Double Feature: When a Stranger Calls & Happy Birthday to Me Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Double Feature: When a Stranger Calls & Happy Birthday to Me Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Double Feature: When a Stranger Calls & Happy Birthday to Me Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2013

Mill Creek Entertainment presents the Blu-ray for When a Stranger Calls & Happy Birthday to Me Double Feature. in 1979’s When a Stranger Calls (Trailer), a psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again. 1981’s Happy Birthday to Me (Trailer) is a cult classic among fans of the slasher genre, with its bizarre murder methods and twisted climactic revelation.

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Drive-In Double Feature: Savage Water & Death By Invitation DVD (Vinegar Syndrome)

Drive-In Double Feature: Savage Water & Death By Invitation DVD (Vinegar Syndrome)

Drive-In Double Feature: Savage Water & Death By Invitation DVD (Vinegar Syndrome)

RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2013

Vinegar Syndrome presents Drive-In Collection: Savage Water & Death By Invitation on DVD. 1979’s Savage Water is regional horror filmmaking at its most bare-bones, Paul Kener’s Utah lensed proto-giallo is a schizoid blend of big budget home movie and ultra cheap sleaze. 1971’s Death By Invitation is one of producer Leonard Kirtman’s odd ventures into horror psychedelic filmmaking. Watch the trailers.

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Cold Prey II DVD (Shout! Factory)

Cold Prey II DVD (Shout! Factory)

Cold Prey II DVD (Shout! Factory)

RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2013

Shout! Factory presents the DVD for the Swedish horror flick Cold Prey II. The original Cold Prey is definitely a genre favorite. In the sequel, the survivor from the first film wakes up in the hospital. As she walks through the dark corridors, she thinks she is left alone. But the nightmare isn’t over yet. Watch the trailer.

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An Assassin DVD (Asian Media Rights)

An Assassin DVD (Asian Media Rights)

An Assassin DVD (Asian Media Rights)

RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2013

Asian Media Rights presents the DVD for An Assassin (aka Assassin). An assassin named Ryo Hanaki leaves the criminal life behind, but things catch up with him after he helps an attractive high school girl named Rio. An Assassin is director Go Ohara’s (Geisha vs Ninjas) first venture into “The new school of Japanese Noir.” Starring Ryoma Baba, Yuki Kubota, Sayuri Iwata, Kohei Otomo and George Takahashi. Watch the trailer.

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Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray Collection (Warner)

Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray Collection (Warner)

Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray Collection (Warner)

RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2013

Warners presents the Blu-ray for the Nightmare on Elm Street Collection, which includes A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy’s Revenge, Dream Warriors, The Dream Master, The Dream Child, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. This 7 film/5 disc set features a DTS-HD Master Audio track and a number of special features on the 5th disc.

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Disaster never looked so good as in ‘The Tower’ – North American trailer

"The Tower" Korean Theatrical Poster

I don’t know about you but here at Cityonfire.com we love a good disaster movie. From The Towering Inferno to The Poseidon Adventure, there’s nothing like seeing a bevy of celebrities forced to fight against the elements. I mean, that has to be the reason we paid good money to see 2012 in theaters, right?

Well, the booming Korean film industry is taking another stab at the genre, no doubt following on the success of 2009’s Tidal Wave. Their latest disaster epic, The Tower 3D, arrives from Kim Ji-hun, the director of Section 7. You’ll recall that movie was about a group of oil riggers beleaguered by a computer-generated sea monster. While Sector 7 failed to endear itself to critics, it cleaned up at the box office and went on to become the highest-grossing Korean movie in China.

Now Kim Ji-hun is back with a movie that looks to take a liberal influence from The Towering Inferno. Disaster strikes during a ‘White Christmas’ party at a luxurious high-rise building when the two helicopters sprinkling fake snow crash into each other. Rescue workers must race against time to get everybody out before it all goes up in flames. In 3D!

Beyond Hollywood has the full scoop, including pictures and a promo reel from the studio, CJ Entertainment. Expect The Tower 3D in Korean theaters sometime this year. The first teaser trailer is here, as well as the poster!

The new full-length trailer is now online for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy some impressive new posters for The Tower. Thanks to 24 Frames Per Second.

BREAKING NEWS: Apple has the North American trailer for The Tower available in glorious Quicktime. The film opens in limited release this weekend. Check this website for theatrical listings.

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Fairy in a Cage Blu-ray & DVD (Impulse Pictures)

Fairy in a Cage Blu-ray & DVD (Impulse Pictures)

Fairy in a Cage Blu-ray & DVD (Impulse Pictures)

RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2013

Impulse Pictures is proud to present the Blu-ray & DVD for 1977’s Fairy in a Cage, directed by Koyu Ohara. Fairy in a Cage is one of the most controversial films of 1970’s Japanese cinema, in a brand-new high-definition transfer taken from the original 35mm camera negative.

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Female Teacher: In Front of the Students DVD (Impulse Pictures)

Female Teacher: In Front of the Students DVD (Impulse Pictures)

Female Teacher: In Front of the Students DVD (Impulse Pictures)

RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2013

Impulse Pictures presents the DVD for 1982’s Female Teacher: In Front of the Students, directed by Yasurou Uegaki. With shocking scenes of torture and violence, including a shower assault that clocks in at almost four minutes, Female Teacher: In Front of the Students is one of the more unforgiving and jaw-dropping films in Impulse Pictures Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection.

