2018

Correa Finds Himself in a “Manhunt” in New Trailer

New Jersey-based indie filmmaker Franklin Correa is geared up to return as he becomes involved in a Manhunt in the first teaser trailer.

Originally known as The Invitation, Correa plays a survivalist who must play a game of cat-and-mouse with a maniacal sadistic man by the name of Santos and survive 5 hours against five hitmen in order to save his life as well as his girlfriend’s.

Look out for Manhunt sometime in 2018.

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Check Out This Hilarious Clip from Upcoming Comedy “Driving While Black”

On February 1, the award winning indie comedy Driving While Black is coming to theaters from Artist Rights Distribution.

This hilarious exclusive clip features a tour guide giving newbies to town a look at L.A. and how to greet the drivers who decide to stir up trouble.

“Dmitri is a pizza guy who would rather smoke weed and suffer for his art, but his mom and his girl won’t stop nagging him to get a real job. When he’s offered a gig mouthing off to tourists behind the wheel of a Hollywood “star tour” bus, it looks like everyone might get what they want. Trouble is, our man can’t seem to step out the door to get to the interview without endless complications: busted radiators, simple weed scores gone sideways and LAPD cruisers seemingly everywhere. Dmitri’s skill at going unnoticed by cops is honed by painful experiences growing up Black in L.A., but even his keen survival instincts won’t save him from the week from hell.”

The film stars Dominique Purdy, who co-wrote the film based on his real-life experiences, with director Paul Sapiano.

Check out the film in select theaters on February 1, 2018.

H/T: October Coast

Kwok and Crew Are Back in Well Go USA’s “Monkey King 3” Trailer

Aaron Kwok is back as Sun Wukong in the U.S. trailer to the long awaited sequel The Monkey King 3.

Along with Wukong, Monk Tang Xuanzuan (William Feng), Zhu Bajie (Xuanshanzeng), and Sha Wujing (Him Law) find themselves taken captive on the Womanized Land of Western Liang, where the monk finds himself slowly falling for the land’s Queen (Zanilla Zhao). When the group plan to escape, they have angered the River God, who plans to unleash her wrath on the land as foretold by an ancient prophecy. It is up to Wukong and team to stop the River God before it’s too late.

Soi Cheang returns to helm the film, which will be released in U.S. theaters on February 16 by Well Go USA, in time for the Chinese New Year.

Boxer Munteanu is Ivan Drago’s Son in “Creed II”

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Adonis Johnson…meet your next opponent!

German-Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu has scored the role of Ivan Drago’s son in the upcoming sequel Creed II. The sequel, to be directed by Steven Caple Jr., will pit Michael B. Jordan‘s scion against the scion of the very man who killed his father in 1985’s Rocky IV. Sylvester Stallone returns as the legendary Rocky Balboa and Dolph Lundgren will return as Ivan Drago. Tessa Thompson will also reprise her role from the original film.

Production is set to begin shortly for its November 21, 2018 release by MGM.

H/T: Variety

 

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

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The final installment of George A. Romero’s original zombie trilogy is given a re-imagining that holds its own in this film from director Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens.

Zoe Parker is a medical school student who has been working at an internship at a center where she is constantly approached by patient Max. Max has an obsession with Zoe, even going as far as tattooing her name on his arm. To celebrate the success of the last day of the internship, Zoe goes to a party where tragedy ensues. When Max attempts to assault Zoe, a cadaver comes to life and bites Max. This leads into the first of what would become a major zombie outbreak with Zoe becoming the only survivor.

Five years have passed and since witnessing the outbreak, Zoe decides to track down a cure for the disease. Zoe’s objective is to head to an abandoned bunker to do her research with the likes of her boyfriend Baca, Baca’s brother Miguel, and others. En route to the bunker, their transportation breaks down. This leads to the group doing what it takes to get to the bunker. When they finally arrive, Zoe learns of a shocking revelation, one that could be the key to finding the cure to stop and finally end the zombie outbreak.

1985’s Day of the Dead would be the final of the original zombie trilogy from the late great George A. Romero. The film has a zombie outbreak with survivalists in a military bunker. While that film would end in a more shocking manner, this reimagining takes that story and adds some major twists and turns that prove to be vital and in fact, from a scientific point of view, brings up a possible realistic manner in terms of finding a cure for the outbreaks.

