Tag Archives: Chinese

The Legend of Hei is Coming to Digital & Home Video!

28 Feb

Coming to Digital
April 20, 2021

Home Video:
May 11, 2021

Over five years in the making, The Legend of Hei is a heart-warming fantasy movie adventure, bolstered by beautiful animation and enchanting narrative. Filmmaker Ping Zhang (a.k.a MTJJ) derived this story from a popular flash animation series he created in 2011.

The series gained immense popularity when it debuted online in China, and Zhang then decided to develop it into a feature-length movie. Following successful openings in China and Japan, The Legend of Hei recently screened at Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Japan Media Arts Festival to great audience enthusiasm. Shout! Studios is proud to present this film starting April 20, 2021.

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It’s better to Fight, than Let the Monster Run

26 Feb

Monster Run (2020) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Netflix

The idea to adapt the American book into a Chinese film, Monster Run, is odd. This country is better off taking concepts from their own vast catalogue of lore than to look across the Pacific. The plot outline of Monster by A. Lee Martinez is also very familiar.

Some ideas are good, like the comic relief from a smart-mouthed animated piece of paper and a heroine who is not fully aware of her psychic abilities. Ji Mo (Jessie Li) can see monsters. However, she is not in full control of her abilities and she thinks she’s an odd duck. She’s like Pai in the Japanese manga Sazan Eyes by Yuzo Takada, innocent and cute. However, she doesn’t have Sanjiyan’s confidence, another personality hiding within her, to control the beasts. That belongs to her rival, Lotus (Kara Hui).

Meng (Shawn Yue) is the only person who can help. One night, while Mo is handing out flyers for the grocery store she works at, he is hunting for a nearby sleeping beast. Their meeting wasn’t easy; he is a conceited fool, as annoying as Han Solo when Leia first met him, but in control of the situation with Paper, his partner (voiced by the scene stealing Qiao Shan) providing support. This possessed piece of stationery is hilarious and the many forms he can fold himself into give this film an air of originality!

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Jiang Ziya’s Release to Digital & Home Video for the 2021 Chinese New Year!

8 Feb

JIANG ZIYA (2020) - Official Movie Site - Get TicketsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Digital & Home Video (Amazon USA link) Feb 9, 2021

Arriving in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year 2021 is Jiang Ziya (姜子牙)!

This film is reverent for any year because of its themes about renewal. Though delayed from release last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been excited for this film for a long time. It finally screened in the fall of 2020. While it’s hard to say if the post-credits scene was made to update the work so it’d fit for the Autumn season, it certainly worked to keep the story current. My review and examination of the Mandarin language presentation can be found here.

Christopher Sabat‘s vocal performance is on par with Zheng Xi ’s own in the titular role, and the actresses are just as equally notable. The English voice actress (unlisted in the information I’ve obtained) for Daji is sweet, reminiscent of Zach Tyler Eisen‘s Ang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In contrast, Morgan Garrett gives viewers a very sentai-style performance as Juiwei (Nine Tail). The purpose is no better or worse than in what viewers expect from watching an episode of Power Rangers, for example.

It’s hard to say how the original dialogue and translated version holds as I couldn’t flip between tracks currently available and having a third, namely Cantonese (which I know). Thankfully this home release has both tracks available. The screener I saw only had the English track. I found most of the variation comes from what Ziya said when he was creating magik, and a little with his internal monologue and book-ending the tale.

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VFFOnline 2021: Look Out! It’s a Skyfire than Sky is Falling Scenario!

2 Feb

SkyFire (2019) - MyDramaListStreaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Available to view for residents in British Columbia

If anyone is wondering what Simon West of The Expendables 2 and Tomb Raider fame has been up to last year, prior to the pandemic, he was in China directing Skyfire.

His work is nowhere near the same level of 2012, a disaster flick of epic proportions. Instead, it’s toned down and borrows slightly from Dante’s Peak. The only difference is that this film features a very active volcano on the island of Tianhuo. Jack (Jason Isaacs) builds a resort here, and he believes he can profit from showing off how man has tamed Nature. Although this actor has done other films after Harry Potter, seeing him here is a treat.

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Video

Jiang Ziya Quietly Gets World-Wide Release Oct 1st!

30 Sep

Legend of Deification poster.jpgRelease Date:
Oct 1st, 2020

Please check local listings for showtimes near you.

Well GO USA

Set for a world-wide release on the same date, the highly anticipated general Jian Ziya is set to make his mark! This animated movie was set to debut during Chinese New Year, but the Covid-10 Pandemic put a halt to that plan. This fighter is not going to take it, and although this release does not have the holiday to give it the box office support it needs, fans of this series will no doubt flock to it.

This retelling of Investiture of the Gods has its own built-in audience in China. While It’s uncertain where exactly this movie fits in the Fengshen Cinematic Universe’s timeline, those who are invested in this story will want to know more. Jiang looks like he can be the grandfather to Ne Zha, and the trailer (see below) show a much younger figure than the older, wiser individual.

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