Bruce Lee’s ‘Longstreet’ TV series to hit DVD in December

Longstreet | DVD (Visual Entertainment)

Longstreet | DVD (Visual Entertainment)

On December 1, 2017, North American distributers, Visual Entertainment, will release the DVD for the complete Longstreet series, a semi-obscure ABC TV show that aired in 1971-72.

Longstreet follows the adventures of Mike Longstreet (James Franciscus), a blind insurance investigator who’s on a mission to capture the people responsible for killing both his wife and his ability to see.

For kung fu cinema fans, Longstreet is perhaps best known for showcasing Bruce Lee (Enter the Dragon) in 4 episodes: “The Way of the Intercepting Fist”, “Spell Legacy Like Death”, “Wednesday’s Child” and “‘I See’, Said the Blind Man” – all of which will be included in the set.

Bruce Lee historians consider his appearance in the Longstreet series the truest representation of not only his personality, but also his philosophy and art. It’s also one of the very few times we get to hear his actual voice speaking an ample amount of English dialogue.

This will be the first time Longstreet will be officially available in any format in the United States. Until Visual Entertainment’s set goes on sale, the series has only been available through VHS-quality bootlegs.

Stay tuned for preorder information.

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‘On the Job’ director takes a stab at martial arts in ‘Buy Bust’

"On The Job" Theatrical Poster

“On The Job” Theatrical Poster

Filipino director Erik Matti (Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles) hit the nail right on its head with his 2013 contract killer-themed thriller On the Job. His recent film, Honor Thy Father (no relation to that 1973 Godfather knock off), has met with similar praise.

Now, Matti is taking a stab at the martial arts genre with in an upcoming action flick titled Buy Bust. The project will star American-Filipino MMA sensation, Brandon Vera (Kamandag), and Filipino-Australian actress, Anne Curtis (Blood Ransom).

There’s no word on the plot, but considering it’s called Buy Bust, we expect a story involving cops, drug dealers and gangsters intertwined with hard-hitting martial arts choreography.

Buy Bust will incorporate traditional styles of Filipino martial arts (the most common are the arnis, eskrima and kali systems) and according to an article by SA, expect “no digital cheating and with no body doubles.”

Update: Check out a New Production Trailer below, which gives you an idea of what to expect. Also be sure to read our recent interview with the film’s action choreographer, Sonny Sison.

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‘Raid’-studded ‘Beyond Skyline’ gets a U.S. Blu-ray date

"Beyond Skyline" Theatrical Poster

“Beyond Skyline” Theatrical Poster

The Raid badasses, Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, star alongside Frank Grillo (Purge: Anarchy) in Beyond Skyline, a sequel to Skyline. Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be releasing the film on Blu-ray & DVD on January 16th, 2018.

When the population of Los Angeles is vacuumed off the face of the earth, Detective Mark Corley storms his way onto an alien ship to rescue his estranged son. But after crashing the ship in Southeast Asia, he must forge an alliance with a band of survivors to discover the key to saving his son and taking back the planet once and for all.

Also appearing in Beyond Skyline are Bojana Novakovic, Callan Mulvey, Valentine Payen, Betty Gabriel, Jack Chausse, Kevin O’Donnell, Antonio Fargas (“Huggy Bear” from the original Starsky and Hutch TV series) and Singaporean actress, Pamelyn Chee (Point of Entry).

For those of you who are not familiar with Skyline, it’s that 2010 alien invasion flick that hit the box office jackpot, despite its atrocious reviews from audiences and critics alike.

Visual effects artist Liam O’Donnell – and writer of the original Skyline – will be taking over directing duties for Greg and Colin Strause (aka The Brothers Strause). The sequel is said to take place at the same time of the events in the first Skyline.

Stay tuned for pre-order information.

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U.S. Trailer for Yuen Woo-ping’s ‘Thousand Faces of Dunjia’

"Thousand Faces of Dunjia" Chinese Theatrical Poster

“Thousand Faces of Dunjia” Chinese Theatrical Poster

Yuen Woo-ping (True Legend, Ip Man 3, Crouching Tiger, Hidden II) is currently putting finishing touches on The Thousand Faces of Dunjia, a remake of Miracle Fighter, a supernatural kung fu film he directed in 1982.

