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Thread: Into The Badlands

  1. #46
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    The EW buzz

    Read mine first tho. The one on the previous post.

    Into the Badlands puts gritty, stylized martial arts back on the small screen
    Star Daniel Wu talks training actors with zero fighting experience, and what it means to bring back a 'kung fu' show — this time with an Asian actor in the lead
    BY SHIRLEY LI • @SHIRKLESXP


    (James Minchin III/AMC)
    Into the Badlands
    Posted November 13 2015 — 11:00 AM EST

    In the distant future, seven powerful barons have risen out of a dystopian world to recreate a feudal society. In this feudal society, guns have been banned, but swords and spears and white-knuckled fighting are fair game. The barons use assassins named “clippers” to enforce their laws and to protect the resources they control. That law includes the fact that clippers may not start their own family, having devoted their lives to killing.

    Got all that? The premise of Into the Badlands, AMC’s highly stylized martial arts drama, sounds far-fetched, but according to executive producer Alfred Gough, who along with EP Miles Millar helmed Smallville, the complexity of the idea is exactly what they wanted in the series. “We remain purposefully vague,” he says, noting that the concept spun out of wanting to do a martial arts series but also ground it in an original, compelling world. “My joke to AMC is that once zombies are done, this is kind of what happens. Zombies led to kung fu.”

    And yet, for a kung fu show, it’s the kung fu part that proved to be the biggest challenge. Not only did the series require a separate fight unit to choreograph the impressive sequences, but the producers wanted a team that would be able to create film-level fighting for a television show. Because Gough and Millar had written the Jackie Chan-starring Shanghai Noon, the pair knew what it would take, bringing on martial arts coordinator Master Dee Dee, who previously worked on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, and Kill Bill. “It’s obviously quite an undertaking,” Gough explains, “but in order to have a Hong Kong style to the fights that we wanted, and that authenticity, that’s how we set it up. It was a very busy shoot.”


    Image Credit: Patti Perret/AMC

    Just ask Daniel Wu, who stars as the series protagonist, a clipper named Sunny. The actor, 41, had to juggle filming fight sequences with acting and producing. Having practiced martial arts for 30 years and filmed dozens of Hong Kong films in his career, Wu had no trouble with the former, even though at one point while filming a fight, he cracked a rib — which he says wasn’t too big of a deal. “I had a lot of Advil,” he says with a laugh. “It was quite grueling to do fight scenes that would normally take three weeks and cram them into a six-day schedule.” Besides, he adds, Master Dee Dee and the fight unit had to train much of the cast, as most of the actors had no martial arts experience when they joined the series. “We had to go from zero to making them look like experts on screen,” Wu says. To do so, production spent six weeks training the actors for eight hours each day, teaching basic moves, fighting using a range of weapons, and wirework.

    Among the newbies, 16-year-old Aramis Knight, who plays M.K., impressed Wu the most. The young actor quickly picked up the flashier wirework moves, including backflips and back handsprings. “He did them with pure confidence and landed them perfectly,” Wu recalls. “I mean, it’s impossible to turn anybody into an expert in six weeks no matter how hard you train, but you just have to know to give them what they need, to give them the tools they need to be able to perform.”

    And judging by what’s on screen, that training has produced some eye-popping, intense fights. Wu’s clipper character fights enemies in the rain in one episode, bulls through more than 30 attackers in another, and, Wu teases, will face off in an epic battle against The Widow (Emily Beecham, below), a ruthless female baron, in which the pair tear through an armory and pick up various weapons to wield. Naturally, all that fighting makes the series pretty bloody. “I think the visual effects crew was pouring a lot of blood around,” Wu says. “Literally gallons on set.”


