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Thread: Tai Chi Hero

  1. #1
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    Tai Chi Hero

    This is part 2 of the Tai Chi Trilogy. Part 1 was Tai Chi Zero.

    Tai Chi Hero
    8 November, 2012 | By Edmund Lee
    Dir: Stephen Fung. Hong Kong, China. 2012. 103mins


    Picking up immediately where Tai Chi Zero has left off, the second instalment of Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung’s steampunk martial arts trilogy shows an encouraging restraint in its stylistic approach and finds a much shaper focus on its storytelling.

    When taken together, the first two films of the trilogy is provisionally an origin story of real-life tai chi legend Yang Luchan (played by Wushu champion Yuan Xiaochao as an idiot in Zero), and practically a straightforward action comedy in which its simpleminded hero earns both lucidity for his mind and refinement of his uncontrollable talent for the martial arts.

    After heroically halting the plan of a western railroad company to tear down the Chen village – renowned for its Chen-style kung fu, which is forbidden for outsiders – Luchan is married (conveniently) to master Chen Changxing’s (Tony Leung Ka-fai) daughter, Yuniang (Angelababy), as a last-gasp effort to save the young man from the unforgiving elders, who firmly believe in a long-standing myth that the clan will be obliterated once their martial arts are learned by anyone outside.

    The prophecy is established in a brief flashback sequence, featuring cameos by Patrick Tse (in heavy makeup) as a former master and Daniel Wu (in heavier makeup) as a formidable Buddhist monk. It’s a notable piece of trivia that the Tai Chi movies are the first titles of the recently established production company Diversion Pictures, which Wu and Fung co-founded.

    The mayhem then follows in the shape of a revenge plot by Zero’s villain, Fang Zijing (Eddie Peng), who’s here teaming up with Peter Stormare’s Duke Fleming of East India Company in another attempt to tear down the village, using Luchan’s background in the anti-Qing dynasty Divine Truth Cult as an excuse.

    In a minor reversal in theme from that of the first movie, which awkwardly treats western modernity as a source of chaos, Hero also sees the return of master Chen’s science-obsessed eldest son, Zaiyang (Feng Shaofeng), who was abandoned by his father as an adolescent but comes back eventually to save the day with his own mechanical inventions.

    While Zero may turn off some viewers with its frivolous script, repetitive use of onscreen texts and an exhaustingly hyperactive visual scheme that might find a better home in comic book fantasies, Hero is a rather more absorbing period actioner that culminates in an impressive showdown fight between our hero and a kung fu master (played by the esteemed action choreographer Yuen Biao) – and, thank goodness, not another giant machine.

    The good news, in other words, is that Tai Chi Hero finally ends up what a proper martial arts film should be; the bad news – at least for those who just want to see a good fight between two normal humans – is that the planned last chapter of the trilogy looks all set to take a dramatic turn into sci-fi drivel, with a post-credits trailer hinting at a mysterious organisation of biologically-enhanced humans.

    Production companies: Diversion Pictures Ltd., Huayi Brothers Media Corporation
    International sales: Huayi Brothers International, www.hbpictures.com
    Screenplay: Chen Kuo-fu
    Cinematography: Ngor Chi-kwan, Lai Yiu-fai, Du Jie
    Editors: Cheng Hsiao-tse, Matthew Hui, Zhang Jialu, Zhang Weili
    Production designer: Tim Yip
    Music: Katsunori Ishida
    Action director: Sammo Hung
    Main cast: Yuan Xiaochao, Angelababy, Eddie Peng, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Feng Shaofeng, Peter Stormare, Daniel Wu
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  2. #2
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    Well Go USA has it

    This will make a great double feature. I wonder if Hero will be able to stand on its own. Doesn't seem likely, given where Zero left off.
    Well Go USA Acquires Stephen Fung’s Sequel ‘Tai Chi Hero’
    By MIKE FLEMING JR. | Friday October 19, 2012 @ 3:08pm EDT

    EXCLUSIVE: As Well Go USA Entertainment today opens the Stephen Fung-directed action film Tai Chi Zero on the specialty circult, the distributor has closed a deal for the film’s sequel, Tai Chi Hero. The deal is for North American rights for the film, which is the second in a trilogy. Tai Chi Hero will be released in the U.S. and Canada early next year.

    Tai Chi Zero played both the Venice and Toronto film festivals this fall. Its mix of kung fu, steampunk and robots created some buzz and led to Well Go USA’s deal.

