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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ART NEVER SLEEPS: An Interview With THR3GUYS

My latest big interview comes from none other than three members of the internationa multi-crafted action photography and film team based in China, thr3guys.

From L to R: J. Cheung (a.k.a. Cryptik Soul), Temur Mamisashvili and Kamil Janowski

I first came across this group a little after I started taking a closer look at some photos being shared on Instagram by martial arts actor and stunt performer Xin Wuku. These photos would eventually be part of a Roger Corman production that thr3 founder and member, J. Cheung would be co-starring in called Fist Of The Dragon, slated for a December release.

Since then, as I learned more about the thr3guys and their collaborations, I fortunately got to meet the demand to hopefully get some questions answered when I was opted for an interview by J., who also serves as action choreographer, stuntman and actor with photographer and visual stylist, Kamil Janowski, and the crew's newest member, actor, stuntman and action choreographer, Temur Mamishasvili. Common sense dictated that there was no way in any universe that saying "no" would be an acceptable answer. So, naturally, destiny called, and I answered. They each responded to as many questions as they could at their own discretion since most of the answers that are written basically coincide with each other's own thoughts and feelings, which I find to be an admirable and unifying trait. Plus, this was a chat interview and these guys tend to be busy, but in a good way. ;-)


As they continue to grow, some people will wonder what to think when the "thr3guys" pop in conversation from here on. For J., Temur and Kamil, it defines things like implementing artful creativity in a new and fresh way by pushing boundaries. One example of this was working to help evolve their style of capturing dynamic martial arts moves in action-still photography, making innovative changes in the process. Since photography is one of Kamil's strongest suits, I incorporated this with an inquiry with him about what made thr3guys-photography so unique:

Kamil: Martial arts photography has existed since beginning of photography, so what we are doing is nothing new. We are just trying to evolve what's already has been done, a little like the film industry as well. If you look at the evolution of action and martial arts films you will notice that the use of camera angles and the speed of things happening in the frame has changed. That is exactly what me and J. wanted to do from the first moment we meet, it's all about a fresh approach.

Full contact looks great in stills and in film, and it also allows me to use so many more angles, something you can not do when you do full contact where you have to "fake" it with angles so it LOOKS real. With a full contact photo shoot I can shoot straight on, from below or even straight down from above. It opens so many new possibilities for experimentation and visual fun.


So, what makes our action photography so unique and outstanding? To be absolutely honest with you, I am not entirely sure. As I mentioned before, it could definitely be the new and fresh approach and I have a tendency to dramatize everything with angles, weather, light and colour. I am also a music and documentary photographer, and I always try to combine that genre of photography into the thr3 action photography.

Also, I have the pleasure to work with some amazing people like J., Temur, Chloe Bruce, etc. They have a very similar vision and are not afraid to push them selves to achieve some great and stunning visuals.

For Temur, thr3guys is also relative to important things like teamwork, respect and inquistive growth among each other, to which Kamil adds a deeper definitive meaning regarding as an extended family, networking as a unit invested in commitment, trust, fun, creating photographic, filmic magic and more. All these results probably would not have happened if not for a chance encounter between Kamil and J. while working at the same retail outlet many years ago. I discuss this and more in the following exchange:

FCSyndicate: Describe what it was like when you all met. What were the first impressions like?

J.: Well, we all met at different times. With Kamil, I met him eight years ago, and my impression on him wasn't anything. But as soon as we started talking over ideas about fusing photography with aerial movements, we instantly clicked. Then from there, Kam and I joined forces together and built up thr3guys.

With Temur, he sent me his demo reel, and he showed his interest in working with us. I saw the skills he possessed and offered a spot for him on the team when he came to Hong Kong. When we all sat down, we clicked like we knew each other for years.

Wouldn't you agree Temur?


Temur: It was only one month ago that we've met in person and I felt very welcome into the thr3guys family. I loved the ideas and plans they had and I thought I found what I was looking for. And I agree with J., we really clicked and our vision was right on spot, even though we were individually very different.

Kamil: Meeting J. was cool. We both were new at our job in a retail shop, so it was nice to have a chat with someone. I think we clicked pretty quickly as we had similar interests as to spectacular aerial moves, photography and film. After the first framework in one of London's SoHo backstreets, thr3guys was born.

FCSyndicate: How long have each of you been involved in your respective fields? (Martial arts, film, producing, music, photography, etc.)

J.: I've been doing Martial Arts for over twenty years, and ten years with music (rapping) and movies.

Temur: Martial arts for twenty-seven years, and I did stunts since I was sixteen years old. Plus, films as an actor for six years
.

Kamil: I registered as freelance photographer in 2005, so it has been eight years I have been snapping away as professional. Video is something I always wanted to do as well, that is something that I started to do when I came to Hong Kong some seven months ago.

FCSyndicate: What were you all doing before thr3guys started?

J.: Before the thr3, I was, and still am a battle rapper and recording artist, collaborating with artists from all over America and Asia.

Kamil: I was doing loads of boring things. You know, by the end of the day you have bills and rent to pay. But I was also doing loads of photography through my company Kamil M. Janowski Photography. Focusing on Alternative Fashion, Documentary and Music Photography (Which I am still doing).

Prior to joining the thr3, Temur was also a member of the Soviet Wushu team. He explains his experiences in taking his talents from sports to film from a young age and on:

Temur: That was very long time ago. I was a wushu team member from when I was thirteen to sixteen, then the soviet collapsed, so did we. :) Then, I became part of Georgian team. It was the best time of my childhood: Lots of hard work, traveling and fun. Training nine hours a day-very strict old school Chinese way. Kept me out of the streets though.

With films, I did couple of stunt double jobs back in Soviet Georgia. Nothing major, but I was mad excited, fearless, and very brave. I felt like I was Jackie Chan! Then when I was twenty two, I moved to New York. New place, no English, no money, had to work hard as a dishwasher, then busboy, etc...

So didn't have much time for anything, but I kept training, then got a job as a martial arts coach as my English improved. Then in 2004, I started training in Shaolin Kung Fu with ex Shaolin monk Zhang Li Peng, and we started doing films. And that's when I started acting besides being a stuntman. I felt like I am made for action films, and my dreams were coming true! So that's what it felt like, for a little bit. :)

While researching for this interview, I learned even more about the business relationships between the thr3 and B&E Productions, a seperate company owned by multifaceted martial arts cinema figure, author, writer and film expert, Bey Logan whose works are loaded with a slate of upcoming goodies, including Borderland, Garuda 7, and Temur's current area of focus, Lady Bloodsport. More on some of these titles a little later, but in talking film, we also delved a bit into some favorites shared by the thr3, and memorable collaborative projects:

FCSyndicate: What are some favorite films that you all share in common? (And what are the worst?)
J.: Even though I practice Martial Arts and do action movies, to be honest, my favorite films are horror flicks as they are the base of my raps.

