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THE HIT LIST: May 29, 2017

My weekend was pretty good. I finally managed to relax a little on Saturday and Sunday with some obligatory movie viewing before commencing putting together tonight's Hit List.

Speaking of which, there is a LOT to cover so, let's get onto it with the latest updated stunt reel by Jazzy Ellis, and other new stunt and training reels by some of today's top and up-and-coming stunt performers, including Nik Pelekai (more on him later), Kristina Baskett, Kevin Rogers, Kyla Hymas, Cris Fonseca, Christina Howe, Bryan Vigier, Eric C. Sun, Kent Lloyd, Brandon McClary, Robert Steven Brown (more on him later) and Kefi Abrikh.
Two extensive reels round out the stunt reels of the week in the playlist, first of which carries a bit of a story theme to it for stuntman Jordan Scott as he invokes a journey of trial over tribulation through imagery and his contribution to the field. It's more of a personal feat than one he showcases for work (you can view that one here), but it's avail…

OATS STUDIOS: VOLUME ONE Trailer Sets The Stage For Neill Blomkamp's Experimental Sci-Fi Action Foray

While filmmaker Neill Blomkamp may be further from seeing his vision for 20th Century Fox's Alien franchise, he's no less been keeping himself pretty busy. The Escape shortfilm was a blast last Fall and now with a premiere date in the works for gaming platform, Steam, a brand new project is well on the way in a series of experimental shortfilms and judging by the first trailer itself, it appears he's off to a spectacular start.
Point in fact, while what you see now hailed as Oats Studios: Volume One will be accessible as a means of revenue for the studio, it's moreso meant as a conversation starter for Blomkamp and fans of his work to discuss various concepts and see what can be expanded and built on. That being said, there's no clear plot info but the imagery is clear as day immersing our tale in a post-apocalyptic setting, swarms of destruction and military might, and a young girl's brush with alien life. 
Personally I can't think of a better, more feasible…

DIVERTED EDEN: Watch The First Trailer For Prince Bagdasarian's Kidnap Thriller

Following his 2013 heist thriller debut, Abstraction, writer and director Prince Bagdasarian is back and with something of a slightly larger-in-scale thriller with the new film, Diverted Eden. Bagdasarian took to a social media event page to exclusively present the film's first trailer before airing it publicly on Monday. After 7 year old Eden is kidnapped during an home invasion, single father Dane Hunte takes matters into his own hands, while Detective Fini, leading the investigation, unravels the mystery surrounding the unusual crime. Release dates and other news remain pending for the film which has Daniel Josev and actress Scout Taylor-Compton leading the cast. Check out the trailer and debut artwork below and follow the film on Facebook!

Kim Ok-Vin Is Absolutely Killer In The Official Trailer For THE VILLAINESS!

Director and stunt veteran Jung Byung-Gil's new action thriller, The Villainess, is already primed for releases beyond South Korea, and much to his credit as a director who seemingly wasn't keen on eating up the narrative that female-driven action titles don't sell.
"I always like doing the opposite of what people tell me to do." he tellsVariety. "Put it this way: People say an action film led by an actress won’t work, but maybe that simply means no one tries it. I thought this was the right time to go for it myself." Freshly off from premiering at Cannes in the past week, the film couldn't arrive at a better time than during a summer in which we have at least two big female-led action titles. For this, we can assuredly add actress and martial artist Kim Ok-Vin to the marquee, starring here as a woman whose killer past catches up to her newfound future as a happily married woman.

Also starring are actors Shin Ha-Kyun and Sung Joon for the film's…

Review: Gordon Chan's GOD OF WAR Unwavers With Dogma

It's been a long time since I had seen a Gordon Chan film. Point in fact the last time I did was with The Medallion - demonstrably one of the lesser-impressive Jackie Chan films even for all his Hollywood hype at the time. Still we're talking about the same guy who brought us the forever-immortalized Jet Li's 1995-starrer, Fist Of Legend, showcasing a simplistic, clear-cut tale of wartime drama, murder mystery and intrigue, coupled with martial arts action cinema's best and legendary in film fight scenery.
No doubt though these that Chan can hold his own, apart from the complexities and advancements of film along with his own growth. While not entirely perfect, his newest epic, God Of War, offers a feasible and entertaining array of story and period cinema articulation with actor and martial artist Vincent Zhao in a starring role - something which I can wholly appreciate as I feel he's one of the more underused performers among today's crop. Here, he takes the…

A Case For Better Action Movies: NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER (2016)

