Deal on Fire! Let the Bullets Fly | Blu-ray | Only $9.44 – Expires soon!

"Let the Bullets Fly" Blu-ray Cover

"Let the Bullets Fly" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Let the Bullets Fly. This 2010 box office hit earned actor/filmmaker Jiang Wen a “Best Director” trophy. Cityonfire’s own HKFanatic calls it “a Chinese approximation of a spaghetti Western.” His review also states: If you’re expecting this film to live up to its title with A Better Tomorrow-style set pieces, you’ll probably be disappointed. Keep an open mind and you may find this to be one of the most original and vibrant Chinese-language films in years, depending on your taste.

And don’t forget… a sequel titled Gone with the Bullets is just around the corner!

Order Let the Bullets Fly from Amazon.com today!

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Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington for ‘Magnificent Seven’ remake?

"The Magnificent Seven" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Magnificent Seven" Japanese Theatrical Poster

THE MOVIE: A remake of John Sturges 1960 classic, The Magnificent Seven is in the works. The original The Magnificent Seven – a remake itself of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai - starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz. Read our review for the original film.

The plot involved seven American gunmen who are hired to protect a small village in Mexico from a group of Mexican bandits. Check out HKFanatic’s review for the original Magnificent Seven.

Updates: According to Collider, the remake will be penned by Nic Pizzolatto, who wrote a couple episodes of The Killing and the HBO drama, True

The Wrap reports that Tom Cruise has dropped out of the Magnificent Seven remake. Also, John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) has been hired to rewrite the script.

Deadline reports that Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) is considering The Magnificent Seven remake. But he’s even closer to saying yes to helm Narco Sub, a drug smuggling-themed thriller. One project that’s in the can for Fuqua is a boxing film titled Southpaw.

BREAKING NEWS: Variety reports that Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington are in talks for the remake. If they agree, Magnificent Seven will be the pair’s 3rd major team up. The first being 2001′s Training Day, and the 2nd, The Equalizer, which will be hitting theaters on September 26, 2014.

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Wrath of Vajra, The (2013) Review

"The Wrath of Vajra" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Wrath of Vajra" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Law Wing-cheong
Writer: Yang Zhenjian
Producer: Pang Hong, Yang Zhenjian.
Cast: Xing Yu, Steve Yoo Seung Jun, Jiang Baocheng, Yasuaki Kurata, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi
Running Time: 115 min.

By oneleaf

The Wrath of Vajra is a mainland Chinese action film helmed by Law Wing-cheong (Punished, Iceman) and starring Yu Xing (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons), an ex-Shaolin monk turned martial arts actor. This is Yu Xing’s first starring role.

The Temple of Hades is a cult-like sect founded by Kawao Amano (Yasuaki Kurata of Fight! Dragon TV series, Heroes of the East and Shanghai Express). Hades abducts children (boys) and trains them to be merciless assassins for the Emperor. These assassins are then sent out all over China as part of Japan’s warfare strategy to destroy China spiritually, whatever that means.

Early on in the film, the imprisoned Amano is approached by the military to resurrect Hades. Overjoyed, Kawao whole-heartedly agrees and assigns one of his top recruits, Kurashige Daisuke aka K-28 (Sung-jun Yoo of Man of Tai Chi and Chinese Zodiac), to lead Hades back to prominence for the Emperor.

Amano’s daughter, Eko (Yamei Zhang), is on-hand as an idealistic journalist, helping to propagate the Hades Sect and its expansion all over China through her articles and pictures. Eko naively believes her father that the objective of the Hades is to bring together the Chinese and Japanese, so the two cultures can exist in harmony.

Kurashige sets in motion a number of kidnappings and abductions, including multi-national military personnel of soldiers that is thrown in the mix. Among one of the abductees is junior monk Qing Kong (Fu Jiayuan).

Twelve years earlier, K-29 (Yu Xing) escapes from the clutches of Hades after a match with his brother goes very wrong, ending in him killing his brother. In that time, K-29 took refuge in a Shaolin Temple and trained, biding his time to return to Hades and seek revenge.

