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Hero (Directed by Zhang Yi Mou, Starring Jet Li) - Pix inside
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Eug Wanker
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May 30, 2004, 01:25 AM
 
Hero



This movie is only coming to North America this year. However, it's already available on DVD in Asia. I just bought the Chinese DVD and to my surprise the image quality and the subtitles are acceptable. The quality is not great, but I was expecting utter garbage, considering some of the crap those movie companies regularly put out. Strange though... It's a DVD-9, with less than 7 GB on it according to my PowerBook. The extra GB or so would have gone a long way to sprucing up the video quality.

As for the movie itself, I have only seen the first bit of it, but it looks like there is gonna be a lot of coolness to it.





However, I'm guessing it may prove to be a little too artsy to some people. Anyone see it yet?
     
mindwaves
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May 30, 2004, 02:23 AM
 
I have. Not bad. I especially like the arrow scenes. :-)
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Oisín
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May 30, 2004, 04:14 AM
 
Hero isn't in North America yet

I saw it in the movies in Denmark nearly a year ago, and I've bought the DVD here in Beijing (a really good quality DVD, with proper subtitles, all the extras included and everything - not even a fake!)

Hero (英雄) is an amazingly beautiful movie! As was the case with 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (卧虎藏龙), the story line is nothing amazing, but the images and scenes of sheer utter beauty make up for that very well!

Edit: One of my teachers here said that the first time she saw 'Hero', when she saw that fighting scene with the two women in the forest (where it's all tones of red and yellow), she couldn't help but think about 西红柿炒鸡蛋 (dish with tomatoes and eggs)
( Last edited by Oisn; May 30, 2004 at 04:59 AM. )
     
Logic
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May 30, 2004, 05:52 AM
 
A great movie. Very artistic, very good fighting scenes, and I highly recommend it.

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Will McGoonigle
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May 30, 2004, 09:51 AM
 
Jet Li has all the charisma of boiled water passing for tomato soup. In english speaking roles even worse.

And II'm fed up of wire-fu. I want the real Bruce Lee deal again.
     
Oisín
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May 30, 2004, 10:27 AM
 
Originally posted by Will McGoonigle:
And II'm fed up of wire-fu. I want the real Bruce Lee deal again.
Yeah, 'cause speeding the movie up to 3 times normal speed and adding bad special effects to bad acting skills is much better...



(Okay, that's maybe a bit exaggerated, more applicable to others than Bruce Lee, but still)
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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May 30, 2004, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by Will McGoonigle:
Jet Li has all the charisma of boiled water passing for tomato soup. In english speaking roles even worse.

And II'm fed up of wire-fu. I want the real Bruce Lee deal again.
Like I said I haven't seen the whole movie, but it does seem Jet Li is OK in this role acting wise (esp. since it's in his native language). And the few scenes I've seen so far are visually stunning.

BTW, this movie was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year.

Bruce Lee had great fight scenes in his movies, but unfortunately, his movies sucked plot-wise and acting-wise. I of course still own several of his movies on DVD though.

I'm not a big fan of wire-fu either, but you need the wire-fu to mimic the kung-fu novels and comics. They always have everyone flying around and what not. I think in say Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon they should have cut down on the wire work, but I think it was still used effectively overall. eg. The running on the rooftops looked kinda stupid and could have been improved, but the fight scenes with Michelle Yeoh stepping on Zhang Ziyi's feet to keep her on the ground (because Zhang kept on floating away) were awesome.
( Last edited by Eug Wanker; May 30, 2004 at 10:59 AM. )
     
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May 30, 2004, 10:58 AM
 
Looks like a cool movie. I look forward to seeing it.
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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May 30, 2004, 11:07 AM
 
Originally posted by Oisn:
Hero isn't in North America yet
Nope. Quentin Tarantino has been fighting hard with Miramax to get it in the US (and Canada) and I think it's due in North America this summer or something. I think the movie will be called "Quentin Tarantino Presents Hero". I saw an ad for it recently in Canada. Actually, it didn't have the "Quentin Tarantino" part (maybe that's just the US?). I can remember when they said it would be released here in Canada though.

