Poll: What’s the Best Rob Zombie Song? – Vote Now – Loudwire

What's the best Rob Zombiesong?Thats what we want to find out from you in this weeks Loudwire Nights Artist of the Week poll!

Each week, well be asking you to choose your favorite track from a list of 10 of the biggest songs from the next Artist of the Week'scatalog.

You'll have until Friday at noonET to cast your votes. Well then play the threetracks with the most votes during Loudwire Nights' Artist of the Week block to start the following Monday's show!

This week is about one of biggest horror-loving rockers in the game Rob Zombie.

BornRobert Bartlet Cummings, Zombie's beginnings as a musician date back to New York City, where he founded White Zombie in 1985. Their debut studio albumSoul-Crusherwas released two years later, and they put out another three albums afterward, ending their career with 1995'sAstro-Creep: 2000.

Zombie eventually went off on his own and launched an extremely successful solo career, starting withHellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow Internationalin 1998.As the years went on, Zombie's passion for horror films led him to becoming a filmmaker in addition to a musician.

Head below to pick your favorite Rob Zombie songs, and tune into Loudwire Nights nextMonday at 7PM ET to find out which three tracks prevailed.

Tune in tonight to hear which three Foo Fighterssongs you voted the best!

Loudwire Nights with Toni Gonzalez airs nightly starting at 7PM ET. You can tune in anytime, from anywhere right hereor by downloadingthe Loudwire app.

See Loudwire's picks for the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen of All Time

Read the rest here:
Poll: What's the Best Rob Zombie Song? - Vote Now - Loudwire

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Zombie| Comments Off on Poll: What’s the Best Rob Zombie Song? – Vote Now – Loudwire

Best Zombie Movies Streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime – Yahoo Entertainment

All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

You dont have to wait until Halloween to catch up on your favorite zombie content. From The Walking Dead to Army of the Dead, and even the popular Resident Evil gaming franchise, zombies are huge right now, and were not just talking about popular movies and TV shows.

More from IndieWire

The Center for Disease Control created an online campaign to make sure that youre prepared in the event of a zombie apocalypse (as if a global pandemic wasnt scary enough). Elsewhere on the internet, anti-vaxxers have been using films like I Am Legend (which you can stream on HBO Max) to spread false conspiracy theories about the covid vaccine.

And fun fact: the term zombie was born from Haitian folklore, but Hollywood has turned the seemingly scary concept into a bankable genre feeding our fascinations with gory depictions of the undead. But Netflix isnt the only destination to binge your favorite zombie movies on demand. You can watch them, and thousands of other films and TV shows, on HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

If youre not already subscribed to one of the aforementioned platforms, heres a quick breakdown: With plans starting at $9.99 a month, HBO Max lets you access tens of thousands of films and movies as well as exclusive releases, including a slate of Warner Bros. films that will debut in theaters and stream simultaneously on HBO Max for the first month after release. Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month ($1.99 for the first week) for access to the massive Prime Video library, and free two-day shipping on select items. Hulu is currently offering a free trial for new customers, and subscriptions start at $5.99 a month for ad-free streaming or $59.99 a year (you can also add HBO Max to your Hulu subscription). The streaming platform offers ad-free streaming options starting at $11.99 a month.

Story continues

But back to zombies. For those interested in the gory, spooky, and sometimes funny stories on mindless flesh-eaters, we put together a list of the best zombie movies now streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime. And be sure to check out these yummy snack boxes for a perfect movie night. See below for 10 zombie flicks to stream right now.

Brad Pitt, "World War Z"

Paramount Pictures/Shutterstock

Brad Pitt stars in this post-apocalyptic zombie thriller directed by Marc Forster. The plot begins with a former United Nations employee, Gerry Lane (Pitt), and his family getting caught in a New York City traffic jam that turns out to be more than your average gridlock. Lane heads on a global trek in an effort to stop the zombie pandemic threatening to end humanity. Despite the original raking in over $500 million at the box office, the sequel for World War Z was eventually shelved. You can stream World War Z on Amazon Prime. You can also catch it on Paramount+.

Train to Busan - Credit: Everett Collection / Everett Collection

Everett Collection / Everett Collection

Train to Busan is set to receive an American remake, but theres nothing like the original. Most of the 2016 South Korean action thriller from Yeon Sang-ho goes down on a train, which somehow makes the story that much spookier. Starring Gong Yoo Jung, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok, Train to Busan follows a zombie apocalypse that breaks out after a chemical leak at a biotech plant. You can rent or buy Train to Busan on Amazon Prime.

28 Days Later - Credit: 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

A list of best zombie movies doesnt feel complete without 28 Days Later. Released in 2003, this Danny Boyle horror drama still terrifies fans nearly two decades later. Like any good zombie plot, 28 Days Later unfolds in a post-apocalyptic setting thats ripe with gore and suspense. The story centers around a small group of survivors seeking refuge while an incurable virus spreads through London. Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns, are among the cast. You can stream 28 Days Later on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

The Girl With All The Gifts - Credit: Everett Collection

Everett Collection

Directed by Colm McCarthy, this 2016 sci-fi horror film centers around a gifted little girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua) and a small group of survivors of a parasitic fungal infection that turned most of humanity into flesh-eating zombies (a.k.a hungries). The survival of humanity hinges on a small group of half-zombie, half-human children. The Girl With All the Gifts is based on a 2013 short story and features Glenn Close, Fisayo Akinade, Dominique Tipper, Paddy Considine, and Gemma Arterton. The Girl With All the Gifts is streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Shaun of the Dead - Credit: Rogue Pictures/Everett Collection

Rogue Pictures/Everett Collection

Written and directed by Edgar White, Shaun of the Dead is the lighthearted zombie comedy that amassed a cult following. The films protagonist Sean (Simon Pegg) works a dead-end job while his relationship is on life-support mainly because his girlfriend wants him to grow up and do something more productive with his life. Little does everyone know, an impending zombie apocalypse descends on London, which could give Sean a chance to finally prove himself. Shaun of the Dead is streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.

