Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams | Blu-ray & DVD (Criterion)

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams | Blu-ray & DVD (Criterion)

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams | Blu-ray & DVD (Criterion)

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016

Criterion Collection presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams.

Unfolding in a series of mythic vignettes, this late work by Akira Kurosawa brings eight of the beloved director’s own nighttime visions, informed by tales from Japanese folklore, to cinematic life. In a visually sumptuous journey through the master’s unconscious, tales of childlike wonder give way to apocalyptic visions: a young boy stumbles on a fox wedding in a forest; a soldier confronts the ghosts of the war dead; a power-plant meltdown smothers a seaside landscape in radioactive fumes.

Interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of art, including a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh (played by Martin Scorsese), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is both a showcase for its maker’s imagination at its most unbridled and a deeply personal lament for a world at the mercy of human ignorance.

Disc features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Masaharu Ueda, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring film scholar Stephen Prince
  • Making of “Dreams” (1990), a 150-minute documentary shot on-set and directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • New interview with assistant director Takashi Koizumi
  • New interview with production manager Teruyo Nogami
  • Kurosawa’s Way (2011), a fifty-minute documentary by director Akira Kurosawa’s longtime translator Catherine Cadou, featuring interviews with filmmakers Theodoros Angelopoulos, Bernardo Bertolucci, Clint Eastwood, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Bong Joon-ho, Abbas Kiarostami, Hayao Miyazaki, Martin Scorsese, Julie Taymor, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, and John Woo
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri and Kurosawa’s script for a never-filmed ninth dream, introduced by Nogami

Pre-order Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams from Amazon.com today!

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Deal on Fire! Kiss of the Dragon | Blu-ray | Only $9.02 – Expires soon!

"Kiss of the Dragon" Blu-ray Cover

"Kiss of the Dragon" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for 2001’s Kiss of the Dragon (read our reviews), starring Jet Li (Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate) and directed by Chris Nahon (Blood: The Last Vampire).

Along with Unleashed, Kiss of the Dragon is one of the most hardest-hitting of Jet’s English-language films. Gotta love that Fist of Fury-esque dojo fight, courtesy of Hong Kong’s legendary action choreographers, Corey Yuen (Raging Thunder). The film also stars Tchéky Karyo (La Femme Nikita) and Cyril Raffaelli (District 13: Ultimatum).

Order Kiss of the Dragon from Amazon.com today!

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Dragon Chen is all action in the new ‘Ultimate Hero’ trailer

"Ultimate Hero" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Ultimate Hero" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Dragon Chen (aka Chen Star), the martial artist who paid homage to Bruce Lee in movies like Jeet Kune Do and Nunchucku, is back in Ultimate Hero, an upcoming actioner he’s once again helming (with the aid of co-director Lei Cui).

In Ultimate Hero, Chen takes on a gang of arms smugglers in Africa. Martial arts sequences, explosions, car chases and shoot ’em up scenes – it’s all there, so we’re all there. The film is getting a Chinese release on August 19th, but if it pops up in North America, you’ll be the first to know.

Media: Teaser | 1st trailer.

Updates: Watch the film’s latest action packed trailer.

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Donald Glover to play Lando ‘Han Solo’ spin-off film?

"The Empire Strikes Back" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"The Empire Strikes Back" Japanese Theatrical Poster

After months of trying to find the perfect actor to portray a young Han Solo – the sarcastic, reckless smuggler of the Star Wars saga made famous by Harrison Ford – Disney has finally found their man in Alden Ehrenreich (photo), an American actor, mostly known for his breakout performance in Ethan Joel Coen’s Hail, Caesar!

According to Deadline, the untitled Han Solo spin-off – to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) and written by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: Episode V-VII)  and Jon Kasdan (In the Land of Women) – will focus on Solo’s days before he linked up with the rebel alliance.

The untitled Han Solo movie, which shoots in January, has a scheduled release in May 25th, 2018. Stay tuned!

