Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Review

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" International Poster

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” International Poster

AKA: Star Wars: Episode VIII
Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Veronica Ngo, Justin Theroux, Togo Igawa
Running Time: 152 min. 

By Kyle Warner

Right, so before we get started: I am going to talk about the new Star Wars movie. If you want to go into the film knowing as little as possible, not only should you not be reading my review but you shouldn’t read anybody’s reviews of the film. The trailers have done an admirable job of keeping secrets safe (secrets like “what’s the movie about?”), but I’m not on the marketing team and I am going to tell you more about the film. I will stay away from what I consider to be spoilers but you will learn more about the movie here than you did in the trailers and magazine previews. With that said, let’s begin.

Picking up right where The Force Awakens left off, Star Wars: The Last Jedi finds our Resistance heroes on the run from the First Order after the decimation of the Republic government planets. With the Republic no more, it’s a fight between Supreme Leader Snoke’s First Order and Leia Organa’s Resistance to decide who will control the galaxy. It is not an even fight. Not only does the First Order have more ships and more soldiers, but they have something of a new age Sith Lord in Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his apprentice, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Rey, the Force-sensitive hero from nowhere, is off trying to convince Luke Skywalker to return to the fight. Until Rey’s return, Leia’s list of capable allies is a short one.

After ace Resistance pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) leads a successful but costly attack on a First Order dreadnought (an attack made possible by City on Fire favorite Veronica Ngo in a small but memorable role), the few remaining Resistance fighters jet off into lightspeed. But somehow, the First Order has tracked them, and their dreadnought has already been replaced by an even larger ship. Now, running out of fuel, fighters, and hope, the Resistance flies through dark space with their enemy close behind. All the First Order need do to crush their foe is remain patient and allow the Resistance ships to run out of fuel and drift powerlessly into firing range.

Elsewhere, on a secret island that was apparently one of the oldest Jedi temples, Rey (Daisy Ridley) attempts to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to train her in the ways of the Force and to return to his sister Leia’s side. But this is not the Luke Skywalker we remember. There is no hint of the wide-eyed farmboy here, nor is there any sign of the enlightened warrior we last saw in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Luke is haunted, world-weary, self-loathing. He’s not on the island to become a better Jedi; he’s a sad dog that’s wandered into an unfindable place to die. In his vanity, he thinks that his passing will achieve the ending of the Jedi, something he now firmly believes to be a necessary turn of events. But this nobody girl interests Luke. She’s strong with the Force but she’s naïve about just what the Force is, so he decides that three simple lessons about the Force couldn’t hurt. In teaching her, he begins to understand just how powerful she is, and it troubles him. “I’ve seen this raw power only once before… It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” Luke Skywalker begins to fear Rey, thinking that her relentless pursuit of answers (Who are her parents? Why did Ben Solo turn to the Dark Side and become Kylo Ren?) will lead her down a dark path similar to his previous failed student, Kylo Ren.

The biggest thing I took away from The Last Jedi after my first viewing is how surprising and unpredictable the film was. It puts a couple opposing characters in a room and the moviegoer thinks this scene can go one of two ways. And then it goes a third way. That happens all throughout the film. Star Wars has rarely felt more daring and bold than in The Last Jedi.

And on that note: The Last Jedi is probably the strangest Star Wars film there is. (We forget that once upon a time theatregoers didn’t know what the heck a Jedi or a lightsaber was, so in the grand scheme of things A New Hope is a pretty wild movie. But we’re used to its ideas today.) The Last Jedi not only gives us weird alien creatures galore (there is a Zoidberg/walrus-looking thing that stares you in the eye as you milk it for its drinkable green alien milk), but it does things with its characters, both old and new, that we never could’ve seen coming. Already we are seeing that some fans are unwilling to accept these unexpected new directions and strange new visions. (To be fair, there is one move that the story takes that, as a fan, I also take some issue with. We’ll see if that changes upon repeat viewings. This is the one Star Wars film I not only want to see again, I feel I need to see it again in order to fully digest it.)

