Title: Wo hu cang long
Director: Ang Lee
Writers: Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus & Kuo Jung Tsai, based on the book by Du Lu Wang
Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang
Music: Tan Dun
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Score, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration; Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Song (“A Love Before Time”), Best Costume Design and Best Editing; currently #228 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a conceited girl unlocks martial arts secrets
Length: 120 minutes
How I saw it: in the theater, c. 2001; on video (rented from Netflix), October 2008
Subjective Rating: 5/10 (Indifferent).
Objective Rating: 6/10 (points off for concept, story, pacing and subjective rating) c. 2.9/4 (Good).
Meh. I seem to recall the fight scenes seeming pretty damn cool back when it was new, but only 8 years later they’re already dated and boring and basically just amount to slowing down the already tedious dramatic stuff. I guess it’s ground-breaking and pretty, but wow I so do not care about a period rich brat’s angst. Hero might have been a stylistic rip-off, but it also does every good thing this movie does, better.