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Monday, August 31, 2015

THE HIT LIST - August 31, 2015

This week's Hit List was an absolute blast to help put together. We've got new action shorts and reels of all kinds to snack on this week in addition to some brief updates on major projects that are forthcoming!

Head's Up! The First Dates And Locations Are Set For THE MARTIAL ARTS KID!

Following the announcement a few weeks ago, the first locations and dates in New York and California have gone public for the forthcoming premiere of writer and director Michael Baumgarten's family action drama, The Martial Arts Kid. The film has already earned the appeal of several critics with a narrative that bodes highly, both for fans of the genre, as well as advocates against bullying.

MONTANA Goes Ballistic In The New U.S. Trailer!

Anyone looking for grounded action cinema with a sprawling audience appeal needn't look further than Shank helmer Mo Ali. His latest offering, Montana, has earned quite the attention with actors McKell David and Lars Mikkelsen spearheading the story set in London and two generations of vengeance at the forefront of it all.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

R.L. Scott's CALL ME KING Announces The First Two Theater Locations!

At the expense of just a few years through development and production, writer and director R.L. Scott's new international action drama, Call Me King, has to be one of the most crisp and intriguing films to date. Actor Amin Joseph leads the cast with a sprawling narrative that sets just the right tone for an original story that not only goes beyond a merely confined crime drama, but one that could very well steer things into a sequel.

Acclaimed Action Director Art Camacho To Attend LEGENDS OF THE MARTIAL ARTS AWARDS In October

We're down to the wire for the upcoming release of acclaimed veteran stunt and fight coordinator Art Camacho's upcoming feature debut, The Chemist, which will soon get an audience later this year at the Action On Film Festival in Santa Monica, California. Camacho is still keeping busy on other projects as well with the current development of sequels to the 2001 actioner, Final Payback, as well as the 1993 film, To Be The Best, as per its announcement last year.

By The Power Of Greyskull! Attend A Screening Of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE At The Egyptian Theater This September!

The 80's were a great time for American animation and toy fandom. Classics like He-Man and She-Ra remain in memory with the former setting up the universe for both properties prior to the live-action adaptation for the former that further installed actor Dolph Lundgren into action legend status.

Friday, August 28, 2015

SUICIDE SQUAD Wraps Filming!

Director David Ayer shared an ensemble cast and crew photo via Twitter on Friday announcing the completion of principle photography for Warner Bros.'s upcoming DC Comics adaptation, Suicide Squad. Filming began back in April under the working title of Bravo 14, and just four months before it would break ground at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 with a current tally of well over 50.7 million views compared to that of the studio's forthcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice now at over 45.7 million.

Lee Min-Ho And Tiffany Tang Join Shin Terra's BOUNTY HUNTERS

Chinese co-production status has opened the floodgates for numerous titles to benefit film production in recent years, as is the case for 7th Grade Civil Servant helmer Terra Shin's new $30 million dollar action comedy, Bounty Hunters, following its appearance at Cannes. Harmonious Entertainment Shanghai, Pegasus Motion Pictures, and Starhaus Entertainment are backing the Chinese-Korean co-production with Pegasus representing the film globally.

Lionsgate Enlists Avi And Ari Arad To Produce Game Adaptation, BORDERLANDS

Look out for another live-action video game adaptation heading our way from Lionsgate! Word has it from Variety that father-and-son producer duo Avi and Ari Arad are developing a big screen rendition of the hit shooter RPG, Borderlands.

Chilean Actioner, REDEEMER, Gets A Japanese Poster And Trailer

Yes, I fully admit to being invariably biased when it comes to specific action film titles. Ernesto Diaz Espinoza's festival favorite and recent Dark Sky Films U.S. release, Redeemer, fits the mold with Chilean action hero Marko Zaror starring in the title role of a man seeking redemption for his previous atrocities through dispensing unmitigated vigilante justice.

Check Out What's Ahead For FX Series, THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER!

FX is taking viewers on a gruesome and bloody trip back to the Middles Ages with Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter's next vengeful endeavor, The Bastard Executioner. The promotional campaign has already begun ahead of the two-hour series premiere on September 15 with a slate of TV spots and more featuring Aussie stage actor Lee Jones in the title role.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Suretone Wrangles Up D'onifrio's THE KID For Lionsgate

It looks as if there won't be any love lost for 17-th century gunman and outlaw, Billy The Kid in what music man-turned-film producer Jordan Schur has in store for his first venture into film.