It’s a touchy thing, adapting something that’s lived so long in the pop culture subconscious. You run the risk of upsetting fans that’ve loved these characters for so long that they feel they know their stories better than the storytellers do. And I don’t mean to belittle a fan’s rights to a character—at some point, for better or worse, the art no longer belongs to the artist, which is something that George Lucas was never able to accept.  Writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper) does his best to keep Star Wars true to its roots while also telling an intensely original Star Wars story in a very particular personal voice. Look at the RottenTomatoes critic score (currently 93%) and the audience score (currently 57%) and you get a little idea of how that ‘original’ and ‘personal’ Star Wars story is going over with some fans. It’s odd when you consider that the primary complaint about The Force Awakens was that it stuck too close to the blueprint of A New Hope and the complaint about The Last Jedi is that it feels too different.

I don’t mean to suggest that The Last Jedi is faultless because it certainly is not. It slips into The Fifth Element territory at one point when Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (newcomer Kelly Marie Tran) go to a high roller casino. Tracking tech is vague and is used as a primary plot point more than once, all in the service of making characters show up where and when the story needs them. Some complaints about The Force Awakens, like the refusal to flesh out certain character backstories, continue into The Last Jedi. And I still think Domnhall Gleeson is woefully miscast as General Hux.

The rest of the cast is excellent. Daisy Ridley continues to impress in the lead role of Rey. Adam Driver’s great performance makes Kylo Ren into an unexpectedly sympathetic villain. Kelly Marie Tran makes an instant impression on the audience as an engineer for whom the fight has suddenly become personal. You can’t take your eyes off Carrie Fisher, who passed away last December, as she gives the headstrong Leia a great farewell performance. And Mark Hamill gives what may be the performance of his career (in live-action, anyway) as the old Luke Skywalker. To say much more about the rest of the cast (which includes series newcomers like Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro) would step into spoiler territory, I’m afraid. Suffice to say, they’re all pretty dang good.

I have a few complaints, sure, but in general I kind of loved this movie. It’s full of thrills, drama, heartache, humor, and twists. It’s an interesting film thematically as well, with prime themes being keeping hope alive and teaching the next generation of heroes to carry the flame. It is visually fantastic. There is a scene in which our characters are brought before Supreme Leader Snoke in his throne room. It’s like a shot out of Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress (a well-known Star Wars influence), where Toshiro Mifune is brought before the general played by Susumu Fujita, with a clan flag set up behind him and flanked on all sides by loyal samurai. Here, the shot is in color and the flag is red, Snoke sits there in a golden kimono, and is flanked on all sides by heavily armored samurai-looking dudes in bright red. It is a beautiful set piece. A later battle scene takes place on a planet that has white salt atop red clay, so explosions and footprints leave crimson spots on the ground. Absolutely gorgeous. Also, there are the Porgs, which are cute and awesome and we must begin work to engineer them using chicken and pug DNA so that we may finally have world peace.

I love The Force Awakens but it can be accused of going on autopilot from time to time. I imagine you could complain about a lot of things in The Last Jedi, but definitely not that. The Last Jedi is so full of ideas, wit, and wonder. Some of those ideas won’t land for everyone, but if you ask me that’s how you know the movie was taking risks. The story is always one step ahead of the audience, the visuals dazzle, and the action is thrilling. It may not be the best Star Wars film – and after one viewing, I’m not sure where I rank it – but more than any Star Wars film, it left me thinking that anything was possible for future installments in the universe. It made Star Wars feel fresh and daring. How many film franchises that have been around for 40 years can say the same?

Kyle Warner’s Rating: 8/10

Posted in All, Asian Related, News, Reviews | Tagged | 4 Comments

Well Go USA’s 4K Blu-ray cut of ‘Ichi the Killer’ due in March

Well Go USA's "Ichi the Killer" Promotional Poster

Well Go USA’s “Ichi the Killer” Promotional Poster

On March 20, 2018, Well Go USA will be releasing Takashi Miike’s 4K Restoration of Ichi the Killer (aka Ichi the Killer: The Digitally Restored Director’s Cut) on Blu-ray.

Based on the manga Ichin the Killer by Hideo Yamamoto, the film follows Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), a notoriously sadistic yakuza enforcer whose search for his boss’ killer brings him into the orbit of a demented costumed assassin known as Ichi (Nao Ohmori).

“At Well Go USA, we’re big Takashi Miike fans,” said Doris Pfardrescher, President and CEO of Well Go USA Entertainment, “and we couldn’t be more excited that we get to finally unleash Ichi the Killer the way it was meant to be seen – and freak out a whole new audience!

