Michael Jai White kicks major butt in the ‘Falcon Rising’ trailer!

"Falcon Rising" Theatrical Poster

"Falcon Rising" Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: An anti-hero (Michael Jai White of Blood and Bone) travels to Brazil to find his sister’s killer and along the way uncovers an underworld of vice and corruption, presided over by the Japanese mafia of all people.

Director Ernie Barbarash, at the moment best known for his three recent collaborations with Jean-Claude Van Damme (Assassination Games, Six Bullets and Pound of Flesh), has announced an ambitious new project. The ‘Falcon’ series will be a string of action films that follows a character named John ‘Falcon’ Chapman, a weapon of the state who is fueled by guilt and regret.

The production company behind the Falcon series hopes to make 1-2 movies a year following the character, which seems like a tall order, but at least they have a talented leading man in Michael Jai White. It’s worth noting that White has called Falcon the kind of role he’s been waiting his whole life to tackle. On the action front, White will be ably assisted by Larnell Stovall, a fight choreographer who boasts arguably the most impressive resume in the genre thanks to movies like Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and Undisputed 3.

Here are a couple of pics from the movie: 1 | 2. | First official poster for the film. | Michael Jai White tweeted a new still. | New poster for Falcon Rising (aka Favela), thanks to Albert V and moonstonefilms.com.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the first trailer. You can also now pre-order Falcon Rising from Amazon.com, which has a October 28th street date. – Thanks to udar55 from KFC.

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Godzilla | Blu-ray + Blu-ray 3D & DVD (Warner)

Godzilla | Blu-ray + Blu-ray 3D & DVD (Warner)

Godzilla | Blu-ray + Blu-ray 3D & DVD (Warner)

RELEASE DATE: September 16, 2014

Warner presents the Blu-ray + Blu-ray 3D & DVD for 2014′s Godzilla. In this gritty, realistic sci-fi action epic, Godzilla returns to its roots as one of the world’s most recognized monsters. Directed by Gareth Edwards and featuring an all-star international cast, this spectacular adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Godzilla stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston.

Pre-order Godzilla from Amazon.com today!

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New Red Band trailer for Rodriguez’ ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill’

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill" Theatrical Poster

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill" Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Comic book fans and film buffs alike have long been awaiting a sequel to 2005′s smash hit Sin City. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s A Dame to Kill For will be released on August 22, 2014.

A Dame to Kill For stars Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, and Julia Garner.

Updates: Fandompost gathered from an interview with MTV Geek that Rodriguez will base the new movie on “A Dame To Kill For”, “Just Another Saturday Night”, and two new stories. RR also plans to bring back Alba’s character from the first film.

The movie will adapt the A Dame to Kill For story-arc, with the character of Dwight (Josh Brolin has taken over the character for Clive Owen) from the first movie taking the spotlight.

Updates: Deadline is also reporting that True Blood’s Christopher Meloni has signed on to play a disreputable cop. | Josh Brolin gets behind the wheel in the first photo from the film. | Bloody-disgusting reports that the title has changed from Sin City: A Dame To Kill For to Sin City: A Dame to Die For. | In an interview with theinterrobang.com, Rodriguez said: “The second Sin City – I was just here with Frank Miller and we were watching it last night… we finished the cut, effects are being done, it will come out in August.

New images of Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jessica Alba. | First trailer. | Second trailer. | New Marv (Mickey Rourke) and Nancy (Jessica Alba) character posters. | 5 new characters posters over at impaawards.com. | New Eva Green character poster, which was apparently banned by the MPAA. | New theatrical trailer. | Check out a couple of new Sin City: A Dame to Kill images featuring: Rosario Dawson and Jamie Chung. – Thanks to Collider! | New clip featuring Jessica Alba. } New poster, featuring the main cast. Also, be sure to catch the latest trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the new Red Band trailer!

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Deal on Fire! Ninja Turtles Trilogy | Blu-ray | Only $9.99 – Expires soon!

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy" Blu-ray Cover

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray set for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy, which contains 1990′s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1991′s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and 1993′s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time.

In Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy, a quartet of mutated humanoid turtles – consisting of Raphael, Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Donatello - clash with an uprising criminal gang of ninjas.

Order the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy from Amazon.com today!

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Bruce Lee featured in ‘Batman: The Complete TV Series’ set

"The Green Hornet" Japanese Poster

"The Green Hornet" Japanese Poster

Discovering new Bruce Lee footage is virtually non-existent these days, but the next best thing would be finding semi-rare TV appearances. With that being said, Bruce Lee fans should take note of Warner’s upcoming Batman: The Complete TV Series (see photo), which will be hitting Blu-ray & DVD on November 11th.