    “Based on the early success we’ve seen for Tai Chi Zero out of Venice and Toronto, as well as the early box office success in China, we wanted to ensure Director Fung’s entire trilogy is brought to North American audiences,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President, Well Go USA Entertainment. “The response has been amazing — audiences are asking how soon they can see Tai Chi Hero as soon as Tai Chi Zero ends, and we wanted to honor that request by putting Tai Chi Hero in theaters as quickly as possible.”

    Both films were acquired from Huayi Brothers Media in deals negotiated between Leslie Chen on behalf of the company, and Pfardrescher.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  3. #3
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    Jade Xu

    Should really be 'Queen of Kung Fu'...
    King Of Kung Fu: An interview with rising female star Xu Huihui (Jade)
    Posted November 19, 2012 by kingofkungfu in Features



    Xu Huihui is relatively new to the Kung Fu world, recently starring in the Chinese TV Series ‘The Legend of Wing Chun’, she as also landed a part in the upcoming movie ‘Tai Chi Hero’, along side Tony Leung, Yuen Biao and many more.

    www.jadexu.com

    www.milosciaky.it

    Xu Huihui was born on the 9th February 1986, she started learning in the art of Wu Shu at just the young age of 6 under her teacher and mother Xu Guan Guan. At the age of 9 she left China and went to live in Italy, not long after she won her first tournament and since that day, she as never looked back winning many tournaments and trophies along the way including National and International tournaments.

    Her skills and life long practice of the Martial Arts have got her great roles so far and i feel she will only get better and better in the years to come and expect to see many movies from her. Her jump from the winner-podium to the movie screen is therefore the logical continuation of her dream, to live the life of an artist and to promote the tradition of the Chinese martial arts throughout the whole world!

    So i would like to say thank you to Xu Huihui for agreeing to this interview and hope you enjoy what she as to say.

    1.When did you first learn you wanted to study and compete in martial arts?

    I was 6 years old when I was introduced to the Chinese martial arts. My mother Xu Guanguan, a professional athlete
    and coach herself brought me into it and coached me until I retired from competition in 2009.
    I never planned or were forced to go for competitions, it developed very naturally. I guess that’s the reason for my success.

    2.Whats been your favorite movie/tv series you have worked on so far?

    Tai Chi Zero

    3.Can you tell us about your character in the upcoming movie Tai Chi Hero?

    I am playing Sister Mahjong, one of the strongest members of the Chen Clan and obviously a master of Mahjong as well.

    4.What was it like working with a legend Yuen Biao in The Legend Of Wing Chun?

    It was a great pleasure. He is a Kungfu Movie Legend and to see him live in action
    was simply awesome. He is still very agile and besides his skills, he is a very kind person.

    5.If you could star in any remake, which one would it be and why?

    I’d like to play a heroine in ancient chinese times.

    A remake of ‘Once upon a time in China’ with a female version of Wong Fei Hung would be nice.

    6.Who are your kung fu idols?

    Many artists have been an inspiration, but the most important is my mother.

    7.If you could work with anyone, male and female who would you choose?

    I’d like to work with Quentin Tarantino. I love his style and he has Italian roots, so I guess it would be great working with him.

    8.What future movies can we expect to see you involved with?

    Some projects are in the planning, but I can’t tell much about it by now. Stay tuned!

    9.o you have a dream project and what would it involve, weather it
    would be movies or in real life?

    My dream project is to have a happy and healthy life.

    10.Do you have a message for your fans around the world and here on
    Asian Movie Pulse?

    I want to thank all my fans for their support and I hope they will continue supporting me and my projects in the future.



    Website:http://www.jadexu.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/JADEOfficialChannel
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  4. #4
    Sigh. Sonehow I thought this thread was the rise of a blend of tai chi and guitar hero.

  5. #5
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    HH Approved

    I was able to watch this online, I actually liked this one a bit more than Tai Chi Zero. It was a little less over the top, if that's possible. Still stylistically cool with heavy metal and classical music blended into a traditional Chinese action film. The story continues with the defense of Chen Village against the Imperial East India Trading company but that is more of a back story the primary focus was about the young outsider from Tai Chi Zero with the deadly mole on his head as he marries into the Chen family.

    The fight scenes were included a heavy dose of wire work, too much for my liking, would have preferred some additional fight scenes or focus on actual Tai Chi. The Steam Punk scenes were enjoyable and I also like the comedic pop up story telling that was prevalent in the first film. Overall I'd give it 6.5-7 Bawangs out of 10.