"I had to fight for it with Miramax. I think they lost faith in it and everything. And I thought that HERO was an absolute masterpiece, so I fought with them not to cut it. Not to bring it down, but to keep it the same length as when I saw it. And finally they agreed if I would present it. So I got in touch with Zhang Yimou and he was cool with that. Yeah, he was as happy as a clam. So that's what I am doingit's pretty much what I did for IRON MONKEY."

BTW, the Chinese DVD has an text intro at the beginning of the movie that's in Chinese... with no subtitle translation. The DVD menu is also in Chinese but I can read enough of it to navigate. It doesn't matter though, since you can pick the audio and subtitle tracks from the remote during the movie, and you can find the extras simply by trial and error from the menu. Too bad the extras are in Chinese too, with no English subtitles either.
     
ReggieX
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May 30, 2004, 11:24 AM
 
It's OK and one of the more gorgeous movies you're ever going to see. I had already downloaded a 2 disc AVI copy of it, when a friend borrowed the DVD from someone in his Tai Chi class. It's a DVD-5, so a direct copy to a blank was easy.

I'll probably end up seeing it in the theatre just to soak up the cinematography.

And then there's "Lovers" aka "House Of The Flying Daggers" starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, and Zhang Ziyi, which is coming out in August.
WMV trailer available here. (note the sound doesn't work on Macs)


EDIT: two different Takeshis
( Last edited by ReggieX; May 30, 2004 at 02:50 PM. )
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Will McGoonigle
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May 30, 2004, 11:35 AM
 
Does Tintin Quarantino still think he's a movie making genius whose movies have deep substance and eternal worth?
     
Oisín
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May 30, 2004, 12:08 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
Like I said I haven't seen the whole movie, but it does seem Jet Li is OK in this role acting wise (esp. since it's in his native language). And the few scenes I've seen so far are visually stunning.
Funny, I always thought Cantonese was Jet Li's native tongue (mostly because of his English name, which is taken from the Cantonese pronunciation of the character 杰 [giht in Cantonese, ji in Mandarin], which is a part of his given name), but a quick search just informed me that he's actually from right here in Beijing.

And yes, the movie is stunning. There's even more wire-fu in Hero than in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but the movie is also more aesthetically impressive.
     
Gankdawg
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May 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
 
Originally posted by Oisn:
Yeah, 'cause speeding the movie up to 3 times normal speed
I heard they had to record at slower speed because of how fast he really was.
     
nonhuman
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May 30, 2004, 02:16 PM
 
I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard a lot of good things about it and intend to. I'll probably get it on DVD this summer when I'm in China.
     
ReggieX
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May 30, 2004, 02:24 PM
 
Bigger "Hero" pics:









     
zankoku
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May 30, 2004, 02:30 PM
 
Originally posted by ReggieX:
And then there's "Lovers" aka "House Of The Flying Daggers" starring Beat Takeshi, Andy Lau, and Zhang Ziyi, which is coming out in August.
WMV trailer available here. (note the sound doesn't work on Macs)
Actually, it's Takeshi Kaneshiro, a Japanese-Taiwanese star, not to be confused with Beat Takeshi/Takeshi Kitano, the famous Japanese actor-director, who we know from Zatoichi, Battle Royale, Musashi, and MXC (Takeshi's Castle) among other things.

Here's a link to some amazing images from "House of Flying Daggers."
     
ReggieX
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May 30, 2004, 02:50 PM
 
Originally posted by zankoku:
Actually, it's Takeshi Kaneshiro, a Japanese-Taiwanese star, not to be confused with Beat Takeshi/Takeshi Kitano,
A-ha! Thanks for correcting me, I glossed over the name quickly, and Kitano and Kaneshiro are two totally different guys. :embarrassed:

Thanks for the link.
     