Pre-order Ichi the Killer from once it’s available! 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Eddie Peng’s ‘WuKong’ gets a U.S. release with a Demon-ic title

"Wu Kong" Teaser Poster

“Wu Kong” Teaser Poster

Within just a few years, Derek Kwok (As the Lights Goes Out) firmly established himself as one of Hong Kong’s hottest directors. His last feature Full Strike, was a co-directorial effort just like his previous films, Gallants and Journey to the West

But now, Kwok is back to directing solo with WuKong (aka The Tales of Wukong), an action-fantasy that tells the story of Sun Wukong (played by Operation Mekong’s Eddie Peng) before he became the Monkey King. The film also stars Ni Ni (The Warriors Gate), Shawn Yue (Reign of Assassins) and Zheng Shuang (No Limit).

WuKong is getting a U.S. Blu-ray & DVD release from Cinedigm/Crimson Forest Films on March 6, 2018. The company has given film a new title: Immortal Demon Slayer – The Legend of Wu Kong.

Stay tuned for pre-order information. Until then, check out its U.S. Trailer below:

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Extraordinary Mission | Blu-ray & DVD (Crimson Forest)

"Extraordinary Mission" Promotional Poster

“Extraordinary Mission” Promotional Poster

RELEASE DATE: February 6, 2018

On February 6, 2018, North American label Crimson Forest Films is set to release Extraordinary Mission (read our review) to Blu-ray & DVD.

Alan Mak and Anthony Pun – the directing duo behind the Infernal Affairs sequels, the Overheard saga, and Donnie Yen’s The Lost Bladesman – are back with Extraordinary Mission, an action thriller that follows an undercover police officer who attempts to take down a drug trafficking syndicate from the inside.

Extraordinary Mission stars Huang Xuan (The Great Wall), Duan Yihong (Battle of Memories), Lang Yueting (Office) and Zu Feng (League of Gods).

Pre-order Extraordinary Mission from today! 

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blade of the Immortal | Blu-ray & DVD (Magnet Releasing)

Blade of the Immortal | Blu-ray & DVD (Magnet Releasing)

Blade of the Immortal | Blu-ray & DVD (Magnet Releasing)

RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2018

Magnet Releasing is giving Takashi Miike’s (13 Assassins, Terra Formars) live-action movie adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s manga, Blade of the Immortal, a Blu-ray & DVD release on February 13, 2018.

This period samurai film stars Takuya Kimura (2046), Hana Sugisaki (Mozu: The Movie), Sota Fukushi (Library Wars), Hayato Ichihara (Yakuza Apocalypse), Erika Toda (Goemon), Ebizo Ichikawa (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai), Tsutomu Yamazaki (As the Gods Will) and Min Tanaka (The Eternal Zero).

Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine…

Pre-order Blade of the Immortal from today!

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles, News | Tagged | 6 Comments

Newest action-packed Trailer for ‘A Better Tomorrow 2018’


If Song Hae-Seong’s 2010 Korean remake of A Better Tomorrow didn’t quite do it for you, then get ready for another variation of John Woo’s 1986 seminal gangster classic. Ding Sheng – the acclaimed director of Little Big Soldier, Police Story 2013, Railroad Tigers, and Saving Mr. Wu – is delivering A Better Tomorrow 2018 (aka A Better Tomorrow 4) to theaters on January 18, 2018 (via AFS).

According to Variety, Sheng’s film traces the journey of a former smuggler who attempts to start his life anew after his release from prison and repair his relationship with his estranged brother. But that is not counting on gangland betrayal, a botched drug deal and a devastating family tragedy.

A Better Tomorrow 2018 stars Darren Wang (Railroad Tigers), Ma Tianyu (Surprise) and Wang Kai (Railroad Tigers), who will be playing Mark “Gor” Lee (the character made famous by Chow Yun-fat in the original).

Watch the film’s Latest Trailer below:

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Well Go USA takes the 2nd round for ‘Kickboxer: Retaliation’

"Kickboxer: Retaliation" Promotional Poster

“Kickboxer: Retaliation” Promotional Poster

Well Go USA has announced that they’re handling the release of Kickboxer: Retaliation, the follow up to Kickboxer: Vengeance (which was previously out out by Image Entertainment). As of yet, there’s no theatrical release date, but expect the Blu-ray & DVD to hit retail outlets on March 13, 2018.

