Die Fighting (2014) Review

"Die Fighting" Theatrical Poster

"Die Fighting" Theatrical Poster

AKA: The Price of Success
Director: Fabien Garcia
Writer: Fabien Garcia
Producer: Laurent Buson
Cast: Fabien Garcia, Laurent Buson, Didier Buson, Jess Allen, Dave Vescio, Adelyne Liu, Xin Sarith Wuku, Jose Rosete, Gray Michael Sallies, Davis Chong, Michael Antonio, Aoni Ma, Xango Henry, Marcus Natividad, Nico Johns
Running Time: 110 min.

By Kyle Warner

Found footage films quickly went from being the hot new idea to being the same old thing. This is largely thanks to filmmakers looking to duplicate the thrills found in earlier successful films instead of presenting new and intriguing takes on the concept. And while many others are willing to write it off as a gimmick that’s run its course, I still think there’s life to the sub-genre. What found footage films lack in cinematic flourishes they make up for with visceral thrills. So, when I heard that Die Fighting was something of a ‘found footage martial arts film,’ I was curious.

The film follows four friends who are trying to make it in Hollywood as martial artists. They’ve formed a group called the Z Team and they’re waiting for their big break… but making it in Hollywood is harder than any one of them expected. Worth noting is that the four lead actors are essentially playing dramatized versions of themselves and that the movie is produced by Z Team Films. Very meta, man.

The plot gets moving when Fabien Garcia (who also serves as Die Fighting’s writer, director, and editor) is told over the phone that his wife has been kidnapped. At first Fabien and his friends think it’s a prank, but when they see video of his wife tied to a chair they realize the threat is all too real. The man on the phone says that if they want to see her alive again they must perform a series of tasks. First: rob an armored truck. Of course the men are tortured with moral questions, but when the time comes they pull off the robbery and escape with the money.

The man on the phone is the mysterious Filmmaker and he’s tapped into hidden cameras spread out across the city. He’s decided to make Fabien the leading man of his new action movie that’s to be filmed on the streets of LA, with real blood and bullets. The Filmmaker puts his cast of heroes through one bloody test after another, leading them into encounters with the mob, karate dojos, and gangbangers.

Essentially, the film exists to be a sort of highlight reel for the Z Team’s martial arts skills. They move from one abandoned looking warehouse to the next, beat up the bad guys in extraordinary fashion, then rage against the man on the phone before moving to the next location to do it all over again.

The acting is pretty weak all around, but the basic dialogue doesn’t exactly give the actors much to work with. Whatever failings Fabian Garcia has as a dramatic actor and a writer, he largely makes up for with his skills shooting action. Behind the scenes, Garcia and cinematographer Tarina Reed put the camera in all the right places to best show off the cast’s skills, and manage to make the most of a modest budget.

The reason you’re going to consider watching the movie is because of the fights and I’m happy to say that Die Fighting has some very good ones. Garcia and co-stars Laurent Buson (Merantau), Didier Buson, and Jess Allen show off their considerable fighting skills throughout the film. A couple of the fights are some of the best ever filmed in an American martial arts flick. Excellent, jaw dropping stuff. And the shootouts aren’t half-bad either.

However, a collection of impressive fight sequences just aren’t enough to make Die Fighting a good movie. The plot is an assortment of borrowed ideas from a dozen better films. Because of the mysterious figure putting the men through acts of violence on an assortment of dank sets, the film feels sort of like a martial arts take on the original Saw, complete with a twist ending. However, unlike Saw, which featured a few decent performances and a compelling plot, Die Fighting has some great fight scenes but not much else. In that respect, it’s similar to the Saw sequels: all blood, no brains.

Is Die Fighting worth your time? It’s not a bad way to spend a couple hours. If you want to watch some good martial arts, you could do a whole lot worse. However, I don’t think you’ll remember the film for very long once the end credits roll.

The core members of the Z Team trained at the Shaolin Temple before receiving further tutelage at some of China’s finest martial arts institutions. Their first feature film as a team may be lacking in many places, but it’s impossible to deny the physical talent and martial arts prowess on display. There is potential here. With an improved script and some better acting, this could have really been something special. The Z Team’s background proves they are focused individuals and are willing to go big to improve their craft. I believe we’ll be seeing better things from them in the future.

Kyle Warner’s Rating: 5.5/10

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Watch the trailer for the Johnnie To documentary ‘Boundless’

"The Mission" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Mission" Chinese Theatrical Poster

The trailer for Ferris Lin’s Boundless, a documentary about Johnnie To – one of Hong Kong most respected filmmakers – has just been released. Known for this prolific, genre-hopping body of work, To is often overshadowed by the likes of John Woo, Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. But to a seasoned cinema fan, To’s legacy is just as celebrated.

Official description: As Hong Kong’s foremost filmmaker, Johnnie To himself becomes the protagonist of this painstaking documentary exploring him and his boundless world of film. Ferris Lin boldly approached To to document the master director. To agreed immediately and Lin’s camera closely followed him for over two years, capturing the man behind the movies and his heartfelt love for Hong Kong cinema.

Don’t miss the English-subtitled trailer, thanks to Twitch/Paul Bramhall.

