Saturday, March 25, 2017
Efforts to bring the DCU together at Warner Bros. Pictures remain on going with the development of several of its properties, a few of which are slowly but surely gaining traction; The latter being at least three of the now culminating cast for the first of two Justice League films currently on deck from the studio with a release date set for November 17.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2) is moving on with horror thriller, Eli, directing for Broad Green Pictures. The news comes two years since the film landed on the Black List in 2015 from scribe David Chirchirillo and now has Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing onboard for rewrites with Intrepid Pictures's Trevor Macy and Bellevue Productions's John Zaozirny producing. Intrepid's Melinda Nishioka will co-produce with Gabriel and Daniel Hammond executive producing for Broad Green.
AMBI Media Group announced this week they are developing a new revenge thriller set to commence this month in Rome titled Bent. The film has cast Karl Urban for the lead role of a disgraced narc and ex-con who sets out to find the person who framed him and killed his partner only to discover greater stakes and treachery unfolding around him.
Want to know what I like about filmmaking? Anyone can do it. Want to know what else I like about filmmaking? ANYONE can do it. Now don’t take this from me as being patronizing. I really do say this from the exact opposite end. Filmmakers come from all walks of life and backgrounds and when one of those backgrounds happens to be in martial arts you get a very unique kind of filmmaker who can produce art with the discipline developed over years of pushing one’s boundaries. It's a background that I am glad to say I can share with filmmaker and action actor Jino Kang.
Director Miike Takashi's Blade Of The Immortal is opening in Japan on April 29, and a slate of new character promos are now online to view below and share. Oddly enough there are hardly any posters, save for a new cast image that arrived with the launch of its official website earlier this year but hopefully that will change.
Earlier this month, we presented an exclusive look at promotional artwork for director Danny Leysner's latest shortfilm foray Cible. A trailer was inbound with a release that took some extra days thereafter to finalize but now we can report that an online premiere is now being planned for an April 20 premiere for an audience in Amsterdam with an online release to follow suit.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Back during Fantastic Fest in 2015, John Hyams, the genius director of Universal Solder sequels - Regeneration and Day Of Reckoning, was attached to direct a forthcoming remake of William Lustig's 1988 cult horror classic, Maniac Cop. Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon) launched financing efforts for the film the following year at Cannes while the film still needed backing with all the right pieces and people in place.
Action choreographer Olivier Schneider (Spectre) is one of those people truly worth keeping an eye on as yet another in the stunt and screenfighting field getting a footing in the directing field. He's done so accordingly with Pascal Sid (Behind The Walls) in teaming up for the mobile exclusive action-packed series, Playground, French startup, Blackpills, has signed a deal with Vice where it is now available.
Paramount Pictures is ramping up to advance Image Comics's 2002 property, The Pro, according to Deadline. Bitches On A Boat scribe Zoe McCarthy is attached to pen a script with 3 Arts's own Erwin Stoff producing.
Browse on social media long enough in the last few years and you might have come across a few factoids about an African Samurai named Yasuke who served under lord Oda Nobunaga in 16th century Japan. The exact details about Yasuke's story aren't clear and take a few different directions, but that isn't stopping Lionsgate from positioning itself in development for a feature-length iteration of the new movie, Black Samurai.
It's perhaps the one other biggest superhero amalgam to be put on the screen following Marvel's The Avengers. Surely, the execution of the DCU mostly housed at Warner Bros. hasn't been a flawless one, but it has grasped itself a footing with some great prospects in hand, mile-marked by the forthcoming release of the new movie, Justice League.
Actress JuJu Chan (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny) has often been referred to as "the female Bruce Lee" and for good reason. Just like Lee, she is an actress, a martial artist and a published author. Sure, she may not have invented her own martial arts system, but then Bruce was never a singer/songwriter (that we know of) so we'll call it a draw...for now.
Her latest movie, Savage Dog, sees her sharing the screen with Scott Adkins, Marko Zaror and Cung Le. She may not have gotten to do much in the way of kicking ass on camera, but that didn't stop her from fulfilling most of our dream of training with, sparring with and just hanging out with this trio of badasses.
