Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hero Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 33.3 GB
Film Size: 31.3 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABC (Free)

Video
Hero comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 that is quite the mixed bag. Hero has never looked that great on any format, and the Blu-ray is no different. It lacks the fine detail and colors we see with any average Blu-ray release, but at the same time does provide a good upgrade from DVD.

If you are just seeking an upgrade from DVD, you will more than likely be pleased with the Blu-ray release. To those looking for a beautiful transfer that stands out in your collection, you will be greatly disappointed. The release looks fine, and much better than other Kung Fu titles released from Miramax. 6.5/10.

Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included, and is the only lossless track included, yes a dub got the deluxe treatment. The original language of the film is Mandarin, and is only included as a 5.1 Dolby Digital track. This is a major disappointment, but I don't see a re-release happening for this title.

That being said, I chose to review the Dolby Digital track and it was not as bad as I expected, despite being lossy. The track was not as aggressive as I would have hoped, but surround use is quite active and fairly impressive. 7/10.

Extras

Close-Up Of A Fight Scene (9:18) (SD)
The secrets of the choreography and cinematography of pivotal fight scenes are revealed in this behind-the-scenes featurette.

Hero Defined (24:02) (SD)
Meet the filmmaker team and discover how the epic saga of Hero was created, and how the poetic vision and action scenes blend in this unique film.

Storyboards (5:22) (SD)
Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the storyboards and the final feature.

Inside The Action: A Conversation With Quentin Tarantino And Jet Li (13:56) (SD)
Actor Jet Lie talks about his work and contribution to martial arts films with Quentin Tarantino.

Soundtrack Spot (:39) (SD)
The music of Hero composed by Tan Dun, featuring violin solos by Itzhak Perlman.

D-Box Motion Code

Digital Copy (Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media)

Blu-news Summary
Hero is a truly beautiful and creative film that I'm sure most of you have seen by now. If you haven't, you are truly missing out on a fantastic film. It's a shame the Blu-ray release is not at the same level of beauty as the film, but fans of the film should still appreciate the decent upgrade regardless.

The most disappointing issue being the lack of lossless audio for the original language of the film, but I truly don't see a re-release of the film happening. Luckily the lossy track still has quite a bit of power to it, but it makes me give the Blu-ray a 'For Fans Only' rating when it comes to purchasing this release.

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Additional Screenshots:

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