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Tony Jaa drops out of ‘Kickboxer’ due to scheduling conflicts

"Kickboxer" Japanese DVD Cover

"Kickboxer" Japanese DVD Cover

THE MOVIE: Radar Pictures is rebooting 1990′s Kickboxer with Hong Kong action director Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero) at the helm. The original - which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michel Qissi - was directed by Mark DiSalle (The Perfect Weapon) and David Worth (Lady Dragon).

Newcomer Alain Moussi (see his photo) will be the film’s lead. In addition, WWE star Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists) and UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) have also joined the cast. The film is being written by Jim McGrath (1990′s Elvis TV series) and Dimitri Logothetis (Wings of the Dragon).

The Kickboxer reboot tells the story of David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a well-known Venice, Calif., fighting dynasty. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong, despite his brother’s protestations that the man is a crook. When Kurt travels to Thailand to meet his brother, he discovers he has died, and seeks his revenge.

Update: In a recent interview with Timeout.com.hk (via M.A.A.C.), Stephen Fung has spilled some details about his upcoming Kickboxer remake. Much like the original, Fung’s movie will be called Kickboxer, be shot in English, and take place in Thailand. If you’re holding your breath for a Van Damme cameo… you may be in luck (when asked about a Van Damme cameo, Fung replied: “Maybe… nothing is confirmed just quite yet.”). | Photo of Alain Moussi, with fight choreographer Larnell Stovall, preparing for his role. Also in the photo, is his Kickboxer promo pack from the Cannes film festival.

Tony Jaa has been offered the role of the master who trains Kurt Sloan. In the 1989 original, the character was portrayed by Dennis Chan.

Film Combat Syndicate reports that Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak) and Scott Adkins (Undisputed III) are in talks for the Kickboxer remake, along with The Man With the Iron Fists’ Dave Batista. | Check out our interview with Alain Moussi, the rising star of the Kickboxer remake!

According to Paul Bramhall: During a Q&A session at the recent Seni Event, Adkins confirmed that he won’t be in the Kickboxer remake. He was offered the role of the brother, but explained that after reading the script and realizing just how much of a small role it was, with very little action involved, he didn’t feel like it was a role which would suit either him or his fanbase, so decided to turn it down.

BREAKING NEWS: Film Combat Syndicate has reported that Tony Jaa has dropped out of Stephen Fung’s fourthcoming Kickboxer remake (not to be confused with Albert Pyun’s version). According to Jaa’s manager, Mike Selby, the actor has officially withdrawn from the production, stating “The production changed schedule to a period where Jaa would not be available.”

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Mel Gibson’s next directing gig may involve a ‘Hacksaw’

"Get the Gringo" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Get the Gringo" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Mel Gibson is currently in talks to direct Hacksaw Ridge, a World War II action/drama, based on the true story of Desmond T. Doss, a soldier who achieved a Congressional Medal of Honor, despite his refusal to kill or carry weapons of any sort. In addition, Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider‑Man) is in negotiations to play Doss.

According to THR, “Doss made himself a legend when he saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa. He helped evacuate the wounded near enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers on the field, and in one overnight battle, was wounded by a grenade and later hit by a sniper while saving grunts. Doss also received two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.”

If Gibson tackles Hacksaw Ridge, it will mark his first directorial gig since 2006’s Apocalypto. As always, we’ll keep you posted.

Gibson’s next film, Blood Father – a thriller about an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her – will be released in 2015.

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Lee Jung-Jae is a martial arts star forced to fight in ‘Big Match’

"Big Match" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Big Match" Korean Theatrical Poster

Releasing domestically in December is Big Match, a Korean martial arts flick from director Choi Ho (Bloody Tie). The film stars Lee Jung-Jae (The Thieves), Shin Ha-Kyun (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), Lee Sung-Min (The Unjust) and BoA (Girls on Top).

Plot from asianwiki: Choi Ik-Ho (Lee Jung-Jae) is a martial arts star with talent for action and humor. But one day, he is framed for murder. Ace (Shin Ha-Kyun ) is a game planner, who makes a game for the Korean upper class. He is a villain who makes a city into a big gameboard through technology. Ace and Choi Ik-Ho become adversaries as Choi Ik-Ho jumps into the game to save his brother.

Update: Watch the 1st trailer. | 2nd trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Click here for a fight scene that has Lee Jung-Jae taking an entire SWAT team. Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate.

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Deal on Fire! Hard To Kill | Blu-ray | Only $4.88 – Expires soon!

Hard To Kill Blu-ray (Warner Brothers)

Hard To Kill Blu-ray (Warner Brothers)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Steven Seagal’s 1990 flick, Hard To Kill, directed by Bruce Malmuth (Nighthawks, Pentathlon)

Seagal plays a Detective who falls into a coma after being shot during a fire-fight that kills his wife and son. He reawakens 7 years later for revenge. Hard To Kill co-stars William Sadler (Die Hard 2) and Kelly LeBrock (Weird Science).

Fun Fact: The film was originally titled Seven Year Storm, but Warner thought the film would be more marketable with a more action-oriented title like Hard to Kill.

Order Hard To Kill from Amazon.com today!

