Deal on Fire! The Last Sentinel | Blu-ray | Only $4.92 – Expires soon!

"The Last Sentinel" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Last Sentinel" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for The Last Sentinal, directed by Jesse V. Johnson (The Package). Don “The Dragon” Wilson (11-time World Kickboxing Champion and star of the Bloodfist and Ring of Fire franchise) plays an electronically enhanced soldier who rescues a rebel beauty (Katee Sackhoff from TV’s Battlestar Galactica) from a failed resistance mission.

Fun Trivia: The Last Sentinel is the only Don “The Dragon” Wilson film where Wilson doesn’t use his moniker “Dragon” in the credits.

Order The Last Sentinal from Amazon.com today!

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Well Go USA’s new trailer for ‘Kundo: Age of the Rampant’

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

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

Kundo: Age of the Rampant (aka Band of Thieves) is a 19th century period action/martial arts film that stars Ha Jung-woo (The Chaser) and Kang Dong-won (The X).

Directed by Yoon Jong-bin (Nameless Gangster), the film revolves around a group of righteous thieves who steal from corrupt public officials and give to the poor. But things get deadly when the thieves come across a powerful figure.

Updates: Watch the new North American trailer, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate. And don’t forget, Well Go USA is releasing the Blu-ray and DVD on October 21, 2014.

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Shogun Assassin | Blu-ray & DVD (Animeigo)

Shogun Assassin | Blu-ray & DVD (Animeigo)

Shogun Assassin | Blu-ray & DVD (Animeigo)

RELEASE DATE: October 28, 2014

Animeigo presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Shogun Assassin, starring the legendary Tomisaburo Wakayama (Black Rain). Shogun Assassin is perhaps the most famous – and bloodiest – samurai film in the Western world. Created by editing together the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films (1972′s Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance and Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx), this ridiculously violent adventure is an entertaining package!

Unlike the currently released Shogun Assassin: 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, this new version contains both the Blu-ray & DVD discs.

Pre-order Shogun Assassin from Amazon.com today!

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

Justin Lin’s ‘Shaolin Temple 3D’ gets an award-winning writer!

"Martial Arts of Shaolin" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Martial Arts of Shaolin" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Deadline reports that Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious franchise) will be directing a remake of Chang Hsin Yen‘s The Shaolin Temple, a 1982 Chinese martial arts film known for launching the film career of Jet Li. Troy Craig Poon, CEO of Perfect Storm Entertainment – and Lin’s business affiliate – says the plan is to hire “an A+ list Hollywood writer to tackle the story.” He adds “The aim is to make an unprecedented Chinese-based tentpole with story, style and scope that will resonate with global audiences as well.”

Deadline says that the film being “planned as a Mandarin-language effort, although an alternative-language version may be explored as well.” There are currently no cast details or target release date, but pre-production for the film may begin after Lin’s Bourne V feature, which is due for an April 2015 release. We’ll keep you posted.

BREAKING NEWS: Deadline reports that writer/director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James, Killing Them Soflty) will be writing the screenplay.

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Shane Black to bring ‘Remo Williams’ back to the big screen?

"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Deadline reports that Shane Black (Iron Man 3) has been hired to direct an adaptation of Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir’s novel series, The Destroyer. The story revolves around Remo, a cop sentenced to a fake death by the government, then trained as an assassin to defend the country from enemies.

The Destroyer was also adapted into a comic book by Marvel, as well as a 1985 film titled Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, which was directed by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger) and starred Fred Ward as the title character.

In the meantime, Black is has three other movies in the works, including The Nice Guys, a Predator sequel and a possible Doc Savage movie. Stay tuned!

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Missing in Action: Double Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Missing in Action: Double Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Missing in Action: Double Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

MGM presents the Blu-ray for the Missing in Action: Double Feature, which includes Joseph Zito’s Missing in Action (1984) and Lance Hool’s Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1984/1985).

Fun Trivia: Missing in Action was originally intended to be a sequel to Missing in Action 2 (which was actually filmed before Missing in Action), but when producers realized Missing in Action was the stronger of the two, they swapped the release dates, as well as the titles.

Pre-order the Missing in Action: Double Feature from Amazon.com today!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles | 1 Comment

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

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

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

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

MGM presents the Chuck Norris Total Attack Pack Blu-ray set. 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.

Pre-order the Chuck Norris: Triple Feature from Amazon.com today!

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Covert Operation | aka The Borderland | DVD (Lionsgate)

"Covert Operation" DVD Cover

"Covert Operation" DVD Cover

RELEASE DATE: November 11, 2014

Lionsgate presents the DVD for Covert Operation (aka The Borderland). Gabriel (played by 5-time World Karate Champion, Seydina Balde), a bounty hunter trapped in Asia, is promised his freedom in return for one final rescue mission. However, his mission takes a turn for the worst when he’s trapped between the border of China and North Korea.

Covert Operation arrives from French director Mathieu Weschler and stars Seydina Balde (Danny The Dog, stunt performer in Casino Royale) in the lead role.Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Covert Operation from Amazon.com today!