Updates: Donald Glover (The Martian) is being eyed for the role of Lando Calrissian, previously played by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Footage of Jackie Chan fighting sky high in ‘Bleeding Steel’

"Bleeding Steel" Chinese Teaser Poster

"Bleeding Steel" Chinese Teaser Poster

Remember when we told you to ignore those early reports of Jackie Chan retiring? We were 100% right. In addition to Jackie’s recently announced team up flick (VIY 2) with Jason Statham – as well as the forthcoming Skiptrace, Railroad Tigers, Kung Fu Yoga and The Foreigner – the martial arts superstar has yet another project in the works, a big budget sci-fi film, titled Bleeding Steel.

Mike Leeder and Impact reports: “Chan is returning to his former adopted homeland of Australia (which served as the backdrop for Mr.Nice Guy and First Strike) for the sci-fi movie Bleeding Steel, which will shoot in China and Australia over the next six months or so. The action sequences for the film are being coordinated by Jackie protege Max Huang (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Dragon Blade).”

Leo Zhang (Chrysanthemum to the Beast) will be writing and directing Bleeding Steel, which is a story set in the future that has Chan as a hardened special forces agent who fights to protect a young woman with whom he feels a special connection from a sinister criminal gang.

Bleeding Steel also stars Show Luo (The Mermaid), Nana Ouyang, Erica Xia-Hou, Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant), Callan Mulvey (Beyond Skyline) and Maria Tran (Truy Sat).

Production is currently underway in Sydney, with additional filming to resume in Taiwan.

Updates: Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of Jackie on top of the Sydney Opera House filming a fight scene for the movie.

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‘Scarface’ reboot gets a ‘Replacement Killer’ director

"Scarface" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Scarface" Japanese Theatrical Poster

It’s been off and on for the last 5 years, but Universal is still on a mission bring back the iconic titular gangster, originally conceived by Rio Bravo’s Howard Hawks and reimagined by Carrie’s Brian DePalma. This time around, Scarface will revolve around Mexican drug cartels.

David Ayer (End of Watch) has been attached as screenwriter, with Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) and Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) revising the script.

There hasn’t been any stars officially connected, but there was speculation that popstar Rihanna (Battleship) was rumored to be pursuing a role.

Updates: According to Deadline, Antoine Fuqua (The Replacement Killers) is in negotiations to direct Scarface.

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Violent Cop | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

Violent Cop | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

Violent Cop | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2016

Film Movement Classics presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Violent Cop, a 1989 crime/thriller directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano (Beyond Outrage).

Azuma is a cop who plays by his own rules: He batters suspects, beats confessions from criminals, and plants evidence. He’s a vigilante force the department quietly supports as long as he gets results, but when a volatile drug case results in the death of a colleague, the hair-trigger cop goes rogue as he matches wits with an equally impulsive assassin. | Trailer.

Pre-order Violent Cop from Amazon.com today.

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Wilson Yip is a ‘Greedy Wolf’ for Louis Koo and Max Zhang

"Wild City" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Wild City" Chinese Theatrical Poster

According to AFS, Louis Koo (Wild City), Max Zhang (SPL II: A Time for Consequences) and Yue Wu (From Vegas to Macau II) will star in Tan Lang (meaning “Greedy Wolf”), an action thriller directed by Wilson Yip (Ip Man 3, Flashpoint, SPL).

Unfortunately, not much is known about the project, but considering Yip (who is currently working on Storm Riders 3) is at the helm of a film with such a stellar cast – most notably Zhang, the breakout star of Ip Man 3 – we’ll definitely be looking out for it.

For now, be sure to read about Yip’s Storm Riders 3, as well as Zhang’s other projects, which include The BrinkSPL 3 and a possible Ip Man 3 spin-off. As for Koo, well, he’s in every Chinese movie by default.

