Review: Killzone 2 (SPL 2: A Time For Consequences) (2016)

Posted in Jacky Wu Jing, Max Zhang, Tony Jaa on July 19, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

killzone2-2

Starring Tony Jaa. Wu Jing, Zhang Jin (Max Zhang), Simon Yam, Ken Lo, Louis Koo

Fight Choreography by Chi Li Chung

Directed by Soi Cheang

The first Killzone was the first of what would be a run of films that would move Donnie Yen into his rightful place as one of the martial arts’ world’s legendary talents, going right up there with Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Sammo Hung. Now we come to Killzone 2, starring Wu Jing and Tony Jaa, both men needing hits after the nonsense that was Wolf Warrior and The Protector 2 respectively.

Wu Jing stars as Chi Kit Chang, and undercover cop who is close to busting a crime ring run by Mun-Gong Hung (Louis Koo, almost unrecognizable) a drug lord who is in need of a replacement heart, one he intends to collect from a compatible donor, his own brother. Chi Kit is betrayed, and tossed in a Thai prison, where he meets Chatchai (Jaa) a desperate man who needs to get a compatible liver for his young daughter, who will die soon unless she gets a transplant. He discovers that Chi Kit has such a liver. Of course complications occur when Hung’s right hand man Hung Ko (Zhang) is the warden of the prison that holds Chi Kit, and Chi Kits handler  Wah Kwok Chan (Yam) has his niece kidnapped by Hung. Can Chi Kit and Chatchai save both themselves and live long enough to save Chatchai’s daughter?

SPL 2

I was skeptical about how a Killzone without Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung would play out, especially with Simon Yam and Wu Jing, who were in the first film, now playing different characters in the second. I needn’t have worried. Killzone 2 is its own film, but toward the climax, it ramps up the tension, especially if you’ve seen the first film. Many story beats repeat themselves, but the ending of those…you’ll have to see for yourself! Wu Jing is pitiable as the Chi Kit, his situation becoming more and more deadly the further things go. The same holds true for Tony Jaa, who does a good job here, but really the star here is Max Zhang. Proving his star turn in Ip Man 3 was no fluke, he makes a formidable and ruthless prison warden, and his onscreen charisma is evident. I think we may have found the next big Chinese martial arts star! The directing by Soi Cheang is spot on, and he finds the humanity of each character in every frame, and the story maximizes the drama, which is well written here.

Killzone2-1

The fights here are nothing short of brutal…but in the best way possible. It merges what we’ve seen in recent martial arts films with the Thai films of Tony Jaa, and it’s a marriage made in heaven (Tony is still missing Panna Rittikrai). The prison riot is one of the standouts, maybe even besting the prison fight in The Raid 2, but the final fight between Wu Jing and Tony Jaa versus Max Zhang is stunningly great, up there with the best of them. There is a little wirework, but its kept to a minimum.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

Killzone 2 is a great return to form for both Tony Jaa and Wu Jing, in a taunt thriller with great fight scenes and a showstopper of a final fight. (Max) Zhang Jin is a bonafide star, and this film cements it. A very worthy sequel to the original. 

The film is out TODAY from the good folks at Wellgousa!

 

We have our contest winners for Killzone 2!!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

killzone2

Okay! As the title states, we have our winners! The lucky few are:

Lee Golden

Scott Wise

and our grab bag winner Planet Choko!

Thanks for everyone who participated! My review for Killzone 2 will be out Monday, and we’ll have another contest soon! Thanks to to excellent folks @wellgousa for the contest!

The Trailer is here for Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)

Posted in Jean-Claude Van Damme on July 15, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

This film is making its way into film festivals and premieres while the sequel is already in production! Jean-Claude Van Damme returns, though not as Kurt Sloan, that role now being portrayed by Alain Moussi. With Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, and the late Darren Shahlavi along for the ride, I’m interested to see if this can get into the mainstream. Give the trailer a look and let me know what you think in the comments!

Synopsis:

After his brother is brutally killed by the fighter Tong Po (Dave Bautista), Kurt, Etop Udo-Ema Sloane (Alain Moussi) travels to Thailand and trains with the legendary Master Durand (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to avenge his brother’s death.