Lending a hand will be Tsui Hark (The Taking of Tiger Mountain), who is on board as producer and writer. The film stars Aarif Lee (Kung Fu YogaBruce Lee, My Brother), Ni Ni (Love Will Tear Us Apart), Da Peng (Jian Bing Man) and Zhou Dongyu (The Taking of Tiger Mountain).

The original – which starred Leung Kar Yan (Five Shaolin Masters), Yuen Cheung-yan (Once Upon a Time in Shanghai) and Yuen Yat Chor (The Postman Srikes Back) – follows a kung fu master who learns special skills from a pair of priests to defeat an evil magician.

According to FBA: Yuen says that aside from sharing the title of the film, the remake will tell an entirely new story. He said that if the original film was meant to present an alternative form of wuxia film, the new film intends to redefine it.

Well Go USA will be releasing The Thousand Faces of Dunjia to theaters on December 15th, 2017. Check out the film’s Trailer below:

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The Foreigner | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

The Foreigner | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

The Foreigner | Blu-ray & DVD (Universal)

RELEASE DATE: January 9, 2018

Global superstar Jackie Chan (Police Story 2013) returns like you’ve never seen him before in the action-packed film, The Foreigner (read our review), arriving on Digital on December 26, 2017 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on January 9, 2018 from STXfilms and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, Jackie Chan plays a humble restaurant owner who is pushed to violence after a band of terrorists take his daughter’s life in an attack. The movie is based on Stephen Leather’s 2008 novel The Chinaman.

Directing The Foreigner is everyone’s favorite 007 filmmaker, Martin Campbell (Casino Royale). Co-starring with Chan is former James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan (Tomorrow Never Dies, No Escape). The project unites Campbell and Brosnan for the first time since 1995’s Goldeneye.

The Foreigner also stars Charlie Murphy (’71), Katie Leung (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Simon Kunz (GoldenEye) and Roberta Taylor (Green Street 3: Never Back Down).

Blu-ray Special Features:

  • The Making of The Foreigner
  • Interviews
  • Trailer #1
  • Trailer #2

Pre-order The Foreigner from today!

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles, News | Tagged | 30 Comments

Life Before Atomic Blonde: Female Action Leads in Hollywood

Life Before Atomic Blonde: Female Action Leads in Mainstream HollywoodWith the recent release of the Charlize Theron starring Atomic Blonde, a disproportionate amount of mainstream press coverage has revolved around how refreshing it is to finally see a Hollywood movie with a female action lead. Understandably, many Asian cinema fans have been quick to point out how Hong Kong has delivered more butt kicking female leads than you can shake a stick at, dating back to the beginnings of cinema itself. The same applies to the U.S. B-movie circuit, with the likes of Cynthia Rothrock, all the way up to present day femme fatales such as Amy Johnson and Zoe Bell, anchoring plenty of DTV action movies.

"Atomic-er" blondes: Cynthia Rothrock, Amy Johnson and Zoe Bell.

“Atomic-er” blondes: Cynthia Rothrock, Amy Johnson and Zoe Bell.

However lest we forget, the coverages generalised implication that mainstream Hollywood action movies lack female leads is in itself not entirely true. Sure, there’s no female equivalent of Jason Statham, but then again, would we really want to see a female version of a gruff voiced Londoner with a receding hairline? Chances are no, but with a bit of thought it’s easy to realise that you don’t have to. Over the last 25 years there’s been plenty of mainstream Hollywood action flicks that star a feminine force to be reckoned with, and with a disclaimer that we’ve not put a quality filter on this selection, COF has taken the liberty to highlight 15 of them.

The criteria is simple – it has to be a mainstream Hollywood action movie that got a theatrical release, which features a female lead. We’ll be featuring each actress once only, so if they’ve been the lead in more than one action flick, we’ll mention it in the text. So as not to muddy the waters, and also because there’s 100 other sites out there that focus on this element of the genre, we won’t be including any movies that are based on comic-book or video-game characters. Apologies in advance to the likes of Catwoman, Elektra, and the Resident Evil series. So, listed in the order of the year they were released, for those hankering for a big budget female action fix, check out our list below –

"Every" Theatrical Poster

“Every” Theatrical Poster

Everly (2014) – Salma Hayek

You don’t get much more of a stripped down action movie than Salma Hayek holed up in her apartment, defending herself from an onslaught of yakuza assassins sent by her former mob boss.

