LBP Stunts Chicago presents: Gunsmith Cat!

Posted in Emmanuel Manzanares, LBP Stunts with tags , on March 24, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Its like a broken record, isn’t it? LBP does it again! Check out the above starring  Natalie Padilla, Vonzell Carter, and Michael Lehr. Directed by Emmanuel Manzanares. I’m not familiar with the manga/anime this is based on, but this was a lot of fun to watch, and I loved some of the kicking work done by Padilla and Lehr. Sequel, please?

“Welcome to our Island, Mr. Roper… Again.” It’s Kiai-Kick’s 5 year Anniversary!

Posted in Michael Moore with tags on March 23, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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It’s simply insane that it’s been five years since I started this website. This whole thing started shortly after I finished directing my first show, Dragon Sukuro-ru for public access. I was searching for more martial arts films, and wasn’t finding what I was looking for. The ones I did find had no real reviews out there to judge whether to get it or not. I decided then and there to do exactly that: create a website that would cater to martial arts film fans and only them, and I would review everything, from every country and culture, from indie film to mainstream. So I wrote my first post “Welcome to our Island, Mr. Roper” and laid out my mission statement to the masses. I then posted my first review a few days later, The Big Boss, because, you just gotta start with Bruce Lee.  I got some nice support from folks like Vern and the great Ric Meyers. One of my earliest supporters, when no-one knew my site even existed, was the late great Darren Shahlavi. He thought the idea of the site was a good one, and spurred me to keep going with it. It was that and a few others who really made me press on.

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I slowly built a readership, and was exposed to something I wasn’t aware of: the Indie scene, and the stunt teams behind them like The Stuntpeople, EMC Monkeys, LBP Stunts Chicago, Thousand Pounds, Faux Fighting, Z-Team, and got acquainted with some great folks like Eric Jacobus, Emmanuel Manzanares, Tyler Williams, Shawn Bernal, Dennis Ruel, Vladislav Rimburg, and so many more. I also met others who were doing similar things to myself, like the Heroic Sisterhood, Lee Golden, Gene Ching, and others.

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I also got some great support from a place I wasn’t expecting: Roger Ebert. I had written an open letter concerning my thoughts on his review and blog post about The Raid. I never expected him to actually read it, but he did, and pointed it out to others via Twitter (Ah, the power of Tweets!), and my readership increased by a lot afterwards. I’ve also had the pleasure to do some Q&A’s with some awesome people like Matt Page and Gary Daniels.

Little did I know that things were about to change. Rather, I was about to change.

Bruce Lee delivers the pain.

Bruce Lee delivers the pain.

I was going back to college to get my degree in film, for the purposes of becoming a better writer on the subject, but a funny thing happened. The more films I saw, the more I wanted to make them myself, even after the disaster that was my first effort. Then two things happened: a video and a talk. The video was one of Alan Watts’ speeches, posted on Facebook by Tyler Williams (eternal thanks!). The video simply asks the question: “What if money was no object?” You can watch for yourself below (this isn’t the same video, but the speech is the same):

I pondered over this video long and hard, and sat down with my best friend/wife Jen, and we looked at the situation, and looked at myself. A decision was made: to, at the age of 38, to become a full-time filmmaker. So, I walked away from a comfy full-time job with great benefits, in order to attend school full time. I did so, and May 2014 I got my degree, and afterward wrote and directed my first webseries, Cornered, which will be released soon. We also welcomed my little boy Jonathan into the world in September, marking what has to be one of the best years of my life.

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So here we sit at 5 years! I have no idea what comes next, but I promise I’ll always be here, making films (hopefully you’ll enjoy them) and reviewing other movies, which may slow down from time to time due to productions. There may even be more guest writers/reviewers from time to time.

So thanks for coming to my island. The best is yet to come. Bolo will now escort you to your rooms.

 

–Michael S Moore

Review: All Men Are Brothers (1975)

Posted in Bolo Yeung, Chang Cheh, Chen Kuan-Tai, David Chiang on March 20, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chen Kuan Tai, Wai- Man Chan, Lo Wai, Tatsuro Tamba, Lei Lung, Danny Lee, Bolo Yeung, Chin Feng, Zhu Mu, Fan Mei-sheng, and still pretty much anyone working for the Shaw Brothers not named Wu Ma.

Fight Choreography by Liu Chia-Liang

Directed by Chang Cheh and Wu Ma (he’s still there)

Chiga-Chiga-Cha!

That is the theme music whenever Yen Ching (Chiang) shows up in this film. All Men are Brothers is the direct sequel to The Water Margin, itself one of the Four Great Classics of Chinese literature, once again bringing us back to the adventure of the 108 Outlaws of Mount Liang, as we pick up after some time with the giant cast, as Yen Ching is approached by the Emperor, who offers amnesty to the outlaws if they do a job for him, mounting and assault on an impregnable fortress of invaders called Fang La in a campaign that is suicide even at the best of times. So of course the 108 outlaws take the challenge, and mount an epic battle to the end to defeat the invaders and with their amnesty.