While at the temple he was taught to master “The Wrath of Vajra”, a very deadly move that require 17-seconds of pure concentration evoking “death” that has to be practiced with total compassion. Huh? I’m not sure where to even begin to explain that. Let’s just say it’s a very deadly and powerful move.

The abduction of Qing Kong, who trains with K-29 at the same temple, was enough to bring him out in the open to return to Hades to rescue the little monk and put an end to Hades’ reign of terror. This ultimately leads to the climax of the film, the inevitable battle between K-29 and K-28.

Sung-jun Yoo is a former K-Pop star and one of South Korea’s biggest selling artists with over 5 million records sold there. Just before being drafted for military service in 2002, he became a naturalized American citizen and left South Korea for America creating some controversy. He made his movie debut as Prince Wen in Jackie Chan’s Little Big Soldier. Yoo now primarily concentrates on his second career as an actor and amateur body builder. His physique is definitely something to behold.

Yu Xing has been in a number of movies and has been acting since 2001. He has played a number of non-memorable characters over the years showcasing his kung fu prowess. His skills are indeed very impressive. His acting, on the other hand, is not so impressive.

It was good to see Yasuaki Kurata back on the big screen. He is already in his late 60’s and I’ve always wondered if someone with his skill level of expertise in Karate, Judo and Aikido can still kick some behind. The scriptwriters should have written more material for him. Perhaps a tutoring scene with K-29 would have been a definite bonus. And yes, I think he could still fight even at his age.

The Wrath of Vajra is Yu Xing’s first major starring role and with that came very high expectations. The cinematography is good. The use of CG, slow-motion zoom shots and wires do add to the enjoyment of the fight scenes. However, the film is incoherent and badly written. The plot is generic and bland. Other than the nifty fight scenes interspersed throughout the film, there is not much going on here.

Not recommended.

oneleaf’s Rating: 5/10

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Nick Cheung gets downright spooky for a ‘Hungry Ghost Ritual’

"Hungry Ghost Ritual" Hong Kong Theatrical Poster

What do you get when you combine Dario Argento’s giallo classic Opera with the Academy Award-winning Black Swan, adding a dash of Asian horror creepiness? You just might find out by watching the trailer for Hungry Ghost Ritual, an upcoming Hong Kong horror picture starring Nick Cheung. The hard-working actor was last seen in Dante Lam’s psychological crime thriller That Demon Within.

In Hungry Ghost Ritual, which hits Hong Kong theaters in July of this year, Cheung finds himself the director of a Chinese Ghost Festival troupe who can’t get their act together, literally, thanks to a bunch of supernatural happenings. Based on the trailer, we can expect a lot of Asian horror staples, such as the ‘creepy hand that reaches out of nowhere’ and ‘spooky things happening in elevators.’ Hey, if the formula ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Thanks to Far East Films for the story.

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‘No Tears For The Dead’ gets a U.S. release date and trailer

"No Tears For The Dead" U.S. Theatrical Poster

"No Tears For The Dead" U.S. Theatrical Poster

Lee Jeong-beom’s follow up to the ridiculously entertaining The Man From Nowhere is just around the corner. The upcoming action-thriller titled No Tears For The Dead (aka Crying Man) is described as a love story between a professional hitman and his next target. It stars Jang Dong-gun (Friend, The Warrior’s Way), Kim Min-hee (Helpless) and Kang Han-na (Fasten Your Seatbelt).

Although it may not be intentional, No Tears For The Dead bares a slight similarity – both in title and plot – to the popular Crying Freeman manga, which also revolves around an assassin who falls in love with his target. The latter has already been adapted into live-action features in 1990′s Killer’s Romance, 1995′s Crying Freeman; and to lesser extent, 2006′s Daisy.

Could No Tears For The Dead be yet another loose adaptation? Watch the trailer and see for yourself. | 2nd trailer. | 3rd trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: No Tears For The Dead will be released in U.S. theaters on June 20, 2014. Here’s the North American trailer (which looks identical to previously released trailer), courtesy of Apple.

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Shu Qi to play Wolverine’s clone ‘X-23′?

