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Hero DVD

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Director Zhang Yimou brings the sumptuous visual style of his previous films (Raise the Red Lantern, Shanghai Triad) to the high-kicking kung fu genre. A nameless warrior (Jet Li, Romeo Must Die, Once Upon a Time in China) arrives at an emperor's palace with three weapons, each belonging to a famous assassin who had sworn to kill the emperor. As the nameless man spins out his story--and the emperor presents his own interpretation of what might really have happened--each episode is drenched in red, blue, white or another dominant color. Hero combines sweeping cinematography and superb performances from the cream of the Hong Kong cinema (Maggie Cheung, Irma Vep, Comrades: Almost a Love Story; Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, In the Mood for Love, Hard Boiled; and Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The result is stunning, a dazzling action movie with an emotional richness that deepens with every step. --Bret Fetzer

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Sweeping and sumptuously-shot martial arts action film in the vein of Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. In Ancient China, the Emperor of the northern province of Qin (Daoming Chen) is under constant threat of assassination attempts. Three assassins in particular are the cause of much fear in the palace: Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), Sky (Donnie Yen) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung). When a minor local official (Jet Li) comes to the palace to relay the information that he has managed to overcome the three adversaries, the Emperor invites him to tell the story of his incredible victory.

Zhang Yimou the director of such Chinese epics as RED SORGHUM RAISE THE RED LANTERN JU DOU and SHANGHAI TRIAD takes his first stab at a period martial arts film and succeeds wildly making an intelligent carefully crafted drama that pays tribute to the genre while taking it to another level The story is set 2000 years ago during the time of the Warring States when seven kingdoms were battling for dominance and one leader--the king of Qin (Chen Dao Ming)--was determined to end up victorious and unite all of China as one nation The proud king is forced to live trapped alone in his palace as a remarkable trio of villains--Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk) and Sky (Donnie Yen)--are out to kill him But one day a simple country prefect (Jet Li) shows up announcing that he has killed all three assassins Identifying himself as Nameless the prefect tells in great detail how he got rid of the king&39;s sworn enemies However once Nameless is finished the king has some interesting questions for him pointing out holes in his tale The cat-and-mouse story continues as Nameless and the king seek to find out the truth about the assassins and the future of China Zhang Yimou&39;s marvelous film is enhanced by Christopher Doyle&39;s lush photography Tan Dunn&39;s percussive score (with Itzhak Perlman adding violin and fiddle) exciting special effects from SHAOLIN SOCCER veteran Tony Ching Siu-Tung and excellent acting

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