Here’s a brief overview of this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Opening this weekend in limited release is Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi. Set it modern day China, the pic follows the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) whose unmatched Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club run by an unsavory businessman (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Loaded with great fight scenes by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping, Reeves’ directorial debut is a winner and I’m looking forward to what he does next. For more on the film, read Matt’s review or watch the trailer here.
At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival I landed an exclusive video interview with Reeves. While I thought about posting it sooner, I wanted to wait until his film was going to be in theaters. During the interview he talked about how the project came together, what it was like to make a movie in China where the government has script control, his thoughts on directing again, deleted scenes, what he collects, 47 Ronin, Passengers, whether he’ll ever attend Point Break Live, what he’s looking to do in the future, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
The first shot of Keanu Reeves’ martial-arts film Man of Tai Chi is of two guys punching each other, so it’s off to a good start. Reeves’ directorial debut isn’t an homage or reinvention of the genre. It sticks fairly close to the essentials, which are fighting followed by more fighting. The threadbare plot is serviceable enough, but the main event is the fights, and they’re impressive. With his first feature, Reeves shows he has the directing chops to pull off some exciting fisticuffs. However, the movie raises the question of whether or not he’s aware that the plot incriminates the audience, and the audience may also wonder if Reeves’ performance is intentionally campy or playing into negative perceptions of the famous actor.
A new trailer and poster for Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi focuses on the fights; it’s a good thing, too, because roughly 40 minutes of the 105-minute runtime is devoted to the 18 fighting sequences. Reeves stars as the head of a lucrative and highly illegal underground fight club, who finds a new contender in a “pure-hearted man of Tai Chi”, played by Tiger Chen. The dialogue is a bit stilted and the trailer doesn’t show anything we haven’t really seen before in martial arts films, but it’ll be fun to see Reeves play the bad guy and find out if he really knows his Kung Fu.
Man of Tai Chi will be available on iTunes starting September 27th and will open in theaters November 1st. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and check out the new poster.
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has made the final touches on its line-up, and made some nice additions. For the first time, TIFF will have movies in IMAX. The films that will be going big are Gravity, Man of Tai Chi, Metallica Through the Never, and The Wizard of Oz. All of these movies except Man of Tai Chi will also be in 3D. Other additions include Claire Denis‘ Bastards, a conversation with Spike Jonze and a preview of his new film Her (the full film is scheduled to debut as the closer at the New York Film Festival), Ron Howard‘s Jay-Z documentary Made in America, and more.
Hit the jump for the new additions. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
Fantastic Fest has announced the initial lineup for this year’s festival, which includes the US premiere of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi. The pic follows the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavory chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Reeves will appear in person at Fantastic Fest to introduce the film, but the initial lineup includes plenty of other great genre pics. Among this year’s Fantastic Fest films are a movie about crime fighters that have been dosed with anti-aging gas called Kid’s Police, an erotic thriller called She Wolf, the story of a murdered man reincarnated as a fly called Eega, and plenty more. As previously announced, Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills will also premiere at the festival.
Hit the jump to check out some new images from Man of Tai Chi and to get a look at the initial festival lineup. Fantastic Fest 2013 runs from September 19-26 in Austin, Texas.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013. The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime. In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more. Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it. Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.
Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations. Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
Universal has released a new international trailer for Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, and it’s loaded with new footage. The film follows the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). While the trailer definitely gives away a lot of the film, I don’t think anyone is going to see Man of Tai Chi for the story. All that matters are the fight scenes and with Reeves previously saying it’s got “18 fights and roughly 40 minutes of fighting time,” I’m sold.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. Currently Man of Tai Chi doesn’t have a release date, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and then open soon after.
Set in present-day downtown New York City, the indie drama Generation Um… follows John (Keanu Reeves), the quiet and withdrawn driver for an escort service that includes Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), two women who are as manipulative as they are beautiful. When John impulsively steals a camcorder, he decides to use it to explore their deepest secrets, pushing their friendship to the limit.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Keanu Reeves and Adelaide Clemens spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what drew them to Generation Um…, exploring their characters’ backstories during the rehearsal period, whether they worried about making their characters likeable, shooting the fun and playful moments that take place during the credits, and what Mark L. Mann was like, as a director on his first narrative feature. Keanu Reeves also talked about why now was the right time to make his directorial debut, with Man of Tai Chi. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.