Night of the Living Dead - Credit: Image Ten/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Image Ten/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

After more than 50 years, Night of the Living Dead remains one of the most influential zombie films in movie history, and certainly the most successful of its time. The 1968 indie horror flick, directed by George A. Romero, is considered pivotal to the development of the zombie horror film genre that we know today. The classic, which stars Judith ODea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, and Keith Wayne, spawned an entire film franchise that includes Day of the Dead and Diary of the Dead. You can stream Night of the Living Dead on HBO Max, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

Day of the Dead - Credit: United Film Distribution/Everett Collection

United Film Distribution/Everett Collection

Speaking of its predecessor, this 1985 film was the third installment in Romeros Night of the Living Dead series. The plot takes the franchise into the Day of the Dead, a pretty dark day considering that zombies outnumber human 400,000 to one. The plot centers around a group of post-apocalyptic survivors hunkering down at a shelter while battling to save whats left of the human race. Day of the Dead has been remade a couple times over, but you can catch the original on HBO Max.

Zombieland - Credit: Columbia Pictures/Relativity Media

Columbia Pictures/Relativity Media

Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin star in the 2009 comedy Zombieland. The film is about four people in a battle for survival after a global virus turns just about everybody into a zombie. Eisenberg plays Columbus, a shy and lonely college student hoping to get to his family in Ohio to make sure theyre safe, and hopefully alive. Along the way, he meets the gun-toting Tallahassee (Harrelson), whos on a mission to find the last Twinkie. Meanwhile, Stone and Breslin play sisters Little Rock and Wichita who end up conning the guys. Zombieland is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Dawn of the Dead - Credit: Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Zack Snyders Dawn of the Dead is about a gaggle of Milwaukee residents who seek refuge in a local mall as a swarm of zombies close in on them. Sarah Polley stars as Anna, a nurse whose husband gets attacked by their young zombie neighbor. Naturally, Anna has to get away from her husband, and any other zombiefied beings around town, but shes not the only one looking for a safe hiding place. The cast of Dawn of the Dead includes Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, and Tyler Bates. You rent the 2004 movie on Amazon Prime.

Night of the Comet - Credit: Everett Collection

Everett Collection

If youre in the mood for an 80s zombie film, try out Night of the Comet. After a comet triggers a zombie apocalypse that wipes out a large portion of the population, teenage sisters Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart), and Samantha (Kelli Maroney) team up with fellow survivors on an end-of-the-world adventure that finds them trying to avoid zombies, but also the doctors who want to use them as human test dummies for a potential antidote. Night of the Comet is available for rent on Amazon Prime.

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read the original:
Best Zombie Movies Streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime - Yahoo Entertainment

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Zombie| Comments Off on Best Zombie Movies Streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime – Yahoo Entertainment

Fantasy Fest Parade, Street Fair, Even Zombie Bike Ride Canceled At Key Wests Biggest Party Of The Year – CBS Miami

KEY WEST (CBSMiami) Floridas coronavirus concerns are putting a damper on this years Fantasy Fest celebration in Key West. Organizers have decided to cancel the hugely popular Fantasy Fest Parade on October 30 and the Street Fair on October 29 and 30.

In addition, the Friday Oct. 30 Masquerade March through Old Town has been put on Hold. It may be rescheduled in the future.

The King and Queen contest, which raises money for a local nonprofit, was also cancelled along with the Zombie Bike Ride, which is usually held the first weekend.

Despite these event cancellations, the annual party is still taking place from Oct. 22 31 with other events being held in and around various Key West venues.

If you do plan to attend be prepared with masks, proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours, because the venues may enforce their own rules for entry, according to organizers.

According to the CDC, Monroe County had a 16.56% COVID-19 positivity rate for the week of Aug. 23-29.

Follow this link:
Fantasy Fest Parade, Street Fair, Even Zombie Bike Ride Canceled At Key Wests Biggest Party Of The Year - CBS Miami

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Zombie| Comments Off on Fantasy Fest Parade, Street Fair, Even Zombie Bike Ride Canceled At Key Wests Biggest Party Of The Year – CBS Miami

Korean zombie film ‘Train To Busan’ rumoured to get American remake; fans are not happy – Times of India

The South Korean smash hit zombie thriller 'Train to Busan' will reportedly be getting its American remake with Indonesian filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto in talks to helm the project. As reported by Deadline, New Line, which won the rights over the film's remake, is getting ready to roll out the project. The original zombie apocalypse thriller directed by Sang-Ho Yeon that released back in 2016, quickly became an international box office hit and also gained critical acclaim.As word got around of a remake in the works, fans took to social media to say, "Train to Busan does NOT need a remake."

Others chimed in response saying "Train to Busan does not need a remake!!!! It's already an amazing unique movie don't ruin it!!!"

Another fan from the US asked, "We dont even have a proper rail system here in the states how is this gonna even work?"

See the rest here:
Korean zombie film 'Train To Busan' rumoured to get American remake; fans are not happy - Times of India

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Zombie| Comments Off on Korean zombie film ‘Train To Busan’ rumoured to get American remake; fans are not happy – Times of India

‘Train to Busan’: Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake ‘Train to Busan:’ Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

The hit South Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan is getting a U.S remake. Yeon Sang-hos 2016 zombie film was a major success in South Korea and the international box office. When the news of a Train to Busan remake started circulating on the internet, fans were not too pleased to hear the horror film is getting an American version.

Train to Busan follows a fund manager (Gong Yoo) and his daughter (Kim Su-an) aboard a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan. The train departs during a zombie outbreak, and they must fight to survive as the flesh-eating zombies threaten their lives. The Korean zombie film is a gripping yet emotional watch from beginning to end.

The zombie thriller was a smash hit at the box office it became one of the top-grossing movies of all time in South Korea, earning a total of $38.8 million in its first five days. Additionally, Train to Busan performed well internationally. The film earned $2.2 million in the United States and Canada. The zombie thriller spawned a sequel titled Train to Busan: Peninsula, released in 2020.

Train to Busan: Peninsula takes place four years after the original movie. The film follows a soldier named Han Jung-Seok (Gang Dong-Won) and other survivors as they head to Hong Kong to retrieve a truck with $20 million on board. However, they must travel alongside the Korean peninsula and escape the zombies. According to Deadline, the sequel film earned $13 million at the South Korean box office and grossed $42.7 million worldwide.