Joe Carnahan To Direct Suretone's FIVE AGAINST A BULLET!

Deadline's continued coverage in music man-turned-film producer Jordan Schur's latest happenings with details for the new action thriller, Five Against A Bullet. The A-Team and Stretch helmer Joe Carnahan will be directing with a script written with Alex Litvak which focuses on five bodyguards tasked with protecting a mayoral candidate in Mexico's most powerful city when he is marked for death by a drug kingpin and his army after they murder his father and the previous mayor.

Lightsabers Square Off In A New STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot!

Yes, we know there's been an awakening. And yes, we've felt it...or whatever else anyone of us might be feeling aside from it in similar capacity. What we also know is actor John Boyega will be wielding a badass lightsaber in pure Jedi fashion as Finn opposite Adam Driver in the role of Kylo Ren who, judging by blurbs from around the web, either may or may not be a Sith.

Watch Two New Trailers For Anggy Umbara's Futuristic Martial Arts Thriller, 3!

While I would love nothing more than for director Anggy Umbara's latest, 3, to get a simulataneous release with other territories overseas, chances are we're more likely to end up waiting a really long time for that to happen. If it is to happen, I sincerely hope piracy doesn't affect it, because that would be devastating, and we can never have enough genuine and original action films in this day and age.

WIND WALKERS Completes The '8 Films To Die For' Series From After Dark Films!

After Dark Films has announced its final film filling in all of its 8 Films To Die For with director, writer and co-star Russell Friedenberg's newest thriller, Wind Walkers. The film opens October 16 along with all previously announced seven titles you can now learn more about at 8FilmsToDieFor.com.

Check Out Michael Fassbender's Killer Look For ASSASSIN'S CREED!

There's already some appeal from fans of Snowtown helmer Justin Kurzel in lieu of the the forthcoming release of his latest Shakespearean venture, MacBeth. For this, we have the upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular Ubisoft video game franchise, Assassin's Creed with Kurzel reuniting once more with his two MacBeth leads, actor Michael Fassbender and actress Marion Cotillard with a script that will evidently take a slightly different turn by way of its newest character addition, "Callum Lynch".

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FANTASTIC FEST 2015 Lays Out The Second Wave Of Forthcoming Titles!

The second wave titles has been announced for next month's Fantastic Fest with a flurry of films, several of which are already hits from prior festival events. Fans eagerly awaiting to watch Patrick Stewart at his continual best in Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room, and folks who love epic sci-fi and suspense thrillers who can't wait to see Ben Wheatley's High Rise or Miike Takashi's Yakuza Apocalypse ahead of its October U.S. release will certainly get their wish on top of titles already on their radar via the first wave.

Lionsgate, White Horse To Adapt Roman Empire Epic, EMPEROR For The Big Screen

Following the success of its YA novel properties like The Twilight Saga, Divergent and The Hunger Games, Deadline is reporting that Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment is teaming up with White Horse Pictures in their first cinematic venture for the forthcoming Roman period saga, Emperor. The goal will be a trilogy of films inspired by author Conn Iggulden's pentalogy of books published between 2003 and 2013, largely focusing on the political malfeasance and toxicity within the Roman Empire that loomed ahead for the lifelong friendship and subsequent fallout between emperor, Julius Caesar, and friend Marcus Brutus.

No George Miller For MAN OF STEEL 2

Den Of Geek is reporting that Man Of Steel 2 has been put on "permanent hold", which is a bit of a shock considering it was only last week that "The Death Of Superman Lives: What Happened?" helmer Jon Schnepp announced that Mad Max: Fury Road helmer George Miller was up to direct the film. Whatever it means, it's not to suggest that the film won't happen, especially since there's been a clear interest in making one now that Warner Bros. is well under way with its DC cinematic universe in addition to a potential Batman trilogy starring and directed by Ben Affleck.

Is Roel Reiné Directing A HARD TARGET Sequel?

Much ado has been said among fans for a potential sequel to action auteur John Woo's 1993 Hollywood feature, Hard Target. It felt more like a standalone actioner on its face, really, but that doesn't mean following up would be impossible.