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New trailer for Nicolas Cage’s China-based actioner ‘Outcast’

"Outcast 3D" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Outcast 3D" Chinese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: A mysterious warrior teams up with the daughter and son of a deposed Chinese Emperor to defeat their cruel Uncle, who seeks their deaths.

Outcast stars Nicolas Cage (Face/Off, Bangkok Dangerous), Hayden Christensen (Jumper, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith). Yifei Liu (The Forbidden Kingdom, The Assassins), Andy On (Special ID), Ron Smoorenburg (Who Am I?), Jawed El-Berni (Ninja: Shadow of a Tear), the Dasz Brothers (Iceman), Alaa Safi (Chinese Zodiac) and Fernando Chien (Bunraku).

The Holding’s James Dormer will be writing the script and stuntman Nick Powell (who worked on a number of titles including The Bourne Identity and Resident Evil: Retribution), will be directing for the first time.

Updates: Shooting for Outcast has wrapped up in China. THR has an interesting video interview with Nicolas Cage, where he not only talks about Outcast, but he also criticizes Hollywood’s lack of opportunities for male Asian actors. He mentions names like Bruce Lee, Tony Leung, John Woo and Chow Yun Fat. | New poster for Outcast.

Producer Jeremy Bolt (Pompeii) states there might be a sequel, considering its strong performance by “buyers” in the film market. Bolt also says that a worldwide release is planned, including “the US and China, in September and October this year.” – Thanks to Collider. | First trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the newest trailer.

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Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Pallisades Tartan presents the DVD for Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1: South Korean Horror Films. This 3-disc set includes the following titles: Kong Su-Chang’s R Point (2014), Yoo Sang-Gon’s Face (2004) and Kim Yong-Kyoon’s Red Shoes (2005).

You might also be interested in the DVD sets for the Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2: Japanese Horror Films or Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3: Thai Horror Films.

Pre-order Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1 from Amazon.com today!

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Billy Chong returns with ‘Duel: The Last Choice’

"Duel: The Last Choice" Indonesian Theatrical Poster

"Duel: The Last Choice" Indonesian Theatrical Poster

If you think Iko Uwais (The Raid 2) was the first Indonesian action star to take the world by storm, think again! Old school Indonesian martial arts star Billy Chong (Kung Fu Zombie and the proposed Garuda 7) – who presently goes by the name Willy Dozan – is back with a new flick titled Duel: The Last Choice, which he also directs.

Chong continues the tradition of the “father and son films” like Ninja III: The Domination (Sho Kosugi and Kane) and Assassination Games (Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kris) by teaming up with his son, Leon Dozan.

Duel: The Last Choice will be released domestically on September 18. Hopefully, we’ll see a North American release in some shape or form. Until then, here’s the trailer, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate.

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Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Pallisades Tartan presents the DVD for Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2: Japanese Horror Films. This 3-disc set includes the following titles: Shinya Tsukamoto’s Snake of June (2003), Yuichi Sato’s Pray (2005) and Shinya Tsukamoto’s Vital (2004).

You might also be interested in the DVD sets for the Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1: South Korean Horror Films or Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3: Thai Horror Films.

Pre-order the Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2 from Amazon.com today!

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Exclusive: Interview with Alain Moussi

Interview with Alain Moussi

Cityonfire.com presents an interview with Alain Moussi, the rising star of Stephen Fung’s upcoming Kickboxer remake!

Moussi, who currently holds a 5th degree Black Belt in NX Jiu-Jitsu, also worked as a stuntman on X-Men: Days of Future Past, Pacific Rim, Brick Mansions and White House Down.

In this exclusive interview, Moussi talks about Kickboxer, future projects (well, sorta!), and his favorite movies and filmmakers of all time. Enjoy!


Moussi with Michael Jai White and Bill Wallace.

Moussi with Michael Jai White and Bill Wallace.

In your own words, who is Alain Moussi?

At the cost of sounding cheesy, I’m many things to different people; a martial artist, a sensei and a family man. I’m a dreamer who believes that with hard work and determination, his dreams can become reality.

We all know you’re fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme (particularly Bloodsport and Kickboxer), but what about his other movies?

I’ve always favored Bloodsport and Kickboxer since those are the films that inspired me to start training in martial arts. I also like many other Van Damme titles such as Lionheart, Hard Target, Time Cop and Maximum Risk. In my opinion Van Damme isn’t your typical “tough guy”. His characters often show vulnerability which makes him relatable. As a martial arts fan, I enjoy all of his movies. They’re always fun and entertaining! I think Van Damme’s most recent titles show his versatility as an actor. He’s played the hero and the villain crossing over into many genres. I am looking to forward to seeing Pound of Flesh coming out in 2015.

"Enter the Dragon" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Enter the Dragon" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Give us a list of your top 5 martial arts films of all time.

So hard to pick only 5! Here are 5 of my favorites:

Enter the Dragon: My father introduced me to Bruce Lee films when I started training in Jiu-Jitsu. I became an instant fan. I loved Bruce Lee’s intensity and charisma.

