A new trailer is available for Disney’s first installment in their Star Wars spoof series Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is expected in theaters December 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards (In The Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) and written by Chris Weitz (About A Boy, The Golden Compass), John Knoll (Avatar, Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi), and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), the film follows members of the Rebel Alliance in an isolated attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. Starring in the film are actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, The Hunt), Alan Tudyk (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Donnie Yen (Blade 2, Ip Man), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Also in theaters this weekend is the new first-person action-flick Hardcore Henry. Enjoy your weekend!
Netflix has slowly been upping its game in the home entertainment circuit ever since House of Cards became nearly as popular as HBO’s Game of Thrones. Now they are stepping up once again, this time with a sequel to 2000’s four-time Oscar winning epic Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, expected to be available on Netflix this February. The new film is subtitled The Green Legend and, like the original, is based on an original novel by author Du Lu Wang. Returning from the original film is actress Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies, Memoirs of a Geisha), who leads a whole new cast that features Donnie Yen (Blade 2, Hero), Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, White Frog), Jason Scott Lee (The Jungle Book, Balls of Fury), Eugenia Yuan (The Drummer, Shanghai Hotel), and Juju Chan (Unconditional Love, Fist of the Dragon) in a screenplay by John Fusco (Young Guns, Hidalgo). The first trailer, which is featured above, was just released this week. I’m not really sure what they had in mind with the techno version of CCR’s Bad Moon Rising playing in the back drop, but the visual effects and fight-scene choreography look pretty awesome. We’ll keep you posted on upcoming details.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was released in 2000 and against all expectations became the highest grossing foreign-language film in American history, earning more than $200 million in worldwide box office sales. Filmed entirely in Mandarin, the movie was based on the fourth novel in a book series by author Wang Dulu called the Crane Iron Pentology. The film adaptation by director Ang Lee received critical acclaim in Hollywood, earning a total of four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film, and getting Lee an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Now a sequel is currently in the works that will feature original actress Michelle Yeoh and new faces Donnie Yen and Harry Shum, Jr. While this does sound sort of enticing, the plot, I’m afraid, sounds exactly like the original story with a new generation of actors in the main title roles. This could turn out to be a total flop, but maybe if the project receives the same artistic and skillful approach that Lee brought to the original, it might be worth seeing. That being said, you should definitely go out and rent the original; you’ll have to read a lot of subtitles but it is definitely worth watching!