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Hero (2002) – Blu Ray Review

hero with jet li
hero with jet li

A nameless warrior arrives at an emperor’s palace with three weapons, each belonging to a famous assassin who had sworn to kill the emperor. As the nameless man spins out his story- the emperor presents his own interpretation of what might really have happened, building to a tense face-off.

Hero is a beautiful film no question. The cinematography and colours are fantastic to behold, this is one feast for the eyes for fans of cinema and martial arts movies everywhere. The action is very well shot and choreographed and Jet Li gives a good, subdued performance as well as Maggie Cheung looking beautiful, seductive but deadly at the same time.

This film was made for HD but has not been given the best treatment in the West. This review is of the Korean release and I can report that the transfer is very good, probably not the best it could be but certainly the best on any home format. Colours, as expected, are bold, blacks solid, this is a film to show off your new large screen TV!

When released on Blu ray in the West, Miramax in all their wisdom decided to give the awful dubbed English track a lossless mix while the original Mandarin a lossy Dolby 5.1. No such problems here, the Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is fabulous, surround activity and Bass are prominent, especially during the many battle scenes.

One annoying bug is that the English subtitles are ported over from the Western release and while clear and grammatically correct they seem to be partially for the hard of hearing, so every now and then you get a text description of what sound is happening on screen. Not too distracting but why could they not have had that as a separate subtitle track?

Extra’s are basic and the same as other releases, you get a short chat between Jet Li and Quintin Tarantino about the film, Close up of a fight scene and Hero Defined are two more short features which don’t really go into depth about the film enough.



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