"The Wolverine" Japanese DVD Cover

"The Wolverine" Japanese DVD Cover

Apparently, there’s a rumor that Shu Qi (The Eye 2, Legend of the Fist) might be following the footsteps of fellow Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days of Future Past) by appearing in an future X-Men or Wolverine movie.

According to Jaynstars, it was during the filming of a Chinese Toyota commercial with Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine) that the two became close friends. Because of Jackman’s strong ties with Marvel, producers took notice of Qi’s acting abilities and are now pursuing her to portray X-23, a female clone of Wolverine.

Of course, until it’s official, consider this news a rumor. However, when this “rumor” got out, it didn’t stop fans from Photoshoping Qi’s face on the body of an illustrated X-23 (see photo). – Courtesy of ifeng.com.

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Deal on Fire! Web of Death | Blu-ray | Only $10 – Expires soon!

"Web of Death" Blu-ray Cover

"Web of Death" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 1976′s Web of Death, a Shaw Brothers classic directed by Chor Yuen (The Magic Blade).

It’s back to the Shaolin Monastery for one of the most unusual action-packed tales to invade its hallowed halls. Web Of Death goes places where no other Shaolin kung-fu movie has gone before.

This kung fu gem stars Yueh Hua (Killer Darts), Cheng Lee (Anonymous Heroes) and Lo Lieh (Seven Warriors). Read our review.

Order Web of Death from Amazon.com today!

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Wachowskis’ ‘Jupiter Ascending’ gets delayed until early 2015

"Jupiter Ascending" Theatrical Poster

"Jupiter Ascending" Theatrical Poster

The Wachowskis, the sibling filmmakers responsible for The Matrix trilogy and the live-action Speed Racer film, are back with a new blockbuster!

Jupiter Ascending is a science-fiction action/epic starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. Kunis’ character believes she is just a lowly janitor on Earth but, in fact, her DNA holds grand secrets to the universe – as long as Tatum’s space soldier can keep her from falling into enemy hands.

Jupiter Ascending is actually the Wachowskis pop sci-fi take on the Snow White fairy tale, but don’t take our word for it.

Updates: The visually stunning first trailer is online now for your viewing pleasure. | New Japanese trailer. | Newest trailer. | International trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: According to Variety, Jupiter Ascending is being delayed. Its original July 18 2014 release date as been pushed to February 6, 2015. According to the report, the Wachowskis needed more time to complete over 2,000 special effects shots.

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Deal on Fire! Bond 50: 23-Film James Bond Set | Blu-ray | Only $93.99 – Expires soon!

"Bond 50" Blu-ray Set

"Bond 50" Blu-ray Set

Today’s Deal on Fire is Blu-ray set for the The Bond 50: 23-Film Collection. It includes every official James Bond film made (from Dr. No to Skyfall), plus a load of extras features for each and every film. Top it off with its beautiful booklet-style packaging, and you have one of the best collector’s sets on the blu-ray market. For $93.99 (about $4 bucks a movie), it’s a license to steal!

Order The Bond 50: 23-Film Collection Blu-ray set today!

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Shaolin Mantis | aka Deadly Mantis (1978) Review

"Shaolin Mantis" Theatrical Poster

"Shaolin Mantis" Theatrical Poster

Director: Lau Kar Leung
Writer: Sze To On
Producer: Runme Shaw
Cast: David Chiang, Cecilia Wong, Lily Li Li Li, Lau Kar Wing, Wai Wang, Wilson Tong, John Cheung, Wong Ching Ho, Cheng Miu, Norman Chu, Gordon Liu, Meng Hoi, Lee Hoi San
Running Time: 96 min.

By Matthew Le-feuvre

Throughout their careers as movie producers, the Shaw brothers were always confidently direct (especially the late Sir Run Run) when conveying their production targets: diversity was, naturally, their main aim to healthy box office returns via catering to the tastes of cinema-goers practically all over south-east Asia.

While their contemporary thrillers or fantasy horrors tended to be modest or hokey respectively, the Shaws’ traditional/Wuxia features on the other hand were of a different calibre: savagely baroque, emotionally uplifting and fantastically stylized, yet behind these motifs there were/are hidden metaphors and politically charged statements (not always visible to Communist mainlanders) still relevant today as they were thirty or forty years ago.