Within its 120 episode listing are all three Batman/The Green Hornet crossover episodes - Batman’s Satisfaction (1967), A Piece of the Action (1967) and The Spell of Tut (1966) – starring Van Williams as The Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato.

These episodes (not to mention the yet-to-be officially released The Green Hornet series) have been around from various sources (bootlegs, etc.), but their inclusion in the Batman: The Complete TV Series marks the first time they’ll be completely remastered in 1080p HD (1.33:1).

Batman: The Complete TV Series is a worthy addition to the growing library of other Bruce Lee-related titles featured in high definition, such as Shout! Factory’s Bruce Lee’s Legacy Collection and Warner’s Enter the Dragon. Hopefully, studios will finally release the rest of The Green Hornet (1966–1967) series, as well as Longstreet (1971), but definitely don’t hold your breath, as both may not be profitable enough for a proper release. For now, the Batman: The Complete TV Series is currently available for pre-order.

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Talk to the Dead | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

Talk to the Dead | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

Talk to the Dead | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Pathfinder Entertainment presents the DVD for for Norio Tsuruta’s Talk to the Dead. From the Producer of The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Waters comes a dark tale of tragedy revolving around Yuri and her troubled family. But it when Yuri discovers a mysterious mobile app that is rumored to enable its user to talk to the dead, things get deadly! What VHS tapes did for The Ring, mobile apps will do for Talk to the Dead! The film stars Kazuki Kato, Ayaka Komatsu and Chihiro Ohtsuka. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Talk to the Dead from Amazon.com today!

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

Cult | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

Cult | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

Cult | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

RELEASE DATE: October 7, 2014

Pathfinder Entertainment presents the DVD for Koji Shiraishi’s Cult. From the producer of The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Water, comes the chilling tale of pop idols who play themselves as they appear on a paranormal television show to investigate the exorcism of the Kaneda family. The supernatural events in the Kaneda household are recorded by the documentary team. A mysterious shaman seems to be the only hope of salvation not only for the family, but for the investigators as well. Cult stars Yaeko Kiyose, Ryosuke Miura, Mari Iriki, Yu Abiru and Mayuko Iwasa. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Cult from Amazon.com today!

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M. Bison to be introduced in ‘Street Fighter: World Warrior’

"Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist" Japanese Poster

"Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist" Japanese Poster

Film Combat Syndicate (via Variety) reports that Joey Ansah (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist) is returning to write and direct Street Fighter: World Warrior (aka Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist: Season 2), which continues where the 12-episode series left off.

“The scale of World Warrior is much larger, picking up where Assassin’s Fist left off… The Shadaloo criminal cartel will be introduced, led by the extremely dangerous M. Bison, which will naturally lead into the World Warrior tournament.” Ansah said. It’s also mentioned that Guile, Chun-li and Sagat will have significant roles.

Expect Street Fighter: World Warrior late 2015 or early 2016. Until then, the Blu-ray & DVD for Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist hits on October 28th.

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Travelers: Dimension Police | DVD (Pathfinder Entertainment)

Travelers: Dimension Police | DVD (Pathfinder Home Entertainment)

Travelers: Dimension Police | DVD (Pathfinder Home Entertainment)

RELEASE DATE: November 18, 2014

Pathfinder presents the DVD for Koichi Sakamoto’s Travelers: Dimension Police. From the director of Power Rangers, comes a sexy, aunthentic action movie, no questions asked. Actress/singer Nao Nagasawa, and actress/model Ayumi Kinoshita, star in a story of a beautiful female cop working for an interdimensional police force. She serendipitously crosses paths with her former partner-turned-enemy. They are forced to confront each other and their past, while investigating an multidimensional terrorist agency. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Travelers: Dimension Police from Amazon.com today!

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When Taekwondo strikes the ‘High School of Zombie’!

"The Kick" International Poster

"The Kick" International Poster

Love it or hate it, the zombie genre won’t die. Just recently, an Evil Dead series and a Last of Us film adaptation have been announced. Maggie and Life After Beth are just around the corner; and let’s not forget about World War Z II, which is in development. Of course, the film industry’s zombie fascination doesn’t stop at Hollywood…

In addition to Kim Seok-jung’s upcoming Zombie School, there’s another Korean zombie flick coming out in the similarly titled High School of Zombie. Korean Taekwondo Champion, Tae-Mi (The Kick) leads the cast as an ass-kickin’ school girl who puts the smack down on the undead.

