Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

Summer Movie Flashback epilogue

Friday, September 27th, 2013

tn_speedracerThanks for indulging me with this Summer Movie Flashback series. Now that I’ve gone through 20 summer movies from the last decade I figured I should have a brief post-game huddle or whatever.

Shit, me starting writing this series almost seems like longer ago than PROMETHEUS, the most recent movie I reviewed in it. So it deserves a wrapup.

 

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Why I give a shit about this NEED FOR SPEED

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Here’s a trailer for NEED FOR SPEED, a movie coming out next March, apparently based on some video game. They’re smart to make it look all serious and not use any hip hop on the trailer so less people will compare it to THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.

Of course with that one TV show being so popular, everybody’s focusing on this being an attempt to use Aaron Paul as a leading man. But the reason I’m drawing your attention to this is because it’s from Scott Waugh, the co-director of ACT OF VALOR. He was a stuntman on many fine (SPARTAN, SPEED, LAST OF THE MOHICANS) and not-so-fine (BATMAN FOREVER, SPY HARD) movies. He worked on both BIKER BOYZ and TORQUE. Then he was second unit director, producer and editor of the documentaries STEP INTO LIQUID and DUST TO GLORY, which led him to the weird stunt/reality/fiction/military recruiting film combo of ACT OF VALOR. I hope he can carry through some of the qualities I liked in ACT OF VALOR, this time 100% free of any guilt of enjoying military propaganda. Of course he’s working with actors now, so he won’t have that interesting “this is a real interrogator guy demonstrating how he does his job” thing going, but I’m sure there will be some good stunts.

The script is by George and John Gatins (FLIGHT, REAL STEEL) and George Nolfi (OCEAN’S TWELVE, BOURNE ULTIMATUM, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU). Michael Keaton is in the cast. My man “Professional” Shane Hurlbut is the cinematographer. Stunt coordinator is Lance Gilbert (TORQUE, STEALTH, VACANCY, PRIEST).

Interview with Tim Man, stunt choreographer on NINJA 2 by david j. moore

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

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This next-to-last interview in david j. moore’s series of NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR interviews is a name I wasn’t familiar with, but it’s important to learn shit. That’s why we’re here. Fight choreographer Tim Man – remember, I heard it here first. Here’s david:

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When I met Tim Man, the stunt and fight choreographer on the Bangkok, Thailand set of Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, my first thought is, “Wow, this guy’s short!” He has a distinct look about him, and he speaks with an unusual accent. He is of Chinese and Swedish descent. Man, trained in Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwan Do, Viet Vo Dao, boxing, and Wushu, has worked on several Thai martial arts productions including Ong Bak 2 (2008) and Kill ‘em All (2012). He was tasked with not only creating all the fights for Ninja II, but he also handled all the stunts, and he co-stars in the film as well as a villain named Myat. As I tried to get to know him over the course of several days, I found him to be immensely knowledgeable in action movie terms, and we’d quiz each other over action stars we like and their movies. We discussed the merits of guys like Keith Cooke, Tony Jaa, Gary Daniels, Billy Blanks, and all sorts of other guys, and it was obvious that he was a hardcore fan of B-action and martial arts movies. He was always in good humor, and in between takes, he’d sit down next to me and carry on our conversation.

  (read the rest of this shit…)

Isaac Florentine Interview on NINJA 2 by david j. moore

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

extendedoutlawcontenttn_isaacflorentineShit, NINJA 2 is getting some pretty serious raves out of Fantastic Fest. I almost wish I didn’t hear that, it’s like when I was patiently anticipating THE RAID because of MERANTAU and then all the sudden a bunch of people flipped out for it and the wait became excruciating. Oh well, as long as that’s the case let’s read david j. moore’s interview with action hall of famer Isaac Florentine.