Usually under the watchful eye of in-house director, Chang Cheh and his former protege – fight choreographer turned film-maker, Liu Chia Liang – both chose to elucidate how harsh communism was (and continues to be!) using the backdrop of Kung Fu cinema as a conduit for self expression; although each had their own individual stamp, politically.

‘Oppression’ or battling ‘Class Oppression’ were major nuances that drove Chang Cheh’s subject matters, particularly through the unification of patriotic heroes whom seldom won against the machinations of a corrupt government, whereas Liang’s approach was always the singular or ‘loner’ facing insurmountable odds often winning by the application of piety and humanity: Cheh’s protagonists, however, invariably succumbed to bloody martyrdom. Shaolin Mantis, Liang’s fifth directing credit, was too take all these concepts one step further highlighting (the) Yin/Yang complexities in relationship to all things political, martial and spiritual.

Otherwise known as Deadly Mantis in the states, the irrepressible talents of David Chiang are put to the test both characteristically and physically in a role often regarded as his second finest (Vengeance, naturally being the first); not that Chiang has ever given a bad performance. Here he was allowed a little more vulnerability than his general typecasting of grinning rogues or flighty swordsmen as Wei Feng – a Ching (Manchu) official ordered to investigate a wealthy family suspected of having pro ‘Han’ revolutionary connections. Posing as a wandering scholar, Feng manipulates his way into the Tien family household, primarily employed as a teacher to wayward granddaughter, GiGi (Huang Hsin-Hsui).

There, Feng is introduced to each member who periodically tests him of any fighting abilities, which he conceals through feigning ignorance of the martial arts. Unintentionally Feng’s mission leads to romance and inevitably marriage to GiGi much too the consternation of her grandfather (Liu Chi Yung aka Lau kar Wing), who is convinced Feng is a Ching spy. Finding evidence needed to insure his position within the Ching administration, Feng influences GiGi into leaving the mansion on a whim of wanting to visit his parents; which in part, is the truth.

The next two paragraphs contains spoilers: The Tien elder (Yung) otherwise has more severe designs in mind. During their escape, Feng reveals his martial arts prowess and finds himself, in tandem with GiGi , confronting a gauntlet of five opponents: these consist of (support) Hong Kong superstars, John Chang, Tsiu Siu Keung, Lily Li, Wilson Tong and aforementioned Liu Chia Yung. GiGi, however, is accidentally killed forcing Feng into hiding while the remainder of the Tiens’ believe he committed suicide by riding off a cliff.

In reflective solitude, Feng contemplates his revenge, but knows his limited skills are no match for the elder Tien until inspiration occurs in the form of a praying mantis. Studying the insect under various conditions, Feng develops his own mantis fist style and returns to the Tien estate fully versed to counteract Grandpa Tien’s seemingly devastating Kung Fu techniques.

The film concludes with an ambiguous narrative, posing numerous political afterthoughts as too the real meaning of patriotism; or be as it may, the duality or opposing values of patriotic/nationalistic duty.

Importantly, Liang’s canvases have always been bold and versatile beneath the Shaws’ studio banner, deliberately asking questions in a subtle way without alienating audiences or hindering the continuity of fight choreography and/or – if critics truly observe – character development: an area of film-making Liang genuinely cared about as much as presenting distinct Kung Fu formats.

Although Shaolin Mantis may not appeal to those interested in its contradictory political subtext, the flip side of this timeless classic is Chiang’s humanized performance and Liang’s fluid direction/choreography which more than compensates for any detectable flaws, technical or otherwise.

Verdict: Poetic, ironic and totally breathtaking!

Matthew Le-feuvre’s Rating: 10/10

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‘One On One’ will make you ‘feel like you’re being killed’

"One On One" Korean Theatrical Poster

"One On One" Korean Theatrical Poster

If you’re a fan of South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk (Real Fiction, The Isle, Pieta) the following plot for his upcoming thriller shouldn’t surprise you: On May 9, a female high school student is brutally murdered. 7 people from the terror group “Shadow” go after the 7 murder suspects one by one.