I don't generally review movies that have been out for very long - it saves me time in between all the other content I have to cover for this site and... well... sleeping, eating and all of my other daily functions and priorities. That said, I felt compelled to talk about actor Michael Jai White and his prospects as a director, which I think is as equally important as his film stardom among martial arts genre fans.
As an actor he's more versatile than some folks who watch his movies may care to know or realize - rudimentary in the fact that he generally cares about film, which I like. For this, it helps me appreciate what he's brought in the last six years in exuding the subsequent direct-to-DVD distribution of the now culminating Never Back Down trilogy to its current existence with the most recent addition, Never Back Down: No Surrender.
That he cares to make action movies for folks like myself is something I couldn't be more thankful for, and all the more opportun…

Sony Pictures Seeks ULTIMATE JUSTICE In U.S. And Canada This October

2017 has assured itself as yet another terrific year for the action and martial arts moviegoing crowd with the forthcoming release of director Martin Christopher Bode's latest Mark Dacascos starrer, Ultimate Justice. For this, it was at some point during Cannes that new sales art was unveiled to promote the film and thankfully we now have that artwork viewable below, along with word of a U.S. and Canadian release set for October 3 from Vision Films via Sony Pictures.
The film marks a long-awaited return to the genre for actor Dacascos who recently debuted as director while co-starring in Alexander Nevsky headliner, Showdown In Manila; Dacascos leads the cast of Ultimate Justice from a script by Marco Theiss that centers on a squad of former elite soldiers who rejoin when one of their own is attacked. Also starring are co-producer and fight choreographer Mike Moeller, actors Matthias Hues, Wolfgang Riehm and Brandon Rhea, and actresses Yazmeen Baker and Sandra Tauro with co-star M…

Scott Adkins Wants UNDISPUTED 5! There's Only One Problem...

An exasperating wait, no less, for folks like myself who live in the U.S.. Still, it's nice to know that a Blu-Ray/Digital HD release of the new tournament martial arts thriller, Boyka: Undisputed, is well on its way with an August release, while it's even nicer to know that the film's star, actor and martial artist Scott Adkins wants to do a fifth.
He says so at around the 11:40 mark in his latest interview now online following his recent appearance at MCM Expo in London this week to discuss the role and the film as a whole - And not for nothing either as he continues to pound away at fans who enjoy his movies, but insist on stealing them online which will otherwise kill any chance of the film happening before 2030 if we're lucky (my words, not his).
Adkins also shares several new images from his latest, Accident Man, and some gems on Michael Cuesta's American Assassin, working with Tony Jaa on the recently-wrapped ensemble action thriller, Triple Threat, and muc…

THE VILLAINESS: Catch The Teaser Trailer For Well Go USA's Release Of The New South Korean Action Thriller

Jung Byoung-Gil's new movie, The Villainess, is probably one of the most hyped Asian thrillers of the summer. Really, that's a matter of opinion but I haven't yet met a person who learned about this movie and isn't excited for it.

We have a hit director on our hands with a notable stunt background, and a worthy actress with gumption proven through her own martial arts training. Plus, if you've been paying attention to the press in wake of the film's Cannes screenings, you also know the film has itself quite the handful of reviews to back it up. Since she was a little girl, Sook-hee was raised to be a deadly assassin. She gladly accepts the chance to start a new life when South Korea’s Intelligence Agency recruits her as a sleeper agent, with the promise of complete freedom after ten years of service. But soon after taking on her new identity as Chae Yeon-soo, a 27-year-old theatre actress, she begins to realize that for someone who has lived as a killer her ent…

THE CLEANER AND THE DEADMAN Goes Ballistic In The First Trailer For Jess Bryden's Ultra-Low Budget Indie Action Thriller

There's a whole lot of somethin' happening here in writer/director Jess Bryden's debut feature, The Cleaner And The Deadman. The first extended official trailer for the Hawaii-produced indie action thriller arrived on Monday and you can take away from it what you will.
It's not a lot in terms of substance, but what it does sell is a crapton of action and spectacle; explosive gun battles and fight scenery, the usual doses of CG and green-screen tomfoolery, and Netflix series Daredevil's Elektra stunt double and actress Lauren Mary Kim laying waste from start to finish. Two contract killers are hired by competing cartels to hunt down an elusive drug scientist in London. After failing to intercept the scientist as he is smuggled across the Pacific, the two hit men find themselves on the run and fighting for their own survival, in what can be described as "one of the most insane action-packed finales in independent cinema history".There's no mention of rele…