and richer in color than the actual film itself!

    I didn’t expect Buena Vista to redo the transfer just for the UMD of course, but it’s a serious problem that had many DVD enthusiasts angry, and rightly so. A film this beautiful deserved much more. But, that’s a fight for another day I suppose.

    This film deserves better, but the UMD picture quality itself is great, and for that I give it a 4.

    4/5
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    Audio Quality

    This is a pretty loud sounding film, which is great. It’s on par to the sound of Kill Bill, though the positional sound isn’t quite as strong. The menu itself is very loud.

    Surprisingly, there are three audio choices for the film: the original Mandarin track, an English dubbed track, and a French dub track. Each one sounds about on par with one another in terms of sound effects, although I really recommend the default Mandarin track, since you pick up the emotions much more than the blah English track (which takes away a lot of the mystique if you ask me). Still, it’s great to have these choices available!

    4/5
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    Extras

    We get quite a few extras here. First off, the menus look and sound great. We get a chapter selection as well as an audio and subtitle menu, which lets you choose English subtitles, Spanish, or subtitles for the hearing impaired. There is a nice insert in the case as well. The extras are in a 4:3 format that allows you to stretch, zoom, or add vertical bars to the screen.

    First off we get Inside the Action, which is a 14 minute feature with Tarantino and Jet-Li on his movies and a bit of behind the scenes of Hero. They talk about how hard making these kind of movies are, what inspires them, why Quentin brought it to the states, and more. Pretty interesting, and had me wanting more.

    Next up are Storyboards for some fight scenes. We get five comparison storyboards- Golden Forest (:54), The Library (:16), Ring of Iron (1:19) & The Lake (2:46). All of these put the storyboard panel on top and the movie scene on bottom to compare the final product. These are a bit hard to see in the original format; I recommend using the Zoom function, which really helps.

    Twenty minutes of fairly high quality extras…a very nice addition to this good UMD. Oh, and no forced trailers. Hooray!

    4/5
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    Overall…

    This was a hard review to write…should I give the picture quality a bad rating for something the UMD had no control over?

    I decided not to. The movie in itself is great, as are the extras, and the menus are fantastic. If they can fit three audio tracks on a UMD, perhaps we can get commentary on future UMDs? It seems more likely now.

    I recommend this without hesitation to fans of the movie, but if you are a fan of the genre and haven’t seen this yet, you should definitely check it out.

    4/5
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  2. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    Hello, Im just replying here in accordence with the Gamesradar people to prove that I wrote this review.

    Ill explain more in the After Hours Forum. [​IMG]
     

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