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One of the great things about being a Donnie Yen fan is the fact that he makes so many films, punching and kicking his way through several productions a year. “Legend of The Fist – The Return of Chen Zhen” is his latest, with him taking on the role of the Chinese folk hero, famously portrayed back in 1972 by Bruce Lee in “Fist of Fury”, and in 1994 by Jet li in Gordon Chan’s remake “Fist of Legend”. Having already starred in a TV version himself back in 1995, this time around Yen aims for something different, as he and writer producer Chan and director Andrew Lau (“Infernal Affairs”) take up Chen Zhen’s continuing story as a secret agent fighting the Japanese in the 1920s. The film is an all star blockbuster affair, with lavish production values and an impressive supporting cast headed by Shu Qi, Anthony Wong and Huang Bo. »
- James Mudge
Of Gods And Men (15)
The spiritualism is far from abstract in this powerful, resonant drama, based on a story of French Cistercian monks in 1990s north Africa. When their harmonious village life is threatened by violent Islamic fundamentalists, they're given a real test of faith. Should they stay or go? Do they belong there anyway? Are they ready for martydom?
Smart, polished animation with Ferrell's blue meanie vanquishing his nemesis, but then wanting to be good.
Low-budget sci-fi plus indie date movie equals alternative credentials, as a couple trek through a futuristic Mexico infested with aliens and metaphors.
This deadpan Finnish treat reimagines Santa as an evil child-snatcher. »
- The guide
It's been a while since Wai-Keung Lau released a crowd-pleaser with Western potential. His Infernal Affairs trilogy made a big impact, yet after these films he somehow slipped back into Hk anonymity. Those of you expecting a new gangster epic should take notice, Wai-Keung Lau is a diverse little devil who handles many different genres. His latest is a true Donnie Yen (14 Blades) action fest set in mid-20th century Shanghai. Talk about a change of scenery.
I've been seeing quite some Wai-Keung Lau films these last couple of weeks and while most of them are not good enough to warrant a review on this blog, his full body of work is proof of his diversity and ability to learn from mistakes. Earlier - often failed - experiments usually pay off in later films, The Legend of Chen Zhen isn't any different. Compare the martial arts in this film to »
The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from October 26-30, has finalized its jury and film slate. Egyptian actress Yosra has been appointed president of the jury, replacing Hany Abu-Assad, who couldn't break away from his film The Courier, which is shooting in Louisiana. She's joined by actress/director Salma Hayek Pinault, British actor/director Nick Moran, Indian director Bhavna Talwar and Bosnian scribe/director Danis Tanovic. They'll choose the winners of the fest's Arab Film Competition, film and director, each of which carries a $100,000 prize. The fest has added a bunch of pictures that won't be up for those prizes. They include: the Andrew Lau-directed Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen; the Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete with Danny Trejo; the John Curran-directed Stone with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton; the Vikramaditya Motwane-directed Indian film Udaan; the George Hickenlooper-directed Casino Jack with »
- MIKE FLEMING
[Our thanks to Guillem Rosset for the following review.]
When a movie has behind it such big names as Andrew Lau, Gordon Chan and Donnie Yen behind it, you'd probably start to feel a little bit curious about it. If such movie happens to be a follow up of a television series which was based on a character made famous by Bruce Lee on 1972's Fist of Legend, it'd surely catch your attention. Well, if you're into that kind of cinema anyway.
So here comes Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, the latest blockbuster from superstar director Andrew Lau and Donnie Yen reprising his role as Chen Zhen, the kung fu master who tirelessly fights against the Japanese occupation in Shanghai during the 30's. The film opens with a group of Chinese laborers who helped the French soldiers against the German troopers during the First World War. And let me tell you: this opening sequence is »
Moxy Creative has designed an extraordinary collection of movie posters based on iconic male costume. Whet your appetite here then pop over to EveryGuyed to view the rest.
They are all superb, but our personal favourite is this one for Dumb and Dumber (1994). A vastly overlooked film in terms of costume design; Mary Zophres’ barmy formal attire for Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) is hilarious.
This poster uses just a pair of plain black Derby shoes – an obvious nod to Verbal Kint’s (Kevin Spacey) costume as created by Louise Mingenbach for The Usual Suspects (1995). With one shoe cocked to the side, nothing more is needed to recognise a criminal mastermind.