But if I have to state martial arts flicks, I say Fist Of Legend, Legend of the Fist, Ong Bak, Tom Yum Goong, Tiger Cage 2, Iron Monkey, In the Line of Duty 4... The list of movies from me can go on for days.


Kamil: If I start on films I like and dislike I will sit here for a week. It's not that easy as I watch films both as an escape from reality, as an inspiration and also as research. But I think everyone will agree, I'm looking for big, minimal and powerful visuals; a bit like The House of Flying Daggers and Fearless.

FCSyndicate: What was your first big collaboration?

Kamil: As Temur is "fresh of the boat", we haven't had the pleasure to work on a big collaboration with him yet. Soon to be changed.

I believe first real collaboration was back in London, with the awesome Chloe Bruce (pictured below as Chun Li). It was a great and weird day. Weird in a way that the weather was constantly changing, with some occasional rain but amazing sky with heavy clouds. Awesome! You can see that in the stills from that day. Yeah, it was an awesome day.


Temur mentions in reply to my question, the upcoming Lady Bloodsport as his first big collaborative project. Bringing the film up for a brief moment, Temur explains how he observes the casting process, and what he saw in actresses Jet Tranter and Selina Lo that made them premier choices for the film, and more:

FCSyndicate: What goes into casting for a film? What do you look for most and least?

Temur: Casting is interesting, it's like auditions for American idol. For Lady Bloodsport, we are looking for female actors with martial arts skills. Producer Bey Logan tests their acting skills and J and I martial arts skills, ones they chosen they have to attend our training sessions to work on choreography and stunt skills. In the process we will decide who will make it to the final cast.

Selina Lo and Jet Tranter

Temur (cont'd): Jet and Selina are incredibly talented martial artists. We haven't met them yet in person, but we've studied their work and they fit the role.

Jet is a very passionate hard working girl, and even though she is not in Hong Kong, she is very much involved in our production progress. She will be playing a very cocky, strong MMA fighter.
Selina is a star of LB and she has great martial arts skills to back that up. She will be playing beautiful girl next door, trained by Master Wai to compute in kumite.

Some of the cast members' martial arts skills not on same level as them, and we are working really hard to make them look like real fighters. Jet and Selina are what you call full package. And I am looking forward working with them.

FCSyndicate: How high are the expectations now, compared to when thr3guys initially started?

Kamil: Speaking for myself, my expectations are much higher now then before. I ( and J... ;)) push myself in the technical and visual creations of each image and new project. I expect everyone to push themselves to the limit, every time.
FCSyndicate: I understand one of the projects you all are currently working on is the Damon Dash film God Never Sleeps. How did you meet?

J.: With Damon Dash, we all met him when he came to Hong Kong with his team for the Adidas Gallery opening. He stopped by the office to talk with Bey about film projects, and after his meeting, I decided to freestyle (rap) in front of him and his team. They were so impressed that they wanted to shoot a little promo with me in it, so we all decided to shoot a mini music video to one of my freestyle songs called "Dead Silence".
Damon was so amazed at how professional we were (even though we only had a day to come up with everything).
He then approached me and the team about "God Never Sleeps", a story which is based around something that I went through in life with gangs, drug dealing and rap.

One other issue I took notice of in befriending the stunt and film industry was the topic of budgets in certain kinds of films. Believe it or not, there are discussions I have partaken in and observed with some indie filmmakers and fight choreographers who share an opinion on some big major Hollywood productions who have take big name stars and make big, blockbuster action films that feature martial arts choreography and make millions of dollars, while other small scale films like The Raid: Redemption eventually achieve the same result. So I was implured to ask the thr3 about their opinion about how important they feel budgets are to a film production. Temur pretty much summed it up for everyone in the chat when he said the following:

Temur: Of course it's better if you have a big budget. With a small budget (like The Raid) you really have to get very creative, lots of pressure though.
With a big budget, you have lots off creative minds working together and that could be a mess too.

If you ever met a celebrity in your life, then you can understand the pure elation, star-strickeness and joyfulness that comes with experiences like that. I was never a major listener of Tony Bennett when I was in high school, but I knew who he was. And I bumped into him, it was a ridiculous moment for me, to say the least, LOL. Meeting superstars, however, was something of a dream for me, being I was just a teenager trying to pursue music at the time. So of course, reflecting on this portion of my life, I decided to build off of it to inquire with the thr3 about some of their most star-studded moments.

J. responded, and in case you have read all the way down and didn't skip anything, congratulations! You're in for some awesome news:

J.: It was a honor to meet Donnie Yen. He's been an inspirational figure to me since childhood, ever since he was doing TV dramas. I was mezmorized with his kicking work on "Flying Tiger SWAT Team" and the movie "Tiger Cage 2". He was the reason why I took up Taekwondo. So, big brother Donnie has played a big part in life.

Bruce Lee has too, but Donnie was the foundation of my kicks.


Meeting Yuen Woo-Ping was great, to sit in front of the greatest Martial Arts Choreographer in Asia was amazing. In that short space of time when we spoke in his office, he taught me alot from his personal experiences.

FCSyndicate: What are some of the projects you guys are currently partaking in right now? Any auditions? Any screenplays in the works? Random ideas?

J: The thr3 are signed to work on the "Lady Bloodsport" project, Damon Dash's "God Never Sleeps", and a short film project by Philippe Joly called "Vor: Trust Me I'm A Thief"... There are others in the pipeline but those at the moment are the ones to look out for". With "Lady Bloodsport" and "God Never Sleeps" going into production very soon, "Fantom" has currently been put on hold. After the two projects ("Lady Bloodsport" and "God Never Sleeps"), if there's time, we'll shoot "Fantom" then.

I have a few friends who are also writers, who feel that 2013 is turning out to be a great year for martial arts cinema. So, aside from the goodies that these awesome fellas will be a part of, I asked the team what films they look forward to this year and J. responded:

J.: I'm looking forward to see big brother Donnie's movie "Iceman Cometh 3D", "The Raid 2" and "Tom Yum Goong 2".

