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Bob K.
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 11:59 pm:   

http://www.electricstory.com/reviews/herozero.asp
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bryan
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 06:32 pm:   

the 'hero' review is right on. nationalistic eye candy for sure.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 06:59 pm:   

Thanks, Bryan....It was good to look at, but man, they really flogged the message.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 08:12 pm:   

I prefer the message in the "other kind" of Chinese flicks:

Don't fall in love with a zombie cop if you work in a restaurant haunted by crazy snake ladies.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   

I gotta agree. You seen Old Boy or Infernal Affairs, yet?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 09:27 pm:   

Not yet...if they're on DVD, I'll look for them on my next run to the non-Blockbuster video store.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 02:08 pm:   

Well, no luck finding them on the day's expedition. But I'll keep my eye out.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 02:13 pm:   

Okay. They;re real good. I might bring them up to seattle to show a friend; you could borrow them.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 03:54 pm:   

You gotta watch _Infernal Affairs_, Marc. I know it's on DVD here, I'm not sure about the US. They did two sequels, by the way, though I haven't seen either yet.

Oh, that reminds me that Hollywood's remaking the movie. You're going to shit your pants in terror when you see who's in it. Check IMDb, I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Cheers,
Luís
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 03:58 pm:   

I don't even have to look: Will Ferrell.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 04:00 pm:   

I looked. I will never do that again.

Why does Scorsese like to hurt himself in the same way over and over again?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 04:21 pm:   

Yeah, Scorsese....Pagh! Hasn't done a good movie since mean streets...
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:33 pm:   

Define "movie."
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:39 pm:   

Heh, just kidding. I know you don't like him. I have liked quite a few, and found stuff to enjoy even in some of the others. Gangs of New York had awesome sets and lighting, and Daniel Day Lewis was pretty fun to watch. Casino had a horrible vibe that for some reason fascinated me. Temptation of Christ is HILARIOUS, and I can be sucked into watching it time and again; it's like its very own Mystery Science Theater episode. There's some real cool pool-ball shots in Color of Money. I used to like After Hours but something happened to it, or me. And I just plain love Goodfellas...especially Liotta's narration... But then there's stuff like Bringing Out the Dead...why?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:43 pm:   

Define movie? Shadows on the wall. A dramatic presentation of images in motion and dialogue. It would be more pertinent to define good movie, but that would be strictly personal. Suffice it to say, I thought TAXI DRIVER was an okay B-picture, Raging Bull was a bore. A case could be made for his comedies -- the King of Comedy and the one starring Griffin Dunn -- but I;m not the one to make it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   

Color of Money -- Tom Cruise.
Gangs of New York -- Leonard D trumps Daniel Day.
Casino--the most redundant, unnecessary voiceover in the history of cinema
Goodfellas....It's a film I argue with people about, and I will admit I could be wrong.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:58 pm:   

I forgot King of Comedy, which tells you something, because it was my favorite until Goodfellas came along. I never think of it as a Scorsese movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:59 pm:   

My saliva gets all thick and ropy when Scorsese is mentioned.

Sorry. :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 06:01 pm:   

I read a little of the book on screenwriting, the horribly pretentious "STORY" by Robert McKee or McKay, whatever his name is, the guy who is parodied in ADAPTATION (played by Brian Cox). He does a long rant about voiceovers in movies--how they are *all* unnecessary. I react badly to them in general, but this crystallized the reasons why.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 06:01 pm:   

No need to apologize, I knew I was pressing that particular button!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 06:08 pm:   

I like some voiceovers. I liked, for instance, the voiceover in the Thin Red Line, because it added to and complimented the movie. But in general, i hate them.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   

The Thin Red Line can do no wrong.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 09:31 pm:   

I hear there;s a five hr. and 45 minute version that's been shown a couple of places --- wish they'd release it as a director's cut.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 01:53 pm:   

"The Thin Red Line can do no wrong."

Hear, hear. I've seen that film five or six times, and it blows me away everytime.

I'd love to see that Five hour + version, too.
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Rich P.
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 09:21 pm:   

There’s a popular expression in China that translates to something like… “Don’t show others what goes on in your home” or “Keep your private life private”. Zhang Yimou has a lot of critics here because his films tend to show the audience things about life in China that usually get swept under the carpet. NOT ONE LESS is a film you should try and see. A portrait of modern day China that uses a cast of all non-actors to tell the story of a 13 year old girl hired to substitute teach in a poverty stricken northern Chinese community. When one of her students is sold off by his parents to a factory in the city, she makes her way there alone to retrieve the kid.

RAISE THE RED LANTERN is another great Zhang film. The story of abused wives in old “traditional” China. LANTERN has an absolutely harrowing ending. Another film, THE STORY OF QUI JU, is about a peasant woman who takes a grievance through endless bureaucratic red tape when a village chief has her husband beaten. All she wants is an apology.

Given Zhang’s history of criticizing the hand that feeds, I’m led to assume that the portions of HERO that were cut from the film (and like you I definitely think there are great chunks missing), were more like the one when the old man in the calligraphy school vows to fight Qin’s armies using “culture” as his weapon. Later, upon hearing that Broken Sword was asked to create a 20th character representing the word “sword”, the king vows to mandate one style of writing when he has conquered the kingdoms. It is the creation of a mural of this character that has generated the magic necessary for Nameless and Flying Snow to fend off the King’s men.

Beautiful cinematography and arresting use of color are Zhang Yimou hallmarks. They highlight even his most violent, depressing scenes. He was trained as a cinematographer before he became a director.

I’d guess that this film was originally intended to play out more like a tragedy than a “propagandist fable”. Zhang Yimou has rarely taken the government’s view about anything.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 10:11 pm:   

interesting. I;ve seen LANTERN and perhaps you;re right about HERO, but it sure played like a fable.

Chris Doyle, the cinematographer, is a fucking genius. This was definitely his work, but I know that Zhang Yimou is talented in that regard.
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barth
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 10:17 am:   

RED SORGHUM really got under my skin the first time i saw it. i keep waiting for another zhang movie to rattle me like that one did.

my understanding is that part of why he's such a killer cinematographer is that the US shipped all its technicolor processing equipment off to china in the eighties, after eastman color became the cheaper "better" option. and zhang was one of the new chinese film-makers on the receiving end of that deal. the result being that zhang's use of color hits our brains (or maybe just mine) like an old school 50's splash of glory. i effing love RED SORGHUM to pieces.

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