Don’t miss the film’s trailer. – Thanks to Paul Bramhall

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First trailer for Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson’s ‘Martial Arts Kid’

"The Martial Arts Kid" Teaser Poster

"The Martial Arts Kid" Teaser Poster

THE MOVIE: Martial arts stars Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist) and Cynthia Rothrock (Shanghai Express) have announced a new project titled The Martial Arts Kid. The upcoming film is about a troubled teen from Detroit who begins to learn martial arts when he moves to Florida to live with his aunt (Rothrock) and uncle (Wilson).

The Martial Arts Kid also stars Jansen Panetierre (The Perfect Game), newcomer Nassim Faras “Young Dragon” Lahrizi, T.J. Storm (Punisher: War Zone), Matthew Ziff (Six Gun Savior) and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace (The Protector).

Michael Baumgarten (The Guest House) is directing and co-writing along with Adam W. Marsh (Monster Mountain). James Lew (Big Trouble in Little China) will be choreographing the action. Producers include Cheryl Wheeler Duncan (Point of No Return) and James Wilson, former trainer and brother of Don.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the teaser trailer, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

The Crone | DVD (Pathfinder Home Entertainment)

The Crone | DVD (Pathfinder Home Entertainment)

The Crone | DVD (Pathfinder Home Entertainment)

RELEASE DATE: November 18, 2014

Pathfinder Home Entertainment presents the DVD for Eisuke Naito’s The Crone. From the Producer of The Ring, The Grudge and Dark Water comes the macabre tale of three paranormal TV show hostesses Ayane, Nanami and Mayuko. These three girls are put to the test of ultimate fear when they challenge each other to visit an abandoned nursing home in the mountains. Determined to defeat each other, the girls stubbornly remain in the chilling location no matter what happens.

The Crone stars Honoka Miki, Akiko Hoshino and Shiori Kitayama. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order The Crone from Amazon.com today!

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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ gets a new release date!

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Logo

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Logo

THE MOVIE: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming movie intended to be a sequel to 2013′s Man of Steel. Zack Snyder is directing the film, written by Chris Terrio, from a story by Snyder and David S. Goyer.

The film stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter.

Updates: Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in Man of Steel.“ | Variety reports that Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) has signed on to play Wonder Woman. Additionally, Callan Mulvey (300: Rise of an Empire) is being eyed for a villain. | EW reports that Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) has signed on to play Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman.

Collider reports that Zack Snyder will shoot Batman vs. Superman back-to-back with JLA, which means a 2017 release for JLA. | Here’s the first look at Ben Affleck as Batman. Also, a peak at the new Batmobile in Batman vs. Superman, courtesy of Collider. | Collider reports that Batman vs. Superman (aka Man of Steel 2) is officially titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Also, the new logo has been revealed. | Variety reports that Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) has signed up for the role of Aquaman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. | First image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

BREAKING NEWS: Collider reports that the film’s release date has been moved up to March 25, 2016.

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

Dragonwolf | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Dragonwolf | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Cityonfire.com and Well Go USA are giving away 3 Blu-ray copies of Patrick Kazu Tang’s Dragonwolf to three lucky Cityonfire visitors.

To enter, simply add a comment to this post with your answer to the following question: In your opinion, what’s the most overrated martial arts movie of all time? Please explain. 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 Dragonwolf will be officially released on July 29, 2014, so we will announce the 3 winners on this date and ship out the prizes immediately.

CONTEST DISCLAIMER: You must enter by July 28, 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: Ben, Chad H., and Bill N. You have been notified via email!

Posted in News | Tagged | 22 Comments

Robotech: The Classic Collection Vol. 1 | DVD (Lionsgate)

Robotech: The Classic Collection Vol. 1 | DVD (Lionsgate)

Robotech: The Classic Collection Vol. 1 | DVD (Lionsgate)

RELEASE DATE: September 23, 2014

Lionsgate presents the DVD for the Robotech: The Classic Collection Vol. 1, a 4-disc set that includes Episodes 1-18.

Robotech is widely acclaimed as a ground breaking series that changed the course of anime. Experience the power of the Robotech/Macross saga as never before with this action-filled collection that contains the landmark 1985 television broadcast version – along with the original and uncut episodes from the Japanese series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

Pre-order The Robotech: The Classic Collection Vol. 1 from Amazon.com today!

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Lady General Hua Mulan (1964) Review

"Lady General Hua Mulan" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Lady General Hua Mulan" Chinese Theatrical Poster

AKA: Lady General Hua Mu-lan
Director: Griffin Yueh Feng
Writer: Ko Jui Fen, Dung Chin Lee
Producer: Run Run Shaw
Cast: Ivy Ling Po, Chin Han, Chen Yan Yan, Cheung Kwong Chiu, Yeung Chi Hing, Wu Ma, Lee Kwan, Kok Lee Yan, Cheng Miu, Lee Wan Chung, Feng Yi, Han Ying Chieh
Running Time: 106 min.

