IP MAN 3 continues the ongoing story of Chinese martial artist and Wing Chun master teacher Ip Man (or Yip Man), most famous for teaching martial arts to the legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. The 3rd film in the trilogy, starring Donnie Yen reprising his role as Ip Man, once again (more…)
To be honest, it really has been years since I have gotten around to watching another Jackie Chan flick and many years since I have watched one of the films in the POLICE STORY series. I believe that the last film I have seen from this pretty popular series was (more…)
In case you didn’t know what you were about to get into, you are about to begin reading a review of the film JOHN WICK, by a film buff who generally dislikes Keanu Reeves as an actor. When the countless “Boos!” and jeering of all the Keanu Reeves admirers and lovers subsides, I will continue. There has always been something about his seemingly (more…)
From the creative minds that brought you ITALIAN SPIDERMAN, this is what they have been working on since the athletically fashionable mustached fat-ass has quit fighting crime and evil: DANGER 5. They fight Nazis and Hitler is (more…)
As far as action flicks go, they can ultimately be hit or miss with me. Having some really impressive action sequences can make for an incredibly visually appealing experience at first, but then after 90 minutes or more of this, the initial blast of awesomeness starts to wear thin and wane out, in much the same way a fantastically large budgeted summer blockbuster like the latest bastardization in the TRANSFORMERS franchise by “all sensation, zero thought stimulation” Michael Bay does in almost every film he pumps out regularly. The only thing being slung out faster than empty emotional build-up is the millions of dollars that generally make up the budget of any one of his films.
The sequel to the extremely popular (more…)
If one has not seen THE RAID, shame on you. As far as action flicks go, it is one of the best! So run out there and rent, stream, buy, borrow, or do whatever you can to see THE RAID because the sequel to THE RAID is here, THE RAID 2 is coming out on Blu-ray/DVD on July 8th.
Here is the trailer. Check it out! Let’s also hope that (more…)
Spy flicks filled with intensely-paced action, gun shootouts, well-choreographed scenes of hand-to-hand combat, and a fast-paced story are what I look for in most action films. Myself, a big fan of the 007 James Bond films and the BOURNE Trilogy (two very different styles of spy films), was not familiar with many S. Korean action films and almost zero spy films. Having seen SHIRI a.k.a. SWIRI (1999) (of which Han Suk-Kyu is in as well as the film I am reviewing presently), I knew that S. Korea was capable of making a solid action film that I could really enjoy. Sadly, I had not seen too many other films outside of the horror genre from S. Korea and was completely unfamiliar with their style of action film. Then I saw Ryoo Seung-wan’s THE BERLIN FILE (2013). (more…)
Jackie Chan’s highly-successful and equally entertaining POLICE STORY series is getting a revamp and it looks like its going to be more serious than slapstick! I love Jackie Chan and think he is one of the most talented stuntmen and physical comedy actors of his generation, but I sometimes wish he would kick ass and showcase his tremendous Martial Arts skills without all the jokes and goofing around. I guess now I finally got (more…)
Of all the many Hong Kong Action flicks and horror films that I used to watch incessantly during the 6-year period that was the peak of my addiction, one director’s name that always came to mind when looking for a solid drama or crime thriller to mix things up was (more…)
To be quite honest, I was not a huge fan of MACHETE. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but I felt it could have been better for being a film directed by the very talented Robert Rodriguez. I loved Danny Trejo’s character and acting in it, but I felt that the generic-looking CGI that was used was totally bogus. Cheap-looking digital effects really dampen the mood of any good film. I get distracted by the crappy visual effects and it ruins whatever scene they are used in— that was my biggest gripe with any big-budgeted Hollywood film with an A-List director and cast attached to it. That being said, the talent associated with the sequel, MACHETE KILLS, is giving me a raging action-flick hard-on! Most notably that boner is erecting due to (more…)
As well as being the triumphant return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the big screen as the lead actor of an action film, this is also the U.S. screen debut of Korean director KIM Jee-Woon who directed the phenomenal I SAW THE DEVIL and A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. That alone should be enough reason to see this action film. Although I am not too happy when (more…)
Shout! Factory has teamed up with Media Asia Films to bring us in the States the Johnnie To-produced action-suspense-thriller ACCIDENT. Directed by Soi Cheang (DOG BITE DOG) and filled with many familiar faces to fans of Hong Kong cinema such as Louis Koo (TRIAD ELECTION), Richie Jen (EXILED), Feng Tsui Fan (MY LUCKY STARS), Michelle Ye (VENGEANCE), and Lam Suet (THE MISSION)—this film is sure packing some all-star talent from the get-go. I was just hoping that the film was going to deliver a smart script that was going to utilize all this talent. Soi Cheang’s ACCIDENT did not disappoint.
