Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Orlando Bloom and Simon Yam in the Hong Kong Actioner SMART CHASE…What?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 3, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Okay, so now you see the above pic and know I’m not playin’. Simon Yam in what looks like a cool movie, but I’ll be honest, he looks great, the co-stars look great.

But Orlando Bloom?!

Lord of the Rings, Kingdom of Heaven, sword-and-sandles-Bloom? I do like him as an actor, but I don’t know, let’s watch the trailer below first:

 

See? He just looks…odd. I don’t know if its the hair, but he just seems so out of place in an action film like this. Of course I’m curious to check this out, and I hope it’s good, but Bloom has an uphill battle to convince me he can do this kind of film. We shall see… in Theaters and VOD August 31st, 2018

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The Trailer for BuyBust is here to kick your ass!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 20, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

From the good folks at WellGoUsa comes Buybust, a martial arts actioner that reminds me a LOT of The Raid, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (unless you are actually trying to remake The Raid. Yeah I’m talking to you, Frank Grillo!).  The film stars Ann Curtis and Brandon Vera, so far it looks like some good times at the theater. Check out the trailer showing at the SDCC this weekend:

 

The film opens in Theaters August 10th!

Review: Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994)

Posted in John Machado, Rigan Machado, Sasha Mitchell, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 24, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sasha Mitchell, Brad Thornton, Kamel Krifa, Michele Krasnoo, Jill Pierce, Rigan Machado, John Machado, David Efron

Fight Choreography by Burton Richardson and Shuki Ron

Directed by Albert Pyun

Sasha Mitchell returns as the last remaining Sloane after Kurt and his brother basically got killed off in Kickboxer 2. Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor finds David Sloane in prison after the events of Kickboxer 3, and Tong Po, who seems to survive damn near everything, is now living in Mexico as…I can’t believe I’m typing this–a Mexican drug lord. The explanation for this is barely understandable, but anyway, Tong Po, to make sure Sloane suffers, kidnaps his girlfriend Darcy, and keeps her in captivity. Fast forward two years later finds Sloane, still in prison, but apparently receiving photos of Darcy being violated by Tong Po. For TWO YEARS. David, now a brooding figure with a half-assed attempt at a Clint Eastwood growl. After he strikes a deal with the Feds, he gets released with the job of bringing in Tong Po dead or alive, but in order to get close enough to do so he must enter a tournament held at Han’s fortres–I mean Tong Po’s fortress and fight his way to a one-on-one fight with Tong Po, and save his girlfriend…

Okay, right off the bat this film combines Kickboxer, Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport into one film that isn’t remotely as good as any of them. Oh hell, they even copy from American Ninja in one insanely baffling sequence. Sasha Mitchell returns as David Sloane and is pretty much the same as every other film as things go on. He’s still the martial arts teacher, which in a weird way I found endearing. Kamal Krifa is nowhere near what Michel Qissi was, and the fake bald cap and makeup is truly embarrassing to watch. I mean, the acting in this film is pretty atrocious across the board, and Albert Pyun, he of many low budget films that I quite enjoy, can’t make this one interesting, and the story just doesn’t work. There were some nice things. I noted one of the fighters wore a Dacascos KungFu uniform, so that was a nice shout out to the Dacascos family. I wish Mark had been in the film (wish granted; he’s in the next one).

What else I don’t like? I don’t like how women in the film are treated as either sex objects, damsels in distress, and the few who display martial arts are treated as woefully bad fighters and are nearly all embarrassed by the men they fight.

And the one girl who does win her fight gets Kanye-ed by a black dude who just jumps in. Unlike Kanye he gets what he deserves but it’s still embarrassing. And yeah, pretty much every black dude except one just gets owned, except for the Capoeira fighter ( but as usual these dudes can’t win more than one damn fight in a tournament film) It was cool to see the Machado Brothers in the film, but I wish they had more to do.

Speaking of which, the fights in this film actually aren’t bad for an American low budget feature, with the bar fight a funny standout ( the guy who ties to avoid getting punched or kicked through a window was pretty humorous) and the final fight that was basically a lower-budget version of the final brawls in Enter the Dragon. Many different styles get displayed here, from BJJ, Kickboxing, Karate, Capoeira, and more. It’s easily the best stuff of the film, unless it involved any woman not named Michele Krasnoo, but there it is.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 4

The decent fights here are wrapped in a terrible story with equally terrible characters. Unfortunately this is the last film in the series featuring Sasha Mitchell (still looking for him in the new films, with the hope they give him a better final Kickboxer movie)

The trailer for The Equalizer 2 is here!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Because, you know, Denzel.

I wonder if 2018 will be the year of the black hero. Between Black Panther, The Equalizer 2 and Shaft 2, and hopefully that MJW Western, I can’t help but wonder if that could be a thing. But color me all in for this one!

Review: Gintama (2018)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 7, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Masami Nagasawa, Masaki Okada,

Fight Choreography by ?

Directed by Yuichi Fukuda

Gintama is an adaptation of a popular Japanese anime and manga about a world in which aliens took over the Earth during the Edo-period, and all swordsmanship has been outlawed. Enter Gintoki and his friends, who are set out to recover a powerful sword that may be able to swing the balance of power once recovered, but find that the mission is far more dangerous than they believe, and they aren’t the only ones looking to possess the sword, and must ultimately defeat the serial killer wielding it…

At least that’s what I think they are trying to do. It’s really hard to tell, partly because this film is really, really bad.

The performances are okay, but even if they weren’t they are the least of this film’s problems.

I’ll admit up front I’ve never seen the anime, so I don’t know how accurate it is. Truthfully it shouldn’t matter. Films should be able to stand on its own two feet, and not dependent on having read or seen anything else (unless it’s part of another film). This film has a group of silly, unfunny characters, an unlikable hero, unnecessary and 4th wall breaking that is really not funny save for one, and only one scene that evokes a Miyazaki film, and tries way too hard to stage scenes and moments right out of the anime, which comes off looking silly.

Someone thought this was a good idea.

There was potential in the story, but too many times the film want to be the Naked Gun of live-action manga films, but first you need to have more successful ones before doing that. The film is mostly a comedy, and there isn’t as much action as you’d think, and what is there isn’t very good, despite being glossed over with special effects. At no level does this film work, not as a comedy and not as an action film.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 2

I nearly gave this film a 0, but fans of Gintama may get more out of it than I did. If you want an offbeat batshit crazy Japanese film, I’d suggest Tokyo Tribe instead.

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.