Well Go USA smuggles Korean crime thriller ‘Traffickers’

The Traffickers | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

The Traffickers | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

The award-winning, action-packed South Korean crime thriller Traffickers debuts on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital December 23rd from Well Go USA Entertainment. The film takes place over six hours on a passenger boat with an ongoing black-market organ-trafficking operation, and a desperate husband out to find his missing wife.

Directed by first time feature film director Kim Hong-sun, Traffickers stars Im Chang-jung (Twilight Gangsters), Daniel Choi (Cyrano Agency), Oh Dal-soo (Oldboy), Cho Youn-hee (Doomsday Book), Cho Dal-hwan (The Pirates), Jeong Ji-yoon (I Saw the Devil). Don’t miss the trailer.

Synopsis: Young-Gyu was the best. He was an organ dealer, smuggling body parts for sale to the highest bidder. His crew was the best – an organized team of professionals with top skills and no conscience. But when one of them dies on the job, the crew scatters. Now he fronts stolen goods, and has fallen in love with Yoo-Ri, a ticket agent at the port terminal. Her father is dying, and when she turns to a ruthless loan shark for help, Young-Gyu goes on a search to find his old partners for one last job. Pre-order Traffickers from Amazon.com today!

Cityonfire.com received the above press release from Well Go USA/MPRM Communications.

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Pacino and De Niro to join Donnie Yen in ‘Noodle Man’?

"Flash Point" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Flash Point" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Don’t let the silly title fool you: an upcoming film called Noodle Man might just represent Donnie Yen’s return to Hollywood cinema. Action fans are more than likely aware that Donnie made inroads into the American movie industry back in the early 2000′s, lending his talent as an action choreographer to pictures such as 2000′s Highlander: Endgame and 2002′s Blade II.

Yen was also supporting actor in those films, as well as a few others such as Shanghai Knights, before he returned to his roots and re-ignited his Hong Kong acting career with 2005′s S.P.L. (AKA Kill Zone). With Yen more popular than ever as both a performer and action director, many American fans have asked the question: will Donnie Yen ever return to Hollywood before he becomes too old to be a viable screen star?

With Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend revealed to be an English-language production, as well as premiering straight to Netflix, the answer appeared to be “yeah, sort of.” But now Hollywood Reporter is reporting on a new Hollywood film called Noodle Man. The movie is set to arrive from actor-turned-director Daming Chen, who helmed the 2011 Chinese remake of What Women Want, and will star Yen in the role of a former Chinese cop who retires to New York City after his partner is murdered and opens his own noodle shop. Fifteen years later, the very same same drug kingpin who killed Yen’s partner walks into his Chinatown noodle shop…and the quest for revenge begins.

BREAKING NEWS: According to HK Top Ten, the Noodle Man may start shooting in Spring 2015, and Robert De Niro (Goodfellas) and Al Pacino (The Godfather) are attached as co-stars. - Thanks to DiP!

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My Rebellious Son (1982) Review

"My Rebellious Son" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"My Rebellious Son" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Sun Chung
Writer: Ni Kuang, Sun Chung
Producer: Mona Fong
Cast: Alexander Fu Sheng, Ku Feng, Cecilia Wong, Michael Chan Wai Man, John Ladalski, Johnny Wang Lung Wei, Ngaai Fei, Tang Ching, Walter Tso Tat Wah, Tin Ching, Yuen Bun, Yuen Wah
Running Time: 93 min.

By Matthew Le-feuvre

It’s difficult to embrace that it has been well over three decades since box office idol Alexander Fu Sheng’s tragic death. In just ten years, this affable and complex star made over thirty five films ranking from a succession of ‘Shaolin’ orientated retrospectives to light hearted; occasionally inane kung fu comedies where his natural physical versatility – as well as his mischievous persona – were put to good use in a variety of situations; some implausible, but usually with vivacious consequences. His ‘Shaolin’ workload, though, tended to be emotionally streamlined favoring exact kung fu depictions as in, by example, New Shaolin Boxer (1976), a semi referential premise that heralds the intricate style of Choy Li Fatt, itself a center piece to the storyline about a rickshaw attendant who opposes a malicious street gang led by dependable screen villain, Wang Lung Wei.

Although few would disagree, in some respects Fu Sheng was an instrumental precursor to Jackie Chan’s eventual screen brand of integrating canto-vernacular expressionism with that of slapstick athleticism. Indeed, one can detect these juxtapositions even though Chan maintains his direct inspirational links were silent icons: Charley Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd; yet from a historic point of view, Fu Sheng was really the first action-comedian to fractionally instigate this genre from which he never received credit for: in fact, Fu Sheng was Yuen Woo Ping’s premier choice to play the abused orphan ‘Ting Fu’ for Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1977). However, contractual legalities prevented him from starring in may what have been arguably superior entries to Sheng’s already established filmography.

Educated in Hawaii, where his preferred interests focused on learning karate and Judo, Fu Sheng was originally born in Hong Kong 1954 to an affluent family who expected him to follow tradition, and become a major entrepreneur. Allegedly, Sheng had something by way of a troubled youth. Torn between family obligations and his own passions for movies and music (he later married singer/actress, Jenny Tseng), at sixteen he joined the Shaw Brothers’ training academy where, much to his parents’ disapproval, he excelled in drama expositions and the rudiments of kung fu. With an inherent flare for performance, handsome looks and (a) charisma far above his contemporaries, everyone soon became aware of his qualifications – most notably esteemed studio director, Chang Cheh, who at the time was grooming newcomer, Chen Kwan Tai, for his lead debut in The Boxer from Shantung (1972).

Typically, Sheng was offered the opportunity of an uncredited stuntman appearance at the picture’s finale, although one has too observe extremely carefully. From there, minor roles were afforded too him such as Cheh’s underrated experimental pieces: The Generation Gap (1973), Police Force (1973) and Friends (1973) before winning significant acclaim (for) portraying folkhero ‘Fan Shih Yue’ (aka Fong Sai Yuk) in a trilogy of films that highlight brotherhood, patriotism and sacrifice. Fan Shih Yue, of course, was a legendary ‘Han’ freedom fighter, who invariably fought alongwith his mentor and comrade, Hung Xi Kwan. History purports that from a young age Fan Shih Yue’s mother soaked his entire body in a giant ceramic pot filled with herbal wine. After many months of discomfort, it was documented his skin became impervious to impalement, earning him the distinctive monicker of “Iron Vest Fan.” His weak spot, however, was his anus.