The premise of ACCIDENT is a unique one, something that I had not really encountered in a film before, about a team of assassins led by (more…)
Not all accidents are caused by fate! This summer, get ready for a new breed of action suspense thriller that plumbs and exposes the weaknesses of the human psyche. On June 12, 2012, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Media Asia, will debut the acclaimed Hong Kong feature ACCIDENT on Blu-ray, DVD and available on digital entertainment platforms. Nominated for a Golden Lion Award at the Venice International Film Festival and a festival favorite at the Toronto International Film Festival, ACCIDENT is a masterfully crafted thriller that combines stylish visuals, edge-of-your seat suspense, and violence. This highly anticipated North American home entertainment release features insightful bonus content and is a must have for Asian extreme action fans! The Blu-ray (more…)
LOS ANGELES (April 27, 2012) — Dark Castle Home Entertainment and After Dark Films recently unveiled the new action movie franchise AFTER DARK ACTION, which showcases five original, adrenaline-pumping films theatrically as a commercial film festival in markets nationwide and on VOD on May 11. After Dark Action includes the action Western, EL GRINGO, starring Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2, The Bourne Ultimatum), Christian Slater and Yvette Yates (Without Men); and features an original song from internationally renowned U.S. band, MANOWAR, from their forthcoming new album. AFTER DARK ACTION theater tickets are on sale now. For locations and to purchase advance tickets, visit www.afterdarkaction.com/
Dolph Lundgren is blowing shit up in Joseph Zito’s explosive RED SCORPION, now on Blu-ray and DVD from Synapse Films!
International built-as-hell action star Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables, Rocky IV) is Lt. Nikolai Rachenko, a Soviet Special Forces “killing machine,” assigned to infiltrate an African rebel uprising and assassinate their anti-Communist leader. Taken into custody and tortured after the mission fails, he stages a harrowing prison escape. Befriended by an African bushman while on the run, Nikolai discovers he was fighting on the wrong side of this violent conflict all along. Nikolai finds the rebel army once more but, this time, he’s on their side and wages bloody war against his former comrades!
This action-packed controversial cult classic is now available from Synapse Films in a brand-new 2K high-definition transfer of the uncensored version, containing footage never before seen in the U.S. Featuring amazing performances from Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner, Blood Simple) and the late Brion James (Blade Runner, Southern Comfort), RED SCORPION contains bloody, blasting special effects from (more…)
I just watched the trailer for WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE and I have to say that it looked to be pretty damn cool. It sort of reminded me of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, just in that it has a native tribe fighting against the military and I don’t think there really are going to be any other similarities except that the film is based on history and it looks to be pretty violent and have some wonderful cinematography! Check out the trailer here, as well as some of the screen shots from the movie. Here is the synopsis:
Wei Te-sheng’s epic film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale reclaims an extraordinary episode from 20th-century history, which is little known, even in Taiwan. Between 1895 and 1945, the island was a Japanese colony (more…)
I vaguely recall reading about Greek Mythology as a youngster growing up, but when watching movies and a Greek Myth was referenced, I generally found the movie that was referencing the myth to be really cool, or the story that was being explained and talked about to be some pretty bad-ass shit! Then I saw the always visually-explosive filmmaking technique and style of Tarsem Singh’s IMMORTALS on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox and really becoming very interested in the stories that the Greeks invented to explain various circumstances and occurrences in life. Everyone wants to believe in something. Some use (more…)
SHOUT! FACTORY will be releasing ACCIDENT, an action, suspense/thriller from internationally renowned action filmmaker & producer Johnnie To (ELECTION) starring Louis Koo and Richie Jen, and directed by Soi Cheang (DOG BITE DOG), comes to Blu-ray and DVD JUNE 12, 2012! Johnnie To, a director and producer known for intense, hard-hitting action flicks has never steered this Hong Kong cinema fan wrong in any of his films! This looks to be another solid production in the Hong Kong Action genre! Look to SHU-IZMZ for a review of Cheang’s ACCIDENT, as well as future giveaways for the film courtesy of SHOUT! FACTORY!