JC: I'm playing Isabelle. She's the emotional drive of the whole film. She's very innocent but strong; believing that there's always a good side to people. I'm really strong, I have a strong mind but not physically fighting. I don't get to do any fighting in the film. I have a romantic relationship with Scott's character. Because of me, he takes action and goes after the villains of the film. I got to play a very understated character in this film.
Roughly over a year ago I managed to procure an interview actor and producer Eric R. Lim (Greenside, Ghost Source Zero) whose creative influx at the time came at a purely raw, emotional and pivotal point in his life after his sister's death in 2012. Netizens took hold of that creativity a year later with director Stephen Reedy's beautifully-crafted, fiery, action-packed message drama, The Forge, a project that proved fortuitous enough to bring Lim and Reedy together again the following year for their latest shortfilm success, The Man From Death.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Sony Pictures is officially tackling properties, Silver Sable and Black Cat for a feature-film production according to THR. Christopher Yost who helped scribe the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok is now penning the script with Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal producing for a hopeful Fall start date.
Between 2014 up to now, actor Eddie Peng has become someone I can appreciate. His most recent stint in Rise Of The Legend drew my praise as one of the best and most undeservedly undercelebrated martial arts movies by far and his body of work continues to grow with the upcoming fantasy epic, The Tales Of Wukong, inspired obviously by the titular Chinese mythic folk hero of legend, The Monkey King.
I already love this movie based on what I've read in the months leading since its first trailer. That said, I'm pretty sure Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2 will have zero trouble selling enough tickets for Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 3, but here's the latest IMAX poster.
A group of young adults eager to shoot guns things in the middle of nowhere only to unravel a supernatural mystery that endangers them? Sounds like a doable premise and actor/writer/director Derek Ting (Supercapitalist, Always) certainly saw it through with his latest feature film effort, Agent.
|Ip Man 3|
Details have been slowly rolling out ever since the teasers aired last year for the new action thriller, Extraordinary Mission from the team behind the Infernal Affairs and Overheard film franchises. The film has since staked itself a local theatrical release on April 6 and as such, Distribution Workshop now boasts a fresh new trailer with English subtitles to oblige.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Fathom Events Announces One-Night Event For RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA This June Following May Wide Release
I couldn't tell you much about any of the Resident Evil films, or the games for that matter. I've only seen maybe four out of the what? Six...live-action movies from Sony?
Andy Lau's recent hospital stint has certainly kept him relevant and in the good graces and best wishes of fans after a bad horse riding spill back in January. Currently out of the hospital and on the mend, the good news arrives timely in the wake of the latest trailer now online for the new action thriller, Shock Wave, opening next month in Asia.
EXCLUSIVE: Actresses Celina Jade (CW's Arrow) and Jeeja Yanin (Raging Phoenix) have been officially cast in the new ensemble action movie, Triple Threat from Arclight Films and SC Films Thailand. Jesse V. Johnson (The Package, The Beautiful Ones) is directing from a script by Joey O'Bryan for production to commence in Thailand on April 12.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Well, it's been another close call but I finally managed to bring you this week's installation of The Hit List for your own viewing pleasure. Last week was crazy packed with festival news upkeep from Asia along with posting our recent inteview with actress Yadi Nieves and managing to review Mitsutake Kurando's new movie, Karate Kill, which releases this summer. Considering all this and then some, I'm ready for the weekend!
Filmmakers and performers will have a chance this summer to bring their projects to an audience in Austin events officially kick off for the Iron Dragon TV ActionFest. Submissions are still open but the word now is that the program has extended its deadline period (previously announced through May) through July 1 instead.
Johnnie To's newest intriguing crime pic, Three, is currently available on Digital HD as of last week. In the meantime, the forthcoming DVD and Blu-Ray go on sale on April 4 which provides one of a few ways you can acquire either copy.