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May 30, 2004, 05:24 PM
 
it was pretty good. too much wire crap though.

i watched like, half of it without subtitles at first because i didn't know what the second file was. then i realized that it was a subtitles file and i had to watch it all over again. without subtitles you can not tell what the hell is going on. but its a pretty good movie. too much wire crap. and that stupid part where Jet Li and that other dude was fighting over the water? horrible.
     
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May 30, 2004, 06:16 PM
 
it looks visually stunning.
     
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May 30, 2004, 08:14 PM
 
I saw the trailer before the second "Kill Bill" flick, and I gotta say, there was more art in that two minute trailer than in the entire feature. When the movie (finally) ended, I wanted to stand up and yell "Could we see the 'Hero' trailer again, please?"
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Jun 1, 2004, 11:33 PM
 
Finally finished watching it.

Overall a good movie, but it had its faults. First of all, I agree there was too much of that wire-fu, mainly because some of it looked a little too wired.

The story was great, but the editing seemed a little disjointed. Many of the scenes were STUNNING (more so from the colours and cinematography than the actual fighting) but it seemed they tried too hard too keep everything in the fight scenes, including long dramatic pauses, even though it seemed to cut a into the pacing. And the music kinda sucked. Not only did it sound too much like Crouching Tiger, it also often seemed inappropriate for the scene, or just cheesy.

But what held it together was the very good story, or stories.

By the way, I watched the featurette too. I didn't understand everything, but what I did seemed fairly interesting.

I look forward to watching this movie again with a better quality MPEG encode, English text prologue and epilogues, and English subtitles for the featurette. Actually I wouldn't mind if Miramax cut 10 minutes off the movie either... with Zhang Yimou's permission of course.

7/10
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Jun 26, 2004, 10:37 PM
 
So I just watched it again, this time with my mom (Hey she's visiting...), with the English subtitles turned off.

I liked it even better the second time. With the subtitles off I could still understand most of it since I'd already seen the movie and because I have a rudimentary understanding of the language. But this time I got to concentrate a lot more on the cinematography, which truly is gorgeous.

And my mom says it's the best movie she's ever seen (although she sees a LOT of crappy Chinese movies). It also seems to be doing pretty well too at RT - 100%, although it's only at 15 reviews so far. (Or else 23/24 - 96%.)

My revised rating: 4/5

Making of a Hero.
( Last edited by Eug Wanker; Jun 26, 2004 at 10:53 PM. )
     
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Jun 27, 2004, 08:03 AM
 
Originally posted by ReggieX:
Bigger "Hero" pics:

that is the chick from crouching tiger hidden dragon right? she is hot.

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ReggieX
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Jun 27, 2004, 11:20 AM
 
Originally posted by nredman:
that is the chick from crouching tiger hidden dragon right? she is hot.
Yes on both counts.
     
Powaqqatsi
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Jun 27, 2004, 11:38 AM
 
Originally posted by nredman:
that is the chick from crouching tiger hidden dragon right? she is hot.
Yep. I'd hit it.
     
:XI:
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Jun 27, 2004, 03:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Powaqqatsi:
Yep. I'd hit it.
It's more likely that she'd hit you. Then kick you around a bit, stab you maybe. Break stuff with your head... you get the picture
     
cszar2001
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Jun 27, 2004, 04:07 PM
 
Those pictures look great (all of them).
Can`t find the DVD anywhere though.
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Jun 27, 2004, 04:36 PM
 
Originally posted by :XI::
It's more likely that she'd hit you. Then kick you around a bit, stab you maybe. Break stuff with your head... you get the picture
as long as she touched me

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Powaqqatsi
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Jun 27, 2004, 04:52 PM
 
Originally posted by nredman:
as long as she touched me
Exactly
     
driven
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Jul 4, 2004, 01:21 AM
 
Does this movie have a web-site? Does anyone know the release date in North America?
     
Rain
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Jul 4, 2004, 01:58 AM
 
Originally posted by driven:
Does this movie have a web-site? Does anyone know the release date in North America?
http://www.miramax.com/hero/index.html , August 30th (so it says, but they'll probably delay it again).