Japanese Crime Pic, SHIELD OF STRAW Gets The English-Language Remake Treatment

There is not a lot of love lost for director Miike Takashi's 2013 thriller, Shield Of Straw, based on author Kiuchi Kazuhiro's 2004 Kodansha crime novel of the same name. Osawa Takao and Matsushima Nanako led the cast with actor Fujiwara Tatsuya central to the film's premise about a team of Fukuoka detectives who come under fire from swarms of vigilantes when a vengeful billionaire puts a meaty contract out on a Tokyo-bound convoy transporting a murder suspect.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vietnamese Action Is Back With The Promo Teaser For TRUY SAT (TRACER)!

Director Cuong Ngo is ready to put Vietnamese action cinema back in the spotlight with his newest action thriller, Truy Sat (Tracer). Actress Truong Ngoc Anh reunites once more with Ngo followng her role in their stellar 2014 crime flick, Huong Ga, in addition to starring alongside lead actor Thien Nguyen in a story that pits a police woman who sets out to avenge the murder of her family with the help of an undercover cop after a botched attempt to foil a bank robbery.

Wes Ball To Direct Kickstarter-Funded Novel, FALL OF GODS

Director Wes Ball is leaving quite the impression these past few years with his main focus tentatively on the on-going Maze Runner saga as the second film, The Scorch Trials, gears up for its release next month. As such, Fox is determined to have him in the director's chair once more, it seems, in lieu of plans to adapt Norse epic, Fall Of Gods.

After Dark Announces BASTARD For October's 8 FILMS TO DIE FOR!

Patrick Robert Young and Powell Robinson clearly know their audience. Their latest directorial effort, Bastard now has a trailer up for its October 16 release as per After Dark Films's 8 Films To Die For slate, and compared to all the other trailers prior, this one's got some shock value written all over it.

DOES IT HOLD UP?: Under Siege - Seagal V. Jones

Once upon a time, everyone's favorite Obama-hating aikido walrus, Steven Seagal, was poised to join the A-list of Hollywood action stars. By the early 90s, he'd starred in a string of gritty, violent actioners where he effortlessly beat entire barrooms full of guys into a bloody pulp. Young, hungry Seagal was a force to be reckoned with; it was finally time for him to ascend to the ranks of Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis.

The film that was set to get him there was Under Siege, a military thriller where he'd star alongside Tommy Lee Jones while being directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive). This was also the film where the American mainstream was introduced to martial arts knife fighting. We were all dazzled by the speed and intensity of the final knife fight.... but was that because it was truly awesome, or because we just didn't know any better?

Watch The Official Trailer For ABC Series, QUANTICO

Television has been loading up perpetually on action shows for the last several years with quite a few looking prominent as original offerings, including ABC's latest, Quantico. Actress Priyanka Chopra takes the lead in this female-centric adventure as one of dozens recruits attending the nation's toughest FBI training school, and with such a diverse and multi-angular cast of characters, you can definifely count on this one having its fair share of espionage, action and intrigue with the occasional plot twist or several.

Monday, August 24, 2015

MMA Fight Drama, STREET, Gets A Limited Release Date!

Director Bradford May's new mixed-martial arts fight drama, Street, is finally getting its day on October 30. The film presents actor Beau Casper Smart in his latest debut role which has already been privy to a few exclusive screening and details are now finally trickling online for the film's limited releases with select cities throughout the U.S. and Canada via the official Facebook page.

THE HIT LIST - August 24, 2015

The Hit List is back once again, and gladly it comes loaded once more with some amazing stuff from around the web!

Léa Seydoux To Lead With Channing Tatum In GAMBIT For Fox

It'll be a few months before we see Blue Is The Warmest Color actress Léa Seydoux in Daniel Craig's next James Bond spy epic, Spectre. Until then as of a few weeks ago, the actress was one of three in line for the lead female role of Belladonna Boudreaux in title actor Channing Tatum's upcoming Marvel adaptation, Gambit next to actresses Abbey Lee and Rebecca Ferguson.

The New Class Rolls Out In The New Trailer For ESSEX BOYS: LAW OF SURVIVAL

The last fifteen years have proven notable for the British gangster genre. Terry Windsor's 2000 crime pic, Essex Boys, has especially been central to the genre with concentrated stories of underworld crime based on real-world headlines, and you can now chalk up the latest, Essex Boys: Law Of Survival, as another to bookmark in your collection this September.

GRACE UNDER FIRE: An Interview With Actor, Stuntman And Producer, Sonny Sison

One of the earlier fortunes I had in starting my blog back in 2013 was getting acquainted off and on with actor and stuntman, Sonny Sison. Granted, in months prior to that, I had just seen him in the 2008 action thriller, Broken Path, which is still one of the most fascinating films I had ever seen, and for a number of reasons.

