The Hard Way (2019)

Posted in Reviews

No-one can quite enter a room, admonish the bad guys and kick their asses quite like Michael Jai White. This is another serving of prime B-movie fodder for the Black Dynamite star, showcasing his unique brand of high-kicking, wise-cracking pugilism; knowing, punishing, and ever so stylish. Frequent collaborator Tim Man (Accident Man, Triple Threat) prepares fight choreography which plays to White’s strengths on the ground and as a master kicker (his fight with ex pro-wrestler Randy Couture is a high-point), and director Keoni Waxman displays the kind of disciplined efficiency that has seen him deliver nine Steven Seagal films in …

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Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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Future-set sci-fi action based on Yukito Kishiro’s popular manga, brought to the screen with complete CGI, motion-capture fascination by James Cameron. Never one for subtlety, Cameron’s blockbuster visuals overwhelm the screen, leaving the actors to inject as much nuance as possible into a lacking script (stand-out performances include Connelly as a stoic ice queen, Ali as a powerful cipher for a higher power, and Skrein as a Cockney samurai cyborg). If anything, the CGI is too distracting. Rosa Salazar’s Alita is a composite machine-girl with a human brain powered by super-advanced nanotechnology, sporting big obtrusive eyes which resemble an anime …

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Nightshooters (2018)

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A shouty, sweary, surprising delight, and one of those very rare things: a UK action comedy with both good action and good comedy. A crew of bickering, millennial media snowflakes making a zombie flick in a derelict office block witness a murder by a bumbling bunch of violent British gangsters and must fight them to escape. Luckily for the film crew, their stuntman is Jean-Paul Ly (star of Cambodian martial arts film, Jailbreak), who uses his lightening-fast kung fu skills to kick, punch and slice up the bad guys. So it’s part-Die Hard, part-The Raid, part-Guy Ritchie and part-Edgar Wright. But …

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Profile: Dolph Lundgren

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 3 November, 1957 (Spånga, Sweden)

Real name: Hans Lundgren

Occupation: Actor, director, screenwriter, producer, martial artist.

Style: Kyokushin karate

Biography: Hans Lundgren was born in Spånga in the city of Stockholm, Sweden, to Sigrid Birgitta – a languages teacher – and Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren, an engineer and economist for the Swedish government. Lundgren has an older brother and two younger sisters. At the age of 13, the family moved to Nyland, Ångermanland, in northern Sweden. His nickname, ‘Dolph’, was given to him by a relative on his mother’s side.

Lundgren has spoken publicly about the mental and physical abuse suffered at …

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Black Water (2018)

Posted in Reviews

Gone are the days when Hollywood would roll out the red carpet for a Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren double-header. Universal Soldier took $36m at the box office when it was released in 1992. What a difference 26 years can make. JCVD and Dolph can still be found cracking skulls, but to increasingly diminishing returns. This DTV reunion of the high-kicking B-movie power couple – their sixth collaboration but their first as the good guys – sneaked onto streaming services with little fanfare, and with a budget so hamstrung that most of the movie is restricted to a single set. …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 36: End of Year Show 2018 with Mike Fury

Posted in Podcasts

Celebrating the best (and worst) that martial arts movies had to offer in 2018, join us for our festive round-up of the year with the action movie expert and author of Life of Action, Mike Fury. As well as counting down our top five favourite martial arts movies of the year, we discuss the stories that grabbed the headlines in 2018, read out some listener’s comments compiled from across our social media channels, and look ahead to the titles we are most excited about in 2019.

We also play clips from some of the awesome guests we have had on the …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 35: Matthew Polly

Posted in Podcasts

“He walks on screen with an attitude, chest back, and that’s who he was in person, but on screen, he presented the Chinese male in a different way.”

When Bruce Lee died 45 years ago at the age of 32, his death was shrouded in mystery. To this day, theories still abound as to the circumstances surrounding his passing and the events leading up to it. Writer Matthew Polly has his own theories, along with many other revelations about Lee’s short but incredible life which he has published in a new biography, called Bruce Lee: A Life, which is available now …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 34: Sophia Crawford

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“I was this ragamuffin tomboyish girl who had a lot of spirit… I had a desire to do something and have a skill, but I didn’t know what that skill was going to be yet.”

Buffy’s stunt double and former Power Ranger, Sophia Crawford, earned her spurs as a stunt performer working in Hong Kong’s raw and relentless action movie industry in the early 1990s. She found herself part of an era of exceptional, female-fronted martial arts films, working with the likes of Moon Lee, Sibelle Hui and Yukari Oshima, performing all of her own stunts in conditions that were sometimes …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 33: Jean-Paul Ly

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“People only see the success… but you need to be really strong, because there is a lot of ups and downs.”

When Jean-Paul Ly moved from Cambodia to London to make it in the movie business, he predicted that within three years, he would be the lead in a martial arts action film. It only took two and a half years until he completed work on Jailbreak (out now on Netflix) – Cambodia’s first martial arts film and a runaway international success. Despite being made on a shoestring budget and facing a number of on-set challenges, Jean-Paul Ly’s hard work as …

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KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 32: Jesse V. Johnson

Posted in Podcasts

“If we relax and make a crappy movie, it’s going to go away and we might not get a second shot at it.”

Having now worked with UK martial arts star Scott Adkins a total of six times – including on the films Savage Dog, Accident Man, The Debt Collector, and the soon to be released martial arts movie event of the year, Triple Threat, which also stars Iko Uwais, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Tiger Chen and Michael Bisping – the writer, director and former stunt performer Jesse V. Johnson is right to feel proud of what they have accomplished …

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