    Image Credit: James Dimmock/AMC

    With all that said, Into the Badlands won’t just be six episodes of gory martial arts sequences, as visually striking as they are. Sunny begins the story as a hardened warrior, but after he meets M.K. and learns of his lover’s pregnancy, he aches to leave the brutal life of the baron-run society behind. “It’s about a journey to enlightenment,” Gough explains. “It’s a godless world, and M.K. and Sunny are going to go on this journey. At its core, it’s a show about these two people.”

    It’s also a show that centers on an Asian character played by an Asian actor — a fact Wu acknowledges, but doesn’t think should be the takeaway of the show, even if Into the Badlands adds diversity into the TV landscape. “I’m not the kind of person to pull the race card, just because I think the quality of the show is what matters most,” he says. But, he adds, the story of how Bruce Lee’s idea for the 1970s series Kung Fu was allegedly taken from him (and cast a Caucasian actor as the lead) is one that has stuck with Wu throughout his career. “There was always a sad feeling about the truth of that show, which is that America at that time could not accept an Asian actor in the lead role of a television show,” Wu says. “And what I’m proud of is we’re able to right that wrong. It’s sad that it’s taken over 40 years for that to happen, but I’m glad that that’s happening.” In other words, Wu hopes the show can kick some ass — both on screen and off.

    Into the Badlands premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #47
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    just finished watching opening episode and was impressed. The fight scenes were theater quality. Very well done. Looking forward to seeing more.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i had an old taichi lady talk smack behind my back. i mean comon man, come on. if it was 200 years ago,, mebbe i wouldve smacked her and took all her monehs.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i am manly and strong. do not insult me cracker.

  3. #48
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    I watched it last night. I agree that the fights are very well-done for a TV series. It will be interesting to see how the series develops. Hopefully it will be around long enough and develop a good following.

  4. #49
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    agree jimbo, downfall of most MA's types of things is lack of storyline and development of characters. See what happens with this.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i had an old taichi lady talk smack behind my back. i mean comon man, come on. if it was 200 years ago,, mebbe i wouldve smacked her and took all her monehs.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i am manly and strong. do not insult me cracker.

  5. #50
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    See episode 1 for free



    Season 1, Episode 1 93 days left
    The Fort
    The Badlands’ deadliest Clipper, Sunny, rescues a mysterious boy, M.K., who harbors a dark secret, but may also know the way out of the Badlands.
    Full Episode

    NO LOGIN REQUIRED
    For those without AMC access, AMC has put it online.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #51
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    Fourth-Biggest Cable TV Premiere Ever

    ‘Into The Badlands’ Ratings: AMC Martial Arts Drama Is Fourth-Biggest Cable TV Premiere Ever
    By Oriana Schwindt @schwindter O.Schwindt@ibtimes.com on November 17 2015 2:49 PM EST


    Sunny (Daniel Wu, pictured) is a deadly warrior in a dangerous world in "Into the Badlands" Season 1. AMC

    AMC’s launch strategy for martial arts drama “Into the Badlands” appears to have paid off: The show’s post-“The Walking Dead” debut brought in about 6.4 million total viewers and 4.06 million in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. It’s the biggest launch of the fall season in that all-important demo, smacking down not only new cable shows like FX’s “The ******* Executioner” but also NBC’s “Blindspot,” which grabbed the attention of 3.9 million 18-49ers, and CBS’ “Supergirl,” which notched about the same. (The total “Supergirl” audience is still tops, though, with just shy of 13 million.)

    It’s a very promising start for AMC's non-spinoff series, though below the monster 8 million demo viewers of its newbie predecessor, “Fear the Walking Dead.” “Fear,” of course, had the advantage of being touted as a prequel to one of TV’s biggest hits (“The Walking Dead”). “Badlands” had to keep “Dead”’s audience intrigued while introducing an entirely new world to viewers. (Having your show’s protagonist dispatch more than half a dozen foes before the title sequence seems like an effective way of achieving that goal.) It’s also the fourth-best cable series debut ever in the demo, behind “Fear” and “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul.” USA’s 2002 drama “The Dead Zone” is, weirdly, No. 3.

