KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 85: End of Year Show 2022 with Mike Fury

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What were your favourite fight films of 2022? Let us know and we could be reading out your message on the show…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… that’s right, the time when we release our annual End of Year Show, in which we look back over the best and worst that martial arts movies had to offer over the last 12 months. Podcast host Ben Johnson will be joined once again by Mike Fury, film expert and author of Life of Action Vol. I-II, to discuss the big stories that grabbed the martial arts movie headlines in 2022. They …

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KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 84: Robert Samuels

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“It’s a young man’s game, and it’s my job to usher in a new generation of talent. I think that’s where I can give back most.”

It was a screening of 1972’s Five Fingers of Death (aka King Boxer) that would transform the life of Robert “Bobby” Samuels. At that time, he could not have foreseen that he would go on to become the first African American member of the Hong Kong Stuntman Association, a star of martial arts action cinema, a Hung Gar expert training under kung fu master and actor, Chiu Chi-ling, and a close personal friend of Sammo Hung …

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Profile: Robert Samuels

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 11 August, 1967 (Philadelphia, USA).

Nickname: Bobby.

Occupation: Actor, director, stunt coordinator, stunt performer, action director, second unit director.

Style: Hung Gar kung fu.

Biography: Robert “Bobby” Samuels grew up in West Philadelphia. His parents were married for two years and divorced when Robert was two years old. His father, a banker, moved to New York and worked on Wall Street, and his mother stayed in Philadelphia. It was after watching a screening of King Boxer (1972) in Philadelphia that he first discovered a love for martial arts and movies. He would visit the cinemas on 42nd Street when visiting his father …

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Bullet Train (2022)

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Based on a popular Japanese novel, this inert action comedy tries desperately to be quirky and charming, but continually fails to achieve either. Despite its high-speed setting – in which a bunch of assassins find themselves on board Japan’s bullet train in search of a briefcase – the plot is plodding and stodgy, and its starry cast is wasted on comedic beats that don’t land, and irksome characters that you won’t give two hoots about. This seems quite crass and low-grade for an actor of Brad Pitt’s stature, who reunites with his former Fight Club stunt double, David Leitch, now …

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Alienoid (2022)

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The first part of a time-hopping South Korean sci-fi opus which draws on many familiar elements but is more than equal to the sum of its parts. There are extended CGI-driven alien battles involving spaceships and cities being destroyed which could easily be from the latest Marvel blockbuster. These scenes are interspersed with a period-set, wuxia-tinged costume adventure with high-flying sorcerers, knockabout comedy and martial arts sequences resembling A Chinese Ghost Story and the comedy of Stephen Chow. The time travel stuff, of course, conjures up Back to the Future – but the real glue that binds together this crazily inventive, …

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Carter (2022)

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Carter (2022)

Director Jung Byung-gil takes the frenetic ‘one shot’ approach he developed for the action sequences in 2017’s The Villainess and expands the concept into a full movie. As you can imagine, at over two hours, it is at times a challenging and bewildering watch; a story supposedly told in real-time with little to no breathing space from one mad action sequence to the next. The camera hyperactively moves from macro-level to expansive, high-flying drone footage, to disorientating transitional shots which zoom underneath moving trucks and helicopters, follow falling bodies to the ground, and so on. The action – of which …

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The Princess (2022)

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This stretches a thin premise – The Raid meets Rapunzel – almost to the point of tedium, saved only by the skills of its principle cast and abundance of fight action. Teen star Joey King matures into a one woman killing machine in a post-modern twist on the archetypal ‘princess in the tower’ story (there’s a delicious irony to the film being made available on Disney’s streaming platform). She escapes an arranged marriage to a mad medieval usurper (Dominic Cooper) and is forced to fight her way out of a castle in a bid for freedom, smashing through countless burly …

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The Gambling Ghost (1991)

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Sammo Hung‘s early 90s output is a patchy collection of unbridled barnstormers (Pedicab Driver; Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon) and absolute howlers (Pantyhose Hero; Don’t Give a Damn), and his lack of consistency would see his star power fade. At times, this meandering supernatural comedy may test the patience of even his most hardened fans – it is essentially a series of slapstick routines pieced together – but, by and large, the broad comedy lands surprisingly well, aside from some jarring homophobia and sexism (although there are much worse examples in his extensive filmography). The comedy riffs on big Hong Kong …

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The Red Wolf (1995)

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Yuen Woo-ping‘s take on Under Siege (itself a riff on Die Hard). What this lacks in Seagal’s ponytail and culinary skills it more than makes up for in typically crazy Hong Kong action. There’s some really memorable moments; like at the end when dynamite is strapped to a little girl who is suspended in the air while a demonic Collin Chou wearing a sailor outfit plays the drums. Taiwanese TV star and singer Kenny Ho plays a security guard on board a cruise ship taken over by terrorists – played by Collin Chou and his femme fatale girlfriend, Elaine Lui – who …

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KFMG Podcast S07 Episode 83: Scott Adkins

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“It’s not easy to make something so British, and yet so Hong Kong.”

Scott Adkins is in a good mood. The response to his latest martial arts movie, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday – the sequel to his dream project, 2018’s Accident Man, based on a cherished British comic book he loved as a kid – has been incredibly positive, with many fans claiming it to be one of his best movies. In a gruelling 22-day shoot, Adkins – as producer, story developer, fight choreographer and lead actor – has managed to turn around another action-packed and entertaining indie which delivers way …

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