BEST SERVED COLD: Ex-MMA Star Ann Osman Lands Feature Film Debut Role In Malaysian Supernatural Action-Noir
Sabah-based former MMA fighter Ann Osman will make her feature film debut in supernatural action-noir, Best Served Cold for writer/director Aaron Cowan.
WIRA: ‘Paskal’ Director Lines Up Next Production
Malaysian director Adrian Teh is revving up his next military action adventure, Wira, according to an announcement from GSC Movies. Teh will be joined by actor and martial arts star Yayan Ruhian, in addition to reuniting with Hairul Azreen and Henley Hii since starring in Teh’s recent military action thriller, Paskal.
RED STORM: Malaysian Action Thriller To Roll Cameras This Week
Malaysian action star, actor and filmmaker Michael Chuah has fascinated me for quite sometime now. I’m a little late since he emerged with Fist Of Dragon in 2011 but he’s stayed mobile with a few acting gigs apart from directing, including 2013 pic Firefly, Special Forces in 2016 and having recently completed Call Me Agent last month; Chuah was also a candidate for a possible transition to American soil with a lead role in Mark V. Wiley’s script for martial arts mob comedy Made In Chinatown during the early stages of development.
As of Thursday, Chuah and co-director Tony Pietra, whose solo directing credits include Cuak (2014), Train Station (2015) and Shadowplay (2018), are at the helm for Red Storm from Evo Pictures Sdn Bhd, Fusion Media and He Nian Media Communication. Chuah is producing the film as well as starring with a cast that combines Chinese and Malaysian talent that collectively lists actors Henry Thia and Zhang Bo Nan with Li Ai Jin, actor Henley Hii and actress Venice Min.
Red Storm centers on Hung Ping, a bodyguard hired by a rich tycoon to protect his daughter from human traffickers. His path soon crosses with Ah Bu, once a top cop now rendered amnesiac following a botched raid two weeks earlier; Having haplessly been entangled with Ru’s kidnapping and ultimately regaining his memory upon discovering their extended connection to the murder of his wife and the death of his squad members, Ah pairs up with Hung to save the young woman and put an end to the criminal organization once and for all.
Director and Producer, Michael Chuah says “This is a good opportunity to showcase the talents from Malaysia and South East Asia to the foreign market as the movie will be released in Asia countries including China. We are also glad to be able to work with casts and producers from different countries to bring to Red Storm to the big screen in the Asian market. I have been working on action films for a number of years, and Red Storm will be the most action packed film I will be making thus far”
Michael Chuah adds “This is also the first time Henry Thia is acting in a more serious role, and audiences will see a different side of him in the movie.”
Select members of the cast also underwent long periods of training and fight scene rehearsals to better suit the action sequences coupled with the film.
Red Storm will be shot in Kuala Lumpur and Port Dickson with a local regional release date currently scheduled for late 2018; As always however, acquisition news may follow suit for international territories, though really it’s a matter of opinion at this juncture. At best, cross your fingers!
FIRST LOOK: Meet The Kung Fu Killers In James Lee’s KILL-FIST
EXCLUSIVE: Independent filmmaker James Lee is well on the way with the new martial arts redemtpion thriller, Kill-Fist. Hailing a reunion for the director and his lead actor, Singaporean action favorite, recurring Code Of Law star Sunny Pang, the film further etches a mutual creative partnership for the two who’ve known each other for more than a decade in cinema.
“It was fun and great to work with him again after The Collector and Call If You Need Me.” says Lee who cites that as both were different films that served the purpose Kill-Fist aims to do once more in challenging Pang as an actor. “Indeed he had to do some preparations for the character tragic Zhang. Kill-Fist is kind of a refresher for both of us, we hope we can move to bigger projects after this.”
Pang, who serves up more brutal screentime in Gavin Lim’s own upcoming film, Diamond Dogs, is one of the two principal leads for Kill-Fist next to actor Alan Yun, both central to the story in the respectful roles of Zhang, an impecunious sales rep struggling with impending divorce amid fighting for custody of his daughter, and John, a pastor facing down his own financial woes as his wife lays ill from cancer. Their circumstances soon take hold as they’re lured into a deadly underground fight circuit where the victor wins a cash prize based on rank.
