Archive for the Michelle Lee Category

Danny Trejo, Marko Zaror, and Michelle Lee…The Green Ghost!

Posted in Arnold Chon, Freddie Poole, Marko Zaror, Michelle Lee with tags on January 6, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Filming near Austin, Texas right now is the latest film with Danny Trejo, and it looks to be really, really something. For starters, Michelle Lee (Mileena from Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Pacific Rim, Clandestine) is in it:

2015-01-03 15.35.36

 

oh, and this guy:

2015-01-03 15.48.18

That’s right. The great Marko Zaror also stars, and the film also appears to have a bevy of martial and parkour artists. The fight choreography is by Arnold Chon (Pirates of The Carribbean, Blood and Bone, Black Dynamite) and Freddie Poole (Ride Along 2, Ant-Man, Argo, Rope-A-Dope 2) I don’t know what the story is about, who the good guy/bad guys are, but rest assured I’m gonna try to find out. IMBD has a synopsis of the story, but things can change, and it may be different now that what’s up there.

They’ll be hangin’ around the Austin area for a few weeks, so I hope to talk to some of the stars and crew more in depth as production gets underway!

PS. I’m not in the film. I would be probably be the coffee boy to the director. Or the guy to answer the question: Where the hell is Lockhart, Texas?!

 

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Review: Clandestine Episode 1 (webseries)

Posted in Amy Johnston, Gui DaSilva, Michelle Lee with tags , on January 2, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Clanestine

Starring: Marshal Hilton, Amy Johnston, Reuben Langdon, Aaron Toney, Michelle Lee, Gui DaSilva, Jimmy Chhiu, Christopher Rivas

Fight Choreography by Brendon Huor

Directed by Haile Lee & Christopher C. Cowan

First, the episode itself:

So after quite a while of waiting, we finally have the first episode of Clandestine, featuring members of the Thousand Pounds stunt team, a group this site has followed for a while. I was excited to hear about Clandestine, a martial arts web series that was Kickstarted, and rife with great talent across the board. So how did Episode 1 turn out?

I am intrigued, but wished there was more martial arts (but I would say that about anything not named The Raid). In the first episode we are introduced to the world of Clandestine, and we follow the leader of the Lion Clan, Elliot Dural, as he is called to a meeting with the other heads of the rival clans who have kept peace for quite a while. He attends the meeting with William, who I assume is his son(?). Of course at the meeting things don’t go according to plan, and the group is ambushed, and it appears that any further talks of peace are destroyed…

The production values are quite good here, particularly with the costumes and special effects. The acting is decent but just a tad stilted. The camerawork is quite good, but if you follow Thousand Pounds, that’s just par for the course. The story moved along at a good pace for a first episode, and there is some fighting at the end, but I felt a few characters would have been better served with a little more screen time, if only to build sympathy for them when they get killed (dang, couldn’t we get a little more screen time for Michelle Lee?). The little fighting there is does whet the appetite for what’s next, so it did its job! The best job this episode did was to make me want to see episode 2! Well done, ladies and gents, well done.

Episode One of Clandestine is great, and can only get better once Amy Johnston shows up next episode!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

Review: Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2

Posted in Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Eric Jacobus, Larnell Stovall, Mark Dacascos, Michelle Lee, Samantha Jo with tags , , , , on October 7, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Mk S2 Kitana

Starring Mark Dacascos, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Michelle Lee, Eric Jacobus, Casper Van Dien, Ian Anthony Dale, David Lee McInnis, Samantha Jo, Dan Southworth, Eric Steinburg, Brian Tee

Fight Choreography by Larnell Stovall

Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

Kevin Tancharoen took the internet by storm several years ago when he made a low budget short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and starred Michael Jai White, Matt Mullins, and Lateef Crowder that rebooted the Mortal Kombat series into a much darker, more violent property than the feature films ever were. The short film was a success, finally displaying a good martial arts fight scene and still retaining what made Mortal Kombat great. The powers that be at the WB were impressed, and rightly so. They gave Tancharoen the funds and resources to make a Mortal Kombat webseries. Bringing back Michael Jai White and Matt Mullins, along with Jeri Ryan and Darren Shalavi as Kano, matched together with the fight choreography of Larnell Stovall, and they had an online hit. The Mortal Kombat universe was successfully rebooted for a new generation.

So now we have Season 2. How did it fare this time around?

Mk S2 Lui Kang

The answer is…not nearly as good.

The series starts with the first appearance in the series of Liu Kang (Tee), the hero of the last tournament, now a violent drifter after the death of his fiancee at the hands of a group of thugs. His brother Kung Lao (Dacascos) comes to tell him that he will fight in the tournament, but Liu Kang, his soul darkened by revenge, wants nothing to do with the tournament or his brother. Meanwhile, Princess Kitana (Jo) is coming to terms with the revelations she discovered from last season about her true heritage, while Sub-Zero tries to reason with Skorpion about the attack on his family from last season. All of this at the backdrop of the tournament itself….

MK Season 2 Skorpion

So, let’s first get to the things I didn’t like. The stories overall were ok, but not nearly as good as last season, especially since Michael Jai White, Jeri Ryan, or Darren Shahlavi and their characters are absent, as we get an entire new group whose stories I could care less about, especially that of Kenshi. The story of how he got his sword is weak, and I could’ve done without knowing anything about him. Casper Van Dien doesn’t bring much of anything to the role that Matt Mullins couldn’t have done, and his fight scenes were unconvincing, unlike with Matt, who is a real martial artist. The Mileena/Kitana storyline didn’t follow through from last season with any real weight. The biggest disappointment I had with in regards to the Sub-Zero/Skorpion storyline, arguably the best of season 1, and it is here that I send a criticism straight to Kevin Tancharoen for not standing on the table and keeping their story in Japanese with English subtitles (maybe he did try to argue for it), which completely took me out of the scenes in Japan. I would ask anyone to watch the Season 1 Episodes and Season 2 and tell me a large piece of authenticity wasn’t lost. Tack onto that how their story ends this season, and it was infuriating, especially if you’re a Sub-Zero fan.

MK S2 Shang Tsung

Now for what I liked. Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa as Shang Tsung. CHT is always great, and even more so here, once again playing the badass of the MK universe, and his line readings are as awesome as ever. Mark Dacascos was also cool as Kung Lao, even if he didn’t get much to do in this season. I liked the Liu Kang story more than I thought I would, and it was a refreshing new take on the hero of earth realm. I won’t ruin the surprise the final episode has in story for Liu Kang fans, but it will make Season 3 really interesting. Also, and this goes into the like and dislike category, Eric Jacobus as Stryker. I thought he did a great acting job, much better than many of the other stars, and his fight with Liu Kang was short, but very good. What I didn’t like was that he didn’t get an episode establishing his character, unlike virtually everyone else. Hopefully next season will fix this (and they keep Eric in the part, and not try to replace him like they did with Mullins. You listening, Warner Brothers?)

The fight scenes were pretty good, the best being Kenshi versus Ermac and Kitana versus Mileena. Everyone did a fantastic job here. I was a bit disappointed in the Skorpion/Sub Zero fight. I can’t put my finger on it, but it wasn’t as good to be as the Season 1 meeting between the two ( I realize Sub-Zero was Quan Chi in season 1, but still…)

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 6

It was hard to care with so many cast members from Season 1 gone, and the Skorpion/Sub-Zero story was disappointing. I think there are some good seeds planted for Season 3, but it’ll require better storytelling that what’s on hand here. The fights kept this score from being lower.