    Here's a free online link but you have to battle through a few annoying pop ups to get there.

    http://www1.zmovie.co/movies/view/tai-chi-hero-2012
    "if its ok for shaolin wuseng to break his vow then its ok for me to sneak behind your house at 3 in the morning and bang your dog if buddha is in your heart then its ok"-Bawang

    "I get what you have said in the past, but we are not intuitive fighters. As instinctive fighters, we can chuck spears and claw and bite. We are not instinctively god at punching or kicking."-Drake

    "Princess? LMAO hammer you are such a pr^t"-Frost

    www.ao8training.com/

  6. #6
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    North American Premiere of TAI CHI HERO at Dallas International Film Fest

    I'm still holding out for that theatrical release...
    Tai Chi Hero
    China, 2012, 100 min., Color, Mandarin, with English subtitles


    Set in China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), TAI CHI HERO is the second installment in the saga of Yang Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao), an outcast and village idiot who must fight against his reputation, his poor health and the encroaching influence of the Western world. Born with a physical deformity that can only be cured by practicing ancient martial arts, Lu Chan studies under the guidance of Master Chen (Tony Leung Kar-fai) and ends up defending the village against an army of steampunk soldiers set on turning the sacred land into a railway station. With the help of Master Chen’s daughter, Yuniang (Angelababy), Lu Chan must harmonize his mind and body in a series of battles that combine intense choreography and stunning visuals. The result is a smart and modern reinterpretation of the martial arts hero narrative.
    Screenings
    Magnolia 1 Friday 4/5 7:00pm
    Magnolia 5 Saturday 4/13 7:30pm

    CREDITS
    FILM INFO
    Director
    Stephen Fung
    Screenwriter
    Kuo-fu Chen
    Producer
    Kuo-fu Chen
    Executive Producer
    Kuo-fu Chen
    Cinematographer
    Yiu-Fai Lai, Peter Ngor
    Cast
    Daniel Wu, Qi Shu, Tony Leung Ka Fai

    Director Bio

    Stephen Fung is an actor, singer, model, writer and director named "Upcoming Actor of the Year" in his native Hong Kong in 1998. After studying graphic design at the University of Michigan, Fung returned to Hong Kong to write, direct and star in his directorial debut ENTER THE PHOENIX, produced by Jackie Chan’s JCE Movies.
    Screenings Co-presented by:
    Asian Film Festival of Dallas
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  7. #7
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    My patience has paid off

    On the big screen in AMERICA! 4/26/2013

    From Well Go USA's site:
    Tai Chi Hero
    Synopsis

    Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan) is still trying to find his place in Chen Village, the legendary town where everyone is a martial arts master…and Chen-style Tai Chi is forbidden to outsiders. But since he helped save the town from a frightening steam-powered machine, Yuniang (Angelababy), beautiful daughter of Grandmaster Chen (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), agrees to marry Lu Chan and bring him into the family. It’s only a formality, though – she is the teacher, and he is the student – and that suits Lu Chan just fine, as the mutant horn on his head gives him incredible kung-fu power, but leaves him dumber each time, and closer to death.

    Chen Village still stands in the shadow of danger. A prodigal brother returns, Lu Chan’s presence invokes a curse on the town, and Yuniang’s scorned fiancée has an appetite for revenge, as well as some new partners in crime.

    The second in a trilogy from the creators of Ip Man and Detective Dee, and featuring action directed by the legendary Sammo Hung, TAI CHI HERO is a full-on, steampunk-infused, video game-influenced kung fu throwdown that will knock you out of your seat.
    Director: Stephen Fung
    Cast: Jayden Yuan, Angelababy, Eddie Peng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Peter Stormare, Daniel Wu
    Producer: Zhang Dajun, Stephen Fung, Daniel Wu
    Genre: Action & Adventure
    Sub Genre: Martial Arts
    Run Time: 100 min.
    Theatrical Date: Apr 26, 2013
    Original Language: Mandarin
    Dubbed Language: N/A
    Subtitle: English

    USA Apr 26, 2013

    NYC
    AMC Empire 25
    234 West 42nd Street
    New York New York 10036

    LOS ANGELES / SAN DIEGO
    AMC Atlantic Time Square
    450 N. Atlantic Blvd
    Monterey Park California 91754

    SAN FRANCISCO / BAY AREA
    AMC Cupertino Square 16
    10123 N Wolfe Rd
    Ste 3000
    Cupertino California 95014