DEBUTS IN STORES NATIONWIDE ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD
OWN IT ON JUNE 12, 2012 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
Everyone who knows anything about me can probably tell you that there are some things I really dig, such as gory horror films, nudity-filled exploitative horror, cult, and sex films, and a love for all things Latin—including their culture, but most important their women. There is just something about them that is a major turn-on and has always been. Myself, being of German-Irish descent, find their (Latinas) varying shades of brown-colored skin and naturally tanned bodies is quite a contrast to the lily-white and generally pale-skinned color of women from Ireland and Germany, unless of course fake-tanning is involved and then it’s just another episode of Jersey Shore.
The reason I bring up my particular tastes in women and all things Latin is that Hispanic author Bowie V. Ibarra, in writing Codename: La Lechusa, has crafted an action story that takes place in a town in Texas, San Uvalde and is the story of an assassin of Hispanic descent and heritage of which is described as a Latin Queen of Beauty with perfect breasts, strongly-muscled legs and a tight ass to boot. Author Ibarra gives the reader a very detailed description of his main character, a beautiful and sexy assassin by night, and a single-mother working as an administrative assistant for a construction company that is “ran” by an inept drunk. The assassin, going by the name of La Lechusa when on assignment and back to Paula Luna when not taking out bad guys for hire, works for a private agency that is sort of a mix of James Bond-style headquarters with the accompanying gadgets that go along with the job of discreet assassins. The assassin “headquarters” are run by a nun, Sister Joyce, and a priest, Reverand Farkas, and is where La Lechusa heads to get her assignments, spy gear, weaponry, and intel. The façade of the East Side Baptist Church hides the fact that it is a headquarters of sorts for a U.S. Government clandestine operation.
Ibarra takes great detail to craft a story that not only includes a fair amount of action, including some slightly graphic descriptions of murders taking place, but also tells a story of a mother, her daughter, and goes into the history of Paula (La Lechusa) and the men she has been with, the importance of monogamy within a relationship, and even more importantly, treating women with respect. The author sets the tone for Paula’s bitterness towards men (due to a past relationship where she was treated horribly beyond one’s imagination) and it made this reader think that some men treat women like total shit, thinking that because one woman is beautiful and confident with herself she is just a whore or another peg on a man’s sexual conquest ladder to be climbed up, mounted, and abused sexually.
The book’s story is littered with Spanish culture and phrases, local Texas flavor, as well as some Mexican folklore (such as the codename of La Lechusa) and at times I had to bust out my Spanish dictionary when I wanted to know exactly what was being said (Ibarra generally would follow his Spanish dialogue or thoughts between characters with a general reiteration of what was being said in case one does not have a Spanish dictionary readily available) and I feel that the moral lessons given, the Mexican culture lightly explored, and the locale of the story gives the reader a distinct feel and flavor added to the action and story of a mother and the love for her daughter and mother. The story is just not another action-packed story of an assassin killing off dirt bags who have wronged society or have been found to be highly corrupt.
I enjoyed reading Ibarra’s briskly-paced, action tale, but wished the depictions of carnage and kills was more descriptive and not so “rushed”. La Lechusa takes out a great many of her targets with a long Bowie knife (probably a little nod and tribute to the author’s first name) and I wanted the moments of murder to go a little longer in length giving the reader a bit of time to let the carnage of the events really sink in, giving the story a sharper edge to it. At times, I found the antics and comedic elements of Paula Luna’s character while hanging out at the bars with her “girls” to be more interesting. The book has three major components, in terms of story segments, to it. The history of Paula Luna in her younger years which shaped her attitude for love and romance, her career in the military which led to her current job occupation as an assassin-for-hire, and her current-day situation of balancing being a two-job career woman (secretary and murder-for-hire) and being a mother and role-model to her young daughter.
