Profile: Brad Martin

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 14 January 1970 (Sun Valley, Idaho)

Occupation: Stunt coordinator, second unit director, action director, stunt performer, actor.

Style: Taekwondo

Biography: Brad Martin is a stunt coordinator and stunt performer who helped to create Smashcut Action Design alongside Chad Stahelski, David Leitch and J.J. Perry, before the creation of 87eleven Action Design.

Brad Martin grew up in Sun Valley, Idaho. His early passions were alpine skiing and martial arts. He has a black belt in taekwondo and also competed. He watched the American reality show, That’s Incredible!, as a child and dreamed of becoming a stunt performer. He struck a deal with …

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KFMG Podcast S06 Episode 74: Brad Martin

Posted in Podcasts

“If you don’t have a strong story driving it, then action is just action. You can watch great action all day and not be very excited if there is no story to draw you in.”

Brad Martin is one of Hollywood’s top stunt coordinators with a string of blockbusters to his name, including the Underworld series, Live Free or Die Hard, Tropic Thunder, Gemini Man, plus the Emmy-nominated 2021 Marvel series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, to name but a few. He has recently been in Northern Ireland shooting second unit and stunt coordinating on a big-screen adaptation of the long-running …

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Ninja Scroll (1993)

Posted in Reviews

Energetic, visually arresting anime that really took off when it was released on video in America. This is the most hell-bent 90 minutes of your life: highly visceral, influential, and extreme – even by Japanese adult anime standards – Ninja Scroll is a completely thrilling experience. Japan, Edo period: Jubei is a cash-for-kill ninja with super-slashing capabilities, suckered in by a wise old man to carry out the most formidable of tasks. The old master poisons Jubei and refuses to give him the antidote until he finds and destroys the ‘Shogun of the Dark’, a pure-evil, money-hoarding rebel alliance with …

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Ninja in the Dragon’s Den (1982)

Posted in Reviews

A fabulous amalgamation of Chinese and Japanese filmmaking which lifts ideas from the chambara film and adapts it to match the pacing of Hong Kong action cinema, this is a cult classic loved by kung fu fans around the world. It is also quite a bold and well-crafted directorial debut from Corey Yuen – a fight coordinator of considerable merit and experience even by this stage in his career, responsible for shaping the distinct look and feel for action at Seasonal Films. His sense of ambition leaps off the screen – a complicated duel on stilts and an imaginative kick-fest …

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KFMG Podcast S06 Episode 73: Max Huang

Posted in Podcasts

“I want to bring back the spirit of martial arts on the big screen, and I want to remind people of what real martial arts movies are about… it is about the art.”

Max Huang‘s turn as Kung Lao – the deadly, hat-throwing, Shaolin-trained kung fu cousin of Liu Kang – in the 2021 reboot of Mortal Kombat was a delightful surprise; a scene-stealing performance complete with comedy, drama, action, and an almighty ‘fatality’ which just about steals the movie. But the notion of Max being something of an ‘overnight success’ could not be further from the truth. The German wushu …

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Profile: Max Huang

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 22 September 1988 (Nuremberg, Germany)

Occupation: Actor, stunt coordinator, fight choreographer.

Style: Wushu.

Biography: Max Huang is a martial artist, stunt performer and actor. His mother is German – a vocal coach and actor – and his father is the Chinese Indonesian classical pianist and conductor, Noorman Widjaja. Max was instilled with a love of music from an early age, and he played the violin as a child. His brother, Lee Huang, is also a stunt coordinator, fight choreographer and stunt performer.

His father would show him videos of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan growing up, which inspired him to learn …

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Black Widow (2021)

Posted in Reviews

It has been 11 years since Scarlett Johansson first made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Russian spy Natasha Romanova, alias Black Widow, notable for being the only woman in the Avengers, and relegated to either a romantic interest, an emotional support for the boys, or to provide fetishised kick-assery in tight-fitting clothing. Thanks in no small part to Johansson’s command over the performance, the character has developed and endured throughout the series, yet despite her fascinating history – portrayed in Marvel comics since the 1960s – she has remained the only Avenger without her own origin story. …

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Big Brother (2018)

Posted in Reviews

Vibrant drama about Hong Kong’s secondary school education system which is enjoyable if a little saccharine at times a bit all over the place. Donnie Yen makes a neat transition into a straight, dramatic leading actor, playing new teacher Mr Chen, a former US marine who has turned his back on a life of violence and is now dedicating his time to safeguarding the future of Hong Kong’s youth at a public school where the paint is falling off the walls. He’s one of those cool teachers who wears jeans and rides a motorbike – think Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous …

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Birth of the Dragon (2016)

Posted in Reviews

In the true Hollywood sense of never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, this embellished Bruce Lee origin film centres around his highly contested real-life fight with Chinese kung fu teacher and fellow San Francisco resident, Wong Jack Man, who also acts as a consultant on the film. Depending on who you believe, the fight in December 1964 at Lee’s Oakland school either lasted a few minutes with Wong running away from Lee’s flurry of punches (Linda Lee’s account), or it lasted closer to 25 minutes and ended in something resembling a tie (Wong’s account). …

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Sworn to Justice (1996)

Posted in Reviews

Probably the best of Cynthia Rothrock‘s somewhat patchy American output, she gives a rounded and accomplished performance as Gianna, a distinguished criminal psychiatrist by day and a crime-fighting, ass-kicking vigilante by night. She is on a quest to root-out those responsible for killing her sister and nephew at the start of the film, and after a visit to a shrink (played by Star Trek‘s Chekov, Walter Koenig), there are suggestions that – after a number of increasingly powerful premonitions – Gianna may indeed have psychic abilities. This supernatural element is never fully explored, but it does add a superhero-like note …

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