By JJ Hatfield

When the Mongols banded together with other nomadic tribes, they invaded China, beginning with the outlying border towns. The edict went out from the Emperor, reaching every family in the land, to send forth one male – of fighting age – to protect the country from the marauding hordes. Master Hua intended to honor the call to duty; however, he was no longer a young man fit for battle. Concerned for his safety, his daughter, Mu-lan, convinces Master Hua that he need not sacrifice himself in order to uphold the family honor.

The story of Hua Mu-lan (or Mulan) – which originated as a brief poem from the 6th century Northern Wei Dynasty – was so stirring, it not only survived, but grew in length over generations; it was eventually written as a full book by the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The story of Mu-lan is an old and cherished one for the Chinese, but many people will recognize the name from the animated Disney film version or from one of the numerous other movies, plays, operas and books.

Lady General Hua Mu-lan smoothly melds traditional Huangmei Opera with the cinematic touch of the Shaw Brothers Studio. Huangmei Opera was developed in the mid-1800′s, in the tea-producing, Huangmei region of China. Initially created of folk songs, people would sing while collecting and preparing tea. The operas became incredibly popular, not only around Huangmei, but across China and beyond.

A 24-year-old Ivy Ling Po touched a nation when she starred in the The Love Eterne (1963), a film that helped bring Huangmei Opera to the big screen. Her brilliant performance in that film led to the title role in Lady General Hua Mu-lan.

Ling Po’s film career began at the age of 12, but even as a very young child, she was immersed in Huangmei Opera. Known for her beautiful voice and acting ability, she often dubbed the songs for other actresses in films and operas.

Ling Po has an incredible gift of connecting with audiences, and Lady General Hua Mu-lan is no exception. Her expressive face, fluid movements and fighting skills are superb. She demonstrates an excellent stage presence and is amazingly adept at portraying both male and female roles. Make no mistake, Lady General Hua Mu-lan suceeds because of Ling Po, which explains why she received the Best Actress award for her powerful role.

Yueh Feng (The Bells of Death) directed and co-wrote the lively script for Lady General Hua Mu-lan. He is quite experienced in the genre, directing for the Shaw Brothers for over a dozen years, and the Great Wall Company, before that.

As with many of the earlier Shaw movies involving war, there are numerous action choreographers, but none are specifically credited (Hong Kong Cinemagic lists Han Ying Chieh as one of them). It appears that in some of the big battle scenes, the actors/fighters on the periphery were not given much direction on what they were supposed to be doing. The lack of experience, or care, in lensing some of the scenes, is frustrating.

In China- and other countries in southeast Asia – it has been only in recent times that women were able to act in theater or operas. Lady General Hua Mu-lan is one of a very few Chinese stories that even suggests gender equity, which was extremely rare, especially in literature that has survived the ages. Although women in China have always fought to defend their family or land, never has a woman, posing as a male, risen to the rank of general.

Even if you think you know the story of Mu-lan, you haven’t experienced it like this before. This is a wonderful historic version, and as far as I am concerned, the best at portraying all of the primary characters, especially the title character.

Lady General Hua Mu-lan is more intense and darker than modern remakes, especially the wretched, mixed up mess of Disney’s cutesy cartoon, Mulan. The Disney version was a huge commercial success (it sold lots of dolls, DVDs, CDs, backpacks, school supplies and…), but it bears no resemblance to the original story, other than in name. This version is far superior and stays true to the original adventure of Mu-lan.

Lady General Hua Mu-lan is an excellent film that everyone will enjoy.

JJ Hatfield’s Rating: 9/10

Posted in Chinese, Reviews, Shaw Brothers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Falcon Rising | DVD (Anderson Merchandisers)

"Falcon Rising" Theatrical Poster

"Falcon Rising" Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: October 28, 2014

Anderson Merchandisers presents the DVD for Falcon Rising, directed by Ernie Barbarash (Assassination Games) and starring Michael Jai White (Blood and Bone, Black Dynamite).

Also known as Favela or Codename Falcon 1, Falcon Rising follows an anti-hero named John “Falcon” Chapman (White) who travels to Brazil to find his sister’s killer. Along the way, he uncovers an underworld of vice and corruption, presided over by the Japanese mafia of all people.

Pre-order Falcon Rising from Amazon.com today!

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New trailer for ‘Wolf Warrior’ with Jacky Wu and Scott Adkins

"Legendary Assassin" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Legendary Assassin" Chinese Theatrical Poster

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

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

Updates: The official Scott Adkins Facebook page has unveiled some new set photos from the upcoming Wolf War, featuring Adkins and Jacky Wu.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the first teaser trailer, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate. Also, the movie has been retitled to Special Force: Wolf Warrior.

