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It’s almost a great, hopefully not sad cosmic joke that Bob and Harvey Weinstein, so famous for buying and then either recutting or shelving Hong Kong films, will distribute John Woo‘s latest made-in-China effort, Reign of Assassins. The Weinstein Company announced today that it has pre-bought North and South American rights to the film, which was produced by John Woo and longtime partner Terence Chang, and co-directed by Woo and Su Chao-Pin, who also wrote. Read More »

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What a strange cast! Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, the sequel to the 2008 DreamWorks animated adventure film, has just added three actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, and Victor Garber. The idea of Yeoh and Van Damme being in the film is entertaining, but when it will be only as voice actors? Perhaps slightly less so. OK, fine: Van Damme could be hilarious. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Promo Reel for John Woo’s Reign of Assassins

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Leaving Hollywood was the best thing John Woo ever did for his career. After a string of action films of steadily declining quality, Woo made the Chinese epic Red Cliff, which landed on several critics top 10 lists of 2009. Now comes Reign of Assassins, a new film that Woo produced with longtime partner Terence Chang. We have the promo reel (via Twitch) after the jump. Assassins is written and directed by Su Chao-Pin, but the promo reel says that Woo “co-directed” it. Hit the jump to check out the reel and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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It doesn’t look like John Woo will be returning to Hollywood anytime soon. After a string of not-so-great Western films, Woo returned to China and delivered the massive two-part epic Red Cliff. I’ve only seen the first film of the Chinese release (haven’t yet seen the condensed most other countries got), and while it certainly isn’t perfect, it towers above anything Woo delivered while in Hollywood. Now we have a first look at his next project, Jianyu Jianghu (also known for now as Rain of Swords In The Pugilistic World), which stars Michelle Yeoh.

Woo will be co-directing the film with Su Chao-Bin (Silk, Better Than Sex). They’ll be joined by longtime producer bud Terrence Chang. The cast also includes Chang Chen, Kelly Lin, and Barbie Hsu.

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They’re really playing up the dystopian poncho fashion with the new poster and teaser trailer for the perma-looming Vin Diesel sci-fi vehicle Babylon A.D. Might the eventual tagline be “This way late summer, put on your poncho as we journey into a future where anything can happen and it rains a lot“? You’ll find out nothing about the film’s plot from this hyper-edited clip, but the ambiance/marketing equation seems to be Blade Runner + Children of Men / xXx = “serious Vin Diesel action” from the mind of director Mathieu Kassovitz who brought America Gothika. That said, after last month’s barrage, seconds of anything that isn’t Iron Man looks slightly interesting mildly original. Here’s the Slashfilm synopsis…

Veteran-turned-mercenary Thoorop (Diesel) takes the high-risk job of escorting a woman (Mélanie Thierry) from Russia to China. Little does he know that she is host to an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to produce a genetically modified Messiah. Based on the French novel by Maurice G. Dantec, who was strongly influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, Philip K. Dick and punk rock. The film also co-stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sunshine) as a nun.

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/babylon.flv 470 200]

You can watch the trailer in High Definition on the official website. Babylon A.D. is set to hit theaters on August 29th 2008.

Discuss: After the film was delayed from February to late August, how do you feel about the teaser for Babylon A.D.? Did the Statue of Liberty apocalyptic street art grab your attention or make you shrug? Question of the year, for sure.

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poster source: vindieselgallery

New Sunshine Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Revealed

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Check out the new trailer and poster for Danny Boyle’s (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) 2001ish philosophical space horror/drama.
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