Train to Busan is more than just a zombie horror film. The films ability to delve into societal norms and issues in Korean society, such as classism and poverty, makes the zombie apocalyptic thriller so great. The film also tackles themes like selfishness and sacrifice. That commentary remains partly why some fans dont want a new version. The news of a U.S remake was announced in February 2021, but some fans still feel strongly about the subject.

Every time I see mention of the Train to Busan remake, I shake my head, one fan wrote on Twitter. Theres nuance to its very specific social commentary.

Why try to ruin Train to Busan by making a remake when you can just literally watch it with subtitles, another fan wrote.

Train to Busan is amazing all by itself, one fan tweeted. There doesnt need to be a US version when the original is a masterpiece.

Indonesian filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto will direct the remake. He was named the director when the film was first announced. Tjahjanto responded to some fans that disapproved of the American remake.

Tjahjanto tweeted: When your @ is suddenly filling up & its more about the Train to Busan remake. In James (Wan) own words: Timo, we need to rise above & beyond everyones expectations, just like other great remakes have done, such as The Ring or Dawn of the Dead remake. Who am I to let my boss down ?

The director went on to praise Wan, who will produce the Train to Busan remake. Needed to add that James has been my hero since my college days, the director added. As a Southeast Asian kid from a conventional middle-class family who doesnt exactly encourage artistic endeavors (i.e., blowing up heads, smearing fake blood), his rise from SAW inspired a lot of us SEA genre doofus.

Wan has directed and produced horror films such as Insidious, The Conjuring, and Malignant. Tjahjanto has directed Indonesian horror flicks May the Devil Take You and The Night Comes for Us. Gary Dauberman (It, It: Chapter Two) will write the screenplay. New Line Cinema will release the project. A release date has not been made public yet.

RELATED: Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula Movie Review Con of the Dead

View original post here:
'Train to Busan': Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake 'Train to Busan:' Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake - Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Zombie| Comments Off on ‘Train to Busan’: Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake ‘Train to Busan:’ Fans Are Not Happy About the US Remake – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Gossip mill: Christopher Lee in running for Best Actor in Golden Bell Awards but son can’t smile and other entertainment news this week – AsiaOne

Local actor Christopher Lee, 50, announced on Sept 2that he's been nominated for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film inthe 56th Golden Bell Awards for his role in Workers.Sharing in his excitement, his wife Fann Wong, 50, posted a congratulatory welfie with their sonZed, 7, on Instagram.


Although Ah Jiewas all smiles in the photo, posing with a finger heart, the boyappeared to be less enthusiastic about his father's nomination.Fann explainedher son's seeming indifference in thecaption:"My son is happy, but heinsists that his image isnt a toothless one. We can slowly feel his happiness within."

Zed's reactioncould be because of a recent video that Fann posted on Instagram, where sheproclaimed that she lovesher son's toothless image. In the clip, you could see the boy has lost his front baby teeth.


Christopher previously snagged the Golden Bell Awards' Best Actor in 2014for his rolein Taiwanese dramaA Good Wife.Perhaps we'll see Zed with a full grin when Christopher gets his next nomination?


As the Lee family celebrateChristopher's nomination, former actor Vincent Ng also has something to celebrate about his sonZander'sthird birthday.

On Aug 30, Vincent uploaded a series of photos from his son's birthday celebration, with the caption'The boy who stole our hearts'. The post included photos of Zander's birthday cupcakes, a family portrait, and some shots of baby Zander.

The comments section was filled with well-wishes from other local celebs such as Terence Cao, Zheng Geping, Priscelia Chan, and Apple Hong.


On Sept 2,five out of seven members of K-pop boy band Enhypen tested positive for Covid-19. Their management agencyBeliftLab confirmed thatJung-won, Hee-seung, Jay, Jake, and Sung-hoon were already in self-quarantine after coming into close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 patient.

The K-pop community showered the boys with love and support, trending the hashtag #AlwayswithENHYPEN. Fans even hosted a prayer session on Twitter Spaces on Sept 3 at midnight.

The group had tocanceltheir appearance at the music showcase KCON:TACT HI-5 which was scheduled forSept 19. They werealsoin the midst of preparations for a comeback in late September, which might now be delayed.



The rest is here:
Gossip mill: Christopher Lee in running for Best Actor in Golden Bell Awards but son can't smile and other entertainment news this week - AsiaOne

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Christopher Lee| Comments Off on Gossip mill: Christopher Lee in running for Best Actor in Golden Bell Awards but son can’t smile and other entertainment news this week – AsiaOne

Winchester Little Theatre to offer mystery, laughs in first play of the season – Northern Virginia Daily

Winchester Little Theatres new Sherlock Holmes mystery, Baskerville, has two paws in the past and two in the future.

Set in 1890, the play based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyles novel The Hound of the Baskervilles nonetheless features a Steampunk costume design that lends itself to a futuristic setting, said Director Sally Anderson.

The set design, too, is cutting edge for the small, volunteer-based theater in that its using projectors instead of practical sets or painted backdrops.

Its the biggest step that weve taken into the future, Anderson said.

Years ago, the theater showed slides during one of its productions, she recalled, but this is far more complex.

The theater, situated in an old Pennsylvania Railroad freight station in downtown Winchester, kept shows going during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering online options and having its actors perform outside.

Following a childrens summer production, the theater is now launching its first regular-season performance with a mystery that Anderson said is perfect for the nonprofit theater, for the fall, and as a way of welcoming audiences back following many long and stressful months of an ongoing pandemic.

Its a really good show to bring people back to the theater, Anderson said. Everybody needs to come in and laugh their heads off.

Although it's based on the popular Sherlock Holmes novel, the play by Ken Ludwig has a few tricks up its sleeve both in updating the story for contemporary audiences and in providing a safe theater-going experience for the cast, crew and audience.

When we were told mid-May that it looked as if we would be back on stage again, we had to find a performance that did not drain the resources, Anderson said.

Using projected backdrops is one way to keep the crew to a minimum, she said.

Another way to cut down on people backstage is to opt for a small cast thats great at doing quick changes.

In addition to Bill Taylor as Sherlock Holmes and Amy Urbanski as Dr. Watson, the play features four other actors Bridget Enggasser, Chris Frear, Josh Morgan and Christopher Lee Short portraying about 40 other characters.