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Deal on Fire! Space Battleship Yamato | Blu-ray | Only $9.96 – Expires soon!

Space Battleship Yamato | Blu-ray & DVD (Funimation)

Space Battleship Yamato | Blu-ray & DVD (Funimation)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Takashi Yamazaki’s Space Battleship Yamato, a live adaptation of the Space Battleship Yamato anime TV series by Yoshinobu Nishizaki.

The crew of the space battleship Yamato set out on a journey to the planet Iscandar to acquire a device that can heal the ravaged Earth. Starring Takuya Kimura, Meisa Kuroki, Toshirō Yanagiba, Naoto Ogata and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi.

Space Battleship Yamato debuted at number 1 on the Japanese box-office, ousting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Watch the trailer.

Order Space Battleship Yamato from Amazon.com today!

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Zoë Bell is ‘Expendable’ in the new ‘Mercenaries’ trailer!

Mercenaries | Blu-ray & DVD (The Asylum)

Mercenaries | Blu-ray & DVD (The Asylum)

From Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray, the director of straight-to-video oddities such as 2-Headed Shark Attack and Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, comes an action flick called Mercenaries (aka Prison Raid).

Judging from its cast, Prison Raid might be the first incarnation of the “female Expendables” flicks (see: Gina Carano’s take, as well as The ExpendaBelles).

In Mercenaries, a diplomatic official is captured and imprisoned while touring a war zone, so a team of elite female commandoes is assembled to infiltrate a women’s prison for a daring rescue.

Mercenaries stars Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine), Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill Vol. 1), Zoë Bell (Death Proof), Nicole Bilderback (Sideliners), Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja) and Cynthia Rothrock (Raging Thunder).

Mercenaries has a DVD and Blu-ray release date set for October 14, 2014 (available for pre-order), so a trailer should be hitting soon. Until then, here’s a couple of production photos from the film. Judging from that photo alone, looks like it’s riding off the success of Kill Bill.

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the trailer, courtesy of Film Combat Syndicate.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

The ‘One-Armed Swordsman’ himself returns with a lot of ‘Soul’

"Soul" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Soul" Chinese Theatrical Poster

DDDhouse.com now has the festival favorite, Soul, for pre-order on DVD. This bone-chilling, psychological thriller runs along the same vein as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Ringo Lam’s The Victim, with an art house-style execution by director Chung Mong-hong (The Fourth Portrait).

Old school Hong Kong cinema fans will welcome the inclusion of Shaw Brothers veteran, Jimmy Wang Yu (One Armed Swordsman, The Man Called Tiger). Although the Wang Yu has been active in a string of recent titles – including Tai Chi 0, Let’s Go and Wu XiaSoul showcases the legend in a different light. The film also stars Joseph Chang, Tsai Ming-liang and Leon Dai. Don’t miss the trailer!

Keep in mind that the DVD version is Region 3 coded, so you will need a multi-region DVD player to view the movie.

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First trailer for Kane Kosugi’s ‘Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge’!

"Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge" International Teaser Poster

"Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge" International Teaser Poster

THE MOVIE: Kane Kosugi (Choy Lee Fut, Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear) stars in Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge (aka Tekken: A Man Called X), a prequel to 2010′s Tekken. Joining Kosugi is Kelly Wenham (Dying Light), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Tekken), Gary Daniels (Skin Traffik), Biljana Misic (Zigosana), Charlotte Kirk (Non-Stop) and Ron Smoorenburg (Who Am I?).

The director of Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge is currently unknown. There are numerous references that suggest Wych Kaosayananda (Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever) as the director; yet word on the streets is Kaosayananda served as director of photography.

Kosugi is known for 2002′s Muscle Heat (aka Blood Heat), but he’s perhaps best known to North American audiences for being the son of Sho Kosugi, who had a string of successful ninja films for The Cannon Group, including 1983′s Revenge of the Ninja and 1984′s Ninja III: The Domination. Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge will be Kosugi’s first lead role in a Hollywood feature.

Updates: There were false reports that the then-titled A Man Called X was NOT a Tekken movie; as it turns out, it was a Tekken movie all along. Producers were forced to plant some backpedaling after the movie was prematurely revealed on the internet.

Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on August 12, 2014. You can pre-order the title at Amazon.com. | First clip!

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the first trailer, courtesy of KFC.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Evil Feed | DVD (Screen Media)

Evil Feed | DVD (Screen Media)

Evil Feed | DVD (Screen Media)

RELEASE DATE: September 16, 2014

Screen Media presents the DVD for Kimani Ray Smith’s Evil Feed. A group of young martial artists infiltrate an underground pit fighting ring where the loser is chopped up and served in a Chinese restaurant called The Long Pig… two men enter, one course leaves! If you tap out, you’re take out! Watch the trailer.