    “Badlands” followed a “Walking Dead” (original flavor) that was up about 5 percent from last Sunday’s episode, according to Nielsen ratings. The next two episodes will also air after “Walking Dead,” before the latter goes on hiatus until 2016, and the real test of “Badlands”’ audience will begin. Still, the network can comfortably pop some wheelies today.

    AMC won’t have an official comment until ratings for Sunday night plus the next three days have been counted, as is standard procedure these days for many cable networks.
    Season two, here we come!
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #52
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    The bottom line

    I hope it kicks up our shares too. And by 'our' I mean all of Kung Fu.
    Kung Fu Thriller Could Kick Up AMC Shares
    “Into the Badlands” looks like a hit for AMC. Together with “The Walking Dead,” it could help boost the shares 20%
    November 21, 2015



    AMC Networks has diversified beyond biting into kicking and swordplay. Last weekend, zombie thriller The Walking Dead brought in 12.9 million viewers, up 3% from the prior week, and 6.4 million of them stuck around for the debut of Into the Badlands, which looks a little like Kung Fu with a sprinkling of Mad Max and The Hunger Games. That gives Badlands one of the strongest cable starts ever.

    Shares of AMC Networks (ticker: AMCX) are up a quick 12%, to just over $80, since we recommended them two months ago (“A New Zombie Outbreak Could Lift AMC,” Sept. 7). Readers should stick with them, for three reasons. First, they remain about 10% cheaper than the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 index, with better earnings growth potential. Second, the reason they’re not more expensive is the network’s heavy reliance on The Walking Dead, which increasingly looks like a nice problem to have. Not only is the show still going strong, but an offshoot that ran from August to October, Fear the Walking Dead had the highest-rated first season in cable history. Earnings per share for AMC are expected to jump 39% this year to just over $5. And next year, Fear runs for 15 episodes, up from six this year.

    Third, AMC has an excellent shot at coming up with another breakout hit. It’s too early to say on Badlands. Maybe it’s Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff, which averaged nearly six million viewers in its first season this year and returns next year. Maybe it’s Preacher, a cult comic book that comes to screen next summer featuring gunfighters, an Irish vampire, cannibals, and someone named Arseface. Seth Rogen is a co-writer.

    A new hit could lift the stock from 16 times earnings to 17 times which, based on next year’s recently raised consensus of $5.69 a share, would mean a 20% rise from here to about $97.

    -- Jack Hough

    E-mail: editors@barrons.com
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #53
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    Ep 2 for free

    Limited time offer from AMC



    Season 1, Episode 2 85 days left
    Fist Like a Bullet
    M.K. finds refuge in an unlikely and dangerous place, while Sunny’s loyalty is tested when Quinn tries to force him to commit an unspeakable act.
    Full Episode

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    Gene Ching
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  9. #54
    Watched 2 episodes. Probably not going to continue to watch this one. Not for me.

  10. #55
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    After seeing the first episode, I've forgotten to watch it anymore. Not that I purposely wanted to miss it, but I just forget, or am occupied with other things. Just based on my impression of what I did see, I hope they develop the characters and the storyline better. Although the fight scenes were good, I didn't find any of the characters relatable, or even interesting. Maybe it's developed since then.

  11. #56
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    I confess I'm mostly in it for the fights....

    ...and Emily Beecham.

    How Martial Arts Influenced Emily Beecham’s American Debut
    By Benjamin Lindsay | Posted Nov. 17, 2015, 11 a.m.


    Photo Source: Ross Ferguson

    It’s not just Brit actor Emily Beecham’s looks that kill. As the Widow in AMC’s postapocalyptic epic “Into the Badlands,” she mastered mixed martial arts, making one hell of an entrance in her American debut.

