Hero (2002) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Martial Arts
Miramax || PG13 - 99 minutes - $44.99 || September 15, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-09-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Yimou Zhang
Writer(s): Feng Li, Bin Wang, Yimou Zhang
Cast: Jet Li, Ziyi Zhang


Theatrical Release Date: August 27, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Storyboards
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: Jet Li stars as a fearless, unnamed warrior who rises up to defy an empire and unite a nation. With supernatural skill - and no fear - a nameless soldier embarks on a mission of revenge against the fearsome army that massacred his people.

I've got a huge bias against films like this. Personally, I don't find much excitement in over-the-top battle scenes where characters can seemingly fly and do all other sorts of unnatural things. I get it its a film and some of the things in it are exaggerated to catch the appeal of viewers, but this just isn't my thing.

As the film progresses, the same story is essentially retold several times to where things we heard in the first twenty minutes were flat-out lies and we are essentially forced to forget what was saw and focus on the 'real' storyline which also turns out to false. Forty or so minutes through my girlfriend fell asleep out of boredom and I was teetering on that edge as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Miramax has carried over all the previous Special Features but added in a brand new one and a Digital Copy. Oh, and a fancy Slip Cover!

Close Up of a Fight Scene (9 Minutes) - All the excitement for a new Special Feature and all we get is a short look at several of the fight scenes through the film.

From the previous DVD release: A dated Jet Li/Quentin Tarantino Interview (14 Minutes), a fluffy EPK on the making titled Hero Defined (24 Minutes), Storyboards, A Soundtrack Spot (1 Minute) & D-Box Code.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Hero is presented in 2.35:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. A mixed bag of results here as contrast seems a bit boosted (reds look a bit unnatural) and colors seem a wee bit washed out. The good news is any closeup looks terrific and this will likely be a nice upgrade from the previous DVD.

Disney has included a 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release... only in English. I know this will upset a lot of people, but if you watch the film with English dubs you will be happy. If you choose to the subtitle option, you will only get a standard lossy track. The even worse news is that the previous DVD had a DTS track (dropped for this release) which rates at 3x better than this DD5.1 track. Good news for those that like dubs (like me) is that the DTS MA track sounds fabulous. The soundtrack comes through loud and clear.



.::OVERALL::.

As for the Blu-ray, with a drop in the previous DTS tracks and no huge improvement in Picture or Audio, along with a high price tag... I'd say skip this one.