Sunday night's premiere of Into The Badlands on AMC was nothing short of explosive. From the intro of ex-clipper Sunny's captivity in the mines to the onslaught the Widow brought in the second half, the series, created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, has gone out of its way to raise the stakes just a little more from its previous run.
Prior to 2014, I had not been hugely familar with director Mitsutake Kurando's work. Then, following Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf in 2009, Gun Woman happened and it essentially, vociferously, put him on my radar as I'm sure it did for many folks in festivals as well as other niche viewers who may all agree on the consensus here: His is a no holds barred, unapologetic, down and dirty, retro style of direction, done so with a sheer sense of clarity and understanding on how to assemble an action film, and importantly, without selling his performers short.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Our survivalist and reluctant hero Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) is back with a vengeance, a new partner in Travis B. Welker (Jamie Kennedy), and on a new continent, Africa, battling a new kind of evolutionary nightmare Assblaster and Graboid. Both gentlemen are enlisted by an alleged African Wildlife Ministry representative, Erich Van Wyck (Daniel Janks), to capture the beasts. Along with a beautiful wildlife sancutary doctor, Nandi Montabu (Pearl Thusi) and her young daughter, Amahle (Nolitha Zulu), they all come together to do battle with the creatures. This film is a feast for the eyes as this particular production was filmed in the Cradle of Humankind itself, Houtang Province, in South Africa.
Labels: action, action horror, daniel janks, don michael paul, jamie kennedy, michael gross, nic grigg, pearl thusi, science fiction, universal 1440
Coffee and chocolate obsessed, I'm also working on developing a travel series called Kingspirit Travels.
Chapman To's latest directorial offering has now arrived with a first teaser for his upcoming Karate drama, The Empty Hands. Actress Stephy Tang trained for the lead role of the film and invokes just a little of it in what we see below with the story of an unwitting Karate school heiress forced to fight for her late father’s legacy in lieu of its ownership by one of his worst students.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Head over here to check out Marc Walkow's piece at the Outtake column on Zhang Yimou's 2002 Jet Li epic, Hero. Frankly I think it's one of the better films from the director and it's unfortunate that his most recent film undercuts some of his more glorious work according to some critics.
Friday saw the release of Marvel's Iron Fist on Netflix and after about a week's worth of brouhaha from critics, I caught the pilot and decided that anyone basically with a full-on negative review of this show needed to... as one of the show's main character implies, CALM THE F DOWN! And after watching the remaining twelve episodes, STILL, I say exactly that.
Friday, March 17, 2017
It took me quite a bit to get the nerve up to strike a conversation with actress, dancer, filmmaker and producer Yadi Nieves. She's beautiful, relatable, and so happens to be one of the most fiercest talents I've seen on screen, especially when it comes to screenfighting. I chalk much of this up to her dance background in accordance with her growing ability to pick up on choreography as well, something she so demonstrates in many of the shortfilms under production banner, Distinctive Light Entertainment.
It's been undoubtedly a rough year for Marvel fans who've waited to see what would stick and what wouldn't from showrunner and executive producer Scott Buck's treatment of comic book property, Iron Fist. I've waited as a matter of maybe fifteen years since actor and martial artist Ray Park was slated to star in his own movie inspired by the character and for what it's worth, I'm glad I lived this long to see something come of it, even if a number of fans out in the world can't afford or simply don't have Netflix, which sucks. I understand wholly.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
It's been ten years since Marvel villain, Venom, went toe-to-toe with Spider-Man in a movie. Spin-off efforts then underwent a series of gymnastic developments while in limbo and needless to say I won't get too much into the convoluted history that occurs thereafter.
Expect things to ramp up a bit for actor Kubota Masataka with his latest starring role in a live-action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul this summer. Until then, you can catch him laying down the law some alongside Karasawa Toshiaki this may in the new action comedy, Last Cop: The Movie which opens in May, and now with a new trailer in its wake after airing a teaser in December.
