Vlad Rimburg and company return with OSU 3!!!!

Posted in Brendon Huor, Tony Vittorioso, Vlad Rimburg on June 7, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

That’s right, Vlad returns to melt your eyeballs with more fight choreography goodness, with the third short in his amazing Osu series. If you haven’t seen the first two, you can see it here and here. Brendon Huor and Tony Vittorioso are excellent here, as they always are, and can’t tell you how much I love karate presented like this. This is special, folks. Watch this goodness below and just watch it again and again. Stunning work!

 

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Review: Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994)

Posted in John Machado, Rigan Machado, Sasha Mitchell, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 24, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sasha Mitchell, Brad Thornton, Kamel Krifa, Michele Krasnoo, Jill Pierce, Rigan Machado, John Machado, David Efron

Fight Choreography by Burton Richardson and Shuki Ron

Directed by Albert Pyun

Sasha Mitchell returns as the last remaining Sloane after Kurt and his brother basically got killed off in Kickboxer 2. Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor finds David Sloane in prison after the events of Kickboxer 3, and Tong Po, who seems to survive damn near everything, is now living in Mexico as…I can’t believe I’m typing this–a Mexican drug lord. The explanation for this is barely understandable, but anyway, Tong Po, to make sure Sloane suffers, kidnaps his girlfriend Darcy, and keeps her in captivity. Fast forward two years later finds Sloane, still in prison, but apparently receiving photos of Darcy being violated by Tong Po. For TWO YEARS. David, now a brooding figure with a half-assed attempt at a Clint Eastwood growl. After he strikes a deal with the Feds, he gets released with the job of bringing in Tong Po dead or alive, but in order to get close enough to do so he must enter a tournament held at Han’s fortres–I mean Tong Po’s fortress and fight his way to a one-on-one fight with Tong Po, and save his girlfriend…

Okay, right off the bat this film combines Kickboxer, Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport into one film that isn’t remotely as good as any of them. Oh hell, they even copy from American Ninja in one insanely baffling sequence. Sasha Mitchell returns as David Sloane and is pretty much the same as every other film as things go on. He’s still the martial arts teacher, which in a weird way I found endearing. Kamal Krifa is nowhere near what Michel Qissi was, and the fake bald cap and makeup is truly embarrassing to watch. I mean, the acting in this film is pretty atrocious across the board, and Albert Pyun, he of many low budget films that I quite enjoy, can’t make this one interesting, and the story just doesn’t work. There were some nice things. I noted one of the fighters wore a Dacascos KungFu uniform, so that was a nice shout out to the Dacascos family. I wish Mark had been in the film (wish granted; he’s in the next one).

What else I don’t like? I don’t like how women in the film are treated as either sex objects, damsels in distress, and the few who display martial arts are treated as woefully bad fighters and are nearly all embarrassed by the men they fight.

And the one girl who does win her fight gets Kanye-ed by a black dude who just jumps in. Unlike Kanye he gets what he deserves but it’s still embarrassing. And yeah, pretty much every black dude except one just gets owned, except for the Capoeira fighter ( but as usual these dudes can’t win more than one damn fight in a tournament film) It was cool to see the Machado Brothers in the film, but I wish they had more to do.

Speaking of which, the fights in this film actually aren’t bad for an American low budget feature, with the bar fight a funny standout ( the guy who ties to avoid getting punched or kicked through a window was pretty humorous) and the final fight that was basically a lower-budget version of the final brawls in Enter the Dragon. Many different styles get displayed here, from BJJ, Kickboxing, Karate, Capoeira, and more. It’s easily the best stuff of the film, unless it involved any woman not named Michele Krasnoo, but there it is.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 4

The decent fights here are wrapped in a terrible story with equally terrible characters. Unfortunately this is the last film in the series featuring Sasha Mitchell (still looking for him in the new films, with the hope they give him a better final Kickboxer movie)

Steven Seagal takes on…Mike Tyson?! Hookaaay. Here’s the Trailer for China Salesman!

Posted in Mike Tyson, Steven Seagal with tags , , on May 15, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

 

And believe me they have quite the job selling me on this one…

So Steven Seagal in slow motion (as if there is any other kind nowadays) mixes it up with Mike Tyson? Let’s check this out:

I dunno. Mike seems to be getting some martial arts-style fights going, Seagal looks horrid, and I really wish the Chinese characters weren’t speaking English! I’m having a hard time listening to their dialogue. We’ll have to see, but I’m just not sold on this. Not yet. Maybe another trailer will change things. The synopsis:

Based on a true story, CHINA SALESMAN is a film about the dangerous and epic adventure to Africa where a Chinese engineer/salesman comes face-to-face with a corrupt competitor over the contract for the first African mobile telecom technology. Local tribesman Kabbah (Mike Tyson) and mercenary Lauder (Steven Seagal) get drawn into the conflict in a classic, brutal hand-to-hand fight while the entire country faces civil war battles.

 

CHINA SALESMAN will hit theaters on June 15th and DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD on June 26th.

