Stop what you’re doing, log on to MovieMinder (if you live near me), and find out where Hero is playing nearest you. After much anticipation, the DRM and I saw this last Friday and were both really impresssed. It’s easily one of the best movies of the year, and possibly one of the most beutiful movies I’ve ever seen. It has great flying kung-fu action scenes if you like that, but what really gets me is the hugeness of the Chinese epic and the incredible integration of luscious color into the storylines. It has also has a great, twisted plot full of intrigue and heartbreak.

Miramax, the distributor, apparently cut out 20 minutes from the movie because they found that part to be “too Asian and confusing” for western audiences. Then-Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein made a deal with Quentin Tarantino that he’d release the film uncut if Tarantino would allow a “Quentin Tarantino Presents” tag at the beginning of the film. Tarantino agreed.

This film was released in China 2 years ago, but Tarantino repackaged it for American audiences. Most movies this beautiful just settle for being eye candy, but Hero is also a dense Chinese epic, an action-packed kung-fu fest, and a touching moral tale about revenge and community. Did I mention I love this film?

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