Monday, February 29, 2016
Well, my weekend wasn't much of one, save for a few anime breaks on Netflix. Most of my time was spent either at work or posting reviews here on the blog on top of prepping at least two interviews, one that will likely post sometime this week.
It's been awhile since we've heard from filmmaker Robin Schmidt who's stirred things up a bit in the festivals with his most recent award-winning action short, Dog. The film isn't online in full just yet but you can watch it now at the official website a la Vimeo provided you contact Schmidt for the password.
February was lively for the folks over at internatioanal sales outlet Independent who represented director Thomas Napper's forthcoming boxing drama, Jawbone. Vertigo Films will be distributing the film in the UK as of a few weeks ago and word has it that the film has officially commenced production with scenes to be filmed in Stoke and London as of Monday, February 29 as per the previous announcement.
With the outrage that has been sparked this past year with #OscarSoWhite and the lack of diversity in Hollywood. We would hope that studios would realize their mistakes and welcome ethnic actors with open arms. However, there is something about the word diversity that people do not readily associate with in Hollywood. As an Asian American actor, ex-dancer, and writer, my over half-a-decade in this industry has taught me that the word "diversity" generally only meant black and/or hispanic, and Asian Americans are not really included in that definition. It's a sad truth to realize when you have such hopes that you would be able to represent your race in the Hollywood industry, yet you never really have the chance to because the roles are so lacking that you're left wondering why.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Director Mitsutake Kurando wagers some of his best and most outstanding vision for a film, and anyone who's seen his most recent work, Gun Woman, knows this. Since, then he's got quite a feat happening with his latest production, Karate Kill, debuting actor Hayate in the role of a mysterious man who paves a warpath on the streets of L.A. in search of his missing sister.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
I'm pretty new to Eddie Peng, having only seen him in Stephen Fung's Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero at the time of the release. However, in the few years since then, he's appeared to be just the kind versatile actor a director looks for, and maybe even one bold enough to take the lead in the revival of a classic martial arts film mainstay. Leave that effort to director Roy Chow Hin-Yeung whose career compass following Murderer (2009) and Nightfall (2012) now bring him to the forefront of his latest 2014 kung fu epic, Rise Of The Legend, reviving the folklore of martial arts hero Wong Fei Hung with an origin tale that does the work that none of its previous films did, lending plenty of opportunity for something truly fresh to bloom.
Friday, February 26, 2016
As the 1990's drew huge fervor in Western audiences for Hong Kong cinema with Jackie Chan and Jet Li crossovers, director Ang Lee helped pave the way for Asian cinema ina fashion hugely rewarding. The award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, released in 2000, achieves some of the highest marks in wuxia filmmaking with a story that brilliantly taps into its source material with a sense of substance and quality that bookmarks it as one of the most memorable movies in history. Surely, the film mingles differently among moviegoers as do all, but the majority on this one is quite certain with Lee's signature vision setting a visible standard in artful storytelling and drama based on Chinese folklore.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Action films each have their own fair share of hurdles, and sometimes those dynamics can vary to regional circumstances. So, taking Vietnam to consideration, I always look forward to what comes out from this country with its talent on hand, particularly here with the case of filmmaker Cuong Ngo who is no stranger to the genre.
I dig actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar in any dimension beyond his old teen comedy roots. Performances in shows like Weeds and NYPD Blue have earned him my respect and just as so with director Max Adams's latest, Precious Cargo, pitting Gosselaar against Bruce Willis with actress Claire Forlani also starring.
Television buffs and action fans alike would be wise to appeal to Cinemax's fourth and final season of the hit series, Banshee. The show has gone strong since the top of 2013, and for good godamn reason at that with a sprawling and layered tale of mistaken identity, romance, crime and vengeance.
National Geographic's 2008 piece, Inside The Human Body, proved worthwhile for Emmy award-winning VFX craftsman, Steven Gomez. His newest venture into writing and directing now takes his skillset even further with the new sci-fi thriller, Kill Command, and its latest trailer is proof positive of what he seems capable of.
The kind folks over at Arrow Video have been doing quite good by their viewership in the last several months, specifically toward fans of classic ninja cinema with Kosugi Sho classics, Pray For Death and next month's Blu-Ray release, Rage Of Honor. The late Gordon Hessler, who directed both titles, was to follow up with Sho for a fourth film reunion before Hessler passed away in 2014, and now it appears things may have taken a turn upward since.
