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Heroes of the Golden Mask

Canada / China 2023
produced by
Gordon McGhie, Troy Arthur Taylor, Michelle O'Reilly, Yao Xiaoming, Yong Luo, Tang Xiongxing, Simon Li, Jim Kammerud (executive), Steve Pegram (executive), Chen Yunhua (executive), Zhang Zhihong (executive), Eric Hu (executive) for Golden Image Culture Communication
directed by Sean Patrick O'Reilly
starring the voices of Patton Oswalt, Kiefer O'Reilly, Jayne Eastwood, Byron Mann, Ron Perlman, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Christopher Plummer, Osric Chau, Zeus Mendoza, Sean Patrick O'Reilly, Jack Gillett, Kingston Chan, King Lau, Albert Steven Tsai, Rickie Wang, Michelle O'Reilly, Jett Wu
screenplay by Jim Kammerud, Brian Smith, based on the novel by John Wilson, created by Yao Xiaoming, music by Gordon McGhie, Eric Xin Hu, George Streicher


review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Somewhere in fantasyland, baddie Kunyi (voiced by Ron Perlman), who rides a winged tiger, wants to steal the jade blade that would grant him absolute power from the tree of life situated in King Yufu's (King Lau) palace, but that palace is guarded by the five Heroes of the Golden Mask, led by Jiahao (Byron Mann) and also consisting of his daughter, master archer Li (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), bulky Atlantean Aesop (Patton Oswalt), shapeshifter Zhu (Osric Chau), and Mayan Zuma (Zeus Mendoza). But in their last battle, Jiahao is killed, and with his last breath he sends his daughter out to find a worthy successor - a quest that takes her to modern day New York where the mask directs her to Charlie (Kiefer O'Reilly), a young and orphaned streetkid and thief, and despite her reservations, Li takes Charlie back to her world - but at first, Charlie isn't very interested in becoming a hero for a cause that isn't his, and only when he learns about masks being made of actual gold can he be swayed ... though he really just wants to steal the masks.

Kunyi attacks King Yufu's palace a couple more times, and against all odds Charlie proves to be an asset to the team, as he makes up his lack of experience on the battleground with street smartthat's unheard of in fantasyland. But then Kunyi kidnaps Aesop's mother Helen (Jayne Eastwood), something like a surrogate mum to the whole team, and thus lures the heroes away from the palace, and on this quest Charlie makes good his initial plan, crossing back to his world with his golden mask. But while he abandons his friends in the fantasy realm, he soon runs into trouble in form of his uncle Rizzo (Christopher Plummer), who has mentored and enslaved him as a thief, and who of course wants to get his hands on Charlie's mask. So it's really out of the fire into the frying pan for him while almost certain doom for those he left behind ...


Frankly, this is a film that takes a time to grow on one, as the opening battle with all its superheroics and fantastic beasts seems pretty generic in today's cinematic landscape, but once Charlie's added to the mix, with his character arc being a fish-out-of-water story, the movie really comes into its own. And some pretty wonderful creature designs as well as colourful backdrops make this a feast for the eyes, while nicely fleshed out key characters keep things grounded and relatable, making this a very likeable spectacle of a movie.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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out now on DVD