Join Liam Neeson for ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’

"A Walk Among the Tombstones" Theatrical Poster

Liam Neeson is back in the kind of mode that audiences have come to love him in: playing a gravelly-voiced tough guy with ‘a particular set of skills.’ This September, Neeson is going for A Walk Among the Tombstones. Despite the Steven Seagal-esque title, this gritty thriller is the latest movie to bring author Lawrence Block’s private detective Matthew Scudder to life. The last Scudder film was 1986′s 8 Million Ways to Die, featuring Jeff Bridges in the role.

Here’s your last bit of trivia: this particular story was almost brought to the silver screen back in 2002 with Harrison Ford in the lead. But the first trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones is here and it promises plenty of intrigue and atmosphere, which should please Liam Neeson fans who are enjoying the actor’s current renaissance as a man of action. What can we say? Neeson clearly knows how to handle himself in a fight scene.

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Deal on Fire! 36th Chamber of Shaolin | Blu-ray | Only $9.88 – Expires soon!

36th Chamber of Shaolin Blu-ray (Dragon Dynasty)

36th Chamber of Shaolin Blu-ray (Dragon Dynasty)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Dragon Dynasty Blu-ray for the 1978 Shaw Brothers classic 36th Chamber of Shaolin (aka The Master Killer), directed by Liu Chia-Liang (Executioners from Shaolin) and starring Gordon Liu (Eight Diagram Pole Fighter).

Considered one of the greatest kung fu films of all time, 36th Chamber of Shaolin is about a young man (Liu) who learns Shaolin kung fu so he can avenge his family and friends, who were killed by Manchu henchmen. Read our review.

Order 36th Chamber of Shaolin from Amazon.com today!

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Fists of Legend (2013) Review

"Fists of Legend" DVD Cover

"Fists of Legend" DVD Cover

Director: Kang Woo-Suk
Writer: Jang Min-Suk
Producer: Son Jung-Woo, Jung Sun-Young
Cast: Hwang Jung-Min, Yu Jun-Sang, Yoon Je-Moon, Jung Woong-In, Park Jung-Min, Gu Won, Park Doo-Sik, Lee Jung-Hyuk, Lee Yo-Won, Sung Ji-Ru, Ji-Woo, Kang Shin-Il, Kang Sung-Jin
Running Time: 153 min.

By oneleaf

Fists of Legend is a Korean action-drama directed by mega hit-maker Woo Suk-Kang (Glove, Silmido, Moss, Public Enemy) and scripted by Min-Seok Jang (Secret Reunion, Traces of Love). It’s about three aging men competing in a reality TV show called “Legendary Fighter,” billed as “The Greatest Show on Earth.” In the show, contestants (many of whom were legendary street fighters in their youth) fight professionals and each other to win prize money.

Other than the similar title to Jet Li’s classic hit Fist of Legend (1994), the film bears no resemblance to the former. The title came from its inspiration, the webcomic Legendary Fist, illustrated by Lee Yoon-Gyun and written by Lee Jong-Gyu (published November 25, 2010 to May 19, 2011 via web portal).

Hwang Jeong-min (Man in Love, New World, Dancing Queen) plays Lim Deok-kyu, an aspiring boxer in his youth with dreams of entering the Olympics, but was robbed of his one opportunity by corrupt judges. He now runs a struggling noodle shop and has trouble making ends meet. He has an alienated daughter – an outcast – who’s constantly bullied by her high school mates. His mom, who helps him out at the noodle shop, also gives him a hard time over his financial woes.

Shin Jae-seok (Yun Je-moon of My Dictator, Messenger) is an aging third rate wanna-be gangster who never quite made it to the top hierarchy of organized crime. He is still single and meandering aimlessly through life as a low level thug without any real friends. Shin and Lim were rivals during their high school days, but later struck up an unusual friendship.

Lee Sang-hoon (Yoo Jun-sang of Running Man), was another feared and highly skilled fighter in his heydays in high school. He was Lim’s best friend. Now he works as an executive for Son Jin-Ho (Jung Woong-in of Veteran, Unstoppable Family), his sadistic CEO, cleaning up his boss’ mess regardless of how degrading it is. Lee does not particularly enjoy his work but has no choice but to provide for his son’s expensive schooling overseas.

Hong Kyu-min (Lee Yo-won of Take Care of My Cat, May 18) is the unscrupulous producer of “Legendary Fighter.” Ratings are her only concern. She unabashedly uses men’s desperation to troll for contestants. Seeking out legendary fighters from their youth, she came upon the three men which she shamelessly pursues for her show.

Lim, Shin, and Lee will once again have a reunion after so many years, not in a restaurant, but in the final elimination rounds of the show. Their friendship and loyalty will be put to the test, as will their fighting skills. Who will emerge victorious remains to be seen as they fight their way to the last two contestants standing.