The script by Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobsen wisely took the core elements of the original film and under the direction of Hèctor Hérnandez Vinces, successfully makes it its own entity. In the original, there are zombies who are made to be docile, notably the character of “Bub”, played by Sherman Howard. In this film, “Bub” is replaced by Max, played by Jonathan Schaech. Max is first seen a creepy fellow who has an obsession with the potential heroine Zoe, played by Sophie Skelton. However, in the scene where he is ready to assault her, he is attacked by a zombie but just when you thought Schaech was making a cameo, he proves to be the pivotal supporting character that proves to be the catalyst for Zoe to do what is necessary to accomplish her mission.

This time around, the insane military officer that thinks all zombies should be dead no matter what is the character of Miguel Salazar, played by Jeff Gum. In an interesting move, the name of the character was also used in the original film as played by Anthony DiLeo Jr. In the original, Miguel was the boyfriend of the lead character, but here the boyfriend role goes to Baca, Miguel’s younger brother, played by Marcus Vanco. Baca is a really sympathetic character and stands by Zoe, even when a small rift is imminent.

In an age where CGI is primarily used, Vinces opts to take the practical effects approach and it becomes a very smart move. This is the piece de resistance as the film does bring a true homage to the Romero classic in terms of the zombie kills. Disembowlments, bites, and just sheer gore is displayed quite well in the film. However, unlike most horror films today, there is a sense of emotion that helps complement the terror that plagues the film.

While a loose 2008 remake didn’t fare well with fans, this 2017 reimagining of Day of the Dead, does bring a sense of emotion and a somewhat realistic scientific twist to the film. If you are curious or want to see a zombie film with an actual story, this may be just for you.

WFG RATING: B+

Saban Films and Millennium Media presents a Campbell/Grobman Films in association with Nu Boyana. Director: Hèctor Hérnandez Vicens. Producers: Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Boaz Davidson, James Glenn Dudelson, Robert Franklin Dudelson, and Jeff Rice. Writers: Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson; based on the 1985 film “Day of the Dead” by George A. Romero. Cinematography: Anton Ognianov. Editing: Damien Drago and Ivan Ivanov.

Cast: Sophie Skelton, Jonathan Schaech, Marcus Vanco, Jeff Gum, Mark Rhino Smith, Lillian Blakenship, Shari Watson, Lorina Kamburova, Rachel O’Meara, Cristina Serafini, Luke Cousins, Nathan Cooper, Nick Loeb, Bashar Rahal.

Moussi is Back in Well Go USA’s Official “Kickboxer: Retaliation” Trailer

Alain Moussi returns as Kurt Sloane as Well Go USA unleashes the sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation this month! IGN has released the first official trailer to the film.

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Set one year after the events of Kickboxer: Vengeance, professional MMA fighter Kurt Sloane finds himself back in a place he never imagined returning to: Thailand. Implicated in the death of Tong Po, Sloane finds himself at odds with Thomas Moore, the man behind the underground fight ring he and Tong Po competed in. Sloane is now challenged to take on a new beast in the 6’8″, 400-pound monster Mongkut. At first Kurt refuses, but when his wife is kidnapped, he finds no other choice but to accept the fight. Sloane not only reunites with his Muay Thai mentor, he finds a new band of allies who will help him train for the fight of a lifetime.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane, Sam Medina, and Steven Swadling reprise their roles from the original film with a cast of newcomers to the mix, including boxing legend Mike Tyson, soccer star Ronaldinho, strongman Brian Shaw, MMA fighters Roy “Big Country” NelsonWanderlei Silva, and Fabricio Werdum (who appeared as a different character in Vengeance), kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven, and Game of Thrones‘ Mountain himself, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, as the hulking fighter Mongkut. Christopher Lambert plays the mastermind Thomas Moore.

Dimitri Logothesis directed the film and co-produced with Robert Hickman as well as co-wrote the film with Jim McGrath. Jean Francois-LaChappelle and Moussi himself served as the fight choreographers.

Well Go USA unleashes Kickboxer: Retaliation on January 26 in select theaters.

Bringing a New British Action Hero: An Interview with “Stratton” Director Simon West

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He’s directed hit action films, such as Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Expendables 2. He’s worked with some of the top talents of Hollywood. He is Simon West and he is set to bring a new British action hero with the adaptation of Duncan Falconer’s iconic military hero Stratton, starring Dominic Cooper in the titular role. The film comes to select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on January 5 from Momentum Pictures.

World Film Geek had the opportunity to talk with West about making the film and what he would like to work on next.