Farewell Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee

Posted in Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee on May 1, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Tae Kwon do is without a doubt one of the flashiest and best looking martial arts styles, and no one did it better than Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, who for all intents and purposes brought Tae Kwon Do to America, and even befriended Bruce Lee (and was rumored to have taught him a few things) Grandmaster Rhee only did one film, but it’s probably the best representation of the style you’ll ever see: When Taekwondo Strikes. Check out the trailer for the film below, and mourn a great loss to the martial arts world.

He was 86 years old. If you want to learn more about Grandmaster Rhee please head over to his website here.

The trailer for The Equalizer 2 is here!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Because, you know, Denzel.

I wonder if 2018 will be the year of the black hero. Between Black Panther, The Equalizer 2 and Shaft 2, and hopefully that MJW Western, I can’t help but wonder if that could be a thing. But color me all in for this one!

Review: Kickboxer 2: Retaliation (2018)

Posted in Alain Moussi, Christopher Lambert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson with tags , on March 28, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Alain Moussi, JCVD, Mike Tyson, Christopher Lambert, Sara Mulakul Lane, Renzo Gracie, Sam Medina, Hafthor Bjornsson

Fight Choreography by Jim Khaowwong

Directed by Dmitri Logothetis

Directed by Alain Moussi returns as Kurt Sloane, now a few years removed from the kumat-the Ques-the–let’s just call it a tournament where he defeated Tong Po. Now having taken Lui from the previous film as his wife, they are enjoying a romantic train ride when Kurt is taken captive, and tossed into a backwater prison run by warden Thomas Moore (Lambert, with the most boring character name ever), who wants Kurt to fight in another match versus his champion, Mongut (Bjornsson)(why do these films have white guys with Asian names? I mean, just call the dude Hafthor. That’s pretty badass too).  In order to help Sloane prepare for the fight, Moore brings in Master Durand (JCVD) but this time with a catch: Durand has been blinded since he last saw Kurt for his being “complicit” in the murder of Tong Po, and tossed into prison by Moore. Now, with both Durand and a new teacher in convict Briggs (Tyson) Sloane must enter the ring for a fight to the death with a killing machine…

Moussi. JCVD. Tyson. Lambert. Bjornsson. For goodness sake why not just make a sequel to Street Fighter instead? Let me have a go at this. JCVD back as Guile, Tyson as Balrog, Bjornsson as Zangief, Moussi as Ken, Lambert taking over as M. Bison. Your welcome, Hollywood.

But I digress. The story here runs a bit overlong for the subject matter, and some better editing may have made this a leaner, faster moving film. Despite this the film has hiccups, where things move fast and then grind to a halt, ramps back up, and goes back down again. Moussi is about the same as he was in the previous film, not bad, but not great either. JCVD seems to like playing the blind man, and makes the most of his screen time, but there is a bit less of him fighting in this film, which is a little disappointing as he still looks great onscreen. Tyson is a LOT better here than he was in Ip Man 3, and brings some humor to the proceedings, but his acting still needs a bunch of work. Bjornsson is just a giant monster here, who spends most of the film growling at everyone. Christopher Lambert looks like he’s having fun as the villain, and it’s a welcome sight to see him back in the world of martial arts action films (The Hunted is still one of my favorites).

The fights in the film vary in quality, some of it due to how it was filmed. There are two scenes where we get a tracking one-shot of Sloane fighting and assortment of baddies as he traverses a building under construction, and then while chasing one of his wife’s kidnappers to the song “Wipeout” (which is as cheesy as it sounds). It’s okay but the choreography is simple and the movements aren’t too exciting, but after watching Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais raise the bar on one take fight scenes, it was underwhelming in comparison. So too was the fight between JCVD and Mike Tyson, which should have been the main event of the film, but here is just a little give and take before they buddy up. There was one fight scene I didn’t know I always wanted to see but did.

Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Christopher Lambert.  That’s right, OG Sloane versus the God****n Highlander. Swords and kicks rule the day here, and it was great. Great enough that I really want to see a rematch in a film just about those two Frenchmen. Actually if they had just killed off Sloane and made it a Durand vs Moore film I would’ve been in heaven. As it stands, we have a nice fight scene between two screen legends. The other fights where Moussi fights a bunch of cannon fodder is okay and entertaining, but nothing really stands out about them. The final fight against Mongut drags on far too long, and doesn’t have enough excitement to really stay invested, since Sloane gets beaten about a thousand times, and has three or four different “he’s down for the count! But Wait! He’s still got some fight in him! He’s getting up!” Ugh.

Maybe it’s time for Kurt Sloane to stay down.

Oh yeah. Last gripe: No Stan Bush. No Sasha Mitchell.

Once again, no Stan Bush. But never fear, I got ya’ll covered:

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 6

Kickboxer: Retaliation doesn’t really do much for me as a sequel film, but adding Lambert classes up the film nicely. Hopefully part 3 can bring it all together.