Hwang Jeon-min as Lim Deok-kyu is excellent as the single parent of a troubled youth trying to balance his shaky relationship, while trying to run a money-losing noodle shop. A peaceful man by nature, Lim is a victim of circumstances and reluctantly enters the TV tournament in hopes of bettering his financial woes.

My favorite character in the movie is Shin Jae-seok, craftily played by Yun Je-moon. Bumbling along through life, he hasn’t achieved notoriety or fame and has not done well for himself. But underlying that ineptness is a heart of gold, and true loyalty which shines throughout the movie.

Fists of Legend is a very entertaining film that mixes drama with good action scenes in the ring. The fighting matches were shot from different angles and slow motion close ups to heighten the tension. Bloodletting and sprays from punches to the head and face were kept to a minimum and tastefully done. Kang Woo-suk, best known for his work on box office hits such as Silmido (2003) and the Public Enemy (2002-2008) trilogy has done an excellent job interweaving the drama with the action scenes. The story seamlessly brought to life the troubled lives of the three main characters.

It is apparent that Kang is an admirer of John Woo, particularly A Better Tomorrow (1986), as thematic elements of loyalty and friendship are blatantly lifted and voiced repeatedly.

Clocking in at about 154 minutes, the film is at times too long and drawn out. Certain scenes are overly dramatic, unnecessary and thematically repetitive. However, the film is worth watching.

oneleaf’s Rating: 7/10

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Deal on Fire! King Kong vs. Godzilla | Blu-ray | Only $9.96 – Expires soon!

"King Kong vs. Godzilla" Blu-ray Cover

"King Kong vs. Godzilla" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is Blu-ray for 1962′s King Kong vs. Godzilla, directed by Inoshiro Honda (Godzilla). A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Also available at the same low price is the Blu-ray for 1967′s King Kong Escapes, also directed by Honda. King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.

Order King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes from Amazon.com today!

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Poster for ‘Jackie Brown’ quasi-prequel ‘Life of Crime’

"Life of Crime" Theatrical Poster

"Life of Crime" Theatrical Poster

In the upcoming crime-thriller Life of Crime, ex-prison inmates Ordell Robbie (Mos Def) and Louis Gara (John Hawkes) join forces for one big score: To kidnap the wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a wealthy man. The only problem is her husband doesn’t want to pay her ransom. Look for it in theaters on August 29th, 2014.

Written and directed by Daniel Schechter (Supporting Characters), Life of Crime follows the past adventures of Ordell and Louis, previously played by Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro, respectively, in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Like the latter, Life of Crime is also based on a novel by Elmore Leonard called The Switch. The film also stars Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins and Will Forte. | First trailer for Life of Crime.

BREAKING NEWS: Check out the first poster.

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‘ID4′ sequel going through script rewrite…

"Independence Day" American Theatrical Poster

"Independence Day" American Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Despite prior suggestions, there’s no work on an official Independence Day sequel, because the director can’t come up with a proper script until the project is actually greenlit. In the meantime, Emmerich plans to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novel series, and a Da Vinci Code-like thriller revolving around Shakespeare’s authorship entitled, “Anonymous”.

Updates: Dark Horizons reported that they now have enough material for two movies, which they might shoot back-to-back. And, in addition, they might consider moving on without Smith.

During an interview with EW, Roland Emmerich has revealed details about the upcoming ID4 sequels (ID Forever Part 1 and Part II), which will be set 20 years after the first film. Emmerich told EW: “The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back. And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.” Emmerich has hired James Vanderbilt (White House Down) to revise his first draft of the script.

Emmerich says Will Smith is too expensive to cast for the studio, but Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldlum may be returning. | According to movies.com, Q&A, Emmerich stated that both Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are on board for the ID4 sequel. | Movieweb reports that Independence Day 2 has a back-up script in case Will Smith doesn’t return.

Collider reports that the ID4 sequel’s release date has been pushed back from July 3, 2015 to July 1, 2016. It’s also mentioned that Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) may have a starring role in a “story that centers on the children of the original characters.” | Deadline reports that Will Smith has turned down the ID4 sequel.

BREAKING NEWS: Looks like the ID4 sequel is going through script re-write by newcomer Carter Blanchard (Diver).

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Zombie 108 | DVD (Tokyo Shock)

"Zombie 108" Promotional Poster

"Zombie 108" Promotional Poster

RELEASE DATE: August 12, 2014

Tokyo Shock presents the DVD for Joe Chien’s Zombie 108. A night on the town in Taipei turns into a bloodbath when a group of young friends discover they’ve been infected with a new strain of influenza that turns people into…zombies. Zombie 108 stars Hsiang Rong, Tai Bao and Yvonne Yao. Watch the trailer.

Also, be sure to read about Chien’s next film, Zombie Fight Club, which we describe as The Raid meets George Romero with a dash of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and David Fincher’s movie!

Pre-order Zombie 108 from Amazon.com today.