Kickboxer: As a kid I was very impressed by JC’s kicks and flexibility. He was so clean in his movements. I could definitely see myself becoming just like him.

Best of the Best: Pop it Tommy pop it! Loved it! A beautiful story and display of the martial arts spirit.

Rumble in the Bronx: RITB was the first Jackie Chan movie I watched and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I loved Jackie’s use of the environment and his ability to throw comedy within his fights.

Ong Bak: Tony Jaa’s athleticism was second to none but what I loved most was that the fights were so gritty and raw.

Moussi posing with his future opponent?

Moussi posing with his future opponent?

If you can work with any star, who would that be?

If I had to pick one it would definitely be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’ve been a fan of The Rock since he started in the WWE. He’s smart, funny and charismatic! To me The Rock is the ultimate blend of “old school” and “new school” action hero.

If you can work with any filmmaker, who would you choose?

I would love to work with Michael Bay. He’s the ultimate action movie director!

With all the high octane action films of recent years (The Raid 2, Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen, etc.), there has definitely been a new “standard” set. Do you think your Kickboxer remake will meet this standard?

The producers and director Stephen Fung are martial arts fans. They want Kickboxer to be a hard hitting movie. Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins are two of the biggest martial arts superstars in today’s film industry. Georges St-Pierre and Dave Bautista are both champions in their respective fields and the fight choreographer [Larnell Stovall] is one of the best in the business! Kickboxer has all the makings to be an awesome martial arts film!

Press coverage in a Hong Hong entertainment magazine.

Press coverage in a Hong Hong entertainment magazine.

In your opinion, is there such thing as “too much violence” in movies?

I think there is a difference between action and violence. A certain amount of violence is acceptable in action as long as it is within context. Gratuitous violence used for shock value only can be “too much violence”.

I know you’re not the biggest fan of remakes, but if you were contracted to appear in another remake of your choice, what movie would you choose?

I would choose Tango & Cash (opposite The Rock)! I love action comedies and I think it would be a fun story to revisit!

"Tango & Cash" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Tango & Cash" Japanese Theatrical Poster

If we looked at your personal DVD or Blu-ray collection, name a few movies we would find?

You would find The Expendables, Zoolander, Legends of the Fall, Unleashed, Gladiator, Training Day, Blade, The Raid, Wedding Crashers among many others…

Do you have any possible projects in the works after Kickboxer is completed?

Yes…

No details?

Haha! Have to keep some mystery don’t I !?

Have you seen any of Stephen Fung’s directorial work?

I have seen Tai Chi Hero. I liked the story, comedy, the action and the camera work. I thought it was a cool movie. I’ve talked to Stephen about his vision for Kickboxer and it’s great. I’m looking forward to work with him.

If Stallone called you up to appear in Expendables 4, and he gave you the choice of being a good guy or bad guy, which would you choose?

I would choose the good guy since I love playing the hero!

Thanks again to Alain Moussi, who took the time to answer these questions! The Kickboxer remake starts shooting in the fall. Look for it in theaters in 2015!

Posted in Features, Interviews, News | 2 Comments

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3 | DVD (Pallisades Tartan)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Pallisades Tartan presents the DVD for Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3: Thai Horror Films. This 3-disc set includes the following titles: Mark Duffield’s Ghost of Mae Nak (2005), Monthon Arayangkoon’s The Victim (2006) and Paul Spurrier’s P (2005).

You might also be interested in the DVD sets for the Asia Extreme Collection Volume 1: South Korean Horror Films or Asia Extreme Collection Volume 2: Japanese Horror Films.

Pre-order the Asia Extreme Collection Volume 3 from Amazon.com today!

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New poster for Samuel L. Jackson’s live-action Anime ‘Kite’

"Kite" Theatrical Poster

"Kite" Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: When her cop father is killed, a young woman tracks the murder with the apparent help of his ex-partner. Ralph Ziman’s (Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema) live-action Kite (based on the Anime by Yasuomi Umetsu) stars India Eisley, Callan McAuliffe, Cleo Rinkwest, Samuel L. Jackson and Russel Savadier.

The makers of Kite plan to go for a more “modern” approach to the material, using our current economic problems as a backdrop for the story.

Updates: Tragic news. Director David R. Ellis has passed away in South Africa at age 60. He was preparing to film Kite in the country. Ellis amassed a resume of potent guilty pleasures during his stint as a Hollywood director, including Cellular with Jason Statham; the morbidly hilarious Final Destination 2; and Samuel L. Jackson’s infamous Snakes on a Plane. Ellis also had a prolific career as a second unit director and stunt coordinator on such films as Patriot Games and Days of Thunder. He will be missed by the film community. | Ralph Ziman (Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema) has taken over the director’s chair for David R. Ellis.

Deadline reports that after making its AFM debut yesterday, Samuel L. Jackson’s Kite has inked a batch of international sales. The film is currently in post-production phase. | Here’s the first trailer for Kite, with a brief intro from Samuel L. Jackson. | Watch the new trailer. | New poster released.

