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Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Yao Chen (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Tiffany Tang (Actor) | Wu Jun (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Zhang Muye's best-selling novel series Ghost Blows Out the Light about tomb-raiding adventurers inspired two high-profile films in 2015, Wu'ershan's Mojin - The Lost Legend and Lu Chuan's Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe. While the former is a crowd-pleasing blockbuster adaptation, the latter turned into a different fantastical beast in the hands of auteur Lu Chuan. Known for acclaimed works like City of Life and Death and Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, Lu departs from the source material to offer his own atmospheric take of the action-adventure that once again confirms that the director makes films to his own beat. Featuring dazzling special effects and cinematography, Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe ventures into the great unknown with an all-star cast that includes Mark Chao, Yao Chen, Rhydian Vaughan, Li Chen, Tiffany Tang and Li Guangjie.

In 1979, Hu Bayi (Mark Chao), along with Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang) and his daughter Yang Ping (Yao Chen), leads an expedition deep into the Kunlun Mountains to investigate the origins of some strange fossils. During the expedition, the team gets attacked by mysterious creatures and comes upon a tower harboring unknown powers. In the end, Bayi alone makes it back out of the mountain. After leaving the army, Bayi returns to Beijing where he regularly receives information from an unknown source concerning Professor Yang's research into an ancient tribe civilization. Strange events continue to occur including Yang Ping and Professor Yang seemingly returning from the dead. Guided by a mysterious force, Bayi must return to where this all started – the tower they opened years ago and a mystery that dates back centuries.

Note: 3D television, 3D Blu-ray player and 3D glasses are required to view the 3D version of the film.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 九層妖塔 (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (香港版) 九层妖塔 (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (香港版) 九層妖塔 (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (香港版) - (Blu-ray) Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Yao Chen (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Tiffany Tang (Actor) | Wu Jun (Actor) | Feng Li (Actor) | Li Guang Jie (Actor) | Li Chen (Actor) | Wang De Shun (Actor) | Rhydian Vaughan (Actor) 姚晨 (Actor) | 趙 又廷 (Actor) | 唐嫣 (Actor) | 吳軍 (Actor) | 馮 粒 (Actor) | 李光潔 (Actor) | 李晨 (Actor) | 王德順 (Actor) | 鳳小岳 (Actor) 姚晨 (Actor) | 赵 又廷 (Actor) | 唐嫣 (Actor) | 吴军 (Actor) | 冯 粒 (Actor) | 李光洁 (Actor) | 李晨 (Actor) | 王德顺 (Actor) | 凤小岳 (Actor) 姚晨(ヤオ・チェン) (Actor) | 趙又廷 (マーク・チャオ) (Actor) | 唐嫣(タン・ヤン/ティファニー・タン) (Actor) | 呉軍 (ウー・ジュン) (Actor) | Feng Li (Actor) | Li Guang Jie (Actor) | 李晨 (リー・チェン) (Actor) | Wang De Shun (Actor) | 鳳小岳 (リディアン・ヴォーン) (Actor) Yao Chen (Actor) | Mark Chao (Actor) | Tiffany Tang (Actor) | Wu Jun (Actor) | Feng Li (Actor) | Li Guang Jie (Actor) | Li Chen (Actor) | Wang De Shun (Actor) | Rhydian Vaughan (Actor)
Director: Lu Chuan 陸川 陆川 ルー・チューアン Lu Chuan
Writer: Zhang Yong Chen 張永琛 张永琛 Zhang Yong Chen Zhang Yong Chen
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2016-04-22
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition, NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Duration: 118 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1049666056

Product Information

The story started on a construction site in Tanggula Mountains (an offshoot of Kunlun Mountains) in 1979. Workers discovered a cavern, in which huge skeletons of ancient creatures were buried. A sudden explosion in the caveern brought an investigating group of volunteer soldiers inside, hoping to find out the truth. Hu Bayi was also in this group together with a nurse Yang Ping, on whomHu Bayi had a secret crush. They slid into the underground again and accidentally broke into a temple established by an slien civilization – the Demon Pagoda . Inside the Demon Pagoda, Hu Bayi’s life was threatened and he nearly died of a bite of a firebat along the way of escaping. He was deadly cursed because of the bite and that was just a beginning. He returned to Beijing as the only survivor. But, he found himself protected by a secret organization as soon as he was back. Years later, he received a message that Yang Ping was back. He decided to find her in the desert as well as the truth of her resurrection. But everything was out of his control.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