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Pre-order Chow Yun-Fat’s ‘The Man From Macau’ at DDDhouse.com

"The Man From Macau" Theatrical Poster

"The Man From Macau" Theatrical Poster

DDDHouse.com now has Chow Yun-Fat’s The Man From Macau on Blu-ray & DVD for a June 5th pre-order. Keep in mind that the DVD version is Region 3 coded, so you will need a multi-region DVD player to view the movie. Fortunately, the Blu-ray version is coded for region A, so it’s good to go on your current North American Blu-ray hardware.

In Wong Jing’s The Man From Macau (aka God of Gamblers 4Casino; or From Vegas To Macau), Chow Yun-fat returns to the character of Ko Chun, a world-famous gambler, so renowned and talented at winning various games of chance, that he is referred to as the God Of Gamblers. Nicholas Tse (New Police Story) and Chapman To (Men Suddenly in Black) co-star.

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First trailer for Jiang Wen’s ‘Gone with the Bullets’

"Gone with the Bullets" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Gone with the Bullets" Chinese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Actor/writer/director Jiang Wen is prepping a ‘spiritual sequel’ to his breakout 2010 hit, Let the Bullets Fly. The next film, titled Gone With the Bullets, is the second installment of a proposed trilogy. This time around the story will be set in a large town in Eastern China during the Warlord period of the 1920′s. Zhou Xun, Zhou Yun, Shu Qi and Wen Zhang will be appearing in the sequel.

Updates: Let the Bullets Fly was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in North America by Well Go USA. The film proved to be a massive success in its home country, breaking box office records to become the highest grossing Chinese film of all time – at least until Zhang Yimou’s Flowers of War came along. Due to the first film’s popularity, Gone With the Bullets will have a considerably larger budget than its $20 million predecessor.

Variety reports that Columbia is co-producing Gone with the Bullets, which is currently being shot in 3D. The film will be released in December of 2014. Sony has secured international rights. | The film has a Chinese release date for December 18th!

THR has an interview with Jiang Wen, where he states that the upcoming movie is based on a true story: “Where it differs from Let the Bullets Fly is that Gone With the Bullets is based on a true story. In the last century, in the 1920s, Shanghai hosted a beauty contest, but the winner of the contest died by accident. These two things together shocked the whole of Shanghai.”

BREAKING NEWS: Watch the trailer for Gone with the Bullets, courtesy of Smash Film.

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New poster for Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’ starring Scarlett Johansson and Choi Min-sik

"Lucy" Theatrical Poster

"Lucy" Theatrical Poster

Luc Besson is returning to the director’s chair for Lucy, a sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers), Choi Min-sik (I Saw the Devil), Morgan Freeman (London Has Fallen) and Claire Tran.

According to Screen Rant, “Lucy is a bout a young woman who is forced to become a drug mule and inadvertently manages to absorb the drug she’s carrying into her own system. Rather than landing her in the hospital, the drug gives her superhuman powers, including telekinesis, the elimination of all sensations of pain or discomfort, and the ability to absorb knowledge instantaneously.”

Update: Lucy is set for a July 25th, 2014 theatrical release. | The first image (courtesy of EW.com, via Collider) from Lucy has been released. | First trailer, courtesy of Apple. | International trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Check out the film’s new poster.

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Deal on Fire! Infernal Affairs | Blu-ray | Only $7.88 – Expires soon!

"Infernal Affairs" Blu-ray Cover

"Infernal Affairs" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Infernal Affairs, directed by Andrew Lau (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen) and starring Tony Leung (The Grandmaster), Andy Lau (Fulltime Killer), Anthony Wong (Beast Cops) and Eric Tsang (Hard Boiled II: The Last Blood).

You’ve seen The Departed, now see the original! Infernal Affairs is a critically acclaimed crime-thriller that is praised for its gritty action and strong character development. There’s a reason Martin Scorsese remade it!

Order Infernal Affairs today from Amazon.com.

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Watch the first episode of ‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ now!

"Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist" Akuma Poster

"Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist" Akuma Poster

Ready for more live-action Street Fighter? So far, there have been two movies based on Capcom’s popular Street Fighter video game series (three, if you count Wong Jing’s Future Cops, a 1993 Hong Kong film that was unofficially based on Street Fighter characters).

First, there was Steven E. de Souza’s Street Fighter (aka Street Fighter: The Ultimate Battle), a big budget, 1994 Hollywood film that starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile. Next, came 2009′s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, which centered on the character of Chun-Li, played by Kristin Kreuk.

For the most part, these two films became a laughing stock for both Street Fighter game and martial arts movie fans alike. Not only were they weak films as a whole, but both integrated unnecessary plot lines that went against the grain of what most people loved about videogame: a simple story about a global street fighting tournament.

Now, there’s a new hope that comes in the form of an upcoming web/television series called Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. Directed by Joey Ansah (maker of the impressive Street Fighter: Legacy Fan Film), Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist promises a faithful-to-the-game story, down to the characters speaking Japanese and English.

