LetTheBulletsFly-poster-27x40

Last year’s martial arts/steampunk action/comedy film Tai Chi Zero was explicitly designed to be followed by a sequel — the two films shot back to back — and now that second film, Tai Chi Hero, is almost upon us. (It was released in Hong Kong last fall.) A variety of posters are being revealed today highlighting characters from the film, and we’ve got the villain.

More than anything else this line in the synopsis for the second film makes me very curious: “that suits Lu Chan just fine, as the mutant horn on his head gives him incredible kung-fu power, but leaves him dumber each time, and closer to death.” Lu Chan is the hero of the title, and I love the idea of a trade-off in power represented there. It’s a video game concept, and these films embrace such things whole-heartedly. But it’s also a classic idea inspired by tales that are centuries old, where the thing that gives a character power also destroys them.

See the poster and a trailer below. Read More »

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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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stranglehold

Last week we told you that a sequel to John Woo‘s 1992 Hong Kong action-classic Hard Boiled was in development. Screenwriters Jeremy Passmore (Special) and Andre Fabrizio (upcoming John Carpenter film The Prince) were hired to write an adaption of the Woo-produced 2007 video game Stranglehold, which was an official sequel to Hard Boiled and featured star Chow Yun-Fat reprising his role as hard-boiled cop Inspector “Tequila” Yuen.

But apparently the big screen version won’t be a sequel after all… it will be more of a prequel… or maybe even a total reimagining? Twitch talked to Woo’s production partner Terence Chang, who clarified that Stranglehold will feature “a much younger Tequila” and he called the film “not a sequel” but instead, “a total reinvention”.

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