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Question Help me identify this movie? - 08-23-2010, 02:16 AM

Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, I hope you don't mind if I just jump in and utilize mass knowledge right away. I'm just back from two weeks in Tokyo. (I actually never really understood the fascination with Japanese culture before... now I do! ) One morning while getting ready to go out, I happened to turn the tv on to the most visually stunning movie (at least, I assume it was a movie) I've ever seen. It was naturally all in Japanese, so I don't have the faintest clue what it was called, what anyone was saying, etc. I'd really like to be able to look it up and watch the whole thing.

I'm hoping that based on the best description I can muster, someone out there will be able to recognize it. Here we go:

It was a samurai movie, or so I assume. They had swords and mad skills. It seemed almost like an art film, the camera work and effects were so incredibly beautiful.

When I came in, a man and a woman were standing on top of a castle wall(?) defending against an army of thousands on the ground below. They each had a sword and the entire army was shooting so many arrows that they fell like rain. The action went in and out of slow motion. Both samurai wore long red robes (kimonos?) that flowed around them like water as they spun fighting off the arrows. (Again, imagine this as literally as possible; it didn't look like an action movie, it looked like art.) This continued for several minutes, then the whole army lowered their bows (crossbows? I don't remember) a bit like the agents raise and lower their guns together in the Matrix. Every inch of the exposed surfaces of the castle was covered in arrows except for two clear circles surrounding the man and the woman.

[There's a break in my memory here. It might've jumped immediately to the next part, or I might've left the room and come back.]

Next we're in a house of some kind. There's a closeup of the woman's face while she looks in a cracked door. A strand of hair falls down her cheek. The camera keeps cutting very abruptly back and forth between her and the man in the other room. He's in bed with a girl. First we just see from above two shapes writhing under a silk sheet. Back to the same closeup of the woman, now with a single tear on her cheek. She turns to leave. Back to the man, now sitting up in bed with the girl still lying down out of sight but one arm up out of the sheet and across his chest. He calls the woman's name. Back to her, paused before going around the corner. She says something. Back to him, sitting in the same position, but the girl is gone from the bed. Dialogue goes back and forth like this a couple more times, then the woman goes around the corner, her robe flowing behind her like it did on the castle, and down the hall. The man chases her, they talk (I'm fuzzy on the details here), she rebuffs him and he returns to his room. A moment later, he grunts and looks down to see a sword coming out of his chest. The camera backs up to show the woman standing outside the door where she'd been watching, holding the sword stabbed through the wall and his chest on the other side. He slumps down, they talk for a moment, he dies.

The last scene I saw was a fight scene between the woman and the girl, who it turns out is also a samurai. I can't do a play by play of this scene, but the same effects are used as in the castle scene. They do pretty impossible things, like fly a little here and there. There are slow motion closeups of stuff like the girl's sword missing the woman's neck by an inch, but it's all still artistic rather than a crazy action movie. They're both clearly bad asses, but the woman is also clearly better. She knocks the girl flat a couple times before killing her. The camera backs up to a wide view of the field, the two of them, and maybe a large tree? The background turns red(?), the foreground turns black, and we see the girl fall in silhouette.

Then it was time to leave. This was on somewhere around 8 or 9am on August 9th, if that helps.

If anyone has any clue what this could be, I'll be forever in your debt. TIA!!
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08-23-2010, 03:42 AM

It really really sounds like the movie Hero.

Starring Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi. The cinematographer for the film is one of my favorites, Christopher Doyle. He was first known to me as the the guy who shot all of my favorite movies directed by Wong Kar Wai. If you watch Hero and want to see more of his gorgeous look try The Days of Being Wild, In the Mood For Love and 2046 since they are a sort of trilogy.
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08-23-2010, 03:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by edelweiss View Post
It really really sounds like the movie Hero.

Starring Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi. The cinematographer for the film is one of my favorites, Christopher Doyle. He was first known to me as the the guy who shot all of my favorite movies directed by Wong Kar Wai. If you watch Hero and want to see more of his gorgeous look try The Days of Being Wild, In the Mood For Love and 2046 since they are a sort of trilogy.
The OP said the movie was all in Japanese. Hero is in Chinese.
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08-23-2010, 04:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
The OP said the movie was all in Japanese. Hero is in Chinese.
Yep. Kinda hard to miss that. But I don't know if the OP really has a good ear for Japanese and the movie could have been dubbed.

That scene with all of the arrows really sounds like Hero. A man and a woman on the roof of a castle like building, both wearing red, fighting off a rain of arrows shot by crossbow. Then later the fight between the two lovers ending in him (Tony) being run through by her (Maggie) from the other side of the screen due to her jealousy over his relationship with the younger woman (Zhang) after she sees them together through a crack in the doorway. Then a fight between the two women later on in the forest of the falling red leaves. The young girl is beaten and collapses as the whole screen turns red.

It's Hero.
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08-23-2010, 10:11 AM

Umm.. I'm not sure, but is this Azumi, starred Ueto Aya?
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08-23-2010, 12:08 PM

Yes, it's Hero, thank you all so much!!! My ear for Japanese is pretty pathetic... it might've been dubbed, but more likely I just assumed and didn't listen. The trailer I watched made it look much more like an action movie than my impression from the little I already saw, but the fight scene in the forest with the leaves was unmistakable. Off to Amazon I go!

edelweiss, thanks also for the other movie suggestions. I'll definitely check them out.
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