According to producer Jacqueline Quella: “Millions of fans of the game have been calling out for a true-to-the-game telling of the Street Fighter story. Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist gives them just that. We’re already experiencing enormous interest from the fan-base.”

The cast includes Togo Igawa, Joey Ansah, Mike Moh, Christian Howard, Akira Koieyama, Shogen, Gaku Space, Hyunri, Hal Yamanouchi and Mark Killeen. FUNimation has secured distribution rights for a North American release.

We’ll have more information as it comes. Until then, be sure and watch Ansah’s Street Fighter: Legacy Fan Film, which should give you a hint of what to expect from the upcoming series. | Official poster for Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. | First teaser trailer. | Ryu teaser trailer. | Ken teaser trailer. | Final trailer. | Akuma poster, courtesy of Collider.

BREAKING NEWS: Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is now available to watch. The first episode, titled “Episode 0,” can be viewed here. - Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate

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Will Donnie Yen swing by for ‘Monkey King 2′?

"The Monkey King 2" Promotional Poster

"The Monkey King 2" Promotional Poster

The Monkey King had the highest-grossing opening day in China, even surpassing Iron Man 3, so it’s no wonder a sequel (and its promotional poster) was recently announced at the Cannes Film Festival. The big question is: Will Cheang Pou-soi (Accident) be returning to the director’s chair? Even more important, will Donnie Yen reprise his role as Sun Wukong?

If Yen says yes to The Monkey King 2, it’ll be another film added to his hectic to-do list: Iceman 2 (post-production), Kung Fu Jungle (post-production), The Master (pre-production), Dragon City (pre-production), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 (pre-production) and Ip Man 3 (in development). Yen is apparently locked in to all of these movies, so it could be another 2 years before production begins on another project. We’ll keep you updated.

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

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Ninja Apocalypse | Blu-ray & DVD (Millennium)

Ninja Apocalypse | Blu-ray & DVD (Millennium)

Ninja Apocalypse | Blu-ray & DVD (Millennium)

RELEASE DATE: August 5, 2014

Millennium Entertainment presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Ninja Apocalypse.  From visual effects director Lloyd Lee Barnett – known for his digital work in films like Avatar, Speed Racer and Spider-man – comes Ninja Apocalypse. This upcoming martial arts film sports an impressive cast that includes Christian Oliver (The Three Musketeers), Ernie Reyes Jr. (The Rundown), Les Brandt, West Liang, Kaiwi Lyman, Tara Macken, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Antoinette Kalaj, Mark Heidelberger and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat). Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Ninja Apocalypse from Amazon.com today!

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Deal on Fire! Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume One | Blu-ray | Only $11 – Expires soon!

Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume One | Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume One | Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Move over Godzilla! Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray set for the Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume One, which features Gamera: The Giant Monster (1965), Gamera vs. Barugon (1966), Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967) and Gamera vs. Viras (1968). The first 4 films of Daiei Studios’ monster series Gamera are unleashed and available on Blu-ray for the first time! Your favorite giant turtle returns to Earth leaving no fire-spitting scene behind. Also available at a low price, is Volume Two, which features Gamera vs. Guiron (1969), Gamera vs. Jiger (1970), Gamera vs. Zigra (1971) and Gamera: Super Monster (1980).

Order the Gamera: Ultimate Collection today at Amazon.com.

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Van Damme’s ‘Pound of Flesh’ wraps up filming in China – new set photo!

"Until Death" Japanese Poster

"Until Death" Japanese Poster

Production has started on a Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick titled Pound of Flesh. The film will re-team Van Damme with Ernie Barbarash (Favela), the director behind 2011′s Assassination Games and 2012′s 6 Bullets. Van Damme’s son, Kristopher Van Varenberg (Enemies Closer), is co-starring. Pound of Flesh is being produced by Kirk Shaw (Driven To Kill, Hardwired).

The plot line of Pound of Flesh is reminiscent of Park Chan-wook’s 2002 thriller, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance:

In China to donate his kidney to his dying niece, Deacon (Van damme), an former black-ops agent, awakes the day before the operation to find he is the latest victim of organ theft. Stitched up and pissed-off, Deacon descends from his opulent hotel in search of his stolen kidney and carves a blood-soaked path through the darkest corners of the city – brothels, fight clubs, back-alley black markets, and elite billionaire estates. The clock is ticking for his niece and with each step he loses blood.

We’ll keep you updated on Pound of Flesh as we hear more. Until then, Van Damme’s other film, Swelter, should be getting a release date soon. In addition, Barbarash’s Codename Falcon 1 (aka Favela), with Michael Jai White, is also just around the corner.

Update: Via the Hollywood Reporter, Pound of Flesh will feature fight scenes coordinated by veteran choreographer and stuntman John Salvetti (Donnie Yen’s Flash Point, Special Identity). | John Ralston (Degrassi The Next Generation), William B Davis (The X-Files), Charlotte Peters and Kris Van Varenberg (Welcome to the Jungle) have joined Pound of Flesh.

