Farewell to the Legendary Panna Rittikrai.

Posted in Panna Rittikrai with tags , on July 20, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

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Today is a terrible day if your a fan of martial arts films. Panna Rittikrai passed away today at the young age of 53. I remember hearing about the Thai action films he had done starting with Born to Fight, but never watched it or considered it much. Then I heard his name at the same time I heard about Ong Bak, and a new young martial artist named Tony Jaa. Upon seeing Ong Bak I was struck by how much the fights had that same devil-may-care attitude not seen since the early days of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung films, and I loved every second of it. Then came The Protector, and once again Panna stepped up his game, with a finale that was as terrific as it was wince-inducing.

Panna then introduced us to another young star in Jeeja Yanin and her film Chocolate, which brought back visions of the younger days of Michelle Yeoh. Panna has confessed that he was inspired by the films of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Woo Ping, and it’s very apparent in the way he choreographs his fight scenes, mixing fast paced choreography with bone-crunching stunt work. Then the insanity hit an all new level with the remade Born To Fight and Bangkok Knockout, which showed some of the most craziest stunts I’ve ever seen.

Panna came in just as martial arts films were growing a bit stale and brought an energy that rippled throughout the industry. I had hoped to see what Panna had up his sleeves next, but alas we will never get to see it.We will get two more films that Panna has worked on, A Man Will Rise, with Tony Jaa and Dolph Lundgren and Vengeance of an Assassin with Dan Chupong. I look forward to those films, but with a heavy heart.

We’re going to miss you, Panna, and we will never forget what you’ve brought to martial arts cinema. You’ve inspired many, including myself. Today let’s all watch a Panna Rittikrai film, and marvel again at what he’s achieved.

Thanks for the stunts, Master Panna!

 

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Review: TMNT (2007)

Posted in Mako, Ziyi Zhang with tags , on July 14, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

 

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With the voices of: Chris Evans, Patrick Stewart, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Zhang Ziyi, Laurence Fishburne, Mako

Directed by Kevin Munroe

Before we get Michael Bay’s take on the Turtles, I wanted to review the last film to feature the heroes in a half shell. After the cheesy sequels that sullied the goodness of the first film, TMNT decides to go the Highlander route and forget about the sequels and  only reference the original first film, and go all animated to boot. So is this a true sequel?

Absolutely, and it featured the moment many turtle fans were waiting for as well.

The film opens as we get the backstory on Winters, a millionaire CEO who holds a deadly secret: that he is one of a family of warriors who nearly took over the world centuries ago, but failed. In the present day he’s about to do it again…or is he? Meanwhile, the Turtles are a fractured family. Leonardo has been sent away to South America by Splinter to trail to be a better leader, but Leo has stayed far longer than he was supposed to, while Donatello makes money by being a phone tech support  for a computer company, Michelangelo works as a party mascot for kids, and Rafael has become a vigilante who now calls himself the Nightwatcher. Casey Jones and April O’neill now work Indiana Jones-style collecting artifacts, and so happen to both being employed by Winters to find the artifacts to awaken his brothers and sisters…and the fact that the Foot Ninjas under the leadership of Karai seek revenge against the Turtles for killing the Shredder. Can the Turtles come together in time to stop Winters and Karai?

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The story here is far better than any of the sequels, and actually feels like the true sequel to the original film. The Winters storyline is a little weak, but does fit the theme of family. The voices do their job, and the animation, while not on the level of a Kung-Fu Panda or anything Pixar, is still quite good. The turtles look great, very much like the comic book versions created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. 

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The fights here are done well, and the crowning achievement of the story and film, is the moment many fans, including myself, have wanted to see: Leonardo versus Raphael in a duel of weapons and fists. In this case I applaud the animators, because it lived up to what I had hoped for. The fight was clear and not chop-edited, and I could see all of the moves, and they looked great. Let’s see if BayTurtles can do better!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

A fun, rollicking Turtles Film that’s a good sequel to the original film. And no sign of Vanilla Ice anywhere. Let’s see if BayTurtles can do better!

 

Cornered Production Blog #3: Days 2 and 3!

Posted in Kiai-Kick Films on July 12, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Whew. Things are happening fast. This month is the last major month of filming, but I have to say things are looking good and our actors…they are just awesome! A page dedicated to Cornered will be going up soon, with the cast bios and much more!

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Preparing to shoot a scene outside a Federal Courthouse downtown!