Its fast-paced, and slightly farcical, Anderson said, though she assured that the play doesnt rely on slapstick to produce its laughs.

I think I pull every corny gag reference out of the hat for this so that it is very funny, she said.

The crew also uses about 200 sound cues throughout the production to keep the action going, she said.

This is the perfect play for our theater, Anderson said. [T]he audience has to use their imaginations to be with you. To me thats what theater is all about.

The audience will not be asked to social distance, but she said everyone seeing the show will be required to wear a mask.

Tickets are going amazingly well, Anderson said. I was really excited to see how people are not deterred by the masking policy.

Winchester Little Theatre is located at 315 W. Boscawen St.

Baskerville will run from Sept. 10 to 25, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. An additional 2 p.m. performance will be on Sept. 18.

Tickets are $20 for WLT members and $25 for all others. A pub night performance will be at 8 p.m. on Sept. 8, with doors opening at 7:15 p.m.

For more information, call 540-662-3331 or visit winchesterlittletheatre.org.

Winchester Little Theatre to offer mystery, laughs in first play of the season - Northern Virginia Daily

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Christopher Lee| Comments Off on Winchester Little Theatre to offer mystery, laughs in first play of the season – Northern Virginia Daily

THE CAT AND THE CANARY Returns to UK Tour – Broadway World

Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, Bill Kenwright's Classic Thriller Theatre Company (Rehearsal for Murder, Judgement in Stone, The Case of the Frightened Lady and The Lady Vanishes), continues with its latest chilling whodunit, the creepy comedy thriller The Cat and the Canary. Following its acclaimed opening in Windsor in January 2020 and highly successful spring tour, the production returns to complete its Autumn tour, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new adaptation of the murder mystery by John Willard, which inspired three classic movies starring the likes of Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Edward Fox, Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey, will embark on its nationwide tour, opening at Derby Theatre from Tuesday 7 September 2021.

Twenty years after the death of Mr. West, his descendants gather to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels. Within moments, the heritage hunters turn into prey. Walls crack open, shadows loom, and dark secrets are revealed.

Who is The Cat? His movements soundless, unnoticeable, and his vengeance swift! Who will feel his horrible grasp next?

Returning to the production is silver screen and Bond-girl legend Britt Ekland, whose numerous films include The Man with The Golden Gun with Roger Moore, The Wicker Man with Christopher Lee, and Get Carter with Michael Caine.

Britt stars alongside singer-songwriter, actor and former member of the internationally successful 00's boy band Blue, Antony Costa, and Tracy Shaw, best known for her long-running role as Maxine Peacock in Coronation Street. They are joined by West End leading lady Marti Webb, whose credits include Evita and Tell Me on A Sunday; Gary Webster, who played Gary Costello in Family Affairs and Ray Daley opposite George Cole in ITV's Minder; Classic Thriller Theatre Company veteran Ben Nealon, who played Lt. Forsythe in the drama series Soldier Soldier, and Eric Carte, who played Geoff Roberts in two series of Bouquet of Barbed Wire. The cast is completed by Priyasasha Kumari, Martin Carroll, Jack Taylor and Clara Darcy.

The Cat and The Canary is director Roy Marsden's fifth Classic Thriller Theatre Company production. Other credits include the West End premieres of Agatha Christie's A Daughter's a Daughter at the Trafalgar Studios and Nol Coward's Volcano at the Vaudeville Theatre. As an actor, he is well-known to television audiences as Inspector Dalgliesh in the long-running P.D. James series.

Adaptor Carl Grose was, until recently, co-artistic director of Kneehigh Theatre. His numerous plays and adaptations include book and lyrics for The Grinning Man, which Tom Morris directed at the Trafalgar Studios in 2017.

Designer takis's diverse international credits include In the Heights, Gifford's Circus and the Royal Opera.

Lighting Designer Chris Davey's work includes Witness for the Prosecution at London's County Hall and Touching the Void at the Duke of York's Theatre.


07 September - 27 November 2021

UK Tour

By John Willard

Adapted by Carl Grose

Directed by Roy Marsden

Designed by takis

Lighting Design by Chris Davey

Sound Design by Dan Samson

Produced by Bill Kenwright

Dan Samson is resident Sound Designer for The Classic Thriller Theatre Company. West End credits include Heathers at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Evita at the Dominion Theatre.

Derby Theatre derbytheatre.co.uk

07 September - 11 September 2021 01332 59 39 39

Glasgow Theatre Royal atgtickets.com/glasgow

13 September - 18 September 2021 0844 871 7615

Darlington Hippodrome Darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

20 September - 25 September 2021 01325 405405

Birmingham Alexandra Theatre atgtickets.com/birmingham

04 October - 09 October 2021 0844 871 7615

Yeovil Octagon octagon-theatre.co.uk

18 October - 23 October 2021 01935 422884

Manchester Opera House atgtickets.com/manchester

25 October - 30 October 2021 0844 871 7615

Brighton Theatre Royal atgtickets.com/brighton

01 November - 06 November 2021 0844 871 7615

Bromley Churchill Theatre churchilltheatre.co.uk

08 November - 13 November 2021 020 3285 6000

Leeds Grand Theatre leedsheritagetheatres.com

23 November - 27 November 2021 0113 243 0808

Original post:
THE CAT AND THE CANARY Returns to UK Tour - Broadway World

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Christopher Lee| Comments Off on THE CAT AND THE CANARY Returns to UK Tour – Broadway World

The enduring appeal of the Bond villain – Spectator.co.uk

Daniel Craigs fifth and final outing as Bond may not have as many pulses racing due to No Time to Dies frequently cancelled release dates (the first trailer was back in December 2019), but fans are still keen to see the return of the iconic British spy.

Indeed, recent events have conspired to make 007 more relevant than in previous years, with shiny-pated Amazon boss Jeff Bezos emulating both villains Blofeld (who took over the entertainment assets of billionaire Willard Whyte in Diamonds are Forever) and Hugo Drax (Moonraker) with his recent acquisition of 007 studio MGM and brief space flight.

Until No Time to Die is released, the jury is obviously out on Rami Maleks (Bohemian Rhapsody) turn as bad guy Lyutsifer Safin (crazy name, crazy guy, as the saying goes), but we know that Christoph Waltzs Blofeld (Spectre) will be in the picture, ridiculous Freudian backstory and all.