Fu Sheng indeed revelled in the role: his cocksure attitude mirrored a believability that would make other actors’ appear staid and artificial. Yet, Sheng approached all of his roles with an inbred sense of eccentricity, whether straight-laced, comical or completely absent of intellect as in Five Shaolin Masters (1974); whereby his character’s obvious lack of common sense is overshadowed by an ingrained fighting proficiency. After that he never looked back.

As his fandom escalated in leaps and bounds, Sheng worried deeply about becoming typecast in an industry that was both taxing and dangerous; personal liability was not an optional inclusion to any Shaw Brothers contract. Nevertheless, besides joint-starring with Chi Kuan Chun for celebrated classics: Shaolin Martial Arts (1974), Marco Polo (1975), and his career defining picture Disciples from Shaolin (1976); Sheng often tried too diversify his performances by collaborating with other studio directors: i.e. Chu Yuan, Sun Chung and Liu Chia Liang.

According to sources, Sheng’s working relationship with Liang became temporarily strained following an artistic episode involving the first time director’s choice to replace the rising star with the late Wong Yue for the lead in The Spiritual Boxer (1976); a part Sheng originally coveted. However, protracted tensions between Cheh and Liang ‘then’ over creative differences during production of The Boxer Rebellion (1975) meant Cheh retained seniority over casting, which is why Wong Yue was immediately decided upon, while Sheng’s presence (indirectly) may have been perceived as an internal catalyst for further rivalry.

Question is: would The Spiritual Boxer have benefited moreso – commercially, if Sheng had taken up the role of the charlatan magician? Either way, it didn’t matter. As Wong Yue progressed through an echelon of pedestrian swordplay affairs to cult favourites; generally in tandem with Gordon Liu, Sheng’s star attraction had dramatically increased. Amazingly, he was contracted to four,even five films per year; few were even shot simultaneously like the epic Shaolin Temple (1976) and the contemporary tragic-drama The Chinatown Kid (1977). Naturally release dates vary.

It was these productions where nuances of pathos were slowly creeping into Sheng’s repertoire, even though from the outset his performances consisted of a buoyant, cheeky exterior. Seriousness of character did not always manifest until set against the backdrop of a grim inevitability. Shaolin Temple, for instance was a film riddled with expectant scenes that fluctuated between habitual tension and ritualized serenity, using Sheng as a comic foil to bridge the two contradictions. It was almost bathetic in design right up to its violent and lengthy conclusion.

The Chinatown Kid on the other hand contained analogies to Cheh’s previous masterworks: The Boxer from Shantung and Disciples from Shaolin. The universal message of these (three) movies was the timeless adage of “Power” and its ability to corrupt even the most well intentioned individual. In Cheh’s case, the catalyst of each characters’ downfall was their material fixation on a particular object, as well as their instinctive desires for wealth and reputation. It was this sense of poetic obsession that caught the eye of Hollywood, partly because of Sheng’s blistering performance as the not-too-bright “Kid” who only really cared about owning a flash suit and a digital wristwatch.

Indeed, negotiations were eminent between the Shaws and Warner Brothers about a potential co-production which would best serve Sheng’s acting/martial arts fortitude. The opportunity was there, but a serious accident (during filming) that temporarily crippled him, suspended further investment.

Contending with a possible disability, Sheng recuperated slowly, and within six months he’d miraculously regained enough flexibility and strength to cameo in Liang’s Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu before excepting a non-physical role in Lau Kar Wing’s screwball horror-comedy The Fake Ghost Catchers (1982). He reunited with Liang twice for Cat vs. Rat (1982) and The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984). Sadly, the latter had too be re-written and finalized without Sheng’s participation due an unfortunate and uncanny road accident which claimed the life of the twenty-nine year old.

Today, some Hong Kong folk still believe Sheng’s death, like Bruce Lee’s, is attributed to bad Feng Shui. Parallels are indeed evident: in addition to a ten year time differential between each stars’ passing, neither completed their ‘current’ projects, and despite cryptic warnings, Sheng bought Lee’s former mansion in Kowloon. All these similarities – whether co-incidental or otherwise – echo an eerie familiarity seldom seen outside the realms of Tinseltown, let alone Asia.

In recent years, Fu Sheng’s extensive filmography has been gradually re-released (on DVD) through reputable distributors such as Celestial, Dragon Dynasty, Well Go USA and Tokyo Shock. Although annoyingly limited in the western hemisphere for those who do not possess the luxury of a multi-region DVD player, these titles do not represent, nor embody Sheng’s comprehensive back catalog: important, yes! But, by far, not his most memorable in terms of storyline, characterization or action choreography – bar exception Disciples from Shaolin (1975), Heroes Two (1974) and Avenging Eagle (1978). For some fans it has always been about The Brave Archer (1977) quadrilogy that best defines Fu Sheng’s allure; others’ passionately argue The Treasure Hunters (1981) or Deadly Breaking Sword (1979), yet the majority feel My Rebellious Son encapsulates the true persona of perhaps one of the most underrated celebrities of the Shaw pantheon.

This was Fu Sheng’s third and final collaboration with (the) legendary, elusive film-maker, Sun Chung – known for his Kubrick-like devotion for precision continuity and an unfailing approach for numerous (re)takes. Sun Chung was also lauded for his outrageous quick-editing style and uncompromising camera angles – subsequently adopted by John Woo (Last Hurrah for Chivalry), Tsui Hark (Zu: Warriors From Magic Mountain) and a torrent of other prospective celluloid aluminaries. The realms of comedy, no less, was an unusual divergence for Chung. Normally, he commonly explored the darker aspects of the human condition: corruption, violent impulse and motivational sadism were just three areas back lit and imbued in Chung’s trademark moody, sometimes romanticized gothicism.

In reflection, however, My Rebellious Son was, surface wise, a concept possibly developed in the wake of Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master (1978) and Billy Chong’s The Crystal Fist (1979), but on closer examination, it actually veers towards anti-Thatcherism in a thinly disguised meditation which, observably, celebrates national identity and traditional values by firmly sticking two fingers up at colonialism and any other would-be political interlopers.

As the titles suggests, Sheng is in formidable comedic overdrive: energetic, youthful and utterly personable as Tai, the wayward and cunning son to revered herbalist Chang Siu (Ku Feng). By day, Tai forcibly labors at his father’s popular clinic: grinding, chopping and boiling various nondescript roots, insects and animal inards for eccentric, overly wealthy customers. Frustrated with his routine lifestyle, he seeks recreational thrills at the expense of his father’s reputation. This ongoing and perfectly executed interplay – between Sheng, the rebel and Feng’s autocratic and exhortative personality – sets the tone for further spirited activities involving Tai’s deliberate imprudence towards local Manchu bullies, westernized converts and foreign imperialists adamant about owning rare Chinese Objet d’art.

