Unauthorized but familiar Chinese movies

My wow Bootleg Warcraft Movie 我的魔兽世界
Chinese cinema hit the news cycle recently, but not because of a new breakout hit or because another Hollywood studio added a big Chinese star for one line of a movie in order to try to get a share of their box office, but because of a movie that is basically a bootleg of a bigger budget movie. Cinemas in China will get what is basically a bootleg Warcraft film, called My Wow (aka 我的魔兽世界 which means My World of Warcraft)! My Wow is set to hit theaters before Warcraft does, and the costumes look shockingly familiar. The plot is completely different, as it features “A man gets transported to a fantasy world of warcraft, where the impossible occurs…”

So basically it’s that same story where someone gets transported into a fantasy world and becomes a hero, except this time the fantasy world looks suspiciously like World of Warcraft without actually being Warcraft. It also stars Jatfei Wong/Wong Yat-Fei, though he doesn’t play the fish out of water character. The image at the top of the article are the oddly suspicious costumes from the film.

If you bootleg fish out of water stories from China, then you might also be excited for the upcoming release of The Adventures of Panda Warrior, which is totally not Kung Fu Panda, don’t get any ideas!

A peace-loving soldier from Ancient China is magically transported into a world ruled by an evil nine-headed snake. Transformed into a panda, he joins forces with a flying pig to free the once-peaceful Merryland from tyranny. But first he must train to be the kingdom’s most courageous panda warrior.

If The Adventures of Panda Warrior seems vaguely familiar, that’s because you might have stumbled across a trailer for it when it was called The Adventures of Jinbao (大兵金宝) in 2012. Jackie Chan voices the panda, because The Adventures of Jinbao is actually a sequel to his 2010 movie Little Big Soldier. Sort of. It’s a sequel to a flash game sequel to Little Big Soldier called FLASH Little Big Soldier (FLASH大兵小將), hence following the art style for the very beginning before Jackie Chan’s character is turned into a panda. Of course, the US version trades Jackie Chan for Rob Schneider and Norm MacDonald. None of this should be confused with the other animated Kung Fu Panda ripoff, Little Panda Fighter, which is Brazilian but also awful.

Adventures of Jinbao

Adventures of Jinbao Jackie Chan

Now if you want even more exciting stuff, April’s Crazy Toy City (疯狂玩具城) mysteriously has a similar poster and title to Disney’s Zootopia, known in China as Crazy Animal City (疯狂动物城). This was roundly mocked on China’s internet, though the film itself seems to have little to do with Zootopia, instead following a boy who is transported to a toy-ruled city after mistreating his toys. So maybe it’s a sequel to Toy Story?

Crazy Toy City Zootopia posters

Whatever the case, I’m sure we’ll soon have many more very original films to talk about! Now I have to go watch Hollywood’s latest reboot of a prequel of a sequel of a remake.

photos/info via qq and thenanfang

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 24, 2016 at 11:07 am

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Marriage of Lies brings the truth to Lifetime!

Marriage of Lies Lifetime

I didn’t kill my husband, because someone else killed him first!

Those darn men are up to no good again, this time marrying women while having secrets of their own! Marriage of Lies features one such man, except for the fact that his secrets get him disappeared, and then his poor wife has to spend the rest of the film proving that she didn’t kill him. As he just disappeared instead of was found dead, I’m thinking a twist of him not being dead will happen. But we shall see.

Basically, I’m watching this one because Corin Nemec is in it. He plays one of the cops investigating the case, so his role might not be that big, but he always brings 110% and the film will be a thousand times better with him involved even if his role is very tiny. Beyond that, I can’t say much, the teaser barely showed anything and the plot line isn’t anything we haven’t seen a hundred times before. So it’s all up to the creative team to give us a winner!

When Rachel’s husband disappears, the police have one suspect: her. While trying to prove her innocence, she uncovers many secrets about the man she married.

Marriage of Lies is directed by Danny J. Boyle (The Assistant) and written by Brian D. Young (Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep) with contributions by Matt Hamilton (The Actress Diaries ). It stars April Bowlby, Corin Nemec, Ryan Bittle, Virginia Williams, Eric Scott Woods, and Madison Iseman.