According to Impact, Darren Shahlavi (Ip Man 2, Bloodmoon) has joined the film as the lead villain. Here’s what Shahlavi had to say about appearing in the movie: “I’ve wanted to work with Van Damme for so many years and I’m very excited to be finally getting to work with him on such a great project. I love the script and the team that director Ernie Barbarash and the producers have put together for this film, including fight choreographer John Salvitti who I am also a huge fan of.” | First photo of Van Damme in Pound of Flesh. | On-the-set photo of Van damme with a few fans, courtesy of the folks at vandammefan.net. | Photo of Van Damme on the set, courtesy of Van Damme. | Photo of Darren Shahlavi on the set of Pound of Flesh.

Ernie Barbarash, the director of Pound of Flesh, spills some details about his upcoming film in this video. He mentions that it is an “action movie that’s very character driven.” Also making a cameo in the movie is the popular Chinese “boy band” TF Boys (click here for a photo of them with Van Damme). | Another set photo of a shirtless Van Damme, courtesy of the folks at vandammefan.net.

New set photo of Van Damme, courtesy of jcvd-online. Also, Bruceploitation actor Huang Kin Long (aka Bruce Le) recently visited the set. So what does Le look like today? Well, here’s a photo (courtesy of Impact) of him with Mike Leeder, Darren Shahlavi and Mike Moller on the set of Pound of Flesh. Simply amazing! Click here to read about it.

BREAKING NEWS: Darren Shahlavi has posted a new set photo. Also, according to his Facebook page, Pound of Flesh has wrapped up filming in China. In case you missed it, here’s an extremely short fight clip of Van Damme vs. Darren Shahlavi!

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

Eastern Bandits | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Eastern Bandits | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Cityonfire.com and Well Go USA are giving away 3 Blu-ray copies of Eastern Bandits (aka An Inaccurate Memoir) to three lucky Cityonfire visitors. To enter, simply add a comment to this post telling us what your favorite Western movie is (from any country), along with a brief explanation of why it’s your favorite. We will be selecting three winners 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 Eastern Bandits will be officially released on May 26, 2014, so we will announce the 3 winners on this date and ship out the prizes immediately. Please read the disclaimer below.

CONTEST DISCLAIMER: You must enter by May 25th to qualify. Also, because Well Go USA holds the film’s U.S. rights, only U.S. residents may enter the contest. 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: Congratulations to Alan T., Tory and Matthew A. You have all been notified via email.

Posted in News | Tagged | 12 Comments

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

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

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

RELEASE DATE: August 12, 2014

Well Go USA presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Keith Parmer’s action-thriller Swelter, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme plays a member of a bank robbing gang that manages to steal a cool $100 million before some of them are apprehended by the police. Flash forward ten years and Van Damme is now an earnest, hard-working sheriff in a small town… with no memory of his criminal past. But what happens when his old crew rolls into town, anxious to find out where he hid their payload? Swelter also stars Josh Henderson, Brad Carter, Alfred Molina and Lennie James. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Swelter from Amazon.com today!

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

Deal on Fire! The Delightful Forest | Blu-ray | Only $10 – Expires soon!

"The Delightful Forest" Blu-ray Cover

"The Delightful Forest" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 1972′s The Delightful Forest, a Shaw Brothers classic directed by Chang Cheh (Five Element Ninjas). A newly imprisoned fighter named Wu (Ti Lung) is rescued from getting a brutal jail torture, thanks to officer Shih (Tien Ching). It’s only when thugs (headed by Tien Ching) try to take over “The Delightful Forest” – a restaurant which Shih owns – that Wu returns the favor and takes on the bad guys with his legendary kung fu skills. Watch the trailer for The Delightful Forest.

Order The Delightflul Forest from Amazon.com today!

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‘Point Break’ remake has found its Bodhi (Patrick Swayze)!

"Point Break" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Point Break" Korean Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: Ericson Core is set to to remake Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 heist action film Point Break. Mostly known for his 2006 debut feature Invincible (with Mark Wahlberg), Core started his career as a cinematographer for films such as The Fast and the Furious, Daredevil and Payback. The remake – which starts shooting at the end of 2014/early 2015 – will be about an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates an extreme sports-lovin’ criminal gang.

The original, which starred Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey, was a box office success and has gathered a worldwide cult following. It has been referenced in numerous action films, most notably Johnnie To’s Fulltime Killer. Check back with us for more information regarding the Point Break remake.

Update: According to THR, the Point Break reboot has become the biggest success story of the 2013 American Film Market after selling out to foreign distributors around the globe. | According to Collider, Gerard Butler (London Has Fallen) is in negotiations to star in the Point Break remake. Wonder if this movie gave the studios the idea. | Butler has accepted. | AICN reports that Luke Bracey (November Man) will be playing Johnny Utah (previously played by Keanu Reeves). | According to Collider, Gerard Butler has exited the Point Break remake. Luke Bracey is still on board.

