Posts Tagged ‘ninjas’

Samurai Fiction

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

tn_samuraifictionSAMURAI FICTION is a deeply enjoyable period samurai picture, made in 1998 but shot mostly in black and white, so it looks very classical. Not that it’s trying to pass. It occasionally uses more modern filmatics, like a seemingly endless shot pulling back down a road in front of three running samurai, or a slow motion shot of a girl smiling to represent the protagonist being smitten with her – you can imagine a love song playing over it sarcastically, maybe something in a Carpenters or a Barry White.

They don’t quite go that far, but the score is intentionally anachronistic, echoey electric guitar playing with surf, country and rock ‘n roll styles, later drum machines and synthesizers. I like the idea, and some of it works, some of it is cheesy as hell. The one great musical moment in my opinion is a scene where an old man plays a beautiful rendition of “Swanee River” on a saw. You don’t get that in many samurai movies.
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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…)

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

The Wolverine

Monday, July 29th, 2013

tn_thewolverineRemember Darren Aranofsky was gonna do this new Wolverine movie? He’d done THE WRESTLER and he was the original director on THE FIGHTER and then he named it THE WOLVERINE, but he had to drop out to deal with The Child Custody. From the roll he was on I bet he would’ve made a hell of a movie, but his replacement James Mangold (COPLAND, 3:10 TO YUMA) came up with something pretty interesting too. For his movie the title is representative of the whole approach: strip away the convoluted series-connecting business indicated in the title of the last one (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) and just focus everything on this character, this Wolverine. The Wolverine.
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Ninja III: The Domination Blu-Ray review

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

 

tn_ninjaiiib

NINJA III is one of the only movies to really explore how much ninjas like yogurt

 

One of our nation’s perennial VHS favorites, NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, has recently made the transition to digital and high definition disc type formats courtesy of the heroes at Shout Factory. Check out my review of the new blu-ray over on Daily Grindhouse. If you also want to read a review I wrote of the movie a couple years ago then you can click here.

DOA: Dead or Alive

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE is the name of a tournament where the best fighters from around the world are invited to come stay on a remote island where they are pitted against each other in un-refereed fights with few rules. It’s like Mortal Kombat except not interdimensional, no monsters, during daylight, and not to the death. So they probly could’ve picked a better name. Maybe just “A.”

They’re wedded to this DOA title, though. They got the logo on parachutes, computers, signs, even a volleyball. That’s the kind of island we’re dealing with here, it has custom made non-tournament related sporting gear. These are professionals. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Miami Connection

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Y.K. Kim is a motivational speaker, author of books with titles like Winning Is a Choice and The New American Dream. He sells a 5-CD set called “U.S. National Exercise” that boasts “It’s amazing! You can even exercise while driving without any extra time!” On his websight he’s quoted as saying, “Success: 1% is the idea, 99% is action. Put your goals into action, never and ever give up until you achieve your goals.”

In 1987 his goal was to make an action movie.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Monday, May 21st, 2012

tn_tmntTEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1990) is a martial arts fantasy produced by Raymond Chow and Golden Harvest (ENTER THE DRAGON), with excellent animatronic and puppet effects by Jim Henson, and impressively agile fight and stunt sequences involving people in full body rubber creature suits. It has early performances by Elias Koteas and Sam Rockwell, and stuntwork by Ernie Reyes Jr. One major problem, though: it’s about teenage mutant ninja turtles.
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