One thing noticeable in the franchise as a whole is the general absence of top-flight female antagonists for Bond.Sure, weve had formidable second stringers like knife-booted Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya, From Russia with Love), Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera, Never Say Never Again), Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen, Goldeneye) and Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman, Goldfinger), but only The World is Not Enough (1999) boasts a woman as 007s principal adversary.

The film cast French actress Sophie Marceau as double-dealing oil magnate Elektra King, aided by her rather useless sidekick Renard (Robert Carlyle), unable to feel pain due to a bullet lodged in his brain, rendering him akinto The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

Perhaps in his next iteration, 007 will face a female (or transgender) mastermind capable of giving the shaken, not stirred secret agent a run for his money.

On that note, my selection of Bonds ten most memorable foes (in no particular order):

For me, Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) and cheeky Nick Nack (Herv Villechaize) make an all-time classic double act of Bondian villainy.

Roger Moores second time as 007 proved a (relative) financial failure and reviews were lacklustre, possibly as the movie was seen to be aping the kung fu craze of the period.

A shame, as Lees three-nippled villain is an impressive opponent, comparing himself to Bond (we are the same) in both his skillset and deadly efficiency.

Scaramanga also possesses the wry sense of humour so missed in many of the modern Bond films, commenting to then superior Hai-Fat on Bonds escape from a karate school: What do they teach at that academy? Ballet dancing?

The added value in the picture is provided by Herv Villechaizes diminutive sidekick Nick Nack, who enjoys a bantering relationship with his boss and shares an equal dedication to ridding the world of James Herbert Bond.

Like Diamonds are Forevers pervy pair Wint & Kidd, Nick Nack also seemed to be something of a voyeur, but as 007 was always being caught in flagrante, I dont suppose he minded that much.

Moonraker is not a great Bond movie by any means, but the late Michael Lonsdale's poetic Hugo Drax is a wonderful baddie in fact hes my favourite of the entire gallery of rogues.

He gets the best lines (And you, Dr Goodhead, your desire to become America's first woman in space will shortly be fulfilled) and appears a decent employer, boosting the then sagging world economy with his hiring of the unemployed Jaws (Richard Kiel) after Bond killed his previous #1 henchman Chang.

Draxs strictures about physical perfection rebound on him towards the end of the picture when Jaws and his lady friend Dolly realise that they may not be suitable candidates for the would-be World Kings new Earthly Eden.

The film suffers from its attempt to cash in on the Star Wars craze, upping the global stakes still further after The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

The gondola chase in Venice is best forgotten, a scene which could easily have been accompanied by the Benny Hill Show theme.The next Bond movie (1981s For Your Eyes Only) was a conscious attempt to bring the franchise down to earth (sic) with a more realistic (for Bond) premise.

Admittedly, Robert Shaw's Red Grant is not technically the main villain in From Russia with Love, but hes a great adversary, one who is no pushover for Connerys 007.Even if he doesn't know which wine to serve with fish...

Along with his Nazi Colonel in The Battle of The Bulge (1965) and Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons (1966), Shaw never looked in better fettle, a stark contrast to his grizzled Quint in Jaws (1975) when he was (shockingly) only 48 years old.

In fact, From Russia WithLove is a rarity in having no main villain, with the chores being shared by SPECTRE myrmidons under the orders of #1 (aka Blofeld, played by Anthony Dawson), shown in shadow from the chest down, stroking his customary white moggy.

Does portly German golf andcard game cheat Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frbe) remind you of anyone?

Former President Trump (of German ancestry on his fathers side) also shares Aurics love of gold, as evidenced by the garish decoration of his hostelries and private apartments.

Back to Goldfinger, hes a rather boorish character, but with an eye for talent, backed up by loyal henchman Oddjob and Pussy Galores all-female Flying Circus of pilots, although Galore does rat him out in the end after succumbing to Bonds brutish charms.

Goldfingers plan to irradiate Fort Knox to increase the value of his own gold stockpile is a sound one, but (as usual in Bond movies) sloppiness in follow-up work on a captured 007 proves the baddies undoing, as he wanders off before a prone 007 is due to be cut in half by a laser beam.

Poor finishing, as TV football pundits are wont to say.

Prior to his international fame in the 1970s as Greek American lollipop-loving NY detective Theo Kojak, Telly Savalas was perhaps best known as a bad guy in the movies, aided by his trademark shaven head and slightly depraved air.

Telly Savalas is my favourite incarnation of the Bond nemesis Blofeld, closely followed by Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice (1967).

He is superb in OHMSS, even though his scheme to blackmail the world through germ warfare to recognise his title as Count Balthazar de Bleuchamp does appear to be on the petty side.Much like Dr Evil asking for 1m in the first Austin Powers movie (1997).

Director Peter Hunts movie is one of the best in the series, and although former Frys Chocolate model George Lazenby is no Connery, hes convincing in the action sequences.

The Antipodean Lazenby has a decent chunk of his dialogue dubbed by George Baker, as he couldnt quite nail the accent required for his disguise as College of Arms genealogist Sir Hilary Bray (played by Baker at the beginning of the film).

Looking if anything older than his 57 years (consider that Brad Pitt was just a year younger in 2019s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Roger Moore is a very creaky 007 in his final Bond.

Back in the 2015 BBC documentary Premium Bond, Mark Gatiss (Inside #9) went so far as to comment:If you watched this film, not as a James Bond film, but as a film about an elderly man who thinks he's a secret agent, its absolutely charming.

Luckily the movie has a decent villain, with Christopher Walken especially good value as Nazi-bred bermensch Max Zorin.Walken plays the role with a light touch, in some scenes even appearing to wink at the audience.And why not, as the plot is pretty much tripe (something about submerging Silicon Valley)

'Let the mayhem begin' says scheming Murdochian media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) in Pierce Brosnans second Bond movie.Carvers plan is to start a war between the UK and Communist China in the South China Sea.Why? To sell more papers and increase viewing to his cable news channels of course.

Its up to Bond to uncover the plot and put paid to Carver; his task complicated by his previous relationship with the billionaires trophy wife Paris (Terri Hatcher). Was Tony Blair influenced by the movie or was it vice versa?

