Archive for February, 2014

Maria Tran and JuJu Chan kick butt in Hit Girls!

Posted in Aaron Kwok, JuJu Chan, Maria Tran with tags , , on February 25, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Hit Girls

Maria Tran did a great job in her part of the Indie film Maximum Choppage: Round 2 (An Australian TV series is being made as we speak!) and returns with the graceful JuJu Chan in a really fun short film that just left me wanting to see more of these two Hit Girls, Pixie and Charlie, since they fight with each other nearly as much as they fight their targets. The humor was spot on, and the fights were just the right amounts of awesome fun. Maria Tran is a talented martial artist and filmmaker, and here doth purport better things to come from her, and JuJu Chan was amazing as well. A fun, martial arts fueled romp from Maria and Company in the land down under! So when can we see Pixie and Charlie again?

Also, the Guerilla Scope opening was terrific!




Gina Carano returns to kick ass with In The Blood! *Updated with Trailer!*

Posted in Gina Carano with tags on February 19, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

ITB Final (w digital date)

*Now we have the trailer! Looking really, really, good, Ms. Carano! See for yourself:

The original story is below!

Gina Carano performed admirably for a first film debut in Haywire and the last Fast and Furious film, and while I really wanted her to be the next Wonder Woman (I’m sure Gal Gadot will do fine) alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but today we get word that her newest film, In the Blood, will be released in theaters on April 4th, 2014! Here’s the press release with the announcement:

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Anchor Bay Films, in a joint distribution with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, will unleash IN THE BLOOD simultaneously in theaters, On Demand and on iTunes on April 4th, 2014. IN THE BLOOD stars former MMA Fighter/Action Star Gina Carano (Fast and the Furious 6, Haywire) along with an ensemble cast, Cam Gigandet (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), Luis Guzman (We’re the Millers, The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3), Amaury Nolasco (Rum Diaries, TV’s “Prison Break”), Ismael Cruz Cordoba (TV’s “The Good Wife”), Treat Williams (TV’s “Chicago Fire”), Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Danny Trejo (Machete).  The film was directed by John Stockwell (Blue Crush, Into the Blue) and was written by Bennett Yellin and James Robert Johnston.

Gina Carano stars as Ava, a trained fighter with a dark past. When her new husband (Cam Gigandet) vanishes during their Caribbean honeymoon, Ava uncovers a violent underworld of conspiracy in the middle of an island paradise. Armed with a deadly set of skills, Ava sets out to discover the truth – and to take down the men she thinks are responsible for his abduction, one by one.

IN THE BLOOD was produced by Raymond Mansfield and Shaun Redick, of Movie Package Co., and Cash Warren, and executive produced by Lee Portnoi, David R. Arnold, Nicola Horlick, Andrew Mann, Glenn M Stewart, Stefan Sonnenfeld, Luillo Ruiz, James Gibb and Belly Torres.  The film was financed by The Way We Roll Productions and MICA Entertainment.

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Looking forward to seeing a trailer! Having Luis Guzman and Danny Trejo is already a win in my book, and Stephen Lang is nothing short of awesome! In the meantime here’s some stills from the production for your viewing pleasure. I’m really rooting for Gina on this one! Click on the pics below to embiggen!


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Review: Young Detective Dee: Rise of The Sea Dragon (2013)

Posted in Tsui Hark with tags , , on February 13, 2014 by Michael S. Moore


Starring Mark Chao, Angelababy, Feng Shaofeng,Lin Gengxin, Carina Lau

Fight Choreography by Lin Feng and Yuen Bun

Directed by Tsui Hark

Tsui Hark scored a hit a couple of years ago with Andy Lau in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, a film I really enjoyed, and hoped to see Detective Dee return, and return he has, this time a prequel to show how Dee became a Detective to the Emperor, and his first case, a daunting one involving secret cults, politics, and not one but two sea monsters. Since this is a prequel, the role of Detective Dee goes to Mark Chao and comes with even bigger special effects than the previous film, and I had just as much fun with this film as the original.