Looking forward to seeing Tony Leung in it
     
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Jul 4, 2004, 02:12 AM
 
Thanks! I appreciate it.
     
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Jul 4, 2004, 02:12 AM
 
that's a trip, because i just saw the movie last night (on dvd).

great film, the the storyline is a bit hard to follow (for a western mindset). the cinematography is nothing short of spectacular and the acting is superb as well.

i just loved the action scenes, which seem more like well coreographed dance/dream sequences. i'd recommend it.
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 4, 2004, 09:18 PM
 
     
theolein
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Aug 4, 2004, 09:33 PM
 
The cinematography looks amazing, better than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But I have to go along with the people who complain about people flying through the air, fighting on the ends of branches, running lightly across rofftops etc. To me, those effects make the whole movie flop, and it's sad.

One of the better Chinese movies I saw was about a guy with only one arm and a broken sword blade attached to a chain on his stump. Also fairly trashy, but otherwise excellent, especially the scenes where the hero trains himself to use his wacky weapon.
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Mrjinglesusa
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Aug 4, 2004, 09:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Will McGoonigle:
Jet Li has all the charisma of boiled water passing for tomato soup. In english speaking roles even worse.

And II'm fed up of wire-fu. I want the real Bruce Lee deal again.
There will NEVER be another Bruce Lee. Ever.
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Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 4, 2004, 09:46 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
The cinematography looks amazing, better than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But I have to go along with the people who complain about people flying through the air, fighting on the ends of branches, running lightly across rofftops etc. To me, those effects make the whole movie flop, and it's sad.

One of the better Chinese movies I saw was about a guy with only one arm and a broken sword blade attached to a chain on his stump. Also fairly trashy, but otherwise excellent, especially the scenes where the hero trains himself to use his wacky weapon.
I agree to an extent. Bad wire-fu looks bad. However, if done perfectly (or properly CG'd) it looks great. And you have to remember, these people in a sense are not supposed to be mere mortals, but are the Eastern equivalent of superheroes, or Heroes anyway. They can fly and they can walk on water, etc., because they have transcended normal human limitations.

I guess that's where the cultural differences lie. North Americans for instance grew up on Bruce Lee (who is awesome of course) who basically beats the crap out of everyone, using no special powers. Bruce Lee is an action star. Hero on the other hand is sort of Chinese fantasy, not a Chinese action movie per se.

I didn't grow on this type of thinking either, but I know that Chinese comics and Chinese Kung Fu novels are filled with this sort of stuff. It's very different from the Bruce Lee type genre.
     
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Aug 4, 2004, 10:31 PM
 
Originally posted by Will McGoonigle:
Does Tintin Quarantino still think he's a movie making genius whose movies have deep substance and eternal worth?
Well, Pulp Fiction does... It's still one of my 10 all time favs.

I'm looking forward to Hero, if it's even close to CTHD, I'll be happy as a clam.
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Oisín
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Aug 5, 2004, 12:44 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
I agree to an extent. Bad wire-fu looks bad. However, if done perfectly (or properly CG'd) it looks great.
Exactly!!! When done well, it's awesome - like you said, they're sort of super heroes, these are the Chinese legends and fairytale, they cannot in any way be compared to Bruce Lee which is just cheap crash boom bang fighting [I don't like Bruce Lee]. It's not meant to be realistic or look like a real fight, it's meant to be a fairytale.

If you want to see bad wire-fu, come to China and check out the terrible, horrible, excruciatingly bad wire-fu soap operas they have here (yes, you just saw me use wire-fu as an attributive to soap opera, and yes, it is every bit as horrendous as you imagine).
     
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Aug 5, 2004, 01:13 PM
 
Wow, Hero has been out a long time. While Collateral is next on the movie list, I'm looking forward to seeing House of Flying Daggers. Maybe next week during an afternoon when I'm off, so all of the uncles and aunties there don't freak when a (gweillo, angmoh, maigoren) sits down for it.

