New On Screen: September

The first Asian superhero hits the big screen and some veteran actors make a comeback this month.

By Yong Shu Chiang        7 September 2021

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Out Now In Cinemas

Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung

A skilled martial artist turns his back on the criminal life he has been groomed for, but the past, inevitably, catches up with Shang-Chi (Liu). After he survives numerous assassination attempts, he seeks the advice of his aunt (played by Michelle Yeoh). He then gets reunited with his estranged sister, and is accompanied by his hapless friend, Katy (Awkwafina), as he confronts his father (Leung), the leader of a terrorist group and the wielder of 10 mystical rings of power.

Simu Liu: A Star-ring Role For Marvel’s Next Big Thing

More people will know who the Kim’s Convenience actor is after the Canadian appears in the latest superhero blockbuster, the first with an Asian central character.

Simu Liu is going to become a household name soon.

As the first Asian leading man in a Marvel franchise movie, the 32-year-old is poised to break out as a true global movie star once his film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, opens worldwide in September 2021.

For those who already know him from the beloved Canadian sitcom, Kim’s Convenience, one of their fresh discoveries from the media hype surrounding him now might be that Liu is not Korean, like his Kim’s character Jung, but is instead Chinese – Liu was born in the city of Harbin.

Having immigrated to Canada as a child, he later garnered a business degree and once worked as an accountant, before deciding to pursue a career in stunt work and in acting.

With his friendly smile and chiselled physique, Liu has also worked as a model. In fact, some of his work, as an “East Asian” face in some stock photos, has gone viral after being discovered by eagle-eyed fans. He has himself publicly poked fun at those photos.

No doubt Liu’s profile started growing when Kim’s Convenience found an international audience thanks to Netflix in 2018, but he also has an impressive list of other credits, including Orphan Black, The Expanse, Yappie, Fresh Off the Boat and the TV adaptation of Taken.

Also a writer and filmmaker, Liu has not been shy with his opinions supporting greater Asian representation in film and television. With his growing fame, perhaps he will soon be able to exert a greater influence in this direction, without any need for super powers.


Out In Cinemas 16 September

Stars: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac

Paul (Chalamet), the heir of House Atreides, has visions of a young woman (Zendaya) who may hold the key to not only his future, but also that of the galaxy. Based on the epic Dune novels by Frank Herbert, this new adaptation by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) sees Paul and his ruling-class family threatened by their enemies on the desert planet Arrakis, home of the most precious known commodity, spice. Amidst the struggle, Paul meets the woman of his dreams.


Out In Cinemas 23 September

Stars: Patrick Tse, Petrina Fung, Lam Suet

The unstoppable passage of time plagues the key characters of this acclaimed first-time feature by director Ricky Ko. At their peak, a once-legendary hitman (Tse) and his former associates (Fung, Lam) were shadowy professionals at the top of their game. Now in the final or penultimate act of their lives, the three fret over the elusiveness of aging with fulfilment and dignity. An absurd solution, one that involves easing the pain of suicidal elders, then comes into view.

Only Murders In The Building

Out 31 August, Disney+

Stars: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez

When three neighbours learn that someone has been killed in their apartment building, they decide to snoop around and conduct their own investigation. The trio, comprising two elderly friends (Martin, Short) and a young woman (Gomez) they are recently acquainted with, also happen to be true crime fans. The men see their amateur investigation as fodder for their true crime podcast. But things take a turn when they get a very real sense of danger closing in.


Out 10 September, Netflix

Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Miku Martineau, Woody Harrelson

A female assassin (Winstead) fails in what would have been her last mission. She then realises that she had been poisoned before the job in Tokyo, and has less than 24 hours to live. Seeking answers, she approaches a trusted contact (Harrelson) and discovers that a yakuza boss might be responsible for her predicament. She then goes on a no-holds-barred rampage to track down and destroy her killer, finding an unlikely ally in the teen daughter (Martineau) of a former target.


Out 24 September, Apple TV+

Stars: Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell

A man who believes that he can predict the future is labelled a subversive and gets caught up in a titanic struggle that spans multiple worlds. In a science-fiction future conceived by the great writer Isaac Asimov, the academic Hari Seldon (Harris) prophesises the fall of the omnipotent Galactic Empire, which has brought peace across the galaxy. As more people begin to follow Seldon’s beliefs, he hatches a plan to preserve scientific knowledge for a future civilisation.