Pryce is underrated as the white-wigged Mao-jacket sporting megalomaniac, serving up his dialogue with evident relish:Soon I'll have reached out to and influenced more people than anybody in the history of this planet, save God himself. And the best he ever managed was the Sermon on the Mount.

Joe Don Baker (Edge of Darkness) pops up in the movie (and in 1995s Goldeneye) as CIA liaison Jack Wade; curious since he was the villain Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights (1987) eight short years earlier.

The second of the Craig quintet is the shortest Bond picture and one of the most derided on release, not least for its dull title, taken from one of Ian Flemings 007 short stories.

But since then, Quantum of Solace has quietly been accruing a reputation as a decent addition to the series.

Following directly on from Casino Royale, the Bourne-style action sees 007 track down heads of the Quantum organisation (a Spectre front), chiefly eco-millionaire Dominic Greene who is busy gaining a monopoly of Bolivian water rights.

Mathieu Amalric (Munich) is good fun as the weaselly Greene, who unfortunately has possibly the lamest sidekick in the franchise Elvis (Anatole Taubman), whose potential for menace is undercut by his gormless Moe Howard (Three Stooges) bowl cut.

Amalrics weird squealing during his fight scene with the far beefier Craig is a highlight of the picture.

I do have a problem with Bonds decision to sling murdered friend/ally Ren Mathis (the great Giancarlo Giannini) into the nearest refuse skip, rather than arranging for his remains to be sent back to his loving wife in France.He wouldnt care,'Bond intones as he dumps the unfortunate Mathis onto a smelly heap of Bolivian garbage.Personally, I think he would.

Usually acknowledged as the best of the Moore Bonds, TSWLM sees web-handed aquatic wanna-be world dictator Carl Stromberg (Curt Jrgens) attempt to provoke a global nuclear war with the aim of eventually emerging as the head of an underwater empire.

As ambitions go, its certainly original, and to be sure, Strombergs vision of a marine kingdom Under the Sea bears scant comparison to the Little Mermaids Atlantica.

The usually sedentary Stromberg is aided in his efforts by towering henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel), who has yet to reveal the softer side he displayed in Moonraker.

Spectacular sets from Ken Adam, a great foil to Bond in Barbara Bachs Soviet Agent Triple X and Carly Simons theme song (Nobody Does it Better) make Spy an enjoyable watch, although the silliness of some of the later Rog entries is foreshadowed by increasingly gimmicky gadgets.

None thankfully in the realm of Die Another Days (2002) invisible car though.

Not an 'official' Bond movie, but NSNA boasts a first-class foe in the shape of the jumpy Largo, played by the excellent Klaus Maria Brandauer (Mephisto). Barbara Carrera backs the senior Spectre operative as his equally unhinged henchperson Fatima Blush.

Both roles seem to have been written (or at least performed) as a pair with serious cocaine habits, given the amount of twitching, wild-eyed staring and general tomfoolery going on.Donning the Bond toupe for his final outing, Sean Connery apparently had a miserable time making the film, bringing in sitcom writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (Porridge) to punch up the script.

More here:
The enduring appeal of the Bond villain - Spectator.co.uk

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Christopher Lee| Comments Off on The enduring appeal of the Bond villain – Spectator.co.uk

The Reclamation of Shang-Chi – The Ringer

In the early 20th century, a struggling British writer by the name of Sax Rohmer consulted a Ouija board in order to discover how he could best make his fortune. As the story goes, the spirits answered his call by spelling out the word C-H-I-N-A-M-A-N.

By 1912, Rohmer had released his first novel, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu, which capitalized on the xenophobic fear-mongering toward East Asia known as the Yellow Peril and introduced a dastardly Asian villain who would soon become a household name. It was an immediate commercial success, and by the 1920s, Fu Manchu was the central focus of a British silent film series and the main character in Paramount Pictures The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu. The character, distinguished by his talon-like fingernails, unnatural yellow skin, and a spindly mustache that dangles across the sides of his face, quickly grew into one of the most prolific villains in 20th-century popular culture, and a stereotype that would haunt Asians around the world for generations. His racist image was re-created in cartoons, radio serials, and most prominently in films, with revered white actors like Boris Karloff, John Carradine, and Christopher Lee all portraying him throughout the years.

But Fu Manchu has an even larger place in the history of comic books, and plays an outsized role in the genres troubles depicting Asian people. As martial arts grew in popularity in the early 1970s, Marvel Comics, which had failed to acquire the rights to adapt the popular David Carradine TV series Kung Fu, instead licensed the rights to Rohmers Fu Manchu. But rather than making the pulp villain the title character of his own series, Marvel chose to introduce a new hero in the form of Fu Manchus previously unknown son: Shang-Chi.

Now, nearly 50 years after Shang-Chi made his debut in Steve Englehart and Jim Starlins Special Marvel Edition no. 15 and became the series protagonist of Master of Kung Fu, the character is being revived in the Marvel world. When Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Friday, it will mark the arrival of the first Asian lead in the 25 films that Marvel Studios has produced since 2008, and become only the fourth film produced by a major Hollywood studio to feature a predominantly Asian cast since 1993, when the The Joy Luck Club premiered (the second being 2018 box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians, and the third being the live-action Mulan). Its another long overdue moment for Asian American representation, but for Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics, its also an opportunity to reverse decades of damaging work and problematic decision-making, like casting Ben Kingsley to play the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange.

We were all on the same page right off the bat, says Simu Liu, who portrays the films titular Chinese American superhero. We were going to introduce an all-new origin story for this character, and the only things we were going to take from the comics were his name, his martial arts skills, and the fact that he had a complicated relationship with his father.

Under the direction of Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy, Short Term 12), the first Asian American filmmaker to helm a movie in the MCU, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings reclaims a character who was born in the shadows of one of the most pervasive and harmful Asian stereotypes. At the same time, the character is receiving a similar renaissance in the comics under the stewardship of writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Dike Ruan. The film and comics teams are two disparate creative crews, working independently across two different forms of media, but together, their parallel efforts mark a concerted effort within the company to improve, expand, and make amends. One of our big goals was to make Shang-Chi feel like hes embedded in this preexisting universe, says Yang. He is a part of this. Hes a part of the fabric of this fictional world.

