Tagged: Benedict Wong

Summary: 
A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 15th July 2021 (Australia), 30th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Edson Oda

Screenwriter: Edson Oda

Cast: Zazie Beetz (Emma), Alvaro Cortez (Fernando), Eliza de Azevedo Brown (Amanda (8 Years Old)), Winston Duke (Will), Sammie Edgington (Young Amanda), Sterlin English (Rick (14 Years Old)), Tony Hale (Alexander), Geraldine Hughes (Colleen), Arianna Ortiz (Maria), David Rysdahl (Mike), Bill Skarsgard (Kane), Perry Smith (Anne), Lisa Starrett (Amanda), Erika Vasquez (Luiza), Benedict Wong (Kyo)

Running Time: 124 mins

Classification: M (Australia), .R (USA)

OUR NINE DAYS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Nine Days Review:

Nine Days is not an easy film to watch. I also get the feeling it is a film that is going to divide audiences, I could tell that from the Media Screening that I attended where half the people were sitting in bewildered silence during the end credits while the other half were already singing the film’s praises.

I’ll be first to admit that Nine Days is a slow-burn but once you connect with the film you will find that it takes on all the aspects of a well-written thriller.

Directed by first time feature filmmaker Edson Oda Nine Days tells the intriguing story of Will (Winston Duke – Black Panther) whose rule it is to decide which unborn souls are right to be sent out into the human world.

Will spends his days watching the POV cameras that show him how the souls that he has previously chosen are living their lives while occasionally talking to his friend Kyo (Benedict Wong – Doctor Strange) who always seems to be worried that Will is over-working and not enjoying life.

Things take a tragic turn though when one of the souls that Will watches over dies in an accident that may or may not be suicide. As that sinks in followed by the fact that he is watching another struggle under the weight of constant bullying Will realises that perhaps the souls that he is sending out into the world are not cut out for it. Despite Kyo warning him not to Will decides to be tougher on the next candidates despite knowing that any soul not selected will be wiped into oblivion.

To make matters worse one of the souls that Will is interviewing this time around is like no other. The free-spirited Emma (Zazie Betz – Joker) instantly bonds with both Will and Kyo but while Kyo feels that she is the perfect candidate Will disagrees and feels other candidates are better options.

I found that once I got my head around this world that Edson Oda has created the tension in the film rose completely. Early on I found my head filled with questions like ‘why is this guy watching all of these screens’, ‘how does this world work exactly’ but once I let that settle I was able to finally concentrate on what was important – and that was really a soul (ie a person) basically begging to be allowed the opportunity to live.

Once I was able to focus on that I was then able to let the suspense wash over me. This maybe a slow burn that takes a while to play out but it also packs the emotional tension of a well-crafted thriller. The two pronged suspension comes from not only seeing which soul Will will ultimately chose but also what will happen to the bullied soul that is cracking under the pressure.

There are moments of true beauty with Nine Days – some of the scenes that depict Emma learning by life while being encouraged by Kyo are enough to bring a tear to your eyes – so are the moments where Will tries all he can to make the discarded souls last few moments something special and calming.

Aside from the amazing visuals created by Oda and his cinematographer Wyatt Garfield (Beatriz At Dinner) the other powerful force with this film are the amazing acting performances of Winston Duke, Zazie Betz and Benedict Wong. The trio all deliver powerful performances and the scenes that they share together are truly striking.

Nine Days is a stunning visual film with a deep conscience. This film will make you cry, it will make you a laugh but above all it will make you think about just how precious life really is.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Nine Days Reviews:

Nil.

Trailer:

Summary: A young warrior sets off to find the last remaining dragon after her world faces annihilation at the hands of some dark monsters.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 4th March 2021 (Australia), 4th March 2021 (Thailand), 5th March 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 5th March 2021 (UK), 5th March 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Don Hall, Carlos Lopez Estrada

Screenwriter: Adele Lim, Qui Nugyen

Cast: Awkwafina (Sisu (voice)), Gemma Chan (Namarri (voice)), Francois Chau (Wahn), Sung Kang (Dang Hai (voice)), Daniel Dae Kim (Benja (voice)), Dichen Lachman (General Atitaya, Spine Warror (voice)), Sandra Oh (Virana (voice)), Jon Park (Chai (voice)), Lucielle Soong (Dang Hu (voice)), Kelly Marie Tran (Raya (voice)), Thalia Tran (Little Noi (voice)), Alan Tudyk (Tuk Tuk (voice)), Izaac Wang (Boun (voice)), Benedict Wong (Tong (voice)), Jona Xiao (Young Namaari (voice))

Running Time: 114 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (USA)

BLACKBIRD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

It is hard to believe that it has been twelve months since Disney released a brand new film straight to cinemas… yes even the House Of Mouse was not immune from the great Covid cinema lockdown worldwide. The great news is that Disney returns to cinemas this week with a film that is arguably one of their greatest pieces of animated brilliance – Raya And The Last Dragon.