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On the set of Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, director Isaac Florentine is completely in his element while making his latest martial arts action film, starring Scott Adkins and Kane Kosugi. I’ve been invited to observe several days of filming on the Bangkok, Thailand set, and my first day consists of watching an intense dialogue scene between Adkins’ character and his mentor, played by Kosugi. Both of them are dressed in Japanese robes during their scenes together, and the dojo set is decked with traditional Japanese tapestries and artifacts. I interact with the crew, as they move lights around, and in between takes I chitchat with Adkins, Kosugi, and Florentine, who all take time out to address my questions, comments, and attempts at humor. Florentine, whom I’ve interviewed before, is incredibly gracious to me, and he thanks me several times for visiting the set. We both agree on the fact that movies like the ones he makes aren’t given the attention or the fair criticism that they deserve, and I’ve made it my prerogative to give him and his peer filmmakers like Jesse Johnson, Ben Ramsey, and Ernie Barbarash, the attention that they should be getting. I interviewed Florentine for a few minutes about Ninja: Shadow of a Tear on set, and while this is not a comprehensive interview on his career, it does shed some light on what his intentions are with making this particular film. (read the rest of this shit…)

Interview with Frank DeMartini by david j. moore

Friday, September 20th, 2013

extendedoutlawcontenttn_ninja2bAs NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR is premiering in Austin, let’s continue with david j. moore’s series of interviews. Today he talks to producer Frank DeMartini, a guy who insisted they stop fucking around and just make a sequel to NINJA already. In other words, an American hero. You’ll also find out why he feels qualified to compare the NINJA series to the AMERICAN NINJA one.

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The producer’s chair on the set of Ninja: Shadow of a Tear is filled by Millennium Entertainment’s own Frank DeMartini, who was once a Hollywood attorney before he became a producer. DeMartini is there on the set every moment, supervising every detail of the production, and he allows me to be comfortable on the set, which is sometimes difficult to do on a movie production where grips, make-up, wardrobe people, and props and wires of all sorts can create a hectic atmosphere. DeMartini is calm, and his mandate on this set is to help director Isaac Florentine and star Scott Adkins create the best action film possible. When he has time, he submits to my questions and I’m surprised that he is able to converse on action movie terms. Off the record, we talk about the action movie stars from the glory days of Nu-Image, stars like David Bradley, Frank Zagarino, and Bryan Genesse, and when we actually sit down to conduct the interview, it’s clear that he has an interest in these types of films, and indeed would love to produce more of them.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Tom Yum Goong 2 trailer

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

“Fierce as a lion, strong as an elephant. Sadly after today he’ll disappear forever.”

I can’t tell if this is gonna be any good, but I do know that 1) I personally requested in CLiNT magazine for them to shoot Tony Jaa in 3D, and they did it 2) it is the sequel to maybe my favorite straight-ahead martial arts movie of the 2000s. (Or top 5 if I put it up against KILL BILL.)

One thing I really hope for, though there’s no evidence in this trailer, is an attempt to one-up part 1′s famous long take fight scene. It doesn’t have to be the same kind of thing, but maybe some other spectacular idea we haven’t quite seen on that level before. One thing that makes TOM YUM GOONG so great is that they were clearly intent on outdoing everything they achieved in ONG BAK. They seem to have lost that spirit in later movies as Jaa started having a hard time living up to his legend or whatever was going on that caused him to abandon the filming of the ONG BAK sequels and become a monk for a while.

Now they have JeeJa around, which could help in the upping-the-ante department. And I like that RZA is the bad guy, since he is already kind of a TOM YUM GOONG villain for having rescored it for the bastardized Weinstein version THE PROTECTOR. (Not that he did a bad – or good- job. In fact, if the music on this trailer is from the movie I wouldn’t be against RZA taking a crack at it.)