Considering how far Kamil and J. have come in their careers, in addition to adding more experienced members to their team, I thought it would be informative to inquire and hear from the thr3 how they felt after all these years to this day. After moving up from retail to building a brand that promotes influential art, athletic sport and filmic creativity, it's quite astonishing to see such a movement contintue to bloom, and grow, knowing that they are just getting started. In the last inquiry, the team expressed to me their thoughts about the career they are humbled to be a part of:

FCSyndicate: What are some of the more enjoyable aspects of working in the film industry, in your opinions? And what are some of the worst?

J.: To me, the enjoyable aspects are that of learning from others in the trade. A lot of the times I meet great martial artists in the industry from around the world who do a lot of traditional styles or hybrid fighting. I love learning new techinques in which I can incorporate into my own fighting style.

What I least like is when individuals act all big when they know so little. In this industry, there are so many that talk but have nothing to show for.

FCSyndicate: What are some of the lessons that you all have learned along the way?
J.: I learned not to take things for granted and stay humble.

Temur: Agree with J, and that if we work hard, people will recognize our efforts, along with our passion and dedication.

Kamil: Deal with it! Play the game. But also as J. mentioned, be humble and play hard/work hard. Never forget your dreams and your friends, your true friends!





Follow Facebook links for thr3guys 三人組合, Cryptik Soul, Kamil M. Janowski Photography and B&E Productions to stay tuned to the action. And as always, thanks for being a reader.

Thank you thr3guys for taking the time to talk to me! And a special thank you to Kamil Janowski for sending me some great photos to share here for Film Combat Syndicate readers!

Selina Lo Photo Credit: IMDb
Jet Tranter Photo Credit: Super Food Cooking Coach

This article was updated at 5:57pm to correct the context regarding Roger Corman's film and B&E.

"Hit Girl" Juju Chan Set To Compete In The World ITF Championships For Hong Kong In Bulgaria This Summer

Kung Fu action star, dancer, singer and former beauty queen Juju Chan is reportedly heading to Bulgaria to represent this year's World Cup ITF Tae Kwon Do Championships, which will be helf from July 15 through July 21 this summer. In an article posted recently at the Singapore online periodical, Lollipop, Juju stated "I've studied Taekwondo for three to four years and this will be my first time representing Hong Kong in an international competition...I've dreamt of being an athlete since I was a child so I will definitely do my best."

Since 2008, Chan has garnered several credits as actress, supporting actress and producer in films like The Other End Of The Gun, The Young Boxer, and the upcoming Roger Corman film Fist Of The Dragon, the latter starring Josh Thomson, Ellary Porterfield, Daniel Whyte and Maria Tran.

I rarely cover sports news since I can't keep up in course of the season. But considering the recent film news, I also want to mention that Chan and Tran recently shared the screen as two sexy, down and dirty leading action ladies in Hit Girls, a popular martial arts action comedy produced, edited and co-directed by Tran and filmmaker Adrian Castro, which was the result of a successful crowdfuding campaign late last year. Check it out below to get a glimpse of Juju's moves and look out for further updates on Fist Of The Dragon amd other projects, and subscribe to Maria's channel as well!

Feel free to share your thoughts on Chan's latest happenings in the comment section below.

*To learn more about the ITF schedule where you can find downloadable .pdfs with detailed information, click HERE.

Alexander Skarsgard In Talks To Star In THE CROW Reboot, Not Tom Hiddleston

I was never a huge viewer of the hit show, True Blood. Point in fact, I don't see a reason to start watching since I have pretty much missed everything since the episode, LOL. But apparently there are people who love actor Alexander Skarsgârd, including the people looking to cast him as the lead in the upcoming reboot of The Crow to be directed by F. Javier Gutierrez.

In an article on Monday from Twin Cities by Chris Hewitt promoting three new movies set to release this year featuring Skarsgârd, the actor spoke about how he playing characters named "Eric" in relation to his character on True Blood, saying "After playing Eric the vampire for seven months on 'True Blood,' I'm always thinking, 'What's the incentive for me to play another character who is just Eric with a different name but the same personality?'...I do read a lot of scripts that are similar to Eric, but they're just not interesting to me."

I suppose it won't be too boring for the actor if, indeed, he is chosen to take after the titular role of "Eric Draven", played by the late great Brandon Lee. The film originally released in 1994 from helmer Alex Proyas and garnered international success, spawning three more films, plus a television series. Actors Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper and James McAvoy were each tapped as potential names for the lead role since the film was announced several years ago. In recent reports, actor Tom Hiddleston was reported to be up for the role after perfoming his own make-up test at a dinner with producers, an update that has since been deemed as "blown way out of proportion".

Dunno what to make of that exactly. :-/

The remake is being penned by Jesse Wigutow, and is being produced by Jeff Most, Ryan Kavanaugh and Edward R. Pressman, with Tucker Tooley, Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Dan Farah serving as executive producers. Filming is expected to start this fall, so we should get some casting news as the year rolls on.

Photo Credit: Hot Ink Reviews

Awkward Table Talk, Some Jaw Dragging, And A Hot Skillet To The Face In New Clips For ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Three new clips have been made available this week to help showcase what awaits fans of director Nicolas Winding Refn for the upcoming July 19, 2013 release of the action crime drama, Only God Forgives, from Radius/TWC. I love a good martial arts movie, but drama is a plus....and boy oh boy, is there DRAMA!

And considering what I have seen in the last three trailers for the film, I am happy to see this film taking off in the press as much as it is.

I do look forward to the early reviews, though, pending the film's screening during the Cannes festival on May 22. So, we will have a good idea about what have coming by then. For now, if you haven't seen the clips already, here they are, with French subs included.

The film stars Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart, Vithaya Pansringarm, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam and Tom Burke.




SYNOPSIS
Ten years ago in Bangkok Julian killed a cop and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty.

When Julian's brother kills a prostitute, the police reaches out to retired cop Chang, known as the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughters murderer, then restores order by chopping off the man's right hand.

Julian's mother Jenna, the head of a powerful criminal organization, arrives in Bangkok to collect her son's body. She orders Julian to find his killers and raise hell.

Increasingly obsessed with the Angel of Vengeance, Julian challenges him to a boxing match, hoping that by defeating him he might find spiritual release but Chang triumphs. A furious Jenna plots revenge and the stage is set for a bloody journey through betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.





Ken Watanabe Gets An Offer He Can't Refuse In UNFORGIVEN (Yurusarezaru Mono)


I have always enjoyed Ken Watanabe's film performances ever since he starred in The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise back in 2003. Since then, I've been fascinated by the possibilities of roles he could play in future Hollywood productions. That said, fans of Japanese cinema may want to catch on to his latest film, Yurusarezaru Mono, directed by Sang Il-Lee.

