Archive for the Eric Jacobus Category

Review: Blindsided (2017)

Posted in Clayton Barber, David No, Eric Jacobus, Roger Yuan on February 28, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-9-14-13-pm

Starring Eric Jacobus, Roger Yuan, Nicolas Verdi, Brett Sheerin, Khalid Ghajji

Fight Choreography by Roger Yuan

Directed by Clayton Barber

I’ve been gleefully awaiting anything from Eric Jacobus ever since we saw him in Rope-A-Dope 2, and now this filmmaking/martial arts/stuntman badass returns in a film that pays great homage to all of the blind martial arts onscreen fighters over the years, so how does his newest short hold up to everything including his own work?

In short: this is Mr. Jacobus’ best film yet. And that’s really, REALLY saying something.

The film opens as we meet Walter, a blind man with a bit of a problem: he needs milk to go with his apple pie (which looks like the best apple pie I’ve seen in a long time), and goes to his corner market. While shopping there the shop owner (played by the great Roger Yuan!!!) is accosted by a group of thugs, and well, you can probably guess what happens next. I’m not giving it away!

Eric, as always, shows that comedy is his strong suit, and proves it again here, not so much with the character himself, but with the early part of the fight scenes, which remind me of some of Jackie Chan’s best fight scenes using a prop, which in this case is his cane. Roger Yuan looks like he’s having a blast watching the proceedings, and since he’s also the fight choreographer, isn’t that an awesome thing?! The direction by Clayton Barber is spot on, and everyone does a great job packing a lot of character into a very short amount of time. The production values are fantastic as they aways are with Eric’s work, and the fights!

Let’s have a word about that.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-9-14-47-pm

There is only one fight scene in the film, but covers a lot and since weapons are involved it looks technically difficult to shoot, but the quality is there as we see some amazing movements, parries, blocks and strikes are fast and furious, but the excellent camerawork makes sure you know what’s what and who is where at all times.

If I had any real issue with the film is that I wanted more of everything! But that’s for a sequel, isn’t it? And be sure to stick through the credits as you see what training Eric went through to accurately portray a blind gentlemen. Dedication to craft, everybody!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9.5

Eric knocks this one out of the park–again–and Roger Yuan’s fight choreography is on point! This film comes on Youtube March 1st, and I HIGHLY suggest you watch it! So where’s my feature film with Walter? 

You can watch the film March 1st here.

Advertisements

Review: Sensitive 70’s Turtleneck Tough Guys Part 2 (2015)

Posted in Edward Kahana Jr., Eric Jacobus, Jose Montesinos, Marco Antonio Alvarez on November 3, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Sensitive 70's 2

Starring Jose Montesinos, Jessica Etheridge, Troy Carbonel, Marco Antonio Alvarez, Sari Sabella, Edward Kahana, Mathew Zipkin, Lucas Okuma, Ray Carbonel, Steven Yu, Eric Jacobus

Fight Choreography by Dennis Ruel, Ed Kahana, Steven Yu, Troy and Ray Carbonel, Lucas Okuma, Sari Sabella

Directed by Jose Montesinos and Brett Stillo

2016 draws near, but before 2015 ends we get another installment of those Sensitive 70’s Turtleneck Tough Guys, after the fun and well made first original, ade

Once again we pick back up on Tough Guy Raymundo Bala, P.I. (Montesinos) as we find him not hanging out with his boys, Cheegan Jones (T. Carbonel) and Frank Cox (Jacobus), but with foxy lady Detective Jo Dixon (Etheridge) as they discuss their feelings, as sensitive 70’s tough people do, and their mutual case, involving drug lord Escobarrrr (Alvarez) a guy with a lot of henchmen and a dog…which needs to be spayed. Dixon tries to get Bala to rejoin the police force, but he’s not taking the bait, and finds out that Dixon is now partnered up with his buddy Frank Cox, and Bala doesn’t take the bait, and in flashback sequences we find out the connection Dixon and Bala have with Escobarrr…

The first entry in Sensitive 70’s Turtleneck tough guys featured a bit more fighting, but this installment concentrates more on Raymundo Bala, and I wonder how Jose Montesinos could keep himself from laughing at the things that come out of his mouth, but he does, playing Bala as straight as possible, even as things get more insane. Jessica Etheridge is also great here as the sultry-yet-badass cop Dixon, who hints at a previous relationship with Bala, and she sells even her frustration at the fact that Bala isn’t getting the hint that yes, she wants to do more than simply discuss their mutual case.

70s Turtleneck 2.1

As always, Troy Carbonel’s Cheegan Jones doesn’t say a word, but sets off the funniest part of the film, involving Escobarrr and his crew of thugs. Speaking of which, they are all good, but Sari Sabella as…wait for it…Worshack Jenkins (even the name makes me laugh!) is the funniest thing about this short, in a moment involving a knife, and his head, and his screams are worth every moment, even his very last moment onscreen made me stop watching until I could compose myself. Marco Antonio Alvarez (Barrio Brawler) plays a great over-the-top Escobarrr (by the way, it’s not a misspelling.) and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for our heroes in the next installment. Speaking of which, you’ll notice I haven’t said much of anything about Eric Jacobus as Frank Cox. Well, there’s a reason for that, and you’ll have to watch to find out why!

