Tag Archives: Wuxia

South Korea’s Alienoid Ready for Invasion in North America Aug 26th! and Sequel News

24 Aug

Alienoid

Well GO USA
Coming to Theatres August 26, 2022 (Please check local listings)

Choi Dong-hoon’s ambitious plans for Alienoid are big. In part one, two robots–a very humanoid looking Guard (Kim Woo-bin) and a mechanical Thunder (voiced by Kim Dae-myung)–are tasked to keep watch on certain prisoners. Their bosses are some strange alien species who imprison the essences of their criminals in human vassals. Instead of making the entire planet a penal colony, we have to suspend disbelief and assume Seoul, South Korea, is special for a reason.

Perhaps in each major city, there are other guardians, and their assignment to monitor those prisoners is to make sure they don’t awaken. It’s very possible these criminal aliens can bend the minds of their hosts. They can take them for a very unwilling ride, and for unsuspecting humans, the result can sometimes be ugly. It’s safe to say neither can survive without the other. Or should that be, each criminal can’t last outside their prison without a host.

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The Zen of “Demigod The Legend Begins” at Fantasia 2022

23 Jul

Demigod The Legend Begins

Played at Fantasia 2022 July 23, 2022

Demigod The Legend Begins, is a visual treat. Not only do we get to watch Taiwanese glove puppet theatre on the big screen, but also the story is epic! Through the magic of editing, these characters come alive.

However, I must wonder if Bunraku is the appropriate term to use to describe this style of puppetry. The motions of these medium-sized dolls are achieved via hiding the puppeteers with simple tricks of the camera. Instead of watching a stage show, we are watching it though the eyes of the cinemtographer–where we have medium shots and closeups of the characters instead of wide shots to show these action figures in motion. In truth, this technique is the centuries-old tradition of budaixi—Chinese opera using glove puppetry. This movie updates the music with modern day electric guitars, and I’m fairly sure one song is taking cues from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”

When a robe needs to look like it’s rustling, good ol’ fashioned fans are used. When the background needs to come alive, we have CGI replacing those green screen moments. Also, we have some well placed smoke effects and cups of blood to splash around when needed! The presentation is as good as those classic wuxia Hong Kong films from the 80s. But I can’t help but chuckle when they move off camera like a Muppet. That’s okay; Demigod The Legend Begins is not meant to be as perfect as other films using marionation.

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DreamWorks & Netflix’s Ready for More Kung Fu Panda Action July 2022!

19 Mar

panda

The best news from this month for DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda fans is that Po’s adventures aren’t over. After three successful films, five standalone pieces and two series–one on network television and the other on Amazon–Netflix has its eye to continue the adventures with the lead in The Dragon Knight!

There isn’t too much information to reveal as some aspects are still being developed or are under wraps. All we know so far is that weasels are the primary antagonists in this upcoming series. Confirmed is Jack Black returning to the role instead of Mick Wingert who voiced the title character in Paws of Destiny. This actor also confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that it’s coming July 2022!

Story Synopsis:

When a mysterious pair of weasels set their sights on a collection of four powerful weapons, Po must leave his home to embark on a globe-trotting quest for redemption and justice that finds him partnered up with a no-nonsense English knight named Wandering Blade. Together, these two mismatched warriors set out on an epic adventure to find the magical weapons first and save the world from destruction – and they may even learn a thing or two from each other along the way.

Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, A Movie Review

8 Sep

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings poster.jpegWuxia movies are a dime a dozen. To stand out requires a proper vision. Somehow Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (SCLotR) lack the sense of feeling like an Asian film. It’s produced by Chinese-Americans, who are probably two generations removed from their heritage. Instead of earning their wings on some feudal period piece for television in Shanghai (or Hong Kong), they only have the approval of Disney to produce this piece.

This film begins nicely enough, with bits from Jackie’s Chan’s The Myth and Forbidden Kingdom mixed in, but somehow in the tale’s progression, it turns into something like a Black Widow type of film.

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On Ne Zha and a Sequel

5 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Well Go USA

February 25th – Digital
March 3rd – Blu-ray 

Ne Zha (哪吒之魔童降世) is Dragonball Z on steroids. This title is the name of a movie about a rascally young boy (voiced by Lü Yanting) who does not have the makings of the divinity Chinese people highly respect today. You don’t want to let him in your home just yet. He needs to earn his reputation. When the world is about immortals battling for positions of power–to be one of the 8 Golden Immortals–in Heaven, I question how easy life is in Ancient China when they live amongst humanity and the battles are fought on land than in the safety of the Aether.

This animation is laden with a lot of moments worthy of an Avengers: Age of Ultron, Infinity War and Endgame mashup dressed in oriental garb. It offers very little in the charm of extolling Eastern philosophies. Where this story shines is with the premise that destiny can be challenged and reshaped.

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