Thank you, Simon, for taking the time to talk about Stratton. I got to see the film and it was really good. I really enjoyed both the action and the drama meshed together.
Great! Thank you, thank you!

So you have directed some hit films such as Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and The Expendables 2 just to name a few. This one seems more close to home, being shot in Britain I’m guessing. What led to direct this film?
It is definitely on my home turf and my intention was to bring in a British action hero. I’m a big fan of James Bond and I’m a big fan of Harry Potter, and I felt we needed to have a third big British hero to bring to a worldwide audience. I was trying to think about who that could be, whether it would be a detective or a superhero. I wasn’t quite sure who that would be because there was quite a gap for it.

Then, I came across the Stratton books by Duncan Falconer. It is about the SBS, or Special Boat Service, which is the British naval unit which was the forerunner of the U.S. Navy SEALS in the second World War. They are very secretive and I heard about them. And I thought, these are the elite. No one talks about them or hears about them, and I thought that was brilliant. That was a great place to set a character.

I met with Duncan himself, who actually was a naval intelligence officer in the 70’s and I also talked with present-day guys. You realize what really happens in the spy world, is much more of a team effort than portrayed in the Bond films. You have the MI6 agents who help out but you also have the Special Forces out there doing the action stuff. So, they would call up the SBS to go out on these missions so it’s the SBS and the Special Forces out there doing all the action.

In the Bond films, he’s given a bit of leniency and lets the spy do all the work. So, I thought I would come up with a more realistic, gritty version of how that world works. And between nine books and my conversations with Duncan, we had a huge amount of material to draw from. I thought it was a great world to start a new action hero character.

You’ve mention you have looked at the Stratton books. I am just starting on the first book. Have you read all of them or how many have you read?
Well, I’ve read six of the nine so far. As soon as I signed on to the project, I had to get started on the film right away. And that’s really based on the first one. And we had to update it because the original book was set in the 70’s. So, we had to update it because technology of course has changed. So what these guys have equipment-wise nowadays is incredible. They travel underwater with handheld GPS devices and can go for five miles and they also have underwater crafts. And with the movie, we used a drone as part of the bad guy’s weapons. That wasn’t around in the 70’s. So, we had to update that, but the character is basically the same. It’s just the gadgets and gizmos are different.

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Dominic Cooper, Simon West, and Tyler Hoechlin on the set of Stratton

Originally, Henry Cavill was set to play Stratton but the role ultimately went to Dominic Cooper, who I thought did a pretty good job in the role. What was he like on the set of the film?
Dom’s great! He’s a character actor, and that’s why I chose him. He’s not an action star. He hasn’t done that many action films, but he was intrigued to play that kind of role. He’s played a lot of intelligent roles. And everything he’s done is different. In every film he’s in, he is transformed which is very convenient. For this film, he had to learn the gun skills, the fighting skills. But, I was really relying on him for his acting skills to portray this brooding character. He’s a man of a few words. He doesn’t have much of a dialogue, but he had to portray it through his face and internalize a lot.

Having said that, the weirdest of good luck actually happened on the set. It turns out Dominic is an incredible, skilled high-speed driver. It came out of the conversation when we were shooting in Rome.  He was frustrated about one of the films he was in that was about car racing because he was sitting in front of a green screen and had to fake it all. I told him that if he thinks he was good, take a test drive around the streets now and show me. He was incredible. He could drive high-speed through these narrow alleyways in Rome with just a couple of inches on each side so I didn’t need as many stunt drivers. And luckily, Austin Stowell (who plays Stratton’s partner Hank Munro), was brave enough to sit in the car with him while he did all the stunt driving.

So, all I had to do was strap the cameras onto the car and let them just do their thing. They were leaning out of the car, shooting guns, bumping other cars, doing hairpin turns and just going high-speed. That was all Dominic and that was something I never expected.

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Simon West on the set of Stratton

That is quite impressive if you ask me. Did you face any difficulties while shooting the film?
Well, you know, doing these kind of films is just like going on a military mission. We don’t have people shooting at us, so it’s a little less dangerous. But, you do face a lot of the same problems. I mean, we shot during the hottest summer in Italy in 150 years. So, it was like 104-degrees and we made Dominic and Tyler Hoechlin (who plays Marty Stokes) run up the beach in 100 pounds of scuba gear over and over again to get the shots. Tyler actually ended up in pain and we took him to the hospital to make sure he was ok.

