Sisyphus (在劫难逃) is one of the many mini thriller webdramas created by Qiyi in the past several months. Wang Qian Yuan plays a police officer, however, his life is shattered when his daughter was murdered, forcing him to resign from the force. A new murder case drops evidence that might be related to his daughter’s death and our cop is entangled back into the case with a new villain (Lu Han) in town. Looks like our officer will die too and the selling point is that he wakes up to the day before his death and is stuck in that moment in time, again and again. Interesting.
A dying army commander, an indolent emperor, a man trapped in servitude and a plot to take back a kingdom’s lost territory. This is the core of the move Shadow, which sees director, Zhang Yimou, reuniting with his House of Flying Daggers cinematographer, Zhao Xiaoding, for another visually enticing, as well as intriguing, film. I’d read a lot of great things about this movie and when I saw that it was posted to LeTV’s official YouTube page, I had to watch it.
I’ve been reading a lot of discussion since the last post about Tribes and Empires running out of money (true!) and who’s to blame. A lot of rumors. It’s hard to say. This is director Cao Dun’s first venture into ancient fantasy series so he is ambitious and has an artistic vision and didn’t realize many costly things. It’s hard to entirely blame him because he’s well-loved by the cast and we were all wow-ed by the first trailer Tribes dished out. Weren’t we? At least now many realize a good drama isn’t just about the directing but a combination of directing, writing, and acting. Whether or not Huang Xuan’s scenes were cut, we can’t verify, but I did watch Zhou Zi Wei’s interview where he admitted that he shot the drama and then was told they could only give him so much and he replied that he didn’t need to be paid because acting out emotional turbulence like Shuo Feng in itself is a mark in his acting career. The opportunity cannot be exchanged for money. So everyone in the cast suffers in one way or another, not just any one actor.
If they are lucky to get funding for another season, let this first season be a good lesson for the production company about budget management (!!).
So we only have one more week of Tribes and Empires totaling 75 episodes because they only shot up to Huang Xuan’s ascension to the throne. What will they do from here? I don’t know because it’s not a small project. The novel writer wrote on his weibo that he has big dreams for Tribes (on the level of Attack on Titan and Lord of the Rings) but the project lacks funding so he’s looking for ka-ching!
As of 12/26, the drama online views have hit 7 billions. 😀 Hunan has also sucked it up and will air Tribes starting 12/29 on TV.