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Last week was another busy one, so there were definitely about one or two surprises that came about while researching for this week's Hit List, especially in the wake of New York Comic-Con...
...However, those can wait. The Hit List is back and we're starting this off with a fully-loaded playlist of stunt reels. Comprising the playlist are Alex Lopoka, Eclipse's own Alex Chung, Travor Murray, Jonel Earl, Tang Nguyen, Bryan Grogam, Sam Parham, Mark Elefane, Josh Fried, two electrifying reels from stuntman Sato Kenji, a short cut of the latest production reel from Atom Phly Media, and a stellar montage of Star Wars fan film clips from this year's Lightsaber Choreography Contest!
Time for a music intermission, and setting the record straight is recording artist Demi Lovato whose latest, Confident, was released last week. It's nothing short of eye candy for the average Lovato fan unless you like a little extra star power on board, and for this, we get Lovato joined by Michelle Rodriguez, a bearded villain named Jeff Fahey and Chilean action star Marko Zaror, all in the vision of director Robert Rodriguez for good measure.
Gotta love these mini-stories they throw in too!
Moving forward is a new playlist with several tasty new fight shorts also online. Natalie Diaz and James Hutchison set it off as dueling silhouettes swinging broadswords, followed by Shahaub Roudbari's poor passenger ettiqutte, Lawrence Yip's latest fight skit from Cinematic Fight Studio, DPX Entertainment's bo-staff sequence by Shaun Charney and stuntwoman PeiPei Alena Yuan, a quick scrap over cookies by Damian Mavis and Ron Smoorenburg, Red Betta Films's latest test match assembled by filmmaker and oft blog contributor James Couche, and Italy's own D-UNIT collab with Maurizio Meluzzo for The Greatest Tournament!
Time for a brief picture break, and this one comes courtesy of actor, fight choreographer, Hollywood stuntman and filmmaker Aaron Toney with photos of another upcoming fight gem, Primal. He's the same guy working to bring you THIS terrific-looking piece of work as well, so consider yourself greatly advised!
Now we get to the longer-form material for the final round of the Hit List. Finger Fury released their latest bit a few weeks ago based on the third installent of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Sleeping With The Enemy is the name and it's Konami-approved as well, and considering Anthony Rinna's choreography here, I allege fans of Jackie Chan will surely get into the action-comedy element this one puts on sheer display.
The next piece comes by way of The Fighting Journey series from Lunar Stunts. Irvin Nguyen and Mickey Arce lead in collaboration with Darren Holmquist and team regulars from Dardrex Productions in a spin-off inspired by the Uncharted video game from another Lunar Stunts, and there's no question about it here: Wall-to-wall action with a ton of throws and brutal fighting mired in the style of Crows Zero, all which serve a good deal plenty of action to enjoy. Also beneath that is a brand new piece by Holmquist with Leo Zhang in the latest Dardrex shortfilm release, Cops And Robbers!
Television stalwart Eric Dean Seaton took to New York Comic-Con last week to discuss his latest foray into graphic novel territory with Legend Of The Mantamaji, the story of an assistant district attorney who discovers his birthright as the last of a race of mystical knights once sought after as mankind's protectors. As it stands, it clearly has the potential to jump into life as something beyond its printed ink, because Seaton's "And... Action!" Entertainment published a DAZZLING proof of concept back in August with actor Phillip Michael in the lead opposite Dan Southworth, and dare I say, you'd be lying if you said you didn't at least partially agree with me in some capacity.
And finally, we welcome a fantastic new piece by award-winning filmmaker Bao Tran. The Challenger has finally arrived with our contenders Ken Quitugua and Martial Club's own Andy Le, in a story of a young martial artist who challenges his hero in a private match to make a name for himself. There's no dialogue here as the action clearly speaks for itself with each sequence playing out as a cinematic chess match between two very layered characters. Bao accomplishes a grand number of things here with using all but little with just nuances as part of the formula for our actors in their execution. Everything from Le's command performance and Quitugua's choreography to Jeremy Mackie's cinematography and Erik Aho's score makes this little gem absolutely worth the attention deserving of a feature after this.
That's the case I've made and will keep making until this happens. Watch The Challenger right now.
Leave it to last week's daunting Hit List content to satisfy your latent needs until further notice. In the meantime, subscribe to these channels, and if you or someone you know makes kick-ass action projects like these and you feel they should get a spot in our weekly Hit List, email us at email@example.com!
Still to the surprise of many is the forthcoming second installment of the Escape Plan trilogy - Steven C. Miller's Escape Plan 2: Hades, following Mikael Håfström's initial 2013 hit pairing Sylvester Stallone with Arnold Schwarzenegger. A third was announced back in April and news this week now confirms the start of principal photography for upcoming threequel, Escape Plan 3: Devil's Station with Death And Life Of Bobby Z and 15 Minutes director John Herzfeld at the helm.
The new movie sees Stallone and actor Dave Bautista reprising their roles from a script by Herzfeld and screenwriter Miles Chapman which sees the two pairing up once again to break out one of their own from an inescapable prison. The two will be joined on screen by actor and martial artist Max Zhang whose credits span various facets in film from stunt double to principal actor with credits such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Soi Cheng's S.P.L. 2: A Time For Conseuqences (a.k.a. Kill Zone 2), and…
I did a lot of work this weekend. So, don't be surprised if things slow down a bit for me this week. At best, I might be able to pace myself and keep going but a little me-time also suffices.
For now, at least you have this week's installment of the Hit List to relieve your boredom. Demos, goods to promote and much more are on the way starting with a fresh new batch of stunt and training reels ripe with great talent featuring Saidqua Bynum, Dan Mast, Evelyn Osorio Vacaro, Brandon Ly, Hong Berghof (more on her later), Tim Storms, Dina Cataldi, Clancy Petersen, Katie Schwartz, Taylor Castriota, Carlton Hoyles, Sia Alipour, and a 2017 reel celebrating progress over at New York's Breakfall Studios.
Moving forward, we have two new items to help push, and we start the most recent poster debut for actress and martial artist Bridger Fox's latest turn at the helm, Assassin's Curse. The new action short is well underway ahead of its forthcoming 10X10 Filmmaker Challenge prem…
With the upcoming rollout or Jesse Johnson's The Pay Up, Accident Man and Triple Threat in his wake, leave it to action star Scott Adkins to help carry the mantle with word on the upcoming action thriller revisal, Sinners & Saints: Vengeance. Adkins will reunite once more with Chad Law-penned Jarhead 3: The Siege helmer William Kaufman who, in turn, reunites with actor Johnny Strong who led the initial 2011 revenge cop thriller.
The film aims as a stand-alone sequel which tells of a New Orleans detective who journeys to Moscow to avenge the murder of his partner at the hands of a syndicate enforcer with the help of an old war buddy, and the enforcer's lover. Law, whose writing credits also include Kaufman's zombie hit thriller, Daylight's End and Isaac Florentine's Adkins-led home invasion action pic, Close Range, is scripting with Saints And Sinners scribe Jay Moses ahead of the film's Bulgarian shoot this Winter.