Posts by Vance Ang:
He has the beard of Chuck Norris; the physique of Sylvester Stallone; the lethally stoic demeanour of Dolph Lungren; the handsome Eurasian looks of Keanu Reeves, Mark Dacascos and the late Brandon Lee, and what’s more, he kicks like Jean Claude Van Damme and Phillip Rhee. Who is he exactly? Well, it’s none other than David Kurzhal aka the popular Viking Samurai on YouTube who is the recent addition to ‘THE LAST KUMITE’ which is due to start filming in Europe in the coming weeks.
From the director of the surprise hit ‘STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE’ (2016) comes what looks to be an intriguing post-apocalyptic film exploring the human drama amidst a horrific conflict between humans and robots.
The blockbuster success of Chad Stahelski’s JOHN WICK CHAPTER 4 (2023) is perhaps indicative of the current state of modern cinema. The last decade has been heavily dominated by the superhero genre, with the MCU seemingly replacing the traditional action genre introducing audiences to pre-existing lore – with huge budgets enabling the use of CGI and special effects, designed to WOW the film going public. Yet it might be fair to say that these films may be losing their lustre, with the momentum largely slowing down as the glitzy novelty somewhat fades.
With much recent film buzz dedicated to Chad Staheski’s long-anticipated JOHN WICK 4 (2023) among other blockbusters being released, it is somewhat sad to see that Mel Gibson’s recent film ‘ON THE LINE’ (2023) overshadowed by other offerings – when in all honesty, Gibson’s work should never be ignored. Regardless of his exploits beyond the silver screen, the man is quite simply one of the greatest gifts to modern cinema; a talented actor, director, and icon that should command more respect than be recognised for courting controversy. (And yes, as this movie critic is Australian there is a clear bias but one that is justified and vindication especially if one refers to his large catalog of films).
The Other Fellow arrives in U.S. theaters and on-Demand from Gravitas Ventures beginning February 17.
As Good As Dead is now available in select theaters and on Digital from Samuel Goldwyn Films
To help her niece Katie deal with grief, brilliant roboticist and toy maker Gemma (Allison Williams) gets more than she bargained for when her creation, M3GAN begins to exhibit questionable behaviours that put those around her at risk. The creation of a new family unit, ushers in the presence of a robotic family member with the best of intentions and whilst the initial phases of interactions appear to be sweet and heart warming – this quickly changes into something more problematic and lethal.
Written and directed by Yoshiki Takahashi, and based on a story by Yuki Kobayashi (Death Row Family) ‘RAGEHOLIC’: ADDICTED TO ANGER (2022) is currently playing in its native Japan and could pique the interest of those into the more intense crime thrillers – though this looks to capitalize more on a brutal narrative, rather than a more idiosyncratic slow more refined burn seen in the works of the legendary, Takeshi Kitano.‘RAGEHOLIC’ presents an intense and suffocating film that seems to be the modus operandi of a lot of more recent Japanese crime thrillers which are intensely violent; yet also portraying an honest depiction of flawed individual regardless of what side of the law they are on. Depictions of characters ultimately can be subverted with an extremity that is so deliberate, but not the point of parody; whilst the detectives on the side of the law become dogged with determination to the point of inhuman obsession, the gangsters may be shown as noble and steadfast. In any case ‘RAGEHOLIC’, seems to have this as its prevailing narrative with the Yakuza busting police officer (Yohta Kawase)” possessing some almost inhuman qualities, in his quest to uphold the law – the carelessness of his actions perhaps making him a more despicable and far less heroic protagonist. The fact that he is sent on a sabbatical to cure his bloodlust proves to be unsuccessful, and this patient becomes far worse upon his return to his old beat. Whilst this looks to be a compelling crime thriller, there is a certain mean spiritedness to it as the protagonist seems largely unlikable in his insatiable quest for revenge. It may not yet have a Western release, but its somewhat obnoxiously shocking style will sure have its fans and may become a cult hit. It also stars Yohta Kawase (SHIN GODZILLA), Aya Saiki, Ryuju Kobayashi, and Eita Okuno.
I think the one thing I’ve had difficulty with is picking which films to select for the curtain raiser I’m posting here ahead of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival installation. Nearly all the selections I would bet are easy picks, but I’m resigned to only a handful.
Quentin Tarantino, when referring to Fair Game (1986), said the following:
Nic Cage is back with THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT (2022). This newest trailer sees one of the true kings of method acting, hamming it up as a version of himself played for laughs as a blatant parody. Transcending the typical buddy cop formula, Director Tom Gormican has crafted a very self-aware comedy that looks to capitalise on the manic yet versatile nature of Cage coupled with the straight laced Pedro Pascal. The set up is bizarre as it is hilarious with the actor Nic Cage morphing into his action hero guises in order to rescue his besieged wife and daughter from a drug lord – who also happens to be a fan!
With the conclusion of the last film FAR FROM HOME (2019) literally jeopardising Peter Parker’s double life, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (‘NWH’) creates the most turmoil for the long-suffering young superhero. NWH picks up where the last film left off, and with the whole world now privy to his secret identity Peter Parker has the unenviable task of balancing this revelation as well as its impacts on those nearest and dearest to him.
The premise behind Coach vs Client (‘C vs C’) is predicated on one key element of the training sessions that I myself have with Coach Justin Perillo, as the topic of film are a mainstay of the conversations in between sets and for the heavier ones we’d often evoke a film that resonates in that very moment. With each new recommendation, is the obvious exchange in ideas and the very pursuit of new material based on the discussion.
When it comes to combat, and more specifically martial arts there is a certain exotic appeal to one specific element – kicks. Despite the visibility of grappling thanks in no small part to the prevalence of MMA these days, there is something spectacular about seeing kick techniques demonstrated with real expertise. Though the practicality of high kicks in real combat is always debated, those that can utilize their feet and legs as weapons is no doubt an impressive feat (no pun intended)