Plot-wise, the thought of Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw The Devil comes to mind, but this one might be a little more crazier. In a recent Variety article, Kim had this to say about One On One: “Whether you agree with the ending or not, if you don’t feel like you are being killed, you should not watch it.”

Kim is a filmmaker known for his lurid art house films. Think Takashi Miike (Audition) and Wong Kar-wai (Happy Together) rolled into one, but with enough of his own craft that his films stand on their own. Basically, if you don’t catch yourself saying “how beautiful” one minute, then “What the f–k?” the next, then it’s probably not a Kim Ki-Duk flick.

One On One will open the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section on August 27. Until then, here’s the trailer. You’ll never look at a pair of New Balance sneakers the same way ever again…

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‘Adjustment Bureau’ filmmaker to helm Bruce Lee Biopic

"Enter the Dragon" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Enter the Dragon" Japanese Theatrical Poster

A new Hollywood film about Bruce Lee titled Birth of the Dragon is in the works. The movie will take a look at the life of legendary martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee, using Lee’s disputed bout with Master Wong Jack-Man as the centerpiece of the story.

There’s some speculation that this could lead to a Rashomon-like structure to Birth of the Dragon since there are so many varying accounts of how the fight between Bruce Lee and Master Wong went down.

This isn’t the first time Hollywood has explored the legend of Bruce Lee. Perhaps the most well known example is 1993′s Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, a heavily dramatized biopic from The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen that featured Jason Scott Lee (Time Cop 2) in the lead role.

If you’re worried about Hollywood once again playing fast and loose with the facts of Bruce Lee’s life, you can at least be assured that Birth of the Dragon has some decent pedigree behind it: screenwriters Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele previously wrote Nixon and Ali.

BREAKING NEWS: Variety reports that filmmaker George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) will be directing Birth of the Dragon. The next big question is: Who will be playing Bruce Lee? - Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate

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Mr. Majestyk | Blu-ray & DVD (Kino Lorber)

"Mr. Majestyk" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Mr. Majestyk" Japanese Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: August 12, 2014

Kino Lorber presents the Blu-ray & DVD for 1974′s Mr. Majestyk. Charles Bronson stars as Majestyk, an ex-con and Vietnam vet whose efforts to run a farm are thwarted by narrow-minded locals and corrupt cops. But when a Mafia hitman (Al Lettieri) destroys Majestyk’s crop, the farmer’s fuse is finally blown. With his rifle in hand and his girlfriend (Linda Cristal) at the wheel, he goes after the syndicate assassin.

Mr. Majestyk is written by Elmore Leonard (Jackie Brown, 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight) and directed by Richard Fleischer (Soylent Green). Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Mr. Majestyk from Amazon.com today!

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Deal on Fire! Daimajin: Triple Feature | Blu-ray | Only $10.46 – Expires soon!

"Daimajin: Triple Feature" Blu-ray Cover

"Daimajin: Triple Feature" Blu-ray Cover

Godzilla who? Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for the Daimajin Triple Feature, a 2-Disc set which includes Kimiyoshi Yasuda’s Daimajin, Kenji Misumi’s Wrath of Daimajin and Kazuo Mori’s Return of Daimajin.

In 1966, the respected Daiei Motion Picture Company – known for Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon and Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu - released a series of Daimajin (aka Majin) films that combined elements of the daikaiju (giant monster) and jidaigeki (period drama) genres. Acclaimed for their serious tone and special effects, the Daimajin series present a unique take on a monster who is both savior and devil.

Order the Daimajin: Triple Feature from Amazon.com today!

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The most memorable action scenes in movies are…

"The Raid 2" International Theatrical Poster

"The Raid 2" International Theatrical Poster

Movies are often remembered for their action scenes, which can transform even the most pedestrian scripts. All movies want moments that viewers will retain in their memory, and the best action scenes are guaranteed to do that. Keep in mind that this list isn’t just about fight choreography, it’s also about stunt work. Here’s a handful that spring immediately to mind:

Casino Royale (2006)

There are many scenes in Casino Royale that capture the attention of the viewer. The movie sees Bond playing high stakes casino games to prevent terrorist attacks and the action scenes in this terrific movie signalled that Bond was back to its best.