Marriage of Lies premieres on Saturday, May 21st on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

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Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory (Review)

Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory

aka 春子超常現象研究所 aka Haruko Chojo Gensho Kenkyujo
Haruko's Paranormal Laboratory
Written and directed by Lisa Takeba
Haruko's Paranormal Laboratory
Fun time Japanese films are a bread and butter of TarsTarkas.NET, so of course we’re gonna check out a film about a girl who marries her tv. As a bonus, we got a wonderful film with a lot to say about entertainment culture and consumerism, much of which is as relevant in the US as it is to the Japanese audience. Also there are UFOs, random commercials, sideshow entertainers battling it out, and random cosplayers to spice things up!

Haruko is a young Japanese lady who spends her days alone in her apartment depressed and wishing for something paranormal to happen. Her early life had her interested in adventures, but thanks to a trauma involving spying her teacher father kissing a schoolgirl while out trying to hunt UFOs, she has abandoned her passion for the paranormal and just works a dreary job, watches tv, and makes tea stain art that she tries to sell on the street.

All of this changes one day when her ancient tv transforms into a real person! Well, a real person with a tv for a head, because he is a television brought to life. So much so that he’s called Terebi instead of getting a real name, and Haruko is harassed into paying tv licensing fees for him. Terebi is a young stud, and soon he and Haruko are lovers, but soon Terebi becomes unsatisfied with a homebody life (thanks in part to some harassment by children) and sets out to get a job, eventually becoming a successful television personality. This new lifestyle causes some friction, along with suppressed memories of a former life, Haruko’s desperate housewife coworker, and a perverted neighbor.
Haruko's Paranormal Laboratory
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

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I Didn’t Kill My Sister is a Lifetime murder mystery!

I Didn't Kill My Sister Lifetime

Look, the title already tells you I didn’t do it, why are you interrogating me???

Lifetime continues the non-stop movie train with I Didn’t Kill My Sister (aka Murder Unresolved), the story about a woman whose sister winds up dead during a bitter divorce, but ends up the prime suspect, so she has to find the real murderer while avoiding the ever more suspicious police. Luckily a trailer for this has been up for a while and shows more than the 30 second Lifetime blurb, the flick looks like a fun little murder mystery.

When a popular TV newswoman is murdered during a nasty divorce from her co-anchor her ambitious sister finds herself a suspect and is determined to unmask the true killer.

I Didn’t Kill My Sister stars Nicholle Tom, Sharon Taylor, Sarah Desjardins, Gina Holden, Ona Grauer, and Chris William. It’s directed by Jason Bourque (Stonados, A Mother’s Instinct) and written by Gemma Holdway (The Stepchild)

I Didn’t Kill My Sister premieres on Saturday, May 14 on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 13, 2016 at 9:09 pm

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Wrong Swipe (Review)

Wrong Swipe

aka Swipe
Wrong Swipe
Written by Sophie Tilson and Shanrah Wakefield
Directed by Matthew Leutwyler

Wrong Swipe
Just when you thought Lifetime was all out of ways to make you think the internet was coming to kill you, Lifetime reminds you that there are a bajillion new apps that have been made in the past decade, each and every one easily turned into a cautionary tale of how it will destroy you. Today’s Awful App is Tinder, or “Swipe” as it’s known in Wrong Swipe, as a crazed “Swipe” stalker turns the life of our heroine upside down.

Wrong Swipe could have been a discussion about hookup culture, apps replacing actually going out and meeting people, and even throwing in stuff about how some people are so overworked that a personal life is a luxury. There is even a few bits where they directly point out the league of men who think that just because they were swiped on an app they deserve attention and love from the women, including multiple pressure to go out on dates. But all of that is either tossed aside or completely ignored as Lifetime had to go Lifetime it all up with stalking and murder.
Wrong Swipe
Anna Taylor (Anna Hutchison) is a woman who doesn’t have time for dating because she’s in law school. So it’s the perfect time for her sister Sasha (Karissa Lee Staples) to force her into dating by installing the Swipe app on her phone! Heck, Sasha reconnected with her high school boyfriend, Matt (Rhys Ward), thanks to the app. Anna isn’t on good terms with her ex, Nate (Kevin Joy), but she’s still not thrilled about this new dating app. Especially when it suddenly starts giving her GPS notifications that a “Swipe crush” is nearby. The first one is a kid in her class, Todd (Blake Berris), who is awkward and creepy. There’s also a mysterious stalker account sending her messages about how they are destined for each other. Even worse, she does meet up with a high school acquaintance named Jake (Arthur Napiontek), and he tries to spike her drink! Luckily, she had to bail before the drug kicked in. But let’s forget about all those danger situations, because she’s also met a Nice Guy named Pete (Philipp Karner) and things are going swell.
Wrong Swipe
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 12, 2016 at 11:28 am