    AMC Metreon 16
    135 Fourth St.
    Ste 3000
    San Francisco California 94103

    HAWAII
    Pearlridge West 16
    98-1005 Moanalua Rd
    Aiea Hawaii 96701

    Canada Apr 26, 2013
    TORONTO
    Cineplex Odeon Yonge and Dundas Cinemas
    10 Dundas Street East
    Suite 402
    Toronto Ontario M5B 2G9

    VANCOUVER
    Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
    88 West Pender
    3rd Floor
    Vancouver British Columbia V6B 6N9
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  8. #8
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    Coming to US SCREENS in 3 weeks

    It's another limited release, but if one of the theaters above is in striking distance of you, go support it. Get Kung Fu films back on the silver screen!

    TAI CHI HERO - US TRAILER
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  9. #9
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    im seeing it..even though i saw it its worth seeing again.

  10. #10
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    Right on, Doug

    I hear that NYC is getting the 3D IMAX version. I'm envious. I've been saving watching it in hopes of this big screen version. Both the CA theaters listed above have IMAX capability, but we'll see if they are actually shown in IMAX. FS@DG was shown in IMAX 3D and it was so worth it.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  11. #11
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    yea amc is putting it in the ETX theater.. the screen is imax equivalent.. but what really sells it is the SOUND! has the best sound i ever heard in a movie theater. they did it for man with the iron fist.. and it was sold out shows almost every night for the whole run...this might be a new trend for kung fu films.

  12. #12
    I just watched zero last night. I think I missed something, though...who was the guy in the final scene who was fighting to get into the village? It wasn't lu chan and it wasn't the villain, but he seemed to know qin...
    i'm nobody...i'm nobody. i'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo... a boxcar and a jug of wine... but i'm a straight razor if you get to close to me.

    -Charles Manson

    I will punch, kick, choke, throw or joint manipulate any nationality equally without predjudice.

    - Shonie Carter

  13. #13
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    As far as I can tell that's something that will be revealed in Hero. Because I did not have any connection made either. It seems like a return of someone from the villages or a characters past. I have a feeling that little wushu prodigy is going to be a big film star in the next 10-15 years.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  14. #14
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    This was originally set up to be a trilogy

    Although I'm hearing that part 3 isn't firm and that part 2 doesn't seem to allow much room for part 3. I'm still hoping to catch this on the big screen week after next.
    Steampunk meets kung fu in action-comedy Tai Chi Hero
    By Dallas International Film Festival
    04.12.13 | 01:00 pm

    Set in China during the Qing Dynasty, Tai Chi Hero (playing at Magnolia Theatre April 13) is the second installment in the saga of Yang Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao), an outcast and village idiot who must fight against his reputation, his poor health and the encroaching influence of the Western world.

    Born with a physical deformity that can only be cured by practicing ancient martial arts, Lu Chan studies under the guidance of Master Chen (Tony Leung Kar-fai) and ends up defending the village against an army of steampunk soldiers set on turning the sacred land into a railway station.

    With the help of Master Chen’s daughter, Yuniang (Angelababy), Lu Chan must harmonize his mind and body in a series of battles that combine intense choreography and stunning visuals. The result is a smart and modern reinterpretation of the martial arts hero narrative.

    Below, director Stephen Fung talks about Tai Chi Hero and his hope that it can “stretch the limit creativity.”

    DIFF: Despite being an outcast in many ways, what is really motivating Yang Luchan to continue fighting?

    Stephen Fung: The motivation for Luchan to keep fighting is his love for Yunan; now that he is part of the Chen family, it is up to him to clear the family’s name. Failure to achieve victory means death to the many villagers of Chen Village.

    DIFF: Can you describe the nature of Master Chen and his followers? What is the reason for their success and ability?

    SF: If I randomly ask someone for the definition of tai chi, I will get many different answers. To some it's martial arts, to some it's the balance of all living things, to some it's a kind of philosophy. To Master Chen, it is all the above and more. The peace and harmony of tai chi’s teachings somewhat goes against the rebellious nature that is innate in him; however, being the grandmaster, this attitude of his must be suppressed. So from time to time he allows this rebellious nature of his to seep through.

    He likes to dress up as beggar and tries usually without success to blend into the crowd, he hates to attend his grandmaster duties and therefore he avoids them most of the time — that is until Luchan shows up. Master Chen saves him and takes him in as his disciple. This whole setup of the Master Chen’s personality is done deliberately to try to break away from the usual one dimensional “master” character that we see traditional kung fu movies.

