Archive for the Michael Jai White Category

Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Amy Johnston! The Trailer for Accident Man Is Here!

Posted in Amy Johnston, Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins on November 28, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

I had no idea this film was in production, so Shame. On. Me. However, we have been blessed with a trailer and hot damn does this look great! A Undisputed 2 rematch between Adkins and White? Amy Johnston vs. Adkins (she’s moving on up!). This is mana from heaven, folks, and I intend to be there eyes glued and popcorn ready! Here it is:

 

Does that not look badass? I just said “Hell Yeah!” as I watched this ten times. This film kicks its way right to your TV on February 6th, 2018! Here’s hoping we get a limited theater release beforehand!  Make it happen Sony!

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The Trailer for Never Back Down: No Surrender! (2016)

Posted in Michael Jai White on March 30, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of the Never Back Down series. At least there was one good fight scene with MJW in the second one, and the less said about the first one the better. I’m actually looking forward to this film now that MJW is the main star and fighter. Toss in Nathan Jones along with Tony Jaa and…could this go the way of the Undisputed films? I hope so!

Enjoy the trailer below, but I wanna know when are we going to get a Blood and Bone sequel?

 

CULVER CITY, Calif. (Mar. 28, 2016) – Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite) returns in the next installment of the hard-hitting franchise NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER, available on DVD and digital June 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The action-packed film follows former MMA champion Case Walker (White) as he travels to Thailand to train a friend for a major fight. When things go bad, Case finds himself back in the cage for the fight of his life. NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER also stars Esai Morales (“NYPD Blue”), MMA icon Tony Jaa (Ong-bak franchise, The Raid 3), Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road), Josh Barnett (Occupation: Fighter, UFC 32), and Gillian Waters (Jackie Brown),

 

Synopsis:

Former MMA champion Case Walker (Michael Jai White) has kept a low profile, winning small-time regional matches after refusing to join the powerful new leagues that push performance- enhancing drugs on their fighters. Walker is convinced by old friend and renowned fighter Brody James (Josh Barnett) to join him in Thailand and train him for a big fight against the undefeated and deadly Caesar Braga (Nathan Jones). During training, Brody is injured. Under pressure from an unscrupulous, high-powered promoter (Esai Morales), Walker agrees to replace James and fight his toughest opponent yet — but only on his own terms.

 

Directed by Michael Jai White, NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER is from a story by Michael Jai White and Chris Hauty and a screenplay by Chris Hauty.  It was produced by Craig Baumgarten and David Zelon.

Review: Falcon Rising (2014)

Posted in Larnell Stovall, Michael Jai White with tags , on February 9, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

falcon rising 1

Starring Michael Jai White, Laila Ali, Neal McDonough, Lateef Crowder, Hazuki Kato, Mashashi Odate, Jimmy Navarro

Fight Choreography by Larnell Stovall

Directed by Ernie Barbarash

Michael Jai White is, without a doubt, one of the most underrated action film stars not named Scott Adkins. He went on a tear with a string of underground hits starting with Undisputed 2, and continued through Blood and Bone, and then the greatness that is Black Dynamite. He now returns to action with Falcon Rising, made with frequent JCVD collaborator Ernie Barbarash. After taking a small hiatus away from action, does MJW hit one out of the park or what?

Of course he does, and maybe has a new franchise action series for himself!

Falcon Rising follows former Special Forces soldier John Chapman (MJW), a good man and dangerous one, as much to others as to himself as he suffers PTSD from his time in Iraq, and contemplates suicide. He gets a visit from his sister Cindy (Ali) before she returns to Brazil, where she spends her time doing social work. Things get dark after Cindy is found beaten and barely alive near the ocean off of Rio de Janeiro. John Chapman, with the help of Brazilian consulate and former army buddy Manny Ridley (McDonough) dig deeper into the Brazilian underworld only to discover that Cindy had found information that the Japanese Yakuza don’t want going public, and John Chapman, code-named Falcon, goes on a one man killing spree in order to get his revenge for Cindy…

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MJW, as always, does a great job as John Chapman, a man who constantly checks under cars to make sure there isn’t a bomb hidden underneath. He’s a sympathetic character, a man who looks to die at first but finds his purpose in life in dealing death to those who richly deserve it, and who better than delivering that to the Yakuza? Neal McDonough is always dependable as an actor (one of my favorites ever since Band of Brothers) and Jimmy Navarro is engaging and slimy as Thiago Santo, a detective who may know more about Cindy’s attackers than he cares to admit. Lateef Crowder doesn’t say much, but he’s menacing as Santo’s partner. Ernie Barbarash directs the film with a confident swagger and delivers a fast-paced story.

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The fights here are really good, and create something that can built into something even bigger in the sequel (there had BETTER be one!) and it’s no surprise that fight choreographer par excellence Larnell Stovall is responsible for the action. He does a great job putting together the fights that accentuate MJW’s fighting skills, and the fight between MJW And Lateef Crowder is one I’ve been waiting to see for a while, and I was not disappointed except for wishing the fight had lasted longer, but that’s not Falcon’s way, and the movie wisely steered away from that. I love the fact that it became a 3-way duel involving a katana sword, a knife, and a chain.The battle versus the Yakuza at the Hacienda was also great to watch, and Larnell knows that jump kick takedowns are always cool to see.

This film is set up to be a series, and I can’t wait to see Falcon kick ass in South America again!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

A great opening salvo into what can be a series of MJW films to go right up there with the James Bonds and Blade’s of the world! A great martial arts actioner set in Brazil that sizzles with great fights!

