Showing posts from December, 2017

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND UP XX: Garo: Divine Fang, The Face Of My Genes, Buffalo Boys, Inuyashiki, And Out Of Control!

This was a fun ride. Kind of a strain while being sick and all but I liked putting these fivers together. Here are the last batch to look out for in 2018!...

Readying a January 6 Japan release from Tohokashinsha, writer and director Amemiya Keita is back with a rousing return to the big screen with Garo: Kaminokiba (Garo: Divine Fang). Actor Kuriyama Wataru transitions his character from the original Garo series in 2005 with Ikeda Junya, Aoki Tsunenori and Inoue Masahiro also starring.

Arriving in time to compete with other bustling new titles for its Chinese New Year release, director Guo Degang's new movie, The Faces Of My Genes looks like an amazing new title to welcome Asian film fans. Star comedian and actor Yue Yunpeng plays a struggling writer who finds himself traveling back in time to consult with a dozen of his ancestors to seek their formula for success. The cast itself is also a pretty big deal listing actor and martial artist Jacky Wu Jing and Taiwanese actress Lin C…

SCORCHED EARTH: Gina Carano Throws Down In The New Trailer For Peter Howitt's Dystopian Western Thriller

Been a while since you've seen MMA starlet, actress Gina Carano shepherd an action role, hasn't it? Well indeed, you're just shy of a month away from endulging once more with Peter Howitt's latest, Scorched Earth, making way early next year and host to a heavy dose of Carano in her cult action star element. The planet has suffered an environmental collapse; the air became dangerous to breathe, the water became toxic, and billions of people died. Generations later, mankind has finally re-established a rudimentary society, in an attempt to pick up the pieces that continue to blister in the sun. Gage is a bounty hunter and she has a chance at the bounty of a lifetime. She infiltrates a gang of outlaws in order to bring in their leader, and everything is going to plan until she meets a slave girl that reminds her of her dead sister. With her loyalty to only herself now tested, Gage learns that there might be more to life than just survival. Carano is joined by John Hannah,…

MOM AND DAD: Parents Go Batshit On Kids And Pool Tables In The Official Trailer For The New Nicolas Cage Horror Comedy

Critical praise all but surrounds Brian Taylor's gonzo horror comedy, Mom And Dad, following a rousing premiere at Fantastic Fest and festive screenings in Toronto thereafter. The film has already begun earning its appeal to moviegoers for next year with an official trailer hailing a story of a period in which children are forced to survive a deadly pandemic as their own parents set out to kill them.
Starring are Oscar winning actor Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, Raising Arizona) and actress Selma Blair (Hellboy, Cruel Intentions) with Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why, #RealityHigh), and Zackary Arthur (Transparent, The 5th Wave) from a debut script also by Taylor (Crank, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance). Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.Your parents brought you into this world and they most certainly can take you out of it…even if they h…

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND UP XIX: Along With The Gods, Black Water, Wolf Warrior 3, Rendel, Golden Job

Inspired by a 2010 webcomic of the same name, 2018 has already begun looking spiffy with Kim Yong-Hwa poised for the December 22 release of the new movie, Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds. The film is the first of a two-part venture and here with actor Cha Tae-Hyun starring as a firefighter deployed to conquer seven afterlife trials with the guidance of three guardians to seek his right to reincarnation. Also starring are Ha Jung-Woo, Ju Ji-Hoon, Kim Hyang-Gi and Lee Jung-Jae with Well Go USA further extending the film's big screen availability throughout North America on January 5.

Mysteriously when the production of Black Water commenced, the director's name was left a total mystery until it was finally revealed to be Pasha Patriki who has lensed and produced a nunber of titles - Allen Ungar's Gridlocked and Justin McConnell's Broken Mile to name a few. He now helms the latest pairing of two major action stars who need no introduction, for the story of an impriso…

Indonesian Martial Arts Novel Adaptation WIRO SABLENG Takes A Swing Online In A First Look Teaser

The days and weeks since launching our Five-A-Day countdown have proven fruitful a time or several with various bits of teaser and trailer footage emerging for some titles arriving next year. Thus, expect to hear more ahead of Angga D. Sasongko's latest, Wiro Sableng, taken from the pages of the long celebrated action adventure novel saga from author Bastian Tito whose son, actor Vino G. Bastian, now stakes his claim in the title role.
The story itself is set in the 16th century and centured on an axe-wielding hero of legend who accrues a number of skills on his adventures. Plot details are unclear as to which areas of the novels are the film's focus, although the kind folks at Lifelike Pictures and 20th Century Fox have finally begun making their case with an impressive first look teaser sampling Bastian in full heroic form with a taste of the action from Jackie Chan stunt veteran, action director Chan Man Ching and co-star/fight choreographer Yayan Ruhian.
Rounding out the …

