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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hero - Did I Miss The Thread?

   
Author Topic: Hero - Did I Miss The Thread?
Da_Goat
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Okay, did I just miss the big Hatrack thread about this movie? I expected, with all the adoration of Crouching Tiger, martial arts, and artsy movies around here, that it would get more attention. The only Hatracker I've heard talk about it was Temposs in AIM chat.

I haven't seen it yet, but it's got to be a good movie: 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

So, has anybody else seen it? What did you think of it?

[ August 31, 2004, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Da_Goat ]

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Carrie
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I was going to do a double feature after seeing it yesterday and realized I couldn't sit through another movie after it. Very very good. It was amazingly beautiful.
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St. Yogi
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I love it! I saw it about a year ago and went straight out and bought the DVD. It's beautiful.

So it just came out in the US? It came out here some time in 2003.

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Valentine014
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Yeah, it just came out here (the Midwest) on Friday and I thought it was pretty good. Very artistic and great use of color.

Did I hear that it was Quentin Tarantino who pushed for a U.S. release. Do we have him to thank?

edit: spelling

[ August 30, 2004, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Valentine014 ]

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TMedina
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I found the martial arts sequences unimaginative and repetitive and the political message was a justification for slaughter, genocide and cultural annihilation.

Other than that, it was a fun movie. Very pretty use of colors.

-Trevor

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Valentine014
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To answer both of our questions: Hero
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Dagonee
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Seeing it Saturday. Looking forward to it with great anticipation.

Dagonee

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Bob the Lawyer
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It was a good movie, but no Crouching Tiger. Too much style and too little cool (Too much Yin [Wink] ) The first fight sequence was breathtaking but, like Mr. Medina, found the others to be repetative and unimaginative. Also, by nature of the plot, you couldn't get particularly attached to the characters. And if I can't get involved with the characters I have a hard time caring about what happens to them.

It was more about achieving a look than it was telling a story and the fighting was more about beauty and artistry than cool moves. Which would have been fine had they been able to keep it fresh. But the actors were doing the same thing in every scene (both within a scene and from scene to scene) and every scene felt like it went on a hair too long. It was like being in a car with someone pumping the breaks. Just as things get going something ruins the flow of the movie/ride.

That, and the style they were trying to reach didn't appeal to me. It will lead to many similar arguments that you heard for/against Kill Bill. "What a terrible movie." "But it was a fantastic homage to 70s Japanese Samauri movies!" "But I hate those kinds of movies." "Then why on Earth did you see this one?"

Probably worth a rental. Worth your $12 at a theatre? I certainly don't think so.

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The Pixiest
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It was a very pretty movie. I especially enjoyed their use of colour.

But cenimatography aside, I found it very dull.

The plot would have made a porn movie jealous. Every scene that wasn't a fight scene was just a segway into another fight scene with the same five of characters fighting each other over and over.

::SPOILER::

And they built up the guys unstoppable move so much I was anxious to see what it was. As it turns out, he was him flying directly at the king and poking him with his sword. I expected so much more...

::End Spoiler::

And as for the political message, I didn't like that either. It seemed to say the State was all important and should encompass the earth no matter how many people have to die for it and in fact, you should lay down your life happily for it.

I was very disappointed by this movie.

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TMedina
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It was a very Chinese movie.

And the fatal move was more accurately demonstrated in the re-telling of his actual battle with Broken Sword and Yellow Snow.

-Trevor

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Mabus
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Yellow Snow?!? [Angst]
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twinky
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I liked it. I just set aside the fact that it wasn't Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the fact that I wasn't sure I agreed with the mesasge and simply absorbed it.

It also made me quite keen to see Casshern.

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TMedina
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I'm a fan of martial arts films - this one, while visually splendid, just didn't do anything for me.

-Trevor

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twinky
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I'm not really a big fan of martial arts films. Wasn't big on Kill Bill at all. I think it was the actors who I enjoyed.
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TMedina
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Feh.

Kill Bill was just...not good.