Anyway, Day 3 found us working in front on of the Federal Court House in downtown Austin.Once again I found myself acting this day (don’t worry, I’m not the star!) with the wonderful Lindsey Lemke. Things went smoothly, but we did have an issue with a feisty grackle, and Lindsey decided to tempt fate, the video of which you can find on our Facebook page!

Also providence smiled on us as, during filming, we ran into a duo of break dancers who were blocking out their shots for a music video they were about to shoot. We took a short break so we could talk with them, and it resulted in one of them, the very talented Yuki Ishiguro, joined our cast! We were lucky to find him!

Day 3 was our first big, long day at the ghost town, where the majority of the major action takes place. It was a long, but really, really good day. Actors Donald Brooks,  Sharmita Bhattacharya, and Lindsey Lemke did a really, really great job that day, and boy, the temperature was hot, but not nearly what it would be for Day 5…

Donald Brooks and Sharmita Bhattacharya listen while I explain the next shot.

Donald Brooks and Sharmita Bhattacharya listen while I explain the next shot.

 

Director Michael S Moore and Lindsey Lemke going over the next scene.

Director Michael S Moore and Lindsey Lemke going over the next scene.

So that’s all for right now! Next time I’ll review how Day 4 and 5 went, and with some great production stills here and on our Facebook page! Next time I’ll introduce the bad guys!

-Michael

Eric Jacobus presents: Can You Kick it? Kicktionary: 200+ movie kicks!

Posted in Eric Jacobus with tags on June 29, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Sorry I’m late to this one, but better late than…well you know. Eric Jacobus, currently working on Rope-A Dope 2 dropped this not long ago, every damn kick you’ve ever seen in a martial arts films and probably more you haven’t seen. I’m just glad to know what some of the names are! This really is a small but brilliant little showcase of Eric’s kicking skills as well as an educational look at the menagerie of kicks out there. Fantastic Vid! Check it out:

 

 

Cornered Production Blog #2: The First Day

Posted in Kiai-Kick Films, Michael Moore with tags , , on June 26, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Playing a little bit of catchup here, but I wanted to go back and think about the official first day of shooting. Everything went just fine as actress Lindsey Lemke (Machete Kills) had some of her first scenes…with me! I am not an actor in any way, but found myself in my own production anyway. I won’t lie, it’s hard to wear the acting and the directing hats at the same time!

Me with Cornered star Lindsay Lemke

Me with Cornered star Lindsey Lemke

 

Our first day was purposefully a short one, just so the crew, cast and I could get into the groove of things. Our first shots involve Detectives Jackson (me) and Lee (Lindsey) as we walk an obscure trail to meet with hero and Super cop Adam Matrix. We shot at Bull Creek in Austin, Texas, and while I knew there would be enough tree cover to hide the sun, I did not, in fact, account for the ravenous BUGS! I found later that I had been eaten alive, finding bites everywhere. After the short day was over, everyone seemed to fall into a comfort zone. I know first days can be tough and definitely a trip into the unknown, but everything went pretty smoothly! Lindsey did a great job, and it made me even more excited to work with the rest of the cast to bring my vision of 90′s martial arts mayhem to life!

Also, I’m in the process of trying to come up with a font and design for the title “Cornered”. Hmm…that kinda sounds like a good contest to me. I have quite of bit of backlog of blu rays to give away…stay tuned!

-Michael S Moore

Cornered Production Blog #1: Meet the Cast!

Posted in Donald Brooks, Kiai-Kick Films, Michael Moore on June 11, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

This past weekend my DP Joe Lee and myself went in and all around Austin, Texas getting establishing shots and some B-roll. We were around town so much we ran into people we knew (hello, Spiderwood Studios!) and even strangers who recognized us on one end of town and saw us on the other side of town.

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Joe Lee hard at work near the capitol building!

 

Principle photography is set to begin this weekend, but before things get crazy busy, I’d like to introduce you to our cast:

 

 

Donald02Donald Brooks Jr. as Adam Matrix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharmita Bhattacharya as Helen Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kerry Ramsay as Kellogg Deveroux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bobby Hernandez as Richter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lindsey Lemke as Parker Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rachel Weise as Captain Angela Redding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chris Cude as Alpha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Geronimo Son as Omega

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Derek Chase as GateKeeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s almost it! This cast will update as there are a few more people to be announced, but this is the cast of Cornered! I can’t wait to show you what we’ve got cooking! Over the next few days and weeks I’ll be giving you sneak previews of the fights and set pics will be plentiful!

Michael S Moore

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