Sanguivorous | DVD (Tidepoint Pictures)

Sanguivorous | DVD (Tidepoint Pictures)

Sanguivorous | DVD (Tidepoint Pictures)

RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2013

Tidepoint Pictures presents the DVD for Naoki Yoshimoto’s Sanguivorous (aka Kyuketsu). In Sanguivorous, a young woman suffering from mysterious physical ailments is horrified to discover that she’s descended from generations of vampires. When with her boyfriend, she struggles to control her peculiar appetite. Starring Masaya Adachi, Ayumi Kakizawa and Ko Murobushi. Watch the trailer.

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Shout at the Devil | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

Shout at the Devil | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

Shout at the Devil | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2013

Shout! Factory presents the Blu-ray for 1976’s Shout at the Devil, directed by Peter R. Hunt (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). During World War One an English poacher, an American adventurer and the latter’s attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battle-cruiser which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar. This rare gem stars Lee Marvin, Roger Moore and Barbara Parkins. Watch the trailer.

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Zhang Yimou to direct ‘Quasimodo’ for Warner?

"Hero" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Hero" Japanese Theatrical Poster

According to Variety, Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) is in early negotiations with Warner Bros. to bring the Hunchback of Notre-Dame back to life in Quasimodo.

The film, which has been in development for some time (previously with Tim Burton and Josh Brolin attached to direct and star, respectively), will be another re-telling of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel.

The story is about a gypsy girl who is framed for murder, and it’s up to Quasimodo, a deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, to save her. Who knows, perhaps Zhang Yimou will put a wuxia spin on it? We’ll keep you posted.

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Producers ‘conjure’ up Hong Kong-set action flick ‘The Feud’

"Triad" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Triad" Chinese Theatrical Poster

According to Deadline, Gulfstream Pictures has acquired the script to the action thriller The Feud, which is about two Hong Kong families (we assume they’re triads) caught up in a centuries old conflict. The Fued is written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes, who are currently enjoying the success for their sleeper hit, The Conjuring.

Gulfstream Pictures’ Bill Bindley says: “It’s a big thriller, set in Hong Kong. There is an Asian aspect to it and it is a big global movie by writers who are great with characters and at creating scenes that evoke suspense, as we saw in The Conjuring.”

No word on who will direct. As for the international star power? Chow Yun-fat? Jet Li? Fan Bingbing? Zhang Ziyi? We’ll just have to wait and see. Whatever the case, here’s hoping for a great Asian cast in a Hollywood production. We’ll keep you updated.

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Only God Forgives | Blu-ray & DVD (Anchor Bay)

Only God Forgives | Blu-ray & DVD (Anchor Bay)

Only God Forgives | Blu-ray & DVD (Anchor Bay)

RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2013

Anchor Bay presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive). Julian (Ryan Gosling), a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok’s criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) compels him to kill whoever is responsible for his brother’s death. Also starring Vithaya Pansringarm and Yayaying Rhatha Phongam. Watch the trailer.

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‘Die Hard 4’ director no longer directing ‘The Mummy’ reboot

"The Mummy" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Mummy" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Here’s proof that movie franchises never truly die, they just lie dormant for half a decade until the next round of executives can greenlight a relaunch. What I mean to say is, Universal Pictures has tapped Prometheus co-screenwriter Jon Spaihts to pen a reboot of The Mummy series.

The Mummy has long been one of Universal’s ‘Classic Monsters’ but the character really took off in late 90’s thanks to the big-budget, campy adventure flicks starring Brendan Fraser and directed by Stephen Sommers (G.I. Joe).

To the Fraser fans out there, I wouldn’t hold your breath that the George of the Jungle actor will return for the reboot but, hey, stranger things have happened. At this point we don’t even know if Universal wants to do another Indiana Jones-ish take on the series or deliver something darker, more sinister like Prometheus. Stay tuned to Cityonfire.com.

Update: Beyond Hollywood reveals that screenwriting dynamic duo Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci (Transformers, Cowboys & Aliens) have been chosen by Universal to not only relaunch The Mummy franchise, but to reboot the Van Helsing character with Tom Cruise(!) in the lead as well.

AICN has the word that none other than Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard, Total Recall ’12) has been tapped by Universal to direct the The Mummy reboot. Screenwriter Alex Kurtzman promises this new version will be “darker” and “scarier,” with a scientific grounding to its mystical story not unlike a Michael Crichton novel. A target release is set for 2014.

BREAKING NEWS: Comicbookmovie.com reports that due to scheduling conflicts, Len Wiseman is no longer directing The Mummy reboot. The search for a new director is currently underway.

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‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ North American trailer and poster

"Ip Man: The Final Fight" American Theatrical Poster

"Ip Man: The Final Fight" American Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: In Ip Man: The Final Battle, Anthony Wong (Beast Cops) is taking over the role of Ip Man (after Donnie Yen, Dennis To and most recently, Tony Leung in The Grandmaster), playing him from age 40 to his passing in 1972. The film is being directed by Herman Yau. There’s no word if it’s an official continuation to Yau’s Legend Is Born: Ip Man or just another “unrelated” Ip Man tale.

The film also stars Anita Yuen Wing Yi (Thunderbolt), who will be playing Ip Man’s wife. According to the promo poster, Jordan Chan (Enter the Eagles) and Eric Tsang (Gen X Cops) also appear. The character of Bruce Lee will be featured, but his part is still currently being cast.

Updates: According to Chinese Films, Ip Man: The Final Battle is set in Hong Kong, [Anthony] Wong, who plays the middle-aged Ip Man, and his five pupils battle the local bully. We assume one of those five pupils is a young Bruce Lee.

