Director: Sung-su Kim
Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment
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If Homer had been Korean, he might have written a story like Musa instead of The Odessey. Musa is, to my Western-socialized mind at least, a Greek tragedy played out as a group of Korean delegates find themselves banished to the deserts of China after attempting a diplomatic meeting with Ming rulers in 1375 China. The surviving members of the Korean envoy journey for home with little hope, only to have their plans derailed on a mission to rescue a Ming princess from her Yuan captors and deliver her to safety. The plot is admittedly underdeveloped, which is apparently in part due to a serious hack job to the movie done between the theatrical release and the later DVD release. Visually, this is one of the most gorgeous movies on any screen in recent memory. Shots are framed with outstanding precision and the lighting is superb. Fight scenes are a bit to real for the stomach at times, with some over-the-top battle imagery that appears a little too real, but if you can get past the gruesome nature of the battles, they are staged with precision that spoils the CGI rendered effects of Hollywood epics like The Lord of the Rings. Crouching Tiger and Hero both tell a more cohesive story, but Musa, starring Zhang Ziyi of Crouching Tiger fame, should be at the top of the watch list for any fan of Chinese cinema. My only real gripe about the DVD being that many of the subtitles moved way to fast to both watch the film and catch the dialog.