BREAKING NEWS: Check out the newest poster.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

UK trailer for ‘Zero Tolerance’ with Adkins and Nguyen

"Zero Tolerance" Theatrical Poster

"Zero Tolerance" Theatrical Poster

Last year, we filled you in on a Thai action movie called Angels, which starred Sahajak Boonthanakit (Streetfighter: Legend of Chun Li), Dustin Nguyen (The Rebel), Gary Daniels (City Hunter) and Ammy Chanicha (The Hangover 2).

Sadly, Angels was never released anywhere, except Vietnam. But now, after a series of re-shoots, re-edits, newly added star power – and even a fresh movie title – Angels will be seen by the rest of world in the form of Zero Tolerance.

Angels filmmaker Wych Kaosayananda (Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever) had this to say about the Angels/Zero Tolerance makeover: “Angels has undergone some pretty radical changes since the start of 2014, we’ve done some additional shooting and added Scott Adkins to the cast and it should be released sometime this year under the new name, Zero Tolerance.”

In addition to Adkins being added to the cast, Kane Kosugi (Choy Lee Fut, Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear) will also be appearing in Zero Tolerance. We haven’t seen a splice job like this since Jackie Chan’s The Protector. Regardless, having Nguyen, Adkins, Daniels and Kosugi in one movie makes up for any questionable production tactics.

We’ll keep you updated on release dates. Until then, Lee Mason contacted cityonfire.com with a new poster and also, an all-new trailer for Zero Tolerance.

Update: In a new interview, Wych Kaosayananda talked to Film Combat Syndicate about Zero Tolerance. Despite its Protector-ish splice job, it looks like it really is a completely new movie, plot and all. Here’s what Kaosayananda had say: ”Just to be clear, Zero Tolerance is not Angels. They are two completely different movies. Zero Tolerance is a very slick, fast moving, more action oriented film, whereas Angels was a slow burn, character driven drama. The actors are all the same with one new addition, but the characters have all changed.”

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the new UK trailer for Zero Tolerance, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Deal on Fire! Chawz | Blu-ray | Only $8.49 – Expires soon!

"Chawz" Blu-ray Cover

"Chawz" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Shin Jeong-Won’s Chawz (aka Chaw), a 2009 South Korean horror/comedy that attempts to do the whole ‘small town terrorized by a big monster’ shtick like Jaws, except with dollops of goofy humor.

Je-mun Yun of Mother and The Good, The Bad, the Weird gives a scene-stealing performance as a top hunter trained in Finland, which is apparently the number one country to do that sort of thing in.

Order Chawz from Amazon.com today!

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Pre-order Diao Yinan’s ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’ at DDDhouse.com

"Black Coal, Thin Ice" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Black Coal, Thin Ice" Chinese Theatrical Poster

DDDHouse.com now has Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice on DVD for an August 21st pre-order. Keep in mind that the DVD is Region 3 coded, so you will need a multi-region DVD player to view the movie.

In Black Coal, Thin Ice, an ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again. This riveting thriller stars Liao Fan (Chinese Zodiac) and Gwei Lun-Mei (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate).

Black Coal, Thin Ice took home the Golden Bear award at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. Be sure to watch the trailer.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme: Triple Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Van Damme Triple Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

Van Damme Triple Feature | Blu-ray (MGM)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

MGM presents the Jean-Claude Van Damme Triple Feature Blu-ray set, which includes Albert Pyun’s Cyborg (1989), Sheldon Lettich’s Double Impact (1991) and Deran Sarafian’s Death Warrant (1990), written by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Justice League).

You may also be interested in Universal’s Van Damme 5-Movie Action Pack.

Pre-order The Van Damme Triple Feature from Amazon.com today!

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

Predator: Triple Feature | Blu-ray (Fox)

Predator Triple Feature | Blu-ray (Fox)

Predator Triple Feature | Blu-ray (Fox)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

20th Century Fox presents the Predator: Triple Feature on Blu-ray. This Triple Feature includes 1987′s Predator, 1990′s Predator 2 and 2010′s Predators (aka Predator 3).

All 3 Predator films make up a cast that includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Robert Davi, Bill Paxton, Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne and Danny Trejo.

Pre-order the Predator: Triple Feature from Amazon.com today!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Other Notable Titles | Leave a comment

New Trailers for Lu Yang’s wuxia actioner ‘Brotherhood of Blades’

"Brotherhood of Blades" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Brotherhood of Blades" Chinese Theatrical Poster

After receiving much acclaim for 2010′s My Spectacular Theatre and 2012′s A Motor Home Adventure, Lu Yang is back for his third directorial outing: a wuxia action film titled Brotherhood of Blades, which stars Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Cecilia Liu (Badges of Fury).

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

Brotherhood of Blades is getting a domestic release on August 7. We’re sure Well Go USA has its eye on this one for a North American distribution. For now, you can watch the trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Better late than never, right? Watch the two newest trailers for Brotherhood of Blades: Trailer 1 | Trailer 2Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate!

