Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
Tai Chi Zero
Tired of movies that are either based on or feel like video games? Then how about a movie that actually incorporates multiple video-game motifs, from life-levels to motion indicators to pop-up data points? Not in the cutesy, self-conscious, Scott Pilgrim way, but naturally, as if such things were part and parcel of kung fu fighting. Lu Chan is the Freak, a prodigy whose very life depends on learning the internally based kung fu practiced in Chen village. The trouble is, they don't teach it to outsiders. Meanwhile, another outsider is seeking to bring modernity to the village via a steampunk railroad-making machine. Toss in random animated sequences, cheek by jowl nu-metal and classical music on the soundtrack, occasional FPS POV, and helpful subtitle IDs for various cast members ("1970s kung fu superstar Leung Siu-lung as Master Dong"), and you have something approaching the cinematic equivalent of watching TV while simultaneously listening to music, chatting online, and playing XBox. 2012.
— Matthew Lickona