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Boiling Point | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

Boiling Point | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

Boiling Point | Blu-ray & DVD (Film Movement)

RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2016

Film Movement Classics presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Boiling Point, a 1990 crime/thriller directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano (Outrage).

Boiling Point is the story of a passive gas station attendant and benchwarming minor-league baseball player Masaki (Masahiko Ono), who finally rebels against the yakuza. When the local crime boss embarks on a campaign of beatings aimed at Masaki’s coworkers and baseball teammates, Masaki buys a gun, and falls in with a gangster (Takeshi) who has his own score to settle with the yakuza. | Trailer.

Pre-order Boiling Point from Amazon.com today.

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Scott Adkins joins Andrzej Bartkowiak’s ‘Altar Rock’

"Maximum Crash" Japanese Theatrical Poster

"Maximum Crash" Japanese Theatrical Poster

Martial arts star Scott Adkins (Close Range, Zero Tolerance) has joined the cast of Altar Rock, an upcoming movie directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Exit Wounds, Romeo Must Die), which is being described as a “millennial romantic thriller” inspired by the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

According to Deadline, Altar Rock stars India Eisley (Kite) and K.J. Apa (The Cul De Sac) as star-crossed lovers on the island of Nantucket whose romance is threatened by family loyalty. The film also stars Sydney Park (The Standoff) and James Remar (48 Hrs).

On related news, Bartkowiak’s pair of martial arts flicks, Maximum Impact and the Mark Dacascos-directed/Bartkowiak-produced Showdown in Manila, should soon see an official release date.

As for Adkins: Look for him in a handful of upcoming movies, including Savage Dog (filming), Eliminators (post-production), Doctor Strange (post-production), Boyka: Undisputed and the soon-to-be released Hard Target 2.

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Deal on Fire! New World | Blu-ray | Only $7.95 – Expires soon!

New World | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

New World | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Park Hoon-jeong-I’s New World, starring Lee Jung-Jae (Big Match), Hwang Jung-min (The Unjust) and Choi Min-sik (The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale).

New World follows an undercover cop who’s caught between the gangsters’ power struggle and a police crackdown. This acclaimed gangster flick from Park Hoon-jung, the writer of I Saw the Devil, is often compared to such classics as The Godfather and The Departed. At only $7.95, find out if it lives up to the hype.

Order New World from Amazon.com today!

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New action-packed TV spot for ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" Teaser Poster

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" Teaser Poster

Back in 2012, actor Tom Cruise drew plenty of criticism when he was cast in Christopher McQuarrie’s Jack Reacher as Jack Reacher, the popular character created by novelist Lee Child. Reacher is known for being a 6’5″ brute of a man, an ex-soldier who could physically dominate any opponent.

While Cruise is no stranger to action thanks to the Mission: Impossible series, many Lee Child fans balked at the casting of Cruise due to his pint-sized stature – enough to start a Facebook group called “Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher.”

However, the proof, as they say, is in the movie. Jack Reacher grossed over $80.1 million in North America and $138.3 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $218.3 million, against a budget of $60 million. To top it all off, the film met with a mostly positive reception.

With that said, it should be no surprise that a sequel, titled Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, is hitting theaters on October 12, 2016. This time around, Cruise is teaming up with his Last Samurai filmmaker Edward Zwick, who is taking over directing duties for McQuarrie.

In the sequel, Jack Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he’s now accused of a 16-year-old homicide.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back also stars Cobie Smulders, Robert Knepper, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Jason Douglas and Sue-Lynn Ansari. | 1st Trailer. | 2nd trailer. | 1st TV spot. |

Updates: Watch a 2nd action-packed TV spot.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues, The (1991) Review

"The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Fung Hak On
Writer: Siao Lung
Cast: Mark Cheng Ho Nam, Yukari Oshima, Alex Man Chi Leung, Dick Wei, Ken Lo, Wong Yu, Leung Kar Yan, Tai Bo, Anthony Carpio, Chan Daat Gong, Benny Lai Keung Kuen, Chow Kong, Chu Tau, Mark King, Foo Wang Tat
Running Time: 91 min.