The film is a remake of the 1992 award-winning western picture, Unforgiven, which starred and was directed by Clint Eastwood, along with Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris co-starring. And while Sang's 2013 remake looks more dramatic than anything, the film is said to be a jidaigeki samurai re-imagining. It sounds and looks pretty bold, and I can't wait to see it.

Sang Il-Lee film the movie late last year with star Ken Watanabe in the lead role, along with Yuga Yagira, Koichi Sato and Jun Kunimura. The film will be released in Japan on September 13, 2013.

SYNOPSIS:


The story is set in Hokkaido in 1880, a time of increased pioneering in the area after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate. Ken Watanabe stars as a long-retired samurai named Jubee Kamata who is now living a quiet secluded life with his children.

Jubee was once a famous assassin in Kyoto who killed at the behest of the Edo government. After the decisive Battle of Hakodate, he slipped away and fled to the north to escape the new government. Ten years ago, he gave up his sword for his late wife, but poverty causes him to be lured out of retirement by a particularly large bounty.


Click HERE to view the previous teaser from last year. Then check out the latest teaser in the embed below, courtesy of Twitchfilm.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Juan Manuel Olmedo Is Sworn To Vengeance In The Second Teaser For JUSTICIA PROPIA

Over the weekend, Argentina kicked the internet's ass into an elevator shaft, threw a grenade at it and blew it up with a new, ridiculously fun action teaser for director Sergio Mastroberti's martial arts action crime thriller,
Justicia Propia
. Juan Manuel Olmedo stars, produces, choreographs and performs the brutal and pulse pounding, vengeance-driven action that audiences will be waiting for upon the film's release sometime between now and early June.

Tonight, we now have a second teaser with new, dramatic footage depicting the set up for what promises to be a very fruitful international revenge thriller. English subtitles are now available, continuing this week's campaign showing what the filmmaking geniuses over at Stuntfighter Producciones are all about! Check it out at the bottom of the page, and if you haven't begun following the film on Facebook or Twitter, then get to it!

SYNOPSIS:
Diego Ponce (Juan Manuel Olmedo) is an experimented special force agent, who was always in charge of the most dangerous and difficult missions, such as hostage situations, counterterrorism, infiltration, etc. When a problem cannot be solved with the conventional ways, he was used as a last resort.

After many years of service at the Triple Frontier, Diego returns to his quiet city, wanting to get away from everything that caused him painful experiences, and also to meet again his family: his sister Graciela, his brother-in-law Eduardo and his niece Silvana who loves as she were his daughter.

Upon reaching his neighborhood, he starts serving with the Local Commissioner (Bicho Gómez) who immediately has to deal with him and his background experience.

On the birthday of her niece, on the same night of joy at the reencounter, Silvina is murdered.

Eduardo, full of pain, and knowing the skills of his brother-in-law, asks him to find those responsible without leaving any one alive, whatever it costs...

Diego, wrapped in fury, begins a relentless hunt. In his search, he begins to uncover a vast network of corruption and drug trafficking, where no one is clean.

Determined to discover the murderers of his niece, Diego faces a terrible truth...


The New WonderCon/CinemaCon Trailer For PACIFIC RIM


Warner Bros recently unveiled a Wondercon/CinemaCon trailer for the upcoming film, Pacific Rim, from director Guillermo Del Toro. I gotta say, as much as Ron Pearlman and I (and a million other people, lol) wish he would make Hellboy 3, as frustrated as I am, I still have a soft spot for this awesome filmmaker. He has a great and intricate vision for all of his movies. But even more, Del Toro knows how to ante up, take that vision, throw it on a grill and fire that bastard up to a nice, delicious flavor, with just the right special sauce to boot!

SYNOPSIS:
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.


I friggin love this guy.

Check out the embed from ComingSoon.net. The film opens in 2D and 3D, and in IMAX on July 12, 2013, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Brad William Henke and Diego Klattenhoff.

Click HERE to view the trailer on Youtube.

Ryuhei Kitamura Confirms VERSUS 2

According to several reports forwarded from Nippon Cinema everyone's action filmmaking fan favorite, Ryuhei Kitamura is going to start on Versus 2, the third installment to the Down To Hell franchise that led to the blockbuster success low-budget Japanese cult fan favorite, Versus, which starred Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro Arai, Minoru Matsumoto, Kazuhito Ohba, Takehiro Katayama, Ayumi Yoshihara,Shōichirō Masumoto, Toshiro Kamiaka, Yukihito Tanikado, Hoshimi Asai, Ryosuke Watabe and Motonari Komiya.

At a recent premiere for his new action horror film, No One Lives starring Luke Evans, Kitamura tells us “The lead actor [Tak Sakaguchi] is retired, but I’ll get him to make a comeback. He’ll do it if I do it.”.

This is by far, the best news I have caught in YEARS. Ryuhei Kitamura is what drew me into a wider range of Asian cinema back when I was in college. I fell in love with Kitamura's unique blend of zombie horror and quirky comedy with Hong Kong-stylized choreography, chanbara-style filmmaking and swordplay, and explosive machine gun battles that were featured in the first movie. So when news broke of Tak Sakaguchi announced his retirement, it was very confusing given his previous statements to Monster Attack Team about making a Death Trance 2.

In the past thirteen years, I bought at least four copies of this movie, and paid a LOT more for the two-disc japanese version of the film to get a glimpse of all the BTS goods that this film offered. I since gave away a few copies, but the Japanese one is mine...all mine.

At any rate though, I guess this puts the issue to rest for now. And I seriously hope Sakaguchi will do this movie. Even if the film will likely get a new cast, his role will continue the franchise's pure authenticity and overall aesthetic look and appreciative value for the character he became most notable for at the start of his career, Prisoner KSC2-303. (FUN FACT: The same character was also brought as a cameo at the end of Kitamura's 2003 "DUEL" shortfilm entry, Aragami with actors Takao Osawa and Masaya Kato who just turned 50)

I must add that I would not necessarily call Sakaguchi's retirement "false alarms" or anything. I am sure that if Sakaguchi retires, it would probably for a good reason, and I trust that the people from whom I source these updates know what they are talking about, as important as validity is; Though heartbreaking as it may be, I would totally respect Sakaguchi's decision. And I for one love Kitamura's work anyway.

But rest assured, if there was ever going to be one more film Sakaguchi makes, it HAS to be Versus 2. The fans deserve it, and we have waited long enough. Kitamura wants it. I want it. We all want it. And I think I can speak for most of us when I say we will all be forever thankful if he did.

So for old-time's sake, let's make this movie happen!

No One Lives will open in theaters on May 10, 2013.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MASAYA!