Alan Yun in “Kill-Fist”
Lee divulged some details to Film Combat Syndicate about conceiving Kill-Fist – a film thematically centered on family and vengeance about his inspiration toward the project. I first caught up with Lee when I discovered a shortfiln project in 2014 called Second Life with burgeoning local TV star Michael Chan, and it was then that Lee showcased an understanding of shooting and directing action which immediately drew my own interest in learning more about his endeavors through his film banner, Doghouse 73 Pictures, through which Lee continues his agenda in autonomously producing and financing his new homage to a celebrated bygone era of action cinema.
“It was simply an idea to just make an no-nonsense martial arts action movie, like those in the 80s with titles like ‘Kill And Kill Again’.” says Lee. “With focus on the families of the characters, I was inspired to write and design a story that will legitimize the action look instead of bringing action just for the sake of action. The two mutually co-exist and so the story will still play an inherent, important part in the film.”
Filming wrapped over the weekend following a brisk photography period. It was actually pretty surprising which makes me a lot more curious about some of Lee’s work which I haven’t gotten around to catching, but it’s also usually the case for an independent project such as Kill-Fist, with things like budget constraints and cutting certain creative corners to make things work. There were definitely some hurdles in the mix for fight scene prep as well, which led to some of the fight sequencing being designed on the spot.
Koe Yeet in “Kill-Fist”
“The biggest hurdles were the fight and action scenes totaling about ten scenes, with Sunny himself in eight of them,” says Lee. “It was really a demanding shoot for all of us, and so we didn’t have ample pre-production time to complete the choreography, so five of the scenes were choreographed and improvised on set.”
The film also signaled another collaborative reunion with Malaysian local, actor, stuntman and fight choreographer Lau Chee Hong who worked on a number of Lee’s projects through his own brand at Low Angle Productions. A few peculiar promo stills began releasing online for the film which echo and otherwise confirm Lee’s own expressed interest in introducing stylish Kung Fu fighting techniques for each character, with Pang’s role taking on that of centuries-old Praying Mantis.
“I envisioned a modern day kung-fu fight thriller pitting traditional styles against each other.” says Lee, who added that closer attention was needee for the more BJJ-oriented Marcio Sebsam, best known for his towering villainous role in Asun Mawardi’s 2011 thriller, Mortal Enemies (a.k.a. Pirate Brothers) and is set to star in female-led thriller, Duality. “We did not use many grappling or ground work as they’re actually harder to design compared to stand up striking techniques. So Chee Hong had to choreograph five of the major fights in a period of over a month. We trained and met up every Saturday to do the choreography with his team when available. It was truly an indie effort.”.
Sunny Pang and Marcio Sebsam in “Kill-Fist”
The search for a distributor comes next on the agenda prior to film festival notoriety for Kill-Fist, which ought to make for good movement for Pang after making waves in 2016 in Toronto and Texas for Iko Uwais thriller, Headshot. Award-winning director of photography Tan Teck Zee lensed Kill-Fist which also stars actresses Koe Yeet and Pearlly Chua, and is produced by Kenny Gan (KL24: Zombies).
Kabir Bhatia’s PULANG Teases A True-To-Life Tale Of Endurance, Love And True Wealth
Promising a sweeping tale of family and love in the face of peril and loss, Cinta helmer Kabir Bhatia’s latest, Pulang, is on track for a release later this year with a script that casts a light on the numerous untold tales of seamen in the 1940s who’ve left their families behind to board cargo ships in search of good fortune. For this, we have the new film, Pulang, and two teasers introducing the compelling imagery with actor Remy Ishak and actress Puteri Aishah Sulaiman leading the narrative.
The title alone, which translates to the word “Return”, speaks to the compelling nature per the over seventy-year period in which Bhatia’s screenplay is set with Mira Mustaffa and Datuk Ahmad tackling writing duties. The film hails from Primeworks Studios and Grand Brilliance with a local Malaysia release date pending and with a casy that includes Alvin Wong, Azrel Ismail, Erwin Dawson, Sherry Al-Jeffri, Dato’ Jalaluddin Hassan, Juliana Evans, Dato’ Rahim Razali and Aida Khaleeda among the roster.
Catch the teaser below and stay tuned for a trailer.