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Pre-order David Lam’s ‘Z-Storm’ at DDDhouse.com

"Z Storm" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Z Storm" Chinese Theatrical Poster

DDDHouse.com now has David Lam’s Z-Storm on Blu-ray & DVD for an August 21st pre-order. The film stars Louis Koo (Accident), Lo Hoi-pang (Dream Home), Michael Wong (Nightfall), Gordon Lam (Triad Election) and Liu Kai-chi (The Stool Pigeon).

Directed by veteran Hong Kong filmmaker David Lam (Magnificent Team), Z Storm involves the ICAC, Hong Kong’s 40-year-old anti-corruption body, in a three-way conflict among the police and the government. Producer John Chong compares the film to Fox’s TV series 24, while others are comparing it to Infernal Affairs.

Be sure to check out the film’s trailer.

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Dragonwolf (2013) Review

"Dragonwolf" International Theatrical Poster

"Dragonwolf" International Theatrical Poster

Director: Raimund Huber
Writer: Raimund Huber, Johan Kirsten
Producer: Chariyawan Tavoranon
Cast: Kazu Patrick Tang, Johan Kirsten, Macha Polivka, David Winters, Guk Srisawat, Stephen Thomas, Bonnie Zellerbach, Sunanta Yousagoon, Janissa Charoenrach, Vincent Kinne
Running Time: 120 min.

By Dirac

From Raimund Huber – the director of Kill ‘Em All (2012) and Bangkok Adrenaline (2009) – comes Dragonwolf, a Thai-produced, English language martial arts film about two friends who meet on the street as kids, and work their way up the ranks of a local criminal empire in a fictional city known as Devil’s Cauldron.

Julius (Johan Kirsten) befriends Mozart (Kazu Patrick Tang, who also served as fight choreographer and stunt coordinator) and takes him under his wing. Julius teaches Mozart self defense, as well as the use of weapons. The two soon make a name for themselves as effective enforcers. However, trouble ensues when they begin vying for the hand of the same woman.

Weird dubbing: ✓
Occasionally confusing continuity: ✓
Decent soundtrack: ✓

Pretty standard stuff, but there are a few things that bothered me. I know that it’s a Thai production, but the fact that EVERY character was dubbed made the dialog delivery seem awkward. As far as I can tell, the actors originally delivered their lines in English, but everyone was still dubbed. For example: in one scene, Julius’ tall and slender lackey (I think his name was Brutus) was obviously overacting his lines, and the dubbing of the voice made the overacting even more pronounced! The result is pretty hilarious, which I doubt was intentional.

The action choreography was shabby and inconsistent. For instance, Mozart seems to be capable of battling waves of bad guys and comes out the other side more or less intact; at other times, he’ll sustain a seemingly trivial flesh wound that would knock him out. I suppose one could say the same thing about Special ID (2013), but Dragonwolf takes the concept to new level.

I’m hesitant to use the word ‘copied,’ but at the very least, some fight scenes were inspired by Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003). Aside from the hordes of stock bad guys, Mozart would occasionally fight unique villains that actually had speaking lines (the two Russian guys, for instance), but the dialog was so silly that it got tiresome quickly. The ‘fight hordes of bad guys’ formula works really well in films like The Raid 2 (2014), but that movie had good writing, direction, cinematography, and editing on its side.

In terms of continuity, some things felt like they were tacked on; I won’t give away these plot points, but toward the end of the film, there’s a Deus Ex Machina plot device, as well as a twist that left me shaking my head. They could’ve been trying too hard or taking themselves too seriously, but these moments had a jarring effect that made me wonder: what went on during writing and pre-production? Also, it helps to be careful when using flashbacks liberally. I’m no filmmaker, but isn’t there a right and wrong way to intersperse flashbacks? At times, I wasn’t sure if I was watching a flashback or not.

I won’t criticize this film because it had a small budget, but the sets mostly consist of dilapidated buildings. If I didn’t already know the film was shot in Thailand, I would’ve guessed that the production crew chose a series of abandoned auto factories in Detroit. Maybe heavy industry in Devil’s Cauldron had fallen on hard times, due to an economic downturn or something? But, I digress. I did like the ambient soundtrack; I thought that its application per scene fit well, and didn’t feel discontinuous like the plot did at times.

I’ll wrap it up by saying that with a little more time and TLC, this film could’ve been better. I can see that the writer and director probably put considerable effort into it, but with odd post-production choices (dubbing!) and sloppy writing, Dragonwolf fell flat.

Dirac’s Rating: 4/10

Posted in News, Reviews, Thai | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Denzel f*cks sh*t up in the new TV Spot for ‘The Equalizer’

"The Equalizer" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Equalizer" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Replacement Killers), The Equalizer will be loosely based on the 1980′s TV show about a sophisticated former government agent (Denzel Washington) atoning for the sins of his past by righting the wrongs of a flawed legal system. The script is written by Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2). Catch The Equalizer in theaters on September 26, 2014.

