Archive for the Dennis Ruel Category

How about some previs work with Vlad Rimburg and crew?

Posted in Amy Johnston, Brendon Hour, Bryan Sloyer, Dennis Ruel, Emmanuel Manzanares, Jerry Quill, Shawn Bernal, Vlad Rimburg, Vonzell Carter on October 30, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

If you come to this site enough you know how much I love and appreciate the many martial arts stunt people/actors whom I’ve covered over the years. This video pretty much contains my favorite folks, one and all. They are tremendous talents one and all, in front and behind the camera, and it’s badass to see them together at once, even in a previs. My question is, previs for what? Ah, now that’s a question! Amy Johnston, Dennis Ruel, Vonzell Carter, Bryan Sloyer, Jerry Quill, Shawn Bernal, Brendon Huor, and Sam Puefua rock this all the hell out, with exciting choreography by Vlad Rimburg and Emmanuel Manzanares. Really, so much great work went into this. Check it out, and then watch it again. Great work, gang!

My new question for you, Vlad: So when do we get Part 3 Chapter A?

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A whole lotta awesome and a bit of strange in The Man From Death!

Posted in Brendon Hour, Brian Le, Dennis Ruel, Gui DaSilva, Mike Moh, Natalie Padilla, Vlad Rimburg on February 24, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Now this is a shot to the senses! A western that plays like something out of a video game, a trippy future film, and a kung fu shoot-em-up that brings the normal brilliance from Vlad Rimburg and features the talent of Eric Lim, Dennis Ruel, Natalie Padilla, Gui Dasilva, Jimmy Chhiu, Mike Moh, Brendon Hour, and Brian Le. Director Stephen Reedy just launches this short film right at you, and it’s a lot of fun, playing like the steroid-fueled brother of Scott PilgrimThe Good The Bad and The Weird and Millionaires Express. The fights are awesome, but I’ll say it right now, it’s NSFW, so proceed carefully! Check out the video below!

Review: Close Range (2015)

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Jimmy Chhiu, Scott Adkins with tags on January 5, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring Scott Adkins, Nick Chinlund, Tony Perez, Caitlin Keats, Madison Lawlor, Robert Dill, Dennis Ruel, Jimmy Chhiu

Fight Choreography by Jeremy Marinas

Directed by Isaac Florentine

Scott Adkins has to be one of the best martial arts actors in the last 10-20 years to NOT get a real shot at an A-list film. And no, The Expendables doesn’t count. So many of us like-minded folks have been waiting for Scott to get a Steven Seagal/JCVD film with those budgets and worldwide releases, but alas it may never be, simply due to entertainment today. I’ve come to grips with this, and will enjoy the hell out of whatever he puts out, particularly if Isaac Florentine is behind the camera. More than most directors at his level, he truly understands what martial arts should look like onscreen. While many of us are waiting with baited breath for Undisputed 4: Boyka Kicks More Ass* Florentine and Adkins bring us a modern day man-with-no-name western: Close Range.

Scott Adkins plays Colt Macready, an ex-soldier who is on the run for criminal acts committed while on a mission he didn’t agree with. Now a mercenary, the film opens where many films end, with Colt saving his sister’s daughter from an Mexican drug cartel, and killing a lot of men in the process, but in doing so takes something far more valuable to drug lord Fernando Garcia (Perez). Colt takes his niece back to her mother but their victory is short lived as the local law enforcement led by Sheriff Calloway, who is in the pocket of Garcia, tries to arrest Colt, and it is there that all hell breaks loose as Colt must avoid the police and Garcia and his men, who arrive to end Colt and his family once and for all…

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The story here is pretty basic, but very cool in the way the film begins. It does have a western feel to it, and Florentine stretches his directing muscles a bit, with camera angles and a style that does—in a small way— evoke westerns of old. Adkins is okay here, but I had a hard time liking his character, nor that of his family. I wish the film had stopped to expand the characters through their actions. So much of their characters are told in exposition, it was hard to really get into them. The look of the film is spot on, and should be as they didn’t use much of the budget for locations, as the majority of the film takes place on his family’s ranch.

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Yes, this scene is as silly as it looks. Still cool, though!

The fights are damn good here, featuring some of Adkins’ best, especially his fight with Reina (Dill) and his end fight with Jimmy Chhiu, which gets to showcase some rare knife fighting from Adkins and some really fast-paced fighting, which are all choreographed expertly by Marinas. I was always looking forward to the next fight, and was never bored as the dynamics of each fight change. Groundbreaking? No, but very, very entertaining to watch.

I would not mind seeing Colt Macready in a sequel film!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

A solid actioner that further cements Adkins as one of today’s best martial arts action stars!

*not the real title. But C’mon!

Cornered and Michael S Moore at the Action On Film Festival 2015!

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Emmanuel Manzanares, Gui DaSilva, Michael Moore, Richard Norton, Vlad Rimburg with tags on September 24, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Whew! I only spent 3 days in Monrovia, California for the Action On Film Festival, but I had memories to last a lifetime and met so many wonderful people! The festival is held at the Krikorian theater, and let me tell you, its a beautiful theater! The days were hot ( not nearly as hot as Texas was!) but it was just gorgeous outside:

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AOF is in its 11th year, and there are a LOT of films shown, and its a testament to festival creator Del and Theresa Weston that so many filmmakers attend the show! Del is a personality, one so big how could he NOT create a thing like AOF? Such a good guy! He welcomed me with open arms literally the moment I arrived!

