Archive for the Michael Jai White Category

Sometimes we deserve nice things… Michael Jai White knows this!

Posted in Michael Jai White on March 5, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

While we wait for Black Dynamite 2, MJW is kind enough to bring us another badass character, the Outlaw Johnny Black, in what looks like a remake of Buck and the Preacher, (and I noted a few shots from A Fistful of Dollars and morebut you’ll not hear me complain! It may not have martial arts ( but I’ll bet it does) but I’ll never turn away a MJW film! He could recite Shakespeare and I’d cover it here. Watch the epic trailer below!

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Review: SkinTrade (2014)

Posted in Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Dolph Lundgren, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Uncategorized on January 15, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White, Peter Weller, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Selina Jade, Ron Perlman

Fight Choreography by Dain Hristov

Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham

After the debacle that was Ong Bak 3 Tony Jaa started doing the Tony Jaa World Tour, and this was another film made while he is/was transitioning away from Prachya Pinkaew and legendary Panna Rittikrai, who had already passed away. Jaa joined this film with martial arts stars Michael Jai White and Dolph Lundgren, and one would expect an action packed fisticuffs classic. I’m sorry to say that doesn’t quite happen here.

Dolph Lundgren stars as Nick Cassidy, a New York cop who is hot on the heels of the Serbian mafia led by Viktor Dragovic (Perlman) and his sons. After Nick kills the youngest son of Viktor during a raid, Viktor attacks Nick and his family, killing his wife and presumably his teenage daughter. After Nick recovers from his injuries he seeks out Viktor and follows him to Thailand, with the somewhat help of FBI agent Reed (MJW) and runs afoul of Bangkok cops Tony and his partner Nung, the latter of whom is killed by an agent of Viktor and frames Nick, causing Tony to go after Nick with a vengeance, but both men discover a human smuggling operation run by Viktor and quickly put aside their differences in order to stop Viktor once and for all…

Human Trafficking of any kind is a touchy subject for even a serious film, and for an action film it HAS to get it just right, and this film really botches things here. Only women are shown being trafficked, and none of them even have much of a dialog in the film, and merely exist to give Lundgren and Jaa a reason to stop fighting each other and going after the bad guys.  Ron Perlman is grossly underused here, and not allowed to create a compelling character. Viktor is just another cackling villain here, which is a waste of his talents, which is sad, as there could have been something more there in relation to his sons. Dolph, is well, Dolph. He’s the requisite action star going out for revenge. Ditto the same for Tony Jaa. Michael Jai White is there but doesn’t really leave much of an impression. The film drives on, but there are no real standout scenes, either with characters or with cinematography or even action, which for a film like this is criminal.

The place where this film SHOULD shine is in the action scenes, but even here they drop the ball. The choreography is uninspiring, as the Dolph vs. Jaa fight is only slightly better than Dolph’s fight vs Jet Li in The Expendables. The fight that should have been the standout, Jaa vs MJW, isn’t as good as it could have been, but this is attributed to camerawork and editing. I’ll never understand why some directors feel the need to have the actions scenes chopped to hell, and editing in quick cuts. It NEVER makes the fight more exciting to watch, and doesn’t allow us the audience to marvel at the martial arts we are watching. MJW and Tony Jaa perform their fights just fine, and parts of it look terrific as one would expect, but the editing just slices and dices it up and doesn’t make the fight feel urgent, and after all of that it ends too quickly.

SkinTrade should have been a martial arts classic, but a number of poor directing and editorial decisions ruin the film. And with all the talent assembled that’s a crying shame.  It should’ve been an action classic.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 4

Such great talent is wasted in this film. I’ll hold out hope for a proper Tony Jaa/MJW film. Such a disappointment. 

 

 

 

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!

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…

Falcon Rising 4

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