    On playing the Widow.
    “The Badlands is run by barons, and she is one of the few female barons. [It’s] a very ruthless, violent world. Guns are banned, so people fight with martial arts. She’s an amazingly skilled martial arts fighter as well as a feminist figure. She fights and stands up for herself, and this aggravates a lot of the other barons who want to keep this system of the Badlands running the way it is. She rocks the boat.”

    On bringing a feminist to the screen.
    “Women don’t really have much of a voice in this world. It’s largely a male-dominated environment, and the Widow has had to fight against that. She’s a really exciting character and it’s very relevant to today. Gender and sexual violence is touched upon in the show.”

    On working in America.
    “I’m actually half-American, so I’m surprised I didn’t come out sooner. [Coming here] was very natural. I really like it. They make a lot of bold projects here on television. The budgets here are a lot bigger. The scale of it—there’s so much more potential. It looks a lot more filmic. You can do a lot of bold things, a lot of big productions.”

    On training for “Into the Badlands.”
    “We did a five-week martial arts training before the shoot. I booked the job about four months before we shot, so it was quite a long time in advance. We had a lot of time to prepare. I went to LAMDA, which is a drama school in London, and we did a lot of combat there. I was quite good at all that. I had done a lot of dance before and I’m quite flexible, so we had to be able to increase our flexibility and our muscle strength during the training. It’s visually amazing, the fight choreography. It’s very inventive.”

    On keeping her character grounded.
    “[You have] to understand what it is that she wants and her context in the whole world—where she stands. One of our first questions when we first started was the social and economic situation of the whole world. How did we get here? What do we want? How has life changed? So that was the first challenge, just to make it real for myself and to understand what context everything was in and how my character felt and what her history was. She has quite a dark history. She’s made a lot of sacrifices in her life to get to where she is.
    A quick Q&A with The Widow from AMC's hot new show!
    2015-11-26 07:03


    Emily Beecham is The Widow! (AMC)

    Cape Town – AMC’s new martial arts drama, Into the Badlands is an instant hit.
    A whopping 8.1 million viewers tuned in to its debut in the US which was simultaneously screened across the globe.
    South Africans don't have to miss out on the action as it screens within minutes of the US screening on Monday at 04:10 on AMC (DStv 140). There is a repeat screening during primetime at 20:00.
    Set in a devastated future world controlled by powerful feudal barons, Into the Badlands tells the story of a ruthless warrior and a young boy who embark on a spiritual odyssey.
    The Badlands is divided among seven rival Barons who control the resources.
    The land’s newest Baron, The Widow (Emily Beecham), has become a thorn in the side of the other Barons.
    We had a quick chat with Emily about her role, those insane fighting scenes and what it’s like to kick ass in stilettos!



    Will you tell me a bit more about your character, The Widow.
    The Widow is a very strong character. She has faced a lot of obstacles and adversity to get to where she is. She is an incredibly skilled martial artist fighter. She claimed the title of baroness after murdering her husband and son. She is fighting for the equality of both men and women. She is an idealist and wants to change the system, which means she’s going to throw a spanner in the works and cause lots of trouble for the other barons.

    What attracted you to the role of The Widow when you first read the script?
    She came across as a very strong, unusual and inventive character. I have never read a character like that before. I immediately felt like I knew how I wanted to play her and how I wanted her to look. She was a warrior and a trailblazer and she was a really exciting character to me. She didn’t play up her sexuality she wasn’t searching for admiration but she used her sexuality as a tool much like a weapon in order to manipulate and try to get to where she wanted to be. I liked that she was such a strong leader.

    Have you had any previous martial arts training? How did you train for the role?
    The training was very intense! It was over five weeks and five days a week. We worked on our flexibility and our strength and we were taught how to use weapons. The Widow’s weapons are daggers and katanas, I specifically worked with them.