By Paul Bramhall

The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues, besides having a title that resembles a Bob Dylan song gone wrong, rarely seems to get mentioned when fans discuss early 90’s Hong Kong action cinema, yet at the same time also manages to be a title that everyone has heard of. In many ways it could well be down to the fact that it’s a difficult production to categorize. The few reviews that are floating around on the net reference it as a ‘Girls with Guns’ flick, seemingly based on nothing more than it featuring Yukari Oshima and it being from 1991, however once watched it becomes apparent it has little in common with said genre. A better description would be to call it a Triad thriller, which just so happens to have some stellar martial arts talent in front of the camera, who duly oblige in showing that talent off at various points throughout the runtime.

The man in the director’s chair is the late great Fung Hak-On, recognizable from several kung fu classics, most notably as the villain from Sammo Hung’s Warriors Two. Hak-On may have been more well known for his roles in many of the most popular kung fu movies of the golden era, however The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues was actually the fourth (and last) time for him to direct a movie, so he was certainly no stranger to being behind the camera.

Proceedings open with an introduction to a pair of fish farmers, played by Mark Cheng and Benny Lai. Cheng was marketed as the next big leading man by Cinema City throughout the mid-80’s, but for some reason he never really clicked with audiences, and by the early 90’s was mostly starring in lower budgeted productions such as this one. His presence in The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues could also be explained by the fact he married Yukari Oshima shortly before it started filming, so the pair came as a package deal (they’d also appear together in Win Them All, Kickboxer’s Tears, and Hard to Kill). Lai on the other hand is best known as the mute adversary that Jackie Chan faces off against in the finale of Police Story 2. He spent part of his career as a member of Chan’s Stuntman Group, and has a filmography that mostly consists of parts as a thug or gang member, so this production was a rare opportunity for him to play a significant role.

A chance encounter with some gangsters results in them crossing paths with a Triad leader, played by Alex Man, who takes them under his wing and puts them to work in one of his hostess bars. Man has plenty of issues of his own though. His Triad leader is an honourable and old-school guy, who’ll do anything to keep the peace (it’s quite possible Gareth Evans had his performance in mind for Tio Pakusadewo’s role in The Raid 2), however when his Japanese counterpart dies, the latter’s aggressively ambitious son wants to buy out the business from under him. The son is played by super kicker Ken Lo, perhaps most famous for being Jackie Chan’s bodyguard from 1980 – 2010 (not to mention their legendary fight to close out Drunken Master II), who’s ably assisted by his head henchman, played by the director himself, Fung Hak-On, who also takes on action choreography duties.

For those reading that want to check out The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues as Yukari Oshima fans, you’re probably concerned that she hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Actually, Oshima does have a large part, which as the title suggests is that of Man’s daughter. However she doesn’t appear until just over 20 minutes in (she’s been in Japan studying karate), and to see her in action you’ll have to wait until the 50 minute mark. However this isn’t detrimental to the movie at all, and her character fits in perfectly with the events that are taking place. As the daughter of a Triad leader, her role as a young and playful martial arts fanatic is very different from the no-nonsense characters she often embodies, but when she finds out that Lo is trying to undermine her father, she also knows how to get down to business.

Indeed rather than really having a main character so to speak, The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues comes across very much like an ensemble piece. All of the main players get plenty of screen time for us to get to know their characters, as does Dick Wei, who plays the long serving enforcer to Man’s Triad leader. Much like Benny Lai, Wei also spent much of his career in one dimensional villain roles, and was happy for his feet to do the talking for him, which always did so very efficiently. However his role here is one that has a welcome depth to it, and without going into spoiler territory, it’s his decision that ultimately sends the Triads and Yakuza on the path to an inevitable confrontation. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but considering the role gave him a rare chance to show off some acting chops, it’s especially ironic that his character gets a line where he asks, “I act well don’t I?”

