NWA & Eazy-E: The Kings of Compton

With the release of Straight Outta Compton and the resurgence of interest in late 80’s/early 90’s hip hop icons and NWA, it’s no surprise to see a certain capitalised effort on their legacy. For the record, I’m a big rap/hip hop fan, mainly old school, and this documentary, Kings of Compton, is a passionate though flawed retelling of this crucial musical and cultural history, with Eazy-E standing front and centre… Perhaps appealing more to long-time hip hop music fans, the film chronologically tells the story of the …

Heist: Interview with Scott Mann

To celebrate the UK release of new action/thriller Heist, I caught up with Brit director Scott Mann and interviewed him for MyM Buzz. Hailing from the unlikeliest of places in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, England, film director Scott Mann first caught the attention of fans with fast-paced British action film, The Tournament, starring Robert Carlyle and Ving Rhames. Taking the genre back to gritty, violent roots, the film offered a throwback to hard stunts and physical action in an age …

Guest on The Debatable Podcast

I was pleased to be invited on The Debatable Podcast to discuss writing my book, plus a range of other topics. Thanks for having me! Mike Fury author of Life of Action, joins me on this episode. We talk his origins, how he became involved with his lifelong passion for action cinema, and the process of writing his excellent book. We also touch on Walter Hill’s The Warriors, action cinema’s reputation and the respect martial artists deserve… You can listen to the …

The Incredible True Story of Precinct Seven Five

Precinct Seven Five is not an easy watch, but rather makes for compulsive, fascinating and extremely tense viewing, charting a highly turbulent era in the history of the New York Police Department. During the crack cocaine explosion of the 1980s and 90s, a New York City police officer led a crew of cops within the department to build his own empire in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Brooklyn. Michael Dowd, referred to in headlines as “The Dirtiest Cop Ever”, turned the department’s 75th Precinct …

Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD

Critically acclaimed documentary Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD finally arrives in the UK and offers a very welcome, surprisingly overdue account of legendary comic 2000AD, the title that gave birth to Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper, among others, plus big breaks to creators like Alan Moore (Watchmen) and Grant Morrison (Arkham Asylum). For anyone interested in these iconic titles, and comic aficionados, or lovers of pop culture, Paul Goodwin’s documentary is a strong, tightly woven retelling of this fascinating history. Charting the story of the multi-award winning …

Veteran: Interview with Ryoo Seung-wan

During a recent visit to the London East Asia Film Festival for the premiere of his latest film Veteran, South Korean writer, director and producer Ryoo Seung-wan was kind enough to make some time for a small group interview. Along with Andrew and James from easternKicks and Paul from Hangul Celluloid, we discussed this new film with the man himself and got some great insight into a movie which has now become one of the highest grossing films in Korean cinema history – an amazing feat by …

The Top Martial Arts Movie Villains

The Book The Film The T-Shirt presented this piece to coincide with the release of my book, Life of Action! In any story of good vs evil, a hero needs a strong, worthy villain to overcome. The best villains will always appear as good as (if not better than) the unlikely protagonist and only through sheer perseverance and battling the odds will our hero ultimately emerge triumphant. Throughout the decades, the martial arts genre has seen many villains transcend status as generic “bad guys” …

Mad, Bad and Beyond the Reach

Hollywood icon Michael Douglas is back in crazed badass mode as Madec, a rich, ruthless businessman and avid game hunter. Searching for a new trophy to add to his collection, he hires young tracker Ben, played by Jeremy Irvine (The Railway Man, War Horse) as his guide through the Reach, a vast and hostile basin in the Mojave Desert. When the hunt goes tragically wrong and an innocent man is accidentally killed, Ben finds himself the target of Madec’s fiendish and desperate cover-up. …

Wolf Warrior invades the UK

Wolf Warrior, starring and directed by Wu Jing and co-starring Scott Adkins, finally arrives in the UK. This follows its successful Chinese box office result and recent release in North America. Leng Feng (Wu Jing), a special forces soldier, is spending time in confinement for disobeying an order and killing a notorious drug lord. However, his extraordinary marksmanship soon earns him recruitment into the elite Wolf Warrior squadron. But before long, the squadron is ambushed during a training exercise by a troop of deadly …

Movies That Inspired Life of Action

Over on the Life of Action Facebook page, we’ve been celebrating the great movies which inspired the book. I think it’s crucially important to acknowledge specific work, as well as the artists who made it happen. I also hope the book encourages people to re-visit, or see for the first time, certain movies in a new light or with fresh insight, as this was definitely my aim. Films like Undisputed II and III changed the Martial Arts movie landscape, especially in the …