Tag Archives: Jackie Chan

Forces Featurette: The Foreigner!

The Foreigner – (Left to Right) Jackie Chan as Quan and Pierce Brosnan – Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment.

London small business owner Quan (Jackie chan wants to find the men who killed his daughter and thinks that Irish First Minister Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) knows.

The Foreigner opens on October 13th.

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Unlikely Duos Dept. Trailer: Skiptrace!

Skiptrace poster

Hong Kong’s greatest Detective (Jackie Chan) and America’s greatest fugitive (Johnny Knoxville) must team up to take down China’s deadliest gang.

Think Riggs and Murtaugh, Cates and Hammond, or even a modern version of Chan and Wilson. Then add a dash of Three Stooges and a bunch of action sequences that show Chan to be almost as nimble as ever.

That’s what the trailer for Skiptrace suggests. Check it out after the break. Skiptrace will be in theaters on September 2nd.

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Dragon Blade: That Was a Great Fight!

Dragon Blade - Huo An vs General Lucius

Dragon Blade was inspired by historical events – and by inspired, I mean that Romans and citizens of many other countries used the Silk Road for travel and trade – but bears as much resemblance to facts as 300.

Cut by some 23 minutes, it’s a weird, never quite coherent epic that survives its engagement with its audience by being genuinely engaging thanks to solid performances by stars Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrian Brody.

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East Meets West Trailer: Dragon Blade!

Dragon Blade One-Sheet

East meets West in this epic clash for the Silk Road – the trade route between China and the West. When corrupt Roman leader General Tiberius (Adrien Brody) seeks to command the Silk Road, he is opposed by Huo And (Jackie Chan), whose trained warriors allie themselves with Roman General Lucius (John Cusack) and his legion of Roman defectors.

Check out the trailer following the jump. Dragon Blade opens on September 4th in select theaters and On Demand.

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Kung Fu Panda 2 – The Dragon Warrior Seeks His Past To Save China [And Kung Fu]!

Po & The Furious Five

Sequels have been a fact in the movies since, well, the movies began. They are hard to pull because they have to be creative without losing the essence of the original – and usually, they fail. Happily, Kung Fu Panda 2 comes close to approximating the mix of action, humor and heart that made its predecessor such an entertaining experience.

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DVD REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda/Secrets of the Furious Five

The story of how Po [Jack Black] becomes the Dragon Warrior – despite the skepticism of the Furious Five Masters, Crane [David Cross], Mantis [Seth Rogen], Monkey [Jackie Chan], Tigress [Angelina Jolie] and Viper [Lucy Liu] – is one of the year’s surprise hits, critically as well as at the box office.

KungFuPanda

The film’s DVD release is full of bonus features and, in a special two DVD package, includes The Secrets of the Furious Five. This twenty-five minute tale finds Po facing his greatest challenge – teaching a class of easily distracted young bunnies the art of king fu [Master Shifu, still voiced by Dustin Hoffman, seems particularly tickled by the situation]. To get the class’ attention, Po relates stories of how each of the Five – Crane [David Cross], Monkey [Jaycee Chan], Mantis [Max Koch], Tigress [Tara Strong], and Viper [Jessica Di Ciccio] – had to overcome such flaws as impatience [Mantis], Compassion [Monkey], control [Tigress], and so forth. Even Master Oogway [Randall Duk Kim] puts in an appearance.

Most of Secrets is filmed in the beautiful 2D style seen in the prologue to Kung Fu Panda, with CG used for scenes that feature Po and his class – and the clever cover art from the two DVDs is designed to be one larger picture when placed side by side.

There is a wealth of features on each DVD.

Kung Fu Panda: Audio Commentary by Co-Directors John Stevenson and Mark Osborne; Meet the Cast; Pushing the Boundaries [improvements in CGI]; Sound Design; Kung fu Fighting Music Video by Cee-Lo; Mr. Ping’s Noodle House [watch a master make noodles from a simple ball of dough]; How to Use Chopsticks [this time for sure!]; Conservation International: Help Save Wild Panda; Dragon Warrior Training Academy; Printables and Weblinks [DVD-ROM], and Dreamworks Animation Jukebox.

Secrets of the Furious Five: Po’s Power Play: Learn to Draw [Character animators show how to draw their respective characters]; Dumpling Shuffle [which bowl is the dumpling under]; Pandamonium Activity Kit [DVD-ROM]; The Land of Panda: Learn the Panda Dance; Do You Kung Fu [demonstrations of basic kung fu forms]; Inside the Chinese Zodiac; Animals of Kung Fu Panda [and how they relate to their namesake forms of kung fu], and What Fighting Style Are You?

Grade: Kung Fu Panda – A

Grade: Secrets of the Furious Five – B+

Grade: Features: Kung Fu Panda – A+

Grade: Features: Secrets of the Furious Five – B+

Final Grade: A

MOVIE REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda: Panda Power? By Sheldon Wiebe

Pandas are perceived as being laid back, relaxed and just enjoying munching on bamboo shoots. Kinda like your fat, old uncle Kenny – only bigger and with fur. Casting a panda as a kung fu master is one of those contradictory images that just automatically provoke smiles and chuckles – if not hysterical laughter. Which is why Kung Fu Panda had to be more than just another animated movie. In order for it to work, the film would have to find a way to make us believe – in with excellent CGI – that Po [voiced by Jack Black], a poor panda working for his father in a noodle house, could make that leap to… wait for it… Dragon Warrior!

Po & Master Shifu

In anticipation of the evil snow leopard Tai Lung [Ian McShane] breaking out of the most secure prison in the country, Master Shifu [Dustin Hoffman] has trained the Furious Five – Masters Crane [David Cross], Mantis [Seth Rogen], Monkey [Jackie Chan], Tigress [Angelina Jolie] and Viper [Lucy Liu] – in hopes that one of them would be chosen to fulfill the prophecy of the Dragon Warrior and obtain the Dragon Scroll that would take them to an almost exalted level of martial arts mastery. Through a fluke involving fireworks and a chair, Po finds himself chosen to become the Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway [Randall Duk Kim] – and fierce lessons must be learned by all of them so that, when Master Oogway’s time comes, the Dragon warrior will be ready to face Tai Lung.

Kung Fu Panda is a small miracle in both character and animation development. The script, by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger [from a story by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris] packs as much character into the film as action [and there’s a lot of action!]. Watching Po and his father, Mr. Ping [James Hong] deal with the changes in Po’s life are fraught with genuine emotion; the disbelief of Shifu and the Furious Five combine to make things even harder for the poor Po. The animation of the martial arts sequences add to the depth of the film with their intricacy and clarity.

Directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson have done a masterful job of matching voices to characters [Jolie and Liu especially, bring it – and Rogen, counter cast as the tiny Mantis gives his character a surprisingly supple quality] and staging both moments of frenzy and unexpected beauty [the passing of a key character]. Kung Fu Panda is a movie that might have been wholly summarized by its title, but instead is so much more. Thanks to the factors mentioned plus the unexpected range of Black as Po, this is a classic in waiting.

Final Grade: A

Forbidden Kingdom: Jackie Chan and Jet Li Together At Last!

forbiddenkingdom_poster

For a long time, fans of martial arts movies have longed to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li do a film together. Well, even though Chan is noticeably a step slower, and the real hero of The Forbidden Kingdom is a time-traveling poor white kid from the present, the two still provide a lot of fun in a movie that’s a fun riff on a number of martial arts movie themes.

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