Director Yimou Zhangís eye for detail is astounding, and is only accentuated by the limitless potential of Blu-ray technology. I felt bathed in the rich color scheme, whoís ebon flow all but jumps out of the screen. The landscapes are so alive with detail and beauty, you can almost feel the wind in your hair or beads of water on your skin. Again, this film invokes the use of all your senses, from Tan Dunís haunting score to Christopher Doyleís amazing cinematography. Now combine those efforts with a flawless cast of professionals and prepare to have your breath taken away. The underlining themes of unity, peace, war, sacrifice and honor all play a vital role of their own, which is wonderfully reinforced by the fascinating addition/use of calligraphy.
The story is flawless and cuts like the sharpest blade. The concept of Liís character being honored for his feats by gifts as well as the opportunity to get closer to his King was a clever setup. Liís plan was well thought out, and executed with a masterís skill. I loved the many forms of ďthe truthĒ conveyed through some of most pristine, elegant, and down right jaw dropping battle sequences Iíve ever seen captured on film. Words canít properly describe the dance of blades between the Nameless One, Sky, Broken Sword, Flying Snow and Moon. These are some of the worlds greatest martial artists, who also happen to be quite fluent in the art of weaponry (do you have any idea how difficult it is to fight THAT WELL with a spear or polearm). The energy and passion generated by this amazingly talented cast is unrivaled in my books.
HERO is a movie I was bound to enjoy no matter what. Iím a HUGE Jet Li fan (and Iím also a touch in love with Ziyi Zhang), and absolutely love ALL his movies, both foreign and domestic. I wasnít even bothered by the fact this flick contains subtitles, in retrospect, I feel that any other way would have severely cheapened the experience. And man does this already kickass presentation soar to new levels on Blu-ray! This is definitely a film to be viewed in HD. I wasnít overly enticed the ending (which I wonít spoil as this flickís not very old), but in all fairness it does go hand in hand with this filmís thematic elements so I canít say Iím disappointed. This picture is such a pleasure to behold, and I canít stress enough how important it is for you to see it at least once.
Hero Defined: A look into the making of HERO. Director Zhang Yimouís lifelong passion was to create an epic swordsman movie, and having been a martial arts fan all his life certainly helped make it happen. He has every reason to be proud of this film.
Storyboards: Here we have four storyboard fight sequences that play alongside the actual film sequence for a look at the evolution of each scene. These battles were amazing, the chess-court battle alone took two weeks of filming.
Inside the Action: A Conversation with Quentin Tarantino and Jet Li: One of the things I love most about Jet Li is how laid back and nice a guy he is, always so happy and polite. You can also tell Tarantino has a deep sense of respect for Li on both a professional and casual level.
Soundtrack Spot: A short commercial for the original motion picture soundtrack of HERO. You rarely see such a wondrous balance between music and fighting. There is also a DIGITAL COPY of the film.
Extra Tidbit: My favorite Jet Li flick? THE ONE. You canít go wrong with Jet Li VS Jet Li. I just hope his presence in THE EXPENDABLES is substantial and not just ďanother face.Ē