BREAKING NEWS: Collider reports that Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum) will be playing Bodhi (previously played by Patrick Swayze). Also, production starts on June 26th!

Posted in News | 1 Comment

‘Hwayi: A Monster Boy’ is getting a ‘quality’ U.S. remake

"Hwayi: A Monster Boy" Korean Theatrical Poster

"Hwayi: A Monster Boy" Korean Theatrical Poster

According to THR, 2013′s Hwayi: A Monster Boy is getting an English-language, U.S. remake. The original South Korean film, directed by Jang Joon-Hwan (Save the Green Planet), is about a 16-year-old boy of the same name who is raised by five criminal fathers to become the perfect assassin. It starred Yeo Jin-goo (Sad Movie) and Kim Yun-Seok (The Chaser, The Thieves).

Creators of the original will be collaborating with the U.S. crew to avoid another Old Boy remake fiasco: “We have decided to take part in the production as a collaborator in order to ensure the quality of the remake, rather than simply handing over the storyline,” said Lee Jun-dong, head of the original movie’s production company Now Film.

Cityonfire.com will keep you updated on this project.

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Deal on Fire! Planet of the Apes 5-Film Collection | Blu-ray | Only $19.99 – Expires soon!

"Planet of the Apes 5-Film" Blu-ray Set Cover

"Planet of the Apes 5-Film" Blu-ray Set Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is for the 5-Film Planet of the Apes Blu-ray set, which contains 1968′s Planet of the Apes, 1970′s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1971′s Escape from the Planet of the Apes, 1972′s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1973′s Battle for the Planet of the Apes. At $4 bucks per ape flick, it’s a banana of a deal!

It’s a perfect (and cheap) way to get prepared for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opens in theaters everywhere on July 11, 2014.

Order the Planet of the Apes 5-Film Blu-ray Collection today!

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‘Die Hard 2′ filmmaker to direct Jackie Chan’s ‘Skiptrace’

"Shinjuku Incident" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Shinjuku Incident" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: In Skiptrace, a detective from Hong Kong (Jackie Chan) teams up with an American gambler to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal. The film also stars Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3).

The internationally-set film will feature stops in Hong Kong, Macau, Eastern Europe and Mainland China. Jay Longino has been tapped to pen the screenplay.

Jackie will star, co-write and produce. Sam Fell (ParaNorman) is directing, and additional screenwriters are Jay Longino (Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation), Brian Gatewood (Animal Practice) and Alessandro Tanaka (The Sitter).

Update: Asian Movie Pulse features some recent quotes from Jackie Chan. He says that Skiptrace will be very location-driven and he hopes to set the sequences of action/comedy in settings that his fans haven’t seen him to do yet. | According to Dark Horizons, Seann William Scott (American Pie) has joined the cast.

BREAKING NEWS: According to Film Combat Syndicate, Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) will be helming Skiptrace. Production is expected to start in August 11, 2014.

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Legend of the Bat | aka Clans of Intrigue 2 (1978) Review

"Legend of the Bat" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Legend of the Bat" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Chor Yuen
Writer: Chor Yuen
Producer: Mona Fong Yat Wah, Yueh Hua, Cheng Li, Candice Yu On On, Derek Yee, Wang Chung,
Cast: Ti Lung, Ling Yun, Cheng Miu, Yuen Wah, Norman Chu
Running Time: 101 min.

By JJ Hatfield

This breathtakingly beautiful film is a rather unusual mix of martial arts, sword fighting, mystery and intrigue from the Shaw Brothers. Set in the Martial World, two longtime friends return from a journey only to discover something terrible has happened in their absence. They immediately set out to find those responsible and set things right once again. During the investigation the duo encounters the first of an ever increasing host of strange characters one more enigmatic than the last. All have different motivations and tales to tell, but they come to share one thing in common.

In order to obtain what they seek, they must make the journey to Bat Island.

The voyage across the sea is long and fraught with hidden risk. Twists and turns take place among the people and on-board the ship. One by one it is revealed that the passengers are not who they pretend to be. Each of them tries to discern the intentions of the others while giving few clues as to the real reason they have for making such a hazardous venture. Some passengers speak little, one does not speak at all. Suspicion snakes its way through the group as strange and unexplained occurrences increase. The island was rumored to be the secret dominion of the mysterious Bat, his opulent abode the place of exclusive auctions where it was said that anything may be bought any wish may be granted but only for his particular price. The Bat’s fortress, it was said, was an enormous luxurious palace of sumptuous comforts and delights, filled with exquisite finery. But there were also dark whispers about the evil that lies in wait for any who dare trespass.