Photo Credits: Lunch, Wikipedia, SFX.co.uk

New Promo Footage For SNOWPIERCER


Bong Joon-ho directs the upcoming summer 2013 release sci-fi action adventure, Snowpiercer, from C.J. entertainmemt. The film features an international cast including Sung Kang-ho (The Host), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jamie Bell (Jumper), Ewen Bremmer (The Rundown), Allison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Tilda Swinton (Constatine), Octavia Spencer (The Help), John Hurt (Hellboy) and Ed Harris (The Rock).

Based on a screenplay co-written by Bong along with Kelly Masterson, SNOWPIERCER is the live-action adaptation of the French graphic novel, "Le Transperceniege" by Benjamin Legrand and Jacques Lob, which takes place in the year 2035 where world war has thrown the planet into a snow-covered post apocalyptic state, forcing Earth's last survivors to board the high-tech Snowpiercer train. When their worlds collide, the survivors, divided by economic class, face an ironic turn of events causing their last best hope to become a dangerous and deadly battleground that will endanger what remains of humanity.

The Weinstein Company have claimed U.S. distribution rights, so hopefully we will see a trailer. Meantime, here is some BTS/film footage for the upcoming thriller.

Click HERE if the embed fails to load.

The Final Trailer For FAST AND FURIOUS 6

Universal Pictures has unleashed a new and last trailer before the May 24, 2013 release of Fast And Furious 6. The stakes are high and with more danger ahead as the story takes an epic road that sees Dom and his crew fighting for the family he once knew, up against a crooked former major and his team of special ops soldiers.

Fast And Furious 6, directed by Justin Lin, combines a great cast, fast cars, pure hand-to-hand combat and explosive stunt action that sets up as a possible first-half to a seventh installment with helmer James Wan. Actors Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky, Gal Gadot, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, Sung Kang, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Luke Evans, Gina Carano and Joe Taslim all star in this high octane action adventure thriller.

Click HERE to view the trailer directly on Youtube, and get your tickets early!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

FILM OF THE WEEK-4/29/13: THE PUNISHER (1989)


SYNOPSIS:

Frank Castle, a veteran cop who loses his entire family to a mafia car bomb, has become THE PUNISHER... a shadowy, invincible fighter against evil who lives for total revenge on his mob enemies. Only his ex-partner believes Castle survived the blast. Lashing out from a labyrinth of subterranean sewers, THE PUNISHER leads a heavily armed raid into a world of brutal crime and savage retribution. A world where only one thing is certain...the guilty will be punished.

Several years ago, Dolph Lundgren started making an even bigger name for himself, appearing in Sylvester Stallone's all-star action blowout, The Expendables, and director John Hyams's re-envisioning of the classic Deveraux vs. Scott rivalry in the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, followed by Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning with Scott Adkins in the lead. And still, after decades of a continually lucrative career in the film industry, Lundgren is taking on Asia with Ong Bak's Tony Jaa and David Ismalone, along with Conan Stevens in their new 1950's western martial arts action adventure, A Man Will Rise.

Yes, it seems the years have been good to Lundgren and action fans everywhere. He is one of the best action heroes and film icons who continue to live for his fans, doing what he does best. And if you have ever been an action fan in your entire life, full-fledged sickness he dispersed in bringing The Punisher from comic book to the big screen for the first time in 1989, long before Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson were cast for later films reinterpreting the dark hero.

The Punisher is one milestone of many that makes everything we love about action movies of the 80's and 90's so memorable, featuring a great cast and a phenomenal and iconic film with incredible set pieces, with explosive gun battles, fisticuffs, and some of the most lethal femme fatale action ever seen on film. Director Mark Goldblatt serves us the action starring Lundgren along with Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto and Brian Rooney.

There has since been many versions of the film made available on DVD and Blu Ray; As recently as the beginning of April, a newer version was released on BluRay in the U.K. Last week however, I caught onto something that Dolph declared "could well become the definitive PUNISHER edition".

Here is the run down of the newest version, available from the German website, D&T.


•BLU-RAY: R-rated version (89min) & uncut version (90min)
•DVD: Unrated Version (86min)
•Bonus DVD: Workprint (about 94 minutes)
•20-page booklet by Thomas Witzler
•Exclusive produced audio commentary with Mark Goldblatt
•Gag Reel (about 6 minutes)
•Gallery with rare promotional material





I know what you are thinking, and I feel your pain. So hopefully you know people who know people who can speak German and send you a PAL copy and a Region B disc player. ;-)

In the meantime, Lundgren is also heading back to the big screen soon for his third appearaence with Adkins in the Eric Styles film, Legendary: Tomb Of The Dragon, which is set for a 3D screening at Cannes this May, according to a report from Martial Arts Movie Junkie.

Styles tweeted a photo as he announced completion of audio mixing on Sunday, thus signaling the film's near post-production completion.



Check back for news updates on Legendary, and other stories. And do get your copy of The Punisher in the link above if you can.

By the way, happy belated birthday Eric!

The New Teaser For JUSTICIA PROPIA Shows Argentina Knows Action

The guys over at Stunt Fighter Producciones have been quite busy within the past year working on a goregously explosive martial arts action crime thriller straight from the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina called JUSTICIA PROPIA from director Sergio Mastroberti.

With post production still on-going, in addition to a few more trailers on the way prior to the film's release, a new teaser is online. And it is chock-full-o-action, pure grit, adrenaline-induced fight sequences, and explosions.... explosions everywhere!.

Actor Juan Manuel Olmedo who stars as the lead, also served as producer, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer for the film. I will have a lot more work in between now and the next few months as the year progresses, but I will be looking forward to talking to Juan in the hopeful near future to discuss the film, his career and the future of Stunt Fighter Producciones.

In the meantime, check out the premise below, and the first footage from the film!



SYNOPSIS:
Diego Ponce (Juan Manuel Olmedo) is an experimented special force agent, who was always in charge of the most dangerous and difficult missions, such as hostage situations, counterterrorism, infiltration, etc.

When a problem cannot be solved with the conventional ways, he was used as a last resort.

After many years of service at the Triple Frontier, Diego returns to his quiet city, wanting to get away from everything that caused him painful experiences, and also to meet again his family: his sister Graciela, his brother-in-law Eduardo and his niece Silvana who loves as she were his daughter.

Upon reaching his neighborhood, he starts serving with the Local Commissioner (Bicho Gómez) who immediately has to deal with him and his background experience.

On the birthday of her niece, on the same night of joy at the reencounter, Silvina is murdered.

Eduardo, full of pain, and knowing the skills of his brother-in-law, asks him to find those responsible without leaving any one alive, whatever it costs...