Far more to see at EveryGuyed, including sartorially re-imagined designs for Shaun of the Dead, The Shining and – striped braces at the ready – Wall Street. Illustration credits go to James Alexander Mathers and Andrew Lau. »
- Chris Laverty
If you read /Film on a regular basis, you know that we love cool movie posters. And out of everyone on the site, I think I'm probably the most obsessed. I'm always scouring galleries and websites for awesome posters based on pop culture to add to my ever growing addiction collection. So, I'm really digging this set of posters called Dress the Part. It's 10 posters of some of your favorite films, but solely of famous fashion from the film. Included in the set are American Psycho, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Dumb and Dumber, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Shaun of the Dead, Superman, The Shining, The Usual Suspects, Top Gun, and Wall Street. You can check out all the posters, designed by MoxyCreative with illustration credits to James Alexander Mathers and Andrew Lau, after the jump and even find out where to buy them.The »
- Germain Lussier
If the Chinese army had the skills that Donnie Yen shows at kicking ass as a lowly workman for the English in WW2, they would have ruled the world by now. Fortunately for us they don't seem to possess the superhuman abilities that he has in this film.
Taking place after the events in portrayed originally in "Fist of Fury", "Fist of Legend" and the TV series this film is based on we follow the character of Chen Zhen after coming home from the war torn battle fields of Europe to a city that has been sectioned down to territories ruled over by the allies and the Japanese. Posing as a suave playboy he fronts a revolutionary group that is determent to push back the Japanese army and get authority back in to the hands of the Chinese people. But things are not that simple because local gangsters see no »
After eight crazy days, Fantastic Fest 2010 is in the books. Here's an index to all of our coverage, reviews, features, interviews, videos, and podcasts.
Last Updated: 10/01/2010
"Red," directed by Robert Schwentke
"Corridor," directed by Johan Lundborg and Johan Storm
"Fire of Conscience," directed by Dante Lam
"I Saw the Devil," directed by Kim Ji-woon
Kidnapped," directed by Miguel Angel Vivas
"The Man From Nowhere," directed by Lee Jung-beom
"Outrage," directed by Takeshi Kitano
"Red White and Blue," directed by Simon Rumley
"A Somewhat Gentle Man," directed by Hans Petter Moland
Andrew Lau, "Legend of the Fist"
- Matt Singer
Well Go USA and Variance Films will bring "Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster” to limited areas from January 28, 2011. Additionally, the popular first Asian actioner "Ip Man" will come to select venues from October 1st this year. The film will have an exclusive run at New York City's Cinema Village Theater, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this will be followed by a combination of one-week showings and special one-off screenings for fans. They will also distribute Andrew Lau's “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen" for a U.S. and Canada April 15, 2011. Fans are allowed to dictate the release of "Ip Man 2" by letting them influence on which cities will get a release thanks to their “Ip Man” Facebook page which can be located at http://www.facebook.com/IpManNAmerica. »
Mama said there’d be days like this at a film festival. Days where you go to the movies multiple times but nothing really explodes off the screen. The three movies I caught on Saturday were all entertaining in their own way. Some even had audiences grooving to the sweet beats of the city or the sweet beatdowns of Shanghai. None of them, though, stood out from the crowd the way films on day one and day two did. But, in true Fantastic Fest 2010 fashion, day three had a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it cherry on top that made it all worth while. Hit the jump to see a video of that moment and also read about Johannes Stärne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson’s Sound of Noise, Wai-keung Lau’s Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen and Amber Benson and Adam Busch’s Drones.
Sound of Noise is »
- Germain Lussier
When talking to Andrew Lau, one of the first things to emerge is his tendency to drop in the ba-ba-ba sound of machine gun fire or plwww of explosions into casual conversation. Maybe it's his way of being descriptive to an American journalist when English isn't his first language, but then again, Mandarin might even be considered a second language to the auteur who has had an international impact on the vocabulary of action cinema. First as a protégé of the Shaw Brothers before becoming a cinematographer on films such as Ringo Lam's "City on Fire" and "As Tears Go By" and then as the director of the "Infernal Affairs" trilogy (with Alan Mak), Lau has helped define an entire era of Hong Kong cinema.
His latest, "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen," takes one of the most famous of Chinese legends - a masked hero »
- Stephen Saito
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Sitges 2010:
Exorcisms, Vampires, Zombies, Martial Arts And Liters Of Blood At Sitges 2010
The 43rd Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, that will take place from 7 to 17 October, presents its lineup, with some films still to be confirmed, for the following sections:
Sitges 43 Official FANTÀSTIC Selection - In Competition
The official selection par excellence will be offering a lineup emphasizing a variety of nationalities (Bulgaria, Japan, France, Swede, Uruguay,...), the impact of new South American cinema, the rebirth of oriental cinema and the mixture of supernatural horror movies with exorcisms, vampires and mutants and everyday horror with real extreme violence.
13 Assassins (Takashi Miike, Japan)
14 Days With Victor (Román Parrado, Spain)
A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop (Zhang Yimou, China, Hong Kong)
Bedevilled (Jang Cheol-soo, South Korea)
Confessions (Tetsuya Nakashima, »
If I had the holiday time left, I’d be booking a trip to España right about now. The 43rd annual Sitges kicks off on October 7th and their line up so far is impressive. Damned impressive.