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The Future World (Review)

The Future World

aka دنیای آینده aka Donyaye Ayandeh
The Future World
Directed by Ahmadreza Jaghtaei

The Future World

Why does the blue color in the toilet water stain my hands???

Iran’s film industry has a great reputation of producing killer good artistic flicks that light up international film festivals. Filmmakers work around the censorship of an oppressive regime to create amazing stories with greater allusions that slip past the censorship rules. The Future World (Donyaye Ayandehدنیای آینده) isn’t one of those films, this is a mainstream release that steals large portions of its look from Star Wars while giving it a kid-centric focus point. The resulting mishmash of cultures creates a bizarrely familiar film that is filled to the rim with cut rate shadows of the Star Wars originals. Basically, it’s ridiculous, but the slower pace puts it behind other bootleg Star Wars adventures like Turkey’s Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam. Still, there is just enough here that if you enjoy campy scifi stuff in a language you don’t understand with no subtitles (because at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!), The Future World just might be worth checking out. Everyone else can just enjoy the pictures and animated gifs, secure that they’re keeping two hours of their lives for more important things. Like looking for more animated gifs.

My mom says I’m the real Sith Lord!

As The Future World is rare and full of weird stuff, it gets the longform descriptive review treatment! As mentioned, it is without subtitles, and there is very little information about it in English. I only have the names of three of the actors and the director, everything else is a giant mystery that will probably be solved years from now when more information appears online. Until that day, we’ll do what we can.

The CGI used in The Future World would look great in 1982’s Tron, but The Future World dates from 2001, so it doesn’t look that great even in context. Sure, there was all those trade restrictions for decades, but no one is going to think about that when snarking on the CGI quality. All in all, The Future World is a perfect film for TarsTarkas.NET, as it’s something you’ve never seen before mixed with something you have. And it’s ridiculous!

The Future World

Y-Wing? Y not wing?

Original Kid (Hossein Yar Yar??) – The main character who spends much of the film being worried or complaining, even though is Dad is basically solving every problem rather quickly. Not to be confused with Knocking Kid or Third Kid. Pretty sure he’s played by Hossein Yar Yar, who seems to have no other credits in English so really, it is a mystery.
Dad – Original Kid’s dad, who has his own spaceship and wears a Han Solo vest. Very good at defeating Wampas and robots with toasters for heads.
Weird Uncle (Ghodratollah Izadi) – He probably isn’t the kid’s uncle but is just a random servant for the rich family the Original Kid belongs too, but he acts so much like a weird uncle that he is now Weird Uncle. Deal with it! He’s played by veteran actor Ghodratollah Izadi.
Black Beret (Mahshid Afsharzadeh) – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Not a big fan of Darth Toaster. Totally not Original Kid’s Mom. Totally. Mahshid Afsharzadeh is not only an award winning actress (obviously slumming here) but also a director of 2003’s The Second Start and 2014’s A 5-Star.
Blue Beret – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Wears a totally different color than Black Beret because color is in this season. Seems like the one to go along with Darth Toaster because she likes it, not out of fear.
Red Cap – Male member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Seems like the one who would collaborate with Darth Toaster the easiest, despite not liking him. Which makes him weak willed and a bad leader.
Darth Toaster – The ultimate villain, a robot who has taken command of the X2 and kills all that are in his way.
Royal Toaster Guards – Darth Toaster’s two loyal guards who are always with him. They do nothing during the one scene where Darth Toaster is actually attacked.
Wampa – A mysterious lady turns into this Wampa and attacks the heroes, because why not have a random were-person on your spaceship?

The Future World


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 9, 2016 at 9:24 am

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