-Trevor

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Carrie
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Call it a wild guess, but I'm going to take a stab and say people generally don't like Rashomon...

[ August 31, 2004, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Carrie ]

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TMedina
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Actually, I haven't seen Rashomon.

-Trevor

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Bob the Lawyer
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I haven't seen Rashomon either, although I'm interested in doing so. It had a pretty important impact on the film world.

Looks like TMedina and I are going to have to start an "I Didn't Enjoy Hero all the much" support group. Population us.

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fil
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I have the import DVD of this and enjoyed finally seeing the opening and closing words translated as a part of the film (my version has subs but not for those bits). It really showed me why the Chinese government approved of this movie (best...communist...movie...ever). Still, communist overtones aside, this was a great flick. Wasn't as "fun" as Crouching Tiger, but that movie was based on a pulp novel if I recall and that was supposed to be more fun. This was, especially to the Chinese (I am told, by a Chinese friend who said "there is no way I can 'get this' movie.") a thoughtful look at the Chinese identity on some levels. The combat wasn't as wacky as in some movies but still beautful nonetheless. The lake scene was gorgeous and the Yen vs. Li rematch (see "Once Upon a Time in China 2" for the first one) was a good time. I love the different perspectives and that white, in the long run, was the truth (I assume). Very cool use of color and perspective storytelling. I am looking forward to this filmmakers next flick, "The House of Flying Daggers." It has daggers. That fly. In a house. And Zang Ziyi and Andy Lau, so what could be better than that? [Big Grin]

See it. And yes, we have QT to thank for a) getting it here (even though Miramax has had the rights to it for over a year, I believe) and b) not getting it hacked up like they did to "Iron Monkey" (a personal fave) and "Shaolin Soccer" (which I refused to see after hearing about the cuts...get the original Region 0 DVD...great disc and cheap if you can find it).

fil

[ August 31, 2004, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: fil ]

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TMedina
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I enjoyed Iron Monkey.

Now I have to find out what got chopped up.

And I'm sorry, there wasn't that much to get in Hero. I'll be the first to admit I didn't understand or empathize with all of the story lines in Crouching Tiger, but Hero was a very pretty propaganda piece.

-Trevor

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Foust
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Yeah, visually spectacular, and I really like the soundtrack.

That's where the love ends, though.

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TMedina
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Alex - what happens when the conquering army rolls over the remaining countries?

By the emperor's own admission, he wants to introduce a unified language, culture and society.

Well, what happens to the cultures, traditions and customs of the people his army doesn't end up slaughtering?

It's not even a matter of communisim, but rather a study in "why conquering, suppressing and cultural genocide is a good thing."

And to be absolutely fair, it can empower a nation - a unified continent is far more powerful than a continent with six individual nations.

But it's a little rough on the natives who are forcibly co-opted.

-Trevor

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Khal Drogo
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If you read Sun Tzu's art of war, the historical background of Sun Tzu's book is the war of the kingdoms. Their is also another movie on ths subject which also deals with the assasin nameless. it is called "The Emperor and the Asassin". That too is wuite a good film.
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TMedina
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I would have been surprised if you had, Alex.

But the martial arts sequences were so bad, I had to focus on something.

-Trevor

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TMedina
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Oh granted - that's why I never tell someone they should never go see a movie.

Because their experience may very well differ from mine. Now, if they ask, I will be happy to tell them why I didn't like the movie and let them make up their own mind.

-Trevor

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Storm Saxon
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Just saw it.
Great cinematography.
Great music.
Some overall nice acting.
Awesome costume work.

Plot sucked.
Fight sequences weren't that great. The portion where Flying Snow and Broken Sword were fighting the empirial guard really wasn't good because the choreography that had to be done with so many people resulted in there beinga lot of dud moves.
I, too, was uncomfortable with the political message while I was watching the movie.

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Synesthesia
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I loved the movie.
It had such beautiful colours and such an over the top style.
The sounds were great too.

It's a bit hard to explain what I got from the film...
I got to see it again, I loved the scene when the leaves turned read and when they were on the water.

