From Vegas to Macau (2014)

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From Vegas to Macau

Sequels, Prequels, Send-ups and Spin-offs: Director Wong Jing finds Chow Yun Fat a new tuxedo amongst his usual box of tricks.

The recent release of From Vegas to Macau harks back to Hong Kong’s gambling fad of the early 1990s. Wong Jing, director of the original God of Gamblers series, offers up a super-silly pastiche of recycled gags that should appeal to fans of classic Hong Kong gambling films. Unfortunately, this time Chow Yun Fat does not play suave gamesman … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Raid 2′

The Raid 2 (Australian Poster)

Alright, so everyone who reads Heroic Cinema regularly knows this one is due out soon; we’ve posted trailers, given away double passes…. but this week’s the week.

Indonesian martial arts film The Raid 2: Berandal (Indonesian for “Thug”, according to Wikipedia) arrives in Australian cinemas this Friday, March 28, and it looks like it’ll make a lot of action cinema fans sit up and take notice.

Directed by Gareth Evans, it’s his follow-up to low-budget locked-building actioner The Raid(read more)

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Enchanting Shadows: The Films of the Shaw Brothers

Shaw Brothers logo

The recent passing of Chinese business tycoon Run Run Shaw was an event well covered by the world’s media. The obituaries for the 106 year old entrepreneur mainly concentrated on his business acumen and life-long philanthropy.

Like many successful industrialists, Run Run Shaw’s public largess would not have been possible without the profits generated by his companies, in particular the Shaw Brothers movie studio.

For more than a twenty year period from the late 1950s, Run Run Shaw helped create … (read more)

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Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘The Raid 2′ (Closed)

The Raid 2 (Australian Poster)

Arriving in Aussie cinemas (twin hammers at the ready, from the look of the poster!) on March 28 is Indonesian film The Raid 2, director Gareth Evans’ follow-up to his 2011 action flick The Raid.

The original film was an impressive piece of martial arts cinema given its tiny budget and cast of relative unknowns, and Evans suggested in interviews at the time (like the one we did) that the sequel would have the wider scope and … (read more)

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The Wind Rises (2013)

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The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki’s first return to the director’s chair in five years (since Ponyo) and — if his statements in interviews are taken at face value — his final feature film in a career spanning six decades in Japanese animation. If that is indeed the case, it is in many ways a fitting swansong: it’s a layered, nuanced film that tells a story that is definitively Japanese yet universal, rooted in history yet filled with flights … (read more)

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Harlock: Space Pirate (2013)

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Harlock: Space Pirate

The Nordic premiere of Harlock: Space Pirate at the last Stockholm International Film Festival packed a full house. This futuristic, intergalactic pirate caper, set around the turn of the 3rd millennium, finds the infamous and (thought-to-be) immortal Captain Harlock (Shun Oguri) commandeering the mysterious spaceship Arcadia, the last of its kind and powered by dark matter — a self-generating energy based substance that comes in pretty handy in spaceship battle damage predicaments.

Earth has been declared a sanctuary in this … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Wind Rises’ (Japan, anime)

The Wind Rises

This week in Aussie cinemas we have the long-awaited new film from famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ, Kaze Tachinu). The story follows an aircraft engineer in pre-war Japan, loosely based on Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter plane used in WWII, and Miyazaki had said at one point that it would be his final film.

(I believe I’ve read somewhere that he’s since decided not to retire quite so soon — here’s hoping … (read more)

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More King Hu screening in Canberra

A Touch of Zen

Hot on the heels of Melbourne Cinémathèque’s screening of King Hu’s classic A Touch of Zen comes three screenings of films by the great director in Canberra, at the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema.

The films on display are:

Dragon Gate Inn on Sat 8 March: the original film, remade by Tsui Hark twice and one of the classics of Chinese action cinema.
A Touch of Zen(read more) on Sun 9 March: unarguably King Hu’s most revered film, running

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