May 31, 2016

The popular Ghost Blows out the Light series from novelist Zhang Muye saw two big screen blockbuster adaptations in 2015, the first of which was Mojin – The Lost Legend from director Wu'ershan. Hot on its heels comes Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe, directed by Lu Chuan, better known for more highbrow and critically acclaimed fare such as like City of Life and Death and Kekexili: Mountain Patrol. Like Mojin, the 3D production is a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, headed up by an all-star cast including Mark Chao (Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon), Yao Chen (Monster Hunt), Rhydian Vaughan (Winds of September), Li Chen (Saving General Yang), Tiffany Tang (The Storm Warriors) and Li Guangjie (Drug War).

The film kicks off in 1979, with Mark Chao as Hu Bayi, a young man working on an archaeological dig in the remote Kunlun Mountains aimed at uncovering the origins of a mysterious fossilised species. After a hidden cave is discovered, he volunteers to join a team led by Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang) and his daughter Ping (Yao Chen) to explore, which ends in disaster when monsters attack and a tower with occult powers is somehow activated. The only survivor, Bayi barely escapes with his life, though several years later is informed that the professor has been found wandering in the mountains, and Ping found in a newly opened underground tomb. Rushing to reunite with Ping, he finds her now calling herself Shirley and part of a shady mission to head back into the caves, seeming to have no memory of him or what happened to her.

Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe certainly starts off very similar to Mojin – The Lost Legend, and the opening twenty minutes of the two films are really quite hard to tell apart. Thankfully, Lu Chuan soon heads off in at least a vaguely different direction, and the film develops into more of a fantasy-themed mystery, with some interesting ideas concerning the ghostly tribe and their origins, and some decent tension involving the identity and motivations of femme fatale figure Shirley. With less comedy relief and slapstick than Mojin, the film nevertheless doesn't take itself too seriously, and Lu does a good job of balancing intrigue and a sense of old-fashioned adventure, helping to keep things engaging throughout. Sadly, the film is let down somewhat by some pretty thin character writing, with only Shirley really registering, Hu Bayi and the others being sketchy and bland at best. Although the cast all turn in perfectly acceptable performances and do their best to make their characters likeable, there's no punch or emotional depth, something which does undermine the final act.

Given his past films, Lu may seem like an odd choice of director for what;s essentially a piece of multiplex fare, though he's generally successful in adapting his approach to a more audience-friendly form, while retaining a semblance of his more weighty and sombre style. Indeed, one of the better things about Ghostly Tribe, and which sets it apart from Mojin and others of its type is its cultural grounding, Lu subtly evoking the period and political setting to pleasing effect. This isn't always a perfect fit with the film's fantasy elements, at times suggesting a missing level of social commentary or metaphor, though in the earlier stages in particular it works well, and there are moments which recall Lu's earlier works here and there.

The special effects and set pieces take centre stage unsurprisingly, and Lu Chuan shows himself as capable as any at helming action, with the opening scenes and the last third of the film boasting some impressive sequences and battles. Though the effects lose a lot of their impact on the small screen and away from 3D, there's a fun sense of imagination and plenty of excitement, with lots of creatures running wild and trying to get their claws on the cast. The film is also very strong visually, with some gorgeous, sweeping landscapes in the style of Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, and though there's an overuse of slow motion the eye candy value is high throughout.

