When Alls Not Well in Heaven and We Need Jiang Ziya. Creation of the Gods 1: Kingdom of Storms, A Movie Review

Fans of the Chinese high fantasy will like Creation of the Gods 1: Kingdom of Storms despite its long running time and overuse of weak CGI.

Creation of the Gods I Kingdom of Storms (2023)Well GO USA
Coming to Theatres Sept 22
(Please check local listings)

When considering a lot of films have been made based on some part of the epic Chinese novel, Investiture of the Gods, it should not surprise me that one day, someone would attempt to adapt the entire text. Creation of the Gods 1: Kingdom of Storms attempts to tell the entire story and when there’s a total of 100 chapters, to bring it all to screen will require more than one film!

I’m glad director/co-writer Wuershan is attempting this project. I’m rather fond of his work in Mojin: The Lost Legend, and he’s on the right track. Hopefully the advice he got from James Schamus‘ (who gets credit as script consultant) isn’t for naught. He is best known for being one of the co-writers of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Even though I know bits and pieces through the various animated films released in prior years, it’s cool to see how it all comes to head in this magnum opus. There’s Jiang Ziya (Bo Huang) working with two other immortals to stop the Great Curse that’s threatening the Shang dynasty.

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To Say Farewell Isn’t Tough in Goodbye Monster, A Movie Review

Not every Chinese Animated film will be spectacular, and what’s presented in Goodbye Monster seems to be a farewell to spectacular spectacular for a fairly standard story about redemption.

Goodbye Monster Blu-ray Disc Front
Available to purchase on Amazon USA


The one dialogue element that sticks out in Jianming Huang’s animated film, Goodbye Monster, is the number of times Dark Spirit is said out loud. I’m sure the words used in Chinese are similar, but a thesaurus is needed to vary this concept in English. For example, to say, “He’s possessed!” or “Bad mojo” can get the point across too. I wouldn’t worry too much about matching the syllables to mouth movement either since getting the point across is much more important.

This story needs to remember why Yin and Yang exist, and whether bad deeds can get exorcised. My initial view of this film had me confused about what’s important. As a result, I’m more interested in acquiring the Chinese home video release rather than the American version. Hopefully, it’ll have subtitles along with a Mandarin/Cantonese track to explain moments that got lost in the translation.

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Don’t Fly Me to “The Moon” (더 문) in 2023, Because it’s Dangerous!

Ultimately, The Moon does a better job at recognizing the dangers of space flight given where our current technology is at. We don’t have fancy shields common in futuristic sci-fi yet.

The Moon (2023) Movie Poster - South KoreaWell GO USA
Now Playing at Select Theatres
(Please check local listings)

Yong-hwa Kim‘s The Moon blows Ridley Scott’s The Martian right out of the water because once I got invested in Hwang Sun-woo’s plight through the flashbacks, all I can hope for is that he’ll survive! After a solar storm strikes the spacecraft and kills the pilots, he’s alone! This astrophysicist will have to make moonfall somehow if he’s to survive and Doh Kyung-soo (from South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo) is actually quite good at looking scared, when he attempts the impossible. Not only are the odds are against him at being able to pilot a sophisticated craft, but also get to get rescued is another story altogether.

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Time Travel and Aporia. How Much Worse Can It Get?

What Jared Moshé delivers in Aporia s more of a thoughtful narrative concerning how not to alter the past for the sake of having a better future.

Aporia Movie PosterWell GO USA
Playing July 27 & 28th at Fantasia Film Festival and select theatres starting Aug 11.

Nearly everyone knows that travelling into the past is dangerous. When that person changes one tiny, insignificant thing, like in Sophie does in Aporia, everything else becomes altered in ways that can’t be predicted. That butterfly effect is effectively explored in Jared Moshé’s film.

Instead of weighing viewers with science, everything waxed here is more existential than philosophical jabber. For better or worse, the device Jabir (Payman Maadi) made is an oversized gun that can fire bullets through the fabric of time and space. It should be confiscated by the FBI, since it can kill anyone this  physicist wants. The only person he chooses to reveal this weapon to is the wife of his best friend, Sophie (Judy Greer). Ever since Mal (Edi Gathegi) was struck by a drunk driver and put six feet under, life has never been the same. But now that she has an opportunity to alter the past, will she do it?

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Press The Button! Day Zero is Upon Us in this Crazy Zombie Mayhem Flick.

The nature of leaving some bits of the narrative in Day Zero open-ended suggests there’s more story to reveal.

Day Zero Blu-Ray Disc Case
Available to stream on Amazon USA

Release Date: July 11, 2023.

Sometimes, it’s not tough to determine just where a Filipino zombie flick will go when it’s titled Day Zero. After ex special forces’ agent Emon (Brandon Vera) gets freed from prison, the carnage begins right away! We don’t have to ask why he’s been put there. Instead, we just have to wonder how he managed to not get infected by the Dengue virus that’s caused many to turn into mindless human eating creatures.

This movie isn’t like Train to Busan with its better defined characters and sweeping cinematography. But what’s presented here shows just how much the hero wants to be together with his family. He’ll stop at nothing to get to this endpoint, and what’s presented is like a videogame, like Last of Us. This grungy world also shows a side of the Philippines rarely seen.

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