While Hayek has done action before, most notably when she starred alongside Penelope Cruz in 2006’s Bandidas, for pure visceral impact it’s Everly that takes the cake.

With action sequences choreographed by Akihiro Noguchi, who previously worked on Black Belt and has an extensive history with Alpha Stunts, Hayek was certainly in good hands to deliver the pain.

"Haywire" Theatrical Poster

“Haywire” Theatrical Poster

Haywire (2011) – Gina Carano

Director Steven Soderbergh was so impressed by MMA fighter Gina Carano, that he decided to create a movie just for her. The result was Haywire, a kind of B-movie espionage thriller which just happens to have an A-list cast, and the undeniable physical presence of Carano herself anchoring everything.

Her mid-movie throwdown with Michael Fassbender, in which a whole hotel room gets completely trashed, is still one of the best fights of the last 10 years. Carano has since gone on to headline the DTV effort In the Blood, and has a memorable supporting role in Deadpool.

"Hanna" Theatrical Poster

“Hanna” Theatrical Poster

Hanna (2011) – Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan plays the title character of Hanna, a 16 year old girl with the strength, stamina, and skills to rival Jean Claude Van Damme’s Universal Soldier. But she hasn’t been genetically modified, instead being raised in the wilderness of Finland by her father, in order to become the perfect assassin. That she does, and soon puts her skills to the test in one of the more offbeat action movies of recent years.

Most recently Ronan played the titular Galway Girl in Ed Sheeran’s song of the same name, go figure.

"Salt" Theatrical Poster

“Salt” Theatrical Poster

Salt (2010) – Angelina Jolie

If Haywire most closely represents the kind of choreographed action that Atomic Blonde strives for, then in terms of plot, it’s Salt that most closely resembles David Leitch’s latest effort.

Angelina Jolie has done action plenty of times before, from playing Tomb Raider Lara Croft twice, to prominent roles in the likes of Wanted, but it’s Salt that gives her the opportunity to shine in a gritty espionage thriller as a framed CIA agent.

Much like many billed Atomic Blonde as the female John Wick, so at the time of its release Salt was widely labelled as the female Jason Bourne.

"Blood: The Last Vampire" Theatrical Poster

“Blood: The Last Vampire” Theatrical Poster

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009) – Jeon Ji-hyeon

Kiss of the Dragon director Chris Nahon did the unthinkable when he adapted the 2000 anime Blood: The Last Vampire into a live action movie – he cast an Asian for a character who’s supposed to be Asian.

Korean star Jeon Ji-hyeon acquit herself well, debuting in a Hollywood movie as the lead, and displayed a keen talent for action.

Despite not sticking around in the U.S., Ji-hyeon continued as a force to be reckoned with in her native Korea, most recently as a sharp shooter in 2015’s Assassination.

"Doomsday" Theatrical Poster

“Doomsday” Theatrical Poster

Doomsday (2008) – Rhona Mitra

Somewhere between being the Lara Croft model, and throwing down with Scott Adkins in Hard Target 2, Rhona Mitra struck an impressive figure as a stoic warrior in Neil Marshall’s homage to post-apocalyptic movies like Mad Max and Escape from New York.

It may be a B-movie disguised as a blockbuster, but there can be no denying that she owns the screen when she’s on it (which is frequently), in a performance which allows for plenty of blood soaked mayhem.

Mitra got her action licks in again the following year, when she played Sonja in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

"The Brave One" Theatrical Poster

“The Brave One” Theatrical Poster

The Brave One (2007) – Jodie Foster

For those still shaking their head at the recently released trailer for Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake, the remedy could well be argued to come in the form of director Neil Jordan’s The Brave One.

Casting Jodie Foster as a vengeance seeking widow after her husband is killed by thugs (and in a precursor to John Wick, also looking for her missing dog), The Brave One is notable for its protagonist’s unapologetic approach to wiping the bad guys off the face of the planet. Effectively updating the vigilante genre without even knowing it, Foster’s steely performance is a standout.

"Domino" Theatrical Poster

“Domino” Theatrical Poster

Domino (2005) – Keira Knightley

Hot on the heels of her turns in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and Love Actually, Keira Knightley took on a role that was unlike anything she’d done before, or indeed has done since, as the real life model turned bounty hunter Domino Harvey.