Starring Terry Chen, Laci J Mailey, Alain Chanoine, Alyson Bath, Derek Gilroy, Bishop Brigante, Curtis Lum, Sebastian Gacki, David Milchard, Carrie Genzel and Johnson Phan.

Pre-order Evil Feed from Amazon.com today!

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

Brosnan is pretty much 007 in the new ‘November Man’ trailer

"The November Man" Theatrical Poster

"The November Man" Theatrical Poster

If you want Pierce Brosnan to be back as James Bond, here’s the closest you’ll get: Brosnan (Goldeneye) is teaming up with Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) for an action-thriller titled November Man, directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, Species). The film also stars Luke Bracey (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).

Sure, it may not feature shaken Martinis or artillery-equipped Aston Martins, but with two former Bond stars, it’s hard not to think about Brosnan as the famous super spy.

In November Man, an ex-CIA operative (Brosnan) is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect. Based on the novel of the same name by Bill Granger, and written for the screen by Michael Finch (Predators) and Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion). Check out the first promotional image from the film.

November Man is expected to be released on November 13, 2014. | Watch the trailer! | New poster has been released. Welcome back , Brosnan!

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the latest trailer.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Deal on Fire! New Police Story | Blu-ray | Only $6.86 – Expires soon!

"New Police Story" Blu-ray Cover

"New Police Story" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Benny Chan’s New Police Story (aka Police Story 5), starring Jackie Chan (Chinese Zodiac), Nicholas Tse (The Bullet Vanishes), Charlie Young (Fallen Angels) and Daniel Wu (That Demon Within).

A hero cop (Chan) accidentally leads his team into a trap from which he is the only survivor. Drowning his guilt in booze, he is eventually assigned a new younger partner (Tse) who turns out to have his own secrets.

Order New Police Story from Amazon.com today!

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Suspect, The (2013) Review

"The Suspect" Korean Theatrical Poster

"The Suspect" Korean Theatrical Poster

Director: Won Shin-Yeon
Writer: Lim Sang-Yoon
Producer: Shin Chang-hwan
Cast: Gong Yoo, Park Hee-Soon, You Da-In, Cho Seong-Ha, Jo Jae-Yun, Kim Sung-Kyun, Park Ji-Il
Running Time: 137 min.

By HKFanatic

When The Bourne Supremacy first hit theaters back in 2005, the close-quarters handheld camerawork and rapid editing during action sequences had some film-goers claiming they experienced motion sickness rather than popcorn thrills. Soon afterwards, the term ‘shaky cam’ began popping up in critical reviews, and became something of a kiss of death for any martial arts film that wanted to be taken seriously by fans. Many wondered what had become of the wide shots and more classical editing style favored by the great Hong Kong movies of yesteryear.

Fast forward to 2014 and shaky-cam has persisted long enough to become something like its own genre; the technique even gained some legitimacy when it was utilized in a James Bond movie (Quantum of Solace). Thus, it’s safe to conclude that shaky-cam is here to stay, whether some fans want it to or not. It’s a style, and like any style it can be utilized well or poorly by filmmakers. It’s how you use it.

All of this to say: if you don’t like ‘shaky cam,’ then the 2013 Korean action/thriller The Suspect is not a movie that will change your mind. While the film is loaded to the gills with plenty of hand-to-hand combat and car chases, they’re delivered in a somewhat claustrophobic, quick-cut style that harkens back to movies like The Bourne Ultimatum and that other recent Korean spy vehicle, The Berlin File.

While this chaotic style may not do the best job of adequately conveying all the time and effort that the fight choreographers no doubt put into the film, the photography and editing in The Suspect certainly do communicate the adrenaline and disorientation the characters must be experiencing – as though the viewers themselves are hurtling over a rooftop alongside lead actor Gong Yoo in one of the film’s many chase sequences

Speaking of Gong Yoo, the actor was greeted with suspicion (no pun intended) upon being cast in the film. As Yoo is considered more of a romantic and comedic leading man, some audience audience members expressed doubt that he was suited for the role of a super serious spy. If this is your first introduction to Gong Yoo, I don’t think you’ll raise an eyebrow; the actor acquits himself nicely by looking as intense as required during dramatic scenes, and suitably ripped for his shirtless torture sequences.