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Spielberg terminates ‘Robopocalypse’ (for now)

Daniel H. Wilson's "Robopocalypse"

Daniel H. Wilson's "Robopocalypse"

Thor’s Chris Hemsworth is being handpicked by Steven Spielberg to star in Robopocalypse, a sci-fi story set in the aftermath of a robot uprising, based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Daniel H. Wilson.

The novel’s description is as follows: When the Robot War ignites, humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

Looks like Cyberdyne has finally met its match! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates regarding Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, so stay tuned!

Updates: THR reports that Robopocalypse has been postponed indefinitely. Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy says the project is “too important and the script is not ready, and it’s too expensive to produce. It’s back to the drawing board to see what is possible.”

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Assassins, The (2012) Review

"The Assassins" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Assassins" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Zhao Linshan
Writer: Wang Bin
Producer: Zhao Xiaoding
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Crystal Liu Yi Fei, Tamaki Hiroshi, Alec Su You Peng, Annie Yi Neng Jing, Ni Dahong, Yan Ni, Wu Xiu Bo, Yao Lu, Nie Yuan, Roy Cheung Yiu Yeung, Law Kar Ying, Tong Chun Chung, Ken Tong Chun Yip
Running Time: 107 min.

By HKFanatic

While Chow Yun-fat never really left the world of acting, it’s fair to say he’s been making a ‘comeback’ to Chinese filmmaking after the debacle that was 2009’s “Dragonball: Evolution.” That film may have represented the lowpoint of Chow’s career in Hollywood, but he’s been bouncing back with roles in movies like “Confucius” and “Let the Bullets Fly.” The upcoming gangster epic “The Last Tycoon” is probably his most anticipated by fans, and it’s been receiving positive advance reviews from venues like the Hollywood Reporter; but before we get to see what Wong Jing has cooked up for us with that film, the 2012 historical epic “The Assassins” is here with a North American release from Well Go USA.

This film from first-time director Linshan Zhao casts Chow Yun-fat in the lead role of Cao Cao, a powerful military leader during the Three Kingdoms period. The goal was clearly to provide a more three-dimensional portrayal of this feared man, who sought to unite China through bloodshed. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, after all – and placing a talented actor such as Chow Yun-fat in the role also helps add some nuance to a character that could have easily been just a war monger.

The issue with these kinds of costume epics, with rulers engaging in backstabbing and infidelities, is that they tend to achieve a certain level of Shakespearean gravitas or else feel like a soap opera. Unfortunately, “The Assassins” falls into the later category. Most of the film’s runtime consists of Cao Cao’s own court and various political affiliations plotting against him while Cao Cao himself mourns his lot in life. Chow Yun-fat is as good as you’d expect him to be, but the actors that support him are rarely able to rise above the screenplay’s histrionics.

When the action sequences do come, they feel fantastical and out of place compared to the palace drama of the rest of the film. An early assassination attempt features ninja-like attackers running across a net of ropes like it’s the trapeze in a circus of death. In another film, this sequence might be an action highlight – but the choreography isn’t terribly exciting and the almost manga-like spectacle clashes with the realism of the movie as a whole.

It should be noted that Chow Yun-fat’s “Let the Bullets Fly” co-star Jiang Wen managed to deliver a complex portrayal of Cao Cao in the midst of an all-out action movie (Donnie Yen’s “The Last Bladesman“). Meanwhile, Chow Yun-fat himself was a highlight in Zhang Yimou’s lavish costume epic “The Curse of the Golden Flower” back in 2006, which was successful at blending high drama with wire-assisted action. Both those films proved more entertaining than “The Assassins,” which comes across as a bit too dour and sloppily directed in comparison. Die-hard fans of Chow Yun-fat can likely round the score for this film up but “The Assassins” doesn’t have what it takes to stand out in a crowded genre. It looks like John Woo’s “Red Cliff” will remain the definitive Three Kingdoms saga for awhile longer.

HKFanatic’s Rating: 5.5/10

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Deal on Fire! Fist of Legend | Blu-ray | Only $9.49 – Expires soon!

"Fist of Legend" Blu-ray Cover

"Fist of Legend" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Gordon Chan’s Fist of Legend. This 1994 masterpiece, which is a loose remake of the 1972 Bruce Lee classic Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection), teams Jet Li with martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. In fact, Fist of Legend is widely regarded as the greatest film of both their careers.

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These Malaysian stuntmen aren’t afraid to go ‘One on One’

"One on One" Coming in 2013

If The Raid taught us anything, it’s that the Indonesian martial art Silat looks amazing on camera and you don’t need a Hollywood-size budget to make a great action film. Twitch reports on a gritty new Malaysian film that looks to be taking these lessons to heart. Plot and cast details are scarce, but the title roughly translates to One on One. You won’t want to miss the first trailer.

The film appears to be a fusion of The Raid‘s kinetic action direction, the jaw-dropping stuntwork of Tony Jaa’s films, and the ‘anything goes’ energy of Jackie Chan’s fight scenes. If One on One can manage to live up to the promise of this trailer, it should be a martial arts film worth celebrating.

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