Things don’t go as planned as the outlaws find that Fang La lives up to its reputation, but a small group led by Yen Ching enter the fortress in disguise, but things still go wrong, and the assault on the fortress must begin within, as the rest of the 108 outlaw are en route, needing the gates to be opened to mount a proper assault or be slaughtered. Thus, the group that entered into the fortress lead an attack that makes them legendary…

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The acting here is great, and it’s fantastic to see the 108 outlaws again, but it’s bittersweet, as this is truly a Heroic Bloodshed movie, and the majority of those that survived The Water Margin don’t make it here, but go out in a whirlwind of heroic actions. David Chiang is the more up-front star here, and while Ti Liung is touted a lot, he really doesn’t show up as much. Fan Mei-Cheng actually shows up quite a bit more as the lunkhead Black Whirlwind, and his character, whom I loved in the first film, I screamed at in this film as he is the one who truly messes things up and starts the road to death that claim the majority of the cast. Chang Cheh once again brings his “A” game, as all of the Shaw Brothers actors, and the story moves along briskly enough. It was also great to see the great Bolo Yeung, although having him defeating in a wrestling match with David Chiang stretches the limits of all believability.

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The fights here are good, exactly what one expects from Liu Chia-Liang. This film is more of a war film than anything else, and there is no real standout except for maybe the battle between Chen Kuan Tai and the two generals. Weapon fights rule the day here, mostly consisting of swords and spears, and a ball and chain in once scene. All expertly done, but no real standout sequence.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

A well made sequel to my favorite of all the Shaw Brothers films and brings the story of the 108 Outlaws to a spectacular blood-drenched end.

Here’s the Teaser for the short film The Betrayal! (Star Wars!)

Posted in Brendon Hour, Gui DaSilva, Mickey Facchinello, Tony Chu, Vlad Rimburg on March 16, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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Know what? I love Star Wars. I also love martial arts. I also love the work done in various shorts by the likes of Vlad Rimburg, Gui Dasilva, Brendon Hour, and Mickey Faccinello, Tony Chu, Jimmy Chhiu, Noah Fleder, and Yoshi Sudarso.

And now they all come together in the Star Wars short film The Betrayal. In many ways, Star Wars is, at its core, a martial arts film set in space. I could take a dozen Shaw Bros. films and reappropriate them as martial arts films easily ( I hope JJ Abrams remembers this) and so far what they show in the teaser here is just getting my adrenaline pumping to see the final product. So watch below, and remember:

It’s coming soon.

It’s coming soon.

May the Force…well, you know!

XLRATOR Media is bringing Stateside the martial arts hip-hop musical Tokyo Tribe!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

XLRATOR MEDIA ACQUIRES “TOYKO TRIBE” FOR NORTH AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION ON ITS TURBO ACTION LABEL

 

LOS ANGELES (March 11, 2015) – XLrator Media (Jimi: All Is By My Side, The Machine) has acquired North American distribution rights to the street-gang/martial arts action/hip-hop musical epic TOYKO TRIBE, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). XLrator Media will release the film in Fall 2015 on its “TURBO” action label.

TOKYO TRIBE was written and directed by Sion Sono, whose previous film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? won TIFF’s People’s Choice Midnight Madness award. TOKYO TRIBE stars Ryohei Suzuki and Young Dais and is based on the manga by Santa Inoue. It was produced by Yoshinori Chiba, Kinya Oguchi and Nobuhiro Iizuka. 

 “Audiences have never seen anything like TOKYO TRIBE and will be blown away by its originality, energy, and mind-blowing action and musical sequences that pay homage to everything from Quentin Tarantino to Scarface to West Side Story,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.

In a futuristic, alternate Tokyo made up of ghetto slums and nightclub playgrounds, territorial street gangs rule the city. The opposing factions – each with their own distinctive style — control different neighborhoods and crossing territorial lines leads to riots and rumbles. When a megalomaniacal gang leader tries to invade the other gangs’ turf, the city explodes into an all-out war.  

The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon with XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin for Nikkatsu Corporation.

Production begins on Steven Seagal’s newest film, “Code of Honor”!

Posted in Steven Seagal on March 11, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2015 – Premiere Entertainment Group is pleased to announce that production has commenced in Salt Lake City, Utah for the highly-anticipated action/thriller

CODE OF HONOR.  The film is written and directed by Michael Winnick (Guns, Girls and Gambling) and stars Steven Seagal (Under Siege), Craig Sheffer (A River Runs Through It) and Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2).

“We’re excited to bring this action-packed film together under the direction of Michael Winnick,” said Ryan Noto, President of Premiere Entertainment.  “Steven Seagal has huge worldwide appeal, and we’re confident that this film will generate word of mouth among fans and general audiences alike.”

CODE OF HONOR is the story of a special forces colonel who has recently returned back home from the middle east after going on terminal leave. He quickly realizes his home town has disintegrated into a violent degenerate world run by murderers and narco-terrorists.  After little deliberation he decides to covertly enter the shadow world and do what he does best. Almost no one can stop him, but an old teammate tries.

CODE OF HONOR is being produced by Premiere Entertainment’s Noto and CEO Elias Axume.

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