It is these latter antagonists that, understandably, spur xenophobic disapproval from not only Feng, but members of a town committee, whom unlike the converts – a team led by the obligatory Wang Lung Wei – wish too preserve the heritage of their forebears and not fall foul to capitalistic endeavours, modernization or the shallow mindset of greedy socialites devoid of respect for the intrinsic values of others’ culture. Between Sheng’s humorous scenes at dancing – English style, attired in a traditional Chinese long gown and recovering stolen antiques in a subplot akined to Jackie Chan’s Dragon Lord (1981) – all these premise units surprisingly connect, precipitating an extensive well staged tournament showdown pitting Sheng’s multifacted expertise (Mantis Fist, Butterfly Sabres and 3 sectional staff, etc.) against the likes of agile slugger (John Ladaski) and a crafty bemused Samurai/Ninja (Chan Wai Man).

Verdict: Although flawless in execution, in today’s current attitudes My Rebellious Son could be deemed as “politically incorrect,” considering the amount of depicted undesirables on offer: from pompous Brits to homegrown opportunists, to apparent honourless Japanese. However, re-examining how China/Hong Kong’s turbulent history has been shaped by foreign incursions, exploitation and outside influences, these caricatures are perfectly realized, allowing the protagonist(s) to vanquish the situation – entertainment wise; yet in reality could not due to overwhelming political and military odds. Needless to say, My Rebellious Son now acts as a befitting tribute to Fu Sheng’s memory and career, bonused by a superior visual polish, seldom appreciated in Hong Kong Cinema.

Matthew Le-feuvre’s Rating: 9/10

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Deal on Fire! Little Big Soldier | Blu-ray | Only $6.81 – Expires soon!

"Little Big Soldier" Blu-ray Cover

"Little Big Soldier" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Little Big Soldier, starring the legendary Jackie Chan (Armour of God III: Chinese Zodiac) and Leehom Wang (Lust, Caution and Michael Mann’s upcoming Blackhat).

Directed and written by Ding Sheng, Litte Big Soldier (read our review) is definitely one of the best Jackie Chan flicks of the last 10 years. I know we’re all sick of period films (especially one titled Little Big Solider), but trust me, this is one movie you don’t want to miss.

Order Little Big Solider from Amazon.com today!

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90′s action stars break bad in ‘The Chemist’ trailer!

"Nemesis" Theatrical Poster

"Nemesis" Theatrical Poster

What do you get when you gather up Olivier Gruner (Nemesis), Patrick Kilpatrick (Death Warrant), Martin Kove (Rambo, The Karate Kid), Richard Grieco (If Looks Could Kill), Sasha Mitchell (Kickboxer 2) and Eric Lee (Ring of Fire); then cook ‘em up to a crisp with some action direction by Art Camacho (Half Past Dead 2, To Be the Best 2)?

The Answer: The Chemist, “a gritty, action packed thriller about an aging assassin (Gruner) who is double crossed by his employer when he refuses to assassinate a woman he just met.”

Check out hew newly released trailer for The Chemist, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate. The film is currently in post-production phase, so stay tuned for its official release date!

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Jackie Chan’s ‘Civilian’ is ‘Die Hard in a weapons convention’

"Polce Story 2013" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Polce Story 2013" Japanese Theatrical Poster

In addition to Dragon Blade (which is currently filming), Skiptrace, and the possibility of The Karate Kid 2 and Rush Hour 4, Jackie Chan (Armour of God III: CZ12) has added an English-language thriller titled Civilian, to his to-do list.

According to Variety, Civilian “follows a salesman who finds himself in the middle of a terror attack at an arms convention.” Chances are, the film will be a light-hearted action flick, considering it’s being helmed by Peter Segal (Get Smart, Grudge Match), a director known for his family-friendly output.

Update: Looks like Civilian will follow the Die Hard mold. According to Collider, producer Basil Iwanyk (John Wick) describes it as “Die Hard in a weapons convention.” Filming begins early 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Day of Anger | aka Gunlaw | Blu-ray (Arrow Video)

Day of Anger | aka Gunlaw | Blu-ray (Arrow Video)

Day of Anger | aka Gunlaw | Blu-ray (Arrow Video)

RELEASE DATE: February 2015

Arrow Video USA presents the Blu-ray for 1967′s Day of Anger (aka Day of Wrath, I giorni dell’ira), directed by Tonino Valerii (My Name Is Nobody).

Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary (Giuliano Gemma) picks up the trash, cleans the toilets and sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter (Lee Van Cleef) comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott, who quickly begins to toughen and mature, thus upsetting the balance of power in the town. Watch the trailer.

Day of Anger is one of the first North American releases from Arrow Video! Stay tuned for pre-order information.

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Dolph Lundgren teams up with some killer Jaws in ‘Shark Lake’

"Shark Lake" Teaser Poster

"Shark Lake" Teaser Poster

Action legend Dolph Lundgren is getting his bait ‘n tackle box ready for a Jaws-like thriller titled Shark Lake (formerly titled The Lake). We’re crossing our fingers that this upcoming film is a step above the recent wave of shlockbusters (i.e. Sharknado, Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus), but only time will tell.

Here’s the official plot: Fiercely protective single-mom Meredith Hendricks happens to also be the best cop in her quiet town on Lake Tahoe. When a black-market exotic species dealer named Clint, is paroled from prison, something he let loose begins to make its presence known. Swimmers and land-lovers alike begin to become part of the food chain at an unbelievable rate.

Shark Lake is directed by Jerry Dugan (Between Grass and Sky) and also stars Jen Oda, Ben Maccabee and James Chalke. There’s no word on who or what Lundgren will be playing (maybe he’s playing the shark?). Despite the early poster’s design, there has been some speculation that his role may be a glorified cameo. Again, only time will tell.

