TIFF 2013: MAN OF TAI CHI Review

by     Posted 1 year, 6 days ago

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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.

New MAN OF TAI CHI Trailer and Poster Featuring Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen

by     Posted 1 year, 14 days ago

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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.

First Poster and Images from Keanu Reeves’ Directorial Debut MAN OF TAI CHI

by     Posted 1 year, 156 days ago

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.

Keanu Reeves Shows Behind-the-Scenes Camera Work for Directorial Debut, MAN OF TAI CHI

by     Posted 2 years, 86 days ago

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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.

Keanu Reeves Secures Funding and Distribution for Directorial Debut MAN OF TAI CHI

by     Posted 2 years, 277 days ago

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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 ChiTiger 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.

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