Updates: Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) were attached to direct, but both dropped out due to scheduling and creative conflicts. | Collider reports that Carrie’s Chloe Grace Moretz has landed the female lead opposite Denzel Washington. | Teaser poster. | 1st trailer. | 2nd trailer. | Japanese poster.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the new TV Spot.

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Lucy (2014) Review

"Lucy" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Lucy" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Producer: Virginie Silla
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbæk, Analeigh Tipton, Nicolas Phongpheth
Running Time: 89 min.

By Paul Bramhall

Back in the 1990’s Luc Besson was considered to be in the top tier of action directors, infusing his movies like La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element with a distinctive European style and intelligence, while also delivering a unique action aesthetic. It was in the post-2000 era though that Besson really caught the attention of martial arts movie fans, not as a director, but as the guy who wrote and produced some of the best western martial arts movies of the time.

It was Besson that gave us Jason Statham in The Transporter and its sequels, marking the Brit as the go-to man for no nonsense action movies that he still carries the flag for even now. It was Besson that gave us Jet Li’s best English language movies with Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed (aka Danny the Dog). It was Besson that introduced the world to Parkour in the movie District B13, and it was Besson that convinced us all that Liam Neeson could be a man with “a very specific set of skills” in Taken.

Besson continued to also direct, including the 2011 biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, which saw Michelle Yeoh stepping into the role of Burma’s inspirational fighter for democracy. However it was arguably the movies that he was indirectly involved with rather than his own that received the most attention internationally. So, with the news that he would be both writing and directing Lucy, the tale of an American female living in Taiwan, who’s forced to become a drug mule by having packets of a dangerous new substance surgically planted in her stomach, only to fight back, he had our attention.

Scarlett Johansson would be playing the pivotal role of Lucy, having recently got to flex her action muscles as the Black Widow in both The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She’d be ably backed up by Morgan Freeman, who himself had starred in the Luc Besson scripted Jet Li movie Unleashed (aka Danny the Dog), and the most exciting news for fans of Asian cinema was that Korean actor Choi Min-sik would be playing the villain of the piece. Min-sik will be most recognizable to western audiences as the main character from 2003’s Oldboy, however he essentially makes any movie he’s in worth watching, most recently as the legendary Korean admiral Yi Sunshin in the period epic The Admiral: Roaring Currents.

So, all the ingredients are there for 90 minutes of vintage Besson – the strong female lead which promised to echo the likes of Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita. The gritty urban setting of Leon: The Professional mixed with the sci-fi concepts in The Fifth Element. All topped off with the Asian influence that Besson has clearly shown a strong love for over the past decade.

The story of Lucy is as initially simple as previously mentioned. She’s an American living in Taiwan, and after the boyfriend she’s only been dating for a week convinces her to drop off a mysterious suitcase to Mr. Jang, played by Min-sik, she’s sedated and wakes up to be told she has a packet of a new drug called CPH4 planted in her stomach. She’s given her passport and told to go back to the US, where she’ll be picked up by some of Min-sik’s lackeys and have the packet removed, at which point she’ll be free to go. Along the way though, things go wrong when she’s assaulted by a pair of thugs, and after a violent confrontation the packet tears inside her, unleashing the drug into the bloodstream, which leads to her being the first human to be able to utilize 100% of their brain capacity.

It’s the stuff of B-movie goodness, but it becomes clear from the start the Besson is aiming much higher than a run of the mill action flick. After a 2001: A Space Odyssey style opening, the whole scene of Lucy being taken is juxtaposed with a deer being hunted by a leopard. It’s obviously supposed to be very symbolic, but the imagery comes across as a little goofy. Depending on how much you buy into the movies concept of how time and evolution is all connected (or something like that) will largely determine how you enjoy the rest of it. I say this because you also have an awful lot of Morgan Freeman lecturing on the human brain capacity and the history of humankind, which treats us to more symbolic juxtaposition of erupting volcanoes, rocket launches, and animals humping each other.

Thankfully for those who are a little lost, it regularly flashes across the screen the exact percentage of how much of Lucy’s brain capacity has been utilized, kind of like an idiots guide to all the philosophical mumbling. Lucy of course eventually realizes that something unique is happening to her, and as she strolls into a Taiwan hospital with gun in hand, something which not a single person seems to notice, she orders the doctors to take the drugs out of her. In one of many scenes which threaten to be laughable, she proceeds to call her mother in the US while the surgeon slices open her stomach, and gives a rather bizarre speech about how she can remember the taste of her mother’s breast milk and the feeling of her bones growing. Luckily just like all of the people who have just witnessed Lucy strolling through the hospital with a gun, her mother is remarkably unfazed by all of these revelations.

I guess it was at this point that I kind of gave up on Lucy. It’s an extremely silly movie, which could well be enjoyed, but the silliness is handled in such a heavy handed and serious way that it sucks all the fun out of it. Lucy herself is not a particularly likeable character, she’s been dating a guy who’s obviously an idiot, she shoots a poor taxi driver in the leg just for saying he doesn’t speak English (in the middle of Taiwan!), and even kills a hospital patient, which she justifies by saying he had a brain tumor which he wouldn’t have survived anyway. This kind of stuff could have come across as darkly comical, but here it just comes across as unpleasant.

