Review: Urban Fantasy Hanson and the Beast is Men in Black meets chick flick

Millions of years ago, aliens, now known as  yaoguai or demons, landed on Earth. To blend in, they hide their animal forms by shapeshifting into humans. To make sure their secrets are hidden from the humans, the Bureau of Transformers was formed to monitor yaoguai actions in our world.     When young arctic fox demon Bai Qianchu (Liu Yifei) comes to the human world to repay an act of kindness and accidentally exposes her true form, she’s being chased after by the bureau’s agents.

Her object of interest is zookeeper and swindler Yuan Shuai (Feng Shaofeng), who saved her when he was a child.  When Bai Qianchu falls for Yuan Shuai, the two become caught at the center of a power struggle in the demon world between those who want to live apart from humans and those who want to cohabit the world with humans.

Urban fantasy film Hanson and the Beast takes the exciting concept of an alien registration agency and made a rom-com whose main feature is Liu Yifei being charming and beautiful. Luckily, it does that well enough if you like Liu Yifei.  Plus, unlike her last blockbuster,  the rest of the cast can actually act and the set-up is refreshing enough that you sit through it and enjoy Liu Yifei. A drama spinoff of the series starring Wang Ziwen and Chen He was released last week.

Liu Yifei as a fox pup

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Promo Round-up: Novoland: Eagle Flag

Novoland: Eagle Flag stars Liu Haoran, Song Zu’er and Chen Ruoxuan as the new generation of young heroes who rise up against the tyrannical warlord Ying Wuyi (Zhang Fengyi). [Extended Synopsis]

The 68 episode drama releases two episodes every Monday to Thursday on Zhejiang TV, while Youku/Tencent members get a 6 episode head start.

Episode 1 preview, Theme song by Ayanga, Liu Haoran BTS, Props & Etiquette, Costumes

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Novoland: Eagleflag releases new promos, sets airing date

Eagle Flag  on top of the carcasses of the previous dramas set in Novoland.

Probably the biggest fantasy drama since ,,  Novoland: Eagle Flag九州缥缈录 has finally announced a release date.   The star-studded series stars Liu Haoran, Song Zu’er, Chen Ruoxuan, Jiang Shuying, Xu Qing, Zhang Fengyi, Wang Ou, Li Guangjie, and Chen Haoyu.

The series will air on June 3rd unless Novoland also starts a trade war with China.

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Chang Chen, Liao Fan, Ni Ni brace themselves for the storm in Savage

The film will be screened in the US and Canada on May 3rd.

Action revenge thriller Savage 雪暴 stars Liao Fan, Zhang Yicong and Huang Jue as a group of robbers who intend to steal a truckload of gold bars. Chang Chen and Li Guangjie play a pair of cops who happen to get in their way, and the latter is killed in the process. Ni Ni plays doctor Sun Yan, who somehow gets entangled in the mess. The film won the New Currents Award at its debut at the Busan International Film Festival.

The film will be screened in select theaters in the US and Canada on May 3rd. See locations here.

North American trailer

 

 

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Review: The Wandering Earth is an imaginative spectacle that launches Chinese films into the space age.

The Wandering Earth is the historical breakthrough Chinese sci-fi has been waiting for a long time.

Faced with the threat of the sun swallowing up the Earth, humans chose to embark on a 2500 year journey to find a new place in the universe for their home, Earth. The ambitious plan involves three hundred years of scientists around the world building ten thousand propellers around the Earth, stopping the  Earth’s rotation, and then finally propelling the Earth into its long journey into the dark night. But first, they must get out of the solar system by escaping Jupiter’s gravitational pull.

The almost as ambitious film The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 is half disaster film, half space thriller,  and a full classic holiday film about the importance of going home for the holidays. While not nearly as polished as Hollywood blockbusters (and with a fraction of the budget), the film offers uniquely Chinese visions of the future that makes it stand-out.  Despite its clear flaws,  the Frant Gwo-direct film has a solid plot, suspenseful and well-shot action scenes for both its earth disaster and space scenes, plenty of scenes that appeals to your inner holiday spirit,  and solid CGI combined with imaginative setups that makes this the historical breakthrough Chinese sci-fi has been waiting for a long time.

imax trailer for the film: 

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The Wandering Earth releases final trailer, to screen overseas

With the impending destruction of the sun, humans must build a giant propeller on Earth itself to seek a new home. To prepare for the 2500 year journey to their new home, they must mobilize all resources to move everyone underground while setting up the mechanisms for the Earth to leave the solar system before the sun destroys them all.

Based on the short story of the same name by Liu Cixin (The Three Body Problem), The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, and Zhao Jinmai as a team set to build the propeller, while Wu Jing guest stars as an astronaut. The Frant Gwo-directed film is set for a Chinese New Year release in 2019 in China, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.  Overseas release info below the cut.

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Sci-fi disaster film The Wandering Earth releases trailer

With the impending destruction of the sun, humans must build a giant propeller on Earth itself to seek a new home. To prepare for the 2500 year journey to their new home, they must mobilize all resources to move everyone underground while setting up the mechanisms for the Earth to leave the solar system before the sun destroys them all.

Based on the short story of the same name by Liu Cixin (The Three Body Problem), The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, and Zhao Jinmai as a team set to build the propeller, while Wu Jing guest stars as an astronaut. The film is set for a Chinese New Year release in 2019.

Also, if you’re a Liu Cixin fan, he’s having a talk in NYC on November 5th. More info here.

 

First batch of stills for Novoland: Eagle Flag

Novoland: Eagle Flag has released character stills, and I can’t take my eyes off the supporting cast. I need them as leads in a political intrigue drama of their own right now.

If anyone’s become a fan of Liu Haoran in ancient garb after Nirvana in Fire 2, then this will be the perfect follow-up drama when it airs in 2019.

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Character posters for the main cast of Novoland: Eagle Flag

Novoland: Eagle Flag 九州·缥缈录 is an upcoming ancient fantasy drama that will chronicle the rise of a generation of young heroes, and has confirmed Liu Haoran (Nirvana in Fire II)Chen Ruoxuan (From tonight, the path will be white) and Song Zu’er (Nezha in Lotus Lantern Prequel, Boyhood) as leads.

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Liu Yifei, Feng Shaofeng reunite after six years in Hanson and the Beast

Liu Yifei (Once Upon A Time) and Feng Shaofeng (The Starry Night, The Starry Sea 2) played Yu Ji and Xiang Yu respectively in White Vengeance, and will be starring opposite each other again in fantasy rom-com Hanson and the Beast 二代妖精.

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