    You kick ass in heels and wield knives, how much practice went into perfecting that?
    (Laughs) I had some stilettos that I occasionally practiced in. But I it tried to avoid it because I thought it would be a very bad idea if I broke my ankle before shooting started. I generally wore the heels when they were in shot but if I could get away with it I would cheat and wear flats. It was really a challenge to fight in heels but it was easier spinning in the heels because you are on your toes. I practiced my knife skills with blunt daggers, I was constantly wielding them around on set.



    If you could have one of The Widow's attributes what would it be?
    Her savvy leadership qualities!

    Describe the show in three words.
    Wild, rock ‘n roll, fantastical!

    What do you hope viewers will take away from Into the Badlands?
    I think a lot of people will want to do martial arts after they see the show. People will see it as a beautiful art, and hopefully they will be inspired to take it up as a sport. I think the show is set to have somewhat of a cult following.
    ‘Into the Badlands’ Star Emily Beecham on Fight Scenes: ‘All the Sweat Is Completely Real’
    TV | By Joe Otterson on November 29, 2015 @ 10:00 am Follow @JoeOtterson


    Patti Perrett/AMC

    “It gives it that rough edginess that I think makes it feel more real,” The Widow tells TheWrap
    (Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Sunday’s episode of “Into the Badlands”)
    Emily Beecham, who plays The Widow on “Into the Badlands,” wants fans to rest assured that the fighting on the AMC show is more realistic than they realize.
    “All the sweat is completely real,” Beecham told TheWrap of the show that films in Louisiana, a state well known for its humid conditions. “It gives it that rough edginess that I think makes it feel more real.”
    Beecham enjoys her role on the martial arts-heavy series, but admits that she had no prior fighting training before being cast on the show.
    See video: New 'Into the Badlands' Clip Promises Epic Swordfight Between The Widow, Quinn (Exclusive)
    “It was a completely new experience for me,” she said. “I’ve never done action before. I had a small bit of stage combat training at my drama school but it was a very different, very slow medieval style.”
    She credits action unit director Stephen Fung, well known for his work in Hong Kong cinema, with preparing her and others in the cast for the show’s intense fight scenes. However, some of the moves required extra effort. Episode 2 opens with The Widow engaging in a massive brawl at a bar that includes some pretty acrobatic maneuvers on her part.
    “I found the back bend stab really difficult, because you need really good stomach muscles for that so it was really challenging,” Beecham said. “And also getting up from the splits and stabbing someone is near impossible, so I had to get wired for that.”
    On the show, The Widow is currently plotting how to overthrow Quinn (Marton Csokas), the strongest Baron in the Badlands. She unsuccessfully tried to kill Quinn’s son, Ryder (Oliver Stark), but Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight) were able to save him.
    How Quinn will respond remains to be seen. But Beecham believes that her character’s greatest asset is not her strength, but her mind.”I think her strength lies in her intelligence and keeping her wits about her and using tactics,” she said. “So that’s how she sort of pulls the rug from under Quinn’s feet.”
    “Into the Badlands” airs Sundays after “The Walking Dead” at 10 p.m. on AMC.
    She's even hotter in person.

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    ...and Emily Beecham.







    She's even hotter in person.

    Rub our faces in it man. Good for you !!!!

  13. #58
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    I gotta savor those perks, you know.

    Then there's this:

    Gene Ching
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    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  14. #59
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    Well, I watched 3 episodes.

    I tried to like it, but the fight scenes just don't do it for me.

    Star Daniel Wu talks training actors with zero fighting experience [...]
    The zero experience really shows. There's not much you can do when working with that.

  15. #60

    I topped all of you guys!!!

    Greetings,

    I could not get past 15 minutes of the first episode. I completely lost interest when the boy made a slight move to get away from the protagonist and the guy says something like, :there's nowhere to run to." Immediately I knew that line was incongruous to the protagonis's character given to what already transpired. He should have said something like, "If I have to break something to keep you nearby, I will do it." Not only do I blame the writers of the script, I blame the actors for not really taking the time to study their characters.


    mickey

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