Legend of the Bat is a sequel to Clans of Intrigue and though there are some slight differences, it does not interfere with the story. Chor Yuen helmed both films and wrote the screenplay, working from the popular wuxia novels by Gu Long. Both movies have the same cast, however not every actor returns as the same character. The story line is not a continuation, but continues the wuxia theme with heroic deeds, dazzling sword fights, deception and deceit, the baffling and the bizarre. It isn’t necessary to see Clans of Intrigue beforehand to be thoroughly entertained by this movie.

The Martial World is a wondrous place where anything can happen. It would not exist if not for the heroes and heroines who are always busy keeping peace or restoring the natural order. Heroic characters fight for honor, justice and to help those less able to defend themselves. There are certain characteristics a hero must possess – a belief in treating everyone the same, honesty, courage and a die hard loyalty to friends, family and country. No one could fill that description better than Ti Lung (A Better Tomorrow) as Chu Lui-hsiang, the dashing young martial artist, expert swordsman and hero of the series of wuxia novels written by the prolific and well loved Chinese writer Gu Long. Lui-hsiang is a righteous warrior never hesitating to put himself in harms way for the sake of justice. He is perfect as the charismatic, intelligent, fearless vanquisher of villains. Without him in the title role, the movie would lose its center and some damned impressive sword fights.

Not only is Lui-hsiang a highly skilled fighter, he is also quite clever and uses reasoning to unwrap the tangle of puzzles that spring up around every chamber and and corner. Ti Lung is a powerful presence in nearly all his roles and Legend of the Bat is no exception. He is a delight to watch as he does battle with evil -doers, never hesitating, cool as ice. Lui-hsiang looks fantastic whether gently waving his fan or wielding his flashing sword. The men admire him or they want to kill him or both. Women want him or they want to kill him or both. Ti Lung also has some fun playing Lui-hsiang as confident to the point of being cocky at times with a bit of a swagger and a slight smirk.

Yi Tien-hung who also returns from Clans of Intrigue, is played by Yun Ling (Six Assassins). Not even in this fantasy world would anyone consider Tien-hung righteous, although he does help Lui-hsiang, he often has his own motivations, or more accurately his employment. His piercing gaze can freeze an opponent in their tracks. He always seems to be standing, still, always on alert. The darkness of his clothing mirrors his demeanor.

Also of note is Yuen Wah (Iceman Cometh) who has a substantial role considering how many people are in this movie, but has no lines as he plays a mute. To his credit he makes his presence felt in a very different role than he has played previously. It’s refreshing to see him outside the typical bad guy/gang member or minor character he often played. Wah is far more often in the stunt and fight unit onscreen or directing the action.

Water, water everywhere, but precious little in this ‘sea’. When telling a visual tale involving sea faring vessels, water is usually necessary to complete the illusion but dry ice and smoke take its place for Chor Yuen. As a director with a very specific and spectacular style, he never allows the camera to wander or roam, instead, he frames each and every shot as if it were a single carefully staged photograph. Filming on water doesn’t allow for that kind of direct control, especially considering the technology available when this movie was shot in 1977.  Yuen used a stage at the Shaw Brothers studios to shoot not only Legend of the Bat, but virtually all of his films. Using the indoor stage allowed for far greater control, but it was also considerably cheaper than shooting on location.

Chor Yuen’s wuxia fantasies are always layered in beauty of all forms, but with Legend of the Bat, he surpasses many of his previous films in creating this luscious feast for the eyes. The sets are elaborate, steeped in rich vibrant visuals so detailed it seems you could reach out and feel the warm touch of the sun or the icy cold of an unsheathed blade.

Chor Yuen surrounds every single scene with finishing touches worthy of a precious painting. Everything is meticulously planned. Nothing is left to chance. The sets are bright with artwork, flowers, swathed in soft flowing silk, gardens, statues, trees, fountains anything of a pleasing nature. Cheap stock sets and props are few and far between. Costumes, furnishings, hair, clothes; it does not matter if the scene is in an enchanting palatial manor or a desolate old farm house; attention to detail and skilled use of color are always present in Yuen’s works. As with many of his films, Chor Yuen has included a values message that is fitting for the Martial World.

The sword fights with Ti Lung are excellent, especially when he is up against a number of enemies. There are several extended scenes that involve complicated and dangerous maneuvers. Some of the most impressive include sparkling mountains and rivers made of pure gleaming ice and a lake of leaping flames. The Bat’s throne room is a magnificent piece of art all by itself. Fantastic creations cover every wall, doorway, ceiling, hallway and floor. Secret rooms hold brilliant adorned baskets and jars and many other treasures. The special effects are standard for the time, but they are certainly not annoying or distracting.

Some people may not appreciate the mystery aspect of Legend of the Bat. There are places in the story where it seems the Shaw Brothers version of Hercule Poirot is about to make an appearance. Lui-hsiang does spend a fair amount of time investigating and tracking down clues as well as red herrings. It doesn’t make the movie bad, but it does mean a bit less action in favor of intrigue.