Shark Lake starts shooting at the end of the this year. Until then, the Lundgren/Tony Jaa actioner Skin Trade - and hopefully the delayed A Man Will Rise – is just around the corner. Lundgren is also currently busy with War Pigs (with Mickey Rourke) as well as Four Towers (with Scott Adkins), which is currently in pre-production. – Thanks to dolph-ultimate.com

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From a co-star of ‘Merantau’ comes martial arts film ‘Die Fighting’

"Die Fighting" Poster

Recently, Twitch reported on a new film that martial arts buffs might be interested in. You’ll likely recall actor Laurent Buson as one of the two ‘evil white guys’ that Iko Uwais fought at the same time at the end of Merantau – Buson was the one with glasses. Well, the highly trained martial artist also belongs to a group of stunt people known as the Z Team. Their latest project together is a new fight movie called The Price of Success.

The premise is more than a little similar to the Thai movie BK: Bangkok Knockout, in which a bunch of highly trained fighters wake up after being drugged and are forced to fight each other for the whims of madman. However, the advertising for The Price of Success in particular goes out of its way to state that the filmmakers use no wires or computer effects for their action sequences. Don’t believe them? Just watch the trailer.

Update: The film has been retitled Die Fighting and is set to arrive via On Demand services this November 4th. In the meantime, check out the rebranded trailer.

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Deal on Fire! City Hunter & Battle Creek Brawl | Blu-ray | Only $13.29 – Expires soon!

"Jackie Chan Double Feature" Blu-ray Cover

"Jackie Chan Double Feature" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray Double Feature for 1980′s Battle Creek Brawl (aka The Big Brawl) & 1993′s City Hunter.

Battle Creek Brawl is noteworthy for not only being directed by Robert Clouse (Enter the Dragon), but for also being Jackie Chan’s first English-language attempt at making a name for himself in America. Based on the famous Manga of the same name,

Wong Jing’s City Hunter is practically a campy “Die Hard on a Cruise Ship,” which also contains the famous Street Fighter parody.

Order City Hunter & Battle Creek Brawl from Amazon.com today!

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Kundo: Age of the Rampant (2014) Review

"Kundo: Age of the Rampant" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Kundo: Age of the Rampant" Korean Theatrical Poster

Director: Yun Jong-Bin
Writer: Jeon Cheol-Hong, Yun Jong-Bin
Cast: Ha Jung-Woo, Kang Dong-Won, Lee Kyung-Young, Lee Sung-Min, Jo Jin-Woong, Ma Dong-Seok, Yun Ji-Hye, Ju Jin-Mo, Song Young-Chang, Jeong Man-Sik, Kim Byung-Ok, Kim Jong-Gu, Kim Seong-Gyun
Running Time: 137 min.

By Kyle Warner

I went into Kundo: Age of the Rampant expecting something like a Korean take on the Robin Hood tale. What I got was a Tarantino-infused post-modern historical action movie that tries to be both a martial arts film and a spaghetti western at the same time. There’s a whole lotta movie in Kundo’s 137 minutes.

The film opens on bodies left to rot in the fields. Birds and dogs dine on the carcasses. Decapitated heads are left on pikes. It’s a time of famine and oppression. The poor are left to beg for the smallest favors from the corrupt and cruel nobility. But there is a resistance. A Robin Hood-like gang of bandits called the Kundo put the corrupt on trial, take their riches and redistribute them among the poor.

The lowest of the low is the foolish butcher Dochi (Jung-woo Ha). Barely scraping by, Dochi is tempted by a big payday when a nobleman named Jo-yoon asks him to assassinate a whore. “She’s little different than a pig,” reasons Jo-yoon. But when Dochi backs out of the deal, he angers the nobleman and is sentenced to death. Moments before his execution, Dochi is rescued by the Kundo and is given the opportunity of joining the gang so that he may one day have his revenge.

When Dochi joins the Kundo, he transforms from the lowly butcher into an infamous fighter. Jung-woo Ha is one of Korea’s finest actors and he disappears into the character. Admittedly Dochi is not one of Ha’s most complex roles, but after this and other great performances in The Chaser and The Yellow Sea, I am convinced that Jung-woo Ha can play basically anybody.

Despite Ha’s notable screen presence, I believe the film belongs to the villain Jo-yoon as played by Dong-won Kang. I’ve never been terribly impressed by Kang in the past, but here Kang is in complete control, bringing a cool detachment to a villain that could have easily gone over the top. His villain can do more with a single cold stare than other lesser villains could do with a three page monologue.

Period pieces are all the rage in Asia right now. Some have a difficult time finding fans in the West because they focus too much on history and politics, and not enough on action. And though the plot of Kundo may make it sound like a dense retelling of Korea’s history, one full of backstabbing noblemen and political strife, Kundo’s much more focused on having a good time.

The film is self-aware, but never in an annoying way. An Ennio Morricone inspired score dominates the film. The major characters are introduced in flickering freeze frames (one is simply named ‘The Vicious Monk’). The screenplay is full of humor and the characters have a tendency of dropping some ‘motherf-ckers’ and other modern lingo to make themselves understood (one such line goes something like, “Attain your f-cking Buddhahood!”). I think that director Jong-bin Yun (Nameless Gangster) is clearly a fan of Quentin Tarantino, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say his movie is a rip-off of Tarantino’s style. Like Tarantino is fond of doing for the directors who have influenced him, Kundo: Age of the Rampant plays like a love letter to Tarantino’s films and his particular style of movie making.

Kundo: Age of the Rampant is a movie that knows it’s a movie. Now, that’s going to turn some people off who will wonder why they couldn’t just play it straight, which is a reasonable question. Personally, I like this stylistic choice as it sets Kundo apart from the rest of the historical actioners, making it a rather unique film.

On top of the surplus of style, we also get a heavy dose of well-done action. Director Yun shoots the large scale battles and the duels with equal skill. The swordplay is fast-paced and in your face, but it’s easy to follow and we never lose the characters in the action. Jung-woo Ha has an interesting fighting style as he swaggers onto the battlefield with some serious meat cleavers in either hand. And Dong-won Kang makes one believe that he is the unbeatable fighter his character requires him to be.

The film does feel a bit crowded at times. There are a lot of characters and many are not as defined as one would like them to be. It also takes a long time for Dochi to announce himself as the hero of the story. And one could argue that Jong-bin Yun would’ve been better off coming up with his own particular style instead of so openly mimicking others. Overall though, the movie works. It’s often dark and violent but it’s a lot of fun thanks to its playful style and an awesome villain.

I’ve read that when Kundo debuted in South Korea it broke the opening weekend box office record… only to have its record beaten in the very next week. Whether that says anything about the movie—like does it have staying power and will we remember it a year from now?—I have no idea. One thing it helps make clear is that this is an important time in South Korean film. The South Korean film industry is cranking out great, stylish movies made by some truly gifted filmmakers and the audiences are showing up. Kundo: Age of the Rampant may have clearly been inspired by international cinema, but it makes for an interesting addition to Korea’s ever-expanding list of quality films.