In Kickboxer: Retaliation, Alain Moussi is back as Kurt Sloane. One year after the events of the first film, Sloan has vowed never to return to Thailand. However, while gearing up for a MMA title shot, he finds himself sedated and forced back into Thailand, this time in prison…

For Kickboxer: Retaliation, Dimitri Logothetis (who directed Moussi in the unreleased Wings of the Dragon) takes over the director’s chair for John Stockwell (In the Blood).

Kickboxer: Retaliation also stars strongman competitor, Hafthor Julius Björnsson (Game of Thrones), Mike Tyson (Ip Man 3), soccer star Ronaldinho, Christopher Lambert (Highlander) and returning co-stars, Sara Malakul Lane and Jean-Claude Van Damme (Second in Command).

Don’t miss the film’s Trailer below:

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Thunderbolt Fist, The (1972) Review

"The Thunderbolt Fist" Chinese Theatrical Poster

“The Thunderbolt Fist” Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Chang Il-ho
Producer: Runme Shaw
Cast: Chuen Yuen, Shih Szu, James Nam, Fang Mien, Tung Lam, Lee Ka Ting, Wong Chin Feng, Yukio Someno, Gam Kei Chu, Chan Feng Chen, Cheung Hei
Running Time: 86 min.

By Paul Bramhall

In the history of kung fu cinema, 1972 was one of the most significant years. The Shaw Brothers studio had imported several experienced directors and martial artists from Korea, and in this particular year it proved to be a move that paid dividends, when Chung Chang-wha directed a little movie called King Boxer. Not only was it a runaway box office success locally in Hong Kong, but it would also become forever remembered as the movie that introduced western audiences to the world of kung fu (under the title Five Fingers of Death). Sensing that Chang-wha had formulated a recipe for success, understandably fellow Korean director Chang Il-ho was subsequently tasked with replicating it, and the end result came in the form of The Thunderbolt Fist.

Unlike Chang-wha, who by the time he made King Boxer had already been working at the Shaw Brothers studio for 3 years (during which time he churned out 6 movies), for Il-ho The Thunderbolt Fist was his debut for the studio. It was far from being his debut as a director though, with a filmography that already came close to almost 50 titles made in his native Korea since the early 60’s. Being tasked with imitating the success of another movie is arguably not the best way to start your career at a studio though, and perhaps as a result of this Il-ho would only make two other movies for the Shaw Brothers – The Deadly Knives which was made the same year, and Devil Bride from 1975.

The Thunderbolt Fist gives half Dutch half Taiwanese actor Chuen Yuen his first lead role at the studio. A popular actor in Taiwan, Yuen moved to Hong Kong and took a contract at the Shaw Brothers in 1968. After various roles playing an extra or supporting part (he can be spotted in the likes of Chang Cheh’s Vengeance! and The Duel), it was The Thunderbolt Fist that gave him headliner status. Here he’s teamed with Shaw Brothers starlet Shih Szu, who was heavily marketed by the studio as the next Cheng Pei-Pei, for a tale which (much like King Boxer) has the Chinese rise up to take on the oppressive Japanese forces, led by Korean actor James Nam (aka Nam Seok-hun). Like several of the actors who appear in The Thunderbolt Fist, Nam also has a role in Chang-wha’s earlier production.

So enough of tip toeing around it, let’s be clear from the start that The Thunderbolt Fist is completely derivative of King Boxer. The structure even follows the plot beats with remarkable familiarity. The hero tries to take on the Japanese, hero fails and ends up with one of his limbs partially crippled, hero trains to overcome his disability, hero takes on the evil Japanese and comes out victorious. In fairness, there are plenty of other movies out there that could also have that same plot description applied, however considering the timing and structure of The Thunderbolt Fist, I’d be willing to bet none do it quite so flagrantly as we see here.

With that being said, The Thunderbolt Fist shouldn’t be written off as just a second rate imitation of King Boxer. Despite the similarities, it’s also noticeable that Il-ho is trying to at least put as much of his own stamp on proceedings as the story will allow. By 1972 Chang Cheh has already developed a reputation for his excessive use of bloodshed, usually leaving the screen coated in liberal doses of the red stuff, but here Il-ho gives Cheh a solid run for his money. Stabbings, decapitations, and more projectile blood spitting than you can shake a stick are liberally sprinkled throughout, with the ground and walls of any given action scene usually caked in blood splatter by the end of any given scuffle.

