Mulan's long-awaited debut in China has stumbled at the box office, bringing in just $23 million - around £17.8 million - over its opening weekend.
Early casting information on the Disney remake of Mulan appeared to have excluded a key character from the original movie.
Donnie Yen dons a fat suit and fights bad guys in his latest action-comedy.
The plot is kinda ludicrous at times in service of the action, but this is a feel-good film for Chinese nationalism.
“Singapore houses are not cheap,” said Donnie Yen with a bemused grin.
Fans with keen ears may spot several nods to the memorable songs from the original Disney animated version of 'Mulan'.
SINGAPORE — The Bottle Cap Challenge: It’s the Internet’s next biggest viral challenge to entertain us all. It started rolling when UFC fighter Max Holloway passed the buck to singer John Mayer, who then passed on to his other famous friends, like actor Jason Statham and MMA artist Conor McGregor.
Secret ending? No.Running time: 107 minutes (~1.75 hours)“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is an action film that’s the third in the “xXx” franchise, and the second to feature Vin Diesel as the main character.It revolves around crashing satellites and a global conspiracy that forces unorthodox government agent xXx to come out of hiding and face several new opponents who are as skilled as he is. But there’s more than meets eye to this series of unlikely events.“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is directed by D. J. Caruso and written by F. Scott Frazier. It stars Vin Diesel (Xander Cage), Donnie Yen (Xiang), Deepika Padukone (Serena Unger), Kris Wu (Nicks Zhou), Ruby Rose (Adele Wolff), Tony Jaa (Talon), Nina Dobrev (Becky Clearidge), Samuel L. Jackson (Augustus Eugene Gibbons), Toni Collette (Jane Marke), Nicky Jam (Lazarus), Rory McCaan (Tennyson “The Torch”), Al Sapienza (CIA Director), Michael Bisping (Hawk), with cameos by Neymar Jr as himself. It is rated PG-13.I’m going to confess that I didn’t expect much from “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” since, well, it genuinely looked like the film would focus too much on stunts and action and not enough on story. But it turned out to be half-true (in a good way), in the sense that it focuses on action in the right way, and lets go of the story but still ensures that it all makes sense. “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is solid entertainment, and is just the kind of film you watch at the end of the week to unwind.HighlightsBecky Clearidge is adorableBecky Clearidge (Nina Dorbev) is so huggable with her geeky looks and nerdy enthusiasm. She’s even given a little character arc in which she overcomes her fear of artillery and ends up kicking butt with it. With her incredible intelligence, goofy tics, and endearing awkwardness, she could very well helm her own spin-off from the “xXx” franchise. And if I haven’t mentioned it, she’s just absolutely adorable.Tongue-in-cheek“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” knows that its strength doesn’t lie in story, and makes no attempts to over-explain ludicrous situations that pop up. Instead, it just provides the set-up and then lets the action take over. It’s pretty self-aware of how over the top the stunts are, and doesn’t try too hard to pretend that all this is believable. It plays it straight and gives you reasons for people to fight, before letting them loose on each other.Non-stop action and stuntsThe film is literally one giant continuous action scene. If there’s any exposition, it’s sandwiched between fights or laid out amidst incredible looking set-pieces like massive cargo planes or towering glass skyscrapers. At some point it stops making excuses for action scenes to occur and you just take it for granted that they’ll take the most exaggerated route to wherever they’re headed. This glamorous action is extremely entertaining.Exhilarating effects and setsWhat makes the action even more fun are the exotic set pieces that the characters find themselves in. Yes, there’s the stereotypical Asian island paradise, but there are also crowded highways (with the requisite leaps onto speeding lorries) and skydiving stunts that round up the many locations that the characters find themselves in. It adds to the sheer sense of fun when you see them globetrotting on a minute’s notice. I believe they even head to London at one point.LetdownsNo storyIt’s not really a letdown in the sense that “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” doesn’t need a fulfilling and cathartic story to entertain, but there’s only the barest semblance of a plot in the film. You could probably poke a few plot holes if you stopped to think about it, but you won’t, because you’ll be too engrossed by the action scenes to do so.“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” is one giant action set-piece.Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? Yes.Should you watch this more than once? No.Score: 4.0/5“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” opens in cinemas: – 19 January, 2017 (Singapore)– 25 January, 2017 (Malaysia)– 18 January, 2017 (Philippines)Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.