 

Source: Yahoo

Killzone 2 aka SPL : A Time For Consequences Blu-Ray Giveaway!

Posted in Jacky Wu Jing, Tony Jaa, Uncategorized on June 29, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

killzone2

Huzzah! Time for another giveaway, and this one’s a doozy. I have 2 blu-ray copies of Killzone 2 starring Wu Jing,  Zhang Jin and Tony Jaa to give away thanks to the always good people at Wellgousa! So what do you have do to be the lucky few to get this? I’m in a charitable mood, so I’ll make this really, really easy. Since we are into the social media age, all you have to do is like the Kiai-Kick Facebook page AND follow me on Instagram to get into the drawing, and just to make this even easier, if you have already done so previously OR you are on one and not the other get on that and shoot me an email with your handle/name at kiaikicks@gmail.com. On July 15th I will gather all the names and choose the winners out of a hat. Winners to be announced the next day!  I will pick three names at random. But wait, I just said three, didn’t I?

The third person chosen, while they won’t win the Blu Ray for Killzone 2, they will win a nice blu ray of a previous release from Wellgousa. I’ll even let that person choose the film from a selection of titles!

Wu Jing. Tony Jaa. Free Blu-Ray. What’s not to like?

You can like the Facebook Page on the sidebar, and you can go to Instagram here.

(www.instagram.com/kenjisparks)

This contest is for North American-based folks only.

#wellgousa #killzone2

The History Of The Barclay Hotel: A Collection Of True Short Stories Both Epic And Tragic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 22, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

Barclay

Usually something in regards to martial arts is posted on this website, but let’s take a left turn and drive down another street for a moment. A new term I’ve come to know is Urban Archaeology: the study of older buildings in large cities. How best to tell the story about a building? By telling the stories of those who lived in it. The History of The Barclay Hotel: A Collection of True Short Stories Both Epic and Tragic is a new book by J.M. Moore (in full transparency, she’s my cousin) that studies the famous 120-year old Los Angeles hotel, home to suicides, murders, questionable deaths, and so many more awesome stories of the tenants and visitors that made the Barclay Hotel famous…and infamous.

The book itself is starting to make waves, and there are rumors of a possible (?) TV series or film (what isn’t turned into a film nowadays?) but the book itself is getting excellent reviews. You can read LA Weekly’s review here. J.M. Moore also did a radio interview on NPR on 6/08/16, which you can listen to here.

The book is available in paperback, which you can purchase here, and on Amazon Kindle as well as Barnes & Noble Nook Book.

 

Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Now I’m going back to martial arts. But I may detour down another street soon, where some older Japanese gangster films exist…

 

Michael S. Moore

kiaikicks@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter @kiaikick

 

Arrow Video has you covered! Pray For Death! Sho Kosugi! Blu-Ray!

Posted in Kane Kosugi, Sho Kosugi on June 6, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

PFD

It’s insane to think that there was any chance that Sho Kosugi’s Cannon films would come to Blu-Ray, but thanks to Arrow Video it’s a reality! The first film up is Pray for Death, and you can read my review of that film here. The Blu-Ray transfer is as good as you could hope, and there is both an R-rated and Unrated version. I won’t give much away about the unrated version, but I’ll say that the death of Saito’s wife is far more brutal here than in the original, and we get to see Kane making the Ninja Bicycle! If you haven’t seen this film, and don’t know what I’m talking about, get thee out and see it, preferably in this format! Sho has never looked so good on film, and the extras contain an interview with the man himself, and his stories about how he came to be with Cannon Films make this an instant get. Here are some of the other extras: (I wasn’t given a version with all of the extras at this time)

Bonus Materials

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a transfer of original elements by MGM
  • R-rated and Unrated Versions
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new interview with star Sho Kosugi
  • Archive interview and Ninjutsu demonstration with Kosugi from the film’s New York premiere
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

That reversible sleeve rocks! This is out now, so go get it, and see one of the gems of Cannon Films, and one of the films that started the ninja craze of the 80’s! Now we just need American Ninja in Blu…

PFD1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 759 other followers