The current run up to Netflix's second season premiere of Marvel's Daredevil has been nothing short of exciting. The first season was a pure blast and now things are about to get piping hot in Hell's Kitchen with actor Charlie Cox and newly added actress Elodie Yung portraying fellow Marvel anti-heroine, Elektra.
That fans still have an interest in seeing Yuen Woo-Ping's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny on IMAX is an interesting thing to bare in mind, even as The Weinstein Company is rolling back its theatrical locations in most areas around the U.S.. That said, there are still people who don't have Netflix and probably won't be able to partake in the fandom right away as soon as those who do, but hopefully that will change.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Universal Pictures is releasing the action comedy sequel, Ride Along 2 on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD in April and they're announcing all the specs this week you can view below along with a trailer for its home release. I haven't seen the second one yet so I can't give my opinion on it just yet, but I enjoyed the first one in 2014 and the campaign to promote this one has been fully hilarious.
Without a shadow of a doubt, perhaps the biggest factor in director D.J. Caruso's latest, xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, will be the diversity and overall caliber of its cast. It's generally what makes a Vin Diesel feature film so warm and welcoming on top of the virtual day-to-day upkeep of videos and photos the actor shares on his fanpage, and there's no question either that similar practices by co-stars Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa are doing the same considering the amount of followers they each have on social media, starpower notwithstanding.
Anime fans neck deep into Netflix's anime dish now has another serving on the way with the new original series, Perfect Bones. Parterning the SVoD company with animation studio Production I.G. and successful animator and character designer Nakazawa Kazuto, the new show will be the first to debut in all current territories where Netflix is available following its expansion back in January, and judging by the plot it sounds like it'll be a fun 12-episode ride.
There's no director or writer attached, but THR is reporting that MGM is preparing to remake another classic title now with a reworking of The Thomas Crown Affair. What's more is that the studio's latest prospect, Creed star Michael B. Jordan is tapped to lead the film based on the 1968 hesit flick from director Norman Lewison.
Those of you still waiting to see Zombieland 2 will be happy to know that all isn't lost for its development at Sony, and Indiewire has more on that. As for its plot, nothing is known yet and you can only ask its writer Dave Callaham who has otherwise been keeping busy with his currently-brewing TV debut as of the last few years.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Actress Kate Beckinsale is back in the fray with her forthcoming return to action horror territory with Anna Forrester's directorial debut, Underworld: Next Generation. Fans alike in and around the area of Salt Lake City in Utah would be wise to remember this ahead of attending FanX this year on March 24 through 26 where The Aviator and Van Helsing co-star will be joining in on the fun a la Salt Lake Comic Con.
With everyone hung up on actor Ryan Reynolds's then-forthcoming lead role in 20th Century Fox's Deadpool, in its good graces awaited further news on one other project, Kick-Aas 2 director Jeff Wadlow's Hitman's Bodyguard. Such a project is befitting for Reynolds in the wake of his latest success with Deadpool which maintained its number one spot for two weeks in a row.
|Photo from the set of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Courtesy Of Joel Kramer)|
As of last November, the two are presently set to remake Yuen's own 1982 kung fu comedy classic, Miracle Fighters, remastering the Qing dynasty-set tale of two elderly, quarreling Taoist priests who lend their kung fu training to a young man mistaken to be the crown prince of the Imperial court.
Monday, February 22, 2016
This week's Hit List is going to have a few amazing updates from previous posts. Hopefully you've been keeping up, but I'll gladly give a few refreshers.
For now, if you've been with me before, you already know how this goes. Ten new select stunt and training reels are here for your viewing pleasure courtesy of Katie Kramer, Michael Lehr, Marina Yordanova, Blake Lee Roach, Jessica Erin Bennett, Liam Day, Dale Girard, Kai Ferris, Alejandro Gil and Ian Van Temperly.
Onto some crazy new promotional bits, and up first are a few updates with a neat little exclusive pictoral courtesy of filmmaker Logan Cross. The photos are locations that will be used come this May when production finally commences for the new feature-length superhero action adventure, Nightshadow.
If you're not too familiar with its roots, you can click here to learn more about the project which initially launched via Kickstarter which successfully managed to achieve iys crowdfunding goals for specific services to be rendered (i.e, costumes, prop creation for the performers, etc.). Pre-production is currently underway with an official website now live and running, and Cross is allowing Film Combat Syndicate to share some exclusive recent behind-the-scenes photos from location scouting in East Texas which you can view below.