It is rare these days to find an animation that has adults staring wide-eyed and excited at the screen the way that so many of the Disney classics did when we were kids but such is the stunning artwork and captivating storyline of Raya that it certainly wakes up your inner child.

Inspired by South East Asian culture the film follows the adventures of Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran – Star Wars: The Last Jedi) a young warrior who is trained by her father Benja (Daniel Dae Kim – Hellboy) to guard the last remaining piece of dragon power contained in a magical gem stone.

They live in a world divided, a place where every tribe has fended for itself since a great war that saw the destruction of the dragon race at the hands of evil creatures known as Druuns. Since then the land of Kumandra has become separated and the various tribes do whatever they can to survive while people such as Benja do whatever they can to try and reunite everybody once again.

However, when Raya is tricked by Namaari (Gemma Chan – Crazy Rich Asians), a young warrior from another tribe, the gem breaks and each tribe takes a piece for itself at the same time the spell is broken and the Druuns once again return and begin to destroy what is left on Earth. With the world then slowly disappearing and mankind being wiped out Raya begins a journey to try and find the last remaining dragon – Sisu (Awkwafina – Ocean’s Eight).

Excuse the pun but the magic of Raya And The Last Dragon is out of this world. The storyline here is involving and creative and this time Disney have realised that they don’t need a song every five minutes to move things along a little bit. In fact this time around the screenwriters and the literal team of directors that worked on the film get everything right.

The story itself draws you in the same way as other modern day fantasy tales, such as A Writer’s Odyssey, do while the film doesn’t exactly cater for extremely young children as it mixes fight sequences with chase sequences and even finds a way to throw in some humour without it ever seeming out of place. The world created here is as imaginative as the worlds film lovers a generation ago found themselves escaping to with films like The Neverending Story and The Dark Crystal and while the story is in depth it never loses its audience and instead keeps them on the edge of their seats.

What makes Raya And The Last Dragon come together so well though is the amazing artwork with the animation. There are times with this film where you find yourself watching the screen and believing you are watching actual actors and actresses as the artwork is so realistic – the same can be said for the scenery which was inspired by the filmmakers trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Part of what makes the animation of this film work so well is also because the art team decided to make the characters look like the actors and actresses playing them. As soon as Benja walks onto screen the likeness he has in appearance to Daniel Dae Kim is astounding – and yes the filmmakers even find a way to make Sisu look like Awkwafina.

Raya And The Last Dragon is one of the cinematic highlights of 2021. Disney manage to bring everything together in such a way that the capture that old school Disney magic that has been missing from the company for quite awhile. This is truly a film for people of all ages as even adults are going to be captured by the magic and imagination of Raya.

David Griffiths and Lee G’s Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s Rating Out Of 5:

Alex First and Peter Krausz’s Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

Alex’s Score Out Of 5:

Peter’s Score Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) on IMDb

Other Subculture Raya And The Last Dragon Reviews:

You can also check out our review for Raya And The Last Dragon in The Phuket News https://www.thephuketnews.com/disney-is-back-raya-and-the-last-dragon-reigns-supreme-79250.php

Trailer:

 

Summary: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th October 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 16th November 2019

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 22nd January 2020

Country: United States, China

Director: Ang Lee

Screenwriter: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke

Cast: E.J. Bonilla (Marino), Justin James Boykin (Connor), Ralph Brown (Del Patterson), Marc Demeter (Agent Demeter), Christopher T. Elliott (John), Linda Emond (Janet Lassiter), Douglas Hodge (Jack Willis), Clive Owen (Clay Verris), Will Smith (Henry Brogan/Junior), Igor Szasz (Valery Dormov), Ilia Volok (Yuri Kovacs), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Danny Zakarewski), Benedict Wong (Baron)

Running Time: 117 mins

Classification: M (Australia) 15 (Thailand)

 

 

OUR GEMINI MAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Know your limits! It is the kind of thing that would expect to say to a first time director who wants to bury themselves in an overly-ambitious cinematic project that is destined to fail. It is hardly the kind of thing that you would think a studio or producer would have to tell an experienced, Oscar winning director like Ang Lee.

