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Demon Sealer Bureau

2022 / 99m - China
Fantasy, Action
Demon Sealer Bureau poster

A film with slightly bigger ambitions. Sadly, the budget wasn't entirely there to bring them to life, but director Suiqiang Huo charged ahead regardless. The result is an amusing little genre mix that sports some cool designs and shows potential from start to finish, but never quite hits the mark full on.

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The Demon Division investigates a case that has to do with the sacred tree that sealed away the Immortal Master. Their mission fails and the only way to stop the Immortal Master is by learning a special spell recorded in the Luban Scrolls, which will call a giant beast to defend the country.

Steampunk martial arts fantasy (like Tai Chi Hero/Zero), but done in a more contemporary streaming/filler way. The more traditional elements are perfectly fine, but there's so much CG here that some of it was bound to end up subpar. Still, the fast pacing, inventive designs and nifty action scenes are really worth a watch. Just don't expect a blockbuster-like polish.

The Comeback

Ling Hao Zhui Sha
2023 / 108m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
The Comeback poster

A fierce action flick that combines the strengths of Hong Kong and Chinese action cinema. If it had been a tad shorter and more focused, it might've been a personal favorite, but it was just a little too messy in certain parts. That said, if you're looking for some moody action, this film has you covered.

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Uncle Hua lives a secluded life after he lost his memory years ago. When a gang comes around and threatens people in the neighborhood to sell their houses, Hua stands up for them. It triggers an old memory and soon people from Hua's past are coming back to haunt him.

It's cool to see people like Simon Yam, Wah Yuen, and Andy On once more. Those guys used to be everywhere, but now that Hong Kong cinema has caved you'd almost forget they're still around. The action is flashy, the cinematography moody and colorful, and the plot maybe a bit too predictable, but sporting enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Good stuff.