When it comes to the business of Triad and Yakuza rivalries, the plot certainly doesn’t shy away from getting nasty. In one particular scene, Lo attempts to lure the Madame’s away from Man’s hostess bar to work in his instead, with the promise of a higher wage. However when one of them insists on being loyal to Man, Lo pays a young teenager who wants to be a gangster to throw a cup of acid in her face. Scenes like this ensure that the story is taken seriously, and it never digresses into comedy or other such hijinks, that HK cinema of the era is frequently guilty of doing.

The action itself is one of those rare occasions in which it serves to further the story, rather than just being stand-alone set pieces. Cheng had the moves when it came to screen fighting, even though his career ultimately didn’t follow a path where he’d get to use them that much, but here he gets ample opportunity to break them out. The choreography is a unique mix of the hard hitting kickboxing style, which would become synonymous with 80’s – early 90’s modern day HK action flicks, blended with some occasional old-school flourishes, such as a shape thrown here and there. A highlight sees Oshima taking on both Ken Lo, Fung Hak-On, and a group of their lackeys single handedly in a gym, which incorporates plenty of prop usage reminiscent of Jackie Chan.

Eventually proceedings build to a satisfying finale that sees most of the last 15 minutes being taken up with action. There’s some satisfying vehicle work on display, of which there are a couple of impact shots that’ll make you question how the stuntman on the receiving end of them survived. Events culminate with Dick Wei having to face off against two opponents, and a closing bout that sees Cheng and Oshima teaming up to take on Lo and Hak-On respectively. It’s a great fight, even if it’s a tier below the best work of all involved, however considering the context it takes place in and the budget that was being worked with, it undeniably delivers. Throw in plenty of smashed glass tables and collateral damage, with a suitably gruesome finishing move, and for fans of both old school and new wave action, The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues arguably exceeds the sum of its parts.

All things considered, Hak-On’s last movie in the directors chair captures a moment in Hong Kong cinema that we’ll likely never get back. Sure, movies can still be made about Triads and Yakuza facing off against each other, but had the movie been made today, it would likely be at least 10 minutes longer, as we’d no doubt have to watch the police arrive on scene and arrest the surviving members. Because China needs to remind us that crime doesn’t pay. As it is, The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues doesn’t have a single police character in it, everyone is either a Triad or a Yakuza, and what goes down takes place between them and no one else. While it’s not perfect, Hak-On has directed a coherent and engaging tale of gang rivalries, which doesn’t feel the need to pad its runtime with such distractions as comedy and romance, and that’s to be applauded. The fact that we get a healthy dose of HK style action on top, is merely the icing on the cake.

Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 7/10

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

One reason why Bollywood shouldn’t do martial arts movies…

Posted in News | 21 Comments

Attack on Titan: Part 1 | Blu-ray & DVD (Funimation)

Attack on Titan: Part 1 | Blu-ray & DVD (Funimation)

Attack on Titan: Part 1 | Blu-ray & DVD (Funimation)

RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2016

Funimation presents the Blu-ray & DVD for Shinji Higuchi’s live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan (read our reviews for Part I and Part II) takes place in a strange, quasi-medieval world in which giant humanoid creatures named Titans appear and threaten the lives of everyday people. Civilization’s only line of defense against the Titans are teenage soldiers who traverse the Titans’ massive bodies using powerful grappling hooks. | Part 2 is also available.

Pre-order Attack on Titan: Part 1 from Amazon.com today!

