After much delay, Liu Xiaoshi’s Born to Fly (長空之王) is tailor-made for release during China’s holiday weekend. International Workers’ Day (May 1st) recognises the contributions of everyone who helps make their country great. Here, the various teams within the Chinese Air Force need to work hard together–and have an ace up their sleeves–if they are to maintain their air superiority. And Yu Lei (Wibo Yang) is it. He gets called to duty to be a test pilot, and it’s up to Ting Zhang (Hu Jun) to motivate him to keep going.
Despite countless delays to get this film to screen, what’s presented looks gorgeous. The camera work sells some of the aerial sequences and the CGI handles the rest. Despite former trepidation by critics and their desire to compare this work to Top Gun and its sequel, what’s been improved upon may well stretch beyond improving the SPFX. Some story edits may have been done. As for the former, I’m sure not even Tom Cruise would be willing to risk his life just to go into low-earth orbit. And what’s more celebrated is how the team stays together.
From the renowned animation powerhouse Telecom Animation Film (Lupin III movies, Orange) and director Masaki Tachibana (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Princess Principal, Barakamon) comes a captivating new anime adventure, Blue Thermal.
Produced by Telecom Animation Film, this movie directed by Tachibana from a screenplay written by Tachibana and Natsuko Takahashi (Farewell, My Dear Cramer), is the long-awaited feature film adaptation of author and creator Kana Ozawa’s popular manga series which ran in Shinchosha’s Monthly Comic @Bunch Magazine for many years before being published in five book volumes.
This artful and beautiful coming-of-age movie captures the tension and excitement of a young college student who joins the school’s aviation club flying for the first time, as well as the beauty and exhilaration of the aerial scenery as seen from the pilot’s seat. The film’s theme song “Blue Thermal” and the song “Beautiful Bird” are performed by the popular Japanese piano rock band SHE’S.
Top Gun: Maverick is more than just your typical blockbuster. It’s music is key to its continued success.
Not much has changed in Top Gun: Maverick. The best takeaway is that both the original and this latest has fantastic music that honours the past and future.
Even the copycat films of the time had its strong musical moments. It’s tough not to forget what Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” confirms as part of the presentation. The lyrics establish more than just the tone of the work, but also provide a capsule summary of each set piece.
The story picks up about thirty-five years later, with Captain Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) “stuck” in a rut. He’s like James T. Kirk from the early Star Trek movies. Their career is going nowhere, and it took several films for both to find where they belong. Are either of the two an officer or a gentleman? No, they’re both free spirits; they are more than just another ghost rider in the sky. They don’t want to be confined to duty.
This film gets up close and personal. To get those goosebumps when riding that wild wind with a precision machine is what this film aimed for and I say the production team succeeded. There’s some effects shots which even I’m not sure if they are CGI or real.