Then there was the boat chase in London. You spend weeks preparing in this one location. And the day before we were to begin shooting, they find this poisonous blue algae in the water, which can kill you if you fall in the water. So, we had to change locations in a day’s notice. We were shooting high-speed boat chases in water that no one has been on before. Luckily, it came out great and we all made it.

But yeah, these kind of action films are like an actual military mission. You have the obstacles and you have to overcome them. You have hundreds of people and the linguistics as well. I do like it though because it is a big adventure and I enjoy making them.

Well, I can say this looks like it could definitely be the start of a new franchise. If a follow-up does happen, would you want to return to direct it?
Oh absolutely! You learn so much from the first film. You have what works and what doesn’t work. You understand the characters. I would definitely be interested in doing a second film and would love to work with the same people again. They were a great cast to work with and I love the spy world. I love the Special Forces. It is such a great world to watch but also to make. So, yeah, I would love to do a sequel.

Are there any new projects in the works that you can talk about?
Well, I will say I am always developing four or five things at once, but at the moment, I am definitely having interest in working on a sci-fi project. I realized I love watching sci-fi films, but I never made one. So, I’m looking for a good sci-fi film to make. Stratton was meant to bring a great new British action hero and I’ve done that. So, I want to find a really great sci-fi film next.

That’s great! Well, Stratton comes to theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on January 5. I definitely see this as the start of a new franchise and this is definitely one to check out. Thank you again Simon for taking the time to talk about it.
Thank you so much!

A Special Thank You goes out to Katrina Wan PR and Simon West for making this, the first interview of 2018, possible! For more information on Simon West, go to his official Twitter page and check out Stratton on January 5!

 

“Mom and Dad” Trailer Shows Cage Truly Going Bat$#!@ Crazy

If you thought Nicolas Cage already gave crazy performances, then this is truly the icing on the cake.

The trailer for the upcoming Mom and Dad stars Cage and Selma Blair as a couple who, like many other parents, end up for 24 insane hours, attempt to attack their children. Sounds like Home Alone meets The Purge with Cage going absolutely off his rocker as he attempts to go after his kids, with the kids having no other choice but to protect themselves.

The film marks the solo directorial debut of Brian Taylor, who also wrote the film. Taylor is known for his very interesting collaborations with Mark Neveldine on the Crank films starring Jason Statham.

The film co-stars Anne Winters and Zachary Arthur.

Momentum Pictures will unleash Mom and Dad to theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on January 19.

“Martial Arts Kid” Sequel Updates

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The stage is getting set as three years after the original film, The Martial Arts Kid is returning and there are some recent updates involving not only casting, but how you can help make this sequel more exciting!

Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock are returning as Uncle Glen and Aunt Cindy with Brandon Tyler Russell returning as the one-time bullied Lenny, the best friend of the original MAK himself, Robbie. It has been announced that alongside Chuck Zito, whose character of Frank Whitlaw seeks retribution after the first film’s events, will be none other than Sasha Mitchell, who is best known for his roles as Cody Lambert on the 90’s series Step by Step and as David Sloane in the 1990’s Kickboxer sequels from 1990 to 1993.

On January 15th, 2018, an IndieGoGo campaign to raise extra funds to make The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback more exciting will be set up and you, the film fan whether you are a fan of films or like me, even liked the original film, can help. Go to martialartskid2payback.com on January 15 to see how you can make this happen!

The Martial Arts Kid is currently available on iTunes, DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD. Look out for The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback in 2018.

H/T: The Martial Arts Kid Official Facebook

Korean Political Thriller “1987: When the Day Comes” Hits the U.S. and Canada in January

A political conspiracy transpired thirty years ago in Korea and a film about the events is gearing for a U.S. and Canada release in January.

1987: When the Day Comes revolves around a college student who is killed during a police interrogation. Government officials quickly jump to cover up the death and order the body cremated, but the prosecutor who needs to sign off raises questions on the cause of death – a heart attack – and begins to dig for the truth. Despite a systematic attempt to silence everyone involved in the case, the truth gets out, sending a government fighting to keep power into political turmoil.

Jang Joon-Hwan directed the film, which stars Kim Yoo-Seok, Ha Jung-Woo, Yoo Hai-Jin, Kim Tae-Ri, and Lee Hee-Jeon.

The film gets a limited theatrical release on December 29 at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles and Buena Park before its national release date of January 12, 2018.