I sincerely hope everyone reading this had the best, most memorable Holliday season and New Year they could. It was a bit rocky the last two weeks leading up to my birthday on Friday, but I can’t even begin (try as I may) to illustrate how wonderful it was to attend my first ever ceremonial premiere event for a movie with friends.
My review of that film is here and a link to my Instagram post is right here. Indeed, it was a luminous and terrific bookend to a truly, happy birthday – although I do owe Rising Tiger’s Leroy Nguyen a big one this November as I had to leave the event early before I could say all my ‘good nights’. And I’ll be happy to share that bit of fun as well. ?
As for right here and now, the first installment of THE HIT LIST is now here and in proper fashion with actor, martial artist, filmmaker and fight choreographer and trailblazing member of the Hong Kong Stuntman Association, Robert Samuels. Leading off from there is aforementioned film-fu artist, actor and filmmaker Leroy Nguyen, both whom you will all get to see square off in the soon-to-be-released second season webseries edit of My Asian Auntie: Season 2 – YES, AUNTIE!
The playlist continues from there with stunt reels host to the feats of some of today’s top and rising stunt performance talents: Met Salih, Robin Calvo, Andrew Bazzel, Michelle Herzl, Norman James, Paul Drechsler-Martell, Julia Elizabeth, Joseph Chai, Kyle Murillo, Zandara Kennedy, Cha-Lee Yoon, Andy Le, Nailah Johnson, Morgan Benoit, Andy Taylor, Katelyn Brooke, Keil Zepernick, Chuck Johnson’s Quiet Flame Stunts, Australia’s own Ingrid Kleinig, Yasushi Asaya’s Team YAS, and a stellar fan-edit from YouTuber Wilson 95 highlighting Yoon’s fellow Reel Deal Action headliner, Can Aydin.
Bookending the stunt reels for the week is an extravagant sampler from stunt coordinator Jude Poyer which now includes highlights from his latests, Of Gods And Warriors, The Titan, and Apostle.
I’m light on promotional gems but the best is still yet to come from several directors, including Mark Cheng who is still getting it in on set following the rollout of his debut feature, Ghost Source Zero. Continuing his run with short duration thrillers is Solar, which sees a gang of thieves descend on a home looking to steal some solar power. The teaser now online through its Facebook fanpage speaks for itself as to what all this may entail and I’ll happily share this gem once it arrives.
Following that is a trailer playlist beginning with Lee McGeough’s recently re-released remastering of 12-minute 2006 martial arts thriller short, The Defector, now available on Amazon Prime. After that is an official trailer for The Sennin Master 2, based on a character keenly resurfaced by actor and stunt performer Dani Medina for his own brand of kung fu comedy, and you can spy an eye on a featurette as well.
“Ever wish some things could go back to the way they were?” ~That’s the tagline you get for actor and martial artist Alfred Hsing’s latest shortfilm directorial outing, Retrieval. Now five years since development and production, the short has since garnered its Asians On Film official selection position and will now screen at Monk Space in Los Angeles on January 19 and 20. Check out the poster!
The Hit List now commences a full-scale attack on your sense, which begs exclaiming just how stupid awesome it is that I get to kick it off with HALLE FREAKING BERRY! Her recent endeavors have seen her take on much more action-oriented roles with upcoming films like John Wick: Parabellum and Bruised, and now it seems she’s taking things up a notch collaborating with martial arts action star and actor Marko Zaror as he now takes the reigns behind the lens for a simple test bout pitting Ms. Berry against actor Peter Thomas – courtesy of Tony Diaz who partook on the video as its cinematographer and editor.
Following that is some pre-viz action by Ukranian unit, xgst Stunt Team, Ermias Baraki’s Baba Yaga with Gary Mattis and Owen Hu, Abra Burkett and Dylan Hintz getting in some fight time at Breakfall Studios, a little pole fighting from the guys over at Team YAS, and a pair of Fight Scene Challenge entries for Rustic B. firstly from Flipkick Films’ holiday-themed Nutcrackerz with Anthony Javier and Bronson Cameron, and The Fight For Duck Tales 2 with Jarrod Crooks and Randy Vongphakdy (*To watch this past weekend’s Fight Scene Challenge by Rustic B., tune in and watch here.)
A short stint in brilliant action crime thrills ensues in RiHsing Studios’ Divided featuring Alfred Hsing and Alvin Hsing, followed by Wolf Stunts’ Marching Into The Dark from director Nik Pelekai, Hidden Hero Films’ UASE VI Hand 2 Hand Combat award-winning short, Dojo with Quan Minh Le and Aaron Phillips, and a recent recut of the key fight scene in last summer’s Martial Club hit shortfilm, Supreme Art Of War.
Joseph Roark makes The Hit List once again this time with The Operative, also starring Dominique Smith and Cory Dunson, as well as the aforementioned Leroy Nguyen with another sweet little oddity attrributed to an interesting running joke in many of his videos in To Live And Die Like A Man, and a spectacular redux of the first episode of Power Rangers: Unworthy per the launch of Unworthy Productions ahead of the upcoming second episode
Enjoy the hits!
I might do a little something special for a final Hit List entry by this December, but I think it’d be cool to have some audience participation at that, so enjoy the shorts presented, and choose your favorite. If there’s a deadlock, I’ll apply my own criteria for a tiebreaker to settle things, and the winning favorites will be presented in the year-end Hit List for 2019.
In the meantime, feel free to visit or revisit previous entries and enjoy yourselves, and of course, share the Hit List with friends! Also, if you or someone you know makes great action cinema that you feel deserves Hit List posterity, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!