LIVERLEAF: First Teaser For Naito Eisuke's Psych Horror Manga Adaptation Paints The Snow-Covered Town Red

The artwork for Oshikiri Rensuke's 2007 manga series, Liverleaf, is something really striking; I've only seen a few images but given the narrative, I get the overall tone and idea behind it and with that, the jury remains out on whether or not that goes for Litchi Hikari Club helmer Naito Eisuke whose latest adaptation of the manga releases on April 7 in Japan.
The teaser certainly looks and feels promising for its audience, bearing the gripping, haunting and violent tone it delivers. Tadano Miako, who debuted in 2006 with Three Year Delivery, adapts Oshikiri's work telling of a newly-arrived school transfer - bullied by her peers, psychologically tormented and eager to get even with the people responsible for the fire that killed the parents and injured the younger sister of her only friend.
Saki (2016) and series drama Hokuto co-star Yamada Anna makes her second turn on the big screen with a performance that so far does some pretty fair justice coupled with its other tra…

THE SCYTHIAN: Don't Miss These Two Trailers For Rustam Mosafir's Brutal Sword Epic!

This one would have been great to list as a Five-A-Day entry but as it stands it's only come under my radar as of Wednesday. That's really all there is thusfar to what appears to be Rustam Mosafir's second turn at the helm, The Scythian, apart from what we can now sample in the latest official trailer heading off its upcoming Russian release in January. These are times when one civilization is replacing another. A new era is about to begin in Central Eurasia. Scythians, the proud warriors, are all but gone. The few of their descendants have become ruthless mercenary assassins, the “waves of Ares.” Lutobor, is a soldier with a difficult task at hand. He becomes involved in internecine conflicts and sets off on a perilous journey to save his family. His guide is a captive Scythian by the name of Weasel. Lutobor and Weasel are enemies. They pray to different gods but must embark on this journey together. They brave the wild steppes, moving toward the last haven of the Scythia…

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND-UP XVIII: Contracts 3, Crazy Fist, Kung Fury 2: The Movie, Armed, Legend Of The Ancient Sword

Per my usual angle here at Film Combat Syndicate, following stunt professionals eventually led me to Alex Chung who is now ramping up his debut independent feature, Contracts 3. A full narrative spin-off from two earlier proof shorts, this one pits our cast deep in the brutal tale of a group of assassins who find themselves as targets of a more supreme killer. We only have a teaser trailer to go on, but it whets the appetite plenty.

Ask me a month ago what Crazy Fist is and I couldn't tell you. A low-quality teaser poster is floating online for the project however and it hails from director Qing Guo, telling of a former MMA champion now billionaire corporate royal who pairs up with an investiagtor to uncover a conspiracy involving the deadly illegal tournament that killed his brother. Bodybuilder Kai Greene has gone on social media with a few BTS clips to lend some insight while a release next year is reportedly due. Steve Yoo (Wrath Of Vajra) and Collin Chou (The Four franchise)…

BUYBUST: Erik Matti's Explosive New Action Thriller Storms Online With A First Teaser

Director Erik Matti's latest crime thriller, BuyBust, has been nothing short of stirring. Indeed the hype is real for the celebrated helmer of hit crime thriller, On The Job, as well as Honor Thy Father and Kubot, and no less in the wake of pivoting away from screening at the Metro Manila Film Festival this year...
Thus, ensuing a slightly longer wait but one that bodes with promise as evidently seen in the first official teaser from Viva Films and Reality Entertainment. Anne Curtis and champion MMA fighter Brandon Vera lead the cast for the story centered two squads cornered amid a drug bust gone deadly with remaining squad members and civilians trapped in enemy sights.
With reason to suspect certain film reps might nab this one for international rights (don't take my word for it just yet), I'm inclined to believe this particular title will hit pretty big on the market front, which is good news for anyone in pursuit of landing Filipino action cinema on the map under seriou…