One component of the story that makes it stand out and gives it more of an edge with a few surprises is the introduction of Paula’s mysterious neighbor, an old lady who is deeply involved in magic and things of that sort of nature. She gives Paula and her daughter Mariana ancient necklaces that have powers for those wearing them. Throw into the mix Paula’s sexual endeavors with Damien, a man that has gotten the attention of her when most others rarely get a look from her, and one knows they will be in store for something quite interesting. Ibarra is an author that keeps things simple and easy to follow and understand, all the while making sure the action is briskly moving along so the reader does not lose interest. By no means are we reading a complex action-thriller with tons of complex plot points, such as a Robert Ludlum novel, but the book kept my interest maintained throughout. From an extremely critical point of view, my only gripe was that Ibarra sometimes would lay the similes on a little thick at times, which gave me a few chuckles here and there. Sometimes, they seemed a bit ridiculous and at times, uber-cheesy, but as the story progressed they were used more sparingly and appropriately. By no means am I an English major or authority on writing anything, but I just found the use of similes glaringly obvious. I probably would not even have mentioned this minor point of contention but it really was the only aspect of the book that I had a problem with. I really enjoyed the story and the thought that went into the depth of the characters.
Ibarra takes the time to put a great amount of thought into Paula’s character, past and present, and making her the focus of the story (as she should be) but also giving other characters in the story a bit of history as well. The book was a fun read and quite enjoyable but nothing that will cause one to pause and go into any sort of deep thoughts. It was written to entertain and amuse, succeeding in its task. As I was reading the story, I kept thinking back to a slew of ‘90s action flicks I saw not too long ago by director Andy Sideris. The flicks were nothing more than popcorn flicks but were heavy on the sex and quasi-absurd gimmicks and gadgets used to spy, combat, and assassinate intended targets. I can’t help but feel that Ibarra is a great fan of action flicks that are fun to watch, if totally unrealistic and absurd at times. I think the late Mr. Sideris (Rest in Peace- he passed away in 2007 of throat cancer) would be proud of Mr. Ibarra’s slick action story, as well as having a character such as Paula who was a very sexy, drop-dead gorgeous Latin woman (Sideris frequently cast Playboy Playmates in his films in varying stages of undress) and a woman who was proud, demanded respect, and took no bullshit or abuse from any man or woman.
Codename: La Lechusa, the story about a mother by day and an assassin by night, is published by Library of the Living Dead Press, an imprint of Twisted Library Press, and runs $14.95 at full-price in paperback or only $3.99 via Kindle. (As of this writing, Mr. Ibarra is the featured author and his book is the featured book on the website). I, for one, always prefer to read my books in a physical book format on paper, rather than digitally, and I guess that is not very “green” of me in this day and age, but I really look at a computer screen enough and like to just carry a book and not freak out if I drop it or it gets wet (which I would with a Kindle or laptop while reading a digital file).
I recommend Codename: La Lechusa for those that enjoy action films, sex, violence, and adventure on a simple level because Bowie V. Ibarra’s short novel delivers on all levels, with a distinct dose of Latin flavor and culture thrown into the mix as well. I would be interested to see if there are going to be more stories depicting the Latin assassin fighting crime for the good of humanity all over the world.
“This is the stuff of what Hong Kong action crime thrillers are made of!” – A Nutshell Review
“An emotionally charged action thriller that will grip you with its intense rage and desperation!” – Cool Campus
“Nicholas Tse gives an impassioned performance!” – The Hollywood Reporter
WINNER – Best Actor, Nicholas Tse – 2011 Hong Kong Film Awards
His Only Redemption Comes Through Betrayal
THE STOOL PIGEON
Debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD September 27
PLANO, TEXAS. (August 1, 2011) – Director Dante Lam reunites Nicholas Tse (Shaolin, Bodyguards and Assassins) and Nick Cheung (Triad Election, Exiled) from the 2008 hit Beast Stalker in the action thriller The Stool Pigeon, debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD September 27 from Well Go USA. Tse plays an ex-convict nicknamed Ghost, who unwillingly works as an informant for police detective Don Lee (Cheung) in order to clear debts left by his late father and to rescue his only sister out of prostitution. The film was nominated for eight awards at the 2011 Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Director (Dante Lam), Best Screenplay (Wu Wei Lun), Best Actor (Nick Cheung), and Best Supporting Actor (Liu Kai Chi), with Nicholas Tse taking home the trophy for Best Actor. The bonus features include a Behind the Scenes featurette and deleted scenes. The Stool Pigeon will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack for $29.98 SRP and on DVD for $24.98 SRP.
