Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Florentine’

Desert Kickboxer

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

tn_desertkickboxerrookiesIsaac Florentine’s first feature DESERT KICKBOXER is not a remake of KICKBOXER that takes place in a more arid climate. It’s also not DESSERT KICKBOXER. That would be weird, and I’m not sure what it would be about. No, this one is just a story about a kickboxer who lives in the desert. Actually I doubt he even considers himself a kickboxer anymore. In a hazy, dreamlike prologue he kills a man in the ring. If this was KICKBOXER he’d be the bad guy, and his dead opponent’s brother would come after him for revenge. Since it’s not, he feels bad about it and is a loner living in his deceased father’s trailer in the middle of nowhere.

His name is Hawk, and I bet you can guess what that means. Yep, he’s that archetype “The Half Breed,” like Billy Jack, or Elvis in FLAMING STAR, or Bronson in CHINO, or the Daywalker. He has all of the white man’s strengths, none of his weaknesses. But he never quite fits in either world. He’s never fully accepted on the reservation, probly called racist slurs by some white people, impressive to others because of his exotic wisdom. And as far as I know the actor playing him is a white guy. He’s John Haymes Newton, best known for playing Superboy in the late ’80s TV series of the same name.

When we first meet Hawk he’s some sort of deputized border guard badass beating up drug smugglers, but he’s pissed when he finds out it’s just pot they’re smuggling, and tells the sheriff – an old colleague of his dad, of course – that he’s not doing this shit anymore. Pretty progressive. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Return of Florentine and Adkins

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Ha ha, that’s how you make a teaser. I think that tells us everything we need to know, other than the release date. Also, it looks like somebody’s been watching the RAID movies.

Nick Chinlund (CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) is also in the cast. The fight choreographer/coordinator is Jeremy Marinas, who was a stunt double for two of the ninja turtles. He was also in Jon M. Chu’s LXD: THE LEGION OF EXTRAORDINARY DANCERS series, so he must be a dancer.  Co-writer Chad Law wrote the pretty decent William Kaufman/Cuba Gooding Jr. DTV movies THE HIT LIST and ONE IN THE CHAMBER.

hat tip to Papa Vinyard at the Ain’t It Cool News

Falcon Rising

Monday, September 8th, 2014

tn_falconrisingI don’t think FALCON RISING is a new b-action classic like BLOOD AND BONE or UNDISPUTED II. It’s not as imaginative or expertly executed as those. But it is something I love that the world doesn’t get enough of these days: a solid meat and potatoes action movie molded entirely around the badassness of a martial artist, the great Michael Jai White.

Career-wise, MJW has diversified more than his golden age predecessors like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal (who he fought in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN and EXIT WOUNDS, respectively). He’s supplemented his many action credits with Tyler Perry movies and sitcoms (WHY DID I GET MARRIED 1-TOO, For Better or Worse) and with creating and writing BLACK DYNAMITE (both the movie and the animated series, soon in its second season). But one look at his cartoonishly inflated muscles or at one of his flying kicks and it’s clear that he was meant for an endless series of action vehicles, even if that’s not what Hollywood (or Sofia, or whoever) thinks they’re supposed to be making in this era. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

tn_ninjaiiNINJA II: SHADOW OF A TEAR is the kind of action movie I always want more of: a pretty simple story about a badass in a personal conflict, stubbornly entrenched in the distinct values of a warrior subculture, with some absurdity but no joking around, and designed to deliver a whole bunch of great fight scenes done by real martial artists with lots of long takes, the camera always carefully composed and steady, moving in ways that always emphasize action and never obscure it. In other words it’s the long-awaited new Isaac Florentine/Scott Adkins joint. (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.

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…)

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

High Voltage

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Recently I retn_highvoltagealized I missed one of the early Isaac Florentine movies, a goofy John-Woo-inspired bank robber story starring Antonio Sabato Jr. (and Sr.), Shannon Lee, Amy Smart and Lochlyn Munro. So I reviewed it for my column on Daily Grindhouse, which is now called America’s Got Punching (formerly Journey to Battle Island).

There’s gonna be a NINJA 2

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Clint Morris at Moviehole is reporting the great news that Nu Image, Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins are reuniting for a sequel to NINJA – or NINJ* as I’ve always spelled it (the asterisk is a throwing star) – expected to film early next year.

I know NINJA isn’t as popular as the UNDISPUTEDs, but it’s a favorite of mine. It has many great fights, an excellent villain with good motivations, and a few pulpy touches like a villainous oil company/cult. My favorite thing about it is that the opposing ninjas are fighting over a box of weapons. Not magic weapons, just some old weapons. It’s a matter of honor and tradition, nothing to do with saving the world or saving lives or anything. It’s like a modern Cannon movie, except way better than most Cannon movies like it. Can you name a better movie about a white guy adopted by a ninja clan? There are many white ninja movies, but I can’t think of a better one.

And I know they’re gonna try to take the credit away from him, but Obama can hold his head up proud because NINJA and NINJA 2 happened under his watch.

Here’s my original review from 2009.

Assassin’s Bullet

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Friends, it is my sad duty to verify reports that Isaac Florentine’s ASSASSIN’S BULLET (formerly titled SOFIA on IMDb, and out on DVD today) is no good. I guess it played a couple of theaters at some point, and it has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t say I really disagree. It’s dull and amateurishly written and even though it has a weird thing going on with being a vanity project for some lady I never heard of, that’s not enough to make it very fun.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Village Voice piece

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I wrote a piece for this week’s Village Voice, it’s about (hold onto your butts) the current state of action movies. Of course I wasn’t able to be as long-winded as I usually like to, but I think I managed to give a good explanation of my concept of Post-Action (with specific examples), the importance of action geography, how THE EXPENDABLES could be better, the renaissance in DTV (mentioning Florentine and Hyams), and favorite topics like that.

Thank you to film editor Alan Scherstuhl for giving me the opportunity to spread the word to a new audience, and printed on paper I believe. I like paper.

If you’re joining us here after reading the piece please say hi in the comments and stick around or dig through the archives for more detailed discussion of Badass Cinema and other topics.