New Gods Yang Jian not only ups the ante in what Light Chaser Animation can do with the animation medium but also update a traditional tale to the science fiction medium.
Playing at Select Theatres Beginning Jan 20
Coming to Digital on April 11 and Home Video April 25th, 2023.
Light Chaser Animation‘s New Gods cinematic universe has another hero, and his name is Yang Jian (voiced by Wang Kai). He’s also known as Erlang Shen, a god with a truth-seeing eye, but in this film it has even greater power which can’t be defined.
Thankfully, no prior knowledge of who he is or the prior film are needed (Nezha Reborn) is on Netflix and my review can be read here), but it’ll help explain the surprise bits found in this tale. In this second film to this franchise, titled New Gods Yang Jian, he gave up his godhood to become a mortal, a bounty hunter, and for much of the tale, he has no regrets over this decision.
Despite everything we know about how the Divine World fell apart, nobody in this new utopia is truly at peace. The introduction talks about an averted civil war, but all is not well. In Penglai, a futuristic neo-feudal tech city located upon a mountaintop, the people live in relative peace. But this home of the gods may well become a target should a boy assemble the pieces of a destructive lamp. The beauty this location represents is just one of many places this film visits. The look of Ancient China juxtaposed with the industrial age looks wonderful. When the adventure moves to the countryside, the landscapes look like they’re straight from a bamboo tapestry. The softer use of colours is not always pronounced, and that helps with giving this movie a better richness than those highly saturated works other CGI films, like Kung Fu Panda, prefer to emphasise.
Shout! Factory is ready to release Jackie Chan in bluray with new extras and a streaming marathon!
Unbeatable. Unstoppable. Undeniable. Jackie Chan stands alone among action heroes thanks to his death-defying stunts, unparalleled fight scenes, and his signature sense of humor. An international superstar, Chan has thrilled fans around the globe for decades. As the standard bearer for martial arts action, Chan has forged a legacy that never has nor will be matched.
On January 24, Shout! Factory will release The Jackie Chan Collection Vol 1 (1976-1982), a collection of seven classic films remastered on Blu-ray which showcase the unique mixture of martial arts, action, and comedy that has made Jackie Chan a cultural icon.
To add to the excitement, Shout! Factory TV will be celebrating the release by airing a special Jackie Chan Brawl-A-Thon (link) on January 28th beginning at 12pm PT/3pm ET. This martial arts extravaganza will stream simultaneously across Shout Factory TV, including the TokuSHOUTsu and Shout! Cult channels for 24 hours of your favorite kicks, flips, and Chan’s unique blend of hilarious comedy!
WARPs UP’s latest single Hero_sei reminds us that even though life in our sometimes orderly modern society can be difficult…
Japanese-Chinese boys’ collective WARPs UP‘s new single HERO_sei is now out. It’s a mid-tempo ballad about living life your own way and is performed by a group who refuse to be confined by their own boundaries. The bold use of colours–of red, white and blue–contrasted against varied backdrops shows how they’re breaking free. Each tone is meaning, as red represents anger, white with sadness and blue with freedom. The progression is very telling.
This second original single released by the group’s two Chinese members LANGYI and MINGJUN, follows January’s single POWER_Shin. Previous songs by WARPs UP feature lyrics in English, Chinese and Japanese. This approach to reach a global market is an impressive achievement and helps make this group stand out.
Judy Lei is a young filmmaker based out of New York City, and her debut work serves more than one purpose. The World’s Greatest is a powerful story about a Chinese-American family struggling with life. I find the title has two meanings:
Call it Fresh Prince of Bel Air or something else, but I firmly believe this film cautiously and intimately examines that relationship between parent and teen (played by Lei). There’s also getting to understand the mindset in the lead and what she wants to do to achieve that dream. These two ideas combined makes for a compelling tale. I found it’s a very personal and relatable piece.
This tale is tailored towards an audience already familiar with works like Paddington the Bear.
After the tremendous success with the animated short Bao in the awards circuit, Domee Shi and Julia Cho developed Turning Red as PIXAR’s next film. What’s created isn’t too different from past films, namely Brave, but in this case, we’re seeing a story set in modern times and in Toronto, Canada no less!
It’s tough to live up to a parent’s expectations. Dealing with overprotective mothers is perhaps the hardest and this film hits a very familiar tone faced by most during their childhood. And what’s shown isn’t necessarily restricted to just her, but also for anyone growing up in a Chinese family. It’s not about the cultural barriers, but also in honouring traditions. The screenplay nails those aspects down because I’ve lived through much of it myself!