Archive for the Dustin Nguyen Category

The trailer for Warrior is here!!

Posted in Dustin Nguyen, Joe Taslim on December 15, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Based on a story idea from Bruce Lee comes this new Cinemax show. So let’s see, the last ideas from Bruce Lee that was adapted was the Circle of Iron starring David Carradine and Kung Fu, also starring David Carradine (noticing a pattern here…). Let’s see what Cinemax has in store for us, eh?

Hmm. Looks like a well-made production but in the martial arts department the jury’s still out. I don’t know much about star Andrew Koji but believe me I’ll find out. Now two names I DO know is Joe Taslim (The Raid) and Dustin Nguyen ( OG 21 Jumpstreet, Buddha Fire) so there is that. Produced by Justin Lin, Jonathan Tropper and Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee, this is the story of Ah Sahm, a Chinese immigrant who comes to San Francisco Chinatown after the Civil War and finds himself in the middle of the Chinatown Tong Wars.

While I’m curious as to how the fight scenes are choreographed, it’s how it’s shot and edited that concern me. Western TV shows tend to really butcher well-done fight choreography with unnecessary close-ups and slow motion mixed with quick cut editing to make things appear to “look exciting”. So while I’m curious I’m also skeptical. Let’s see if this show can win me over.

 

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Review: The Man With The Iron Fists 2 (2015)

Posted in Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Dustin Nguyen, Grace Huang, RZA with tags , , on August 3, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring RZA, Dustin Nguyen, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa (CHT), Carl Ng, Grace Huang

Fight Choreography by Kawee Sirikhanaerat

Directed by Roel Reine

Back long ago, I had heard of this group called the Wu Tang Clan, and being the kung fu junkie myself, I fell in love with their music, and their knowledge and love of kung fu films that permeate nearly every track they did. I even had the original playstation Wu Tang Clan video game (I loved it). I had always wondered why no one was using their music in actual martial arts films for years. I even hoped they would make a film themselves. While that never came to pass the way I wanted it to, the RZA, after working on Kill Bill, seemed to get bitten by the bug to make something. I was excited by the prospect…

Until I remembered that 1. The RZA isn’t an actor and 2. He isn’t a skilled martial artist. I roasted his first effort which you can read here, and I was disappointed in how it turned into a kung fu film that got invaded by the X-Men. I also disliked the fact that rather than finding a great African-American martial artist, new or otherwise, to play Thaddeus, he chose himself. That decision brought the entire film crashing down, despite the fact that as a directorial debut, it wasn’t bad, and many people agreed. The soundtrack was awesome, and had the film lived up to the music, we would be heralding it as a classic film. Now comes the sequel, without a Russell Crowe, Dave Bautista, or Lucy Liu. Not to mention a much smaller budget that the first film.

In many ways, the smaller budget actually improved this film over the first. But two items derail everything. More on that later.

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The film picks up not long after the first one, and we find Thaddeus (RZA) traveling to the Wu Chi temple, in order to fix his chi and live a peaceful life. Of course marauders led by the brother of Silver Lion, a character Thaddeus killed in the first film, attacks Thaddeus, and though he defeats them, Thaddeus injured, and falls into the river and is carried away. Meanwhile, in the village of Tsai Fu, the people there are practically enslaved to work in the silver mines by Master Ho. Master Ho is a nasty piece of work, killing whomever he chooses and treating the villagers as disposable goods. Li Kung (Nguyen) leads the people, but they are growing tired of his unwillingness to fight. The Town Mayor (CHT) does what Master Ho tells him, but behind his back helps Li Kung as best he can. Before long Thaddeus is found drifting in the river near them, and  Li Kung’s daughter, Innocence, takes him in to heal him. Thaddeus and Li Kung find themselves allied against Master Ho, but little do they suspect that an even greater threat to the people is about to be unleashed…

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This isn’t a great film. It’s not even good. It’s…mediocre. It just sits there, does its thing, and leaves without any great impression left. The acting is passable, with two exceptions. One is Dustin Nguyen, who made for a great hero as the conflicted Lu Kung. The film had the good sense to make him the real star of the film, and he delivers. If you’ve seen the work the former 21 Jumpstreet star has done in Vietnam with The Rebel and Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, and films like Zero Tolerence, you wouldn’t be surprised at this. The second exception? Well, the RZA, again, is terrible here, less than passable, with no onscreen charisma to speak of. The script doesn’t help them out as the dialogue is basic and not out of place from one of the Star Wars prequel films. The overall story isn’t bad, kinda generic, but could have been a cool little film except for the shortcomings. The editing is also a bit lackluster during the fight scenes, but gets better toward the end. CHT isn’t in the film nearly enough, and toward the end he goes Shang Tsung on everybody so much so I expected him to say “Let Mortal Kombat Begin!” at one point. Grace Huang is also in the film but only as a cameo as one of the Gemini Twins, the only other characters to return from the first film.

The music, once again, is really the best thing about the film, and the RZA knocks it out of the park. I think some of the music comes from the first film just remixed, but that’s okay. I loved it in the first film, and I have zero problems revisiting it here. I did find it odd that director Noel Reine also handled the camerawork. It’s two really big hats to wear on a production like this, and I wonder if it affected the quality of the final product.

The fight scenes with Dustin Nguyen are pretty good, nothing truly memorable, but good. The RZA, on the other hand, is better than the first film, but still his lack of martial arts skills, and the lack of acting skills to make anyone believe he IS a great martial artist. The finale is the only kinda-gory effects work in the film, and at least here it’s put to better use. The best thing the RZA does is to let Dustin Nguyen carry the heavy loads during the fight scenes.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 5

A passable film by the RZA that once again misses the mark due to the RZA’s lack of acting and true martial arts skill. Dustin Nguyen does a great job here, but it’s not enough.

Finally! Here is the Trailer for Dustin Nguyen’s Buddha Fire!

Posted in Dustin Nguyen, Roger Yuan, Veronica Ngo with tags on February 3, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Been waiting to see what Dustin was cooking up ever since I reported about this film. Now we get trailer that looks like all kinds of crazy. A weird amalgam of modern days versus fantasy, and I have to say this looks promising! But check out the trailer for yourself and decide! 2013 just looks to get better and better. I think Buddha Fire is still the name, but I’d be happy if anyone can translate the title from the trailer and let me know! Roger Yuan and the great Veronica Ngo round out the cast!

 

Dustin Nguyen begins production on Monk on Fire (Buddha Fire) with Roger Yuan, Jason Ninh Cao and Veronica Ngo!

Posted in Dustin Nguyen, Jason Ninh Cao, Roger Yuan, Uncategorized, Veronica Ngo with tags on October 22, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

While waiting for things to get going on Iron Monk, Jason Nihn Cao has started working on Monk on Fire, a film that has been in development for a while, a project being directed by 21 Jumpstreet’s Dustin Nguyen (That will be the final time I associate his name with that show on this site) who scored a hit with the Vietnam martial arts epic The Rebel. Now things have gotten going, as the fight rehearsals have started. The film stars Dustin Nguyen, Roger Yuan, Veronica Ngo (Clash) and Jason Ninh Cao. Roger Yuan is also reported to be doing the fight choreography.

Information on the story is thin at the moment, but what is known is that it’s a fantasy martial arts story that revolves around a rivalry between two buddhist warriors (Nguyen and Yuan respectively).

I’ll get in touch with Jason Ninh Cao to see if he can give any more details. More to come!

Roger Yuan

Veronica Ngo

Jason Ninh Cao