Kyle Warner’s Rating: 7/10

Posted in Korean, News, Reviews | Tagged , | 4 Comments

DDDHouse.com now has ‘Overheard 3′ available for Pre-order

"Overheard 3" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Overheard 3" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Are you ready for another dose of surveillance action from three of Hong Kong’s most popular actors? Louis Koo (Flash Point), Daniel Wu (Shinjuku Incident) and Lau Ching-Wan (The Bullet Vanishes) are back in Alan Mak and Felix Chong’s Overheard 3.

DDDHouse.com now has Blu-ray & DVD versions available for an October 28th pre-order. Keep in mind that the DVD versions are 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 they’re good to go on your current North American Blu-ray hardware.

Be sure to check out the trailer for Overheard 3.

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Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman | DVD (Screen Media)

"Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman" Theatrical Poster

"Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman" Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: January 20, 2015

Screen Media presents the DVD for Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, directed by Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, the Chilean action filmmaker responsible for Marko Zaror’s Mandrill, Mirageman, Kiltro and the upcoming Redeemer.

Timid, video game-loving DJ Santiago (Matías Oviedo) seemingly digs his own grave when he agrees to bring a violent criminal kingpin the head of Machine Gun Woman (Fernanda Urrejola). Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman from Amazon.com today!

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John Wick (2014) Review

"John Wick" International Theatrical Poster

"John Wick" International Theatrical Poster

Director: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bernhardt
Running Time: 96 min.

By Jeff Bona

If there’s one Hollywood superstar who has maintained a solid connection with the martial arts film genre, it’s Keanu Reeves.

Reeves first made this connection in 1999/2003 with the Matrix trilogy, where he “learned” a great deal of on-screen fighting from legendary Hong Kong choreographer Yuen Woo Ping; in 2013, he starred in the samurai epic 47 Ronin, where he worked with Zhang Peng (choreographer of The Wrath of Vajra); that same year, he reunited with Yuen for the Chinese/U.S. co-production Man of Tai Chi, a kung fu flick he not only starred in, but also directed.

With a resume as physically demanding and cultured as his is, it should come as no surprise that Reeves is still kicking some serious ass in his latest film, John Wick.

John Wick marks the directorial debut of David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, founders of the 87Eleven Stunt Team. They’re obviously known for staging stunt work and fight choreography in films like 300 (2006), Tron: Legacy (2010) and Safe (2012). Now, if Stahelski’s choreography work in Safe alone isn’t enough of a credential to get you excited about seeing John Wick, then you obviously haven’t seen Safe. Let’s put it this way: I like Reeves, but I’m not exactly watching John Wick for him, if you catch my drift.

John Wick is written by Derek Kolstad, who penned the straight-to-DVD actioners One in the Chamber and The Package (both star Dolph Lundgren, just to give you an idea of what kind of films these are). So, what we have with John Wick is essentially a “B-movie” with a moderate budget, a big star, and a couple of first-time directors who probably had one common goal: To make a brainless action flick for people who love excessive violence. Given this context, John Wick succeeds.

Keanu Reeves plays John Wick, an infamous, retired assassin who now leads a peaceful lifestyle. But when a series of unfortunate events distort his daily routine, Wick has no choice but to revisit his sinister past and go on one hell of a kill crazy rampage.

John Wick truly delivers during its amazingly staged action sequences. The majority of them involve brutal gun battles, which are stylishly choreographed with a dance-like rhythm; think a less exaggerated, more grittier take on Gun Kata, the fictional gun-wielding martial art style in Kurt Wimmer’s Equilibrium (2002). It’s a whole lotta fun watching Wick plow through hordes of enemies, sometimes shooting them 3 or 4 times a piece – aiming at various body parts – from a number of neat angles and distances.

The firefights are accented with hand-to-hand combat scenes, placed randomly between the endless rain of bullets. There will be those who complain that they’re filmed to close, or are too darkly lit, etc. This may be true, but the rest of the film’s savagery is the trade off. Although there wasn’t as many physical fight scenes as I’d like there to be, they’re at least done without the typical shaky cam approach.

The style doesn’t stop at the action. You might be amused by the treatment of playful on-screen text – and reoccurring subtitles – which were scattered across the screen using colored fonts, instead of the typical generic white text at the bottom of the screen. If you’re a muscle car enthusiast, the film showcases a number of beastly automobiles for your eyes (and ears) to appreciate.

What’s disappointing about John Wick is the lack of a competitive adversary to the title character. I felt the film was just begging for an enemy that can hold their own against Wick. The closest we get is an annoying femme fatale (Adrianne Palicki) who would be more suitable in a Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond flick. Equally as bad is a non-threatening, over-the-hill gangster (Michael Nyqvist) who ultimately becomes Wick’s main opponent during the film’s anticlimactic finale.

Then, there’s the film’s music. At times, I felt it was overused. From what I remember, almost every time any type of action kicked in, it was accompanied by an uptempo soundtrack; sometimes it worked, sometimes it was overkill. There are some other questionable hiccups throughout John Wick, but you have to remind yourself that you’re watching a B-movie masked by the star of Speed (1994), so these flaws should be easily dismissed and forgiven.

Overall, not a bad directorial debut for Leitch and Stahelski. They certainly have a good sense of pacing, and without doubt, they’re the real deal when it comes to creating some hard-hitting action pieces. With a little less aerial shots (someone went a little stock footage crazy), and some worthy baddies worked into the script, the Leitch/Stahelski duo may one day make an action flick that I can fully recommend. As for John Wick? It’s definitely worth a watch, but if you’re wise, you’ll wait ’til it appears on Netflix.

Jeff Bona’s Rating: 6.5/10

Posted in Asian Related, Cults & Classics, News, Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Awesome new poster for ‘Skin Traffik’ starring Gary Daniels and Mickey Rourke

"Skin Traffik" Theatrical Poster

"Skin Traffik" Theatrical Poster

The multi-talented Ara Paiaya (director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor, action coordinator and actor) is launching his first “professional” directorial debut with Skin Traffik (not to be confused with Skin Trade, starring Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa).

The film stars Gary Daniels, Daryl Hannah, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen, Dominique Swain, Jeff Fahey, Ron Smoorenburg, as well as Ara Paiaya himself.