From acclaimed Hong Kong action director Johnnie To, this well-crafted action-thriller is set in a hospital environment. Where Hollywood can be bogged down in cliche when it comes to hospital drama, this director imparts his inimitable visual style as an artist brushes the canvass with precision and passion. To's brushes on this particular canvass are at once gritty, real, and eventually winds up as a battleground where people are caught in the crossfire.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
MVD Entertainment Group is beefing up its Spring batch of DVD and Blu-Ray releases including Arrow Video's earlier announced Sonny Chiba classic, Wolf Guy, and House: Two Stories Limited Edition.
Noted actor Chapman To (Golden Chicken trilogy, Aberdeen, The Man From Macau 2) is venturing into his latest directing foray with martial arts drama, The Empty Hands, which has reportedly been picked up for international sales by Golden Scene. The film, currently in post-production, marks To's second directing effort following the 2016 comedy, Let's Eat in which To himself stars, as well as starring in Herman Yau's crime comedy, The Mobfathers, with Anthony Wong Chau-Sing, Gregory Wong and Phillip Keung.
It was last year that director Stuart Willis's critically acclaimed Australian sci-fi indie thriller, Restoration, took to the Nine Network before hitting air waves via Virgin Australia and Sky's ZONE network and VoD service, STAN, several months later. As of last week, the film now has international representation with Midnight Snack Productions signing a deal with Paris-based sales agent, Rockzeline for its release in other markets.
EXCLUSIVE: I'm like most people who've been following actor and filmmaker Joey Ansah (The Bourne Ultimatum, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist) for some years now and have been keen on his next moves thereafter. As it turns out, one such shift included a recent visit to Amsterdam in lieu of collaborating with Dutch music video director, Danny Leysner for his newest narrative short film endeavor, Cible, for which you can spot the new artwork below.
It was on Monday that Film Combat Syndicate hosted an exclusive update on the previously-announced union of action stars Tiger Chen, Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais for a project called Makeshift Squad. As things stand now, that project has shift into something almost entirely different whilst retaining its cast for updates on the Asian-Expendables style thriller, Triple Threat as of a few months ago.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
It's been fourteen years since The Matrix trilogy last left moviegoing fans with a groundbreaking, epic cyberpunk sci-fi action saga that broke the mold in more ways than several. Earning more than $1.6 billion dollars globally between all three films and rounded out with a series of spin-off shortfilms, cut scenes and animated properties, the franchise has been long rumored for a remake or a continuation in some capacity.
Of all the animated properties one might have expected to see arise in Hollywood, I suppose it was likely that author Wu Cheng'en's Journey To The West novel would still be an option. The longstanding folklore classic has been the bread and butter of many a film and TV show adaption for years with legendary hero, the Monkey King, front and center, and now the newly-established Starry Entertainment is looking to stake its claim with the goal of tapping both into Chinese and global markets.
Logan, is available for pre-order on Blu-Ray/DVD bundle, but has been huge success worldwide earning more than office with more than $430 million dollars. It's a fact that shines brightly on producer Lauren Shuler Donner's prospects as she moves forward with Scott Einbinder's Cristal Pictures for the Chinese co- production, Twin Blades, set to commence later this year.
Monday, March 13, 2017
My weekend needed more hours seeing as how the lack of sleep tends to wane on a person. Thankfully I got through it enough to finish this week's Hit List, though I'll be keeping some of these passages a bit more abbreviated.
Director Xian Feng's martial arts sci-fi, Kung Fu Traveler, reportedly earned a whopping 20 million views in its streaming release last year. It's great news for Tiger Chen who currently has a full plate ahead of him with the upcoming production of ensemble action thriller, Triple Threat, and already with a few lead roles under his belt for that matter, namely the 2013 kung fu drama, Man Of Tai Chi.
Wilson Yip is set to direct martial arts zombie horror hybrid, Dragon Gate Zombie Inn, currently in pre-production with Soi Cheang producing. Mei Ah Entertainment has included the film in its Filmart slate this week with its desert-set tale of fortress-like Dragon Inn which becomes ground zero for a zombie invasion.