Directed by Tony Scott in his trademark frantic and flashy style, Harvey herself was frequently onset to act as a consultant (although she passed away before the movie’s release).

While Domino received largely mixed reviews, Knightley more than holds her own against fellow bounty hunters Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez.

"Aeon Flux" Theatrical Poster

“Aeon Flux” Theatrical Poster

Aeon Flux (2005) – Charlize Theron

Lest we forget that Atomic Blonde is not the first time Charlize Theron has headlined an action movie, when she played the title character in Karyn Kusama’s 2005 adaption of the MTV animated series.

Theron’s Aeon Flux is a skilled assassin set in a future dystopia, and despite the movies flaws, it provides ample opportunity to witness the South African born actress acquaint herself well with her fists and feet. Throw in a healthy dose of gunplay along with some neat sci-fi concepts, and Aeon Flux could well be appreciated more today than it was upon its release over 10 years ago.

"Kill Bill" Theatrical Poster

“Kill Bill” Theatrical Poster

Kill Bill (2003/4) – Uma Thurman

Undoubtedly Uma Thurman’s most iconic role, the character of Beatrix Kiddo was discussed between her and director Quentin Tarantino as far back as 1994, when they were working together on Pulp Fiction.

Their discussions eventually came to fruition as a 2-part homage to the kung fu, karate, and chanbara movies Tarantino grew up with in the form of Kill Bill, as Thurman plays an assassin that was left for dead by her former boss and team.

Cue plenty of slicing and dicing, complete with Gordon Liu and Sonny Chiba thrown into the mix, and it’s difficult to go wrong.

"Underworld" Theatrical Poster

“Underworld” Theatrical Poster

Underworld (2003) – Kate Beckinsale

When Kate Beckinsale first starred as vampire warrior Selene in 2003’s Underworld, very much a Matrix influenced take on the battle between vampires and werewolves, I’m sure she had no idea that it’d spawn a total of (to date) 4 sequels.

As of 2016’s Blood Wars the Underworld series is still going strong, and Beckinsale has been there to anchor them all, decked out in black leather as if it never went out of fashion.

If anything, the Underworld series proves that a feisty British femme fatale can easily outlast both tax evading vampire hunters and pasty white teenage vampires.

"Charlie’s Angels" Theatrical Poster

“Charlie’s Angels” Theatrical Poster

Charlie’s Angels (2000) – Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu

While both Charlie’s Angels and its 2003 sequel rely just as much on its trio of leading ladies eye candy factor as they do on such things as plot and characterisation, it was one of the first Hollywood movies in the post-Matrix era to bring in a Hong Kong choreographer for the action.

In this case it came in the form of Yuen clan member Yuen Cheung-Yan, and just as his brother Yuen Woo-Ping did for The Matrix, the result is some competently performed and filmed action scenes. Notably made 2 years before The Bourne Identity would make it ok to shake the camera around like a madman.

"G.I. Jane" Theatrical Poster

“G.I. Jane” Theatrical Poster

G.I. Jane (1997) – Demi Moore

Demi Moore’s leading lady status was already on the rocks in 1997, not least thanks to the previous year’s lamentable Striptease, however G.I. Jane goes a long way to proving how committed she could be to a role.

Playing a senator who enrols herself to the U.S. Navy SEAL program, she undertakes a training regime so punishing that it rivals Gordon Liu’s performance in 36th Chamber of Shaolin (yes, I said it, and she gets her head shaved too!)

While it didn’t revive her career, it does make for a strong female led action flick, recommended for those who like more grit and less flair.

"The Long Kiss Goodnight" Theatrical Poster

“The Long Kiss Goodnight” Theatrical Poster

The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – Geena Davis

Long before the ‘skilled killer with memory loss’ plot device became a well-worn trope, with the likes of the Bourne movies (and most recently Headshot), in 1996 Geena Davis showed everyone how it was done.

Made at a time when Renny Harlin still knew how to put a decent action movie together, it’s a joy to watch Davis’s small town schoolteacher leap off the top of buildings while unloading a machine gun, and all manner of implausible action antics, as her memory gradually comes back.

With her dyed blonde hair, it could well be said that this is the original Atomic Blonde.