Min-sik also isn’t given a lot to do except scowl and have his hands stabbed, a brutal experience for anyone to go through, but one which he seems to have recovered from in the very next scene he appears in. Most interesting of all though is the direction Lucy takes in its final third, in which instead of making her an unstoppable force of nature, the ending goes for a mix of 2001: A Space Odyssey combined with elements of Akira, as she reaches 100% capacity and we’re treated to all sorts of time travel and CGI assisted silliness. At one point she’s almost eaten by a velociraptor, no joke.

All in all Lucy should have been a breezy 90 minutes of sci-fi B-movie silliness and action. However Besson’s seeming insistence that he was making a bold statement about the nature of humanity too often see it get bogged down in heavy handed exposition and scenes that make little sense, which only stand out more due to its deadly serious tone. While everyone hoped that Lucy would see Besson utilizing 100% of his directing capacity, sadly the final product only looks like he reached 50% at best.

Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 5/10

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Deal on Fire! The Last Stand | Blu-ray | Only $7.99 – Expires soon!

The Last Stand Blu-ray & DVD (Lionsgate)

The Last Stand Blu-ray & DVD (Lionsgate)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for for Kim Jee-Woon’s (I Saw The Devil) The Last Stand, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville.

The leader of a drug cartel (Eduardo Noriega) busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff (Schwarzenegger) and his inexperienced staff. The director of A Bittersweet Life directing the legendary star of Predator? What’s not to love?

Order The Last Stand from Amazon.com today!

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Ron Perlman hopes Stallone taps him for ‘Expendables 4’!

"Hellboy II: The Golden Army" Japanese DVD Cover

"Hellboy II: The Golden Army" Japanese DVD Cover

With The Expendables 3 currently exploding in theaters, we decided to get going on updates regarding talent (actors, directors, writers, etc.) that have reportedly been approached or have stated interest in being a part of The Expendables 4 or any future installment of the popular action franchise:

Updates: Jean-Claude Van Damme chatted with Expendables Premiere about The Expendables 4. Van Damme openly states that he’s interested, but that it’s ultimately up to Sylvester Stallone if it happens.

Here’s his exact words: “Dear Trevor and the Expendables Premiere fans, I had a great time shooting The Expendables 2 with Mr. Stallone and other big action stars. Mr. Stallone is an inventive man. He may even create a stronger character than Claude Vilain, the twin brother of Jean Vilain. Some fans ask me if the next Vilain – if there’s next– is going to be a good or a bad guy. I would leave it to Mr. Stallone to decide, as I trust his way of imagination. Thank you. – JCVD”

Expendables Premiere notes (via sources from slyitalian.com) that Steven Seagal is close to signing on as the main antagonist. According to the article, Sylvester Stallone is trying to convinced producer Avi Lerner to let bygones be bygones (apparently, Seagal and Lerner had a business disagreement and they haven’t been in good terms ever since; hence, Seagal’s lack of participitation The Expendables 2 or 3). In Addition, Stallone and Lerner will try to convince Jackie Chan to participate in a minor role, hoping that the Chinese actor will put aside his big ego. This is all definitely rumor material, but you never know!

In a recent interview with Shortlist.com (via Expendables Premiere), Pierce Brosnan said: “The offer has come in for the next Expendables. I just worked over in Bulgaria with Avi Lerner who makes them. He said ‘Would you like to be in The Expendables? I’d love to have you’, and I said ‘Why not?’. So we’ll see.” The former James Bond actor added: ”I have no idea which one it would be, I just said ‘Yes’. It could be Expendables 7!”

According to a Collider interview with Stallone, both Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson were both considered: “Well, you know Clint is so involved with what he’s doing, so that’s kind of a pipe dream. I was going to go up to Jack Nicholson and we just got there a little too late cause actually he had said he might be interested in it, so there are still interesting avenues out there. I want to get, if possible, the most unique actors from the past and just put ‘em on there once and for all, if we can. It just seems like an interesting quest to do that, because I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again; we’re certainly not getting any younger. So we’re very lucky and we’re going to keep going, and it doesn’t automatically mean you have to be an action guy.”

Expendables Premiere reports (via Bulgaria’s Blitz.bg) that Hulk Hogan has joined The Expendables 4. According to the article, Hogan is expected to visit Bulgaria in the autumn to start filming. Considering The Expendables 3 hasn’t even been released yet, we doubt that this news is official. However, it’s not exactly out of the question; after all, Hogan and Sylvester Stallone have remained close friends since 1982, where the two appeared alongside each other in Rocky III. Well, only time will tell…

Thanks to manlymovie.net, we have this info about original Die Hard/Predator director John McTiernan: Empire asked him if he’d be willing to direct another Die Hard movie and/or an Expendables movie. His answer? Yes! “Though in theory he’d be up for doing another Die Hard movie, or an Expendables movie, he hasn’t got time for another dud: DEA versus drug lords actioner Red Squad, which is being reported as his comeback movie, has stalled because he views the current draft as offensive.

