KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 40: Olivia Jackson

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“I just focus on things that motivate me and make me stronger, rather than worrying about things that you can’t change anyway.”

It was while doubling for Milla Jovovich on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in 2015 that Olivia Jackson’s life would transform forever. A promising young stunt performer, model and Muay Thai kickboxer from South Africa – whose film credits included Mad Max: Fury Road, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Olivia narrowly escaped certain death when a motorcycle stunt went horribly wrong during filming in Johannesburg. Following a head-on collision at …

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

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Following on directly from Chapter 2, this third John Wick film sees the titular one-man-army fight for survival as a multimillion-dollar reward makes him the most wanted hitman in the world. After killing an adversary in the sacred grounds of New York’s Continental Hotel – a clandestine safe-house for stylish killers everywhere – John has had his assassins’ privileges revoked, forcing him to call-in a few favours from some top Hollywood A-listers in order to stay alive, all of whom are seemingly dotted about in various exotic locations. These include Academy Award-winners like Anjelica Huston – who plays the head mistress …

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Avengement (2019)

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“I don’t remember you being so gangster,” says Nick Moran’s cockney wide boy, Hyde, in withering admiration of Scott Adkins‘ Cain Burgess, a naive gym rat who descends into a cold-blooded maniac after a stint inside Belmarsh prison, serving at Her Majesty’s pleasure. He lands in the nick after a relatively innocuous theft goes wrong, dutifully performed as a favour to his brother (Craig Fairbrass on top form). Instead of being rehabilitated, Cain is further corrupted by the British penal system; his baby-faced charm and affability replaced by a skinhead, teeth grills and facial scars following years of abuse. His backstory …

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KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 39: Sonny Sison

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“As far as a true Filipino martial arts movie, there isn’t one yet. But that’s definitely on my plate.”

It was after watching Thailand’s Ong-Bak and Indonesia’s The Raid that the producer, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer Sonny Sison had an epiphany. Where were the Filipino action films promoting their indigenous martial arts styles, like Ong-Bak did with Muay Thai, and The Raid with silat? Determined to do the same for his home country, Sonny left Hollywood and boarded the next plane to Manila, taking over 25 years’ worth of industry experience with him to a country still developing as a global …

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Maria (2019)

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A Filipino fight film from the producers of 2018’s BuyBust which switches the gender roles in the John Wick story, centring on a vengeful female assassin. It also champions indigenous Filipino martial arts, particularly in its usage of bladed weapons; a staple of Sonny Sison’s fight choreography and something which was equally on display in the relentless, claustrophobic chaos of BuyBust. Like Anne Curtis’ uber-killer in Erik Matti’s film, Maria similarly plucks a famous Filipino actor not known for action films – in this case, the popular local star Cristine Reyes – and transforms her into a badass killer. Reyes does …

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BuyBust (2018)

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A striking, savage and poignant missive on the Filipino drug wars. Erik Matti confines his action-packed social commentary to the claustrophobic environs of a Manila slum, where over the course of one evening, a microcosm of governmental corruption, societal breakdown and widespread violence erupts when a drug bust goes wrong. Told through the moral gaze of a headstrong supercop called Nina (Curtis), her loyalty is tested as her troop of drug enforcement officers are slowly, and quite gruesomely, picked off by both the crooks and the community. The locals see the cops’ intrusion as an affront to their way of …

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KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 38: Don “The Dragon” Wilson

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“If you do something in sports, everybody likes you… that’s what I had been looking for as a child – acceptance. So I pushed myself harder.”

When Chuck Norris convinced his martial arts buddy – the 11-time world kickboxing champion, Don “The Dragon” Wilson – to consider a career in the movies, he could never have dreamed how quickly his life would transform. A winning audition for the king of exploitation cinema, Roger Corman, led to a multi-picture deal which would see “The Dragon” become the leading martial arts movie star in the highly lucrative direct-to-video market of the late 1980s …

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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

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Max Zhang’s rival Wing Chun master in Ip Man 3 damn-near stole the show from Donnie Yen. Cheung Tin-chi’s proud quest for kung fu superiority and his subsequent fall from grace was a moralistic lesson in hubris, and although positioned as the villain of the piece, his tale was more cautionary than downright evil. Zhang also demonstrated great poise and presence as an actor, and more than capable to rival Donnie in the stoic stakes. This spin-off – directed by Ip Man 3‘s fight choreographer, Yuen Woo-ping – throws us back into the gloriously romanticised world of neon-lit 1950s Hong …

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Deadpool 2 (2018)

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For anyone who felt the first Deadpool movie lacked depth, this sequel kills off Deadpool’s girlfriend in the opening scenes, sending the gobby, indestructible superhero down a path of self-destruction. That is until a Terminator-style set-up sees Deadpool play protector to a wayward mutant child of whom he saves from instant death at the hands of Cable (Josh Brolin), a fierce robotic death machine from the future. Most of the running time is devoted to violence and wise-cracking, brushing over important details like, who the hell is Cable? Much of the fourth-wall-breaking pot-shots are aimed at Marvel Studios and their X-Men …

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KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 37: Shannon Lee / Andrew Koji

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“He led a very intentional, impactful and inspirational life… [and] he left behind this wealth of information and teaching and learning which can continue to be amplified.” Shannon Lee.

Shannon Lee was only four years old when she lost her father, the international martial arts superstar, Bruce Lee, but her father has continued to have a lasting impact on her life. As the CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Companies and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation – a not-for-profit social enterprise – Shannon has been responsible for upholding the legacy of her father through numerous …

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