Don’t miss the action-packed trailer, which features a fight between Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang(!). What do you think, does Anthony Wong have what it takes to be Ip Man? | Don’t miss the Second Trailer ahead of the film’s opening at the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival.

In case you haven’t seen all the posters, here they are: Poster 1 | Poster 2 | Poster 3 | Poster 4 | Poster 5 | Here’s some good news if any of you are wondering about the film’s outcome. Ip Man: The Final Battle has took home the Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF) Bronze Prize. Thanks to HK Top Ten for the heads up.

Distributor Well Go USA has acquired the North American rights to both Anthony Wong in Ip Man: The Final Battle and Donnie Yen in Iceman Cometh 3D. Look forward to a top tier Blu-ray/DVD/digital release for both films, with Ip Man hitting September 20th, 2013 and Iceman arriving in Spring of 2014.

BREAKING NEWS: The North American Well Go USA trailer and poster have been released.

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Eve of Destruction | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

Eve of Destruction | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

Eve of Destruction | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2013

Shout! Factory presents the Blu-ray for 1991’s Eve of Destruction. It’s White Nights meets The Terminator! Eve VIII (Renée Soutendijk) is a sophisticated android. When an unexpected mishap sends her into a sudden, irreversible rampage, Eve begins stalking and killing anything she perceives as a threat. And now it’s up to terrorism expert Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines) deactivate her! Watch the trailer.

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Dead in Tombstone | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

Dead in Tombstone | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

Dead in Tombstone | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2013

Universal presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Dead in Tombstone, directed by Roel Reine (Death Race 2). It’s Machete meets the Tombstone! After making a deal with the Devil (Mickey Rourke), Guerrero Hernandez (Danny Trejo) comes back from the dead a year later to seek his revenge on the bastards who did him wrong. Also starring Anthony Michael Hall! Watch the trailer.

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Grandmaster, The (2013) Review

"The Grandmaster" Japanese Theatrical Poster

“The Grandmaster” Japanese Theatrical Poster

AKA: The Grandmasters
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Writer: Wong Kar Wai, Zou Jing Zhi
Producer: Ng See Yuen, Wong Kar Wai
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Song Hye Kyo, Zhao Benshan, Max Zhang Jin, Cung Le
Running TIme: 139 min.

Review by Ghost Dragon Triad

Wong Kar-Wai’s Ip Man biopic The Grandmaster is a fever dream of a film, a movie as much about the fleeting qualities of love and experience as it is about the life of its titular hero.

To address the elephant in the room: the film is guaranteed to disappoint anyone looking for a straight martial arts picture dressed up in the affectation of the director’s signature style. As much as style, The Grandmaster brings Wong Kar-Wai’s narrative vision to the tale of Ip Man. The film is huge and episodic, spanning decades and following numerous protagonists on myriad tangential stories – it’s film as the modern novel, an impressionistic tableau told through the haze of memory; Inglourious Basterds on heroin.

The story itself covers all the terrain of both Ip Man films starring Donnie Yen and much, much more. We enter the narrative before the Japanese invasion of China, as Ip Man lives in peace and prosperity with his wife and children. We follow him through the war, and into an illicit and sexless romance. Ip Man falls in love with rival martial artist Gong Er, played by the predictably terrific Ziyi Zhang, yet they share barely any scenes with one another. Rather, as the narrative splits and follows each of their exploits during and after the war – which takes us to Hong Kong, into the story of Ip Man 2 – the characters live in one another’s memories, and fuel one another’s passions.

Much like Wong Kar-Wai’s other recent historical epic, 2046, The Grandmaster feels like a life remembered more than a story told. The audience is given fragments of images, sequences broken out of chronological order, massive gaps in time, leaps from one character’s perspective to another. It is a movie to be taken in gradually and understood cumulatively, rather than followed logically and consumed quickly.

Don’t be surprised if, at numerous points throughout the film, you have no idea what’s going on, who certain characters are, and how they relate to the central story. Some of The Grandmaster’s many fragments are explained elliptically minutes, if not hours, later in the film; others simply vanish into the ether, like lost memories. There is at least one character – The Razor – who has nothing to do with the central narrative, and yet is given a handful of scenes to himself. Why is he there? Who knows.

This approach is guaranteed to frustrate many viewers. Even fans of Wong Kar-Wai’s oeuvre can grow weary of his often seemingly pointless meandering. Yet something very profound is at work in The Grandmaster. From a filmmaking perspective, it’s frankly astounding how much material the picture covers in its reasonable run time (123 minutes). The way in which the movie encompasses enormous passages of time through series of impressionistic shots and climactic confrontations is very impressive. And, as with 2046, The Grandmaster manages to provide enough emotional ballast and moments of profound humanity to overcome its occasional lack of cohesion and frequent lapses in concentration.

One small point of contention is the absence of a long-time Wong Kar-Wai collaborator, cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Replacement Philippe Le Sourd does a passable job of imitating Doyle’s style, but on the whole, The Grandmaster lacks the smoky, sensuous, melancholy, and hopelessly romantic look of the director’s best work. There are scenes in which objects and shadows obscuring shots feel more like mistakes than they do intentional fragmentation.

As the titular character, Tony Leung provides a graceful and melancholic performance not unlike his turns in previous films with the director; he is confident and graceful, but with enormous depths of melancholy and fragility lurking in his eyes. One thing Ip Man isn’t in this film is an action hero, or really a hero of any kind. He is yet another one of Wong Kar-Wai’s fragile people, a man in constant conflict with the decisions he makes. The Grandmaster is, ultimately, for all its flailing fists and slashing swords, a sweeping historical romance dressed up as a martial arts film. At the end of the day, it’s a simple equation: if you like Wong Kar-Wai, you will like this film. If you don’t, you won’t.

Ghost Dragon Triad’s Rating: 8/10

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