During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Written by
The lake scenes took almost three weeks to film because director Yimou Zhang insisted that the lake's surface had to be perfectly still and mirror-like during filming. Due to the natural currents, this occurred every day for only two hours starting at 10am. To adjust to this phenomenon, the filmmakers arose at 5am each day to begin five hours of preparation and set-up. See more »
(at around 27 mins) When Nameless shows Sky's broken spear to Broken Sword and Snow, he had directed them to meet at midnight - yet when he leaves, it is clearly the middle of the day, as a building is visible in sunlight through the doorway. See more »
I was orphaned at a young age and was never given a name. People simply called me Nameless. With no family name to live up to, I devoted myself to the sword. I spent ten years perfecting unique skills as a swordsman. The King of Qin has summoned me to court, for what I have accomplished has astonished the kingdom.
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While i enjoyed this movie very much, i believe Hero will get the kinds of reviews and responses that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (CTHD) did, and still does, ie. either you liked it very much, or you couldn't see what the fuss was all about. This dichotomy of opinions makes for interesting study because it seems to cut across cultural and intellectual differences. Everywhere the film is shown, there will a segment of the audience that will love and rave about it, and another segment that will be wondering if they had been watching the same movie. I can't explain why this is so, but i suspect it has a lot to do with a viewer's initial expectation of the movie, and then his perception and appreciation of the nuances in the telling of the storyline.
Hero is a film that is beautiful in many aspects. The direction and photography is artsy without being pretentious. Every shot is worthy of being a work of art in itself. The language spoken is traditional mandarin, but oh, so easy to the ear, even though i couldn't understand every word. (I don't think Tony's and Maggie's voices were dubbed, but i could be mistaken). The main characters were very well acted out, especially that of the role of the Qin Emperor. Zhang Ziyi's character was largely insignificant though, so i think she's been put in to add some star power to the production. The fighting scenes are unusual by most standards, employing an interesting combination of CGI and real action. Some of the powers that the characters possess appear too amazing to be true, but remember that some of the fights only took place in the fighters' imagination. The music, though quite similar to that in CTHD, is appropriate, and sticks hauntingly to the back of your mind long after the movie is over.
I went to the cinema having heard some of the hype leading to the movie, but with no real knowledge of the storyline, and not expecting a lot. I think that helped me enjoy the movie more, because the way the story unfolded actually set me thinking and anticipating in a manner that i could not have had i known more about the storyline. The message at the end of the movie is simple, but certainly open for debate. In fairness, i don't think the director attempted to provide an answer, as to whether the decision made by the Nameless One was the correct one or not, but rather to ask questions. I'd better not give out too much here, but it certainly set me thinking about things for a little while after the show had ended. These days, any movie that can get me pondering after the credits go down has got to be pretty good.
Overall an excellent movie. I'm sure some areas could be better, but i can't think of any right now. Highly recommended.
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