Diego, wrapped in fury, begins a relentless hunt. In his search, he begins to uncover a vast network of corruption and drug trafficking, where no one is clean.

Determined to discover the murderers of his niece, Diego faces a terrible truth...

"Own Righteousness" is an action thriller, suspense and martial arts film, with constant adrenaline and breakneck pace. Directed by Sergio Mastroberti and starring Juan Manuel Olmedo, it was shooted on locations in San Martin and Caseros (Buenos Aires province).

Olmedo and Mastroberti are seeking to give birth to the genre action / martial arts with national seal. To achieve this, they joined STUNT FIGHTERS trained by the protagonist of the film and also they joined to several of the best martial artists in the country.There are two ways to do action movies.

"Own Righteousness", will show you his own...


Click HERE to view the teaser directly on Youtube.

UNVEILED: The Raid 2's Julie Estelle As HAMMER GIRL

From a 20-man toilet brawl to a mud-soaked prison right, heralded action filmmaker Gareth Huw Evans has been keeping his fans and followers posted with all kinds of tweets and blurbs detailing the production of his latest sequel to the 2012 Indonesian urban-martial arts action hit, Seruban Maut, known in the U.S. and abroad as The Raid: Redemption.

With the release of new photos since production began in January, the expectations for this sequel have only been growing higher and higher. The action and scope of the upcoming film will be much larger, compared to the first. Gareth Evans explains in a statement from last year:

“We’re expanding the universe now, so it’s not going to be set in the building any more, it’s going to be out on the streets, and so it’s a much bigger film, it’s a much more ambitious movie. We’ve got some big action setpieces lined up.”

Currently titled Berandal (a.k.a. Punk or Thug) and slated to be titled internationally as The Raid: Retaliation, the story is set to take place directly after the events of the first film, with the cast that includes returning actors such as international action star Iko Uwais, Marsha Timothy, Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad, Putra Arifin Scheunamann, Roy Marten, Cecep Arif Rahman Matsuda Ryuhei, Endo Kenichi,Kitamura Kazuki and Julie Estelle, whose enigmatic role as the Hammer Girl (pictured above) has kept fans on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting a female presence on the Indonesian action scene of an Evans film.

PT Merantau's Ario Sagantorio and XYZ Films's Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, Aram Tertzakian and Twitchfilm's Todd Brown are producing the upcoming film, with executive producers Rangga Maya Barack-Evans and Irwan D. Mussry. Uwais will be re-joined by Yahan Ruihan, who appeared opposite Uwais and Redemption co-star Donny Alamsyah as "Mad Dog" in the first film, which garnished several awards for their memorable performances and fight scenes, including the climactic two-on-one fight scene near the end.

Also on board for the sequel is action choreographer Larnell Stovall, whose work includes films such as Dragon Eyes, Undisputed 3: Redemption, Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, both seasons of Mortal Kombat Legacy, and the upcoming film to reboot Mortal Kombat itself.

SYNOPSIS:
Picking up right where the first film ends, The Raid 2 follows Rama (Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force.

Filming on Berandal is expected to finish this June. Stay tuned for some more photos and updates, and follow Gareth Evans on Twitter @ghuwevans.

(Click here for some extra Berandal Cast/Film Info, and bon apetit!)

NINJA TURTLES NEWS: Setting The Record Straight One Year Later


When it comes to anything controversial, people spin things and use the internet to solicit and certify mistruths that have a deeper impact on things. Such as the case with childhood favorite television and film franchises like the upcoming Michael Bay co-produced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (formerly known as Ninja Turtles). And a year later, it seems there is still not enough Turtle Power in the world to prevent this much butthurt over a movie.

Alas, here cometh Michael Bay, again, trying to explain things...AGAIN.

In a statement from Moviefone forwarded by ComingSoon.net, Bay chose to set as much of the record straight regarding the production vision for the film:

There was that quote saying that we’re making [the Ninja Turtles as] aliens. We're not...It’s the ooze! It’s from the original source material. These are from the original writers, and I never went out to correct myself in the press. I do listen to the fans and I do want this to be authentic. I think they’re going to be really happy with this movie. When I see the digital stuff, the turtles look great.

Earlier this month at the MTV Movie Awards, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with actor Alan Ritchson, who is playing the red-banded character, Raphael, to briefly discuss what has been cycling the online rumor mill, saying
"The frustrating thing for me since I've signed on is that you hear that it's already got a reputation,...I think people assume they know what it's going to be about, and those people are wrong. The assumptions, everything you read online is wrong....You want to tell everybody how great it is, and you can't really say why, but it is,"

It has been a year since Bay, TMNT franchise creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, and director Jonathan Libesman (Wrath Of The Titans) started trying to counterpunch rumormongering regarding the film's developing script as the then-tentatively titled "Ninja Turtles", with reports that the titular "heroes in a half-shell" would be turned into "aliens". The film made even more headlines in 2012 with a leaked script that TMNT original co-creator Peter Laird saw and deemed "Unsatisfactory." among other things.

Since then, the script went under a complete rewrite and moved forward with ideas set in place, along with Laird and co-creator Kevin Eastman heavily involved in the project. CinemaCon updates dating back a little over a week ago also somewhat declared that the film would be re-titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, thus hopefully restoring some faith that people would be more comfortable with what Liebesman and company are working hard to put together.

Filming began early April in 2013 and is setting a course for a June 6, 2014 release from Paramount Pictures. Actors Jeremy Howard, Pete Plozek, Noel Fisher, Danny Woodburn and actress Megan Fox will join Ritchson in the cast as Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Master Splinter and reporter/human cohort April O'Neil. Actor Will Arnett is also in the film with an as-of-yet-unspecified role.

The film is based on a screenplay Josh Appelbaum, Andrew Nemec, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and John Fusco.

Can we move on for now, internet? Let's hope so.

Photo Sources: Tmnt Lair, Turtlepedia

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Producer Vipul Shah: COMMANDO 2 Is In The Works!


If the excitement of watching Indian action star Vidyut Jammwal light up the screen in the trailer and subsequent release for director Dilip Ghosh's Commando: A One Man Army wasn't enough, then prepare yourself for even more Kalari-stylized action from writer and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah. According to several sources, the first film has garnered so much success that Shah and Jammwal are now busting out a bigger and larger-scale sequel.

The reporters at Bollywood Life got a first hand reaction from Shah this month, saying "The overwhelming response inspired me! People including the aged and even the women told me that the theme befits a sequel. Also, it’s not about success as much as it is about appreciation. We will of course touch upon an issue that the audience can relate to. The new Commando will be made on broader and better magnitude. Vidyut Jamwal, Pooja Chopra and music director Mannan Shaah will continue to be a part of it and the movie is expected to hit the floors by September,”.

