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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.

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