In one of the best action scenes; Bond, played by Daniel Craig, chases a Parkour-skilled bomb maker Mollaka through a building site in Madagascar. Fighting hundreds of feet up in the air, both men come within inches of falling to their deaths in this classic chase scene.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a film that, from its title, evokes memories of great action scenes. One of the best moments is the desert chase which sees Indiana Jones trying to keep pace with a Nazi convoy. Providing one of the most iconic images from the whole Indiana Jones series, this chase lasts approximately six minutes. The hero, on horseback, stays with the convoy despite being shot at, beaten and clinging onto vehicles for dear life. Most, who have seen the scene, will still be able to recall it many years on.

Way of the Dragon (1972)

Though this film has been criticised for the script and storyline, it has nevertheless attracted praise, notably for its action scenes. In particular, some of the fighting scenes are wonderfully choreographed, building up the tension and the intensity of the action perfectly.

One of the best involves Bruce Lee fighting with Chuck Norris, while attempting to protect his family from a Roman mafia. The fight comes to a head in the coliseum and, though Norris gets the upper hand, Lee fights back brilliantly in a scene that keeps the tension right through to the end. The movie was made in 1972 and so, while some may feel that the martial arts fighting seems a little dated, it does see Bruce Lee at his best and is justifiably a martial arts classic.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

James Bond is often featureed in lists of the top action sequences. Another Bond classic; this movie was derided by some for what they felt was an attempt to jump on the martial arts bandwagon, which was at its height in the early to mid 1970s when this movie was made and released. Featuring Roger Moore in his second film, it has a great car stunt owing something to Evel Knievel, who was also popular at this time.

It was a stunt that Knievel would have been proud of with Bond driving towards a rickety looking wooden bridge at high speed, launching off and the car doing a somersault before landing perfectly on all four wheels on the other side.

Tom Yum Goong (2006)

Almost ten years later (has it really been that long?), fans of martial arts cinema still speak of Tony Jaa’s Tom Yum Goong (aka The Protector) with bated breath, particularly its infamous ‘one take’ fight scene. As Thai sensation Tony Jaa lays the smack down on a bunch of thugs in a black market restaurant, the camera fluidly follows Jaa – and all the bone-breaking action – without a single cut. This sequence remains a prime example of how a little daring behind the camera can enhance any fight scene!

Wheels on Meals (1984)

This 1984 film featuring the ‘Three Brothers’ – Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao – is generally regarded as their finest hour, in large part due to the action-packed finale. In this breathtaking conclusion, Jackie Chan faces off against American kick boxer Benny ‘the Jet’ Urquidez in a fight scene for the ages. The two opponents move at such blistering speeds, viewers will be surprised the camera can keep up with them. It’s hard to believe that the movie was nominated for Best Action Choreography at the ’84 Hong Kong Awards but did not win; then again, it lost to another movie featuring the Three Brothers, Winners and Sinners, proving that perhaps Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung’s only competition is themselves!

The Raid: Redemption (2012)

After Tony Jaa became a Bhuddist monk and momentarily left the acting world, many martial arts buffs were waiting for a new star to step onto the international scene. Their prayers were finally answered by Indonesian sensation Iko Uwais and his finest showcase yet, 2011′s The Raid: Redemption. Though the movie is stuffed to the gills with jaw-dropping Silat encounters, the finest in the film might just be its infamous three-way closing battle, in which Iko Uwais and his character’s brother square off against the indomitable ‘Mad Dog’ (played by Yayan Ruhian). Thanks in large part to the intricate choreography and director Gareth Evans’ stylish camerawork, The Raid’s finale delivered a bloody battle for the ages.