In Skin Traffik, a jaded hit man (Daniels) regains his humanity in this dark tale of redemption and sacrifice, set amidst a brutal underworld in which daily survival is not so much a skill but an instinct. Watch the trailer.

Updates: Check out the newest poster.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Destroyer | Blu-ray & DVD (Shout! Factory)

"Destroyer" Theatrical Poster

"Destroyer" Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: Summer 2015

Shout! Factory presents the Blu-ray & DVD for 1988′s Destroyer, directed by Robert Kirk (Christmas at War) and starring NFL legend, Lyle Alzado (Shocktroop).

In Destroyer, an execution day for a serial killer sparks a prison riot, leaving prison officials to assume he was successfully electrocuted. A year later, a film crew using the prison as a set discover the truth.

Destroyer also stars Deborah Foreman, Anthony Perkins, Clayton Rohner, Jim Turner, and Lannie Garrett. Don’t miss the trailer!

Stay tuned for pre-order information.

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Other Notable Titles | Tagged | 2 Comments

Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson and Matt Mullins’ ‘White Tiger’ to premiere at AFM!

"White Tiger" International Theatrical Poster

"White Tiger" International Theatrical Poster

In White Tiger, Matt Mullins (Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Bloodfist 2050) leads an all-star cast that includes Cynthia Rothrock (Yes, Madam), Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Martial Arts Kid), the legendary Joe Lewis and famous Thai actress Yui.

White Tiger is directed by Toby Russell (Death by Misadventure), produced by Karen Kaing and features fight choreography by Kazu Patrick Tang (BKO: Bangkok Knockout).

One of the expected highlights in White Tiger is a duel between Cynthia Rothrock and Don “The Dragon” Wilson.

According to Don “The Dragon” Wilson himself, White Tiger may be making its premier at the Cannes Festival in 2014. The film, which wrapped up filming back in 2012, was held back due to now-resolved lawsuits. Be sure to check out our upcoming interview with Don “The Dragon” Wilson, which will posted soon. In the interview, Wilson talks about a number of upcoming projects, including The B-Team (aka “B-movie Expendables“), Martial Arts Kid, The Whole World At Our Feet, the possibility of another Bloodfist flick and much more!

BREAKING NEWS: Film Combat Syndicate reports that White Tiger will finally premiere at the American Film Market on November 6th. If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss trailer!

Posted in News | 5 Comments

New trailer: Eddie Peng vs Sammo Hung in ‘Rise of the Legend’

"Rise of the Legend" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Rise of the Legend" Chinese Theatrical Poster

A Chinese martial arts film called Rise of the Legend, is currently wrapping up production. Roy Chow (Nightfall) is directing and Christine To, who co-wrote Jet Li’s Fearless and Vincent Zhao’s True Legend, is listed as a scriptwriter. Rise of the Legend will reportedly focus on a younger rendition of real-life folk hero, Wong Fei-hung, played by Eddie Peng (Tai Chi 0).

Throughout many decades in Chinese cinema, Wong Fei-hung – martial artist, physician and revolutionary - has been portrayed by various stars: Kwan Tak-hing played him in dozens of films between 1940 and 1980; Gordon Liu played him in 1976′s Challenge of the Masters and 1981′s Martial Club; Jackie Chan played him Drunken Master Drunken Master 2; and both Jet Li and Vincent Zhao played him in the Once Upon A Time In China series from 1991-1997.

Updates: Two Hong Kong legends have signed on to the film! None other than Sammo Hung (Pedicap Driver) will portray Wong Fei-hung’s mentor, while Corey Yuen (Righting Wrongs) will handle action choreography.

We’ve got your first look at Eddie Peng in the role of Wong Fei-hung, as well as news that Hollywood actor Byron Mann (Ryu in the 90′s Street Fighter movie) will have a role in the picture. | Promotional image from Rise of a Legend has been released, courtesy of Chinatimes.com.

According to Deadline, Universal Pictures International will co-produce Rise of the Legend. They have also acquired all international rights, including North America and excluding Asia. Also, here’s a recent promotional poster. | First trailer. | Newest trailer, thanks to DiP! | Newest poster. | New featurette.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the latest trailer, thanks to Film Combat Syndicate.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Deal on Fire! Badges of Fury | Blu-ray | Only $9.97 – Expires soon!

Badges of Fury | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Badges of Fury | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Badges of Fury, starring Jet Li (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate).

When a spate of eerie murders erupts across Hong Kong, two troublemaking cops are assigned to the case. After discovering that all of the victims were former boyfriends of aspiring starlet, the detectives find themselves in a deadly situation.

Badges of Fury also stars Wen Zhang, Michelle Chen, Collin Chou and Wu Jing.

Order Badges of Fury from Amazon.com today!

Posted in Deals on Fire!, News | Leave a comment

‘The Expendables’ who? Watch the newest teaser for ‘Garuda 7‏’

"Garuda 7" Promo Poster

"Garuda 7" Promo Poster

Months ago, we reported that Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist, Ring of Fire) and a group of producers were supposedly mounting a new project called The B-Team, an Expendables-esque movie with straight-to-video stars like Cynthia Rothrock, Michael Dudikoff, Loren Avedon, Billy Blanks, Jeff Speakman and Mark Dacascos.

Well, looks like “The Dragon” has some competition. Cityonfire.com was contacted by Indonesian filmmaker Bagus Ariatama, who’ll be directing his own Expendables-esque flick called Garuda 7. This Indonesian production will star local legends and some well-known, straight-to-video names; and possibly some Hong Kong talent. Garuda 7 will be put out by Lifevolution Pictures, which was formed by Ariatama and Bey Logan. Ariatama says the film will start pre-production this September (after Logan wraps up Lady Bloodsport) with cameras expected to roll by January 2014.

So, who’s going to be in Garuda 7? Apparently Indonesian martial arts stars Barry Prima (The Devil’s Sword) and Willy Dozan (aka Billy Chong of Kung Fu Zombie and Crystal Fist) are on board. Ariatama also mentioned that the well-connected Logan is trying to get Mark Dacascos, Michael Dudikoff, Lorenzo Lamas, Richard Norton and Hong Kong’s Simon Yam, to be a part of Garuda 7. The addition of even two of these guys could make Garuda 7 the first Expendables-like movie - that’s if The B-Team doesn’t get made first.