"Point of No Return" Theatrical Poster

“Point of No Return” Theatrical Poster

Point of No Return (1993) – Bridget Fonda

Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita has been remade twice in the U.S. Most recently as the Maggie Q starring TV series, but perhaps most well known as the 1993 movie Point of No Return, which cast Bridget Fonda as the violent drug addict cum government trained assassin originally played by Anne Parillaud.

While critics were split over the remake, one point that all agreed on was that Fonda’s performance was a standout, as she shoots and maims her way through a particularly bloody plot. Plus, there’s training sequences, which make it obligatory viewing for most fans of this type of flick.

I’m sure if we stretched even further back in time there’d be plenty more examples of female-centric action flicks, and with the onslaught of Atomic Blonde-alikes that Hollywood appears to be lining up, they’re not going to be in short supply any time soon. But for every one of them that results in an article declaring “Finally Hollywood gives us a female action lead!”, we should remember the ladies mentioned above did it first, and in most cases, did it in style.

Posted in Features, News | 17 Comments

Shock Wave | Blu-ray & DVD (Cinedigm)

Shock Wave | Blu-ray & DVD (Cinedigm)

Shock Wave | Blu-ray & DVD (Cinedigm)

RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2018

Get ready to start your new year with a bang! On January 2, 2018, U.S. based distributor Cinedigm Entertainment (The Monkey King, Ip Man: Season One) will release Herman Yau’s Shock Wave (read our review) to Blu-ray and DVD.

This $23 million dollar action movie pairs the controversial Untold Story director up with Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau (Switch). In the film, Lau plays an undercover explosive ordnance disposal bureau officer who becomes the protégé of a criminal specializing in bombs and then tries to capture him.

Shock Wave also stars Jiang Wu (Wu Xia), Song Jia (The Final Master), Philip Keung (Trivisa), Ron Ng (Bleeding Mountain) and Babyjohn Choi (Vampire Cleanup Department).

Special Features: Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, including an interview with Lau.

Pre-order Shock Wave from today!

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Brotherhood of Blades 2 | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

"Brotherhood of Blades 2" Chinese Theatrical Poster

“Brotherhood of Blades 2” Chinese Theatrical Poster

RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2018

On February 27, 2018, Well Go USA is releasing the Blu-ray & DVD for Lu Yang’s Brotherhood of Blades 2, the follow up to the filmmaker’s 2014 wuxia actioner, Brotherhood of Blades.

In Brotherhood of Blades 2, Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) returns alongside Yang Mi (The Bullet Vanishes), Zhang Yi (Blood of Youth) and Xin Zhi Lei (Impossible), via AFS.

The original Brotherhood of Blades (read our review) told the story of three guards who are sent to hunt down a eunuch politician, only to find themselves in the middle of a deadly conspiracy.

Pre-order Brotherhood of Blades 2 from today!

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles, News | Tagged | 3 Comments

Ready for the edge of tomorrow on a fury road in ‘Pathfinder’

"Pathfinder" Teaser Poster

“Pathfinder” Teaser Poster

Zhang Xiaobei, the writer of An Inaccurate Memoir and Time to Love, is making his directorial debut with a sci-fi actioner that bears resemblance to popular films such as Alien/Aliens, Mad Max, and even features powered exoskeleton suits, as seen in recent productions like Elysium and Edge of Tomorrow.

So what can be expected of the film’s plot – who cares!? With an aforementioned description like that, you’ve probably already made up your mind whether you wanna see it, right? The film stars Song Yang (The Final Master), Qi Xi (Someone to Talk To) and Qu Jingjing (Birth of the Dragon).

Look out for Pathfinder in 2018. Until then, don’t miss the film’s first Trailer (via AFS):

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Deal on Fire! The Deadly Duo | Blu-ray | Only $9.82 – Expires soon!

"The Deadly Duo" Blu-ray Cover

“The Deadly Duo” Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 1971’s The Deadly Duo, directed by Chang Cheh (Five Element Ninjas),

It’s the Sung Dynasty versus the Chin invaders as David Chiang (New One-Armed Swordsman) and Ti Lung (The Pirate) truly hit their stride with this crowd-pleasing kung fu epic. When a handsome prince is taken captive and guarded by a martial arts master, it’s up to two powerful patriots to fight overwhelming odds. From the first fascinating minute to the final desperate battle to the death, culminating in an unforgettably evocative conclusion – this duo is dynamic as well as deadly.

Order The Deadly Duo from today!

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