In 2011, when journalist and They Call Us Bruce cohost Jeff Yang was approached by NYU to curate an art exhibition using sci-fi author William F. Wus extensive collection of comic books, he was presented with five decades worth of Western comicsand their attendant stereotypes. It was so evident that the ways that we are depicted as Asians in Western popular culture just fit tropesfit preexisting themes and archetypes almost to a T, and those tropes have existed since long before there were comics, Jeff Yang says. These are the artifactsthe inheritances, essentiallyof generations of propaganda, editorial cartoons, scurrilous posters, wartime efforts to turn us into monsters so it was easier to attack us, defeat us, and destroy us.

The exhibit, Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, encompasses American comic books from 1942 to 1986, a period in American history that covers intense Asia-related political engagement: the internment of Japanese Americans; the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; wars in Korea and Vietnam; continued Cold War tensions with China; economic competition with Japan; and adaptation to skyrocketing immigration and growing populations of Asian Americans. Anti-Asian bias in the media can be traced back even further stillin the 19th century, Yellow Peril cartoons and editorials contributed to the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the first and only piece of U.S. federal legislation to explicitly suspend immigration for a specific nationality.

After parsing through the piles and piles of comics that Wu had amassed over time, Yang was able to identify a number of Asian archetypes that kept recurring throughout the yearsthe Alien, the Kamikaze, the Brute, the Lotus Blossom, the Guru, the Brain, the Temptress, and the Manipulatorand fit them within the greater historical context of the 20th century. Comic books have always been an almost direct expression of imagination, and maybe id, Jeff Yang says. In comics the difference is that you can literally make anything happen. You can create what you want in comics in a way that is much more challenging than almost any other media, and as a result take on the deepest fears, the greatest doubts, the most aspirational fantasies you might have.

While a vehicle for boundless imagination and multiverses of possibilities, comicsand pop culture at largeare still rooted in the realities and worldviews of their creators. They stand, Yang says, as a historical summary of the origins and evolution of Asian perception in American culture, one marked by savages with slit eyes, mystical wise ones, exotic seductresses, and hyperintelligent yet socially awkward men, stereotypes still found in mainstream media today. By the time the already infamous Fu Manchu entered the Marvel universe in the 1970s, carbon copies of the character had been foiling Earths mightiest heroes for decades. Marvel villains like the Yellow Claw and the Mandarin, who made their comics debuts in the 1950s, were drawn with the same shade of unnaturally yellow skin as Fu Manchu, as were all Eastern mystical threats who jeopardized the safety of the Western world.

With the arrival of Shang-Chi in Master of Kung Fu, the draw was not so much the new hero as it was the already infamous supervillain (much like how FBI good guy Jimmy Woo was upstaged by the evil Yellow Claw). Unlike other superheroes who had strange and fantastic origin tales of radioactive spider bites or lab experiments gone horribly wrong, Fu Manchu was the backstory for Shang-Chi in those early years. In fact, Marvel initially passed on the character when creators Englehart and Starlin pitched him. It wasnt until Fu Manchu was added as his father that Shang-Chi got the green light. Although Marvel would work to retcon Fu Manchu from the canon, Shang-Chi never really became a noteworthy, fully realized character on his own. Master of Kung Fu was discontinued in 1983; Shang-Chi only appeared in the occasional miniseries, martial arts lesson, or Avengers team-up thereafter.

In 2020, a year after Simu Liu was announced as the MCUs newest hero at Comic-Con in San Diego, Shang-Chi received his most meaningful comic book reboot in years under an all-Asian creative team led by the Eisner-award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese and DCs Superman Smashes the Klan). While the most blatantly problematic depictions of Asians were filtered out of the pages of Marvels comics long ago, Yang was still tasked with modernizing a character who had long been hidden behind the capes of his contemporaries. When I signed up to do Shang-Chi as the writer, I went back and I read a lot of those [Master of Kung Fu] comics that I had avoided as a kid, and I realized that he functions really differently from what we think as the standard Marvel character, says Yang. I think Spider-Man is the prototypical Marvel superhero, and his appeal is, youre supposed to identify with Spider-Man. ... But Shang-Chi is not like that. Youre not meant to identify with Shang-Chi. Youre meant to look at this weird Chinaman doing all of these spectacular kung fu feats, but youre not necessarily meant to empathize with him. Thats one of the things that Dike [Ruan] and I really wanted to fix.

Yang and Ruans first Shang-Chi miniseries, Brothers & Sisters, repurposes the family dynamic thats always defined the central tension of the characters life, and adds personality and color to both Shang-Chi and the storys supporting characters. It embeds Chinese traditions and adopts a greater attention to detailfrom the subtitled use of various Chinese dialects to the consumption of delicious crystal cakesthat brings depth to a world that was once hollow. And although the ongoing Shang-Chi comics and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are separate entities with no direct creative crossover, its no coincidence that the two teams are taking similar tacks in emphasizing their protagonists family dynamics and nuances. These are distinct jobs, but they share the same goal. One of the big things that we struggle with as Asian Americans, and maybe especially Asian American men, is the idea of the Asian hordelike were this faceless crowd, as opposed to individuals, says Yang. Thats how weve been portrayed traditionally in American comics and in American film. The thing Im most excited about for [Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings], and I hope its the first for the trend, is that were going to get individualized. Were going to be seen as three-dimensional human beings.

Shang-Chi screenwriters Dave Callaham, Andrew Lanham, and Destin Daniel Cretton faced a unique challenge that most creatives dont when taking on a massive Marvel Studios project. Though the character arrived in the comics as early as the 1970s, Shang-Chi never had nearly the level of pop cultural resonance that a Spider-Man, Captain America, or Wolverine did. And as a rather flimsy hero who was created for a white American audience at the height of the kung fu phenomenon, the Shang-Chi film team had to figure out how to reintroduce the character in a way that felt fresh and that distinguished him from a long line of martial artists in pop culture. What I pitched to Marvel was making a family drama that was cloaked in the genre of martial arts and kung fu movies, Cretton tells me. And that was, to my surprise, something that sparked with them and that they embraced wholeheartedly.