Young Detective Dee starts with the Emperor’s Royal Navy being demolished by a large sea creature of Godzilla proportions (or at least Gamera), and the people, in their superstition, decide to sacrifice the local courtesan Yin to the Gods to stop the monster. An attempt to kidnap her is foiled by the newly arrived Dee and Detective Yuchi (Shaofeng) but things take a strange turn when a creature emerges from the waters and tries to kidnap Yin. Dee’s unorthodox manners land him in jail, a familiar place for him considering that’s how he started out in the original film when we first meet him. Dee is able to escape with his “Watson” in the form of prison medical guard Shatuo (Gengxin) and together they continue their investigation into the mer-man and the giant monster, and soon find themselves before the Empress (Carina Lau, reprising her role from the previous film) and an entire royal court in danger. Detective Dee must find the culprits and solve the cases of both the Mer-man, the sea monster, and their connection to Yin, else the Empress will have their heads (Yep, she’s just as nice as she was in the previous film. No wonder Dee doesn’t like her.)


Young Detective Dee is an exciting, fun romp in a world barely seen in the original film. Giant monsters, strange islands, people with weird abilities, and cures involving piss, and a horse that can swim underwater while being chased by said creature is just a little of what awaits in this stellar sequel. I was afraid that something would be lost without Andy Lau returning as Dee, but Mark Chao is up to the challenge of playing Dee, and is able to bring off Dee’s intelligence, wit, and a bit of youthful smugness added to the mix. Carina Lau is the only returning cast member from the previous film, and she is once again great as the smarmy Empress (she is a great foil for Dee in this regard. She cares only about herself, and sees Dee as nothing more than a tool). Shaofeng is also good as Detective Yuchi, a man who both likes Dee but hates Dee at the same time for being right nearly all the time (Hopefully future films will show more of their discord), and Angelababy does the job as the beautiful damsel in distress who knows more than she is letting on. Of course Dee can’t function right without his partner Shatuo and Gengxin does a great job being the nervous but equally brave doctor. The special effects are iffy in some places, but are great when it counts, and the sea monster is something to see when it finally appears in all its freakish glory.


The martial arts is strewn throughout the film, and are well done, but like the previous film add a little spice, but there is more here than in the previous film, and they are well done, mostly wirework and special effects, but good nevertheless. It is the pace of the fights and the staging that are fantastically realized, and the crazy fantasy make the impossible moves believable in their world.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

I enjoyed this film more than the original, which I didn’t think could happen. A rousing mix of action, adventure and fantasy from the Legendary Tsui Hark that takes us into the origin of Detective Dee. So when do we get a sequel?

This film was released on Blu-Ray and DVD by Wellgousa Tuesday, February 11th. I highly recommend it!

The American Remake of District B-13 is here! Brick Mansions Trailer!

Posted in David Belle on February 12, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Brick Mansions

Hmm. I’m not sure why someone felt District B-13 needed to be remade, but here it is, the last complete film of Paul Walker. The film is written and produced by Luc Besson, who of course handled those duties on the first film, and David Belle returns playing the same character. So many of the shots look exactly like those taken from the original it made me wonder even more why they chose to remake this film. Now, the question is does Paul Walker do a good job replacing Cyril Raffaelli? Of course his acting would be better, but what about the fight scenes? Would they be Jason Bourned’ up so he can fake his fight scenes better? Would RZA make a better Taha? And what about my favorite character from the film, K2? I see a big guy who might be him, but c’mon. Anyway, the trailer looks good, and for you Kiai-Kickers I’ll go see it and compare it to the original, whose review you can read here. The remake drops April 25.


Check this out: You Can’t Hear Me, You Can’t See Me!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 4, 2014 by Michael S. Moore


I have more reviews coming soon, but I just keep getting inundated with such cool stuff (and that is in no way a complaint!). Like this, from Andrew Suleiman, a member of the ZeroGravity Stunt Team. He is currently shooting the feature You Can’t Hear Me, You Can’t See Me in Indonesia, and it looks terrific. The stunts look great, and the film combines many styles of martial arts, like Brazilian Jujitsu,  Capoeira, and more grappling arts, which is something you rarely see in martial arts films anymore (Except for Special ID, but that’s another matter). Check out the teaser proof of concept trailer, and then the stunt rehearsals after that. The fight choreography looks great. These guys look like they are having a blast doing what they love. I’m looking forward to seeing the film and whatever else they have cookin’!

I’m just going to predict right now that 2014 is going to be a banner year for Independent martial arts films!