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Popular anime ‘Attack on Titan’ coming to the big screen

"Attack On Titan" Teaser Poster

"Attack On Titan" Teaser Poster

The shrinking budget for complex computer-effects has allowed many Japanese filmmakers to bring the world of anime, with its gravity-defying heroes and city-destroying battles, into the realm of live-action. Successful adaptations of the Death Note and Gantz series have helped pave the way in recent years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, director Shinji Higuchi – known primarily for his special effects work on the 90′s Gamera trilogy – is preparing to bring Attack on Titan to the big screen in a two-part saga, the first of which releases next year. The series Attack on Titan takes place in a strange, quasi-medieval world in which giant humanoid creatures named Titans appear and threaten the lives of everyday people.

Civilization’s only line of defense of the Titans are teenage soldiers who traverse the Titans’ massive bodies using powerful grappling hooks. The first season of the popular show is currently streaming on Netflix.

In preparation of the film’s release next year, the producers have released several character posters (click here). - Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate (via ANN)

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Legend of Wisely, The (1987) Review

"The Legend of Wisely" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Legend of Wisely" Chinese Theatrical Poster

AKA: Legend of the Golden Pearl
Director: Teddy Robin Kwan
Writer: Gerald Liu
Producer: Sam Hui
Cast: Sam Hui, Ti Lung, Joey Wong, Teddy Robin Kwan, Bruce Baron, Blacky Ko, Heidi Makinen, Alan Kuo Yau Lun, Alan Lee, Kim Fan
Running Time: 86 min.

By Matthew Le-feuvre

With an unambiguous career spanning back to the infant days of Golden Harvest, Sam Hui – younger brother of Michael and Ricky – is probably better known internationally for his lengthy partnership with fellow comedy director, Karl Maka. Indeed the outrageous thought of combining these unique, yet converse, talents resulted in an ambitious celebration which doubly furnished south-east (Asians) and trans Atlantic cine-patrons with the popular (and very funny!) Aces Goes Places movies that, throughout the eighties, playfully lampoon the likes of Mission: Impossible, Cannonball Run and James Bond; even the mechanical innovations of (pre-Hollywood) Transformers was not exempt from parody. Still, the wacky capers of King Kong and Kodiak became a box office force to be reckoned with, until, sadly, an inevitable downward spiral.

Singing accolades; a hit television sketch show in unison with his brother, Michael; and the opportunity of socializing/instruction by the late maestro himself, Bruce Lee; weren’t enough for Hui to penetrate the highly competitive ‘kung fu’ market in the manner Samo Hung, Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, who were all able to collectively reinvent with kinetic realism, originality and passion.

Although he appeared in a support capacity for a couple of Lo Wei films –  Back Alley Princess (1972), starring Angela Mao Ying, and the Jimmy Wang Yu potboiler Tattooed Dragon (1974) – before achieving monumental acclaim as a novice gumshoe investigator in Private Eyes (1976), Hui was never really a skilled on-screen fighter (wire-work, minimal techniques and carefully paced editing were his secret methodology) unlike his contemporaries; whom often committed themselves to surreal acrobatic displays or complex stuntwork. Alternatively, he downplayed the traditional martial arts formats, and concentrated very hard on ‘promoting’ as well as ‘sustaining’ his comedic persona of the quintessential ladies’ man or a charming rogue. However, he never quite inherited or matched his elder brothers’ flare for deadpan delivery or wry expressionism.

As with most Hong Kong actors, Hui hankered for more effective control over his projects, especially in areas of production, finance, and casting. For direct advice he turned to his old friend, Maka – then, also – an active board member of Cinema City, the same company which invested in the Aces pictures.

Before long, inspiration came in the form of writers: Philip Cheng, Calvin Poon and Gerald Lin for an unusual script – by Hong Kong standards – entitled The Legend of Wisely (aka Legend of the Golden Pearl), a modern day action-fantasy; though, in essence integrates the panoply of science fiction by way of Chinese/Tibetan mythology. Ostensibly, the writers have modeled their concepts on a variety of stimulus: from Indiana Jones to The Golden Child to Jackie Chan’s own jet setting adventurer The Armor of God. In fact, one could say an eclectic stew of cultural references. Still, Hui was not dissuaded at all with the intended scope, quality or Hollywood comparisons of the screenplay which, in some instances, more or less acts like an expensive travelogue, than a studio-based production reliant on intricate set designs or blue screen technology.

Directed with neo-influenced zeal by Teddy Robin (who incidentally co-stars). Externally, The Legend of Wisely is a tightly packaged affair offering exquisite vistas of both the Himalayas and Egypt (specifically the pyramids), adrenalin-paced visuals, pyrotechnic extravaganzas and top notch choreography from Blackie Ho, whose dynamic arrangements equalize with the likes of Yuen Woo Ping and Ching Siu Tsung (A Chinese Ghost Story trilogy). The downside is the plotting, marred by formulaic dialogue and an editing continuity that flits between artistic grandeur and schizophrenia. However, the film’s core premise objectively concerns itself with the myth (or reality?!) of a magical pearl said to contain properties that expands human conciousness, senses and telepathy.

Enter Howard Hope (the late Bruce Baron), an enigmatic businessman who approaches novelist/playboy, Wisely – pronounced in Cantonese as “Wei-Say-Li” (Sam Hui) – with an inducement of tracking down his missing archeologist friend, David Ko (Teddy Robin); he declines. Out of interest, Wisely travels to the splendor of Nepal, Ko’s last known whereabouts. There, he discovers Ko has stolen the legendary pearl from its Tibetan keepers. It also transpires that Ko was secretly employed by a crime overlord named Pak Kei Wei (Ti Lung), who desires the pearl for himself.

After promising the Tibetans to recover the pearl for them, Wisely returns to Hong Kong and once more, Howard Hope reappears expressing an interest in Wisely’s findings, as well as those who actually retain the pearl. Following further confrontations – both physical and vehicular – Wisely persuades Pak Kei Wei’s sister, Sue Pak (Joey Wong), to unite with him and rescue Ko in perilous quest to solve the mystery of the golden pearl. Their journey ultimately takes the trio back to Nepal, via Egypt, with Pak Kei Wei in hot pursuit. Hidden agendas, concealed identities and labyrinth temple passages all await; but the biggest question remains: who is exactly Howard Hope? And what are his real intentions?!

Verdict: In addition to minor inconsistencies (to reveal more would inconvenience potential audiences into a conjectural debate over the complexity of the storyline which, to a point, coalesces with an almost elaborate formality), there are several loose ends that, despite fostering a need for clarity, never quite resolves itself. And to assert “a twist ending” would somehow advertise an intellectual falsity. Clever it is not! Intriguing, yes! But it’s all about spectacle before all else.

Matthew Le-feuvre’s Rating: 7.5/10

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Brotherhood of Blades | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

"Brotherhood of Blades" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Brotherhood of Blades" Chinese Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2015

Well Go USA presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Lu Yang’s Brotherhood of Blades, which stars Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Cecilia Liu (Badges of Fury).

Brotherhood of Blades tells of three friends (Chen, Wang Qianyuan, and Li Dongxue) who serve as Jinyiwei guards. They are dispatched by a palace eunuch (Nie Yuan) to hunt down a eunuch politician (Jin Shijie) who had been forced to resign from his influential post and exiled from Beijing. The Jinyiwei brothers return successfully from their quest, only to find that their task was but the beginning of a strange conspiracy. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Brotherhood of Blades from Amazon.com today!

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Well Go USA’s ‘Defective Disc Replacement Program’ launches today for U.S. and Canadian customers!

"Web of Death" Blu-ray Cover

"Web of Death" Blu-ray Cover

Last month, there was a recent discovery that a number of Blu-ray titles from Well Go USA have become defective, due to an error during the pressing of the actual discs. The defect consists of a bronze-like discoloration which forms on the play-side over time, and can potentially affect playback.

Today, Well Go USA contacted cityonfire.com regarding their “Defective Disc Replacement Program,” which has officially launched today for both their U.S. and Canadian customers.

Read on for a revised list of potentially affected Blu-ray titles and instructions on how to replace your defective discs:

Plano, TX (November 18, 2014) – Well Go USA has confirmed certain Blu-ray discs pressed at a replication facility used for a period between May 2010 – September 2011 may have a defective issue resulting in a bronze discoloration on the underside of the disc potentially leading to playback problems. We have confirmed this potential problem on 19 titles, though only small numbers of affected quantities.

The potentially affected Blu-ray titles are:

9TH COMPANY
ASSAULT GIRLS
BLOOD
BROTHERS FIVE
DELIGHTFUL FOREST, THE
DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE
FORK IN THE ROAD, A
HEROIC ONES, THE
IP MAN
IP MAN 2
KUNG FU DUNK
LEGEND OF THE FIST
MAN FROM NOWHERE, THE
SAMURAI PRINCESS
SHAOLIN
STOMP LIVE
STOOL PIGEON
WEB OF DEATH
WHITEWALL, THE

If you discover that your Blu-ray copy of one of the above titles has the bronze discoloration and will not play, please send the disc only (no packaging, please) to the following address for a replacement:

UNITED STATES:

Well Go USA Entertainment
ATTN: Defective Disc Replacement
1601 E. Plano Parkway
Suite 110
Plano, Texas 75074

CANADA:

Unidisc Music Inc.
ATTN: Defective Disc Replacement
57 b Hymus Blvd.
Pointe-Claire, QC
Canada, H9R 4T2

Please include only your discno packaging — along with the address to which you’d like us to mail your replacement. We will not be replacing or exchanging packaging. There is no need to email us in addition.

In the event any other titles are discovered with the same issue, they will be replaced accordingly. Thank you to our loyal fans and customers for your patience and understanding in this matter.

- Thanks to Well Go USA for their prompt reply and excellent customer service

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Full trailer for John Woo’s romantic war film ‘The Crossing’

"The Crossing" Teaser Poster

"The Crossing" Teaser Poster

THE MOVIE: John Woo’s long-in-development movie The Crossing (aka Love and Let Love) is a lush period romance set during the Sino-Japanese War and was previously known under the title 1949. The film stars Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Masami Nagasawa, and Song Hye-kyo.

The Crossing may not be the action epic that many of John Woo’s fans were hoping he would do next, but it’s still encouraging to have the acclaimed director back in good health and ready to work.

Updates: The movie has so far been billed as a Romeo and Juliet-esque love story, Chang promises that the historical setting means John Woo will be recreating battles from World War II and the Chinese Civil War. Good thing the film has a budget of $30 million, then!

According to THR, The Crossing is being dubbed the “Chinese Titanic,” in which it “celebrates the power of love” during a difficult period in Chinese history.

Updates: Watch the first trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the first full length trailer.

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Deal on Fire! A Better Tomorrow | Blu-ray | Only $9.99 – Expires soon!

"A Better Tomorrow" Blu-ray Cover

"A Better Tomorrow" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 2010′s A Better Tomorrow, a Korean remake of the 1986 John Woo film of the same name.

In the treacherous world of the black-market weapons trade, honor and vengeance go hand in hand…

This new take on the Hong Kong gangster classic features an all-star cast including Kim Gang-Woo’s (Marine Boy), Joo Jin-Mo’s (Musa) and Jo Han-Seon. It’s directed by Song Hae-Seong (Failan) and produced by John Woo himself.

Order A Better Tomorrow from Amazon.com today!

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Tom Cruise to play a mentor in the ‘Highlander’ reboot?

"Highlander" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Highlander" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: A remake of the 1986 action-fantasy flick Highlander is currently in the works. The original film revolved around an immortal Scottish swordsman who must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled “Prize”.

Updates: Melissa Rosenberg of Twilight fame has been hired to work on the script. Looks like Justin Lin has dropped out as director, and is just serving as producer on the project. Dark Horizons via Deadline added that 28 Weeks Later’s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is now up for the part of director. | Deadline reports that 28 Weeks Later’s Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is exiting the Highlander remake.

After losing Justin Lin and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Deadline reports that the Highlander reboot has a new director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. The reboot will serve as his directorial debut. Nicolas-Troyan’s previous credits include visual effects supervisor and second unit director for Snow White and the Huntsman.

BREAKING NEWS: The Wrap reports that Tom Cruise is being pursued by the studio to play the mentor role that Sean Connery portrayed in the 1986 film.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

First posters for Dolph Lundgren’s Nazi-killing ‘War Pigs’

"War Pigs" Teaser Poster

"War Pigs" Teaser Poster

Since there can never be enough movies about good ol’ Nazi killers, get ready for War Pigs, an upcoming action-war flick directed by Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers series), about a rag tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs, who must go behind enemy lines to exterminate Nazis by any means necessary.

War Pigs stars Expendable cast members Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke. Joining them are Luke Goss (Tekken), Ryan Kelley (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Noah Segan (Django Lives!), Chuck Liddell (Cradle 2 the Grave), Jake Stormoen (Cyborg X) and Steven Luke (Dust of War).

Updates: Here are the first images ( Photo 1 | Photo 2) from War Pigs, courtesy of the movie’s official Facebook page and Luke Goss’ Twitter (via Expendables Premier).

BREAKING NEWS: Check out three character posters, featuring Dolph Lundgren, Luke Goss and Mickey Rourke, courtesy of dolph-ultimate.com.

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Will Schwarzenegger be back for a ‘Running Man’ sequel?

"The Running Man" Theatrical Poster

"The Running Man" Theatrical Poster

Arnold Schwarzenegger will already “be back” for another Terminator, a 3rd Conan and a new Twins (aka Triplets) sequel. Now, there’s another 80s title he may be revisiting: the 1987 Sci Fi action/thriller The Running Man.

During a Q&A event in London, Schwarzenegger had this to say: “It’s an honor to be asked back after all these years, back to the [Conan] franchise. This is really wild… They’re doing a Twins sequel, to be called Triplets. I’ve read the first draft. There’s rumblings of a new Running Man movie, so it’s a great honor to be asked back…”

The original Running Man was based on a story by Stephen King about a futuristic TV show, where condemned criminals are given a chance for freedom by running through a gauntlet of heavily armed killers known as “Stalkers”.

If a new Running Man movie is indeed in the works, we’ll be sure to keep the updates coming. - Thanks to EP.com for the story!

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Chris Pratt is a disturbed assassin in ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’

"Cowboy Ninja Viking" Graphic Novel Cover

"Cowboy Ninja Viking" Graphic Novel Cover

Funny action man, Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), is set to play the lead in Universal’s adaptation of A.J. Lieberman’s graphic novel, Cowboy Ninja Viking. To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s Amazon’s description to the graphic novel:

“It started with Dr. Sebastian Ghislain: rogue psychotherapist/covert op/DJ. Tasked with creating a counter-intelligence unit, he turned to those long thought useless to society… patients with Multiple Personality Disorder. These agents became known simply as Triplets. Misguided? Yeah. Impractical? Sure. But did it work? Absolutely not. Now someone has located each Triplet and created a band of ridiculously disturbed, but highly effective assassins. Our only hope? A Triplet known as Cowboy Ninja Viking!”

No directors are currently in place (World War Z’s Marc Forster was previously attached), but we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as we hear more.

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New trailer for Tsui Hark’s ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’

"The Taking of Tiger Mountain" Teaser Poster

"The Taking of Tiger Mountain" Teaser Poster

Tsui Hark’s latest action film The Taking of Tiger Mountain will be premiering at this year’s Marché du Film Cannes Festival. The film is based on the real life story of an incident in 1946 during the Chinese Civil War, involving a communist reconnaissance team soldier Yang Zirong who disguised himself as a bandit to infiltrate a local gang of bandits, eventually helping the main communist force to destroy the bandits.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain stars Zhang Hanyu (Bodyguards and Assassins), Zhou Dongyu (My Old Classmate), Gao Hu (The Man From Macau), Tong Liya (Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons), Kenny Lin (Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon) and newcomer Han Geng. The film is getting a domestic release on December 24, 2014.

Updates: Promotional photo from The Taking of Tiger Mountain. | New teaser trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Check out the latest trailer and 8 new posters ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ), thanks to Film Combat Syndicate.

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R.I.P. Ken Takakura, Japanese actor

"Yakuza" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Yakuza" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Media outlets are reporting the death of acclaimed Japanese actor Ken Takakura, who died at the age of 83 on November 10th, due to lymphoma.

Takakura has left behind a memorable body of work, but he is perhaps best known to mainstream audiences for co-starring in Robert Aldrich’s Too Late the Hero (1970), Sydney Pollack’s The Yakuza (1974), Ridley Scott’s Black Rain (1989) and the comedy, Mr. Baseball (1992), opposite Tom Selleck.

Takakura mostly played Yakuza-type characters, due to his brooding, but cool style. Some of his most notable Japanese films include Golgo 13 (1973), The Bullet Train (1975), The Yellow Handkerchief (1977), Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005), and his latest film, Dearest (2012).

Our condolences go out to Takakura’s family and friends.

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Watch the second trailer for Netflix’s ‘Marco Polo’

"Marco Polo" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Marco Polo" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Netflix’s first 10-episode season of Marco Polo will soon be streaming on a TV or device near you. Judging from its new trailerMarco Polo promises the whole package: history, romance, drama, sex, swordplay and even some martial arts!

The series is written by John Fusco (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend) and the first episode is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

The series stars Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Joan Chen, Chin Han, Zhu Zhu, Olivia Cheng, Claudia Kim, Mahesh Jadu, Tom Wu, Remy Hii, Uli Latukefu, and Rick Yune.

In addition to Netflix’s Marco Polo, Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) has signed on to helm his own version of Marco Polo, which will be a 3D fantasy/action take on the story. There have also been additional reports that Cohen is considering his Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor leading man Jet Li (Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate) for a role.

Countless projects about the Venetian adventurer have been made in the past, but the obvious one that comes to our mind is 1975′s Marco Polo (aka Four Assassins), a Chang Cheh-directed Shaw Brothers film starring Richard Harrison, Alexander Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan Chun, Gordon Liu, Leung Kar Yan and Shih Szu.

Catch Netflix’s Marco Polo on December 12th. Until then, don’t miss the first trailer!

Updates: The second full trailer has been released.

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Man, Pride and Vengeance | Blu-ray (Blue Underground)

Man, Pride and Vengeance | Blu-ray (Blue Underground)

Man, Pride and Vengeance | Blu-ray (Blue Underground)

RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2015

Blue Underground presents the Blu-ray for 1967′s Man, Pride and Vengeance, directed by Luigi Bazzoni (Brothers Blue) and starring Frank Nero (Django) and Klaus Kinski (For a Few Dollars More).

According to SpaghettiWestern.net, Man, Pride and Vengeance tells the story of a Spanish soldier (Nero), who falls in love with a gypsy (Tina Aumont) only to end up deserting the army and being chased into the border lands, where he joins the gypsy smugglers to rob money for a journey to America. But it turns out his love has a husband (Kinski) and is only using him again and again.

Stay tuned for pre-order information.

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Steven Seagal to kicks ass as a terrorist killer in ‘Cypher’

"A Good Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"A Good Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Looks like Steven Seagal’s days of snapping necks, breaking bones and busting caps are far from over. It was recently announced at the American Film Market that the Aikido master has a $25 million dollar action thriller in the works titled Cypher.

According to Variety, Seagal will portray a special forces operative who – frustrated with the bureaucracy of war – goes rogue and tries to exterminate terrorists being protected by the government.

Cypher is based on an original script written by Seagal himself. There are currently no other stars or directors attached, but we’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Until then, you can catch Seagal in his latest film, Gutshot Straight, as well as the upcoming Mercenary Absolution.

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Arrow delivers two killer Japanese classics for its U.S. debut!

"Massacre Gun" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Massacre Gun" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Good news for those looking to add some Japanese gangster classics to their collection. Arrow Films – a UK-based film distributor that recently announced the expansion of its label into North America – is releasing two Yasuharu Hasebe (Assault! Jack the Ripper) titles to their U.S. debut line up.

The first is Massacre Gun (1967), a thriller about Kuroda (Jo Shishido of Branded to Kill), a mob hitman who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. The second is Retaliation (1968), a tale of gang warfare that also stars Shishido, along with Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honor) and Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood).

Along with the Italian Western flick, Day of Anger, these films are part of Arrow’s first wave of North American releases, all of which should hit retailers in early 2015. Stay tuned for pre-order information!

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Park Chan-wook to helm futuristic thriller ‘Second Born’

"Oldboy" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Oldboy" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Visionary director Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) is set to direct Second Born, a U.S. made, sci-fi thriller based on a screenplay by David Jagernauth.

According to Variety, “Second Born takes place in a futuristic world in which neural microchip implants are used to store one’s consciousness, leading to black market body-swapping.”

Park is also attached to a South Korean film called Fingersmith, which revolves around a group of female thieves and their plan to swindle a heiress.

As always, we’ll keep you updated on both Second Born and Fingersmith as we hear more. Stay tuned!

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Order Gordon Chan’s ‘Four 3D’ from DDDhouse.com today!

"Four 3D" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Four 3D" Chinese Theatrical Poster

All the way back when Gordon Chan’s 2012 wuxia picture The Four was announced, the producers were not shy about declaring their plans for a trilogy. Following their delivery of 2013′s The Four 2, Hong Kong cinema buffs should be pleased to hear that they kept their promise with Four 3D.

Now, DDDHouse.com has Four 3D on Blu-ray & DVD. The Four 3D is the third and final installment of the series, starring Deng Chao, Collin Chou, Ronald Cheng, Anthony Wong and Crystal Liu.

To make this news even better, these releases are coded for all region, so they are fully compatible with your North American Blu-ray/DVD players – so play on, player!

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Deal on Fire! Flash Point | Blu-ray | Only $8.81 – Expires soon!

"Flash Point" Blu-ray Cover

"Flash Point" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Flash Point, directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen – the talented duo who brought us the legendary Ip Man and Kill Zone.

A hot-headed inspector (Yen) takes on a small but powerful Vietnamese-Chinese gang, after a series of crimes and murder attempts committed and putting an undercover cop and his girlfriend in great danger.

Flash Point also stars Louis Koo, Collin Chou, Lui Leung-Wai, Fan Bingbing and Xing Yu.

Order Flash Point from Amazon.com today!

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Featurette for Jackie Chan’s epic action flick ‘Dragon Blade’!

"Dragon Blade" Teaser Poster

"Dragon Blade" Teaser Poster

Currently in post-production is Jackie Chan’s Dragon Blade, a period piece that sees a Roman Legion getting caught up in an adventure in China where they cross paths with a Chinese hero played by Chan. They are forced to join forces to battle an even greater foe that threatens the whole world.

Dragon Blade will be helmed by Daniel Lee, a veteran Hong Kong filmmaker, mostly known for 1994’s What Price Survival, 1996’s Black Mask, 2010’s 14 Blades, and most recently, 2011’s White Vengeance.

According to Super Chan’s Jackie Chan Blog (via Film Combat Syndicate), Dragon Blade has officially started filming: “Dragon Blade officially got underway today in Hengdian with some battle scenes. Filming conditions were difficult, as a combination of heat, heavy costumes and a long day took their toll on cast, crew and extras alike.”

A new promotional poster for Dragon Blade has hit the net. There have been numerous reports that Mel Gibson is co-starring, but judging from this newly released poster, we’re not sure if it’s official.

Updates: According to Impact, Mel Gibson isn’t in Dragon Blade after all. Instead, we have news that Adrien Brody and John Cusack are joining Chan. There’s also some speculation that Benny “the Jet” Urquidez (Dragons Forever, Wheels on Meals) might be attached as well. We’ll keep you updated. | Set photos of Jackie Chan in Dragon Blade. | New photos of Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack.

New press photo featuring the cast and director: Jackie Chan, John Cusack, Lin Peng, Amanda Wang and filmmaker, Daniel Lee. Also, some new plot details have emerged. According to Film Business Asia: “Cusack plays a Roman General who teams up with a former military commander (played by Chan) to protect the western border; Brody plays the villain who is in pursuit of Cusack’s character.”

Check out a pack of new posters ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ) | Latest poster from AFM, featuring all three male leads.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch a new featurette. - Thanks to Drunken Monk

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Cult director Albert Pyun to make his own ‘Kickboxer’ remake?

"Kickboxer 2" Theatrical Poster

"Kickboxer 2" Theatrical Poster

1989′s Kickboxer was just another stepping stone on a young Jean-Claude Van Damme’s path to stardom. The movie was little more than a remake of Bloodsport, this time transported to the world of Thai kickboxing, but the film was successful enough to spawn a number of sequels, and an upcoming reboot in 2015 by Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Zero).

The first sequel saw Cyborg director Albert Pyun team up with actor Sasha Mitchell for Kickboxer 2: The Road Back. This film actually received a limited theatrical release in 1991. Mitchell, who would later achieve fame as a co-star on the 90′s TV sitcom Step by Step, was supposedly playing the brother of Van Damme’s character from the original.

The formula must have worked as Sasha Mitchell stuck around for two direct-to-video sequels, Kickboxer 3: The Art of War and Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor, before domestic problems temporarily derailed his career.

Albert Pyun announced plans to resurrect the Kickboxer brand via a 12 to 18 episode web series. Pyun says he’s been brainstorming with Sasha Mitchell about story possibilities, and the two have hopes of securing financing from foreign investors at Cannes.

Updates: Looks like Albert Pyun’s Kickboxer project (not to be confused with Stephen Fung’s upcoming reboot with Alain Moussi) will finally see the light of day. Unlike previous reports, it will not be a web series. Here’s the scoop from Pyun himself (via Facebook): I was committed to making the Algiers screenplay in January/February. Our foreign distributor took the project out at the American Film Market, which is going on right now, until tomorrow. Well, a couple of shifts in the project. Turns out they would really prefer a Kickboxing film starring Sasha more than an Algiers. So quickly, Algiers became The Kickboxer and that shoots for 6 weeks in January and February… The plan is too shoot 3 weeks in LA and 3 weeks in Nevada.” Click here to see the promotional artwork for Pyun’s upcoming The Kickboxer, which also stars Michael Tushaus, Kevin Sorbo, Norbert Weisser and Scott Paulin.

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Deal on Fire! Van Damme 5-Movie Pack | Blu-ray | Only $35.99 – Expires soon!

Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack | Blu-ray (Universal)

Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack | Blu-ray (Universal)

Today’s Deal on Fire is for the Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack Blu-ray set, which has the following titles:

John Woo’s Hard Target (1993), Jean-Claude Van Damme’s The Quest (1996), Steven E. de Souza’s Street Fighter (1994), Peter Hyams’ Sudden Death (1995) and for the first time on Blu-ray, Sheldon Lettich’s Lionheart (1990).

The Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack is a 5-Disc set, which also includes the digital copy of each movie for your handheld devices. For about $7 a Blu-ray title, that’s a Damme good deal!

Order The Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack from Amazon.com today!

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Is Christoph Waltz the new ‘James Bond 25′ villain?

"Moonraker" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Moonraker" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Agent 007′s latest adventure, Skyfall, has gone on to become the most successful James Bond film of all time. With a final gross of over $1 billion worldwide, it’s no surprise that the Bond producers have asked Skyfall director Sam Mendes to return to helm Daniel Craig’s next outing as the super spy.

Latino Review reported that John Logan (Gladiator), one of four credited writers on Skyfall, has already been hired to write the next two films in the franchise.

Update: Screenwriter John Logan told Empire (via Collider): “Right now the first draft is almost done. I’m terrifically excited about it! I’ve been working very closely with Sam [Mendes], and it’s been joyous to pick up from our work on Skyfall and just continue on with the storytelling. The new movie continues the themes of Skyfall. Some of the characters and themes that we began to introduce in Skyfall will play out, I hope successfully, in the next movie.”

Logan also mentions the possibility of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. making a presence: “There might be [a presence of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.]! Honestly, not being evasive, but the great thing about Bond is that I have fifty years of movies – 23 movies and all the Ian Fleming novels and short stories, all of which are fodder. And when I’m working on the new Bond I’m constantly going back to Fleming and the other movies – what are the bits and pieces, what are the resonances? One of the things we learned in Skyfall is that the audience really enjoyed those, they enjoyed when they saw the Aston Martin, they enjoyed when we had references to things they grew up with, either from Ian Fleming or from the other movies, and that’s always been a part of my thinking about Bond.” | According to Collider, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Red Belt, 12 Years a Slave) is the top choice for the villain of Bond 24.

During a Charlie Rose interview (via Collider), director Sam Mendes explains why he finally decided to return to the director’s chair for Bond 24: “I cast a new M, I cast a new Moneypenny, I cast a new Q, I cast a new Tanner… I felt there was a way to create the second part of a two-part story.” The director also states that it will feel like a continuation of Skyfall. Bond 24 has a planned UK release date set for October 23, 2015 and for the U.S., November 6, 2015. | Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color) was in talks to join the film.

According to Collider (via MI6): “Casting has begun for the main assassin, with the search specifically focussed on someone extremely physically fit and over 6′ 2″. Whoever wins the role will have several altercations with Daniel Craig’s 007 throughout the film and also a driving sequence. Former sports athletes will be under consideration along with anyone ‘very unusual’. The character has the working name of ‘Hinx’ (which may change before shooting starts) and is said to be between 30 and 45 years old.”

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar) is taking over duties for Roger Deakins (Skyfall). In addition, Mendes might be shooting Bond 24 on film, as opposed to digital. Production begins in December.

According to Latino Review, MMA star Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Kickboxer remake) is set to play HINX, an Odd Job/Jaws-type villain, in Bond 24.

BREAKING NEWS: Christoph Waltz may be a villain in Bond 24. “While this is still technically a rumor, it comes from a source who is often right about these matter,” reports Collider.

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New Nan Yu character posters for Jacky Wu’s ‘Wolf Warriors’

"Wolf Warriors" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Wolf Warriors" Chinese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Special Force: Wolf Warrior (aka Wolf WarWolf or Warg) is Wu Jing’s second directorial project. You’ll likely recall Jing (also known as Jacky Wu) from recent movies like Sha Po Lang aka Killzone, in which he fought against Donnie Yen, as well as Legendary Assassin, which he also directed. No plot details or release dates have been set.

Special Force: Wolf Warrior also stars Scott Adkins (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), Kevin Lee (Pound of Flesh), Vincent Zhao (True Legend) Deng Ziyi (Pay Back), Sona Eyambe (Zombie 108), Kyle Shapiro (Dragon Blade), Samuel Thivierge (In the End) and Nan Yu (The Expendables 2).

Updates: The official Scott Adkins Facebook page has unveiled some new set photos from the upcoming Wolf Warriors, featuring Adkins and Jacky Wu. | First teaser trailer. | Series of new posters.

BREAKING NEWS: Here a few new posters featuring Nan Yu, thanks to Film Combat Syndicate.

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