Updates: We have some new visuals for Garuda 7, which may hint that the forever-in-development “Indonesian Expendables” may finally be taking shape. Check out the film’s new promo poster, which has some very familiar names, including Verdy Bhawanta (Mortal Enemies), Tim Man (Raging Phoenix), Ron Smoorenburg (Who Am I?) and Brahim Achabbakhe (Man of Tai Chi), Kazu Patrick Yang (Dragonwolf), John Ladalski (Chinese Stuntman) and last but not least, Mark Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf). In addition, visit the film’s Facebook page, which has a behind-the-scenes teaser. | Two new teasers.

BREAING NEWS: We have a new trailer, thanks to Film Combat Syndicate.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Cityonfire.com’s ‘Iceman’ Blu-ray Giveaway! – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

"Iceman" Blu-ray Cover

"Iceman" Blu-ray Cover

Cityonfire.com and Well Go USA are giving away 3 Blu-ray copies of Donnie Yen’s Iceman to three lucky Cityonfire visitors.

To enter, simply add a comment to this post and describe, in your own words, this clip (yes, you read that right). We will be selecting a winner at random. Be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you for your home address. Additionally, you must ‘Like Us‘ on cityonfire.com’s Facebook by clicking here.

The Blu-ray & DVD for Iceman will be officially released on November 11, 2014. We will announce the 3 winners on that day and ship out the prizes immediately.

CONTEST DISCLAIMER: You must enter by November 10, 2014 to qualify. U.S. residents only please. We sincerely apologize to our non-U.S. visitors. Winners must respond with their mailing address within 48 hours, otherwise you will automatically be disqualified. No exceptions. Contest is subject to change without notice.

WINNERS: Ron R., Ben and Josh H. Congratulations!

Posted in News | Tagged | 21 Comments

Final trailer for Donnie Yen’s latest flick ‘Kung Fu Jungle’

"Kung Fu Jungle" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Kung Fu Jungle" Chinese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Kung Fu Jungle (aka Kung Fu KillerOne Person’s Martial Arts Circle; or The Last of the Best) is the title of an upcoming project from martial art sensation Donnie Yen. This high-octane action thriller will reunite Donnie Yen with his Bodyguards & Assassins director Teddy Chen as well as his Iceman Cometh 3D co-star Wang Baoqiang.

Plotwise, the movie follows Donnie Yen as a top-notch martial arts instructor at the Hong Kong Police Academy who is imprisoned for accidentally killing a man. Yen may not be able to stay behind bars for long as shortly after his arrest, a deranged killer (Wang Baoqiang) begins targeting the best and brightest martial arts fighters in Hong Kong.

The premise sounds ripe for yet another rip-roaring Donnie Yen picture in the vein of Flash Point. Color us excited!

Update: Here’s the first teaser poster (then-titled Last of the Best) for the film to celebrate the fact that the movie has entered principal photography while Donnie is on a break from shooting Iceman Cometh. | Head over to HKSAR for a pack of photos of Donnie Yen in action. | Promotional poster.  | In addition to Yuen Bun (Legend of Zu, The Blade) serving as co-action choreographer with Donnie Yen, it’s been announced that Fan Siu-wong (Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, Ip Man) and Xing Yu (Wrath of Vajra, Flash Point) will be making special appearances. | Kung Fu Jungle’s official plot, click here!

Guess who’ll have a fight with Donnie Yen? The answer: Hong Kong film expert Bey Logan (writer of Yen’s 1998 film Ballistic Kiss). In fact, as Matt Oldham and DiP pointed out, this marks the 3rd time Logan and Yen will go toe-to-toe in a movie. Their first onscreen encounter was in 1994′s Circus Kids, then they went at it again in the last episode of 1995′s Fist of Fury TV series. Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo of Logan getting tatted up. | 1st trailer! Also, the film’s release date has now been set to October 31. | New trailer for Kung Fu Jungle, thanks to M.A.A.C. for the heads up!

Watch a new featurette for Donnie Yen’s Kung Fu Jungle, featuring Wang Baoqiang and brand new clips, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate. | New trailer. | Two new posters, featuring the characters portrayed by Yen and Baoqiang. | New featurette, featuring Baoqiang, thanks to DiP! | Yesterday, we added this new action featurette; today we have added yet another one. | 3rd trailer is now available. | New featurette, which revolves around “Donnie Yen vs Wang Baoqiang” | Latest featurette, courtesy of DiP!

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the final trailer and be sure to check out our review.

Posted in News | 21 Comments

Pre-order ‘White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom’ at DDDHouse

"The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom" Theatrical Poster

"The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom" Theatrical Poster

DDDHouse.com now has Jacob Cheung’s (A Battle of Wits) wuxia-fantasy 3D film The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom available for an October 24th pre-order.

Penned by Liang Yusheng (The Bride with White Hair), the film revolves around a pair of star-crossed lovers – a devilish outlaw (Iron Man 3′s Fan Bingbing) and the righteous Taoist leader (Ip Man 2′s Huang Xiaoming), and their love that could change the fate of the nation.

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom also stars Vincent Zhao (True Legend), Wang Xuebing (The Lost Bladesman), Yan Kuan (Big Shot), Du Yiheng (Let the Bullets Fly) and Nicholas Tse (The Bullet Vanishes).

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 and 3D Blu-ray versions are coded for region A, so they’re good to go on your current North American Blu-ray hardware.

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Robot Jox | Blu-ray (Shout! Factory)

"Robot Jox" Japanese DVD Cover

"Robot Jox" Japanese DVD Cover

RELEASE DATE: Summer 2015

Before Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim… Before Michael Bay’s Transformers…

Shout! Factory presents the Blu-ray for Robot Jox. Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Robot Jox reveals a world where nations settle their territorial disputes by a single combat between two giant machines. Piloted by national heroes Achilles (Gary Graham) and Alexander (Paul Koslo), the robots meet in Death Valley to fight for the greatest prize of all: Alaska. Watch the trailer.

Stay tuned for pre-order information. Until then, be sure to check out Shout! Factory’s Giant Robot Action Pack, featuring Crash and Burn and Robot Wars. Out now!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Other Notable Titles | Tagged | 2 Comments

Cityonfire.com’s ‘Kundo’ Blu-ray Giveaway! – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Kundo: Age of the Rampant | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Kundo: Age of the Rampant | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Cityonfire.com and Well Go USA are giving away 3 Blu-ray copies of Kundo to three lucky Cityonfire visitors.

To enter, simply add a comment to this post and describe, in your own words, Steven Seagal’s clothes in this clip (yes, you read that right). We will be selecting a winner at random. Be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you for your home address. Additionally, you must ‘Like Us‘ on cityonfire.com’s Facebook by clicking here.