Last week, I had the opportunity to share a dialogue with Sison about the film among several others within the span of his career in the past two decades. Having cut his teeth as an actor and stuntman over the years, primarily as a suit actor on the AmeriToku crossover series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and having recently worked with a number of familiar faces fans know and love, I would say there's plenty of reason to bookmark him as someone worth looking out for in the months ahead.

On an entirely seperate note, writing this and editing passage on a Saturday afternoon as you are just reading this I can't help but sit here and reflect on some of my past interview subjects. This definitely feels like another milestone and honestly, I'm really buzzed.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sonny Sison!

Film Combat Syndicate: Greetings Sonny, and thank you for taking the time to talk to Film Combat Syndicate. How has your year been going so far?

Sonny Sison:
No complaints at all. I've been in Manila, Philippines since the beginning of the year working as a stunt/fight coordinator, or as the position is referred to here, "stunt director".

Sunday, August 23, 2015


There's no question that there will be plenty of more layers to the multi-branched Marvel saga of films leading up to the remainder of the third and final phase of the MCU. In the meantime, we have at least one of those layers slated to peel back on May 6, 2016 for the release of Captain America: Civil War as the good guys and gals defenfing humanity turn on each other, adding to the threat level from all sides.

'Blade' Fans Are Throwing A BLOODRAVE In Amsterdam This October!

Personally I've never been to a rave and nor would I have the time for anything like that. I can imagine they're all sorts of fun for anyone attending who enjoy mingling in a psychedelic ambience full of young people reveling in high-energy technomusic and what have you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is George Miller Directing MAN OF STEEL 2?

Warner Bros

Warner Bros. has quite the full plate on its hands with their currently fluxating DC cinematic universe. With the course already set for Marvel and Disney, the key focus for Warner Bros. has been to develop its slate as things build up to the Justice League movies set for 2017 and 2019, though that hasn't been to solidly suggest there wouldn't be any more titles in between.

Is 'Street Fighter' Actor Mike Moh Going To Play Bruce Lee In BIRTH OF THE DRAGON?

Call it what you may, some would call it providence.

CLOSE RANGE Gets Up Close With A Killer Poster And, Once More, The Official Trailer!

About a week ago, someone reportedly jumped the gun on the latest trailer for director Isaac Florentine's newest action thriller, Close Range. Thankfully, Bleiberg's Company B finally unveiled it online just a few days ago, and as of today, the film has a new poster as well, both of which you can check out right now.


There's no mistake to be made here when it comes to the vision director Park Heung-Sik had in mind for the release of his latest film, Memories Of The Sword. Actresses Kim Go-Eun and Jeon Do-Yeon and actor Lee Byung-Hun take the lead in this sweeping period tale full of sprawling beauty accompanied by tragedy and betrayal that properly befits the caliber of Korean drama storytelling - a point eloquently made by Joey Min in his latest review.

Watch The New Blu-Ray Re-Release Trailer For VAMPIRE HUNTER D: BLOODLUST

Author Hideyuki Kikuchi's select bibliography of written work serves a great example of creativity that stands the test of time. Even moreso is the feature length 1985 animated movie, Vampire Hunter D, which proceeded to audience acclaim prior to its upworthy sequel hit in 2000, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

DRAGON BALL Z: RESURRECTION F Gets A Fully Loaded Collector's Set Release This October!

After a record-breaking opening night with a successful box-office run, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is finally making it's way to home release in October. FUNimation made the announcement on Thursday and pre-orders are now up and running, and not for nothing either with a package this stacked and full of goodies and offers.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Debbi James, Daughter Of Late Action Legend Steve James, Joins Cynthia Rothrock In BITCHFIGHT

It's taken sometime for director Dean Meadows to get his latest gritty female-centric action thriller, Bitchfight, off the ground. Thankfully production is finally slated for early next year with legendary martial arts actress Cynthia Rothrock starring, and as of this week, Meadows has unveiled at least one more casting detail with a heartfelt nod to a time-honored legend of American action cinema, late actor Steve James.