KL SPECIAL FORCE Unleashes Anarchy In The Latest Trailer For The Malaysian Action Thriller
When actor Syamsul Yusof isn’t dabbling in music or directing films, he’s also starring in them. Point in fact, he’s partaken a number of films and to my knowledge, some of which are more than worthy of audiences wider than Malaysia.
Films like hit gangster thriller KL Gangster come to mind as well its 2013 sequel which was leaked online a month ahead of its October release. That trailer alone grabbed the heck out of my attention among other films that followed in my coverage on here and I often wonder, as a result, how long it will be before Malaysia gets its just dues abroad.
I even interviewed a stunt coordinator who since moved onto a become a local wrestling sensation in the region, and so there’s no question exactly how much I would love to see Malaysia shine overseas. Such is what I would love to see happen for the new action thriller, KL Special Force, directed by Syamsul’s brother, Syafiq Yusof who spun-off the KL Gangster films with actor Zizan Razak in 2014 gangster comedy, Abang Long Fadil, and its 2017 sequel.
The director also provides the narrative from his script which offsets an action packed story featuring his sibling actor as the antagonist of the tale – the leader of a menacing gang of armed thieves with KL Gangster 2 actor Rosyam Nor starring as the tactical unit leader tasked with catching him. Astro Shaw is presenting Yusof’s seventh turn at the helm in local theaters on March 8.
A Special Police Unit team lead by Roslan is hunting ‘Gang Anarchist’, a gang of robbers, led by Asyraff. A young policeman, Zul joins the unit to help solve the case. The situation becomes more complicated when Asyraff starts playing mind games between Roslan and Zul that raises unrest feelings between all members in the unit. A bigger heist is set in plan to reveal a bigger secret. Will the Special Police Unit catch them in time?
Of course, the rest of us will probably be left in the dark though, in a perfect world, people wouldn’t rectify that by leaking it online – all the more reason to hope for better days for Malaysian cinema, in my view at least.
Check out the latest trailer below along with a trio of character posters just beneath.
KL SPECIAL FORCE (Character Posters)
Zul Ariffin Springs Into Action In The Official Trailer For J. REVOLUSI
Malaysia is looking to pick the pace up at the top of its year with the Spring release of Zulkarnain Azhar’s latest offering, J. Revolusi. Following a teaser last year, the official trailer is now online with a March 2 premiere in tow and a cast led by Zul Ariffin front and center and bearing the brunt of the peril in the tactical fight between good and evil.
J Revolusi is about Jay Zulkarnain (Zul Ariffin) who is an assault leader for Malaysia’s elite and deadly Special Forces, the UTK (Unit Tindakhas). Highly trained, merciless, and lethal in combat, Jay and his squad of operatives are every terrorist’s worst nightmare. But when Jay’s sister, Dian (Fazura), an undercover agent, is captured by a mysterious terrorist who also frames Jay for the murder of his squad, Jay must race against time to rescue her and unravel the secret of the man who will stop at nothing to destroy him.
Ariffin and Fazura are joined by Farid Kamil and Azad Jazmin, and actress Izara Aisha with Flyweight Muay Thai exponent, ONE Championship fighter Saiful “The Vampire” Merican throwing down in his feature film debut.
The initial teaser is below with the brand new trailer available just beneath!
Watch The Trailer For Malay-Language Sports Dramedy, BANTING!
An advanced screening is being hosted on May 1 locally by film club, SCAPEMedia with Halim attending and you can learn more about it by clicking here. Beyond that, check out an English trailer below.
GETTING REEL IN MALAYSIA: An Interview With AYEZ SHAUKAT FONSEKA
The action film scene is boundless with talent around the world, and among other territories, I have always been a little bit curious about Malaysia’s own standing as I’ve promoted plenty of Malaysian movie trailers before. So you can imagine how fruitful it is to be able to get a lead-in with one of its own, especially with Fonseca building on the momentum of his current successes. He’s someone who’s got plenty of potential and time on his side, and after this, I certainly hope the rest of the world takes notice.
Catch The Intense New Teaser For Malay Action Drama, ANAK JANTAN (THE SON)
Malay audiences can expect the film to arrive on October 30 with a cast led by Bront Palarae, Nora Danish, Farid Kamil, Dato’ Rahim Razali and Pablo Amirul. The film has since been granted an explosive new short teaser, as well as a batch of character posters which you can now watch below.
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