What is immediately noticeable though is that Yuen isn’t a trained martial artist, or, as it would sometimes seem, much of a trained actor. To be fair, he’s not to blame for one major issue. We spend some time with the child versions of Yuen and Nam (played by kung fu cinema legends Austin Wai and Stephen Tung Wai respectively, here both making their screen debuts), and they look no older than 12 years old. When it skips 10 years forward and Yuen steps into the role, the fact that he should be no older than 22 just doesn’t match his appearance, which looks significantly older. The discrepancy between age and appearance also results in some cringe worthy moments. In one scene Yuen is resting in a field, recalling his time with a childhood sweetheart, shown in flashback. When it cuts back, he does a deep sigh while looking wistfully at the camera. I promise it’ll make you temporarily look away in embarrassment.

It’s the kind of scene that someone like David Chiang could have pulled off perfectly, but with Yuen it just comes across as slightly awkward. The same also applies to the choreography. While both Szu and Nam look sharp, with Nam in particular outshining everyone whenever he springs into action, Yuen only comes across as average in comparison. He visibly lacks that same sharpness, which is no more evident than when, in the middle of a group melee, he lands in a chair and performs an over the shoulder kick, with no one being there to receive it. The action itself is choreographed by Leung Siu-Chung (the father of Bruce Leung, who can be seen as an extra if you look closely), who never really found himself in that top tier of fight choreographers like his contemporaries Lau Kar Leung and Tong Gaai. Leung does deserve credit though for incorporating the likes of judo and karate into the choreography, but there’s no doubt that the action on display falls into the basher category.

What can’t be denied is that for fans of the genre, The Thunderbolt Fist offers a wealth of early glimpses at those who would become legends within a decade of its release. Apart from those already mentioned, it’s also possible to see the like of Lam Ching Ying, Tony Leung Siu-Hung, Corey Yuen Kwai, and Alexander Fu Sheng in small parts. Throw in the likes of Kim Ki-ju, aka the guy who seems to appear in every Korean kung fu movie ever made (and of course, King Boxer), and there are plenty of familiar faces to keep the kung-fu cinema fan happy. Where The Thunderbolt Fist gets really interesting though, is in its application of what the title suggests, or rather, lack of.

Just as Il-ho’s effort is heavily influenced by King Boxer, so King Boxer was heavily influenced by Jimmy Wang Yu’s directorial debut The Chinese Boxer, from 1970. The Thunderbolt Fist in many ways is a kind of unintentional hybrid of the pair, with the aesthetics borrowing heavily from Chang-wha’s influential classic, while the element of Yuen’s arm being rendered crippled coming straight from Wang Yu’s earlier movie. However it’s due to this very point that The Thunderbolt Fist seems to lose its way in terms of narrative logic. With one arm rendered useless, Yuen trains his fist extensively from a secret manual explaining (guess what), the Thunderbolt Fist. However after an initial confrontation with Nam and his cronies, the villains are left to reflect on how deadly Yuen’s kicks are. If there was ever a “Huh?” moment in a movie, then this ranks as one of them.

At first I figured something had perhaps got lost in translation, but the more I thought about it, the more it became apparent to simply be a lack of coherency on the part of the filmmakers. We spend time watching Yuen train his fist, however in the last reel all the attention is diverted to his feet. I mean, if he had a powerful kick, why did we have to wait for him to become cripple before he kicked some Japanese posterior!? It doesn’t make sense, and coherency is thrown more and more out of the window as we head towards the finale. Nam sends a crony to injure Yuen’s leg before their penultimate battle in an outdoor ring (think the finale of Ip Man, it’s identical), however despite the crony being successful in his mission, during the match itself it doesn’t factor in whatsoever.

Despite this, such incoherency can be somewhat forgiven for delivering a finale that lays on both the creativity, and the bloodshed, in equally heavy doses. When Yuen is confronted by a group of Japanese attackers, it’s revealed they have concealed blades in their shoes, in a clear nod to the work Tong Gaai was doing with Chang Cheh at the time. Plus it’s not a spoiler to say that Yuen’s finishing move against Nam is worth the price of admission alone, providing one of those rare spit your coffee/beer/whatever it is you’re drinking out moments. As derivative as it may be, The Thunderbolt Fist does its best to compensate with ample bloodshed and over the top violence, and while it’s true to say they’re appealing to the lowest common denominator, sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 6/10

Posted in All, Chinese, News, Reviews, Shaw Brothers | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Vincent Zhao kicks ass in the New Trailer for ‘Invisible Tattoo’

"The Blade" Chinese Theatrical Poster

“The Blade” Chinese Theatrical Poster

Martial arts star Vincent Zhao (The Blade, The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom) and parkour founder David Belle (District B13, Brick Mansions) are teaming up for a 1935-based action film titled Invisible Tattoo (via AFS). Unfortunately, further details for Invisible Tattoo are practically non-existent, but we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as we learn more.

