War for the Planet of the Apes continues the new series, mapping out how we got to the place Charleston Heston found himself in way back in the original film. I like this reboot-prequel series better than any of the previous iterations, and I liked all of them. It is not the only option this week though, as Disney is rolling out Jagga Jasoos, a delightful little fantasy about a teenage detective and his female associate on a mission to find his father.
Or perhaps the new track from Fukuoka prefecture Art-Rock band Polkadotstingray might be called Synchro-Nishika, but however it translates it is the title track from their first mini-album and was just posted online last week. I am also re-posting Electric Public which hit the web in February, both excellent songs.
If you have a nearby theater that shows Bollywood films, Super Singh is the story of a man who accidentally gets superpowers and runs around trying to figure out what to do with them. The other option is the American/Dutch film Kill Switch, where the promise of limitless energy leads us very close to the end of the world. Neither movie has a web site I could find, and I wasn’t impressed enough with either trailer to post it here, so I will be catching up on my binge streaming this weekend.
The Gayageum is a multi-string instrument from 6th century Korea, and artist Luna Lee has been using the instrument to play rock songs to very good effect. So good that she plays festivals around the world, including SXSW in Austin this year. Here are a few tracks to give you a taste, I bet you can name every one of these songs with no help from me.
China has finally launched a film festival specifically targeting the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, called the Just Film Festival. The group appears to have organized in 2014, holding the first festival in 2015, as near as I can tell. It seems to have gotten them off to a good start, because this year around 200 industry professionals were running 3 tracks, with the most popular session being the projects, promotion, and investment presentation. That started off with around 500 potential films putting in their bids for funding, and by the time the dust settled it was narrowed down to just 3 titles: Immerse, Saving Human, and Planet X. I don’t know which or how many of them got the money to begin production, but over the last decade or two there has been an explosive growth in the Chinese Science Fiction literary scene. Some of those books and stories have won recognition world wide, and some of them are now in bookstores in North America; it is nice to see their SF/F film industry starting to get some momentum and recognition as well.
The winner this week has to be Kung-Fu Yoga, Jackie Chan in a comedic adventure that is a joint venture between Bollywood and Chinese film production companies. And yes, that does mean he gets to sing and dance in this one, as shown in the trailer I just recently posted. It should be playing in large multiplexes in major cities, particularly AMCs. If you are not lucky enough to have it playing near you, in wide release Resident Evil: The Final Chapter may finally close out that story arc. There is also the family fantasy A Dog’s Purpose, about a reincarnating K9.