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Siu-Tung Ching is a skilled martial artist, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer who has helped shaped such spectacular cinema as Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer, John Woo's The Killer, and Yimou Zhang's Hero. But he's also a prolific filmmaker in his own right, with 27 titles to his credit. Though none of his films have yet to make a major impact Stateside, there may be a change coming as his latest action-packed fantasy epic The Sorcerer and The White Snake is set to make its U.S. debut early next year.
The film, which features international action star Jet Li, is based on an old Chinese legend about a man who falls in love with a beautiful woman, only to discover she's in fact a deceptive and magical thousand-year-old White Snake. Li plays the titular sorcerer who must battle this bad beast to save the love-struck man's soul. But lying snake women aren't all this movie has to offer, there's also angels, demons, and plenty of computer-enhanced action. You can get a look at what The Sorcerer and The White Snake has in store thanks to the trailer below. Or check it out in hi-res over at Apple:
When selling themselves Stateside, foreign movies have a tricky obstacle in carefully avoiding any dialogue that could scare off moviegoers who scowl at subtitles. As you can see above, a driving voiceover can help smooth out that wrinkle. Plus, it's especially welcomed here, where audiences are probably not familiar with the story, and could well be baffled by this blend of imagery. However, the stock sound effects seem more harmful than helpful, mixing with the mediocre CGI to make The Sorcerer and The White Snake seem like a B-movie out of the 1980s. Still, Deborah Young from The Hollywood Reporter is quotes as calling the feature, "A lavish epic with fantastic visuals and nonstop action." So, maybe these monsters just don't read as well on a smaller scale.
The Sorcerer and The White Snake will be available on iTunes on January 3rd. A Theatrical release will follow on February 8th.