    DIFF: What are the heroes fighting for? What are the “bad guys” fighting for? How does this reflect the time period in Chinese history?

    SF: Tai Chi Zero and Hero are set in an altered history genre. Historically in this period of time, there were influences from the west in China; therefore it allows me some freedom to explore different genres. One that I emphasized heavily is the steampunk genre.

    This genre is something that I’m fascinated by due to the incredible art work from artists and the whole idea of steam power being the dominating source of energy. I think this is the first time in film that we see this combination of steampunk and martial arts; I believe such a mix can be visually stunning.

    DIFF: What do you hope films like Tai Chi Hero can provide to the kung fu action genre?

    SF: We tried our best to try to break new grounds and hopefully were able to shed some new light onto the kung fu genre that has in recent years been creatively repetitive and stale. Whether this mixed breed of a kung fu film will be considered successful or not depends on whether audiences are susceptible to such new ideas. But for me as a filmmaker, I believe it is essential to stretch the limit in terms of creativity and keep moving forward.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  15. #15
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    On screens in North America this weekend.

    Just in time for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day.

    I'm crazy busy this week, but I'm going to try to squeeze this in somewhere.

    Kung fu mashup packs plenty of steam, sass
    By Jay Stone, Postmedia News April 26, 2013

    TAI CHI HERO
    Featuring: Jayden Yuan, Angelababy, Tony Leung Ka Fai
    Directed by: Stephen Fung
    Running time: 100 minutes
    Parental guidance: PG, stylized violence
    (In Mandarin with English subtitles)
    Rating: 3 (out of five)

    At the beginning of the fantasy steampunk kung-fu epic Tai Chi Hero, a vintage broad-winged flying machine chugs over one of those elaborately designed Chinese cities ruled by princes in long silk robes. "What does this have to do with the leading characters in the story?" asks the narrator. "None."

    It's an ideal illustration of the sass, stylized modernism, inverted sensibility and wonky subtitles to come.

    Tai Chi Hero is a kung fu mashup, sticking steam-powered airplanes made of Victorian-age gewgaws and metal gears into one of those martial arts films where people float through the air without benefit of any flying machines at all.

    The result is a pastiche that's hard to follow if you haven't seen Tai Chi Zero, the first part of the story, although if you read fast - the subtitles don't spend much time on screen - you can keep up.

    The story finds Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan), a man travelling the world looking for strong kung fu, arriving in the village of Chen, where a secret brand of fighting has been invented that outsiders are not permitted to learn.

    The plot comes down to a battle, lifted from American Westerns (which probably stole it from somewhere else) of the powerful villains - railway barons, no less - fighting against the honest but fierce townsfolk.
    Special effects overwhelm action in martial arts sequel
    By G. Allen Johnson
    San Francisco Chronicle
    POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 26, 2013

    Wire work and outrageous (read: silly) plots have been a staple of Hong Kong, Chinese and Taiwanese martial arts films for decades, but when was the last time you saw a fight or a stunt you believed was actually happening? The often-injured Jackie Chan used to include outtakes of stunts gone wrong; if there had been outtakes of the new big-budget Chinese action comedy "Tai Chi Hero," it would have been that of a special effects technician pounding his fist on his console after entering some bad code, perhaps knocking over a Red Bull in the process.

    ‘TAI CHI HERO’
    Not rated
    **
    Opens today at Pearlridge West 16

    That's about the threat level you'll feel as a viewer as director Stephen Fung sends bullets, blades and cannon fodder made of zeroes and ones hurtling toward our heroes, who need only jump about three stories in the air to avoid certain death.

    Set in the 19th century, it is a sequel to "Tai Chi Zero" (currently on Netflix streaming), a film I actually liked because of its odd melding of martial arts fantasy and steampunk anime. The sequel again stars Tony Leung Ka Fai as a small village's resident martial arts wise man, Yuan Xiaochao as the young but daft phenom and Angelababy as his love interest and martial arts equal.

    Again the villain (Eddie Peng) wants to level the town with the backing of the East India Co. (represented by Peter Stormare), but he doesn't have a cool mechanical device this time, just a faceless army of hundreds.

    This was a big box-office hit in China, and the production quality — sets, costumes, actors, etc. — is top notch. There is undeniably an entertainment value to it, albeit an empty one.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

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