intrigue fills this sumptuous melodrama set in 10th-century China and directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero). The Emperor (Chow Yun-Fat) is plotting to poison his wife (Gong Li), who's cooking up a power grab of her own. It's all lovely to look at, and yet somehow uninvolving.
Stomp the Yard
A sort of recruiting picture for black fraternities, this clichéd drama shows how a disaffected young man (Columbus Short) matures after enrolling in an Atlanta college. There he discovers "stepping," the tradition-steeped dance form famously associated with African-American Greek organizations. Stomp is little more than a rehash of tried-and-true steps, but its dance scenes do give it kick. (PG-13)