In addition to the two pairing back together along with actress Pooja Chopra, Shah has brought on veteran Indian action star Akshay Kumar to help out with the production. Kumar's film credits include well over 100 film titles, including the film series he is most known for, Khiladi. The Times Of India, Shah says the following:

"According to me, Akshay is the best action hero in the country. He was the most excited when we started 'Commando' with Vidyut and, in fact, we'd have liked Akshay to be more participative in 'Commando'. However, he was too busy. But now in 'Commando 2', we definitely intend to bring Akshay in,"

Mum is the word so far as Shah has only disclosed Kumar's presumably anmounced level of participation as a "supervisor and consultant" for Jammwal who performs all his own stunts and choreographed the action scenes for the first film with his team.

Currently, the action drama titled Bullet Raja is up next on the Jammwal's to-do list, with director Tigmanshu Dhulia as he is also planning on opening his own martial arts school in Kerala where he will not only capitalize off of his film success to bring Indian martial arts to the foreground, but also, to implement his training to teach and empower women. The school is a personal dream of his, to which he pays tribute to his mother.

As for the production of Commando 2, Shah ardently vouches for Kumar and appears to promise something even greater from here on out when the film begins production.

Keep an eye out for future updates on Commando, because it looks like confidence is high here, making this another film bound for other markets, including North America.

Stay tuned folks!

Photo credits: India-Forums, Bollywood Life

Knights Battle The Zombie Apocalypse In The New Trailer For KNIGHT OF THE DEAD

2014 will see the release of writer/director Mark Atkins's upcoming period fantasy zombie swordplay action horror adventure, Knight Of The Dead. The guys over at The Action Elite were contacted recently by actor Jason Beeston who stars in the film along with Dylan Jones, Lee Bennett, and Vivien Vilela.

The film is based on a screenplay co-written by Jeffrey Giles, featuring a genre-bending, gory, sword-wielding, bonecrushing and zombie killing thriller that takes everything you love about knights and chivalry, and feeds it to the zombie army waiting behind your backdoor.

Fan favorites like George R.R. Martin, George A. Romero, Yudai Yamaguchi and Ryuhei Kitamura will love this film. So be sure to keep your antennas up for more info.


SYNOPSIS:

Hunted by assassins, a band of crusading knights escort the Holy Grail through a forbidden valley of black death. What they discover is far more terrifying than the plague. Overrun by hordes of flesh-eating zombies, their only chance for survival is to hack and slash their way to freedom.


Check out the sick trailer HERE or in the embed below!


Photo: Dread Central

New "Green Arrow" Concept Short From THOUSAND POUNDS Shows What Could Have Been


With the CW's live-action superhero television series, ARROW, taking a ratings lead, the series has become a big hit among fans and followers of the DC Comics comic book character. However, long before anyone knew about the television show, the guys over at Thousand Pounds Action Company decided to apply their creative juices to formulate what would likely have been another independent, action-packed fan favorite.

Known for implementing their love for asian culture and action fanfare to their filmmaking luster and genius behind such shortfilm projects as Naruto: Dreamer's Fight, Street Fighter X Tekken, the Takanashi Yasuharu-inspired short fight film, Eleven, and the upcoming fantasy sci-fi martial arts clan warfare series, Clandestine Path, Thousand Pounds Action Company has grown to work some of the best and most talented stunt performers, coordinators and filmmakers in the making. Their latest conceptual video, Earth 3, is exemplary of that, and it goes to show just why it is that the expectations for this independent film company have only gotten higher.

Nick Benseman plays the masked lead in green, while Amy Johnston dons the black cape and cowl as Black Canary. And if you are familiar with the characters, you know where this *could* go (or where it could have gone, at least). Otherwise, watch it, and enjoy. ;-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Trailer For RED 2


Bruce Willis rejoins Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox and Mary Louise-Parker for the explosive action comedy adventure espionage sequel, Red 2, directed by Dean Parisot. Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Neal McDonough and Byung Hun-Lee join the cast of the film, set for release on July 19, 2013 from Summit Entertainment.

SYNOPSIS:
In RED 2, the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they'll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world—and stay alive in the process.



Photo: The Taylor Network

Things Take Form For Marrese Crump's FORMLESS

Prior to the release of the upcoming film, Tom Yum Goong 2, martial arts action performer, stuntman and choreographer Marrese Crump and hip hop artist, writer, actor and director, RZA, have been benefitting off of each other's creativity, brainstorming in Thailand with filmmaker Prachya Pinkaew and fight choreographer Panna Rittikrai. Not a lot has been said since 2010 when things began developing, but for now, details seem to accumulate what will be an upcoming martial arts film production called Formless.

According to the Spanish-language blogspot, Cine de Artes Marcial, filming for the new collaboration starring Crump and directed by Prachya Pinkaew is set to begin this May, three years in the making since Crump began training and choreographing fight scenes along with Rittikrai and several members of the Ong Bak Stunt Team. The film is also being co-written between Crump and Anesti Vega who documented some cool casting details on his official website a few years ago. The names so far confirmed include Crump's Wrong Side of Town co-star Dave Bautista who also shared some screen with RZA in the 2012 film, The Man With The Iron Fists. MMA Champion and newly-signed title defender Anderson Silva is also set to appear in the film, along with Capoiera Mestre Cobra Mansa and Kali Master Ray Dionaldo are also involved in the film, while RZA will set up the film's soundtrack with his protegè, Kinetic 9.

Much of these articles of facts are still in question since it has been a few years, so casting changes may have occured since then. For all things considered, however, it looks like the film is happening. So, hopefully someone much closer to the project will provide some further details about the film.

Meanwhile, Crump and RZA will joined by Tony Jaa, Dan Chupong, Jija Yanin and many more for this year's release of Tom Yum Goong 2, which is slated for a release anywhere between August and December. The facts are still waiting to be confirmed, so let's hope to learn more REAL soon, in addition to an official trailer and poster. And moreover, Rittikrai's latest pairing with Chupong, Vengeance Of An Assassain is currently in production.

Yeesh!

Stay tuned!

The New Teaser For Sono Sion's WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL? Is Online


Twitchfilm reported on Thursday a new trailer for a new film based on a script which director Sono Sion wrote fifteen years ago. Sion apparently has a history of making sick films that fans absolutely love. I still need to see his films myself, including the upcoming manga-based live action take on Tokyo Tribes.