It's always a bit worrying when a director of critically acclaimed films of substance like Lu Chuan takes on something more commercial, and so it's a relief to find that Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe is one of the better Chinese blockbusters of late. Though unlikely to be as well-regarded as City of Life and Death and other entries on his CV, Ghostly Tribe at least doesn't do any damage to Lu's reputation as one of China's more interesting filmmakers, and the sequel(s) mooted by its ending are by no means an unwelcome prospect.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

Editor's Pick of "Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015) (Blu-ray) (2D + 3D) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
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May 25, 2016

Lu Chuan blows out the light
In 2014, two film adaptations of Zhang Muye's best-selling tomb-raiding fantasy novel series Ghost Blows Out the Light were greenlit by different film production companies holding rights to different volumes of the novel. Thus, we had the curious competitive situation of two big-budget, all-star movies based on the same novel simultaneously in production and both slated for a 2015 release – Lu Chuan's Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe and Wu'ershan's Mojin - The Lost Legend. Mojin had the edge cast wise with the marquee names of Aloys Chen, Huang Bo and Shu Qi, but Chronicles had a more intriguing name at the helm in Lu Chuan.

The auteur behind controversial masterpieces Kekexili and City of Life and Death, Lu seemed an odd choice for an epic fantasy adventure based on a populist novel with an established fanbase. The situation, though, was actually somewhat similar to the run-up to his previous The Last Supper, which went into production around the same time as another film about the Feast at Hong Gate (Daniel Lee's White Vengeance). For that match-up, Lu Chuan turned his first commercial costume film on a safe historical subject into a moody, mesmerizing piece that reinterpreted one of the most famous events of Chinese history with subversive themes.

Considering his past body of work, it really shouldn't be too surprising then that Lu Chuan took Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe in his own different direction. How different? I haven't read the novel, but let's just say that after watching the movie, Zhang Muyue filed a lawsuit accusing Lu Chuan and production company China Film Group of violating the integrity of his work. Chinese netizens also lambasted the film and mocked it as a tomb-raiding movie with no tomb-raiding. If you're a fan of the original novel, Mojin is definitely the more faithful adaptation of choice, on top of being a generally entertaining and audience-friendly blockbuster that was very well-received in China. If you're going in with no prior expectations from the novel, however, Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe is arguably even more entertaining and intriguing thanks to its fantastical monsters and mysteries.

Using newspaper clippings and stock footage to create its faux history, Chronicles begins in 1979 at Kunlun Mountains where our hero Hu Bayi (Mark Chao) joins an expedition led by archaeologist Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang) to investigate strange fossils of mysterious creatures. The expedition leads them to another realm holding creatures, curses and a Demon Pagoda that houses the secrets of the Ghostly Tribe – a tower that for some reason Hu Bayi and Professor Yang's daughter Yang Ping (Yao Chen) together can unseal. The entire expedition gets wiped out except for Hu Bayi who miraculously survives. A few years pass with Hu Bayi growing increasingly bad-looking hair while learning more about the Ghostly Tribe at his library post under the watchful eye of a mysterious librarian (a bald Li Chen). In the meantime, Yang Ping and Professor Yang both return from the dead and unknown giant creatures destroy an outpost town. Bureau 749, the government agency investigating the incidents, sends an expedition team that includes Yang Ping and Hu Bayi back to Kunlun Mountain to get to the bottom of it all.

Chronicles builds its own set of otherworldly mythologies and shifty characters revolving around the murky enigma of the Ghostly Tribe and the Demon Pagoda. Many of the story's details won't make much sense as they're happening because everything is shrouded in an inexplicable mystery. Character establishment is also on the weak side – Mojin does better in this respect – as the central characters seem to have more secrets than personality traits, and some main supporting cast members are expendable including Tiffany Tang, as a Bureau 749 agent with few lines and no character arc, and Daniel Feng in the important-in-the-book role of Wang Kaixuan.

What Chronicles lacks in character development, it makes up for with narrative development and dazzling visuals. The story all eventually falls into place according to its own mystical logic, and Lu Chuan has a firm grasp of pacing such that the roundabout mystery moves along briskly between action and revelations. Though nowhere as accomplished or thought-provoking as the director's previous films, Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe is effective as a strangely suspenseful and atmospheric action fantasy that keeps you guessing about what comes next while also grabbing attention with kaiju-looking creatures and surprisingly good special effects. That the film managed to incite such strong reactions for departing from the source material just goes to show that even when playing by commercial genre rules, Lu Chuan manages to upset the norm.

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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