As far as filmmaking goes Lee has always been someone that has never been afraid to push the envelope. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon saw him bring Asian cinema to the American mainstream, while Brokeback Mountain tackled taboo topics in such a way it once again showed why cinema plays an important part in opening up discussions in society. Then there was Life Of Pi   – a film which used CGI in a way that no other director had ever dared to imagine.

Therefore it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise when it was announced that Lee’s new film Gemini Man would once again attempt to use cutting edge technology to bring its audience something new and fresh. The technology that Lee decided to use saw the film shot digitally at an extra-high frame rate of 120 frames per second and then modified to 3D. Lee thought the finished product would make audiences feel like they were standing right there amongst the action, instead what has been delivered is a film that is such a terrible cinematic experience it is on par with M. Night Shyamalan’s fall with grace when he helmed the ill-fated The Last Airbender.

When it comes to plot Gemini Man is made up of a story that action heroes like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger would have fallen over themselves to be involved with back in the 1990s. Will Smith plays Henry Brogan one of the Government’s top hitmen. After a hit becomes too close for comfort for Brogan he decides to retire but when he learns a painful secret about his career he suddenly finds another agent, Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), is sent to kill him. Then after explaining to her that she is mistaken an even deadlier enemy arrives to finish off the job –a clone of Brogan’s younger self.

With a plot a lot like that you could easily imagine a film that could well deliver an intense exploration of a topic like cloning while delivering all the suspense of a big action blockbuster, sadly though Gemini Man just doesn’t deliver at all. First of all it looks bad. You may remember that this type of extra-high frame rate film technique failed miserable when it was trialled on The Lord Of The Rings franchise and here it does exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason. The problem is it leaves the image way too clear, that results in a sun-drenched look that you would normally see on a television soap like The Bold And The Beautiful. And while some may say that yes that does make the audience feel part of the action that crystal clear vision also means that the filmmaker can no longer ‘hide’ all the magic of cinema. Suddenly fake blood is identifiable as fake blood and as we see here a stunt-man filling in for Will Smith is forced to cover his face in an absolutely ludicrous way so the audience can’t tell that he isn’t Smith. Yes, for the motorcycle sequence you will be gasping in wonder but for the rest of the film you will be groaning with disappointment.

If the visual aspects of Gemini Man doesn’t have you groaning I can guarantee that some of the cheesy lines and woeful dialogue certainly will. There is a scene in this film between Danny, Brogan and the clone where the dialogue is so bad that you would swear that it had been lifted from some terrible family soap opera. Then there is the cheesy dialogue throughout the film that feels like the screenwriter was desperate to try and deliver a catch-phrase but fails miserable. Hearing Brogan declare that he is from Philadelphia as he gives his life story does for once get the audience to laugh, but for all the wrong reasons as they recall the lyrics that Smith sang during the title credits of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.

It is easy to see that what Ang Lee wanted to deliver with Gemini Man was an action film that went down in history for changing the face of cinema, what he has created though is a film so bad that it is likely to become a cult classic for the same reason The Room has become a must-see film – a film that shows young filmmakers how to make a film and has them laughing at the film from start to finish. Perhaps one day a filmmaker will take a look at something as serious as cloning in a way that can open up discussion for the audience but Gemini Man certainly isn’t that film. Like Ang Lee Will Smith rarely delivers a flop but somehow them working together has resulted in one of the worst films of the year.

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Gemini Man (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Gemini Man Reviews:

Our Gemini Man review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ can be read at this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/double-trouble-will-smith-meets-will-smith-in-sci-fi-flop-gemini-man-73603.php

Trailer:

 

 

GEMINI MAN, starring Will Smith & directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ang Lee, has officially started production!
Check out the first look from set shared by Will Smith on his Instagram page.

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move. The film is directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renowned producers Jerry Bruckheimer and David Ellison. Also starring are Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.

Facebook: /ParamountPicturesAU
Twitter: @ParamountAU
Instagram: @ParamountAU
#GEMINIMAN

GEMINI MAN in cinemas OCTOBER 3, 2019

Comic Con

Well Comic Con is over for another year and once again we have seen some amazing trailers released to fans at the con. Let’s take a look at the films that trailers premiered.

 

WONDER WOMAN

Wonder WomanSummary: An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world, and becomes the greatest of its heroes.

Director: Patty Jenkins

Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis

Release Date: 1st June, 2017 (Australia)

 

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Kong Skull IslandSummary: An action/adventure story centered on King Kong’s origins.

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Johnson

Release Date: 9th March, 2017 (Australia)

 

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

The Lego Batman MovieSummary: A spin-off of The Lego Movie centering on Batman.