Next up is a poster for a project that you'll be sure to take note of in the coming months. Thanks to filmmaking duo Adam Davis and Will Corona Pilgrim, the new shortfilm, No Touching is well on its way after filming last year following a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2014. Action actresses Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker are our chosen few who decide to take matters into their own hands when they learn of women being assaulted in a shady haunted house attraction.
It'll be awhile before we see some more from this lot, but the artwork should lend you quite the eyeful until then.
As for trailers, the first one is a doozy if you're a Lara Croft fan like filmmaker Aurélien Sallé who launched a KissKissBankBank crowdfunder in 2013 to help his own shortfilm become a reality. That reality now comes in the form of actress and cosplayer Tiphaine Vaudable's starring role in the new fan film, Tomb Raider: Reborn with action sequences by Kefi Abrikh who defintely knows his way around fight scenes.
The second comes courtesy of independent filmmaker Cullen Cook whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making late last year among several at Applebees in Times Square, New York City where they were attending the Urban Action Showcase & Expo at the neighboring AMC Empire 25 theatre. There, he premiered his latest shortfilm, The Exit Wound, centered on a boxer forced to come to terms with his past amid a culmination of personal and professional problems.
Having won Best Action Sequence at the UASE, the project is finally on par to release online on March 23. Cook himself stars along with actress DeShawna Phillips and co-stars Rising Tiger Films's own Leroy Nguyen and Edmond Shum who designed the action.
Watch both trailers below!
And now for the fights and there are quite several of them. For this, we begin with an always warm welcome for Eric Nguyen, here and now with Everlast, the 14th entry of his Fighting Journey series and stunt woman Molly McIntyre returning for a second round. Next up is a 2-for-1 special from Emmanuel Manzanares with performances by Suzuki Kimmy, Michael Lehr, Micah Karns and Tony Vittorioso, followed by two fencing pieces - one from French indie action favorite Godefroy Ryckewaert, and the other from Jeff Centauri with a Star Wars fan film of his own. The latter three include an action comedy bit led by Taylor Tai from Eunoia Creations as he battles YouTube Comments In Real Life, another from a fun group of stunties in Saudi Arabia called Stunt Guys Team titled Thieves, and the latter from filmmaker Vlad Rimburg returning with another week of fine, hearty action for Throwdown, led by Antal Kalik!
Getting right down to the wire here are a fine group of shortfilms and they're all well worth the audience. First up is titled Captured courtesy of the A/M Show channel, followed by award-winning actor Mads Mikkelssen in his third shortfilm stint with Danish interior design company BoConcept titled The Fight!
Third in line introduces actor and dancer Daniel "Cloud" Campos to the Film Combat Syndicate Hit List, now sharing directorial duties with Spencer Susser for the imaginative TropFest 24 award-winning feat of music and action, Shiny. From there, we acquaint ourselves once more with Joseph Le who clearly takes his cues from Hong Kong comedy in his own three-way pizza free-for-all, The Last Slice, before getting into some bounty huntin' trouble in Wadi Jones's new action comedy short, Bounty, and an epic new fan short from the folks over at Martial Club attributed to Yuen Woo-Ping's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny.
The final piece in the playlist is 23-minute ode to action and suspense from partnering Canucks Kyle Wong and Joshua Zacharias for the new thriller, Vendetta. Wong himself has a knack for writing some pretty interesting scripts that introduce really darkly-toned characters and so his vision here seems fitting. There are several kinks throughout the film between audio as well as some of the action, but I was instantly sold on the trailer so I'm compelled to share it regardless and I think you'll enjoy it for just the overall performances and story in general.
Enjoy the playlist!
Take heed of these channels, subscribe and head over here for last week's entries if you missed them. And, be advised - we love sharing new and awesome shorts as jam-packed with action and pure talent, so if you have a stunt reel or a project you would like added here, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you've been keen on 360° videos as of late, you might have already come to know of Jaunt, who've been head-deep into creating the technology possible to help create videos that literally stick you in a virtual world. As of today, leave that effort to director Doug Liman whose name can be seen in this week's announcement for Invisible, a new VR action adventure fantasy series that will undoubtely have you making sure your room space is clear for movement.
If there were ever a doubt that a proper find for the role of a younger "Bryan Mills" lead for a Taken prequel series would be likely, you can quell your worries now. Actor Clive Standen, best know for his role in the currently-running History channel series, Vikings, will be the man leading point for the new NBC action drama inspired by the hit film franchise that starred Liam Neeson.