Don Lee (Nick Cheung) is a police detective in Kowloon whose reliance on informants leaves him struggling with a guilty conscience. Lee’s previous stool pigeon had his cover blown and it left him paranoid and driven from his wife and home. Although he is beginning to doubt his own methods, Lee recruits a street racer named Ghost (Nicholas Tse) as his latest stool pigeon and assigns him to infiltrate a gang led by the notorious armed robber Barbarian (Lu Yi). Ghost accepts Lee’s offer so he can rescue his sister from a life of prostitution, as well as help his father’s one-million dollar debt. Ghost joins an illegal street race to gain acceptance into Barbarian’s gang. Lee also has personal problems of his own, as wife Cher (Miao Pu) whom he is separated from tried to commit suicide a few months previously and has since had amnesia. Lee begins to realize how wrong he was to exploit his informants and desperately tries to right his wrong before Ghost is in serious trouble.
Bonus Features Include:
§ Director and Actor Interviews
§ Behind the Scenes Featurette
§ Deleted Scenes
§ Photo Gallery
§ Optional English Dub
The Stool Pigeon has a runtime of approximately 113 minutes and is not rated.
SOURCE: WELL GO USA
Remember Jackie Chan, folks? He used to be, maybe still is, one of my fonder Martial Arts and physical comedic actors in HK Cinema. I used to really be into him, back about 20 years ago, but I feel that once RUMBLE IN THE BRONX came out, my interest in his films started to wane and wear off. I guess he just got so popular and when his films started to throw in Internationally known actors and actresses, his films no longer had that foreign HK look and feel to them anymore. RUSH HOUR just about killed it for me (not to say that the film was a terrible film, but it just was an average comedy with some cool action sequences in it). I believe this will be close to Chan’s 100th film, with 1911 being Chan’s 100th film. That is quite an achievement, especially for an actor/stuntman whose physical comedy has been so intense, almost taking his life on more than one occasion due to all the dangerous feats he attempts and usually succeeds in performing. Look for 1911 from Well Go USA. They have acquired distribution rights for that, as well. Read all about that HERE.
“Jackie Chan’s best film in years.” – TwitchFilm
“Plenty of action, crazy stunts, excellent martial arts, and comedy.” – eFilmCritic.com
Audience Award Winner – New York Film Festival
Audience Award Winner – Valencia Film Festival
LITTLE BIG SOLDIER
International Superstar Jackie Chan and Leehom Wang
Star in the Year’s Funniest Action Comedy
Debuting on Blu-ray™/DVD Combo Pack and DVD August 23
PLANO, TEXAS. (July 21, 2011) – Legendary martial arts star Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid, Rush Hour trilogy) is the writer, producer and star of the comic martial arts extravaganza Little Big Soldier, debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD August 23 from Well Go USA. Chan co-stars with Leehom Wang (Lust, Caution) as a peasant soldier in ancient China who kidnaps a young enemy, then escorts him home in hopes of collecting a reward. The extensive bonus features include two featurettes and a Jackie Chan music video. Little Big Soldier will be available in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack for $29.98 SRP and on DVD for $24.98 SRP.
Set in the war period in China between 476 BC – 221 BC, the story between a soldier (Jackie Chan) and a general (Wang Leehom) from opposing states (Liang and Wei) and very much opposing views on the war and world. A painful yet comical journey commences when the soldier decides to abduct the downtrodden general and bring him back to his state in the high hopes of collecting a reward. When the unlikely duo are confronted by danger, they quickly learn that they must join forces in order to survive.
Bonus Features Include:
§ Behind the Scenes Featurette
§ Making of Featurette
§ Jackie Chan Music Video
Little Big Soldier has a runtime of approximately 96 minutes and is not rated.
SOURCE: WELL GO USA