Well, I can’t say much about my weekend. Saturday was a 19 hour day and so Doctor Strange had to be put on hold, and my energy level on Monday was about the same as your average everyday housecat. That said, I did get to enjoy a cool Sunday night out with someone who’s been doing stunts for some time now and you can read more about that by clicking here!
On that note, The Hit List has arrived for this week and new stunt and action demo reels are here for your viewing pleasure with the first – a reel from an actress whose work I’ve been dying to share in a Hit List entry ever since I became friends with her on social media in 2014. Hailing all the way from London and fresh off of a stellar box office run thusfar in the U.K. and U.S. in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange is actress and martial artist Katrina Durden with a fantastic new reel now viral, also featuring footage from Street Fighter: Resurrection. Rounding out the playlist is a raft of reels from Brazil’s own Renan Medeiros, Alexa Marcigliano, Steve Legate, Cassie Lee Minick, Donald Tucker, Jordan Sessions, Canada-based Malik Bouabid, and a ferocious new fight choreography reel by Bryan Sloyer who rightly deserves a such a credit on a feature film, and I’m hoping that happens between now and 2017.
There’s only one trailer this week that I’ve come across for the promotional side of things and it’s from actor and filmmaker Phillip Ray Tommy out of Birmingham in the UK with a modern-day take on the Biblical tale of Cain & Abel. Tommy is joined by actor and martial artist Grant Stevens who dazzled the comic book fanbase as Nightcrawler in Cable: Chronicles Of Hope from directors George and Harry Kirby, and here and now with a project that further aims at showcasing Tommy’s ability to conjure dynamic storytelling, quality and depth in shortform. Of course, the trailer for it also teases some of the slickest action sequences you’ll ever enjoy in martial arts cinema and bullet ballet with Stevens in his element, and I’m sure not many will complain here. It works and I wouldn’t mind this as a feature film myself if the right investors stepped up.
Check it out!
At long last, we’ve arrives at this week’s roster of shortfilm fights and cinematic content that I (…in all caps) KNOW you are going to love.
We begin with the latest from Art School Dropouts where actor and martial artist Joey Min has arrived to demonstrate how to handle the recent spate of random clown incidents throughout the world…and in a drunken stupor no less! Also starring are Stephanie Pham, and your resident clown patrol played by Gee Jay, Andrew Kim and Cheech Vitale. From there, it’s filmmaker Naser Kazmi and his latest contribution to some satirical roleplay in lieu of this week’s presidential election with stunt players Thomas Lorber and Magalie Rouillart in a video aptly titled Hillary Punches Trump In The Face! Sure, it’s pretty far-fetched a spectacle but you can’t deny that it’s fitting of the tone of the election, and let’s just face it…anyone who can perform fight choreo with a B-twist deserves to have it filmed and shared.
Following that is a video that happens to be one of my favorite things this month and it comes from Stephen Vitale, and featuring none other than actress and comedian Anna Akana in a role that just intrigues you to your core in the new Star Wars Fan Film, Hoshino. The opening title is just fabulous, as is the lensing with a story that tells of our young Padawan heroine and the pennance she pays for nearly succumbing to the darkside, and it’s a story that otherwise lends nods to empowerment and endurance with an important life lesson I think almost anyone might agree to. Proceeding from an unsuccessful Indiegogo campaign, it’s rather fortunate that this shortifilm came to pass, and given the result, I think it’s fair to see what could have been done if the right amount of funds were there. Don’t watch this just to spy some stylish and cool lightsaber action. Instead, watch AND enjoy it for its sheer depth and brilliance.
Up after that is a 2014 shortfilm that didn’t come my way until this week thanks to a mention during a chat with fight choreographer and filmmaker Fred Nguyen. He, actor and Temple shortfilm co-star Yue Qi and actress Michelle Jiang star in The Burglar, which tells of what happens when a perpetrator breaks into a home only to find himself pinned down in the dark by its uniquely skilled couple. Indeed, these are not your normal home invasion victims and it’s our title character who gets more than what he bargained for, and in the best, most entertaining way for a kung fu comedy short brimming with terrific physical comedy, wit and action.
Last and far (and I mean FAR) from least, is a shortfilm that has undergone an interesting evolution as a preamble to a much larger project out in Australia. For this, I invite you to read my March 13 interview with none other than Sam Gosper, to learn a little more about the prior history leading up to the current release of his newest shortfilm, Hunt For Hiroshi. The project is just the start for a more grand ensemble of feature film work for Gosper and the good folks over at Resilient Pictures, featuring the stunt stylings of Team 9Lives with a trio actors headlining the compelling action and drama about a ninja who comes out of hiding to settle an old score. Abe Taki stars in the title role opposite David Vuong and Laurent Boiteux who cross barrage of blades, bullets, fisticuffs and big kicks in this festive martial arts showdown between two antiheroes locked into battle with nothing but vengeance, redemption and bloodlust running through their veins.
Hunt For Hiroshi is a project that I am purely glad to have been covering, and that as hard as Gosper is working, more is hopefully in store for this project and I sincerely hope more stems from it. The cast is superb and the action and quality are fantastic, the drama – albeit edited for a tighter and more convenient narrative – is solid as ever. Lo-fi as it may be, this shortfilm deserves to spawn its own feature film franchise and if you love the kind of martial arts action you see in films like Isaac Florentine’s Ninja films and Netflix series Daredevil, or just have a distinct appreciation for the ninja genre dating back to the bustling 1980’s, at just twenty-four minutes in, I think you might even agree.
Watch all the shorts from start to finish, and by all means, enjoy!
If you still have time to spare, last week’s Hit List is all the more entertaining and full of goods to enjoy, so peep it and follow the channels on your own accord. And, as always, if you or someone you know is an aspiring stuntman with a fantastic demo reel, or a filmmaker with a love for action movies and with a trailer or a full-on shortfilm filled to the lid with slick and pulse-pounding action and fight choreography and you think it deserves a place in our weekly Hit List, hit us up at email@example.com!