This Month on Kiai-Kick–now on Video! Including a look at my webseries Cornered!

Posted in Dennis Ruel, Michael Jai White, Michael Moore, Sam Hargrave, Sammo Hung, Tony Jaa with tags , on February 1, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Teaser for Tony Jaa/Dolph Lundgren/Michael Jai White actioner SkinTrade!

Posted in Dolph Lundgren, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa with tags , on March 22, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

skin-trade

If you’ve been following my facebook page, I ‘ve been updating everyone about the film SkinTrade. I have no idea as to the plot, but know that Tony Jaa looks to fight both Dolph Lundgren and Michael Jai White. Now, MJW we all know, so that should be another fight I can cross off my bucket list, but Jaa versus Lundgren? I’ve never really seen Dolph’s martial arts tested (I mean REALLY tested) but I think we may see it here. This will be Tony Jaa’s first English language movie, so we’ll see. It doesn’t appear to have a large budget, but with Peter Weller and Ron Perlman on board I may be wrong. The trailer looks good enough, but with the Raid 2 coming next week, and will no doubt raise the bar again, I’m a bit worried for Tony. Word is The Protector 2 was a bit of a disappointment, and Tony was already “chasing” the first Raid film, and now he’ll have to contend trying to match Iko Uwais’s work in The Raid 2.

So the question I put to all of you: Do you prefer Tony do a large budget Hollywood film (a la Rush Hour) pairing him with an up and coming A-list talent but provides us Tony-lite action or would you rather him do a small budget American film (Like Ninja 2) that has high B-low A level talent BUT allows Tony to be Tony?

Review: Never Back Down 2 (2011)

Posted in Larnell Stovall, Michael Jai White with tags , , on March 30, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Michael Jai White, Dean Geyer, Alex Meraz, Todd Duffee

Fight Choreography by Larnell Stovall

Directed by Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White has been kicking ass ever since, well, ever. Films like Spawn, Silverhawk, and more have shows that he is a skilled martial artist and actor. He began to take his career into his own hands with the kickass Undisputed 2, and then Blood and Bone, to the terrific Black Dynamite.

Larnell Stovall first came to the attention to many in the world of fight choreography with Undisputed 3, Bunraku and then with Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. His star in the world of martial arts cinema is rising more and more.

So how both of them drove this film off a god***n cliff escapes me.

First, a caveat: I’m not a fan of UFC, Pride, or any of that stuff. While I respect mixed-martial arts as a style I don’t like the overly arrogant macho-aggressive attitude that accompanies many within the MMA culture. Maybe that attitude helps in regards to ring fighting, but it’s not something I care for, so please keep that in mind as you read this review.

The film opens as we find Mike Stokes (Geyer) arriving at college, and already we can see that he’s a troubled kid, specifically in regards to his father. As the film goes on we find out what his problem with his Dad is, and any mention of it drives Stokes into fits of anger and rage. He soon gets involved with a group of fighters all trained by an ex-con named Case Walker (MJW) a former professional MMA fighter who could have been great had it not been for his past, which is revealed as the film goes on. The other fighters include Zack Gomes, a former boxer who may lose his sight if he fights again, and whose girlfriend catches Stokes’ eye. There is also big man Tim Newhouse (Duffee) whose family is in crisis as his mother is forced to work in a strip clip to provide for the family (no mention of what happened to his father) and last is the unhinged comic book clerk Justin Epstein who quickly shows a darker side once he feels he’s learned all he needs to from Case. Everything culminates in The Beatdown, an underground MMA fighting tournament. Stokes has to face both rival Gomes and the twisted Epstein while Case tries to survive a group of douchebag cops determined to run him out of town, and come to terms with his past…

The problems with this film really starts with the script, in which some of the plots go nowhere, or end in a “meh”. The dialog flies the gamut from simple to just plain bad. Case had the most interesting story of any of the fighters, and should have been the main character, but since this is following a formula of concentrating on the young fighters, that couldn’t happen, which is almost this film’s biggest flaw. The acting ranges from good (MJW) to bad (everyone else). None of the primary characters felt real, just archetypes. MJW’s directorial debut is technically good, and the camera takes good angles on everything, but the direction of the actors may have been part of the problems. The background actors were just plain horrid, and many dramatic scenes involving the principals didn’t have the “oomph” they needed. That, and the biggest problem is that since he is directing, he isn’t in front of the camera, where he works best.

The fight choreography is just plain disappointing. Yes, it may be MMA, but somewhere along the way Stovall forgot that this has to be an entertaining film first. He remembered this with Undisputed 3, which carried fighting that included many MMA-style moves, but it was dynamic movement that was entertaining to watch on film. Here he seems to lose focus on this, except for one fight: Case Walker versus a group of cops. Of any fight in this film this fight felt right. This fight was the Blood and Bone type of fight I wanted to see from MJW. It was good from a cinematic standpoint, and once again allowed us to see MJW in action doing what he does best! As I watched, I came to the conclusion that if I want to see an MMA fight, I’ll watch it on pay-per-view. I don’t need or want to see a choreographed version of it.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (4) Outside of the one MJW fight, none of the fights are impressive or even interesting. I hold Stovall to a high standard, and expected more than this. He simply forgot to make the fights entertaining–to everyone.

STUNTWORK: (5) The work here was decent, but nothing to write home about.

STAR POWER: (5) MJW is the biggest star here, and as for the youngsters, none of the them made an impression on me.

FINAL GRADE: (5) Michael Jai White is barely in this film, and has one good fight. The rest of the film features uninteresting characters and fights, and unlike many of MJW’s other films, this one deserves to be a DTV film.