There’s a long history of the blind swordsman in storytelling, though the style of action-oriented martial arts films are often referred to as within the subgenre called “zatoichi,” itself a reference to the title character of a Kan Shimozawa story… Read More ›
Writer/director Yūdai Yamaguchi brings his martial arts actioner “One-Percenter” to whoop ass at Fantastic Fest 2023. [Fantastic Fest]
Who doesn’t love a little meta-angle in their entertainment, something that’s willing to poke fun at itself all while telling its own version of the very thing it’s potentially satirizing? We’re talking movies like Hollywood Shuffle (1987), The Player (1992),… Read More ›
“The Grandmaster of Kung Fu” imagines Chinese historical figure Huo Yuanjin in a personal conflict during the first Sino-Japanese War.
Each country has their history and storytellers often find those histories ripe for the picking when trying to devise ways to entertain. In the U.S., for instance, audiences marveled at cinematic release The Patriot (2000) for its depiction of sacrifice… Read More ›
If someone were to mention Indonesian action cinema, films like The Night Came For Us (2018), The Raid: Redemption (2011) and it’s amazing follow-up The Raid 2: Berandal (2014), as well as Merantu (2009) and newly released Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (2021)… Read More ›
Since its international premiere at Fantastic Fest 2021, writer/director Yûgo Sakamoto’s Baby Assassins hasn’t been far from mind. I discussed it on two Cine-Men episodes, gave it a highlight mention in the 2021 Sticky List, and made sure to include… Read More ›
There have been several actors who’ve personified the Wing Chun master Ip Man on the big screen. Ip Chun, Man’s son, portrayed Man as Bruce Lee’s mentor in the 1976 film Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth. Wang Luoyong (Rollerball)… Read More ›
There can be just as much enjoyment in going on a journey you do know as in venturing on one marked by unfamiliar terrain. The predictability of something brings comfort, while something peculiar offers its own enticements. Writer/director Yoon Jae-keun… Read More ›
“The Emperor’s Sword” seeks to immortalize the legends of Chinese lore, but fails on just about every level in its attempts to do so.
Ideas are often one thing, whereas execution is entirely another. There are plenty of films which sound incredible, but the finished product seems entirely devoid of the potential. This is the best way to describe the frustration that comes from… Read More ›
Crime thriller “HYDRA” may spend more time on dialogue than the fights, but each throwdown is worth the price of admission.
When it comes to a certain kind of film, audiences almost always know what they’re in for based on who’s distributing it. Arthouse drama or fantasy? The mind goes to A24. Family-friendly in live-action or animation? First thought: Walt Disney… Read More ›
Despite mixed success with the action and emotional resonance of the drama, you can still see the promise within “Silat Warriors: Deed of Death.”
Though the highest grossing films in Malaysia mostly come from the international market, one shouldn’t discount the country for its own cinematic successes. There’s docudrama The Big Durian (2003), the first Malaysian film to screen at the Sundance Film Festival,… Read More ›
Tak Sakaguchi was a street fighter when writer/director Ryûhei Kitamura hired him to play Prisoner KSC2-303 in Versus (2000). Since then, Sakaguchi developed quite the resume as a live actor, voice actor, and stunt coordinator in films large and small. Now… Read More ›