Hugh Jackman Eyed For Lionsgate's THE ODYSSEY With Francis Lawrence Directing

Actor Hugh Jackman only has but a few years to go in Fox's Marvel X-verse as Wolverine, so we're left with whatever teases may come our way until then. At any rate, it'll be fun looking ahead and observing the limitless prospects of his career with plenty of roles to look forward to, and anyone with an affinity for Greek epics and literature will surely benefit after this week.

Walk With The Dead For The ZOMBIE NINJAS VS. BLACK OPS Premiere In October!

The land down under is about to get reanimated this Fall!

J-Pop Star, ELLY, Takes Out The TRASH In The New Trailer For Gonno's Latest!

Following his most recent role in last year's Crows Explode, J-Pop supergroup, Exile's J Soul Brothers frontman, ELLY, is stepping into his new lead role with director Gonno Hajime's Trash. Considering Gonno's previous work on titles like Akagure 1 and 2 in the past couple of years, this one looks just as intense, dark, bruisingly dramatic and brutal, and it'll certanly bode well for fans and moviegoers alike who enjoy their films all the same.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WOLF WARRIOR Rages On In The New U.S. Trailer!

Without a doubt, the past couple of years have been a true testament to actor and martial arts star Wu Jing in the wake of making his solo directorial debut, Wolf Warriors. Several leg injuries and a lengthy post-production process for an augmented 3D release notwithstanding, this latest patriotic action adventure will hopefully be the start of a great career on both sides of the camera for Wu after dominating the set with the likes of Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung and the late, great Darren Shahlavi over the years.

THE RAID And THE AVENGING FIST Make The Cut For Well Go USA's Latest Of Re-Releases!

Well Go USA is simultaneously releasing two Asian classics this October to DVD. I've only seen one of these and its Andrew Lau and Corey Yuen's The Avenging Fist, which does make a dodgy, but notable effort in pushing the envelope for visuals. With this, I'll be looking forward to the reinstallation of Tsui Hark and Ching Siu-Tung's The Raid film of yesteryear as well. We can never have enough of these, I guess.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Anchor Bay Announces Five Dragon Dynasty Titles Releasing This October!

Hot off of a major crossover era for Asian cinema at the time with home releases from distributors like Tai Seng, Fox and Miramax/Dimension and in the UK with Hong Kong Legends, the Weinstein-owned Dragon Dynasty came just in time when American consumers craved the same substantive DVD content packed with remastered, quality discs featuring classic and contemporary action films from the far East. I still own a few DD prints myself, including Seven Swords, Fist Of Legend, Righting Wrongs and City Of Violence, and if you've ever consumed DVDs at all in the last fifteen years, you know when you got a Dragon Dynasty DVD, you got something truly awesome.

NYC's Videology To Host A FREE Screening Of MORTAL KOMBAT This Friday!

1995 couldn't have been a better time to be a gamer and martial arts movie fan. It was the year that we got the best of both worlds with New Line Cinema's release of the hit live-action adaptation, Mortal Kombat, pitting three Earthrealm warriors in a multi-dimensional medium of supernatual proportions where the fate of our planet would be decided in life-or-death battles.

The New Trailer For UNNATURAL Will Take A Cold Bite Out Of You!

After Dark Films has announced its sixth title premiering in October for its 8 Films To Die For Slate and it looks like it's going to be a cold one. Unnatural is the name from director Hank Braxtan with James Remar leading the cast for a story of an expedition gone imaginably awry, and to say the least, terribly messy. Check out the announcement below and watch the trailer!

May Evil Hearts Break In The New Teaser For Indo Superhero Actioner, VALENTINE!

With the rise of Indonesian action cinema as of late, it's become evermore clear that superhero films are the market to tap into. Executive producer Sarjono Sustrisno (Guardian) and his team at Skylar Pictures learned this lesson well prior to founding Skylar Comics in 2013 with a slate of superhero franchises of its own, including the 2014 launch of female-centric comic book heroine, Valentine.

Dystopian Futuristic ZORRO Film Starts Shooting Next Year

Now how's this for a reboot concept?

Watch The U.S. Trailer For Noel Clarke's Action Sci-Fi, THE ANOMALY!

It's imaginably difficult to get anything done when you're only awake for barely ten minutes at a time, but that's the challenge met head on with actor and filmmaker Noel Clarke now on par for a U.S. audience with his latest UK-produced sci-fi action thriller, The Anomaly. STARZ-owned Anchor Bay is slating a select release on September 25 with home and digital releases on October 6 following pre-order availability on September 2, and with this, a new trailer began circulating this week.