Admittedly, I had been a little hesitant to scribe anything for a Year Five summation post. 2017 wasn't the most advantageous year as there were still a world of things I wanted to do and experiment with and suffice it to say, life as usual got in the way some.
Indeed, it still does to this day and that's pretty much the best way I can explain it without sounding like too much of a Debbie Downer which isn't the tone I'm going for, especially given the more eventful moments I've had this year amid recent memory. Needless to say, I hope to be able to foresee more photos in future annual scrapbooks like the one at the bottom of this post. All the photos I've shared hail from a year in which I've had many a night shared with some of the best kind of people to drink and laugh with, with the exception of another birthday party for which I never got the photos but will eventually include if they come under my radar.
Alas, I sit here writing this with the utmost…

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND-UP XVII: Solo, Batman Ninja, Forgotten, Iron Sky 2, Apostle

The publicity hasn't exactly been all optimistic as fans await what lies ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story. The responsibility shifting from Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Ron Howard will hopefully see a difference as the film approaches its May 25 date with Alden Ehrenrich, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover starring, especially with Disney not letting up anytime soon with the franchise.

Mizusaki Junpei's animated directorial debut, Batman Ninja, isn't the first time the popular caped crusader was reconceived by way of Asian mythos (See Batman Of Shanghai). Of course, it was only a matter of time until someone managed to realize this on a full scale and thus, we now have Warner Bros. Japan hailing the DC crowd with Batman Ninja, manifested in part from the people who brought you Afro Samurai, Psycho Pass and Kill La Kill. Release dates remain pending.

Further into the suspense and mystery fray, Korean thriller, Forgotten, is also coming to Netflix following its regional rele…

THE HIT LIST: Christmas 2017 Edition!

Having waited this long to post another installment of the Hit List, I couldn't pass up another opportunity to share some of the holiday joy making way online in lieu of all things Christmas for those who celebrate or accomodate it in some capacity. Thus, January 8 is still my official return of this weekly column of treats from the stunt and independent film community, but...'tis the season!

Counting down the action, we ring in the week with an amazing selection of stunt reels by some of today's top and rising stunt players and action actors. The almighty Joseph Le heads it all off courtesy of his newest reel as the headliner of Team Red Productions followed by reels from Aaron Toney, Alice Rietveld, Chris Lafferty, Kaitlyn Hiller, Julie St. Louis, John Nania and the veracity, charm and prowess of Ms. Amy Johnston, with Blake Lindsell, Ciprian Florian, Thomas Watson and Dominque Smith, and a worthwhile dose of freerunning to showcase courtesy of the "Lucky" Cale…

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND-UP XVI The Equalizer 2, Acts Of Violence, Den Of Thieves, Mandy, Alita Battle Angel

Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer was an explosive hit in 2015, readapting the classic TV show centered on a monastic former government operative who sets the wrong things right. Thus, Fuqua and star Denzel Washington are back at it once more in The Equalizer 2 with Pedro Pascal also thrown in the mix and with a release date set for August 3.

I was going to include Eli Roth's Death Wishremake, but I gave it some thought and decided a film of that kind still needed further analysis. That said, I'm leaving it to Brett Donowho for his sixth feature film, Acts Of Violence, which promises something a little more promising in both story and substance with Bruce Willis in the role of an uncorruptable cop who finds himself conflicted as three brothers take matters in their own hands to rescue the younger brother's fiancée. Joining Willis are Cole Hauser and Sophia Bush for Lionsgate Premiere's theatrical and VoD release on January 12, 2018.

It looks like Snow Ponies isn't…

PLANNING INTO ACTION: An Interview With Actor And Stuntman, Phong Giang

Click here and you'll be able to see just how far back I began lending lip service to one of the most anticipated martial arts film titles at the time prior to its ensuing title, Plan B: Scheiss Auf Plan A (click here to read our review). That was in 2015 and it certainly feels like forever looking back as far as then in covering German film and stunt troupe, Reel Deal Action, as much as I have been.

It's brought me in close throes of the biggest and best in the stunt industry, including Can Aydin who has been with the team as early as around 2012; it was later that year when I finally launched the Facebook page for this blog prior to officially writing for it. Aydin leads the cast along with prolific actor and dancer Eugene "U-Gin" Boateng, and fellow Reel Deal Action members Yoon Cha-Lee and Phong Giang in their own feature debuts, something on which my site especially thrives next to all things action on film, stunts and Asian cult cinema in general.
As such, the…

Guy Roger Duvert's 2047: VIRTUAL REVOLUTION Shoots It Up With Stupendous Sci-Fi Thrills In The Official Trailer

