Daily Archives: 09/07/2004

New Dive Spot

Palau, Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef, Maldives – and the Sewers of Mexico City?

Ick. Talk about a nasty job. Divers keep vast, smelly sewers flowing in Mexico City, pulling out blockages of human waste, storm debris and the occassional human corpse from the flow of sewage underneath the Mexican capital.

Hero

Just got back from watching Hero at the Megaplex. Excellent wushu film, full of acrobatic fights, stunning visuals and a moving score. The movie definitely tries to outdo Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And it comes close, mighty close, to topping Ang Lee’s film. But in the end, the story was not as powerful as Crouching Tiger, and the characters lacked Crouching Tiger’s depth and nuance. That I can even equate acting in a martial arts film with depth and nuance is solely because of Crouching Tiger.

Hero’s great plot device is derived from Kurosawa’s classic Rashomon; the same story is told from several viewpoints. General events are the same, but details and motives vary. It works very well in Hero, with each successive tale drawing the hero closer to the king as they dance and parry with words. And the visuals are just stunning; among the set pieces are a sword fight suspended between the drops of a driving rainstorm, a bout to the death in a swirl of falling colored leaves and bright steel, and a duel between masters upon the calm surface of a mountain lake. And the enormous hail of black arrows is a sight to behold too.

It’s a good movie, but it’s just a movie. Crouching Tiger caused my jaw to gape open, Hero made me smile and enjoy a well made movie. I doubt I need to see it again, unlike my repeat visits Ang Lee’s movie.