This week however, the action comedy, Why Don't You Play In Hell (Jikogu De Naze Warui) is what we are offered following its September release in Japan, starring Shinichi Tsutsumi, Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaido, Hasegawa Hiroki, Hoshino Gen and comedic actress Tomochika, along with Tak Sakaguchi in what sadly may be one of his last hoorahs on a film set.

SYNOPSIS:

Muto (Jun Kunimura) and Ikegami (Shinichi Tsutsumi) are two gangsters who hate each other, but Ikegami is in love with Muto's actress daughter Michiko (Fumi Nikaido).Meanwhile, Muto attempts to make his wife Shizue's (Tomochika) dream come true which is to have their daughter appear in a movie.

Koji (Gen Hoshino), who is just a passerby, is mistaken for a movie director. Koji then requests to independent film director Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) to cast Michiko as the leading actress in his film. Their situation soon goes completely wrong.


Yikes!

Click HERE if the embed fails to load.


Photo: More Interesting Things

Two Enemies Battle Across Space And Time In The New Short, CHRONO SHOCK: LOST ANGELS

Back in February when I officially started Film Combat Syndicate's official blog, I had the distinct honor of sharing a dialogue with martial arts actor and stuntman, tokusatsu action performer and hero to the tokusatsu fan community, Mark Musashi. In my interview with him, he explained some of his views about his own strides in becoming a filmmaker, saying the following:

Honestly, I think I'm pretty terrible behind the camera. The main reason I started shooting my own stuff was that I just wanted to know how some people can make mediocre performances look amazing. When I was learning how to do stunts, I was always told to be aware of how I look from head to toe. But in the modern way of shooting action, we can mask a lot of the subpar movements with cinematic techniques. I feel that if I do want to work more as a stunt coordinator/choreographer, it is my responsibility to learn all of these tricks to amping up the action. Still, for my own projects I do want to try and strike a balance between keeping things exciting, but still showcasing performances that are worth watching.

Today, Mark turns 36 years young, and he is looking for some honest critiques for his latest independent experimental shortfilm venture, Chrono Shock: Lost Angels, which resembles a cross between the 2008 sci-fi film, Jumper, and the Biting Elbows musical short action short, Bad Mothersomething-or-another (of course that isn't the name, but you get it.).



The shortfilm presents a great concept for an even bigger story, starring Alex Kingi, Solomon Brende and Jason Sweat about two rivals who share a bitter past. Only thing is they end up transporting each other everytime they make physical contact, which is what happens when they start throwing down, spanning a beach, a parking lot, Hollywood boulevard and any place where traffic occurs.

The shortfilm was based on a concept Mark started working on a year ago. And in the past month, he rigourously worked on shooting and editing the film, in addition to writing and directing it. So, a year later, we finally get to have a look at what appears to be a shortfilm slightly ahead of its time.

Very impressive work in my opinion; Though it wasn't littered with a lot of visuals, Chronos Shock certainly does what it intended, which is to take on something new and bold. And you know what? Me likes!

Happy Birthday Mark!

To read my interview with Mark Musashi, click HERE. It is one of my biggest interviews with someone for my blog, and it is an honor to share space with him here.

Click HERE if the embed fails to load.

KING OF THE STREET Hits North America This Summer!


New reports this week forwarded by Martial Arts Movie Junkie and Budomate reveal that Well Go USA has acquired the rights to the Mainland Chinese modern martial arts action drama, KING OF THE STREET, which was originally released in China on July 27, 2012. The film tells the story of an ex-con who is forced to protect an orphanage from a ruthless crimelord.

The film stars Yue Song who co-produced and directed the film with Zhong Lei. Becki Li, Liu Ming, Wang Zaihe, Yang Junping and Hou Xu also star in the film, and is co-produced by Patrick Kong Lingchen. Song also wrote, co-edited and choreographed the explosive, non-wired fight sequences in the film.

KING OF THE STREETS will hit your neighborhood on August 6, 2013 on Blu-Ray and DVD.

SYNOPSIS:
Northern China, the present day. After accidentally killing an opponent at the age of 16, and serving eight years in prison for manslaughter, street fighter-cum-martial artist Yue Feng (Yue Song) is released and finally gets a job with a removals firm. Hearing that the grandmother (Liu Ming) of the man he killed is an impoverished street hawker, he anonymously buys food from her stall to help her.

While doing a removal job for a privately run orphanage, he finds one of the staff is Yi (Becki Li), whom he’d previously helped when she was mugged in a backstreet. As he was also an orphan, Yue Feng starts helping her out in his spare time, and learns the orphanage head, Zhou (Wang Zaihe), is under pressure to sell the land at an unfair price to a ruthless businessman, Li Shao (Yang Junping), for a resort development. Yue Feng finally tracks down his boyhood friend, Hai (Hou Xu), who is now working as an underworld fighter for hire.

He invites Yue Feng to join him but the latter refuses. After Yue Feng fights off all the heavies who come to threaten Zhou, Li Shao agrees to settle the dispute with a fight between one of his own men and Yue Feng. On the day, however, Li Shao breaks the rules by fielding several opponents, including Yue Feng’s best friend, Hai.


Click HERE if the embed doesn't load, and stay tuned for new artwork and a new trailer pending the film's release!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Benedict Cumberbatch's Role Revealed In STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, And Other Spoilers You Will Hate Yourself For If You Look

Geek Tyrant took to its readers on Thursday to share what most Trekkies have been expecting now, given some of the tell-tale signs that have been roaming for sometime now regarding the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness.

According to the article citing a statement from Furious Fanboys, following a screening of the film in Austrailia this week, it has been reported that actor Benedict Cumberbatch, playing the enigmatic villain known only so far until today as John Harrison is actually a reprisal of the character, Khan from the 1982 film, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan.

Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. All that bullshit of him not being Khan and really ‘John Harrison’ was just a cover to hide the truth from moviegoers. Oh, he does go by ‘John Harrison’ in the movie…but that’s not his real name. He reveals his name to Kirk later in the movie.


The character was originally played by the late actor, Ricardo Montalban, who passed away at the age of 88 in January of 2009. The character was known in the classic film as a genetically enhanced superhuman whose lust for vengeance against Kirk was driven by the death of his own family.

If you want to look at some more spoilers, CLICK HERE. (If you are smart, you will do as I did and not look-or just leave the White-out parts alone if you're a little curious. ^_^)

This week also saw the broadcast of the new Japanese spot for the September 13, 2013 Japan release of the film which you can check out either below, or just click HERE if the embed fails to load.

You can also jump below the embed to check out the international release dates listed.