The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)

After the release of the The Raid: Redemption, audiences were were wondering if Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais would be able to top the fight scene mentioned below. As epic as it was, the odds were against them. In its sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal, Uwais goes toe-to-toe with “The Assassin” (played by Cecep Arif Rahman) – to most, this sequence not only matched the “Uwais and Brother vs. Ruhian” fight, it straight up dominated it. The scene goes on and on, and with each passing second, it gets more energetic and more insane! By the time the fight ends, you’ll feel so overwhelmed with satisfaction that there’s a possibility that you’ll never have to watch another action movie ever again…

Fist of Legend (1994)

Jet Li had already been making movies for over a decade at this point, but it was 1994′s Fist of Legend that cemented his status as a martial arts icon. The film is a remake of the classic Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury and, really, you gotta hand it to Jet Li for having the stones to step into Bruce’s shoes. Regardless, Jet proved himself more than worthy of the role; the movie is consistently ranked among the best works of both Jet and his director/action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. While Fist of Legend has plenty of fight scenes to recommend, it has to be Jet Li’s final encounter with the intimidating Billy Chow that steals the show. At nearly six feet tall, Chow towers over his opponent and counts as one of the few foes who’s given Jet Li a run for his money. Props must once again be given to Master Yuen Woo-ping: the duo’s fight rages for over ten minutes and there’s not a dull moment in the entire stretch!

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

Quentin Tarantino is highly noted for his hip dialogue, non-linear story lines and his extreme glorification of violence. In 2003, Tarantino proved that he also had the chops to be one of the best action film directors of our time. With the martial arts choreography guidance of Yuen Woo-ping (yep, same guy we mentioned above), the “House of Blue Leaves” fight sequence was born. It’s The Bride (Uma Thurman) vs. The Crazy 88 (one of them being Shaw Brothers legend, Gordon Liu), Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) and O-Ren (Lucy Liu). Intensified by Ennio Morricone’s Death Rides A Horse score – in addition to The Human Beinz’ cover of Nobody But Me – the “House of Blue Leaves” action scene is a natural high filled with visions of beauty, brutality and blood!

Hard Boiled (1992)

No “memorable action scenes” list is acceptable without a John Woo movie. If it’s true that certain people “get off” on violence, then this movie is the equivalent of hardcore porn for the NRA. Of particular interest is the segment in which Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung, in a disgusting attempt to corrupt our children, blast their way through the hospital’s hallways, opening fire on anything that moves. It has a certain DOOM (yes, the video game) quality to it that would make those fascist “concerned parents” groups sh*t their pants.

There’s obviously about 50 more films that need to be in this list, but like I said, these films sprung to mind without a second of thought. Feel free to comment below for your suggestions. Until next time, thank you for reading!

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Rob Cohen to re-team with Jet Li for ‘Marco Polo’?

"Marco Polo" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Marco Polo" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Deadline reports that Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) has signed on to helm a 3D fantasy/action film titled Marco Polo. There have also been additional reports that Cohen is considering his Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor leading man Jet Li (Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate) for a role.

Countless projects about the Venetian adventurer have been made in the past, but the obvious one that comes to our mind is 1975′s Marco Polo (aka Four Assassins), a Chang Cheh-directed Shaw Brothers film starring Richard Harrison, Alexander Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan Chun, Gordon Liu, Leung Kar Yan and Shih Szu.

Marco Polo is scheduled to hit theaters in 2016. We’ll keep you updated on its progress. – Thanks to DiP!

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Full trailer for Silat-style martial arts film ‘Yasmine’

"Yasmine" Teaser Poster

"Yasmine" Teaser Poster

So, you’ve seen Gareth Evans’ MerantauThe Raid, The Raid 2 and you’re still craving more Silat-style action. Well, we have the latest news about an upcoming film called Yasmine that may fill your needs.

Yasmine is directed by Siti Kamaluddin and features a female lead named Liyana Yus, who has spent a whole year preparing for the physical demands of her role. According to FCS, “The film itself is four years in the making, and is reportedly the first commercial film of its kind in its current location of the sovereign state of Brunei in up to fifty years.”

Another reason to get excited about Yasmine is the fact that Chan Man Ching, a former Jackie Chan Stunt Team member who worked on Drunken Master 2 and Rumble in the Bronx, is working on the action choreography.

Yasmine is expected to hit domestic theaters on August 2nd, 2014. | Teaser trailer.

