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Hero
Intro:
Two thousand years ago, war raged across China as the King of Qin (Daoming Chen) sought to unite all the lands of China under his rule. Three assassins who've vowed to kill him, Long Sky (Donnie Yen), Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), have all been killed themselves by a nameless warrior (Jet Li) who now approaches the King to relate the tale of how he defeated the three skilled assassins. Ying Xiong (Hero) also features Zhang Ziyi as Moon, a follower of Broken Sword.

Packaging:
The package is fairly simple, an Amaray-style case featuring the main cast in dramatically posed head-shots. The back has a short description of the basic plot in English, but features the same image from the front, shifted downwards.

Video:
The video quality was very good. I didn't notice any distortions, and even the fast-paced scenes and hails of arrows looked clear.

Audio:
The Chinese-only audio was clean, clear, and free of distortions. I don't really have anything else to say about it. I don't know if it's in true Dolby 5.1 as advertised, but it sounds great in stereo.

Subtitles:
I didn't notice anything wrong with the subtitles. Some fans may prefer these subtitles to the subs from the theatrical version, as they seem to be slightly more accurate in some places. Specifically "All Under Heaven" is left in tact, it's not translated as "Our Land."

Chapter Breaks:
There are nine chapter breaks for a movie that's about an hour and a half long. That means one break about every ten minutes, which is a pretty good average.

Content:
There was some sort of special feature on the disc, I believe it was a behind the scenes featurette and interview with the director. I say think because I don't understand Chinese and the special feature isn't subtitles in English.

Conclusion:
I was kind of amazed by this movie when i saw it in the theater. The special effects are very well done, in that you know you're seeing special effects, but you're not particularly aware of them. The story is simplistic, and the action isn't as intense as, say, The Flying Guillotine, but the cinematography in this movie is some of the best I've seen since Apocalypse Now. Like that movie, the real story of Hero is how good it looks. Every frame jumps of the screen, every scene is like a vivid painting come to life. That, in and of itself, makes Hero one of the best martial arts films of our time.


Publisher: EZD
Discs: 1
Episodes: Movie
Price: $4.00

Reviewer: Nozomu
Reviewed On: 08/21/2006

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