The Blu-ray & DVD for Kundo was officially released on October 21, 2014. We will announce the 3 winners on October 30, 2014 and ship out the prizes immediately.

CONTEST DISCLAIMER: You must enter by October 29, 2014 to qualify. U.S. residents only please. We sincerely apologize to our non-U.S. visitors. Winners must respond with their mailing address within 48 hours, otherwise you will automatically be disqualified. No exceptions. Contest is subject to change without notice.

CONGRATULATIONS: Damon, Daniel K. and 31FilmTalk. You have been notified via email!

Posted in News | Tagged | 22 Comments

Marko Zaror kicks oppression in its a$$ with ‘Zambo Dende’

"Mandrill" Japanese DVD Cover

"Mandrill" Japanese DVD Cover

Chilean martial arts sensation Marko Zaror (Kiltro, Machete Kills) is set to star in Zambo Dende, an action film based on Nicholas Rodriguez’ Colombian comic book of the same name. Darren Shahlavi (Tactical Force) and Michelle Lee (Blood and Bone) are also in talks to join the film.

According to Film Combat Syndicate, here’s what you can expect from the plot: “The character is based on real life events about a child named Azuk who would rise from oppression to become a fighting force for the oppressed slaves of Latin America, ultimately foreseeing his royal destiny preset by the assassination of his mother.”

Until then, look out for Zaror’s next film, Redeemer, which is just around the corner. He’s also tied to One Good Thing, directed by Kimo Stamboel (Macabre). Stay tuned!

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Samurai Cop | Blu-ray (Cinema Epoch)

Samurai Cop | Blu-ray (Cinema Epoch)

Samurai Cop | Blu-ray (Cinema Epoch)

RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2014

Cinema Epoch presents the Blu-ray for 1991′s Samurai Cop. Detective Frank Washington (Mark Frazer) and Joe Marshall (Matt Hannon) team up to take on the Yakuza in this 1991 cult classic. Watch the trailer.

Directed by the late Amir Shervan (Killing American Style), Samurai Cop found a whole new audience during its midnight theatrical circuit and film festival re-release. Its resurgence prompted producers Rich Mallery and Gregory Hatanaka to start production on an upcoming sequel, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance.

Pre-order Samurai Cop from Amazon.com today!

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

Donnie Yen to do Chinese version of ‘The Expendables’?

"Founding of a Republic" UK DVD Cover

"Founding of a Republic" UK DVD Cover

Imagine if Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Sammo Hung, Andy Lau, Yuen Biao, Lau Ching Wan, Ti Lung, Jimmy Wang Yu, David Chiang, Simon Yam and Tony Leung got together for a Chinese version of The Expendables? Cool thought, huh?

Well, there’s a slight possibility that a Chinese Expendables-type project may happen one day. While promoting his latest film, Kung Fu Jungle, Donnie Yen revealed that he has casually brought the idea up to Jackie Chan.

Here’s what Yen told Flicks and the City (via EP): “Months ago, I had a conversation with Jackie and I kind of brought the idea up: ‘You know what, why don’t we make our own Chinese Expendables,’ and he told me: ‘Talk to Jet Li. If you convince Jet Li, [I’ll] do it.’ It was just a casual conversation and was never really a serious follow up project we were aiming at. But, who knows…I think it’s brilliant idea.” When Yen was asked who he’d like to team up with, he said: “Everybody under the sun. Every Chinese action guy in film. That would be very fun.”

Hey, anything is possible, right? Stay tuned.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

The Traffickers | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

The Traffickers | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

The Traffickers | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

RELEASE DATE: December 23, 2014

Well Go USA presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Kim Hong-sun’s The Traffickers.

This Award-winning South Korean crime thriller takes place in six hours on a passenger boat with an ongoing black-market organ-trafficking operation, and a desperate husband out to find his missing wife.

The film stars Im Chang-jung, Choi Daniel, Oh Dal-su and Jo Yoon-hee. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order The Traffickers from Amazon.com today!

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

Donnie Yen confirms that ‘Ip Man 3′ shoots in March 2015

"Ip Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Ip Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Ip Man 3 is in the works – in 3D! Star Donnie Yen will return in the titular role, alongside director Wilson Yip. This time around, Ip Man’s most famous pupil – Bruce Lee – is set to have a much larger role in the story. “What is certain is that the film will begin with Bruce Lee becoming Ip Man’s disciple,” says screenwriter Edmond Wong.

Producer Raymond Wong claims the film will feature a much larger budget than the previous two films, with special 3D effects incorporated into the fight scenes.

Update: Contrary to previous reports, JayneStars says the reason that Ip Man 3 has been delayed/put on hold is because of Donnie’s busy schedule. Producer Raymond Wong remains hopeful that Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen will start Ip Man 3 in 2014.

Film Combat Syndicate shares an interview (via South China Morning Post) where Donnie Yen talks about reprising his role as Ip Man: “I’ll leave that to fate, but I’ll definitely play Ip Man again,” he says. “I won’t be doing it any time soon, though, because there are so many Ip Man [movies] around. You are Ip Man! He is Ip Man! Everyone is Ip Man! Even the audience is getting bored at the moment.”

Media Asia Chairman John Chong has officially confirmed that Donnie Yen, Edmond Wong, Wilson Yip and Raymond Wong are again on board as star, screenwriter, director and producer, respectively. Budgeted at over $30 million dollars, Ip Man 3 will be released in late 2015, just in time for the Christmas-Chinese New Year season.

In addition to Ip Man 3, here’s a list of titles Yen is currently working on: Iceman 2 (post-production), Kung Fu Jungle (post-production), The Master (pre-production), Dragon City (pre-production) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 (pre-production).

According to Screen Daily, Well Go USA has already picked up U.S. rights for Ip Man 3, which begins shooting early 2015. “This film focuses on the master-student relationship between Ip Man and Bruce Lee… it also portrays Ip Man at a stage when he is searching for the real meaning in life,” says Ip Man 3 writer, Edmond Wong.

BREAKING NEWS: Donnie Yen has confirmed that Ip Man 3 will start shooting in March of 2015. Here’s what Yen told Flicks and the City (via EP): “We’re starting next March… it’s going to be my last time around playing Ip Man. I think the fans have been waiting for quite a few years. And I kind of didn’t want to take on this role again, and I was onto experimenting with different characters, different roles, until I’m ready. And now, I feel like I’m ready, so we’ll see. I’ll try do the best I can. And hopefully I can top the first two.”

Posted in News | 19 Comments