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TMedina
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I'm telling you, the character's name was Yellow Snow.

-Trevor

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Storm Saxon
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*smack*
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Taalcon
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Rashomon is one of my favorite films. Not only was it very influential in the film world, it's personally influential to me.

So when I saw the direction this film was taking, I immediately thought of Rashomon.

But the only real similarity Hero had with Rashomonis the multiple retellings of the same story with the idea of relative truth.

Hero was a story about ideals. It's not really an action movie at all - the fight scenes weren't as much fight scenes as they were visual poetry.

The surprising things about this film was that in every duel, there was never any hate or vengenance driving the swordplay. Behind it all was respect, and love. And that was reflected in the way the duels took place. They weren't harsh - they weren't quick-to-the-core, they were revelling in their art, their physical expression of philosophy.

To me, it was a beautiful thing.

Now, enjoying this film for me isn't contingent on me agreeing with the ideal being presented with - what struck me was that Nameless was someone completely devoted to his vengeance, trained nonstop for 10 years to attain a goal, and at the moment of obtaining that goal -literally to the second- he was able to allow himself to think and change his philosophy and realize his understanding of the world wasn't near as black and white as he had been led to believe.

In the hour in which by all rights he could have had his revenge, he ended up giving up his life to the person he had sworn to kill.

It's not a Western film by any stretch of the imagination - if the film were advertised as a philosophical story of personal idyllic reform (that was subtitled!) no one would go to the theater. So they advertised it as a "Ooooh, Coool!" action war epic.

But hey...if it got people in the seats, and got people to experience something different for once, then I have no ill words against the advertisers. They did their job, ne?

So yeah. It was different. And I liked it for that.

The plot did not "suck". It might not be suited to everyone's tastes, but I thought it was quite fascinating, and really enjoyed the framework.

[ September 10, 2004, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: Taalcon ]

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ludosti
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I just saw Hero last week. I thought it was beautiful. The cinematography was stunning. I liked the multiple ways of telling the story, each with its own color. I thought the fight scenes were interesting. I loved the messege. It is the best movie I've seen this year. It is definitely not for everyone, but it definitely is for me.
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Vera
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Hero is stunningly beautiful, and I found it to be far superior to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon on every level. It is simpler and easier to understand, and yet far deeper.

I also immediately thought of Rashomon, but I think the similarity is superficial.
In Rashomon the fact that you see different versions of the same story over and over is the whole point and is deeply tied up with the whole theme of the movie. You never do figure out which version of the story is the truth, and are left with the feeling that they are all probably lying a little bit, or that there is no objective truth, because everyone's perception of it differs.
In Hero you know which version is true. Telling the same story in different ways is just a way of revealing the truth gradually. It's a plot device, rather than the theme.

I also agree that the political message of Hero is utterly repugnant, but because of fact that it's in a historical action movie most Americans won't even realize that there IS a contemporaty political message, so it won't bother them.

(If I compared it to "Triumph of the Will" as an evil propaganda film that is nevertheless a beautiful work of art, would that invoke Godwin's Law? [Razz] )

[ September 11, 2004, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: Vera ]

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Little_Doctor
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The whole subtitle thing drove me away from it. When it comes out on DVD here, i'll see it. Althoguh I'll have to see it twice, once for the story, and once for the action.
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Synesthesia
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The signs that they had at the box office cracked me up. They said, The movie is in Chinese with English subtitles. We will not refund your money.
*easlily amused*
Now if I could just find a detailed site about the colour symbolism.

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signal
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This is one of my favorite movies, which I've seen countless times. I bought it a couple years ago. A friend of mine from China recommended it. I'm kind of curious though to see what they edit for the US release. The thing that initially drew me in, was the cinematography, compositing, and visual effects, because thats what I was studying. I don't think its purpose (or at least main one) was any sort of propaganda. I also don't think it was made as a martial arts movie either. It seems their goal was something more along the lines of a ballet. Maybe its just because I grew up in an asian home, that I sort of felt I understood the overall mentality of it.

btw, its White Snow.

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