Interview with Ross Clarkson by david j. moore

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

tn_ninja2extendedoutlawcontentIn part 2 of this OUTLAWVERN.COM EXCLUSIVE series, author david j. moore talks to NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR cinematographer Ross Clarkson on set. Here’s david:

One of the pleasant surprises while visiting the Bangkok, Thailand set of Isaac Florentine’s Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, was hanging out with the cinematographer, Ross Clarkson. I had lunch with him several times over the course of the few days I was on set, and I found him to be jovial and consistently likable, despite the fact that I could clearly see that he was under pressure while under the restraints of a tight budget and schedule for the film. Clarkson, an Australian living in Hong Kong, got his big break working with Ringo Lam, and has shot numerous films with some of the greatest action stars in the business, including Dolph Lundgren, Michael Jai White, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and of course Scott Adkins.

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We demanded it, we got it: the return of Sean Boswell

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, we got him. This summer, when FURIOUS 6′s mid-credits sequence caught up with the Han’s-death scene from THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT three movies ago, it created opportunity for what many of us had been hoping for for years: bringing back Sean Boswell, the redneck kid who was transplanted to Tokyo and became their new king of street racing (under the tutelage of Han and with the blessing of Sonny Chiba). But in all the exciting FAST AND FURIOUS 7 casting stories we’ve heard (along with the great returning cast they’ve added Jason Statham, Kurt Russell and Tony God Damn Jaa, plus a cameo by Ronda Rousey) Black was never mentioned, and I gave up hoping that the producers agreed with us that this was important.

But they do! Deadline reports the triumphant news that Black “has signed a deal that calls for his character to become a regular in the series and (get this…) “he will be part of at least the next three installments.”

THEY ARE PLANNING A WHOLE NEW SEAN BOSWELL TRILOGY, PEOPLE

One thing that could be potentially funny, it seems like they will need to begin with Dom coming to Tokyo looking for the man who blew up Han, or at least immediately after those events. So Sean should still be a high school student… but the movie will actually be coming out 8 years after TOKYO DRIFT, and Black is 30 now! I hope they make him wear the same clothes. The poor guy.

Now let’s use The Secret to get a Bow-Wow-in-Hulkmobile cameo.

Interview with Kane Kosugi by david j. moore

Monday, September 16th, 2013

tn_kanekosugiexclusiveThis week and next week, because we’ve been good, we get to learn about NINJA: SHADOW OF A TEAR, the upcoming Isaac Florentine/Scott Adkins joint which premieres September 20th in Austin. You remember david j. moore, who previously shared with us his interviews with Jesse V. Johnson and Ben Ramsey? He visited the set back when it was called NINJA II and did a some interviews that he’s been generous enough to let me run as OUTLAWVERN.COM EXCLUSIVES. (note to Vern look into adding dramatic sound effects as mouseover)

We begin with david’s interview with the legendary Kane Kosugi, who not only tells us about working with Florentine and Adkins, but also what it’s like to be a 6 year old doing fight scenes in Cannon movies.

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Oh shit, NINJA 2 trailer!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Okay, it’s not called NINJA 2, there is a different subtitle involved. But, let’s be honest, it’s called NINJA 2.

On one hand, I don’t really understand why Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine are (from what I understand) so ashamed of the more absurd Cannon-y elements of the first one (souped up ninja armor, oil company run by robe-wearing cultists, etc.), since that’s part of why the movie is so awesome. On the other hand I like sequels that take things in a different direction, so if this is as grim as it looks that’ll be cool too. At any rate it’s clear that it’s jam packed with fights and has at least one great badass line in it. And it’s been a while since UNDISPUTED III, it’ll be good to have the ol’ Florentine/Adkins team back. It’s also written by David White, who previously did SPECIAL FORCES and UNDISPUTED II-III.

NINJA: I’M GOING TO TRY TO BE NON-JUDGMENTAL ABOUT THEM SETTLING ON ‘SHADOW OF A TEAR’ will be playing Fantastic Fest this year with Florentine and producer Frank De Martini in attendance. (I thought Scott Adkins said on Twitter he was gonna be there too but if so that doesn’t seem to be official.) IMDb lists the release date as December 31st.

my review of the original NINJA