Archive for April, 2016

Review: Ip Man 3 (2015)

Posted in Chao Chen, Donnie Yen, Lo Meng (Turbo Law), Max Zhang, Mike Tyson, Wilson Yip, Yuen Woo Ping with tags , , on April 19, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

02_IP MAN 3_Courtesy of Well Go USA_0

Starring Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Max Zhang, Lo Meng, Chao Chen, Sarut Khanwali, Mike Tyson, Kent Cheng

Fight Choreography by Yuen Woo Ping

Directed by Wilson Yip

Donnie Yen has recently stated that he is basically retiring from film, that he’s said all he wants to say in regards to martial arts. After seeing Kung Fu Killer, I was inclined to agree. Now that I’ve seen Ip Man 3, it’s a certainty (of course before he retires we get Donnie Yen….IN SPACE! ). It’s customary for the third film of a series to be inferior to the two films that preceded it. There are only a few examples of films whose third film was the equal or better than its predecessors, and Ip Man 3 is one of those films, but I was surprised as to the reason why.

Donnie Yen returns as Ip Man, many years after the events of Ip Man 2, and Ip Man is once again prosperous in 1960’s Hong Kong. His Wing Chun school is thriving, he is well-respected in the community, basically placing him back in the position he was in before the events of the first Ip Man took it all away. Hong Kong also seems like its doing well, but it’s not. There are too few police to handle the growing numbers of people. and crime is running rampant. Fatso (Cheng) tries to keep order, but finds himself once again under the command of a corrupt British commander, who takes his orders from Frank (Tyson) a ruthless property owner who now targets the school Ip Man’s son attends as his next conquest. Ip Man finds himself defending the school from Frank’s goons, while navigating a rickshaw driver (Zhang) who may be as skilled in Wing Chun as Ip Man and looks to start his own school, and Ip Man’s wife Cheung Wing-Sing gets devastating news that will alter their lives forever.

01_IP MAN 3_Courtesy of Well Go USA_1

The film is a triumph by Wilson Yip, and the story feels like an organic continuation of the series. The film never forgets the events of the previous films, and does quite a few call backs. Ip Man vs. Ten Men? Sure. To the bad guys, the events of the first Ip Man are nothing more than legend. Surely Ip Man never fought and beat ten black belts? The film even begins how the second film ended: with an adult Bruce Lee looking to train under Ip Man. The film does a great job of resolving Bruce Lee without actually telling that side of the story. Donnie Yen once again does a great job as Ip Man, and his acting has improved, which is needed to as there are quite a few emotional scenes for him. Mike Tyson is adequate as the bad guy Frank, but thankfully you won’t see him very much. Better served is Max Zhang as the rickshaw driver Cheung Tin-chi. He’s a driven,  conflicted man, coming from nothing but has the will to achieve his goals no matter what, and the problem with that is he’s a good man who may have to do bad things in order to achieve his dreams, and Ip Man is the final obstacle standing in his way.

The surprise of the film was Lynn Hung as Cheung Wing-sing. Her story arc drives the final half of the film, and she is excellent. I never really warmed to her character through the first two films, as I never understood how she is always upset when Ip Man either fights or studies his arts, even though those very things have provided her with her lifestyle, and has represented China countless times. This time her story arc recognizes her contradictions, and brings her character full circle by the end of the film as she realizes that Ip Man doesn’t just study Wing Chun, Ip Man IS Wing Chun, as much as the sky is blue and water is wet.

04_IP MAN 3_Courtesy of Well Go USA_0

I had thought that Yuen Woo Ping was losing his skills as a fight choreographer, but nope. He’s at his best here, and the fight scenes are plentiful and all of them are excellent. From the Ip Man vs Ten men fight, with a new wrinkle put in, the massive battles with what appears to be Ip Man fighting half of China, to his duel with Mike Tyson, and the bring-down-the-house finale versus Max Zhang in a Wing Chun vs. Wing Chun fight for the ages. Every fight is imaginative, bone-crunching, fast-paced affairs that really outdo the previous films, and that’s not even mentioning the terrific Wing Chun vs Muay Thai elevator fight between Donnie Yen and Sarut Khanwilai. Really, the weakest fight was Donnie Yen vs Mike Tyson, in that is was short, and Ip Man already faced this kind of fight with Twister (the late great Darren Shahlavi).

