Friday, December 26, 2008

Hero (China)

Zhang Yimou, 2002, China (10*)

This astounding film is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made in my opinion; it's also the highest grossing film in Chinese history which gives you some indication. Jet Li said it was the best script he has ever read, and left him in tears. The film's visual lyricism is sheer poetry, and the sound is so good that Bose used it for a tv ad for their surround system. The plot is full of twists and turns, as an assassin is telling the film's narrative to the King of Qin of how he defeated three assassins, one of them Ziyi Zhang, long-time enemies of the king from neighboring kingdoms, and the story changes as he tells it.

Director Zhang Yimou's (director of 2008 Olympic opening) masterpiece, at least two years in the making, and Yimou had to employ another director for the martial arts sequences - this was a major epic undertaking, which also used thousands of extras from the Chinese army. This is a film you'll watch over and over, and likely in Mandarin without subtitles once you know the story, so that the awesome visual compositions have no distractions.


Anonymous,  December 21, 2011 at 4:01 PM  


Found your blog while surfing through other film blogs and was intrigued by your very precise devotion to lists and ratings.

As far as this specific film goes, I would say that even though it is pretty good, it is far from being perfect. In fact, I would say that my favorite Zhang Yimou film is "House of Flying Daggers".
In my archive, I gave Hero a 3.5 out of 5, and 4 out of 5 to the latter.

I do agree with some of your other selections, especially because some are very surprising and represent your unique tastes.

Feel free to visit my young "Blog of Big Ideas" in which I also devote a great deal of attention to film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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