Tag Archives: lucy liu

Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda was a surprisingly good film, and this sequel takes everything good about the first one, and expands it. It is a deeper and more complex film but is just as entertaining as the first one. Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson directs and Jack Black reprises his role as Po the Kung Fu Panda. It’s a cool CG movie with lots of action, comedy, and heart.

Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Seth Rogan, Lucy Liu, and Dustin Hoffman all return for the sequel, and Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Dennis Haysbert, and Jean-Claude Van Damme join the voice cast as well. Props must be given to Jennifer Yuh Nelson for directing the highest grossing movie ever for a woman. Being a Korean American, she respects Asian culture and it shows on screen.

The main villain of this movie is an evil peacock tyrant named Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who fears that a panda will one day defeat him. So he kills off all the pandas in China, except for one… the one who would grow up to be Po the Dragon Warrior (Jack Black). Po is living with his goose dad, Mr. Ping, and he begins to question his origins. Ping explains that he found Po in a radish crate when he was a baby, and he adopted him.

Po’s teacher, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) continues training Po, saying that he still has to achieve inner peace. Shifu soon finds out that Lord Shen has returned to power. Shen has a powerful new weapon that is capable of wiping out Kung Fu. It’s up to Po and his animal posse to stop him.

They have a few battles with Shen, and they lose when Po’s past catches up with him. Shen and Po fight and it looks like Shen kills Po. But Po is the Kung Fu Panda and the franchise wouldn’t work without him, and so Po comes back and saves the day, having finally achieved inner peace. Inner peace makes you a more violent and efficient fighter. The movie ends on a cliffhanger, setting things up for a third chapter.

Kung Fu Panda was a fun movie. Kung Fu Panda 2 is a fun movie that is about self-discovery. Po is questioning who he is. His past comes into play. It references the first film while preparing you for the next one. It is the perfect second act in a trilogy. I have high hopes for the next one.

The animation is pretty good. It’s not as impressive as Pixar’s animation, but it serves the story well. The story is improved over the first one. It explores more themes and delves into more complex issues than the first movie.

Jack Black pretty much plays Jack Black in all his movies. When you hear Jack Black but see a fat panda, it is more enjoyable. He has a face made for voiceover.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is on par or perhaps exceeds the original. DreamWorks will never be Pixar, but they still know how to entertain.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

Kill Bill Volume 1

Quentin Tarantino’s 4th film is his first action film, and it is pure exhilaration from beginning to end. Most two-part movies are all story in the first half, and all action in the second half. Kill Bill is the opposite, the second part has all the story and exposition, and the first volume is non-stop action.

Uma Thurman is a viable action star. She is unconventional but tough. She fights ruthlessly, but also with honor. All we know is that she lost her baby and is on a quest for revenge. We don’t even know her character’s name. In this volume, the character that has the most back-story is Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii. One of the best and most surprising parts of the movie was her japanimated backstory.

Volume 1 has an amazing soundtrack. RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan produces, and both him and Tarantino have a great appreciation for Kung Fu movies, and so their soundtrack works well with the movie. Tarantino has a great ear for music, and it often seems as if the scenes are tailored to fit the soundtrack.

There are some great scenes in this flick, even though it is a bit lighter on the dialog that Tarantino is known for. The Bride vs. the Crazy 88 is one of the best fight sequences in all cinema.  It is a truly epic fight, as she faces off against dozens of ruthless Yakuza, slaughtering all who oppose her.

This was Tarantino’s first movie since Jackie Brown, and his passion for Kung Fu movies is apparent. He is a great director, he absorbs things and recreates them as his own. He combines and warps different genres together to complete one cohesive film. This is a great movie, but only half of the Kill Bill experience. You haven’t even met Bill at this point.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment