Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis cameo is this new trailer joining a cast that includes: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin ,Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Danny Trejo, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels and the late Brittany Murphy.

Like most I'd like to have seen Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal in there, but all the same for 80's throwback action this looks fantastic.

If there's a part 2, I'd like to see Chow Youn-Fat, Billy Blanks, Olivier Gruner, Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and the one and only Bolo Yeung dragged out from wherever they are and handed an AK47.

expendablesthemovie.com


Nimród Antal (Vacancy, Armoured) directs this return to the Predator franchise, in which Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Adrien Brody, Alice Braga and Danny Trejo take on the titular murderous space dreads.

www.predators-movie.com


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Based on a best selling novel by Franz-Olivier Giesbert and directed by Richard Berry, L'immortel aka 22 Bullets stars Jean Reno. Reno plays Charly Matteï a former hit-man in the ranks of a Marseilles based crime syndicate. After three peaceful years in retirement, he is attacked and left for dead. 22 bullets hit their mark, but Charly lives and he's somewhat pissed.

www.limmortel-2010.com


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Trailer for Universal Soldier: Regeneration which is directed by John Hyams and stars Dolph lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Andrei Arlovski

"The militant Islamist Chechen Basayev abducts the children of the President and takes control of Chernobyl, threatening to unleash a radioactive cloud unless his demands are met. Luc Deveraux (Van Damme), now a Universal Soldier again, joins a new team of UniSols secretly held in deep storage. Their mission is to retake Chernobyl and disable explosives that will unleash radioactive clouds. Luc discovers that one of the reactivated Universal Soldiers is a clone of his old, homicidal Sergeant, Andrew Scott (Lundgren). He also must face the NGU, the next generation in the UniSol biotechnology."

Via: www.jcvd.freeforums.org


The Tournament is a high octane, blood-bathed, British action thriller starring Ving Rhames, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu, Ian Sommerhalder, Liam Cunningham, Scott Adkins and Sebastien Foucan.

Scott Mann directs a screeplay by Jonathan Frank, Nick Rowntree and Gary Young.

Every 7 years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between 30 of the world’s deadliest assassins. The last man standing receiving the $10,000,000 cash prize and the title of Worlds No 1 (which itself carries the legendary million dollar a bullet price tag). The Tournament is set up by a group of sick high stake billionaires who watch the mayhem unfold via CCTV and bet on its outcome.

Official Site


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Girls, guns and monsters!; Mamoru Oshii taps into a winning formula for his upcoming film, Assault Girls. Looking to be a pretty promising piece of kick-ass sci-fi/action nonsense, Assault Girls sees three beautiful hunters take on evil sand-dwelling monsters in a post-apocalyptic world, only to have to battle super-mutation Madara Sunakujira. Super-mutation Madara Sunkujira!; I thank you, Mamoru Oshii.

Via: Monster Island News


Valhalla Rising

A few images from Danish film-maker Nicolas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising which premièred at The Venice film festival and plays at the London BFI festival in October '09. Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre in Casino Royale) stars as Harald.

Refn is best known for the cult Pusher trilogy and more recently directing Bronson.

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Mute slave Harald escapes his Scottish masters with the help of 10 year old Are, torturing and killing them before joining a band of dispossessed Vikings. They go to sea, determined to return to Scandinavia to fight the spread of Christianity, but for Harald the journey is also a personal one to discover his own origins. Caught in a terrible storm, the group drift for 40 days until, on the verge of death, they find themselves in a freshwater river. The land seems at once strange yet familiar.

When they come under attack by unseen assailants, the groups' quest for their homeland takes on a bitter urgency as one-by-one they succumb to the onslaught, dying at the hands of the invisibles. Worse, they are no clearer about where they are or if this place even exists outside their imagination. Have they finally reached the new world, or Valhalla?"

Valhalla Rising - Promo Trailer

quietearth.us has a couple of trailers that are worth checking out as well.


UK trailer for Patrick Alessandrin's District 13: Ultimatum. The sequel to the rather fun "District 13" once again stars Cyril Raffaelli (Live Free Or Die Hard) and David Belle (Babylon A.D.) and is produced by Luc Besson.

It's 2013, three years after the events of the first movie, and it appears that despite government promises nothing has changed in District 13, the racially charged ghetto notorious for its gangs, drug dealers and killers. A consortium of corrupt cops and government officials is conspiring to cause civil unrest within D13 with a view to finding an excuse to raze the area and cash in on its redevelopment. When a local kid accidentally uncovers the plot, the district's resident idealist Leito (David Belle) and elite law-enforcer Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) are reunited in a bid to bring peace to the troubled neighbourhood and to expose the conspiracy before a proposed air-strike can destroy the area Leito calls home.

District 13: Ultimatum is released by Momentum Pictures and will open at selected UK cinemas on 2nd October 2009. The DVD / Blu-Ray hits shelves later in the same month on the 26th.

www.thefreerunningmovie.com


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Trailer for Ninja assassin directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and starring Korean heartthrob Rain and British beauty Naomie Harris.

UK based readers of a certain age may recognise "Dave" from birds of a feather in that trailer. AKA Stephen Marcus who plays Kingpin and some may know Rudolpho in Starhunter (A series I rather liked).


"A Look Back The At 'No Retreat, No Surrender' Trilogy"

In the mid-eighties Ng See Yuen’s ‘Seasonal Films’ company decided it might be a good idea to try their hand at making films with more international appeal, initially inspired by the success of a certain Hollywood martial arts movie.

But unlike previous attempts at international productions by the likes of Golden Harvest and other studios, where the main goal was to introduce a home grown star to the west, Seasonal’s aim was to make movies with a combination of American actors in front of the camera, with a mostly Asian crew working behind the scenes, putting together the kind of action that Hong Kong does so well.

Their first attempt, ‘No Retreat, No Surrender‘ was released in 1986...A film which would eventually spawn two sequels.

No Retreat, No Surrender

“Tonight, he either fights for his life, or he’ll be running for the rest of it.”

The original ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’, directed by the great Corey Yuen Kwai (‘Yes Madam‘, ‘Fong Sai Yuk‘), was inspired by the success of ’The Karate Kid’, Seasonal’s mindset was to take the same concept, but pepper it with better action scenes. The film tells the rather simple tale of a Bruce Lee fanatic teenager named Jason (Kurt McKinney), moving to a new town, having problems with the local bullies, the usual stuff. After one particularly bad day he is visited by the ghost of Bruce Lee (played by Tai Chung Kim, who doubled Bruce in ‘Game Of Death’). Ghostly Bruce teaches Jason in the ways of Jeet Kune Do, turning Jason into a kung fu master. All of this leading up to a typical tournament scenario, which is being held by the goons than ran his father out of business, so it’s up to Jason to settle the score by beating seven shades out of their toughest fighter, the evil Ivan The Russian (Or Karl Brezdin according to the credits, even though they call him Ivan numerous times in the movie. Not sure how they messed that up.)

As you can see, the film is ’The Karate Kid’ with some Brucesploitation added into the mix for good measure. Yes, the idea of having the spirit of Bruce Lee randomly appear to teach some kid kung-fu is stupid and pretty tacky, even when I first saw this movie as a kid I thought it was a little daft, but it does add to the overall cheese factor of the movie. And cheese is something it has in abundance; It seems like ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’ exists in a world of it’s own, it’s damn sure the eighties, but it feels like the eighties in overdrive at times. It’s almost as if Corey Yuen and the guys at Seasonal were trying a little too hard to make the movie as hip as possible and as American as apple pie. Just check out the random break dancing/body popping for example and overall corny back slapping friendship between Jason and his buddy R.J. The music, which I’m sure even at the time was considered an Edam-fest, should also be noted, with it’s power-rock styling’s and motivational “training montage” lyrics.

Of course, we can’t forget that this was the first time the world got to see Jean Claude Van Damme on the big screen and to be honest he probably gets to show his stuff in a more impressive way here than he did in ‘Bloodsport’ or ‘Kickboxer’ thanks to the choreography. Van Damme really should play bad guy roles more often because he’s great here, with his Stallone-esque curled lip, battle cries and brutal tactics.

Overall the film kind of falls into guilty pleasure territory, or indeed “so-bad-it’s-good” territory, as do the sequels at times but more so here. You have some pretty atrocious acting and clichés by the bucket load, but you also have well choreographed fight scenes from Mang Hoi (Randy Mang!) and Corey Yuen, which although are not as tight and fast paced as the work they crafted in Hong Kong, are still miles apart from the kind of stuff Chuck Norris and other American martial arts stars were doing at the time.

So ‘Seasonal’ had a little hit on their hands, what was next on the agenda? A sequel of course.

No Retreat, No Surrender 2

“It’s not a rematch…IT’S WAR!”

‘No Retreat, No Surrender II: Raging Thunder’ was originally intended to be a continuation of the original, bringing back the Jason and Ivan characters to do battle one more time. But, Van Damme had his mind set on starring in ‘Bloodsport’, which ended up shooting at around the same time, but he was contractually obliged to make two more films for Seasonal. So according to producer Roy Horan (of ‘Snake In The Eagles Shadow’ and ‘Game Of Death II’ fame) production was about to commence on the movie in Thailand when he received a fax from Van Dammes lawyer saying he wasn’t going to show up, effectively breaking his contract. As for Kurt McKinney, he had recently married and his wife had concerns about the risks of shooting in Cambodia, so he was out too. In the end the roles ended up being recast and the script was given a re-write.

I’m sort of glad this happened for a few reasons; firstly, Van Damme ended up making ‘Bloodsport’ which is one of the greats of eighties action cinema. And secondly I prefer the direction the series went from here and the characters it introduced in part two especially. So, let’s talk about part two…

The story this time centers on young American hard ass Scott Wylde

(Loren Avedon), a man with martial art skills and without a doubt the greatest name of all time; Throughout the movie you’re always waiting for someone to say something along the lines of “You’re insane, Scott! You’re wild” and for it to be followed up by the line “I’m wild alright…Scott Wylde” [CRASH ZOOM]. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, Scott is in Thailand to visit his girlfriend and meet her folks, but typically she ends up kidnapped and in the hands of the bad guys, who are once again, the Russians (it was the eighties after all). After Scott beats seven shades out of the kidnappers that stayed behind to finish him off, he ends up in police custody, but being the “Wylde” renegade youngster that he is he escapes, determined to get his girl back.

He enlists the help of his old buddy Mac Jarvis (Max Thayer), a ‘Nam vet

who now earns a living selling all sorts of weaponry, including tanks. Now they’re armed to the teeth with machine guns and crossbows. Off they go into Cambodia to save the day, along with helicopter pilot Terri (Cynthia Rothrock).

Whilst the original was spurred on by the success of ‘The Karate Kid‘, this movie seems to have taken it’s influence from ‘Rambo: First Blood Part 2‘, it’s full of machine guns, explosions and even a red head band. But there’s another movie that this has a lot in common with, ‘Star Wars‘. When you think about the plot; young guy and his friends try to rescue captured beauty from an evil and powerful army. Now I know, that can be said for lots of movies that were made even before ‘Star Wars‘, it is of course a classic narrative, but Max Thayer sounds a hell of a lot like Harrison Ford at times and has this penchant for calling Scott “kid” all the time (I’m sure he also calls him “farm boy” too) so we’ve got a bit of a Han/Luke relationship there. If that seems like too much of a stretch, they’re destination is a place called Death Mountain…Yes? No? Am I over analyzing to the point of annoyance, Mark Cousins style here? Right, moving on…

This is probably my favourite of the three, it’s full of great characters and great slam-bang eighties action, as well as great martial arts action too; the stand out set piece being the fight with the monks, it’s a fantastic piece of complex choreography, especially when the ropes come out and it goes into agile flips and twirls. Brilliant.

As for the bad guys, taking up the role of the bad ass Russian this time around is b-movie favourite Matthias Hues, who I’d say is best known for his role in Dolph Lundgren’s ‘Dark Angel’. Apparently Matthias learned how to fight for the screen whilst shooting this movie, under the masterful tutelage of Hwang Jang Lee, you certainly can’t tell that this is his first stab at an action movie. Matthias is a lot of fun in the movie, playing it just right with a hefty dose of menace along with a slight dose of camp (whether the latter is intentional or not I don’t know, but I still enjoy it). Ty, his right hand man however is played by the aforementioned kung-fu legend Hwang Jang Lee, star (and usually the villain) of many kung fu classics, most notably the movies Seasonal produced that made Jackie Chan a star, ‘Snake In The Eagles Shadow’ and ‘Drunken Master’. As usual Hwang gets to show off his trademark kicking skills, especially during a small, but memorable, fight scene with Cynthia Rothrock.

Rothrock is also good in the movie, handling her action scenes as brilliantly as she usually does. The only problem is her character is hampered with some horrible dialogue, it’s obvious they were trying to make her character the smart ass, tough chick, but it really doesn’t work and her character eventually just ends up coming off like a bit of a childish bitch with some really bad put downs in her repertoire.

Avedon’s character is basically a younger version of the typical gung-ho American “nam vet” heroes of the time, and as I said earlier he even sports the Rambo-esque red head band. And once again his fight sequences remind you of the fact that this guy could easily have been a much bigger star given the chance. It’s a shame he never went to Hong Kong, he could’ve easily been one of the top “gwailo” bad guys over there.

All in all ‘Raging Thunder’ is a hell of a lot of fun, chock full of great action set pieces and a great explosive finale which gives us the carnage of the war themed action epics of the time and combines it with some great martial arts rumbles. It also has quite a cool theme tune too, which I can almost guarantee will be stuck in your head after the credits have rolled.

No Retreat, No Surrender 3

“The first was for honour…

The second was for his country…

This time…It’s family.”

In 1990 we got ‘No Retreat, No Surrender III: Blood Brothers’, which brought back Loren Avedon from part two but unfortunately Corey Yuen did not return, instead we have Lucas Lo in the directors chair, who after this would go on to direct Avedon again in the great ‘King Of The Kickboxers’…Which I’m pretty sure is one of the only movies to mix the world of snuff films and martial arts.

The story this time centers around two brothers Will (Avedon) and Casey (Keith Vitali) Alexander, but as the trailer says “they’re oil and water, they‘ll never mix”; Casey is following in his father footsteps and making his way up the ranks of the CIA, whilst Will is a rebel, disagreeing with the CIA’s methods and making his own way in the world by running a karate dojo. When their father (the Jimmy Stewart-esque Campanella) is murdered, the brothers go their separate ways to track down the killer; Uber terrorist bastard Franco (Rion Hunter).

So, this time around we have a plot that seems to have been inspired by the likes of ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Lethal Weapon‘, what with the terrorists and mismatched partners etc. And it’s good stuff, once again we have lot’s of good action which is probably even more “Hong Kong style” than the previous entries, the fights certainly seem a lot quicker and sharper. Keith Vitali especially looks great here and whenever I watch this I’m always disappointed that he didn’t get more to do in ‘Wheels On Meals’, but maybes his screen fighting chops weren’t up to scratch back then. After all he has said before that he accidentally knocked Sammo Hung out cold during a fight scene.

Although Keith may be strong in the action department here, his acting is certainly on the stiff side, at times it sounds like he’s saying his lines for the first time or reading cue cards. Take note of the scene in which he goes through the CIA’s records looking for information on his fathers murderer; Never mind the fact that the file he’s looking at is called ‘Top_Secret.doc’, it’s just a classic bit of bad exposition. Even seasoned actors can have trouble with dialogue that only serves to fill in the audience as to what’s going on, never mind actors that are not that experienced.

To be fair, this was only his third time in front of the camera, the others being the aforementioned ‘Wheels On Meals’ and the other being ‘Revenge Of The Ninja’ alongside Sho Kosugi, with this being his first shot at a lead role, so I do have to cut him some slack. And besides, in interviews he always seems like a really nice guy, so I feel a bit bad slating his performance…Plus he could kick my head off it’s hinges.

But, the most memorable thing about the movie (Besides the gorgeous Wanda Acuna in a bikini) is Franco, with his white mullet and white eyebrows and maniacal smile, he’s like a classical Kung Fu villain of yesteryear, but late eighties style. I always find it amusing that Franco is wanted the world over for terrorist acts, yet he never bothers to hide his most distinguished feature, the fact that he’s pretty much an albino. Even when he’s on his way to assassinate the president (with a rocket launcher!) he still doesn’t seem all that bothered that he’ll be spotted. You’d think he’d be well stocked up on ‘Just For Men’.

The finale isn’t as explosive and grand as the ending to part two, but it certainly has more kung fu action with the brothers squaring off against Franco and his George Eastmen look-alike henchman, there’s even a pretty cool homage to Jackie Chan’s ‘Dragon Lord’ thrown in there for good measure.

Well, I’d better finish up here because this is getting long, but if you’ve stuck with this until the end then you’re a good person, anyone who would read this much about this series is alright with me.

To sum up, a great set of films that always put me in a good mood after viewing them. Stick ‘King Of The Kickboxers’ in there and you’ve got yourself a night of solid, no bullshit entertainment. B-movie action at its finest.

Note: For maximum satisfaction, this night of martial arts action is best viewed with pizza, beer and a few friends.

- Snoog (Revolving Video Podcast)


Heroes Shed No Tears

The government of Thailand hires a squad of immigrant Chinese mercenaries to infiltrate the notorious golden triangle and capture a drug baron. If they can achieve this mission the squad will receive a nice fat pay check and green cards to emigrate to the US. How ever the Drug lord in question General Samton has a tight grip on the area and a large force of armed troops to back him up. Can a five man team really get in, capture the general and make it back alive to claim the reward?

After trying his hand at several genres’ including comedy, drama and classic Martial arts director John Woo hit open the sub-genre that would make him famous in 1986. The year would see the release of Heroes Shed no tears (maybe a reissue from '83 I'm not sure) and A better tomorrow. It was these two films that would set John Woo on a path that would make him a legend in his own lifetime and bring a new term to the lips of western film fans. In 1986 Woo put Heroic bloodshed on the map and his influence reverberated through the world of action cinema and is still being felt today in films like DVD hits A bittersweet life and S.P.L. For many the eighties where the heyday for action cinema. Rambo, Red Scorpion, Scarface, Die Hard, Platoon, RoboCop, Commando and maybe the most macho movie of them all Predator where born in the eighties. And in that climate on the other side of the world John Woo unleashed his own action classic Heroes Shed No Tears. The film is pitched somewhere between a Vietnam War movie and a one man army movie like Commando. Tough desperate men with shady backgrounds, Special Forces training taking down a drug lord, you might have heard the plot before but you won't have seen it done by Woo (Unless you have seen this film already).

What ever happened to the subgenre of desperate men on one last deadly mission movies? If you miss it, then this new release of Heroes shed no tears lets you travel back in cinematic history to a time when men where men. A time before everything had to be PG-13 and men became all metorsexaul and started wearing make up and buying Joop Jump for men. Back when if you wanted to smell "nice" you bought something Manly with a name like Brut or Old Spice. Heroes Shed No Tears follows the desperate flight through the Golden triangle of Chan Chung and his men as they try and make a better life for themselves by completing one last desperate mercenary mission. Joined on the way by Chung’s sister in law and son, as well as a French tourist they save from an attempted rape at the hands of a Vietnamese officer and a recluse white former US soldier from Vietnam who was once saved by Chung. In hot pursuit how ever are the men of the drug lord they captured. These are soon joined by those of the officer whose eye Chung shoots out of his head while saving the tourist. He in turn enlists the help of a Vietnamese jungle tribe with deadly tracking skills. As the odds mount up against Chung the flight through Vietnam becomes desperate and things get very bloody indeed.

Starring Eddy Ko (Hitman in the Hand of Buddha, Peacock King, PTU) as Chan Chung leader of the Chinese hit squad who gives a great performance as the grizzled hero. Featuring sadly deceased Hong Kong Legend Lam Ching-Ying(Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind,  Mr. Vampire). As well as a great supporting cast. I personally love this type of film and most of Woo's eighties work in general. While not packed with the "Bullet Ballet" style action scenes Woo was to make famous, it is filled with old school shoot em up style scenes and packs in a good amount of gore. When someone dies in this movie it’s messy and harsh, just the way it should be. It even has an irritating kid in the form of Chung’s son; you know the kind that gets people killed trying to save him. At first he annoyed me, but then I realised being annoyed at the kid is part of the fun, you can sit munching on your snack and drinking a beer while shouting at the TV screen "For god sake will someone just kill that fucking kid already". And Lam Ching-Ying's character does indeed have a good try at killing the kid by putting him in the middle of a ring of burning crops ... YAY! The great thing about this film and many of the Hong Kong films of the time is there is no guarantee who will live and who will die, in Heroic bloodshed movies being the hero does not automatically make you safe.

Buy Heroes Shed No Tears and reclaim your *Manhood

*I am in no way saying woman will not love this slice of macho fun too.

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First trailer for Guy Ritchie's take on the classic detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film simply titled Sherlock Holmes is due for a boxing day release.

This adaption see's the titular hero revamped in a vain similar to the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Sadly the film version and not Alan Moore's fantastic comic. The reactions across the net for this trailer have been very positive. I personally don't feel that excited, sure Basil Rathbone style fog and deerstalkers has been done to death and would not fly today. However I'm a bit surprised Richie and the screenwriters have taken it to such safe blockbuster action comedy ground. One would have hoped for a little touch of snatch / Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels infused to give it just a little more edge. After all Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell are meant to be taking on the roles of Holmes and Watson in a still "Untitled Sherlock Holmes Project", which one imagines will touch the comedic itself. Many feel it has a similar vibe to Pirates of the Caribbean, which was a fun franchise, so its probably going to fairly good popcorn munching fun.

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his stalwart partner Watson (Jude Law) engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Joining Downey and Law in the cast are Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, James Fox and Rachel McAdams (sporting a rather fetching corset in the trailer)

You can download an HD version of the trailer from Yahoo! Movies

Via: Yahoo! movies


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Gamer is a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people play people...for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game "Slayers," allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.

Kable (300's Gerard Butler) is the superstar and cult hero of the ultraviolent "Slayers." Kable is controlled by Simon, a young gamer with rock star status who continues to defy all odds by guiding Kable to victory each week. Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity and to save mankind from Castle's ruthless technology.

Gamer stars Gerard Butler (300, RocknRolla), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Amber Valletta (Transporter 2), John Leguizamo (Righteous Kill, Carlito's Way ) and Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”).

www.gamerthemovie.com


Divergence

The lives of three men with troubled lives converge leading to bloodshed, mayhem and maybe some dark answers to questions the past.

Directed by Benny Chan (Fist of Fury: Sworn Revenge, Gen-X Cops, New Police Story) Divergence features and all star cast: Aaron Kwok (Bare Foot Kid, The Storm Riders), Ekin Cheng (The Storm Riders, A Man Called Hero, The Duel) and Daniel Wu (Cop on a Mission, One Night in Mongkok) star as the tree main leads. Joining them in this ensemble cast of Hong Kong stars are Eric Tsang (Cop on a Mission, Infernal Affairs), Angelica Lee (Re-cycle, The Eye, Koma).

Suen (Aaron Kwok) is a cop who used to be in a police reality TV show, these days he's obsessed only with the girlfriend who disappeared mysteriously 10 years earlier. To (Ekin Cheng) is a successful barrister (lawyer) who wins his cases, but feels guilty that his clients are nearly always guilty. Coke (Daniel Wu) is a professional hit man who lives life just that bit too close to the edge.

Although they don't know it at the start of the film the three men’s lives are linked both in the near future and by the distant past. Each holds a key to a peace of the puzzle and each in their own way is a very dangerous man.

Divergence is one of those rare films where even though there are three main characters none are really likable, heroic or even particularly good. Each is psychologically damaged in some one and seemingly each has ended up on a path to self destruction.

Considering the first rate Hong Kong cast and the basic premise you would expect great things. Sadly though Divergence is a mess, a film that does not really know where it's going and that doesn’t have a strong enough plot to take it there. As a long time fan of Hong Kong film, I am used to genre skipping, abrupt mood changes, Random attempts at comedy, multi layered plots and large numbers of main characters. Where a Hollywood film would fall down if it tried many of those rule breakers, the films of Hong Kong thrive on them. How ever Divergence does not thrive, it merely subsists. It’s a case of the finished product actually being lesser than its parts. There are some quality performances, great action set pieces, nice shots, good fights and even some good ideas in the film; the problem is the plot is way to thin to hold them all together. The film just does not gel at all, in fact its many elements seem to separate and curdle when mixed together.

How ever while the film as a whole is a let down, there are still some pretty good elements. Firstly a black gloved Giallo style killer (Everyone likes them), a great contract hit is pulled off at the begging of the movie (Most people like to see that) and, Aaron Kwok fights both Daniel Wu and Ekin Cheng at different points during the movie (Hong Kong action fans will enjoy). The film also has one of the best "on foot" chase sequences you will see as Kwok chases Wu through the streets culminating in one of the films two big fight scenes.

Divergence ends up being a disappointing film. Not because it's terrible, it is OK, but because poor plotting and a fairly lame ending, don't do justice to some of the ideas and set pieces and certainly not to it's cast. Worth checking out sure, but you won't be hurrying to watch it again. 6/10

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Buy It: amazon.co.uk | amazon.com


Trailer for Jeremy Alter's The Perfect Sleep which is set "against the backdrop of a noirish dreamscape, a tortured man returns to the city he swore he would never return to, in order to save the woman he has always loved yet can never have"

The screeplay is by Anton Pardoe who also stars along with Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Patrick Bauchau (Chrysalis, Carnivàle), Peter J. Lucas (Inland Empire)

www.theperfectsleep.com


UK Trailer (redband) for Crank: High Voltage, in which Jason Statham returns as Chev Chelios.

Picking up immediately where the first movie left off, Crank: High Voltage finds Chev surviving the climactic plunge to his most certain death on the streets of Los Angeles, only to be kidnapped by a mysterious Chinese mobster. Three months later, Chev wakes up to discover his nearly indestructible heart has been surgically removed and replaced with a battery-operated ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity in order to work.

The also stars Ling Bai (bai Ling), Corey Haim and Amy Smart returns as Eve.

www.crank2.co.uk | www.crank2.com 


The Exterminator

John Eastman (Robert Ginty) is a Vietnam Vet (aren’t all the best revenge movie / vigilante hero’s?) and when his best friend, Michael Jefferson (Steve James,) who saved his life out in The 'Nam is attacked and left paralysed by a gang of vicious street punks, Eastman decides to even the score.

The film starts off with its heroes fighting the Vietcong in the Vietnam war. After a vicious gun battle, Eastman, Jefferson and another comrade are captured and taken for interrogation. During the interrogation the 3rd comrade has his head hacked off in a surprisingly gory film moment, Eastman is next up for the chop, luckily Jefferson gets the drop on his guards and takes them down, machine gun blazing.

Back in New York, Eastman and Jefferson are honest Joe’s making a living from blue-collar factory jobs. An encounter with some thieves at the factory sets off a chain of events which lead to the birth of The Exterminator. Having put a stop to a robbery at work Jefferson is jumped by members of the same gang (The Ghetto Ghouls). Vastly outnumbered he is beaten badly and is left paralyzed. Eastman decides there is only one thing to do. This is the guy that kept his head on his shoulders back in the 'nam lying crippled in bed. So he picks up his M16 and goes in search of the perpetrators. Finding the punks in a flat, they seem to find it a little difficult to figure out what his problem is, saying Jefferson was "Only a nigger" to which Eastman replies "that nigger was my best friend". After dispatching the gang members Eastman still plagued by the memory of the beheading he witnessed back in Vietnam, decides to continue in his role as the vigilante The Exterminator. Taking out all kinds of other criminal trash, including a Mob Boss and Pimp who specializes in supplying young boys to rich male clients.

The Exterminator, which has the great tagline “The man they pushed too far”, is a great example of the Vigilante / revenge movie genre which was particularly popular in the late 70’s and early 80’s, dishing out classic action, gunplay and car chases. Jake Eastman just looks like a normal guy, which makes the film so much better than having a muscle-bound freak in the lead role. Robert Ginty gives a very understated performance in the lead role; he doesn’t exude any kind of charisma, crack cheesy one liners or even particularly fly into any kind of rage. He is, as he states at one point, “taking care of business,” and he deals with his foes just like a garbage man taking out the trash. Christopher George is top notch as the hard-bitten cop on the trail of The Exterminator and all the cast fit the feel of the film nicely. The rubbish strewn, impoverished streets of New York's 80’s underbelly are a fantastic backdrop for the action; these are the streets no-one cares about, these are the streets that could really breed “The Exterminator”.

If you like, The Warriors, Death Wish, Dirty Harry, The Gauntlet, and films of that type you should find The Exterminator a very enjoyable experience. This may not be mainstream action stuff, but its classic cult movie revenge fun.


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Dead Or Alive - film stills, trailer and UK website


Stills from the set of Blizhniy Boy: Final Fight

David Carradine, Eric Roberts, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Gary Busey

David Carradine, Gary Busey

Eric Roberts

Cung Le

Who is this guy?

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Bolo Yeung

Oleg Taktarov

Blizhniy Boy: Final Fight AKA Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter

View the trailer Here


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