The recent SgIFF world premiere of Gavin Lim’s latest small-budget thriller, Diamond Dogs, was something of a call to action for Singapore’s moviegoing audience to try and nourish its own before gaining a foothold on the world stage. The move was an albeit success and will hopefully edge action star Sunny Pang toward international stardom, here tackling the role of Johnny, deaf mute and prisoner to an underground fight circuit where he’s locked away and forced to fight to the top unless his stage three cancer kills him first. Pang caught waves of love from festival crowds while promoting Headshot last year and so let’s hope there’s an interest sparked in this latest thrilling Asian starrer.
Jason Momoa may be eager to move onto The Crow with Corin Hardy as we await what lies ahead for Aquaman. Until then, his latest endeavor as a family man and logger who looks to settle a score with a pack of drug runners who make the dumb decision to underestimate his killing nerve looks to be a feasible welcome for stunt professional Lin Oeding’s directorial debut, Braven. It’s been much more than a year since the first official still beneath from Highland Film Group and Oeding has since moved onto direct action horror, Office Uprising, while Braven might be the first to step out into the spotlight signaling Oeding as a directing talent to look out for, especially since impressing the hell out of folks with his 2012 short, Wake.
Leave it to director Fruit Chan to keep action fans pining for more Max Zhang as we await the verdict on The Invincible Dragon. We managed at least one trailer so far sampling the story of a Hong Kong police officer who travels to Macao in search of his missing fiancée but accidentally stumbles into a series of murder cases. That was during HK FilMart and with another year ahead apart from Well Go USA’s own acquisition earlier on, we should hear some more on this soon enough. Anderson Silva, Stephy Tang, JuJu Chan and Marsha Yuan also star.
I’m not the biggest Steven Seagal fan, but I like who has alingned himself with for Mathieu Weschler’s new movie, Attrition, a film that has taken sometime to get off the ground but has since been completed for a hopefully deeper look next year. This one casts Seagal next to a raft of Asian talents for the story of a stoic soldier-turned-reclusive healer who convenes with his former team to help save the beautiful enchantress who redeemed him. Louis Fan, Donnie Yen cohort Yu Kang and Reel Deal Action’s own Yoon Cha-Lee also star.
Of course, going into some major heavy duty sci-fi action for Indonesia is Hollywood action heavyweight producer Mario Kassar who spent the last few years shepherding Foxtrot Six, set in a dystopian world where food is all but scarce. Noted cinematographer Randy Korompis is making his directorial debut here with a cast comprised of many familiars from hit titles like Headshot, The Raid and The Raid 2, and while there aren’t any official stills just yet, Kassar’s Instagram seems tentatively reliable.
Stay tuned for the next five!
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.