Martial arts, of course, are Eastern traditions that predate the film genre by centuries. But they only really rose to prominence in American popular culture in the early 70s, in part due to the success of ABCs Kung Fu series starring Carradine in 1972 and to a much larger extent Bruce Lees Enter the Dragon the following year. Lee was a true trailblazer, an Asian American actor and martial artist who defied evil Fu Manchu or subservient Charlie Chan Hollywood stereotypes every time he appeared on screen. And though he had to first become a star in Hong Kong before getting his big break in Hollywood, Lee established a new place for Asian actors in the American film industry in the years to followone that didnt require them to demean themselves in roles that white actors would often yellowface their way into anyway. I definitely grew up idolizing and watching Bruce [Lee], Jackie [Chan], Jet [Li], Donnie [Yen], says Liu. Martial arts was, in a lot of ways, the only positive representation that we had.

Lee tragically died before he could even see Enter the Dragon haul in $90 million globally in its first year, against an $850,000 budget, but his success and the growing hunger for more kung fu content in his absence helped pave the way for Hong Kong and Chinese-born actors like Chan, Li, and Yen to succeed in Hollywood years later. And while this new archetypal kung fu hero was undoubtedly a major leap forward for Asian actors in American cinema, without Lee to help push the envelope even further, progress slowed as a new trope was born. Theres a reason why we all love Bruce Lee and are fans of his, because hes legitimately awesome, Cretton says with a laugh. But I think the only problem is there isnt enough variety to iconic Asian actors in [American] cinema. And so, Bruce Lee, unfortunately, over time being the only icon, became a clich and stereotype.

For Liu, opportunities were scarce as an Asian actor trying to break into the film industry with aspirations of being more than the Kung Fu Guyeven as recently as 2013. I remember, my very first set that I was ever on, Pacific Rim, I was a minimum-wage extra, the Chinese Canadian actor recalls. And Id just be looking at the stunt performers who were Asian and thinking, Wow, if I work really hard, maybe I could get there one day, and maybe I could be a faceless stunt man that gets beat up by a white character. But that was it! If you worked in the industry, and you were an Asian guy, then you were most likely a martial artist, and you most likely were a stunt guythats just the reality of it.

In the eight years since Guillermo del Toros Pacific Rim was released, the Hollywood landscape has changed tremendously, with movements like #OscarsSoWhite and #WhiteWashedOUT calling for more diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, commercial and critical successes have proved Hollywoods fear of primarily minority casts to be completely unwarranted. Jon M. Chus Crazy Rich Asians (2018) raked in over $174.5 million in 2018, all but ensuring that it wouldnt be another quarter-century wait before another Asian-led film would get a chance in Hollywood. (See: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, coming soon to theaters near you.) In 2020, Bong Joon-hos Parasite became the first South Korean and nonEnglish language film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And Lee Isaac Chungs Minari not only received a nod for Best Picture at the following Oscars show, but also garnered a Best Supporting Actress win for Youn Yuh-jungthe first Korean to win an Academy Award for actingand a Best Actor nomination for Steven Yeun, the first Asian American actor to receive the honor.

But with all that said, these films are, at least at the moment, still exceptions when considering the greater Hollywood landscape. And although the Academy Awards are still among the highest distinctions that a film can receive, Hollywoods often self-serving award shows continue to lose cultural significance by the year.

With Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Cretton and Co. have the opportunity to tell a story that celebrates Asian culture as a part of the most lucrative franchise in cinematic history. As theyve become the most accessible form of modern mythology, superhero films have become ingrained in 21st-century popular culture. And even if Shang-Chi is the Master of Kung Fu, the films reinvestment in character development, without any sacrifice in the quality of its action sequences, has the potential to push the time-honored genre of martial arts forward still. There is room now in 2021, and with this movie, to evolve that conversation even more and to say, Its also not just about the martial arts, says Liu. This movie will be as successful as it is because its emotionally resonant, because there are strong performances, because it really deals with the human condition, and because it doesnt shy away from moments of vulnerability.

While the film boasts spectacular fight choreography under the direction of the late Brad Allan, whos best known for his prolific stuntman career working alongside Jackie Chan, its the frayed relationship between Shang-Chi and his father, Wenwu, that drives Shang-Chi. Played by the legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, Wenwu is a far cry from the caricature of Fu Manchu, or even the similarly problematic Mandarin, whom the film cleverly subverts expectations around based on the MCUs own previously controversial casting choice. But Wenwu is also a more compelling villain than the vast majority that the MCU has offered to date, full stop. Thats in no small part due to an unsurprisingly strong performance from Leung, but its also a credit to the creative teams commitment to breaking stereotypes with each of its charactersfrom fleshing out Shang-Chis backstory and emphasizing his personality over his kung fu skills, to making Wenwu more than a two-dimensional villain with indeterminate intentions to bring destruction to the modern world. It was really just about creating characters that are relatable to anybody, says Cretton. Whether you are a part of this community or not, you understand what Shang-Chis journey is, you understand what Wenwus pain is, and once you really understand a character and you can relate to them, its hard to put them into a stereotypical box.

The specter of Fu Manchu is still alive in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; the inchoative father-son dynamic that defined the hollow Master of Kung Fu title character is ever present. But, just as Gene Luen Yang is rewriting the comics today, the reclamation of the story by Asian American creators helps make Shang-Chi an empowering and impactful addition to the MCU. Above all else, and especially in a pandemic when anti-Asian hate crimes have risen at an alarming rate, the films lasting significance may be how its able to display the nuances of a complex, widespread Asian diaspora, and humanize a host of diverse Asian characters anchored by strong performances from Liu, Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and more. Theres no denying that its a watershed moment for our community, says Liu. Its going to be so special for Asian kids, regardless of where they grow up, to watch this and to see themselves reflected ... but its also, for everybody around the world, an opportunity to share our culture with them and to learn and witness more diverse and rich stories.

[This movie] is hopefully going to allow people who may not be a part of this culture to see that we are more connected than we are different, Cretton adds. That we all deal with pain, we all deal with family trauma, we all persevere, and we all are capable of love. Those are the things that have the power to break racism, to shatter the ignorance that is required to hate someone based on what they look like.

View post:
The Reclamation of Shang-Chi - The Ringer

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Christopher Lee| Comments Off on The Reclamation of Shang-Chi – The Ringer