Should you watch this if it’s free? OK.Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? No.Score: 2.0/5Secret ending? No.Running time: 133 minutes (~2.25 hours)“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a science fiction fantasy film that takes place in the “Star Wars” franchise.It tells the tale of how the Death Star came to be, and the events that lead to the “Star Wars: A New Hope”.It stars Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Diego Luna (Cassian Andor), Ben Mendelsohn (Orson Krennic), Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe), Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso), Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook), Jiang Wen (Baze Malbus), Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera), and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). It is rated PG.“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is about the journey, rather than the destination, since you already know the outcome of the protagonists’ quest — they succeed. That being said, it’s got a muddied perception of what its audience wants. If you’re a long time “Star Wars” fan, this adds nothing to your enjoyment and understanding of the franchise, besides throwing you a few bones in the form of fan favourite characters making cameos. If you’re a newcomer to the franchise, you’ll be lost. What’s happening and who are all these people running around shooting at each other? It’s truly a title that has gone rogue in its objectives.HighlightsAppearances by other Star Wars charactersCharacters of varying degrees of popularity from “Star Wars: A New Hope” make an appearance in the film and some even play a surprising large role in the plot. It’s interesting to see where all the characters are at this point in the series, and it plays on the nostalgia for the old “Star Wars” films since they lend a sense of familiarity to this foreign universe. And this is ultimately the highlight of “Rogue One” — entertaining you with a few minutes of scenes that are reminiscent of “Star Wars: A New Hope”.LetdownsA confusing and ultimately purposeless first two ActsThe film opens with a cliched, but still passably touching sequence which shows us how our main character came to be, then skips over formative years of her childhood to show us Felicity Jones as an adult Jyn Erso. Then it immediately goes into characters asking other characters about different characters, without explaining who any of them are (and why they’re important) to us. They then fly from a planet we know nothing about to another unknown planet, with nary an explanation about the locations. Only much later do we hear something familiar, the Death Star, and from then on everything becomes clearer.But for the first hour, expect to be confused. Either that, or read as much as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” news as possible to help you figure things out.Exposition is unevenThere is exposition, and you’ll know why the Death Star was built with such a cringe-inducing critical weakness and how Princess Leia got ahold of the plans for the Death Star by the time the credits roll. The problem is that nobody explains anything in the first Act, and everyone’s wearing the same drab colours. Then suddenly, in a meeting room no less, a chunk of exposition is dumped on you about who this motley crew of characters are and how everything’s connected. Would it have hurt to have paced this information out over a few scenes?Sudden changes in character motivations and allegiancesCharacters change their minds in this film through pensive looks and beatific poses. It’s amazing how a few seconds of looking thoughtful can cause a person to take a complete U-turn on their stances and become inspirational speakers or loyal fighters, when earlier on they’re whining about how they only care about themselves. The plot is what drives the characters, instead of vice versa, making this a story that happens only because the writer says so (as opposed to being character-driven).Adds nothing to the Star Wars mythosMost insulting of all is the fact that it adds absolutely no insight to the existing “Star Wars” mythos. It doesn’t shed new light on any characters or places, it doesn’t give us a fresh perspective on the war, and it doesn’t enrich our understanding of the series in any meaningful way. Granted, it’s hampered by the fact that the outcome is already set in stone. But if it adds nothing new, then what’s the raison d’etre of the movie?“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” spends a lot of money to tell audiences what they already know without any of the nostalgia of a remake.“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in cinemas:– 15 December, 2016 (Singapore)– 15 December, 2016 (Malaysia)– 15 December, 2016 (Philippines) Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.
Appearing in a ‘Star Wars’ movie essentially transforms you into a globally recognisable face overnight but in the case of Felicity Jones it’s done far more. For starters, Jones is already an established actor, with films such as ‘The Theory of Everything’ (for which she got an Oscar nomination) to her name. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar (via The List), the British actress has spoken about working on ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, revealing the spin-off film is like nothing she’s done before.
The Force Awakens was widely applauded for its diverse ensemble, with it’s three young leads being a woman (Daisy Ridley), a black man (John Boyega), and a Hispanic man (Oscar Isaac). The next Star Wars movie, Rogue One, however, takes the saga’s casting to a whole new level. The team of Rebel Alliance fighters that squares off against the Empire in the film, which is set just before the events of A New Hope, could double as a United Nations committee.
For more than a year now, the cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has had to remain tight-lipped about the characters they’re playing in Lucasfilm’s first standalone adventure in the beloved saga. “Loose lips sink starships” was the motto J.J. Abrams drilled home on the set of The Force Awakens, setting the tone for Rogue helmer Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). Today, though, at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London, the cast could finally, finally spill some intel on the folks they’re playing.
During the ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ panel at Star Wars Celebration, the entire cast of the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ spin-off took to the stage alongside director Gareth Edwards. It was one of the stand-out moments of the entire panel – Jiang Wen explaining the subtle nuances of his character Baze by simply stating: “He has a gun.
Beijing Max Screen have been punished by Chinese authorities for faking the box office takings for their latest cinema release, ‘Ip Man 3′. According to Variety, the distribution company will be banned from releasing any films for an entire month as punishment, which will surely have a knock-on effect further down the line, especially for filmmakers themselves. Apparently, Max Screen have now admitted to buying up $8.61 million of tickets to its own movie to give false stats that bumped the number of screenings by an additional 7,600, referred to as ‘ghost screenings’.
According to IMDb, Ip Man 3 marks the last time martial arts star Donnie Yen will play the titular Wing Chun grandmaster famous for mentoring Bruce Lee. Not so fast, though, Yen tells Yahoo Movies.