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Undaunted Wudang, The | aka Wu Tang (1983) Review

"The Undaunted Wudang" DVD Cover

"The Undaunted Wudang" DVD Cover

AKA: The Wu Tang
Director: Sun Sha
Writer: Xie Wen-Li
Cast: Lin Quan, Zhao Chang-Jun , Li Yu-Wen, Ma Zhen-Bang , Tang Ya-Li, Yang Yong, Zang Zhi-Guo, Mao Ying-Hai, Zhao Qiu-Rong, Sun Jian-Ming, Xu Chang-Wen
Running time: 94 min

By Matija Makotoichi Tomic

The importance and the historical significance of Shaolin Temple and its monks is well known so it’s no wonder a lot of kung fu movies are Shaolin themed. However, if you’re interested in watching more movies about Wudang, that’s something else. While watching kung fu films you’ve probably seen guys with long hair tied up, with swords on their backs and possibly with huge yin-yang symbol embroidered on their clothes; chances are you were looking at a Wudang priest or swordsman. But when it comes to Wudang as a martial arts school and their philosophy, there aren’t that many movies on the subject. Strange perhaps since Wudang is often refered to as the largest center of martial arts in the country next to Shaolin Temple.

Wudang was named after the Wudang mountains located in Hubei province in central China. Wu means martial, and Dang resistance which describes the defensive role the mountain had at one moment in the great history of China. On the top of the mountain, amongst it’s beautiful scenery lies a huge taoist complex with numerous temples, palaces, pavilions and shrines. It is considered the historical and spiritual home of internal martial arts. While Shaolin monks are buddhists and their kung fu is “external”, Wudang practicioners are taoists, and their art is “internal” which means the emphasis is on the spiritual and mental aspects as well as the use of chi. Such skills are defensive by it’s nature and help build one’s inner strenght. Among better known styles originating from the Wudang school are Tai Chi, Bagua and of course, the famous Wudang sword style.

Words of the narrator introduce us to the plot: in the late 19th century China was considered sick and feeble so many countries sent their best fighters there in order to prove their superiority. Among them was Japan sending their judo champions to challenge chinese kung fu experts to a tournament. During a fight Chinese master Chen gets killed leaving his daughter Xue Jiao to seek revenge.

The Undaunted Wudang is technically not a kung fu, but a wushu film. Even though wushu is faster, softer and more fluid, I personally prefer kung fu. Wushu seems like a performing art, a skill that lacks real fighting quality which is a thing many accuse wushu of, stating it is a competitive sport rather than a method of self-defence that can be applied in combat. There is a division between traditional kung fu and modern wushu but there are masters accomplished in both methods proving a wushu player can be traditional. One such is Zhao Changjun, one of the most decorated wushu champions ever, an all-around National Champion of China for ten consecutive years, a record nobody has broken so far. His only true rival was Jet Li who took the title from him in 1978. but eventually made Zhao Changjun dominate throughout the 80’s. As they say in wushu circles, 70’s belonged to Jet Li, but the 80’s belonged to Zhao.

In 1983, while still dominating the national and international wushu events, Zhao Changjun turned to acting and the first movie he stared in was The Undaunted Wudang. Alongside him was the brilliant Lin Quan showing great potential in what turned out to be the first of only three films she stared in. She is said to be a former wushu champion but the only info I got on her is that she is (or was) working as an instructor at the Wushu and Arts Center in Kowloon. These two are reason enough to watch this movie because their skill is really outstanding. The two weren’t however participating in directing action, the duo responsible for that is Ma Zhen-Bang and the one-time actor/action director Han Ming-Nan, both having their roles in the movie, as the Head Priest of Nanshan and the Chief of the guards. The action they delivered is fantastic, fights are fast and intense with truly impressive set of skills which include acrobatics and weapons fight. Choreography is almost entirely without fantastic elements and has up to several fighters performing at the same time, often in long shots which really deserves ones admiration due to the speed and complexity displayed.