Drab future noir scenery, mechas, explosive gun battles, swordfights and kickass action. That's what awaits in the latest feature debut from known composer Guy-Roger Duvert, 2047: Virtual Revolution. Actor and stuntman Mike Dopud  (Skin Trade) stars in this one from Duvert's script which leaves one wondering why the man didn't include some goddamn dragons just for kicks. I'd wholly welcome seeing as how this film has been received in a multitude of festivals since last year. The year is 2047. Most of the world's population live inside corporate-controlled virtual worlds and drift further out of touch with reality. Nash, a private investigator/ mercenary is hired to track down a group of hackers who are disrupting and terrorizing the virtual space in a bid to free human beings from their online prisons. Okay. Admittedly some of the shots in this week's trailer footage might have you wondering just what the hell kind of movie this is. Regardless, I'm willing …

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND-UP XV: Red Sparrow, Swordsman, Dynasty Warriors, Ip Man 4, Viy 2

Francis Lawrence and actress Jennifer Lawrence reteam for an intriguing new thriller in the form of Red Sparrow. I can attest that the action here assure some promise - this aside from the prospects of seeing another female-led action thriller just makes things exciting with Lawrence starring as a Russian spy who considers being a double agent after falling for an American CIA operative played by Joel Edgerton. 20th Century Fox rolls this one out on March 2.

Jang Hyuk stood out terrifically in Volcano High. I know he's been working although I hadn't heard much from him until earlier this year that he would be starring with Indonesian actor Joe Taslim of The Raid fame in his Korean debut, Swordsman. Choi Jae-Hoon directs this, a story centered on the lives of three skilled swordsman: a blind man in his thirties with an only daughter in his care, one who chooses an ordinary simple life, and a Qing Dynasty frontrunning pugilist hungry to conquer Joseon. There's no date yet b…

FIVE-A-DAY ROUND-UP XIV: Aquaman, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Alpha

I haven't seen Justice League yet but I heard it was another mixed bag for some fans. Going forward, Warner Bros. still has a stake in the DCEU and will be ramping up efforts to promote James Wan's own contribution, Aquaman, to the masses ahead of its December 21, 2018 release with Jason Momoa reprising as the Atlantean king now forced to deal with internal woes of his own Kingdom while fighting to preserve peace with people on land. I'll see Justice League soon enough to garner an opinion here. Beyond that, let's hope it's not too late for the studio to pull itself together on this.

A quick Google search reveals that Deadpool 2 is actually supposed to have a much less generic title...unless it's Deadpool 2 then I really have no complaints and Fox shouldn't really overkill on this one. Ryan Reynolds is back as well as select cast members from the soaring 2016 hit from director Tim Miller. Atomic Blonde helmer David Leitch makes his sophomore offering in th…

PUT THE BUNNY BACK IN THE BOX: A Conversation With Director Simon West

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Con Air, a roller-coaster of an action movie starring Nicolas Cage and the debut film of director Simon West. Like fellow action maestros Michael Bay and Antione Fuqua, West worked his way through the ranks at Propaganda Films making award winning music videos and commercials.  As a feature filmmaker, he's directed everything from the surprisingly solid Tomb Raider (starring Angelina Jolie at the height of her fame) to Expendables 2 (the best film in the franchise) as well as TV shows like Human Target.

Now he's here to talk about his latest action project, Stratton. Adapted from a popular book series about an elite operative in the British SBS (Special Boat Service), this could become a new British action franchise to stand side by side with Bond.

Film Combat Syndicate:  You've had a pretty illustrious career as an action film director. 20 years!
Simon West: [laughs] Yeah, Con Air was twenty years ago this year. That was the fi…

INUYASHIKI: Sato Shinsuke's New Anime Adaptation Takes Flight In The First Teaser

Anyone looking toward another year of ambitious live-action and manga adaptations can assure their current hopes in director Sato Shinsuke. He has two coming in the new year, one of which includes Inuyashiki, starring Kinashi Noritake an old man forced to face a looming threat in the form of a vindictive high school student following an explosion that renders them with extraordinary abilities. Inuyashiki Ichiro is an elderly man, working for a company. One day, Inuyashiki Ichiro is involved in an explosion. When he regains consciousness, he discovers that he is now a cyborg with incredible powers. He decides to use his powers to help those in need. Meanwhile, Shishigami Hiro is a high school student. He was also involved in the same explosion and has gained the same the powers as Inuyashiki Ichiro. Shishigami Hiro decides to use his power to kill off all those who are hostile to him. Famed actor Satoh Takeru stars as Hiro among our cast of principles and with a date readying for April…