Movies You Have to See, Part 2

Riiiight then… so as it turns out I haven’t kept my promise of doing a weekly article about my movies. I’m going to use the excuse of “I’m busy with other things”…


I’d be lying if I said I had a huge interest in non-English films – namely because they’re not well publicised; I have a few friends who are into martial arts movies and stuff and occasionally I give in and watch a few of their recommendations. One film that I came across myself though is Hero.

Top Pick: Hero (2002)


What’s it About: I don’t think one will justify what this film is about, but here goes – basically back in the day when China was split into different kingdoms, one of the emperors wanted to dominate all the land to bring all the provinces together under his rule – in other words, he’s a bit of a tyrant. However his vision isn’t easy to realise as there are several assassins after him. The story starts with Jet Li‘s character going to his emperor with the swords of the assassins – he’s single-handedly wiped out any threats and in return, the emperor rewards him. But that’s only the beginning.

What I Like: Apart from my favourite Eastern movie actor, plus the few others that us Western folks know, the locations and set designs are brilliant. Hero is beautiful with the visuals as well as the sound track. Coupled with the twisted plot line, you begin to realise that this film is one of the greats. Quentin Tarantino even thinks so!

Runner Up: Ip Man (2008)

What’s it About: Bruce Lee’s teacher is Ip Man (in real life that is), and this is the “sort of” biopic of the man himself played by Donnie Yen. A martial artist who knows Wing Chun and is the best fighter in the town, despite not running his own martial arts school and being one of the most modest of fighters. Tyranny, in the form of the Japanese invasion casts a dark shadow and everyone turns to Ip Man to seek justice.

What I Like: It’s not exactly an innovative storyline, but it’s still a decent one. I liked the martial arts in it to be honest, and I had no real runner-up apart from a few other Jet Li films like Fearless or The Warlords (and Kiss of the Dragon if you include English Jet Li movies) – yep, I’m a Jet Li fan. But I didn’t like him in the Expendables!

Next time – I’ll give a stab at Bollywood. God knows when though…