In competition are Gregg Araki’s Kaboom (teaser, stills), Christopher Smith’s Black Death (review), Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports (trailer), Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber (clip) and Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins among many others. In competition in the Panorama section are another great set of films including Shion Sono’s Cold Fish (trailer), Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage (trailer), Jim Mickle’s Stake Land (trailer) and Srdjan Spasojevic’s A Serbian Film (review).
If those titles aren’t enough, there’s loads more including Rob Stefaniuk’s vampire musical road trip film Suck (review, trailer), James Wan’s Insidious (clip), Adam Green’s Frozen (trailer), Black Lightning (trailer), Super (clip), The Vanishing on 7th »
0101 Viva Riva! (Djo Tunda Wa Munga, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
“Oh my god, this is a Tony Scott film,” said a friend, during one of the many times we leaned towards one another over the empty seat between us during this, our first screening. The hushed conferences continued as if we needed mutual verification not just of the gratuitous torturing violence and sweaty, ass-oriented sex scenes we were watching, but above all for the expertly excited genre work continually, expressively surprising us. If it weren’t for a psychologically blank, feckless-slick playboy in the lead, the film may be perfect, an efficient and fluidly caricatured crime story where money is the focus of all desire and movement, be it of plot or cinema. Starting with a glorious opening montage dissolving between wads of cash, a central city square energized by a population hungry for scarce automobile gas, and shots »
Andrew Lau's Legend of the Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen fits very neatly into the current wave of Chinese language films that trade largely on nationalist sentiment to achieve popular success. Recent entries such as Bodyguards And Assassins, Founding Of A Republic and the Ip Man pictures are all prime example of the phenomenon, all of them being films make Chinese nationalism and pride a principal element. The Ip Man pictures have demonstrated that it is quite possible to play this card while also doing a solid job on characterization and narrative to create a solid, entertaining picture. Legend of the Fist, however, seems to have little beyond the patriotism card in its deck.
Donnie Yen plays Chen Zhen, the popular figure famously portrayed by both Bruce Lee (Fist of Fury) and Jet Li (Fist of Legend), a figure famous for resisting the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Both »
During the time when I first wrote about the film on Twitch, I was intrigued by the premise alone, given that it's about time some filmmaker took a camera and shot within the confines of one of Singapore's most haunted locations, the Old Changi Hospital, or more commonly referred to as Och. Having followed its production blog and Facebook updates, I was made curious enough to contact Sheena Chung, producer of the film and was told that crew members got sick, and they weren't really quite decided whether to make this a documentary, or a narrative feature from the footage that they obtained, though the director Andrew Lau and her team had managed to capture some inexplicable footage. »
The 2010 edition of the Sitges International Film Festival has just announced their next wave of programming, a wave anchored by a number of big names - none of them bigger than John Carpenter. Here's the full announcement.
Sitges 2010 - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia confirms new films in the Festival´s Official Selection.
John Carpenter's latest film, The Ward, joins the Sitges 2010 Official Selection in its European premiere. Carpenter is back with a supernatural horror thriller set in a psychiatric hospital and starring Amber Heard, the new muse of fantastic cinema.
Two of the new incorporations are Spanish productions; Secuestrados (Kidnapped), European premiere, and Carne de Neón (Neon Flesh), world premiere. The first explains, in real time, the terrifying nightmare of a family held hostage in their home by a group of psychopaths. Miguel Ángel Vivas, renowned short film director, makes his second feature-length movie produced by the »
And finally it started! The 67th Venice Film Festival, one of the most prestigious, and, by the way, the oldest film festival in the world, kicked off tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Palazzo del Cinema featuring impressive Opening ceremony, hosted by the Italian actress Isabella Ragonese.
Of course, we already have some interesting reviews to share with you, for example this one (that comes from Variety):
“A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer’s all-consuming ambition, “Black Swan” serves as a fascinating complement to Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” trading the grungy world of a broken-down fighter for the more upscale but no less brutal sphere of professional ballet.”
Let us remind »
The Venice Film Festival opens Wednesday with its share of big-screen bound blockbuster potential, from Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," to Sofia Coppola's highly anticipated "Somewhere" and Ben Affleck's sophomore directorial effort, "The Town."But director Marco Mueller says that the economic downturn has forced even big name directors to come up with cheaper means of production, giving rise to innovation and an "in-between" budget category . bridging low-budget under a million dollars and mid-range of around (Euro)6 million-(Euro)7 million ($7.5 million to $9 million)."In between there was very little. And now several people rush to occupy that special space," Mueller told The Associated Press in an interview. "Because it's also the space where with some local, regional subsidy, some private money, and maybe with a few distributors interested in the project you can get your film off the ground. »
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