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I literally got off the plane early Friday morning, and after a small jaunt to Venice Beach ( hey, it was my first time in Los Angeles) I went to the festival and the whirlwind began! I finally met Kely McClung (Blood Ties) a longtime facebook friend, and now a friend for real, plus his makeup artist Nadia, who will be working with Kely on a short film called Loop. Kely was at the festival as his feature film Altered was showing (it was really good!) I also met a lot of wonderful actors, actresses, directors and producers!

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Left to Right: Kely McClung, Michael S Moore, Actress Jodie Lee, Makeup Artist Nadia Berchtold, and actor Robert Factor.

Saturday Night saw a lot of action, culminating in the screening of UnLucky Stars! My review can be found here, and it was just as much fun watching it a second time around! Unlucky Stars now has distribution, so hopefully you’ll all be able to see it soon! I was finally able to meet the cast and crew, and I was stoked! These are guys I’ve been pounding the drums for nearly since Kiai-Kick’s inception, and here they were! A great group of guys:

Left to right: Vladislav Rimburg, Sari Sabella, Michael S Moore, Emmanuel Manzanares, Dennis Ruel, and Gui Dasilva

Left to right: Vladislav Rimburg, Sari Sabella, Michael S Moore, Emmanuel Manzanares, Dennis Ruel, and Gui DaSilva

If you’re new to the website and don’t know their work, here are a few things to watch:

DAMN RIGHT. I also met Bryan Sloyer, who is becoming quite the filmmaker himself!

So the screening went well, and afterward who should we see in attendance? None other than RICHARD NORTON! (Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars, Mad Max: Fury Road, China O’Brien and so many more!) Such a gentleman and very humble, but the man is a legend of martial arts cinema!

Richard Norton is so cool he gets his own toplight!

Richard Norton is so cool he gets his own toplight!

There were some truly great short films, like Battle of Wills by David Noh (awesome story and ending!), Wrath of God, and The Real Miyagi, about Karate Master Fumio Demura, was tremendously good. I can’t recommend that documentary enough.

I had to leave Sunday night, but my experiences were once in a lifetime. Or was it? Now that Cornered has shown, I have already started work on my next/first feature film. What is it? Well…

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So I’ll see you next year, right?

Review: Sensitive 70’s Turtleneck Tough Guys (2015)

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Edward Kahana Jr., Eric Jacobus, Jose Montesinos with tags , on February 24, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring Jose Montesinos, Eric Jacobus, Troy Carbonel, Sari Sabella, Edward Kahana, DeeDee Luxe, Lisa Younger, Jon Bastian, Gabriel Wheeler, Matthew Zipkin, Tao Sabella

Fight Choreography by Dennis Ruel, Eric Jacobus, Jose Montesinos

Directed by Jose Montesinos and Brett Stillo

How good has 2015 been so far in the world of independent martial art films? First we get Rope A Dope 2, then Unlucky Stars, and now Jose Montesinos (American Brawler) along with Eric Jacobus (Rope A Dope 1 and 2) and with fight choreography by Dennis Ruel (Unlucky Stars) returns with this ode to the 70’s tough guys!

In this short film we meet three tough guys, who also happen to all wear turtlenecks: Raymundo Bala P.I. (Montesinos), Detective Frank Cox (Jacobus), and Cheegan Jones (Carbonel). As they sit, ruminating over their newfound “sensitivity” and what it means to be a man in the tough environment of the 70’s, we flash back to what they’ve been doing, which is beating up a lot of bad guys in incredibly manly ways. As they discuss these issues it is apparent that this sensitivity does not extend to the gents they are fighting, as they are taken out in increasingly brutal ways. But it’s just another day on the job for these Sensitive Turtleneck Tough Guys…

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I must admit that during the first minute I wasn’t sure where things were going, but I quickly understood as both Bala and Cox were about to take on a group of baddies in flashback sequences. After the fighting started I was hooked. The sheer look of the film is 70’s style, from the cars to the clothing and locations to the music. The film captures this perfectly, which is impressive given its small budget. Montesinos and Jacobus do a good job as the tough guys, never revealing their emotions, even as they discuss being sensitive. Carbonel does a great job saying absolutely nothing, which is a feat unto itself as he had to manage a straight face amidst the crazy dialogue he had to listen to. The macrame moment with Carbonel made the film for me.

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The only thing I didn’t really like was when the guns came out and started blazing. It’s the only part that showed the low budget nature of the film.

The fights are the standouts here, as Dennis Ruel came off with some great-but-cheesy-but-still-great 70’s style fight choreography (I loved the guy who got his arm broken like 3 times.) and it was performed well, especially the fights with Eric Jacobus, who excels at mixing fighting with comedy.

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Hopefully we can have these Sensitive Tough Guys return for an encore!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

A great little short film that mixes good laughs with some great 70’s era fighting. Who says sensitive guys with Turtlenecks can’t be tough?

Live in San Francisco? Now’s your chance to watch Unlucky Stars!

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Edward Kahana Jr., Emmanuel Manzanares, Ken Quitugua, Sam Hargrave, Shawn Bernal, Vlad Rimburg with tags , , on February 18, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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Per director Dennis Ruel:

SF Cast N Crew Screening OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – ONLINE TICKETS ONLY: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unlucky-stars-castncrew-screen…
Q & A with Cast and Crew following the show!

If you live in the  SF area then you are in for a treat! For martial arts film fans this is not to be missed! Why? Read my review here!