During a recent Reddit AMA, here’s what Dwayne Johnson had to say about appearing in an Expendables movie: ”I don’t want to be on their team and be buddies with them… F*ck that noise. I want to hunt every single one of them down and tell them to ‘send your soul to heaven cause your ass is mine.” After hearing what Johnson said, Sylvester Stallone had this to say: “Bring It On.”

According to Expendables Premiere (roughly translated), Sly expressed interest in casting both Christopher Lambert (Highlander) and Jean Reno (Leon: The Professional) for Expendables 4: “I would like Christopher Lambert in Expendables 4 as a good guy. Actually, I thought about it for 3, but there was no more space. Why not Jean Reno to play the villain?”

During a press conference for Expendables 3, a reporter asked Stallone if he planned on continuing to add Asian actors to the cast in future Expendables sequels. Stallone reply: “YES!” He also added that he wanted Jackie Chan to be a part of the third film’s cast, but unfortunately, Chan’s schedule was booked, but he will try again for Part 4.” The next morning, Sly’s words got back to Jackie: “I said, ‘Okay.’ Because they already asked me to be in 2 and 3, but I refused. Well, I didn’t refuse, but I said, ‘Sly, can’t we just do you and me? Not just a bunch of people and me only coming out for five minutes.’ Because then the audience is, ‘Oh!’ And then I’m gone.” - Thanks to Expendables Premiere

BREAKING NEWS: In a recent video posted by Expendables Premiere, Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy) had this to say: ”I’m hoping Stallone taps me on the shoulder one day and says: Okay Ron, you’re 65, why don’t you be in one of these?”

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Chuck Norris: Total Attack Pack | Blu-ray (MGM)

Chuck Norris Total Attack Pack | Blu-ray (MGM)

Chuck Norris Total Attack Pack | Blu-ray (MGM)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

MGM presents the Chuck Norris: Total Attack Pack Blu-ray set. This 4 disc collection includes some of the best titles of the Norris film catalog:

Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), starring David Carradine and; Missing in Action (1984), starring James Hong; Code of Silence (1985), starring Henry Silva; and The Delta Force (1986), starring Lee Marvin and Robert Forster. All that’s missing is Slaughter in San Francsico (1974)!

Pre-order the Chuck Norris: Total Attack Pack from Amazon.com today!

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Bruce Lee Action Pack | DVD (Echo Bridge)

Bruce Lee Action Pack | DVD (Echo Bridge)

Bruce Lee Action Pack | DVD (Echo Bridge)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Echo Bridge presents the Bruce Lee Action Pack DVD set. This 2 disc collection includes the following titles: One Down Two to Go (1976), starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown and Jim Kelly; L.A. Street Fighters (1985) aka Ninja Turf, starring Phillip Rhee; Laser Mission (1989) starring Brandon Lee, Terminal Rush (1996), starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Roddy Piper; Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (1980), starring Fred Williamson and Ron Van Clief; Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave (1976); and Blind Fist of Bruce (1979) and The Image of Bruce Lee (1978), both starring Bruce Li.

Pre-order the Bruce Lee Action Pack from Amazon.com today!

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First trailer for Andrew Lau’s ‘Revenge of the Green Dragons’

"Revenge of the Green Dragons" Theatrical Poster

"Revenge of the Green Dragons" Theatrical Poster

Hong Kong filmmakers Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Andrew Loo (It Had To Be You!) have finished filming their first Hollywood film together titled Revenge of the Green Dragons, an upcoming action-drama about Chinese gangs in New York.

It should be noted that Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) is the film’s producer, which is most likely a returned favor from Scorsese to Lau, which goes back to Lau’s 2002′s Infernal Affairs being remade into Scorsese’s 2006′s The Departed.

Revenge of the Green Dragons stars Justin Chon (21 & Over), Kevin Wu (YouTube’s KevJumba), Harry Shum Jr. (Glee), Ron Yuan (Girl from the Naked Eye), and Eugenia Yuan (daughter of Come Drink With Me’s Cheng Pei-Pei), Jon Kit Lee (The Corruptor) and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).

Revenge of the Green Dragons takes place in the 1980s/early 1990s and follows two immigrant brothers who join the Green Dragons gang and quickly rise up the ranks, becoming notorious to the city’s police. When an ill-fated love affair pits one of the brothers against the gang leader, he sets out for revenge on the group. The film is based on a true story, as chronicled by the New Yorker in 1992.

The film is currently in post production with a 2014 target release date. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a full trailer soon; until then, here’s some set photos as well as a press conference, featuring the directors, actors and other crew members. At the 18:00 mark, there’s a nice little teaser trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the first trailer! According to Collider, Revenge of the Green Dragons will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be available exclusively on DirecTV starting September 11th, followed by a theatrical release in October.

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