As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.
I bring good news for anyone feeling nostalgic about Keanu Reeves’s furious kung-fu fists, which were on full display in The Matrix trilogy alongside an arsenal of brilliant stylized camera techniques. The first poster and images have been released for Reeves’s directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, a kung-fu film about a young martial artist’s experiences in Beijing. Tiger Chen, who was a member of the stunt team for The Matrix, plays the film’s young protagonist, while Reeves plays the villain. The film will also include cast members Karen Mok (So Close), Simon Yam (Ip Man 1 and 2) and Iko Uwais (The Raid). Moreover, the venerated choreographer Yuen Woo Ping, known for his work in The Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is onboard as the film’s action director. Reeves previously stated that Man of Tai Chi will have 18 fights and roughly 40 minutes of fighting time.
Man of Tai Chi’s release date is still TBA. Hit the jump in order to see the film’s first poster and images.
Hollywood is in the middle of a digital revolution. Over the past few years, the titans of the industry have switched to digital cameras, and it seems like the days of shooting on film are drawing to a close. Of course there will always be holdouts (Christopher Nolan), but as digital cameras get more and more advanced, you have to wonder how long it will be before everyone has converted. These are the main issues explored in Keanu Reeves and Chris Kenneally‘s great documentary Side by Side. The two filmmakers sat down with people like James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Stephen Soderbergh, and Andy and Lana Wachowski to talk about the evolving landscape of filmmaking. If you’re a film nerd, it’s a must see movie. For more on Side by Side, here’s some outtakes and a trailer.
Last week, I landed an exclusive interview with Keanu Reeves. Besides thanking him for getting the Wachowskis on camera, we talked about what surprised him about the digital revolution, how digital cameras and digital projection have advanced in the past few years, IMAX, whether it was tough to land the interviews, and so much more. In addition, with Reeves having directed his first feature, Man of Tai Chi, we talked about when people will see it, the film’s rating (PG-13), and why he used the ARRI Alexa. Finally, we also talked about 47 Ronin, how he’d like to direct a film called Life and Art, the status of Bill and Ted 3, and Point Break Live (which is a lot of fun). Hit the jump to watch or to read the transcript.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Ashley Judd and Robert Forster are the latest additions to the Gerard Butler-fronted White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen.
- The Raid star Iwo Uwais has joined the cast of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi.
- Bradley Whitford is in early talks to join Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks.
Hit the jump for details on these casting additions.
After Keanu Reeves enthusiastically professed that he knew kung-fu back in the days of The Matrix , the actor is finally getting back to the martial arts. Reeves has already wrapped on 47 Ronin, a retelling of the legend of a band of samurai who set out to restore their master’s honor. But Reeves is also working on his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, a story revolving around a young martial artist’s experiences in Beijing. The contemporary picture stars Tiger Chen (who worked on the stunt team in The Matrix) as the protagonist with Reeves himself as a villain. Casting notes aside, Reeves commented on the revolutionary camera work he’s using with Man of Tai Chi to both provide a new perspective on the fight scenes while keeping the cast, crew and camera from suffering any damage. Hit the jump to check out the proof-of-concept videos.
It was first announced in April that Keanu Reeves planned on making his directorial debut with the martial arts movie Man of Tai Chi. Ever since, Reeves has been in talks with Village Roadshow Asia and China Film Group to make it happen. Reeves has finally made the deal, teaming with Universal and Wanda Media in addition to Village Roadshow and China Film Group to make and distribute Man of Tai Chi. Tiger Chen, who was part of the Matrix stunt team, stars as “as a young martial artist whose fighting skills brings him to a realm of vast opportunities, and painful choices.” Reeves will also co-star as the villain.
Man of Tai Chi is scheduled to start shooting in February in China. Reeves will shoot in both Mandarin and English for the film, set in contemporary Beijing. Hit the jump for quotes from Reeves on his approach to the task at hand.