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.24.28 AM

The 70’s aesthetic is once again done well here, from the film artifacts, to the credits and even the editing all reflect that time period well. Jose has this time period nailed, and knows how to get the comedy out of…tough guys in turtlenecks!

I want to discuss the fight scenes presented here, but I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice to say it’s a lot of fun to watch, and Jessica Etheridge does a good job beating up Edward Kahana, but Troy Carbonel’s fight scene is full of hilarity, not the least of which is thanks to a combination of great reactions from all of the actors, and Sari Sabella’s screams. Please tell me Worshack Jenkins has a twin brother for the next installment!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

Jose Montesinos and company craft another well done short film as those Turtleneck tough guys kick ass, and Part 3 can’t come fast enough!

Watch it below!

Donate to Ric Meyer’s Kickstarter for “Films of Fury: The Once & Future Interviews Doc/Book!!

Posted in Eric Jacobus, Ric Meyers on August 20, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

 

I had always thought I knew quite a bit about kung fu films. And I do. But my knowledge pales before that of author/ reviewer/ kung fu man Ric Meyers. If you haven’t read his book Films Of Fury, then go out, buy the book, and come back after you’ve read it. When reviewing older films, I frequently research the background behind these films, and I always look to that book first! Ric also cheered me on when I started this site, so of course I want to do something for him now, and this project is something I hope a lot of you get behind, because it’s worth it.

Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping, Ti Lung, Yuen Wah, Raymond Chow, David Chiang, and so many more are not getting any younger, and once they are gone their stories and film memories will be gone forever. Any chance to get that one great interview to delve into their minds about their careers and filmmaking mindsets have to be taken advantage of, and this may be the best time to do it, and Ric is certainly the right person to take this on, and he’ll have help from the great Eric Jacobus, who will surely bring his own experiences to the people he interviews.

Oh yeah, a docufilm version of Ric’s Book Films of Fury is on NETFLIX and HULU. So go watch that, too.

Please support his Kickstarter by clicking here!

 

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

Sensitive 70s YT thumb

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…

SENSITIVE 98

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.

SENSITIVE 94

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.

SENSITIVE 92

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?

Review: Rope-A-Dope 2: The Return of the Martial Arts Mafia (2015)

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Edward Kahana Jr., Eric Jacobus, Freddie Poole with tags , on January 13, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

10173732_964121503603601_6812206231949966684_n

Starring: Eric Jacobus, Dennis Ruel, Edward Kahana Jr, Shaun Finney, Lucas Okuma, Thomas Tan, Allen Quindiagan, Ashley Short, Darren Holmquist, Eric Nguyen, Bridger Fox, Brandon Daranouvongs, Jason Jiho Kim, Leonard Zhang, Alain Bloch, Ken Quitugua

Fight Choreography by Eric Jacobus, Pete Lee, Shaun Finney, Dennis Ruel, Clayton Barber

Directed by Pete Lee and Eric Jacobus

Rope-A Dope was one of the best martial-arts-anything of 2013, and actor and stuntman Eric Jacobus and The Stuntpeople return for another round. Could they recapture what made the original short so fantastic? Would they be able to “take it to the next level’?

F***K YEAH.

After a brief recap of the original (put to the tune of Magic Clap, which I happen to be listening to right now) we find that the city is about to honor the Dope (Jacobus) for defeating the Martial Arts Mafia in the previous film. Of course the Dope still has no concept of time, and finds himself running late. Meanwhile, Den (Ruel) the leader of the gang in the previous film, finds that just like the Dope, he too is repeating the day once he takes a knockout hit. What ensues is a hilarious back and forth and both try to one-up the other, leading to a knockdown-dragout finale…

10734015_1493852337537960_9086596931930077078_o

Both films, but this one even more than the first, remind me of the Jackie Chan-Sammo Hung—Yuen Biao films of the 80’s (hear that, Eric Jacobus? Remake Wheels on Meals or Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars!) from the way its filmed and edited, to the music, which absolutely rocks. Eric is at his best when he’s doing the funny stuff, and here the comedy works, with no dialogue, meaning everything has to be read on Eric’s face to see what he’s thinking, and he succeeds here, as does Dennis Ruel, who returns and is able to get in on the comedy in a way he wasn’t able to last time, and he’s great here too!

The fight choreography made me flashback to the best days of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung (Note that I keep going back to them. There’s a damn good reason why) with fast and complex choreography that makes sure to take note of the smaller movements (for instance, The Dope using the cane to get himself back up during the final fight) which may seem unimportant, but something would be missing without them. It’s these scenes that hearken back to the JC/SH days of yore. They put importance on the little moves, not just the flashy ones, that give every fight its own personality and energy, and The Stuntpeople know this and made sure to do the same.

Rope-A-Dope 2 is, simply put, one of the best martial arts shorts I’ve ever seen, and anything else coming out in 2015 has a long road to reach the heights of this film. Jacobus and The Stuntpeople will win a lot of awards this year, and it will be so well deserved. So this should be no surprise:

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 10

It just doesn’t get better than this. Watch. Jaw Drop. Rewind. Repeat.

Eric Jacobus is back with Rope-A-Dope 2! Watch now!

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Eric Jacobus on January 12, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Rope-A-Dope_2_logo

 

The first Rope-A-Dope blew so many of us away, and now Eric and crew return! My review will be up tomorrow, but in the meantime, turn your speakers up and watch Eric and crew rock it!