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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!
Word has it that actor Lin Gengxin is a possible front runner to lead famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's newly confirmed adaptation of classic literary, Return Of The Condor Heroes. The story is inspired by Jin Yong's 1959 publication, the second installation of the Condor Trilogy which began in 1957 and has seen numerous film and TV adaptations, as well as its expansion into books and video games.
Hark reportedly aims to adapt the book into a trilogy of its own while fans are expecting to hear of Lin's attachment as Yang Guo, whose taboo romance with his sifu, martial arts master Little Dragon Girl, and their adventures in the martial arts world is central to the story. Lin has worked with Hark on several occassions with credits together including Young Detective Dee: Rise Of the Sea Dragon (2013), The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014), Derek Yee's Sword Master (2016) which Hark produced, and this year's sequel hit, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back whi…
2013 saw the genesis of an ambitious and original new endeavor from Canadian martial arts film and stunt troupe, Team 2X. That project, from industry stuntman and coordinator James Mark (Wolves), hails this week from Raven Banner with forthcoming release, Kill Order, aiming to spark a new wave of feature length martial arts movie fandom with stuntman and martial artist Chris Mark (Scott Pilgrim VS. The World) setting the stage for his own feature acting debut. When David, a troubled high school student who appears to suffer from mental illness, finds himself in a situation where he is about to be taken captive for reasons unknown, a dark power takes over his body opening the doors to a world of superhuman abilities and a past kept secret.Also starring are Dan Park, Denis Akiyama and Jessica Clement along with the mind-blowing feats of Team 2X for its November 24 premiere at the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival. Raven Banner will then follow suit with a U.S./Canada release on F…
Much has happened this year for actor and martial artist Jose Manuel. Interviewing him back in April was something of a milestone achievement, and no less for a rising star who himself has contributed years of sharpening talent and unmitigated resolve toward growing into the headlining action star he strives to be to date since making history in 2012 with Puerto Rican martial arts action feature, El Testigo (The Witness).
His recent 'Best' wins for the Short Film Competition and Blood Sweat And Bones categories at the Urban Action Showcase and Expo on November 10 are also doing plusses for him this month. Retribution won the latter of the two and you can currently catch that one via YouTube. The other, Uncompromised, still stands plenty to gain with Manuel taking the lead next year following his current endeavors in Nepal.
For this, we bring you The Man From Kathmandu, hailing from Nakim Uddin - head of Nepal's largest theatrical exhibitor, QFX Cinemas, and marking anothe…