In the meantime, Zhao fans have Well Go USA’s recent Blu-ray/DVD release of God of War (read our review) to look forward to, followed by the highly-anticipated Kung Fu Alliance with Danny Chan, Andy On and Dennis To, which is currently wrapping up.

Updates: New Trailer for Invisible Tattoo. Watch it below:

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Old Stone | Blu-ray (Kino Lorber)

Old Stone | Blu-ray (Kino Lorber)

Old Stone | Blu-ray (Kino Lorber)

RELEASE DATE: January 30, 2018

On January 30, 2018, Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber will be releasing the Blu-ray for Johnny Ma’s Old Stone, a critically acclaimed social-realist drama that slowly turns into blood-drenched noir.

Old Stone follows the repercussions of a car accident in a society where life is cheap and compassion is ruinously expensive. When a drunken passenger causes Lao Shi (Chen Gang) to swerve and hit a motorcyclist, the driver stops to help the injured man. When no police or ambulance arrive he drives the victim to the hospital, checks him in and finds himself liable for the man s medical bills. The repercussions of Shi s selfless act expose a society rife with bone-chilling callousness and bureaucratic indifference.

Pre-order Old Stone from today! 

Posted in Asian Titles, DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘Journey to China’

"Dragon Blade" Japanese DVD Cover

“Dragon Blade” Japanese DVD Cover

Jackie Chan (The ForeignerDragon Blade) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Maggie, Aftermath) will be appearing (emphasize on the word “appearing”) in Oleg Stepchenko’s Journey to China: The Iron Mask Mystery (aka Viy 2), an action adventure flick that’s being hailed as “Russia’s biggest-budget co-production ever”.

According to THR, the film is set in the 18th century and focuses on the adventures of English traveler Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng), who is assigned to draw a map of Russia’s Far East. However, his travels eventually bring Green to China.

Journey to China: The Iron Mask Mystery is a sequel to 2014’s Viy, the highest grossing Russian movie of all-time. The film hits theaters early next year.

Updates: Watch the film’s Newest Trailer below:

Posted in News | 12 Comments

The Master | Blu-ray & DVD (Kino Lorber)

The Master | Blu-ray & DVD (Kino Lorber)

The Master | Blu-ray & DVD (Kino Lorber)

RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2018

Good news for ninja film buffs! On February 20, 2018, Kino Lorber will be releasing the 3-Disc Blu-ray & the 4-Disc DVD set for 1984’s The Master: The Complete Series – newly re-Mastered in HD (pun intended).

In The Master (aka The Master Ninja), an aging American ninja (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’s Lee Van Cleef) and his headstrong young apprentice (Class of 1984’s Timothy Van Patten) search for the elder man’s daughter.

This cult classic TV series – produced in wake of the so-called “Ninja Craze” in 1980s – also stars Sho Kosugi (9 Deaths of the NinjaRage of Honor). Martial arts movie aficionados should take note that Robert Clouse (Enter the Dragon) and Gordon Hessler (Pray for Death) directed some of the episodes.

The Master series also features guest stars such as Claude Akins, Crystal Bernard, Edd Byrnes, William Campbell, J.D. Cannon, James Gammon, Clu Gulager, George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret ServiceUniversal Soldier), George Maharis, Jock Mahoney, Monte Markham, David McCallum, Doug McClure, Bill McKinney, Demi Moore, Diana Muldaur, Dick O’Neill, Soon-Tek Oh (The Man with the Golden Gun), Robert Pine, Jennifer Runyon, William Smith and Stuart Whitman.

In related news, Visual Entertainment recently released the DVD for 1983’s The Last Ninja, starring Michael Beck (The Warriors) and Mako (The Big Brawl).

Pre-order The Master from today!

Posted in DVD/Blu-ray New Releases, Martial Arts Titles, News | Tagged | 2 Comments
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 385 386 Next