It wouldn’t be too fair to undervalue the notable efforts exhibited in director James Cullen Bressack’s new crime thriller, Beyond The Law, for its meager potboiler existence in a market still primed for not-so-high-art action titles.
The past several months surrounding director Tan Bing’s latest, China Salesman, has seen a pretty interesting conversation surrounding its appeal. Critics at the Hollywood Reporter apparently had some positive things to say about it; I didn’t, and in some capacity, I still don’t.
It’s no easy feat to accomodate actor Steven Seagal given recent headlines pertaining to his career of yestertear and certain allegations that have gone public earlier this year. Nonetheless, Cannes attendees looking toward next month can expect Saradan Media to make a presence with their roster of projects with at least two bearing Seagal’s name.
For this, we have Covert Operation director Mathieu Weschler on the way back to the masses with upcoming action thriller, Attrition. Seagal, who has been shepherding the film for several years and serves as producer, stars in the film as a stoic former soldier, reawakened with a peaceful life in Asia where he’ll reunite with his former team of badasses when a desperate father alerts him of his gifted daughter’s kidnapping at the hands of an ailing, seedy and ruthless crime boss.
Seagal is in ample company as well, joined by nothing short of a top notch horde of action cinema headliners to bookend the cast including Louis Fan (Ip Man), Donnie Yen cohort Yu Kang (Big Brother), and rising action talent and award-winning stuntman, actor Yoon Cha-Lee (Plan B: Scheiss Auf Plan A). Also starring are Ting Sue and Kat Ingkarat (Locked Up), with James Bennett (Kill ‘Em All), Rudy Youngblood (Wind Walkers) and MMA Fighter Sergey Badyuk.
We’ll learn more about what will entail in acquisitions as the weeks pass while Saradan has since begun rolling out a new trailer and poster to signal the film’s market presence.
Check out the trailer from Saradan Media.
Let’s face it. The elephant in the room is as clear as the sky on a bright and sunny day regarding recent weeks of news over allegations of sexual misconduct and because of this, promoting his work will be a little heavy in handling. And on a wider scale, it ultimately affects everyone else around him pertaining to career prospects and they obviously don’t need the hassle.
That said, he does have a few new films on the horizon and granted the 65-year old Aikido showman and film star still has his share of fans who will shamelessly overlook his alleged misdeeds. Pan over to Saradan Media who’ve just recently unveiled the international sales trailer for his latest, Attrition, which we’ll hear more about in the months ahead as market news takes shape.
Covert Operation helmer Mathieu Weschler directs Seagal who leads the film as Axe, a stoic, hermetized former soldier who assembles his old team to confront a ruthless crimeboss and rescue the beautiful enchantress who helped redeem him. Rounding out the cast are Kung Fu Killer co-stars Louis Fan and Donnie Yen cohort Yu Kang, the latter who plays the villain, with Yoon Cha-Lee (Plan B: Scheiss Auf Plan A) and actress Ting Sue and Kat Ingkarat (Locked Up), with James Bennett (Kill ‘Em All), Rudy Youngblood (Wind Walkers) and MMA Fighter Sergey Badyuk.
Indeed, some of the cast here is top tier in talent and it shows itself amply in the footage below. As for the bits with Seagal who looks like he’s doing his best with perfunctory techniques a la Donnie Yen’s Ip Man, volleys of punches and such, I’ll leave that to you all to decide among other things.
For what it’s worth, check out the trailer below.
That “based on a true story” bit still peaks my curiousity seeing as how I’m alien from it. It is what it is, and if you don’t mind relaxing your brain for the duration of the film until the Seagal V. Tyson match up begins, then this one should be right up your alley. China Salesman also stars Janicke Askevold, Li Ai, and Eriq Ebouaney for its limited theatrical release on April 20 prior to a VOD release on May 1. Variety reported the exclusive earlier this month.
Tan Bing writes and directs with Brotherhood Of Blades co-star Ethan Li starring in the title role as our cheekily addressed protagonist doing business in Africa. It all somehow adds up to a fight scene between Mike Tyson’s frown and Steven Seagal’s wavy hands – all accompanied by piss poor acting and dialogue, high speed chases, terrible CG, and a Henry Cavill lookalike just to pepper things up some…
The film also stars Jemma Dallender and Ghassan Bouz and is getting a December 9 limited theatrical and iTunes/VoD release from Lionsgate/Grindstone. Watch the new trailer now!
Crossing Point helmer Daniel Zirilli is currently onto furthering film prospects with the likes of Chilean action star Marko Zaror for a tentatively untitled project in Bangkok this November. It’s one that marks but one of several credits to the director having familiarized himself with Asia’s various locals, namely in and around Thailand, and aptly enough for the production schedule back in 2015 with his recent crime thriller, The Asian Connection.
Produced by Damiano Tucci (Shark Lake), actor John Edward Lee (Terminator: Genysis) leads the cast along with actress Pim Bubear (The Man With The Iron Fists 2) for the story of two American robbers, Jack and Sam, committing a spate of heists when one of their jobs lands them in danger after learning they’ve stolen from a local crime boss. eOne has since released the film with much of the artwork featuring actor Steven Seagal front and center who plays the aforementioned villain and while the film has its fair share of criticisms, the hardcore Seagal completists will likely find themselves keen on checking this one out on their own time.
For now though, Zirilli has taken to Film Combat Syndicate to share an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film shot by documentarian Lee Mason (Once Upon A Time In Vietnam a.k.a. Lua Phat) with appearances by Only God Forgives co-stars Byron Gibson and Sahajak Boonthanakit, along with Time Rush star Dean Alexandrou. Michael Jai White cameos in the film as well, though neither he nor Seagal are in the following video which also contains some spoilers, so mind the footage while viewing, and enjoy!
“We’re excited to bring this action-packed film together under the direction of Michael Winnick,” said Ryan Noto, President of Premiere Entertainment. “Steven Seagal has huge worldwide appeal, and we’re confident that this film will generate word of mouth among fans and general audiences alike.”