In The Suspect, he plays a North Korean spy who years ago was betrayed by his government handlers. Concealing the deep wounds of his past, his now spends his day as a high-end chauffeur in the South – until a massive political conspiracy puts him in the crosshairs and sends him back into action. From there, The Suspect rarely slows down, as Gong Yoo works to uncover those pulling the strings and stay one step ahead of the government goons and sleeper agents out to silence him.

The Suspect may not exactly innovate this well-worn formula, but it certainly manages to deliver more thrills than, say, 2012′s Damon-less The Bourne Legacy. It’s only during the final act that the film truly falters, as the story keeps going…and going, right as the credits should have rolled. It’s also a shame that the second half of the film finds so little to do for actor Park Hee-soon, who plays the grizzled bad-ass out to catch Gong Yoo – he’s the Tommy Lee Jones to Gong’s The Fugitive, if you will. Unfortunately, the actor is almost too good at his job; about halfway through the picture, it’s as though the filmmakers sensed Hee-soon was stealing the spotlight from their leading man Gong Yoo and decided to sideline him for the remainder of the movie.

Still, for the majority of its runtime, The Suspect is a damn entertaining time at the movies. If it doesn’t reach the heights of some of the other movies of its kind – for instance, the modern Korean classics The Yellow Sea or The Man From Nowhere - it’s likely the fact that it’s a bit too derivative for its own good; even the soundtrack sounds like a riff on John Powell’s score for The Bourne Identity.

And it must be said: sure, the frantic camerawork and editing are all well and good at connoting the hyper-kinetic situations our hero finds himself in…but at the end of the day, us martial arts buffs would rather be able to catch every single blow. Don’t blame us: it’s just the way we’re wired.

HKFanatic’s Rating: 7/10

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Himizu | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

Himizu | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

Himizu | Blu-ray & DVD (Olive Films)

RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2014

Olive Films presents the Blu-ray & DVD for 2011′s Himizu, directed by Sion Sono (Cold Fish, Love Exposure).

Based on Minoru Furuya’s best selling manga of the same name, Himizu follows two teenagers (Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido) living a dystopian existence in post-tsunami Japan who embark on a campaign of violence against evil wrong doers. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Himizu from Amazon.com today!

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Deal on Fire! All Men Are Brothers | Blu-ray | Only $9.96 – Expires soon!

"All Men Are Brothers" Blu-ray Cover

"All Men Are Brothers" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 1975′s All Men Are Brothers (aka Seven Soldiers of Kung Fu), directed by Chang Cheh (Five Element Ninjas).

This sequel to the The Water Margin sports an all-star cast that includes David Chiang (Taxi Driver), Ti Lung (Five Shaolin Masters), Chen Kuan Tai (Young People), Danny Lee (I Love You, Bruce Lee), Michael Chan and many more! If you want a blood-drenched classic by one of the best filmmakers that ever lived, seek this out.

Order All Men Are Brothers from Amazon.com today!

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R.I.P. Panna Rittikrai, action choreographer, director

1984's "Born to Fight" Poster

1984's "Born to Fight" Poster

Media outlets are reporting the death of Panna Rittikrai, who left behind an impressive film resume, most notable, his groundbreaking choreography work in Ong-Bak (2003), which is considered one of the finest martial arts movies of all time. According to sources, Rittikrai passed away, due to an unnamed disease, including liver failure, on July 19, 2014, at the age of 53.

During his integral contribution to the Thai film industry, Rittikrai staged the action in films like Born to Fight (2004) and Chocolate (2008); acted in the original Born to Fight (1984) and Dynamite Warrior (2006); and even helmed Bangkok Knockout, as well as co-directing Ong-Bak 2 (2008) and Ong-Bak 3 (2010), with Tony Jaa.

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

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Constable, The (2013) Review

"The Constable" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Constable" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Dennis Law
Writer: Dennis Law
Producer: Dennis Law
Cast: Simon Yam, Lam Suet, Maggie Siu, Sam Lee, Lo Hoi Pang, Ken Lo, Niu Meng Meng, Maggie Li, Nick Zy Yi, Mia Chan Jing Yi, Eddie Cheung Siu Fai
Running Time: 96 min.

By Paul Bramhall

Everyone who’s a Hong Kong movie fan remembers the golden age of the 1980s. The decade was almost like a storm in a teacup, a relatively small area of land in China which was under British rule, somehow capable of churning out a seemingly unending amount of movies spanning everything from hard hitting action, to spooky horror, to triad dramas. Most of the post-2000 era has been spent with the fans of these movies wistfully hoping that one day that quality, even if it’s not quantity, of movie will return, and that same sentiment also happens to be shared by property investor turned film director Dennis Law.

