John Wick: Don’t Set Him Off

I’m very excited about John Wick and, in all honesty, I haven’t been this excited about an action movie for quite some time. What we have here is a perfect, potent formula for a solid and asskicking action movie. Having interviewed the directors (and 87Eleven co-founders) Chad Stahelski and David Leitch for my book Life of Action and heard about JW from the guys themselves (even at an early stage a year before the movie’s release), my appetite for old-school action …

Black Butler Arrives in Live Action

There’s great news for Manga fans. Black Butler, based on the best-selling series written and illustrated by Yana Toboso, is making its long awaited entrance into the theatrical arena. Hiro Mizushima stars as the arrogant, demonic butler Sebastian with the movie being directed by Kentaro Otani (Nana) and Keiichi Sato (Asura) In the story (slightly altered from the original), mummified dead bodies of various dignitaries from around the world are being discovered with a mysterious tarot card left beside them at the scene. Kiyoharu …

My “Film That Started It All”

Big thanks to EasternKicks for including me in their ongoing feature titled “The Film That Started It All”. They asked many different people about their personal, standout Asian film which kickstarted their passion. You can read my piece here on the EasternKicks site, or read it below… Early in my life, many films had a profound effect on me and helped ignite my passion for movies. Asian cinema played a massive part in this. Although there are many stars I’d cite as …

Cung Le delivers A Certain Justice

I’ve been a big fan of Cung Le for quite some time. From his prolific career in the Octagon to his gradual transition to the screen a few years back, he has demonstrated a natural charisma that draws on his best elements as a fighter and performer. From supporting roles in the likes of Bodyguards and Assassins, True Legend and The Man with the Iron Fists, to recent leads in fight films like Dragon Eyes and A Certain Justice (the …

Wesley Snipes: Return to Action

Wesley Snipes will return to the big screen in The Expendables 3. It’s an exciting move that many fans have been waiting for. Since dominating the screen as a proven and highly capable action actor in the 1990’s, Snipes racked up an impressive CV and created a long list of memorable characters. He also successfully transcended genres throughout his career, dabbling in everything from action to comedy and drama and working on critically acclaimed, culturally significant titles under renowned filmmakers like Spike Lee, …

“Life of Action” Latest News

In the lead up to the release of my forthcoming book, “Life of Action”, each week I announced a new name from the world of action cinema who is interviewed in the book. The full list is now featured below and comprises a wide range of actors, filmmakers and stunt personnel from the East and West. The book will be released as a paperback and e-book in early 2015, with more info to follow soon. As for the above image from Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, both …

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist has landed

The long-awaited Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist has just landed and fans have been eager to see the results. Following the Street Fighter: Legacy short film released in 2010, this series has been years in the making and a genuine passion project for the development team of creatives Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, and producer Jacqueline Quella. Based on the popular video game series by Capcom, fans have been craving a faithful adaptation for years and have sadly been let down time …

Drive Hard to write full throttle action

Chad and Evan Law are a pair of talented brothers and the awesome writing team behind some of my favourite (and I feel strongest) DVD action movies in recent years, including Hero Wanted, The Hit List, One in the Chamber, Six Bullets and the forthcoming Daylight’s End. They recently worked on a new feature called Drive Hard, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Their writing is tight, well structured and takes screenplays in an ambitious direction most lower budget action projects avoid altogether and …

The Best of Jean-Claude Van Damme

Pound of Flesh is currently filming in China, offering a new action backdrop for genre legend Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film is directed by Ernie Barbarash (Assassination Games, Six Bullets) and co-stars include Darren Shahlavi (Ip Man 2) and William B. Davis (The X-Files). What’s more, the fights and action are handled by stunt veteran John Salvitti (Flash Point, Special ID). It’s produced by Kirk Shaw, Henry Luk, JJ Dubois and Mike Leeder. With this solid team on board and an …

The Legacy of Al Pacino

As legendary actor Al Pacino celebrates his birthday, it marks the perfect opportunity to reflect on a truly amazing legacy and his massive volume of work and accomplishments. Since I became a huge film fan at a very young age, Pacino has always been one of my favourite actors. I remember watching these films for the very first time under the tutelage of my Dad and, even as a boy, recall the huge impact they had on me. One of my favourite …

John Wick marks new chapter for 87Eleven

These are exciting times for action cinema fans. Due for release later in 2014, John Wick marks the highly anticipated directorial debut of 87Eleven Action Design co-founders, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, who have long established an unparalleled reputation setting up one of the best stunt and action teams in the world. As stunt coordinators and second unit directors, their credits to date include The Expendables, Conan the Barbarian, The Hunger Games, The Wolverine and many more. They began their …

The Raid 2 is an action-packed gangster epic

I love The Raid. The neat, compact, tightly constructed original was slick, refined and relentless with tension. Plus, it gave an overwhelming sense of desperation, claustrophobia and frantic pace. After the bar was set ridiculously high with the first film, and having watched only a small handful of clips and teasers for the sequel, I was ready to have the bar raised once again. What I was surprised about and, in retrospect, refreshed with was that director Gareth Evans took …