39. Hero (B-)
I got this DVD back in about 2003, and I think this is the first time I've watched it since then. Anyway, Zhang Yimou sells out and loves it, producing one of the more prominent entries in the post-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wave of wuxia films that attracted notice in the West. It's a little ponderous, and overuses slo-mo (the lack of blood also becomes a bid risible), but the production design and photography are excellent, and the performances all have their moments. It's pretty easy to read this as propaganda for why China should be allowed to conquer Tibet and Taiwan, but the "ends versus means" question is a universal one, so the movie's stance isn't really that unusual.
This is one of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen. The action, color and cinematography are all fantastic. It's like a moving painting at times. I don't remember the slo-mo offhand, but the scene where Jet Li cuts through the water sticks in my mind.