Of course there is more to a movie than looking good no matter how good Chor Yuen can make it look. The biggest problem is the sheer number of characters who come at you at such a rapid pace, it’s difficult to keep track without a cast list in order of appearance. I appreciate Chor Yuen trying to be faithful to Gu Long’s story, but there is too much story with too many people stuffed into too little time. Nor can you easily follow the byzantine story machinations, subplots, sub-subplots, side-plots, or the sudden changes in allegiances, identities, behaviors and ulterior motives.

Some of the costumes and effects almost get out of control. There are funky colored lights in ice caves that kind of look like those lights used on retro aluminum Christmas trees. Some of the Bat’s minions wear ‘bat’ suits (no, not “Batman” suits) with tiny little ‘bat’ ears. People appear and disappear, then sometimes reappear with disturbing frequency with no explanation. This is not a serious type of film, it is purely for entertainment. Oh sure, some serious things happen… people get killed, and then some more people die – well actually there are a lot less people by the end of the movie than when it begins. But it really is a fun time. A movie with sword fights, a mysterious villain and Ti Lung? How can you go wrong with that?

JJ Hatfield’s Rating: 7.5/10

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Deal on Fire! Die Hard 25th Anniversary 5-Disc Set | Blu-ray | Only $19.99 – Expires soon!

Die Hard 25th Anniversary 5-Disc Blu-ray Collection (Fox)

Die Hard 25th Anniversary 5-Disc Blu-ray Collection (Fox)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for the Die Hard 25th Anniversary 5-Disc Set. Celebrate 25 years of John McClane with this collection featuring the first four Die Hard films and an all-new bonus disc, “Decoding Die Hard.” It’s the ultimate tribute to the tough-as-nails cop with a wry sense of humor and a knack for explosive action. Wrong place. Wrong time. Right man. Yippee ki yay!

Cityonfire.com is pleased to announce that this set does NOT include 2013′s A Good Day to Die Hard. ;)

Order the Die Hard 25th Anniversary Set from Amazon.com today!

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The Raid 2: Berandal | Blu-ray & DVD (Sony Pictures)

The Raid 2: Berandal | Blu-ray & DVD (Sony Pictures)

The Raid 2: Berandal | Blu-ray & DVD (Sony Pictures)

RELEASE DATE: July 8, 2014

Sony Pictures presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 (read our review). This action-packed martial arts epic will include the following bonus features: “Gang War” Deleted Scene, Ready for a Fight: On Location; Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography; English dub and original language version of the film, director commentary with Gareth Huw Evans; The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel; Cinefamily Foundation Q&A with Gareth Huw Evans, Iko Uwais and Joe Trapanese.

Pre-order The Raid 2 from Amazon.com today!

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Vengeance Is Mine | Blu-ray (Criterion)

Vengeance Is Mine | Blu-ray & DVD (Criterion)

Vengeance Is Mine | Blu-ray & DVD (Criterion)

RELEASE DATE: August 26, 2014

Criterion Collection presents the Blu-ray for 1979′s Vengeance Is Mine, directed by Shohei Imamura (Black Rain). A thief, a murderer, and a charming lady-killer, Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) is on the run from the police. Director Imamura turns this fact-based story—about the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family—into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny examination of the primitive coexisting with the modern. More than just a true-crime tale, Vengeance Is Mine bares humanity’s snarling id. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Vengeance Is Mine from Amazon.com today!

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Donnie Yen’s ‘Ip Man 3′ to start shooting early 2015

"Ip Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Ip Man" Japanese Theatrical Poster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Well Go USA picks up Louis Koo’s crime-thriller ‘Z Storm’

"Z Storm" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Z Storm" Chinese Theatrical Poster

This summer, Chinese audiences are bundling up for a big budget, crime-thriller titled Z Storm, which stars Louis Koo (Accident), Lo Hoi-pang (Dream Home), Michael Wong (Nightfall), Gordon Lam (Triad Election) and Liu Kai-chi (The Stool Pigeon).

According to Variety, 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.

Z Storm also marks the return of veteran Hong Kong filmmaker David Lam, who hasn’t made a movie since 1998′s Magnificent Team. Watch the first for trailer for Z Storm. | Theatrical poster for Z Storm.

BREAKING NEWS: According to Screen Daily, Well Go USA has picked up Louis Koo’s crime-thriller Z Storm, which opens in Hong Kong on June 19th. - Thanks to Dip!

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Deal on Fire! Ip Man 2 | Blu-ray | Only $7.50 – Expires soon!

"Ip Man 2" Blu-ray Cover

"Ip Man 2" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Wilson Yip’s Ip Man 2 starring Donnie Yen. Yen reprises his iconic role as the real-life kung fu Grandmaster Ip Man in this semi-biographical account of Ip Man. Ip Man 2 centers on Ip Man’s migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts. Just as he did with Ip Man, Sammo Hung delivers some of the best martial arts choreography of his career (and he also co-stars!). The original Ip Man Blu-ray is also available at a sale price!

Order Ip Man 2 from Amazon.com today!

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