With Ben Affleck positioning himself for more Batman movies, Henry Cavill maintaining his Superman shape and Gal Gadot finishing up her Wonder Woman shoot for next year, EW reports the next phase is set to commence on April 11 with the start of Justice League: Part One. The film is currently stamped for a November 17, 2017 date following the release of Wonder Woman from director Patty Jenkins earlier on June 23.
A little over a year ago, comic book creator Ma Wing-Shing took to a more different approach in unveiling the finale to his 25-year old wuxia franchise, The Storm Riders. It was a mark of achievement for the auteur as much as it was a strategical move in the wake of piracy's stronghold over digital and print media, although with any luck, this won't be all we hear of its film counter parts.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Sanzhar Madiyev Slices And Dices In A New Clip From Saric Andreasyan's GUARDIANS: SOVIET UNION SUPERHEROES
Friday, February 19, 2016
Sources close to Den Of Geek are confirming that 20th Century Fox is officially on board with an R-rating for the third installation of their X-Men spinoff trilogy featuring Hugh Jackman as Logan Howlett, a.k.a. Wolverine. The report cites that the studio had actually been planning an R-rated bow out long before director Tim Miller's latest, Deadpool, arose with its violent R-rated fanfare in the wake of fans' decade-long demands for a film true to the source material.
Save for a bad hairdo, actor John Travolta looks pretty doable here in Chuck Russell's latest, I Am Wrath. The film took a few years to develop before finally rolling cameras last year with locations in Alabama and several in Ohio, including Columbus where fans aplenty got a few selfie opportunities of their own.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
So, how do you feel about the idea of Rush Hour trilogy helmer Brett Ratner remaking a kung fu classic like Cheng Chang-ho's 1972 flick, Five Fingers Of Death a.k.a. King Boxer? Word has it that he's on board to direct the film as well as produce with partner James Packer under their RatPac banner with the assistance of Celestial Pictures who currently have the rights to the entire Shaw Brothers library.
Director Scott Cooper and actor Christian Bale have gone on to gain quite a bit of notoriety after working together on the gritty 2013 drama, Out Of The Furnace. Cooper made waves with Johnny Depp-starrer, Black Mass while Bale received an Oscar nod Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 2015 financial crisis drama, The Big Short.
Actor Keanu Reeves surged enormously into prominence with his performance in the 2014 action noir hit, John Wick. The film has since drawn a cult following as well as helped advance prospects for Hollywood stunt coordinators to take the helm on action pictures - namely Chad Stahelski and David Leitch who directed the first film.
It was Spartacus and Arrow series co-star, actor Manu Bennett who made the announcement earlier this month that he would be overseas starring in a new Death Race movie with Universal Pictures and producer Roger Corman also involved. Details were scant at the time aside from that the film would revise the 1975 original apart from the current direct-to-video franchise already in tow with a fourth film, but now we have an official announcement from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment that sets things a bit clearer - cast, crew, plot, the works:
Not having seen director Denis Villeneuve's crime epic, Sicario at the time, I didn't really know what to expect from his take on the forthcoming sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi noir, Blade Runner with Villenueve in the chair. That said, I actually got to see Sicario last month on VOD, and the hype is definitely there with an immersive story and script, and performances that hit all the right notes telling me virtually everything I needed to know about the kind of quality film you can expect with Villeneuve at the helm.
I haven't been keen on director Brad Peyton's San Andreas yet, but I'm a little thrown off at the idea of destroying the same city for its sequel. Thankfully the direction here is far different with word that yes, surprisingly, that New Line is back in action with development of a follow-up to last year's hit with Neil Widener and Gavin James providing the script.
A final trailer has arrived for the February 26 U.S. release of Yuen Woo-Ping's latest, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny. Michelle Yeoh leads the way with newcomer and actress Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and actors Harry Shum Jr., action star Donnie Yen and actor Jason Scott Lee with John Fusco adapting the fifth entry into the late Wang Du'lu's classic Iron/Crane Pentalogy.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
I feel good. Why? Because I like posters, and Paramount Pictures has officially debuted a quartet of character posters and cinemagraphs for the upcoming action sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of The Shadows. With director Dave Green, we're also getting some new faces added to the mix, including characters like outlaw Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) along with the villanous Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Sheamus) and the emergence of a talking stomach brain named Krang, opening a whole new dimension to the live action CG hybrid that fans have been clammoring for for almost three decades.
A little over a year ago today, it was made official that Osamu Tezuka's manga and anime classic, Astro Boy, would finally be on deck for a live-action feature of its own. Now the project is in full speed at New Line Cinema according to a new report from THR with word that San Andreas scribes Andrea Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore will pen the script.