Okay, I admit it; they had me at "steampunk kung fu throwdown." Kung fu and martial arts I'm sure everybody gets (if not, your assignment is to see The Raid: Redemption right now). For those unfamiliar with steampunk, it's a sub-genre of science fiction that focuses on steam-powered technology. Often the tech is mixed with the worlds of the Victorian era and early Western civilizations, but in the case of Tai Chi 0 the setting is China during the early era of Western influence. It's a perfect setting, blending more advanced steampunk designs with the relatively simple ones actually being built, like the locomotive. With more than a few martial arts movies coming out lately, one that allowed for a fundamentally different environment I thought deserved a look. Directed by Hong Kong veteran Stephen Fung, this had the chance to be a solid ton of offbeat fun.
|That's gonna hurt tomorrow.|
|My, what big shovels you have.|
|Scarier than anything in The House at the End of the Street.|
bad-ass?). It's also why I ignored Pixar films for so long. But after seeing this film, I might have to revise my avoidance of the book by Stephen Chbosky (who also directed the adaptation), as his final product was nowhere near what I was expecting.
When the perpetually-nervous Charlie (Logan Lerman) enters high school, he's most concerned with having a normal experience, and meeting friends he can get along with. He soon meets seniors Sam (Emma Watson) and her gay half-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller), who take him under their wing and introduce them to a world of great music, parties and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For the first time in a long time, he has friends with whom he can connect after the tragedies in his life. But the one thing he really wants - a relationship with Sam - seems out of reach, and with his friends graduating at the year's end, his earlier traumas threaten to re-emerge and take over his psyche for the worse.
|For Lerman, playing a nervous high school student is hardly a stretch.|
|He's much happier here than he was in We Need to Talk About Kevin...|
|Seriously, what school has white graduation gowns?|