This weekend saw some much needed decompression while digesting all of the NYCC 2018 news that came. Of course, Sunday gave me an opportune day to prep this week’s installment of The Hit List…
Alas, we begin with the usual rounds with a playlist host to some of today’s best and talented stunt performers and professionals alike.
Traceur and vegetable lover Luis Alkmim is here with Ampisound to launch things in fine, first person form. The playlist continues with stunt reels featuring Marie Maroelle, Shawn Bernal, Amanda Cass, Arman Ansari, Michaela McAllister, Kyle Soderman, Angela Sippel and up-and-coming action actor Jeremiah B. McQueen, followed by Beverly Provost, Brent Kublick, Sean Gestl, Ben Van Huis and JuJu Chan.
The first official poster arose for actor and filmmaker Mark Poletti’s latest shortfilm push, Jack & Jill. Poletti stars with actress Julie Zhan as seen in the artwork and also directs and while there aren’t any plot details available, I can imagine this one at least paying a few nods to the classic nursery rhyme with a stylish and clearly violent twist of it’s own.
That was the first of this weeks promotional gems with the remainder comprising the following – first of which we’re proud to debut an exclusive raft of photos for Ali Kadhim’s new short, Saving Mercury from 9 Lives Films. Action actress Olga Miller stars in the dystopian tale centered on a lone woman’s recent fracas with a pair of killers amid her quest to save the life of a young girl.
I’ve had my eye on this project for some time now and as such, I had a chance to screen this shortfilm over the weekend. It’s a pretty straightforward concept with an intriguing application in character development and as you might imagine, the action holds up as does its key performers – Ms. Miller especially included, and I couldn’t be more proud to have had her on my radar for the last several years.
9 Lives is also comprised of the action team behind Sam Gosper’s previous Circle Of Ninja proof of concept, Hunt For Hiroshi. Saving Mercury has already made its way to festivals at select cities in Australia, Russia, and now with several showings in North America as of the summer with its latest premiere heading for the Sanford International Film Festival in Sanford, Maine on October 19.
Ali Kadhim, who directs Saving Mercury, has provided a small batch of exclusive stills from the new action short which you can view below.
SAVING MERCURY - Stills
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The promo action continues with a clip from Ben Whimpey’s forthcoming shortfilm entry to Sitges, The Proposal, starring Marc Natoli, ahead of its screening on Wednesday. Just beneath that is a small playlist of trailers beginning with film duo Ronny Vega and Khalil Barnett’s forthcoming independent superhero proof, Dry Land Swim – returning to the Santos mythology that now adds more protagonists to the palette, and Oliver Hollingdale’s upcoming fan film prologue nod, John Wick, which is still in production.
The fightfare commences with ROD Squad, featuring screentalents Brandon Shaw and Dominique Smith in the first of a pair of videos from Aaron Toney with the second, Shinobi Games, featuring Julia Maggio opposite Nate Hitpas and Marc Canonizado.
Kyle Murillo and Caitlin Hutson keep the momentum going in a brief practice fight to start the final playlist followed by an entry from Armand Rabanal with performers Anthony Oh and Kosey Bsskin, Marie Mouroum opposite Tolga Degirmen (and a cool Gold Cup!), Kyle Potter with a tribute to an LBP Stunts Chicago classic with Justin Chang, Will Greenberg, Andrew Franklin and Jacob Ellis and Garage Pro TV with an action-packed montage featuring up-and-comer Hasegawa Yoshiko.
The playlist continues with a re-upload by Martial Club with a stellar foray into the gonzo and hyperviolent by Brian Le with Death To All, followed by a strong return to the internet for EMC Revolution’s latest, Crisis Zone, the 40th anniversary Drunken Master tribute short, Tales Of The Drunken Fist starring Yue Qi as Wong Fei-Hung and Fred Nguyen as Beggar So, and a recent late find on my own part with Kenneth Cuadrado’s Spring action revenge drama, Duplicity starring Andy Gion and Taylor Mejia.
Rounding it all out is Angela Maldonado with The Test, starring and directing her short debut with co-stars Ryan Espinoza and Nico Corral, and a horde of ninjas they’ll have to conquer in order to pass. I thought this was a fun little piece that does what it can to entertain; the action is purely rough around the edges but the pacing and speed of its execution are well kept, and the comedy in the end was hilarious. Post-credit bloopers included.
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