BREAKING NEWS: Here’s the first full trailer. - Thanks to Film Combat Syndicate

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A Good Man | DVD (Lionsgate)

A Good Man | DVD (Lionsgate)

A Good Man | DVD (Lionsgate)

RELEASE DATE: August 19, 2014

Lionsgate presents the DVD for A Good Man. Steven Seagal re-teams with director/producer Keoni Waxman (Force of Execution) for the 5th time. After an illustrious special ops career ends in disaster, Alexander (Seagal) goes off the grid and attempts to lead a quiet life as a handyman at an apartment complex. But when one of his tenants and her family fall under the thumb of a Russian gangster, Alexander is dragged into an all-out war between rival Chinese and Russian gangs. Tzi Ma (Rapid Fire, Rush Hour, Dark Vengeance), Victor Webster and Massimo Dobrovic also star. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order A Good Man from Amazon.com today!

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Shawn Yue replaces Nicholas Tse in ‘From Vegas To Macau II′

"From Vegas To Macau" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"From Vegas To Macau" Chinese Theatrical Poster

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

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

Update: Film Business Asia reports that From Vegas to Macau II will begin production this June.

BREAKING NEWS: Jaynestars reports that Shawn Yue (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen) is taking Nicholas Tse’s place.

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Deal on Fire! The Heroic Ones | Blu-ray | Only $10 – Expires soon!

"The Heroic Ones" Blu-ray Cover

"The Heroic Ones" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 1970′s The Heroic Ones, directed by Chang Cheh (Chinatown Kid) aka “The Godfather of Hong Kong Cinema.”

Led by patriarch Li Ke Yung, a powerful warrior in his own right, the family’s 13 sons are charged with freeing the capitol city from a rebel leader. Two of the brothers, Shih (Ti Lung of Legend of the Bat) and Li (David Chiang of Duel of the Iron Fist), take the lead, battling enemy forces with their formidable kung fu skills!

Order The Heroic Ones from Amazon.com today!

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Michael Jai White says a ‘Black Dynamite’ sequel is ‘active’

"Black Dynamite" French Theatrical Poster

"Black Dynamite" French Theatrical Poster

Looks like the possibility of a Black Dynamite sequel is no jive turkey! In a recent interview, Michael Jai White (Blood and Bone) says a continuation to the 2009 martial arts/blaxploition spoof is “active.”

The original, which was shot in 20 days in Super 16 format (to give it that 70s look), was an instant cult favorite among genre fans. It even spawned an animated spin-off for Cartoon Network’s late night programming block, Adult Swim.

Here’s what White told Film Combat Syndicate: “I have a couple of projects in the works. Black Dynamite 2 is active and will really expand on the character and his “adventures.” When the prospect of Blood and Bone 2 was also brought up, he added: “Both are close to my heart and on the active to-do list.”

There’s no mention of Scott Sanders coming back on board to direct, but the pair have been discussing ideas for the sequel since 2012. White has many upcoming movies in the process of being released, including Falcon Rising (aka Favela) and Skin Trade. His newest film, a sci-fi action flick titled Android Cop, is currently available.

We’ll keep you updated on Black Dynamite 2, as well as Blood and Bone 2. Until then, check out the full interview at Film Combat Syndicate.

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Danger Dolls | DVD (Millennium)

Danger Dolls | DVD (Millennium)

Danger Dolls | DVD (Millennium)

RELEASE DATE: September 23, 2014

Millennium Entertainment presents the DVD for Danger Dolls, directed by Shusuke Kaneko, creator of the 1990s Gamera series, the manga-inspired Death Note films and Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, which many consider to be the best entry in the entire Godzilla film series. Danger Dolls follows a quartet of cute idol singers who moonlight as butt-kicking action heroines. The film stars Rina Takeda (High Kick Girl), Nana Seino (star of Sion Sono’s upcoming Tokyo Tribe), Rumi Hanai, Kayano and Noboru Kaneko. Watch the trailer.

Pre-order Danger Dolls from Amazon.com.

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

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: TBA

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!

Stay tuned for pre-order information.

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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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