A Tribute to Jim Kelly (1946-2013)

Following the recent passing of Lau Kar Leung, another loss was felt in the Martial Arts movie world as iconic star Jim Kelly, who rose to prominence in the 1970s, also passed away this week. Well loved and recognised as the first African American Martial Arts star and best remembered as Williams in Bruce Lee‘s Enter the Dragon, his work truly stood the test of time, broke cultural and social barriers and served as an inspiration to many. When he …

A Tribute to Lau Kar Leung (1934-2013)

Some very sad news hit the Martial Arts movie community this week when it was announced that legendary Hong Kong filmmaker, fight coordinator and actor, Lau Kar Leung, passed away following a 20 year battle with lymphatic cancer. His contributions and influence in action cinema cannot be overstated and tributes have poured in from his friends, colleagues and fans all over the world. In his lifetime he amassed an incredible volume of popular work; winning awards and earning several nominations …

5 Video Games Which Need a Film Reboot

Okay… so we’ve all seen the movies based on video games which didn’t live up to expectation. Unfortunately it seems to be the norm. But I don’t want to rant about the worst (and there are plenty of other lists like that out there!). Following a lot of conversations I’ve had, I’ve been thinking about some of the best games which could make genuinely solid movies. We’ve heard announcements about Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed but what about the others? …

Gary Daniels is Forced to Fight

With his latest release, Forced to Fight, arriving in the UK later this year, Martial Arts favourite Gary Daniels will make his long-awaited return to the fight genre. With a career spanning 25+ years, he’s starred in a wide range of Martial Arts gems and earned his place as one of the most iconic faces of the 80s and 90s VHS glory days. In his new movie, ex-fighter Shane Slavin (Daniels) decides to turn his life around, promising his wife …

Walter Hill: Godfather of Action

Walter Hill has been one of my absolute favourite directors for as long as I can remember. Just revisiting any one of his smart, brooding and nail-biting classics immediately reaffirms why his work stands the test of time and brings rare intelligence and creativity to the action genre. From cult classics to mainstream successes, his films offer a fascinating insight into a nostalgic era of cinema while continually testing and pushing audiences. With the release of Bullet to the Head, …

Jesse V. Johnson – A New Force of Action

Director Jesse V. Johnson has been a favourite on the DTV action scene for some time. With a background in stunts on some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, the man knows action inside out. But it wasn’t until he grabbed attention as a filmmaker – fashioning quality, lower-budget action-packed productions like Pit Fighter, The Last Sentinel, Alien Agent and the hugely impressive gangster story, Charlie Valentine, that audiences and festivals really took notice. In his latest film, The Package (which also earned a limited Theatrical release in …

The Great Cop Drama

The unmistakably raw, atmospheric genre of the cop drama has always been one of my favourites. From hard hitting features though to awesome TV series, when you see a great one there’s no mistaking the quality, attitude and, when it’s done differently, true originality.  End of Watch from director David Ayer marks one of the best genre entries in recent years and unsurprisingly it does all of the above; it’s raw, atmospheric, there’s quality, attitude and it’s original in the delivery. The …

2012: A Great Year For Action

As we sign off 2012 for the last time and look forward to the coming year, I feel it’s important to look back and acknowledge the great year we’ve seen in the movies and specifically the action genre. We were treated to highly anticipated titles like The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, The Expendables 2, Marvel’s The Avengers Assemble, Snow White and The Huntsman, Men in Black 3, The Raid and many more. Obviously some were better than others and everyone has …

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist Announced

Comic Con is without doubt one of the world’s prime hotspots for announcing exciting news and major breakthroughs in the world of comics, video games and films. With major stars and personalities in attendance, the event is a fan’s dream come true and says a huge amount for the passion and enthusiasm displayed by audiences – which stands stronger than ever. In addition to the major film appearances and panels (such as The Expendables 2 and others), from a grassroots …

Action Goes Full Circle

Seeing the asskicking new teaser trailer for Yuen Woo-ping‘s latest project, Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, was not only extremely impressive and enjoyable, but for those of us who grew up on action movies – really delivered a hard-hitting ‘blast from the past’. For me (and hopefully others as well) it gave memories of the old-school Kung Fu seen on late night TV and VHS while growing up. Yuen Woo-ping, the legendary director and action choreographer best known for …

Rediscover Jet Li’s Golden Era

Since the demise of Hong Kong Legends, quality releases showcasing our favourite Hong Kong action classics have been less easy to come by. For those of us who treasured the HKL titles and high quality DVDs, it puts into perspective how other releases (from many other distributors) often pale in comparison. Courtesy of Cine-Asia, many of these previously deleted, out-of-print titles have been given a new lease of life and the latest batch comes in the form of the Jet …

Hit Girls: (Hit) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Impact

With the popularity of online movies and web series on the rise, a dynamic new action short recently hit YouTube and is already causing quite a stir. Hit Girls, the new short film from Rosebud Pictures, was recently released online following a successful set of screenings at BAFTA, Working Title and Electric Cinema in London. Differentiating itself from video game franchises like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat (the subject of other recent web films and series), Hit Girls remains action-packed …