The only thing missing from this film was the late Fung Hak-on as the best friend of Master Law (Lo Meng).

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 10

Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip bring the Ip Man trilogy to a satisfying conclusion, culminating in one of the best one on one fights in recent memory. Kung Fu cinema fans, it simply doesn’t get better than this!

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Next Tuesday one of the best martial arts films of 2014 comes to DVD/Blu Ray! Die Fighting!

Posted in Didier Buson, Fabien Garcia, Laurent Buson with tags , on April 15, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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All,

Between El Gato Negro: Prey and a not so good back injury, I’ve been out of pocket for the last several weeks, and forgot to let you good folks know that my favorite martial arts film of 2014 is coming to Blu-Ray and DVD next Tuesday, April 19th! Die Fighting, starring Fabien Garcia and Laurent “Lohan” Buson (Merantau). You can read my review of this terrific movie here!

Here is the trailer, and the home video announcement!

The martial arts, found footage action thriller Die Fighting is coming to DVD and Blu-ray on April 19th. The film, from martial arts experts Fabien Garcia and Laurent Buson, takes place on the city streets of Los Angeles as one crazed director forces several fighters to compete for the ones they love. Shot in real time, Die Fighting co-stars Didier Buson, Jess Allen, Dave Vescio, former American Gladiator Xin Wuku, and others.

 

In the film’s story, four Shaolin fighters are targeted and tested by a mysterious director. Their loved ones have been kidnapped and these trained martial artists must complete a series of more and more complex challenges to release their friends and family. But, this story is not without its tragedy as these four friends face unthinkable horrors. No one fights alone in Garcia’s true tale of terror and action.

 

Die Fighting is already available on several video-on-demand formats. Fans of martial arts films are encouraged to take a look at the film, which has been described as “pulse-pounding” and “amazing,” by Kung Fu Cinema‘s Albert Valentin. 

SYNOPSIS:

“When a team of Shaolin-trained kung fu actors is about to get their break in Hollywood, a mysterious and sadistic director forces them to run a gauntlet through Los Angeles. The Director films their every move as they prove their prowess by provoking a rogues’ gallery of underworld thugs and martial artists”

Some of the best martial arts action that can easily stand right up there with films like The Raid or Ip Man.” – Bobby Blakey, Examiner.com

“5 OUT OF 5 STARS!” – Albert Valentin, Kung Fu Cinema

“An Energetic, Meta Martial Arts Flick” – Ernesto Zelaya Miñano, Twitch

“Jackie Chan and Tony Jaa would absolutely love ‘Die Fighting’ – what more of an endorsement could anyone possibly need eh?” – Brad Curran, Kung-fu Kingdom

“Jaw-dropping fight scenes, fast paced and a genuine adrenaline rush.” – Eoin Friel, The Action Elite

“This film contains more badassery than you can watch in one sitting…” – Michael S Moore, Kiai-Kick

“It would be a crime for any martial arts action fan to miss this one.” – David Vo, Martial Arts Action Cinema

“Die Fighting is a movie that you cannot afford to miss.” – Brad Curran, Kung-fu Kingdom

“A Case For Better Action Movies.” – Lee Golden, Film Combat Syndicate

“An excellent martial arts flick showcasing the Z Team to be major players on the action movie block.” – Andrew Skeates, Far East Films

In other words, you want to buy this next week. 

18 hours left! Please donate to our Kickstarter for El Gato Negro: Prey!

Posted in Kiai-Kick Films with tags on April 7, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Here we are, 18 hours left on our Kickstarter page for El Gato Negro: Prey! The post production would help with paying our editor and sound engineer, renting the facilities for ADR capture, and color work, and paying for the equipment to shoot some additional footage for the film! If you can help please donate, and if not please at least share! I’m excited to present this South Texas superhero, and this is gonna be a blast! You can donate here!

Thanks!

Michael

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