Sunday, August 29, 2004

Pending possible imprisonment

There's no telling how the jury summons will play out, so we went to the early show of Hero, the long-delayed movie promoted as purely a Jet-Li vehicle, which also stars four other luminaries of Chinese movies. To our surprise, the house was very well populated. Not one of the reviews read in advance captures this movie, which really stars Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. It's in Mandarin, with English subtitles. Visually, it is extremely rich, with beautiful scenery, costumes, and landscape, using hundreds of extras to great effect. The tone is both intimate and operatic on a grand scale. It turns out that this is a bring-out-the-hanky movie for a lot of people. I would have cut one of the water scenes (quite late in the movie) and extended the pavilion-in-the-rain scenes with Jet-Li and Donnie Yen. We were afraid that this might be the movie's only weekend here in town, but the radio reports that in fact it's doing great box-office business. Anybody who might possibly like this movie will in fact love it.


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