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Rain
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Aug 5, 2004, 05:17 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
But I have to go along with the people who complain about people flying through the air, fighting on the ends of branches, running lightly across rofftops etc. To me, those effects make the whole movie flop, and it's sad.
It's not sad. It's how the genre is; ie. it's how they're suppose to fight. You guys just aren't use to it.

Tarantino was on Leno last night and he promoted Hero (briefly). Quote: "I'm presenting Hero starring Jet Li" - as if most movie goers know the difference between "presenting" and "produced/directed/created"; they'll just think he made it

So the 27th is The Day, eh? Finally!
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 5, 2004, 07:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Rain:
It's not sad. It's how the genre is; ie. it's how they're suppose to fight. You guys just aren't use to it.

Tarantino was on Leno last night and he promoted Hero (briefly). Quote: "I'm presenting Hero starring Jet Li" - as if most movie goers know the difference between "presenting" and "produced/directed/created"; they'll just think he made it

So the 27th is The Day, eh? Finally!
You must be Canadian.

To give Tarantino credit, he apparently fought hard to get it shown here, and it's not really any different than those movies that say "Stephen Spielberg presents". Still he should make clear it's a Zhang Yimou movie if he said anything more than 10 words about it. What did he say exactly?
     
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Aug 5, 2004, 11:12 PM
 
My whole house watched it (four people, 3 guys 1 girl) and we thought imagery and landscape were breath taking.

Quiet artsy but well worth it... the the strings affects could have been more natural.

Loved the final death (white) scene... it made me let out a loud "wow!"
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 12, 2004, 10:57 AM
 
A bazillion pix here:

-- snip --

So far it's 17/17 (or else 27/28) at RT.

Two more weeks my friends...
( Last edited by Eug Wanker; Aug 20, 2004 at 05:58 PM. )
     
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Aug 12, 2004, 11:25 AM
 
Ha, Eug got caught image leeching.
     
Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 20, 2004, 05:49 PM
 
One more week to go until it opens, and today Hero hit 20/20 on RT.

It will be interesting to see when the new reviews come next week after the movie opens. My guess is that those seeking out this movie will be much more inclined to like this movie than the general movie critic crowd. This to me is a cool art house movie with a big budget and some cool action, but the pacing and the artsy-ness is really is gonna irritate some people, as is some of the wire-fu. I'd would have thought this movie would be in the 80ish percent positive category, and not the 100% positive it currently has with initial reviews.

Originally posted by GoGoReggieXPowars:
Ha, Eug got caught image leeching.
Heheh. Busted. Actually it seemed not to mind when I first posted it but later on another computer, it wouldn't show the image.
     
Powaqqatsi
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Aug 20, 2004, 06:38 PM
 
Hero comes out on DVD this month over here, I'll probably buy it. If it sucks it'll still be good because of Zhang Ziyi.
     
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Aug 20, 2004, 06:56 PM
 
Originally posted by Powaqqatsi:
Hero comes out on DVD this month over here, I'll probably buy it. If it sucks it'll still be good because of Zhang Ziyi.
Exactly. She certainly stole Crouching Tiger in my book. She should've had Lucy Liu's role in Kill Bill, and I nearly cried when she died in Rush Hour 2...

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Eug Wanker  (op)
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Aug 23, 2004, 09:32 AM
 
NY Times: Cracking the Color Code of 'Hero' & Colours slideshow (ID: macnn, Password: macnn)


Originally posted by Powaqqatsi:
Hero comes out on DVD this month over here, I'll probably buy it.
Where are you? I suspect it will be close to Xmas before Hero is officially on DVD here (Canada).


If it sucks it'll still be good because of Zhang Ziyi.
Here is Quentin Tarantino with his grubby little hands on Zhang Ziyi:

     
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Aug 23, 2004, 11:46 AM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
Heheh. Busted. Actually it seemed not to mind when I first posted it but later on another computer, it wouldn't show the image.
That's because it was cached.

Off-topic a bit, I saw Stephen Chow's "Royal Tramp" this past friday at the Royal, damn funny!
     
 
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