Law felt that since the post-1997 handover of Hong Kong back to China, Hong Kong movies were losing their sense of identity. So with the best laid intentions, he essentially went on a one-man mission to make movies that bring it back. His filmography reads like a checklist of HK genre favorites – Fatal Contact and Bad Blood provide the straight up modern day kung-fu fix, Womb Ghosts dishes out the black magic horror tropes, ‘Fatal Move’ is the violent triad epic, and Vampire Warriors is the kung-fu horror comedy. Or at least, that’s what they’re all supposed to be.

The main problem with Law, both as a director and a writer, is that he’s not particularly good at either. His scripts are clunky and laden with unnecessary exposition, and his direction is usually flat and lifeless. Thankfully in most cases though, the subject matter is just enough to override the technical incompetence, with an impressive fight scene or an undead baby never too far away to distract us from the fact that what we’re watching is, in fact, pretty bad.

Law had his hand in making movies back to back from 2005 to 2010, however after that things went quiet, until 3 years later he re-emerged with his latest effort – The Constable. Once again Law is both writer and director, and as with his previous efforts, he fills the cast with plenty of familiar HK faces. Simon Yam plays the title of the piece, backed up by the likes of Lam Suet, Sam Lee, and Ken Lo. Surprisingly, The Constable, despite its title, is neither an action movie nor a triad thriller. Instead, we get a HK cop drama, following the life of Yam’s constable as he balances his daily routine of being a single father looking after a son who has downs syndrome (plus a hole in his heart, just for good measure), with his duties as a cop in the transportation department.

This might not sound particularly engrossing, but then, have you ever tried to sell a movie like Chungking Express to someone by describing the plot? Probably not, and many consider it to be the best HK movie ever made. The secret to a good drama is the execution, but of course no one is ever going to confuse Dennis Law with Wong Kar Wai, and this becomes evident very quickly with The Constable. Very, very quickly. Despite having Yam in the titular role, the idea of Law directing a drama he wrote himself was always going to be a losing battle, a bit like asking a 5 year old to compose a classical masterpiece. Sure enough at the end of the first half hour not much has happened except for a series of drawn out shots involving Yam catching a bus, sitting on the bus, getting off the bus, preparing a meal for his son (that involves a series of never ending static shots watching him chop up vegetables), brushing his sons teeth etc. etc. It goes on and on.

This plotless meandering can be pulled off under the skillful direction of someone like Wong Kar Wai or Ann Hui, but here the details are dull and meaningless, the lack of anything really being said by the scenes only drawing more attention to the lack of talent behind them. Somewhere in-between an attempt at a flimsy plot is introduced, the carer who looks after Yam’s son has a boyfriend, played by Sam Lee, who gets caught up with some gangsters led by Ken Lo, who turn out to be planning (surprise, surprise) a bank heist. Of course Yam gets involved somewhere along the way, and things plod lifelessly towards one of the most unexciting shootouts committed to film in recent years.

Throughout the movie Yam’s character is unwaveringly perfect, to the point where a more fitting title would have been The Saint. Cops on the beat stop in awe when he prevents a girl from being mugged, proclaiming “Could a traffic cop be that brave?” Not soon after this incident, he walks into a public toilet and stumbles upon yet another crime in progress, giving him another chance to do good and pull off some sub-par HK style choreography. It’s like crime simply finds Yam’s character of the constable, or it could just be that lazy scripts have a tendency to find Yam the actor. In another example of poor execution, a junior cop watches Yam running around a track to get fit and shooting off some rounds. In the next scene, the junior cop is doing exactly the same in almost identical shots. We get it, he’s been inspired by Yam’s shining determination to be the best cop he can be, but does it really need to be this blatant?

The brief sudden bursts of action only serve to drive home what a misguided effort The Constable is. Mid-way though there’s a foot chase involving Yam & Suet in pursuit of a thief and what’s believed to be the thief’s victim. The chase ends up on the edge of a rooftop for no conceivable reason other than for Yam to prove how far his character is willing to go in pursuit, while amusingly the hefty Suet is given an elevator fight scene with a woman in high heels. While the outcome of both Yam and Suet’s scenes point to something interesting being developed for the story, especially with the appearance of a bag filled with cash, as soon as the scene finishes it’s never touched on again and seemingly forgotten about.

There’s really not a lot to recommend The Constable. It gets points for being a Cantonese spoken movie in the ever increasing Mandarin mainland market, and its setting of Shenzhen, out near the borders of the New Territories, give the movie a refreshing look over the countless HK central set action movies that seem to dominate the big releases these days. However these are small glimmers of light in an otherwise painfully dull 100 minutes, and ultimately if Law is going to keep on making movies, he’d be better off filling them with fight scenes and hopping vampires, which while not particularly high brow, are at least entertaining.

Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 3/10

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