In the second half of the movie when Xue Jiao leaves for the mountains in order to train with the High Priest, we are led to the very heart of Wudang. It’s a real treat seeing the inside of the taoist complex and witness the authentic Wudang through beautiful training sequences and the principles on which their martial arts is based on. We’re getting some priceless shots of group training by Wudang practitioners in front of the real Purple Cloud monastery. Their performance is slow and soft, sort of like practising tai chi with a sword, unlike Xue Jiao’s sword demonstration which is fast and explosive. Her training includes practising punches on wooden blocks while her teacher is demonstrating the basic of all Wudang styles on a yin-yang ball (a big round rock actually), explaining the transformation and redirection of energy during opponent’s attack and using the same in defeating him.

Some of the Wudang spirit can be experienced in the 1983. kung fu classic Shaolin and Wu Tang, and partly even in its sequel Shaolin and Wu Tang 2 – Wu Tang Invasion (1986). Recently, Wu Dang (2012) captured some of the beauty the taoist complex and the nature surrounding it emanate with, though the movie itself is bad and the action by Corey Yuen ruined with the excessive use of wires and effects. Although The Undaunted Wudang may be only an average Mainland China martial arts product, worth watching and interesting to fans mainly for the action and the skill displayed, if you’re interested in the beauty, the martial arts and the philosophy of Wudang, this is as far as I know, the best you’ll find.

Matija Makotoichi Tomic’s Rating: 6.5/10

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Cityonfire.com’s ‘The Tiger’ Blu-ray Giveaway! – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale | Blu-ray & DVD (Well Go USA)

Cityonfire.com and Well Go USA are giving away 3 Blu-ray copies of The Tiger (read our review) to three lucky Cityonfire visitors. To enter, simply add a comment to this post and describe, in your own words, this video.

We will be selecting a winner at random. Be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you for your home address. Additionally, you must ‘Like Us‘ on cityonfire.com’s Facebook by clicking here.

The Blu-ray for The Tiger will be officially released on August 9, 2016. We will announce the 3 winners on August 11th.

CONTEST DISCLAIMER: You must enter by August 11th, 2016 to qualify. U.S. residents only please. We sincerely apologize to our non-U.S. visitors. Winners must respond with their mailing address within 48 hours, otherwise you will automatically be disqualified. No exceptions. Contest is subject to change without notice.

WINNERS: Ben, Jo and Bharat D.

Posted in News | Tagged | 23 Comments

‘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 current crime 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.”

Production for Buy Bust begins in November, but for now, take a peak at some impressive training videos, featuring both Vera and Curtis, courtesy of Matti. Stay tuned!

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Don “The Dragon” Wilson joins Juju Chan in ‘V-Force’

"Ring of Fire" Theatrical Poster

"Ring of Fire" Theatrical Poster

Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Ring of Fire, Bloodfist) will be appearing alongside Juju Chan (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Keith David (The Thing), Michael Rooker (The Replacement Killers) and Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight) in V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.

Directed by Frank E. Johnson (Shannon’s Rainbow), V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. tells the story of four young women who gain extraordinary powers and are guided by an older mentor to become super heroes.

We’re not sure how much screen time Wilson will be getting, but there’s always these other “Dragon” films to look forward to, including White Tiger, Enter the Fist and the Golden Fleecing, Paying Mr. McGetty, Showdown in Manila and the recently released Martial Arts Kid.

V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. is currently filming in Oregon, as reported in this behind-the-scenes look at the film. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.

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Deal on Fire! Iceman | Blu-ray | Only $8.11 – Expires soon!

"Iceman" Blu-ray Cover

"Iceman" Blu-ray Cover

Today’s Deal on Fire is the Blu-ray for Law Wing Cheong’s Iceman, starring International martial arts icon Donnie Yen (Special ID). A remake of the 1989 film Iceman Cometh, Yen plays a Ming era warrior who, along with his three traitorous childhood friends, are accidentally buried and kept frozen in time. 400 years later, they are defrosted and continue their battle in modern times where they left off.

Iceman also stars Eva Huang (Kung Fu Hustle), Wang Baoqiang (Lost in Thailand) and Simon Yam (The Thieves). Don’t miss our review!

Order Iceman from Amazon.com today!

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