Director: Chris McKay

Stars: Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Mariah Carey

Release Date: February 2017 (Australia)

 

DOCTOR STRANGE

Doctor StrangeSummary: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant and conceited surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

Director: Scott Derrickson

Cast:Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton

Release Date: 27th October, 2016 (Australia)

 

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

King Arthur Legend Of The SwordSummary: Feature film version of the classic King Arthur story.

Director: Guy Ritchie

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Eric Bana, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou

Release Date: 23rd March 2017 (Australia)

 

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find ThemSummary: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Director: David Yates

Cast: Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight

Release Date: 17th November 2016 (Australia)

 

THE WOODS (BLAIR WITCH)

Blair WitchSummary: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister’s experiences in the cursed woods of the Blair Witch, Blane and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.

Director: Adam Wingard

Cast: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry

Release Date: September 2016 (Australia)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE

Justice LeagueSummary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Amber Heard, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Ezra Miller, J.K. Simmons, Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe

Release Date: 16th November 2017 (Australia)

MARVEL_STUDIOS_LOGO

This weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the stage in Hall H for a panel to showcase the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, hosted by Chris Hardwick.

These are the films that were looked at:

MarvelBlack Panter

BLACK PANTHER is in U.S. Cinemas February 16, 2018 / Australia release date TBC, 2018

The panel kicked off with surprise guests from BLACK PANTHER, including cast members Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye) and director Ryan Coogler, making their first official appearance as a cast.

 

MarvelThor Ragnarok

THOR: RAGNAROK is in U.S. Cinemas November 3, 2017;  Australia release date October, 2017

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) from the upcoming THOR: RAGNOROK didn’t want to be left out of the Comic-Con fun despite being mid-shoot in Australia and sent a video highlighting what Thor has been up to since the last Avengers.  An in-production sizzle reel gave the audience in attendance a sense of what’s to come.

 

MarvelDoctor Strange

DOCTOR STRANGE is in U.S. cinemas November 4, 2016 / Australia release date October 27, 2016

For the first time, fans were introduced to the cast of DOCTOR STRANGE: Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Rachel McAdams (Doctor Christine Palmer), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius) and Benedict Wong (Master Wong) along with director Scott Derrickson and treated to brand new never-before-seen footage from the film.

 

MarvelGuardians Of The Galaxy 2

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is in U.S. Cinemas May 5, 2017/ Australia release date April, 2017

The panel was taken over by the Ravagers from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, and Kevin Feige announced the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (more information below and attached) attraction at Disney California Adventure, followed by a surprise appearance from returning cast members Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu) and new additions Kurt Russell (Ego), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) alongside director James Gunn. They treated fans to exclusive footage from the film. The following pieces of art were also revealed.

MarvelGuardiansArtMarvelGuardiansArt2MarvelGuardiansArt3

More about Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! 

Debuting in summer 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will take Disney California Adventure park guests through the fortress-like museum of the mysterious Collector, who is keeping his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as prisoners. Guests will board a gantry lift which launches them into a daring adventure as they join Rocket Raccoon in an attempt to set free his fellow Guardians. The new attraction will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple, random and unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift rocks to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.

 

MarvelCaptain Marvel

CAPTAIN MARVEL is in U.S. Cinemas March 8, 2019 / Australia release date TBC, 2019

As a final surprise, Kevin Feige introduced the brand new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Brie Larson, who will be playing Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers in CAPTAIN MARVEL.

The Interview

We take a look at the most popular movies and TV shows searched for the internet over the past week.

  1. The Interview (2014) – James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan
  2. Into The Woods (2014) – Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt
  3. The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies (2014) – Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett
  4. Unbroken (2014) – Jack O’Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlung
  5. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) – Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
  6. Gone Girl (2014) – Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
  7. American Sniper (2014) – Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis
  8. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Wiliams, Emilia Clarke
  9. Exodus: Gods & Kings (2014) – Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver
  10. Interstellar (2014) – Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
  11. The Imitation Game (2014) – Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech
  12. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy
  13. The Equalizer (2014) – Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour
  14. Cinderella (2015) – Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell, Cate Blanchett
  15. The Walking Dead (2010) – Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yuen
  16. The Drop (2014) – Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts
  17. Foxcatcher (2014) – Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
  18. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) – Robert Downey Jnr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
  19. Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (2014): Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Own Wilson, Dick Van Dyke
  20. Marco Polo (2014) – Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Remy Hii
  21. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
  22. The Maze Runner (2014) – Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
  23. Penny Dreadful (2014) – Josh Harnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Simon Russell Beale
  24. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  25. Annie (2014) – Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne