Deal on Fire! Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection | Blu-ray | Only $75.99 – Expires soon!

"Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection" Packaging

"Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection" Packaging

Today’s Deal on Fire is for Shout! Factory’s Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection. The set includes both Blu-ray and DVD copies for 1971′s The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury), 1972′s Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection), 1972′s Way of the Dragon (aka Return of the Dragon) and 1978′s Game of Death.

Also included are three full-length documentaries: 1983′s Bruce Lee: The Legend, 1973′s Bruce Lee: The Man, The Legend and 2012′s I Am Bruce Lee, plus a bonus disc featuring two hours of exclusive content. The Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection also comes packaged in a full color, bookcase-style packaging.

Order The Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection from Amazon.com today!

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Order Joe Chien’s ‘Zombie Fight Club’ at DDDhouse.com

"Zombie Fight Club" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Zombie Fight Club" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Question: What do you get when you mix The Raid with George Romero, and add a dash of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and David Fincher’s movie? Answer: Zombie Fight Club!

DDDHouse.com now has Zombie Fight Club on Blu-ray & DVD. Keep in mind that the DVD version is Region 3 coded, so you will need a multi-region DVD player to view the movie. Fortunately, the Blu-ray version is coded for region A, so it’s good to go on your current North American Blu-ray hardware.

This martial arts/zombie flick is directed by Joe Chien (Zombie 108) and stars Phillip Ng (Once Upon a Time in Shanghai), Andy On (Special ID), Jessica C. (Double Trouble), Jack Kao (Zombie 108), Michael Wong (Nightfall), Terence Yin (Firestorm), Derek Tsang (Dream Home) and Candy Yuen. Don’t miss the film’s trailer!

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The latest on Mark Dacascos’ star-filled flick ‘Showdown in Manila’

"Drive" UK DVD Cover

"Drive" UK DVD Cover

According to KFC, martial arts star Mark Dacascos (Drive) is set to direct Showdown in Manila, an upcoming Expendables-esque movie that will feature an ensemble cast that includes Dacascos himself, Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Matthias Hues (No Retreat, No Surrender II), Cynthia Rothrock (Shanghai Express), Olivier Gruner (Nemesis), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Perfect Weapon), Monsour del Rosario (Bloodfist 2), Don “The Dragon” Wilson (White Tiger) and Alexander Nevsky (Black Rose).

Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die), who worked with Dacascos in 2003′s Cradle 2 the Grave, will be producing. Showdown in Manila marks the second directorial project for Dacascos, following his unreleased, Russian-produced debut feature, Changing Lives.

In addition to Showdown in Manila, Dacascos has several projects in pre-production/post-production status, including Ultimate Justice, The Extendables, Operation Rogue, Beyond the Game, Mortal Kombat Legacy: Season 3 and Garuda 7.

Showdown in Manila is scheduled to begin shooting in February. Stay tuned for more details!

Updates: According to Alexander Nevsky (via KFC), James Lew (Big Trouble in Little China) and Tia Carrere (Showdown in Little Tokyo) are joining the cast of Showdown in Manila.

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Man on High Heels (2014) Review

"Man on High Heels" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Man on High Heels" Korean Theatrical Poster

Director: Jang Jin
Writer: Jang Jin
Producer: Jang Jin
Cast: Cha Seung-Won, Oh Jeong-Se, Lee Som, Go Kyung-Pyo, Shin Sung-Hun, Jo Bok-Rae, Park Chang-Hee
Running Time: 125 min.

By Paul Bramhall

In many ways the gangster genre is to the Korean movie industry what the heroic bloodshed genre was to the Hong Kong movie industry of the 90’s. Ever since Korean cinema gained international recognition in the late 90’s, every year we can be guaranteed a hard hitting slice of gangster violence and bloody backstabbing. While for many this might be all that’s needed, for those who long for a slightly different angle, director and writer Jang Jin looks to be delivering just that with his latest offering – Man on High Heels.

Jin is a prolific director who’s worked in various genres, but to western audiences the title which will likely be most familiar is 2001’s Guns and Talks, which featured a young Won Bin in a quirky tale of four hitmen living together. With Man on High Heels, we get a typical tale of a cop on the tail of a pair of gangster brothers, however what’s not so typical, is that the cop in question secretly harbors the desire to be a woman.

The above description may sound like the setup for another quirky take on a well established genre, but surprisingly, Jin boldly decides to play the whole thing completely straight (no pun intended). The challenge of portraying such a character is given to Cha Seung-won, who rises up to the part with aplomb. We’re introduced to his character as the epitome of masculinity – he never uses a gun, his body is covered in scars, he has steel pins in his arms and legs, to his colleagues he’s a cyborg, to criminals he’s a legend – basically, someone who doesn’t have an ounce of femininity in him.

Within the first 10 minutes he’s single handedly raided a karaoke room, seating 11 armed gangsters, in a scene which will make you realize that the carcasses of recently eaten crabs and lobsters can make just as effective weapons as knives and daggers. It’s a brutally choreographed sequence, one which has blood spraying everywhere and a massive amount of pain being dished out, but it also establishes the almost hyper reality that the movie sets itself in.

Seung-won is essentially a one-man army, an army that even the gangsters admire. In another scene one of the gangster brothers dreamily recalls the first time he encountered him. In the flashback Seung-won stands in a rain drenched street holding an umbrella, as a horde of umbrella wielding attackers charge towards him, everyone dressed in sharp black suites. He takes them down one by one in a flurry of kicks and punches (and umbrellas) to the face, before the scene comes to an end and the gangster wistfully recalls that he didn’t get a single drop of rain on him.

These scenes are a joy to behold, sharply choreographed and violent to the point of being over the top, the transition to Seung-won’s woes over his identity crisis should be laughable against such a backdrop of machismo. Somehow though, they’re not, thanks to the combination of Jin’s assured direction and Seung-won’s committed performance. When his associate takes him to a transgender club to help find his look as a woman, it’s a scene which could potentially derail everything in a lesser talents hands, but here it all just fits into place.

Jin seems to be aiming at paying as much attention to the both the gangster storyline and Seung-won’s goal to have a sex-change operation, and he’s almost successful. Onscreen the gangster storyline is ultimately more prevalent than the transgender one, which if anything only makes the movie a more interesting beast. Should it be marketed as a transgender study, or a gangster flick? The decision to go for both is apparent even in the movies marketing, the Korean poster showing a roughed up Seung-won in a feminine blouse, easily making for one of the most unique viewing experiences in recent memory.

Jin deftly works in a healthy dose of black humor into proceedings. When Seung-won finally makes the decision to venture out into public in woman’s clothing, the elevator of his apartment breaks down, resulting in what he’d hoped would be a quiet ride having the small space gradually occupied by more and more passengers. As his phone rings and he answers with a male voice, causing everyone to turn around and stare, it may seem like a cheap laugh at people who choose to be transgender, but the look of hurt and embarrassment Seung-won portrays quickly gives the scene an unexpected poignancy.

It’s these moments, in which his expressions reveal a massive sense of vulnerability, and his body language an unmistakable femininity, that really make his performance stand out, as we’re suddenly witness to someone a world away from the one-man army image he’s built up of himself. An equally delicate touch is given to the flashback scenes of Seung-won’s childhood, in which he develops a same-sex relationship with another boy in his class, one which eventually leads to tragedy, but also ties into why he chooses to be seen as the epitome of masculinity. While a more scholarly reviewer may call foul on the presumption that being gay leads to transgender issues, or indeed vice versa, in the context of the story these elements all tie together.

Intended as a metaphor or not for the way people who are transgender constantly have to put aside their desire to fully transition to who they want to be, in the movie Seung-won finds that being a one-man army also brings with it a lot of grudges that aren’t easy to let go of, and needless to say for the finale those grudges come back with a vengeance. Traditionally in Asian cinema when a good guy enters the finale wearing white, whether it be Chow Yun Fat in The Killer, Jimmy Wang Yu in Golden Swallow, or any number of others, it means things are about to get bloody. It’s a credit to all involved that in the finale of Man on High Heels, the fact that the white Seung-won is wearing happens to be a ladies blouse couldn’t seem more appropriate, and what follows is one of the most bloody finale’s I’ve seen in a long time. For audiences who like their vengeance served without mercy, Man on High Heels delivers with an almost unapologetic delight.

Thankfully Jin respects the subject matter enough to not just forget about all that’s come before, and the final moments give a worthy emotional depth and respect to bring the movie to a close. All in all, Man on High Heels succeeds in its mission to blend a pair of unlikely storylines, and for that alone, it comes with a strong recommendation.

Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 8/10

Posted in Korean, News, Reviews | Tagged | 2 Comments

Ninja: Immovable Heart | DVD (Peace Arch Trinity)

Ninja: Immovable Heart | DVD (Peace Arch Trinity)

Ninja: Immovable Heart | DVD (Peace Arch Trinity)

RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2015

A ninja flick with the car from Mad Max? Peace Arch Trinity presents the DVD for the 2014 Australian martial arts flick Ninja: Immovable Heart, directed by and starring Rob Baard with Roger Neave and Danny Glover.

Reeve (Baard) is a member of an elite covert group who is captured, beaten and brutally tortured by the very government he used to work for. With the help of his old mentor John Carpenter (Neave), Reeve must strip away, and rid himself of the emerging demons of his past, so that he may understand the core essence of Ninjutsu. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Ninja: Immovable Heart from Amazon.com today!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles | 3 Comments

Happy Holidays from Cityonfire.com!

Wishing you a beautiful holiday and a New Year of peace and happiness!

– From your friends at Cityonfire.com

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Deal on Fire! Chuck Norris Triple Feature | Blu-ray | Only $8.99 – Expires soon!

Chuck Norris: Triple Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Chuck Norris: Triple Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray set for the Chuck Norris Total Attack Pack. This 3 disc collection includes three of Norris’ most acclaimed films, including an early one by filmmaker Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Under Siege):

Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), starring David Carradine; Code of Silence (1985), starring Henry Silva; and The Delta Force (1986), starring Lee Marvin and Robert Forster.

Order the Chuck Norris: Triple Feature from Amazon.com today!

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Explosive trailer for Chow Yun-fat’s ‘From Vegas To Macau 2’

"From Vegas To Macau II" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"From Vegas To Macau II" Chinese Theatrical Poster

A sequel to Wong Jing’s From Vegas To Macau (aka God of Gamblers 4) is just around the corner. Chow Yun-fat return’s as Ko Chun, a world-famous gambler, so renowned and talented at winning various games of chance, that he is referred to as the “God of Gamblers.” The big news is the addition of Nick Cheung (Unbeatable) and Carina Lau (Let the Bullets Fly). Unfortunately, Nicholas Tse will not be returning due to scheduling conflicts.

According Jaynestars: “The production team is determined to impress this time around. From Vegas To Macau 2 reportedly has a budget of $150″

Update: Jaynestars reports that Shawn Yue (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen) is taking Nicholas Tse’s place. | Watch the first trailer, which will be getting its domestic release on February 19, 2015.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the newest trailer!

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‘Traffickers’ director returns to crime with ‘The Con Artists’

"The Con Artists" Korean Theatrical Poster

"The Con Artists" Korean Theatrical Poster

Crime definitely pays for Kim Hong-Sun, who was honored with “Best New Director” at the 33rd Blue Dragon Awards for 2012′s Traffickers (read our review). The South Korean filmmaker returns to familiar territory – albeit less dark – with The Con Artists (aka The Technicians or Criminal Designer), which opens domestically on December 24, 2014.

According to HC, The Con Artists is about the business of technicians who gather together to steal 150 billion won hidden in the Incheon Customs during a limited time frame of 40 minutes.

The film stars Kim Woo-Bin (Friend 2: The Legacy), Lee Hyun-Woo (Battle of Yeonpyeong), Ko Chang-Seok (Quick) and Jo Yoon-Hee (Doomsday Book). Don’t miss its trailer!

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Deal on Fire! Yakuza Weapon | Blu-ray | Only $8.99 – Expires soon!

"Yakuza Weapon" Blu-ray Cover

"Yakuza Weapon" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Yakuza Weapon, written and directed by both Tak Sakaguchi (star of Versus) and Yudai Yamaguchi (Battlefield Baseball).

Based on the manga by the late Ken Ishikawa (Getter Robo), Yakuza Weapon revolves around Shozo Iwaki (Sakaguchi), who works as a mercenary in South America. Iwaki is informed of the death of his gang boss dad and discovers his former Yakuza henchman is involved in a double-cross. Now it’s revenge time!

Order Yakuza Weapon from Amazon.com today!

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Vigilante (1983) Review

"Vigilante" Theatrical Poster

"Vigilante" Theatrical Poster

AKA: Street Gang
Director: William Lustig
Writer: Richard Vetere
Producer: Andrew W. Garroni, William Lustig
Cast: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda, Don Blakely, Joseph Carberry, Willie Colón, Joe Spinell, Carol Lynley, Frank Pesce, Steve James, Woody Strode
Running Time: 90 min.

By HKFanatic

Vigilante opens with a scene of Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn, the original Inglorious Bastards) addressing a ‘neighborhood watch’-style meeting but more or less pointing his finger at the camera, as he explains how the streets have been taken over by gangs and it’s high time the community did something about it. If the police and the legal system can’t protect us, he argues, we’ve got to protect ourselves – by any means necessary. His speech is intercut with shots of concerned citizens practicing their aim at a firing range. This scene is completely awesome… and yet it has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.

Despite his considerable oratorical skills, Fred Williamson doesn’t seem to get his neighbors too excited about fighting crime. Vigilante is really concerned with Robert Forster’s character and his journey to take criminal punishment into his own hands. It’s a plot that will feel familiar to anyone who’s seen a Death Wish movie. Forster plays a factory worker who lives in a not-so-good neighborhood of New York but remains fairly ignorant to the violence that goes on outside his front door. All that changes until his wife and son are targeted by a vicious street gang. A lot of bad shit goes down and Forster eventually ends up in prison. It’s a short stay and once he’s back on the streets, he remembers Fred Williamson’s words and decides it’s high time for some vigilante-style justice.

Director William Lustig was famous in the 80′s for making squalid and gritty films set in the worst parts of New York City. In 1980, he unleashed Maniac on the world – one of the sleaziest horror films ever made, starring the great Joe Spinell (The Godfather: Part II, Rocky) in the lead role. Spinell has a short appearance in Vigilante, which Lustig made before embarking on the Maniac Cop series.

There are a few films from the 70′s and 80′s that make New York City during that era look like one of the worst places in America to live. Vigilante is one of them. The sky is gray, the streets are dirty, muggers and rapists lurk around every corner. There are only 2 cop cars on patrol on nights when the city needs 10. The legal system can’t do jack because of slimy lawyers and holier-than-thou judges. Watch Vigilante, and you start feeling the self-righteous anger of a concerned citizen – you really want to see Fred Williamson take out the trash. We are clearly in exploitation movie territory here. And you know what? It feels good!

The only thing that holds Vigilante back is the performances. Fred Williamson is great – it’s probably the most impressive performance of his career – but most everyone else in the cast is way too low-key. I know this isn’t exactly an Oscar-nomiated, A-grade film but come on: if your movie features little kids being shot down like animals, I want to see some intensity! Robert Forster and the actress who play his wife just don’t “bring it” during their dramatic scenes. When Forster is nearly assaulted in the prison showers by an inmate the size of a mountain, he fails to communicate the fear and trauma you would feel in such a situation.

During its last act, Vigilante becomes a nearly wordless action picture so I suppose the performances become less of an issue. There’s a car chase through the streets of Brooklyn that’s really quite spectacular considering the low-budget origins of the film. I doubt Lustig had permission to close off city blocks to shoot the chase but the filmmakers did a good job through careful editing. Nothing beats an old-school chase where the bottoms of cars are literally slamming against the pavement. One of my favorite moments of the film comes when Forster finally corrals the guy who killed his son and threatens to toss him from a great height to his death. “Go ahead, man!” the punk yells in Forster’s face. “It don’t mean shit to me!” Whoa. That’s some intense, nihilistic stuff right there.

Vigilante features great direction from William Lustig and a well-paced script full of memorable dialogue. The score by Jay Chattaway (Missing in Action, Silver Bullet) is funky and melodic; a good fit for the film. I just wanted more authenticity from some of the cast members. Even if it’s not a prestige picture, you need actors to sell the drama of the story. When characters remained unphased by even the most brutal of happenings, it just takes me out of the movie. Thankfully, Fred Williamson brought his A-game to this picture. He’s off the charts on the bad-ass scale, so I can at least recommend Vigilante if you like exploitative revenge movies (Death Wish, etc.). The video transfer on Blue Underground’s blu-ray release of the film is exceptional, as is always the case for Blue Underground.

HKFanatic’s Rating: 6.5/10

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Class of 1984 | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

Class of 1984 | Blu-ray & DVD (Shout! Factory)

Class of 1984 | Blu-ray & DVD (Shout! Factory)

RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2015

Shout! Factory presents the Blu-ray for the 1982 cult classic flick, Class of 1984, directed by Mark Lester (Commando).

Class of 1984 revolves around a newly hired music teacher at a troubled high school, where students have to pass through a metal detector due to problems with gangs, drugs and violence. The film stars Timothy Van Patten, Roddy McDowall, Stefan Arngrim, Lisa Langlois, Keith Knight, Neil Clifford and Michael J. Fox. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Class of 1984 from Amazon.com today!

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‘Kickboxer’ reboot now titled ‘Kickboxer: Vengeance’?

"Kickboxer" Japanese DVD Cover

"Kickboxer" Japanese DVD Cover

Radar Pictures is rebooting 1990′s Kickboxer with John Stockwell (In the Blood) at the helm. The film is being written by Jim McGrath (1990′s Elvis TV series) and Dimitri Logothetis (Wings of the Dragon). Newcomer Alain Moussi (click here to read our interview with him) will take on the role of Kurt Sloan, the film’s main character.

Other stars include WWE star Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists), UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Gina Carano (Haywire), Darren Shahlavi (Ip Man 2), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer), T.J. Storm (Punisher: War Zone), Matthew Ziff (The Martial Arts Kid) and Sara Malakul Lane.

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.

Updates: 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.

Tony Jaa has dropped out. 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. | Hong Kong’s Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Hero) is no longer directing the film. Instead, American filmmaker John Stockwell (In the Blood, Into the Blue) is taking over directing duties.

THR reports that Jean-Claude Van Damme will be playing Alain Moussi’s “mentor” in Kickboxer. Here’s what Radar Films’ Ted Field had to say: “We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation.” The film begins shooting this week in New Orleans and will also have a later shoot in Thailand.

BREAKING NEWS: According to the film’s official Facebook page, Kickboxer is now called Kickboxer: Vengeance (most likely to differentiate the film from Albert Pyun’s upcoming Kickboxer title). Also, new details have emerged about some of the cast members: Gina Carano’s character is a “sneaky and dangerous temptress, a boa constrictor of this fighting jungle,” and JCVD’s actual character is named Master Durand (not Master Chow, as previously reported when Tony Jaa was attached). Stay tuned for more updates!

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Blood Factor | DVD (Bayview Entertainment)

Blood Factor | DVD (Bayview Entertainment)

Blood Factor | DVD (Bayview Entertainment)

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015

Bayview Entertainment presents the DVD for the acclaimed indie actioner, Blood Factor (aka Blood Ties), directed by and starring Kely McClung (American Ninja 4: The Annihilation).

Black Operative Jack Davis is forced back into the game when his brother is kidnapped while working for a foreign embassy. From the shadow of the Washington Monument to the exotic streets of Bangkok, Jack uses his lethal skills to bring his brother back home. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Blood Factor from Amazon.com today!

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles | Leave a comment

Beam me up, Justin! ‘Fast Five’ director to helm ‘Star Trek 3′

"Star Trek Into Darkness" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Star Trek Into Darkness" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Since J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) is putting all his time and effort towards Star Wars: Episode VII, it should come to no surprise that a new director is taking over the reins for the third chapter of Star Trek reboot franchise.

Previously, Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), producer Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness writer), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Duncan Jones (Source Code), Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and Joe Cornish (Attach the Block) were attached to Star Trek 3.

Now, Deadline reports that Justin Lin, director of Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, is set to helm the next entry of the series, which has a release date set for July 8, 2016. Stay tuned as we hear more information.

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Don “The Dragon” Wilson takes on horror in the ‘The Horde’

"Out for Blood" Promotional Poster

"Out for Blood" Promotional Poster

Next year, horror and action will collide in Jared Cohn’s thriller, The Horde (not to be confused with the 2009 French film of the same name). The upcoming film follows a group of innocent people whose camping trip is cut short when they’re targeted by a swarm of mutated killers. Fortunately, their odds for survival are evened up when an ex-Navy Seal gets thrown into the mix.

The Horde stars martial artist Paul Logan (Ballistica), Costas Mandylor (Saw IV, Fist of the North Star), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects), Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior), Nestor Serrano, Tiffany Brouwer, Sydney Sweeney, Nils Allen Stewart, Frankie Ray and Bobby C. King.

On a special note, be on the lookout for 11-time World Kickboxing Champion, Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Blood Fist). The martial arts Hall of Famer told cityonfire.com that he will have short, but memorable appearance in the film (click here for a set photo of Wilson with producer Gabriel Campisi).

Along with the Dragon’s The Martial Arts Kid and White TigerThe Horde is scheduled to be released in 2015. We expect a trailer to hit soon. Stay tuned!

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Daniel Wu to play kung fu badass in AMC’s series ‘Badlands’

"Purple Storm" Japanese DVD Cover

"Purple Storm" Japanese DVD Cover

Hong Kong film star Daniel Wu (Purple Storm) is set to play the lead in AMC’s upcoming martial arts series, Badlands. According to Variety, the series is based on the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West, which follows a ruthless warrior (Wu) and a young boy who take a dangerous journey together to find enlightenment.

In addition to starring, Wu, along with long time friend and partner, Stephen Fung (Tai Chi Hero), will also serve as an executive producer. The series – created by Al Gough and Miles Millar (Shanghai Noon) – will be directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers).

Badlands is currently in pre-production with an expected premiere in late 2015/early 2016. We’ll keep you posted, so stay tuned!

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Deal on Fire! Alien Anthology + Prometheus | Blu-ray | Only $19.98 – Expires soon!

"Alien Anthology + Prometheus" Blu-ray Covers

"Alien Anthology + Prometheus" Blu-ray Covers

Today’s Deal on Fire is for the Alien Anthology 6-Disc Blu-ray set, which includes Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection plus a log pile of extra features. In addition, you’ll also get the Prometheus Blu-ray! For about $4 a movie, this is one deal you don’t want to be alienated from!

Order the Alien Anthology + Prometheus Bundle from Amazon.com today!

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‘New World’ director reunites with Choi Min-shik for ‘Big Tiger’

"Crying Fist" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Crying Fist" Korean Theatrical Poster

Earlier this month, production began on Big Tiger, an upcoming South Korean film directed by Park Hoon-jung (New World). According to FBA, Big Tiger is a period drama about a hunter who is enlisted to catch the last surviving tiger in the Korean peninsula during the Japanese occupation.

Park, who’s also known for writing the screenplays for Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil and Ryu Seung-Wan’s The Unjust, reunites with acting sensation Choi Min-shik (Old Boy, Crying Fist), who plays the lead to co-stars Jeong Man-Sik (Kundo), Kim Sang-Ho (Moss), Sung Yoo-Bin (Manhole) and Ren Osugi (Yellow Elephant).

Big Tiger is due for release mid-2015 release. Stay tuned for more updates!

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Dangerously Close | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

Dangerously Close | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

Dangerously Close | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2015

Olive Films presents the Blu-ray & DVD for 1986′s Dangerously Close, directed by Albert Pyun (Cyborg).

A group of high school students who call themselves “The Sentinels” begin terrorizing classmates. Soon, one of their targets ends up brutally murdered. An editor of the school paper begins to investigate and “The Sentinels” become even more ruthless!

This cult favorite stars John Stockwell (director of the upcoming Kickboxer reboot), J. Eddie Peck (Blind Heat), Carey Lowell (License to Kill). Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Dangerously Close from Amazon.com today!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Other Notable Titles | Tagged | 1 Comment

1st image from Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ remake

"The Man from UNCLE: One Spy Too Many" Japanese Poster

"The Man from UNCLE: One Spy Too Many" Japanese Poster

Due for release in 2015 is Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. remake, which is based on the hugely popular 1960s television series of the same name. Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as Illya Kuryakin. The upcoming film also stars Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, and Jared Harris.

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.

The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

Updates: According to Cinema Blend, The Lone Ranger’s Armie Hammer is attached to star alongside Tom Cruise. | Deadline reports that Tom Cruise has exited as the lead in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but he has stepped out to focus on producing and starring in Mission: Impossible 5. | Collider reports that Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill may be Cruise’s replacement. | Deadline reports that Hugh Grant is joining the cast.

BREAKING NEWS: Here’s the first image from Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. remake, featuring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.

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Latest training footage for Tak Sakaguchi’s action film ‘Re:Born’

"Versus" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Versus" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Tak Sakaguchi rose to fame with the 2001 cult favorite Versus, a movie that managed to combine the low-budget charms of Evil Dead-like horror with blistering martial arts and gunplay. The actor later scored another cult hit with Battlefield Baseball, but has most recently hitched his wagon to the Sushi Typhoon production company.

In April of 2013, new broke out that Tak was retiring from acting, which left an unknown fate for his recently announced role in Death Trance II, not to mention a long-rumored sequel to Versus.

Cityonfire.com was recently contacted by director Yuji Shimomura (Death Trance) with breaking news that Tak was out of retirement to make Re:Born, which the actor calls his “very last” and “most superb” action movie:

“After I retired, I found myself having a passion for action that was still smoldering inside of me. After a conversation with action director Yuji Shimomura, I wanted to thrive one more time and create the very last and most superb action movie with my utmost power and passion for the sake of a closure to my entire career. I am convinced that I have to give my very best one last time. That is how I feel about this project. I didn’t realize how many people chose to support a person like myself until after I retired. I hope this movie will be satisfying enough for them to feel absolutely alright for me to go. This is for them.”

Re:Born doesn’t start shooting until 2015. Until then, Shimomura provided us with an “audition” video (Part 1) for Re:Born featuring Tak in some intense sparring action. Enjoy!

Updates: Footage (Part 2) of Sakaguchi getting in shape for Re:Born. | 3rd chapter of promo footage (Part 3) for Tak Sakaguchi’s “Ultimate Action Movie” Re:Born.

BREAKING NEWS: New “training” footage (Part 3.5) has just been sent to us by director Yuji Shimomura. This new video features supervision from Tak’s one and only master, Yoshitaka Inagawa, who has established the “Zero Range Combat” technique. ”Tak mastered it in months when one does in years,” says Inagawa, who will be handling the film’s action choreography. Re:Born will start shooting in the Spring of 2015.

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R100 | Blu-ray & DVD (Drafthouse Films)

"R100" Theatrical Poster

"R100" Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015

Draft House Films presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Hitoshi Matsumoto’s (Big Man Japan) R100. The title of the film is a play on the Japanese rating system (R18 is equivalent to our NC-17), so “R100″ should give you an idea of what to expect.

In this audaciously kinky, meta-comedic thriller, a lonely father with a secret taste for S&M (Nao Ohmori, best known for his titular turn in Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer) finds himself pursued by a gang of ruthless dominatrices. Don’t miss the trailer.

Pre-order R100 from Amazon.com today!

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Robert Rodriguez to conquer Live-action ‘Fire and Ice’

"Fire and Ice" Theatrical Poster

"Fire and Ice" Theatrical Poster

Looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Legend of Conan may have some tough competition. According to Deadline, Robert Rodriguez (Machete) will be directing a Live-action version of Ralph Bakshi’s 1983 animated cult classic, Fire And Ice.

The original – based on characters created by legendary fiction artist Frank Frazetta – is a fantasy tale that took place during a time where savage warriors, horrific monsters and luscious maidens battled for the soul of a civilization. The feature was produced using rotoscoping, a process where scenes were shot in live action and then traced onto animation cels, giving the animation a seamless, life-like motion.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about Fire and Ice. Stay tuned!

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Traffickers (2012) Review

"Traffickers" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Traffickers" Korean Theatrical Poster

AKA: Traffikers
Director: Kim Hong-Sun
Writer: Kim Hong-Sun, Kim Sang-Myun
Producer: Won Hyun-Jae
Cast: Im Chang-Jung, Daniel Choi, Jo Yoon-Hee, Oh Dal-Su, Jo Dal-Hwan, Jung Ji-Yoon, Lee Young-Hoon and Choi Il-Hwa
Running Time: 111 min.

By Kyle Warner

They say that truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense. What they left out is that films based on a true story also have to make sense, regardless of whether that ruins the truthiness of the tale (my spellcheck didn’t even blink at the word ‘truthiness’ – a sign of the coming Apocalypse, I’m sure). To make a true story more understandable or presentable, it’s not uncommon to add a bit of dramatization. I’m not going to pretend to be familiar with the true story that inspired the film Traffickers, however I feel it’s pretty safe to assume that writer/director Hong-seon Kim and co. added their fair share of fictional drama to the story. What’s interesting is that they managed to put much of this theatrical drama in all the wrong places. I’d bet the headlines that detailed the true account were already difficult to believe, but all the filmmakers did was make the pill even harder to swallow.

The film is about organ traffickers. A young woman named Yoo-ri (played by Yun-hie Jo) is trying to save her father but the hospitals aren’t helping, so she turns to the black market. She’s told to take a boat to China where her father’s new organs will be waiting for him and doctors will be prepped for surgery. Meanwhile, on the same boat ride, the organ traffickers abduct a woman in a wheelchair and bring her to a vacant sauna to remove her organs.

There are so many twists along the way, most of which seemed rather absurd, so describing anymore of the plot would be a wasted effort. In many ways, that’s what the whole film feels like: a wasted effort. There are good performances here, there’s a nasty backbone for a story, and a few interesting new ideas, but it all amounts to so very little.

This is the sort of the film that says, Here, this is our plot, but don’t get too attached because it’s gonna change in a couple minutes anyway. A new, improbable twist is added every five or ten minutes. Instead of making the film complex it only manages to make things confusing and/or silly. Some twists just do not work and one wishes director Kim had played it straight and made a gritty thriller instead of… whatever this is.

It would help if there was a single character that I felt something for. Yoo-ri, the woman who’s trying to save her father, knows she’s doing something wrong but she only cares about her father’s life and not the victim. I can’t exactly root for her. I expect the film wants us to get behind the leader of the organ traffickers Young-gyu (played by Chang Jung Lim, who gives a strong performance). Before the end of the film Young-gyu does his best to do the right things, but his chosen profession still makes him a horrible human being. Even if we can get beyond the fact that Young-gyu regularly smuggles organs and other contraband, his personal life is also bothersome. In one of the film’s more puzzling sub-plots, Young-gyu is in love with Yoo-ri. But it’s not a casual attraction – he’s basically her stalker. Because she smiled at him, he assumes she’s leading him on. What’s more, when she repeatedly tells him to buzz off, he gets angry and demands an apology, one she repeatedly feels she has to give. Ugly, stupid people.

Dal-su Oh plays one of the film’s most despicable characters, the doctor whose job it is to extract the organs from the team’s victims. Despite how repulsive the surgeon is, I found he was the closest thing to a complete character in the movie. He’s a monster, but he knows he’s a monster, and the film doesn’t expect you to think he’s anything more. It’s the only true character in the whole film and another good performance from a talented actor.

There is a sequence in the film where Yoo-ri is on the boat and finds herself unknowingly helping the husband of the woman who’s been abducted search for his lost wife. However contrived that sounds, it’s actually the closest the movie comes to having some real tension. Yoo-ri wants to save her father and she also wants to save this woman and she doesn’t know that one could cancel out the other. Instead of mining the sequence for all it’s worth the filmmakers allow it to fizzle out before the suspense ever really kicks in.

This is a movie that repeatedly fails to recognize the potential in its own ideas and jumps onto the next one before finishing with the last one. Wasted potential… and a waste of time.

Kyle Warner’s Rating: 3/10

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Well Go USA grabs Tsui Hark’s ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’

"The Taking of Tiger Mountain" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Taking of Tiger Mountain" Chinese Theatrical 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. | Latest trailer and 8 new posters ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ). | Epic new poster for Tsui Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain.

BREAKING NEWS: Well Go USA has announced the acquisition of US and Canadian distribution rights to The Taking of Tiger Mountain, Tsui Hark’s highly-anticipated adaptation of Qu Bo’s beloved adventure novel, Tracks In The Snowy Forest. The film releases in China on Christmas Eve, and Well Go USA will be releasing the film in theaters one week later, on January 2nd. Also, don’t miss their new trailer!

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Lionsgate gives Stallone, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren a Blu-ray cover makeover!

Stallone, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren get a makeover.

Stallone, Van Damme, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren get a makeover.

On February 24th, Lionsgate Home Entertainment is re-releasing the Blu-rays for 1982′s First Blood, 1990′s Total Recall, and 1992′s Universal Solider. All three titles will also come equipped with Digital HD versions for your portable devices.

Pop art enthusiasts will notice the new packaging, which feature semi-original artwork from their iconic theatrical posters. We’re assuming that it’s only the covers that have changed, so expect the same AV quality if you already own these titles.

Are more makeovers like these going to happen? Stay tuned to find out. Until then, these titles are currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

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Deal on Fire! Gamera: Ultimate Collections | Blu-ray | Only $8.99 – Expires soon!

Gamera: Ultimate Collections | Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Gamera: Ultimate Collections | Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2014

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray set for the Gamera: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1, which features Gamera: The Giant Monster (1965), Gamera vs. Barugon (1966), Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967) and Gamera vs. Viras (1968).

Also on sale is the Blu-ray set for the Gamera: Ultimate Collection Vol. 2, which includes Gamera vs. Guiron (1969), Gamera vs. Jiger (1970), Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) and Gamera: Super Monster (1980).

Order the Gamera: Ultimate Collections from Amazon.com today!

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Charlene Choi bares all for Herman Yau’s Cat III flick ‘Sara’

"Sara" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Sara" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Herman Yau (Taxi Hunter, Untold Story, The Legend Is Born: Ip Man) is returning to his Category III roots with a new psychological thriller titled Sara. In the film, Charlene Choi (Kung Fu Dunk) plays a woman whose dark past comes back to haunt her when she encounters an underage prostitute in Thailand.

According to Jaynestars, the film’s poster – which shows Choi’s nude body resting in a bathtub full of bloody water – was shot while the movie was being filmed: “The photographer snapped photos candidly, so it appeared more natural. We did not purposely do a photo shoot just for the movie poster. The results were good, as the mood of the photos really matched the sentiment of the movie,” said Choi.

Sara also stars Simon Yam (As the Light Goes Out) and is produced by Chaptan To (Infernal Affairs 2). The film will get its Chinese domestic release in April of 2015. We’ll be on the lookout for its trailer, so stay tuned!

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The Corrupter | Blu-ray (Warner)

The Corrupter | Blu-ray (Warner)

The Corrupter | Blu-ray (Warner)

RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2015

Warner presents the long-awaited Blu-ray for 1999′s The Corrupter directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross). This gritty action-drama stars Chow Yun-fat (The Killer), Mark Wahlberg (The Big Hit), Ric Young (Kiss of the Dragon), Jon Kit Lee (Romeo Must Die), Brian Cox (Braveheart) and Byron Mann (The Man with the Iron Fists).

With the aid from a NYC policeman (Wahlberg), a top immigrant cop (Chow) tries to stop corruption by immigrant Chinese Triads, but things complicate when the Triads try to bribe the policeman. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order The Corruptor from Amazon.com today!

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