Tag: will yun lee

Falling Water (USA Network) preview: Mr Robot will be in very good company

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Created by Blake Masters (Brotherhood) & Henry Bromell (Homicide, Homeland, Rubicon). Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intruders). Produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walkind Dead, Terminator, Aliens) For USA Network, Universal Cable Productions & Valhalla Entertainment. 57 pages.

Description: Set in the world of dreams and subconsciousness, the story of three unrelated people, who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. Each is on a quest for something that can only be found in their subconscious — a missing girlfriend, a son, a way to communicate with a catatonic mother. However, the more they begin to use the dream world as a tool to advance their hidden agendas, they realize that their visions are trying to tell them something and that their very real lives are at stake. And they might just might hold the key to the fate of the world…

With David Ajala (Black Box), Lizzie Brocheré (American Horror Story, The Strain), Will Yun Lee (Wolwerine, Witchblade, San Andreas)…

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It’s been almost three years since storyteller Henry Bromell passed away. And three years is the time it took for his fellow writer Blake Masters to make the show they co-wrote together happen, with the help of producer Gale Anne Hurd, who was a fan of the project from the get go. It was too difficult to work on it right after the tragedy, but somehow they found the strenghth eventually and here we are. Next summer, Falling Water will be broadcasted alongside the sensational Mr Robot. And honestly, they couldn’t have found a better companion show. It takes the channel to yet another level. It is great and innovative television again, exploring something new. The mind-binding thriller intersects reality and unconscious thoughts while telling the story of three lonely souls. It’s compelling, poetic, deeply emotional, edgy. I could tell you not to miss it and just stop there. I’m not sure my words could make any justice to this incredible script. But I’m gonna try to give you a bit more informations about what’s to expect. So you can get excited for the right reasons.

Do you ever think your dreams are trying to tell you something? What if our dreams held the secret key to life. What if you could control the world by controlling people’s dreams? ” That’s the whole idea, that’s the bold concept of Falling Water and the writers never shy away from it. They know where they’re going. You can label it as a supernatural thriller, or whatever. It doesn’t need any label. It’s just different and unique. It starts with Tess (Lizzie Brocheré), one of our three main characters, giving birth to a baby boy. Except it was all a dream. The baby doesn’t exist. She doesn’t have a son. Or does she? She’s convinced she did give birth to a child and she’s determined to understand what happened and to find him whatever it takes. Then there’s Burton (David Ajala), a man in his forties who sees the ghost of the woman he loved and lost everywhere in his apartment. He dreams about her. She’s just like the day she disappeared. The day she was kidnapped. Finally, there’s Taka (Will Yun Lee), an officer from NYPD who tries to connect with his mother who’s in a coma. He’s desperate and lonely. They are all lonely. In their respective dreams, there’s always a word, written on a wall, or on a napkin, wherever : Topeka. What does it mean? They all meet weird, mysterious people, who don’t seem to wish them well. Who are they? Are they part of Topeka?

Scene by scene, we go from one fancy restaurant to another luxurious hotel. Then we’re in a suburban neighborhood, or a police station, or a firm, or an empty room, or just a bed. It’s exactly the same atmosphere as in Mr Robot. It can be chilly, frightening, lifeless. It’s a dark vision of our world, not that far from what it really is. The way it’s described is already very cinematic on paper. Just like Mr Robot. We jump from one dream to another, and at some point we don’t know anymore if we’re in the middle of a dream or if it’s the reality. It’s disturbing and confusing and suffocating and it’s exciting for us. Is it all a lie? And yes, there’s falling water everywhere. Like a gimmick. Dripping. Raining. Pouring. On a faucet. On a fountain. On a window. But it surely means more than that. After all, there’s no life in this world without water…

So I’ll write it one more time and let you go: Falling Water is compelling, poetic, deeply emotional, edgy. It wouldn’t be fair just to compare it to Mr Robot. Or Sense8. It’s its own spectacular beast. It’s this kind of show you can’t watch just to spare time. It challenges you intellectually. And it rewards you. Or I guess it will.

“Warrior” (NBC) pilot preview: Kung-Fu “Revenge”, a dish best NOT served

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Original Title: American Ronin. Pilot “Humility” Written & produced by David DiGilio (Traveler, Crossbones). Executive produced by husband & wife Walter F. Parkes (The Slap US) & Laurie MacDonald (Crossbones). Directed by Phillip Noyce (Revenge, Salt, Bone Collector, The Giver). For NBC & Universal Television. 60 pages.

Description: Kai Forrester, a damaged young woman is given a chance to go out of jail in exchange for working undercover for a mysterious martial arts master who trains her to bring down an international crime lord who’s responsible for the death of her twin brother…

With Natalie Martinez (Under The Dome, Secrets & Lies US), Holt McCallany (Lights Out), Lance Gross (Crisis, House Of Payne), Will Yun Lee (True Blood, Strike Back, Hawaii 5-0), Rila Fukushima (Arrow), Andy Allo

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Two pilot seasons ago, NBC developed a drama project entitled Bloodlines, about an 18-year old girl discovering she’s coming from a powerful family of mercenaries with skills in martial-arts and some kind of magical power. I think I never read something more dated than that (for example, the writer I won’t name wanted I saw a sign from Ace Of Base, some AC/DC and Stuck On You from Lionel Richie for the soundtrack…). It was dumb and thank God, NBC didn’t go further with it. Sadly, they’re trying something not that different this year with Warrior. It’s not as bad. But it’s not good either. Just think about those boooring scenes in this booooring show that is Revenge, where Emily Thorne learns martial arts. Well, now you have an idea of what Warrior looks like.

I’ll be honest: the opening scene is visually ambitious on paper and if they get the right budget for it, it could look gorgeous and be impressive. David DiGilio doesn’t hesitate to refer to Inception & Matrix, with important choreographic fighting scenes defying gravity. And it takes place in Dubaï, in a luxurious building between the desert and the sea, Mission: Impossible-style. But then… then you have other kung-fu fighting scenes, more traditional and grounded, but way too many. If I remember correctly, there are six in the pilot. You can’t deepen the characters while doing all this stuff. And because the writer wants his show to be taken seriously -I can’t blame him for that- he can’t crack too many jokes either. Bloodlines had many many flaws but at least, dialogues were amusing.

So it’s not fun, most of the time. It’s not emotional, except towards the end because we finally get some rest with the fighting for more character and relationship stuff. We learn some secret, but they are way too easy and obvious to make us care a little bit more about Kai. She’s a bad ass and that’s cool. Life hasn’t been easy for her and that’s sad. But it’s not enough to make a show out of it. It’s already hard to go through one episode, I can’t imagine what it would be like to watch a full season. The mythology doesn’t look solid enough at this point and it’s already hard to follow. Who are the enemies? What do they want? We need some sort of answers from the get go, just to be sure we’re not completely wasting our time here. The only thing I quite liked is the use of magic. There’s a hint of supernatural occurences and we pay a visit to the afterlife world called here “Shadowland” where our heroine is experiencing a near-death moment. The rest is so cliché about Chinese people doing their rites and being wicked and bloodthirsty and… well, it’s depressing.

In my opinion, Warrior is the perfect example of those projects not worth a pilot order that get it anyway for whatever mysterious reasons, and there are a few of them every year. It has no potential to become a hit, even a modest one. The cast is not even attracting, even if I’m pretty sure Natalie Martinez is capable of doing the job nicely. I hope NBC will come its senses and won’t order it to series. If they do, it can only be a mid-season entry cancelled after a few airings. And it’s not me being pessimistic. It’s me being realistic.