sequel

IndieGoGo Campaign for “The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback” is a Go!

It’s time to Go Go Go! With the success of 2015’s family film The Martial Arts Kid, it’s time for the sequel to finally come ahead.

But the filmmakers need your help! Traditionz Entertainment has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for the sequel The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback, in which Frank Whitlaw (Chuck Zito), reeling from the events of the first film, seeks retribution against Uncle Glen (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) and Aunt Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock).

Returning for the sequel are Brandon Tyler Russell as Lenny, the best friend of the original Martial Arts Kid, Robbie; and Matthew Ziff as town bully Bo Whitlaw, the son of the villain Frank. T.J. Storm returns as Coach Laurent Kaine. Newcomers for the sequel will include Anita Clay and Sasha Mitchell, who played David Sloane in three installments of the original Kickboxer saga in the 1990’s.

To help make this a bigger sequel to the 2015 original, go to http://martialartskid2payback.com/ and donate to make this sequel come to life!

 

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Shroff Sports New Look for “Baaghi 2”; Sequel Details

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Bollywood action fans…Tiger Shroff is returning and he’s got a new look.

The actor and martial artist has cut down his hair and looks unrecognizable as he returns as his character of Ronny in the soon-to-be released sequel Baaghi 2.

The original 2016 Bollywood martial arts action film caused controversy when the finale was lifted from the Indonesian film The Raid, prompting a lawsuit from the rights owner to remake that very film. The lawsuit was ultimately thrown out. Despite the controversy, the film was successful, which prompted this sequel.

To prepare for his return, Shroff underwent physical training and flew to Hong Kong to train with legendary action director Tony Ching Siu-Tung in other forms of martial arts. The female lead this time around is Disha Patani, who plays a new character, replacing Shraddha Kapoor.

It has also been revealed that the sequel will actually serve as a remake of a Telugu film entitled Kshanam, which was released in 2016 and revolved around an investment banker who reunites with his college sweetheart and helps her track down her child when she goes missing.

Ahmed Khan directs Baaghi 2, which is due for release on March 30, 2018.

H/T: NDTV, First Post, New Indian Express

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.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

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After saving the world, Eggsy and Merlin head to America to once again, you guessed it, save the world in this action-packed sequel.

Now a fully-fledged member of the Kingsman, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin has it all. A good job, a good home, and true love with Swedish princess Tilde. On his way home one night, he is ambushed by rejected Kingsman applicant Charlie, who is now equipped with a metal arm. After a big skirmish and car chase, Eggsy narrowly escapes both Charlie and the police. However, the metal arm’s remote trigger successfully hacks into the Kingsman system. The next day, while Eggsy is at dinner with Tilde and her parents, the entire Kingsman organization except for Merlin, is destroyed along with Eggsy’s home, which kills his dog JP and best friend Brandon.

Eggsy and Merlin use the “Doomsday Protocol”, which takes them on a journey to America to find the Statesman Whiskey Company in Kentucky. They meet Agents Tequila, Whiskey, and Ginger Ale. Together, they learn they must take down The Golden Circle, led by Poppy Adams. Poppy is a 50’s nostalgia obsessed drug cartel leader who has plans to make all drugs legal by tainting all forms of drugs with a potentially lethal dose of something that will cause death in a few days, yet she has the antidote. Eggsy, Merlin, and the Statesmen will need all the help they can get, including someone neither Eggsy nor Merlin would ever expect seeing again.

The 2014 hit film Kingsman: The Golden Circle helped launch the career of Welsh actor Taron Egerton to a bonafide star, allowing to kick butt with the best of them, including Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson. While the viewer gets a brief glimpse of Eggsy in his pre-Kingsman gear in a scene where he celebrates the birthday of one of his friends, we see Egerton fully committed in full Kingsman gear for most of the film, including an opening action sequence that is reminiscent of something you would see in a Fast and Furious film.

In quite a bold move, Julianne Moore plays the film’s villain, Poppy, which makes sense considering her being the biggest drug cartel queen in the world. However, Moore doesn’t bring a sense of actor, but rather brings the ruthlessness via her acting like a June Cleaver. Her Poppy Land just shows Poppy’s obsession with 50’s nostalgia, which meshes with advance technology. A particular scene brings a vibe reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or even, The Untold Story. Her sidekick, Charlie, brings back Edward Holcroft, now fitted with a robotic arm, and for him, it’s about revenge.

Mark Strong returns as Merlin and proves to be more of a big brother to Eggsy than just another agent skilled with gadgets this time around. Joining the two this time around are Channing Tatum, who makes quite an entrance as Tequila; Halle Berry as the “Merlin” of Statemen, Ginger Ale; and Pedro Pascal as Whiskey. Pascal gets the most action in, joining Eggsy and Merlin on their new mission. Whiskey’s use of the lasso and a whip makes quite an impact in his action scenes. And let’s not forget the elephant in the room, thanks to the marketing by Fox, which director Matthew Vaughn was a bit disappointed with in terms of revelations: the return of Colin Firth’s Harry.

Under the stunt coordination of former Jackie Chan Stunt Team member Brad Allan, the action in this film is just as good as the original film. From the eye popping opening car chase scene, to a great fight in a Kentucky bar to even a Mission: Impossible-style action scene set in a snowy mountain in Italy, the action of the film is impressive. In a move reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, we see a famous celebrity, making an extended cameo, throwing a slow-motion style flying side kick to one of Poppy’s goons, making it both hilarious and jaw-dropping. Of course, we see the heroes dish it out all to the tune of one of this celebrity’s songs in the background.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle quite frankly is just as good as its predecessor. The cast is in top form with both their antics and some exhilarating action sequences. If you liked the original, you will enjoy this one.

WFG RATING: A-

20th Century Fox presents a MARV Production. Director: Matthew Vaughn. Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, and David Reid. Writers: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman; based on the comic by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Cinematography: George Richmond. Editing: Eddie Hamilton.

Cast: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Halle Barry, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Colin Firth, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, Sophie Cookson, Michael Gambon, Björn Granath, Lena Endre, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson.

Jarmusch Planning “Ghost” Sequel

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Ghost Dog is planning a return…be prepared!

The 1999 indie action-drama film Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai has been hailed as a cult classic and nearly two decades later, Jim Jarmusch is planning to bring the character back.

Jarmusch, one of indie films’ greatest auteurs, is currently developing the sequel as either a theatrical release or even possibly, a television series adaptation. The news on the sequel was confirmed by Robert “RZA” Diggs, who provided the score and had a role in the original film.

The original film starred Forest Whitaker as the titular Ghost Dog, a mafia hit man who follows the code of bushido, the way of the samurai. It is unclear at this time whether Whitaker will return to the role, but it just seems right that he should come back to the role, even twenty years later.

More as this develops.

H/T: Dark Horizons

“Fantastic Beasts” Sequel Unveils Title and Cast Photo

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The cast of the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have arrived!

In this first cast photo, there are Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore), Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), Claudia Kim (Maledictus), Zoe Kravitz (Leta LeStrange), Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander), Katherine Waterson (Tina Goldstein), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), and a rockin’ Johnny Depp (Gellert Grindelwald).

In the upcoming sequel, Grindelwald has escaped custody and has set about gathering followers. In an effort to thwart his plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander who agrees to help but is unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.

David Yates returns to helm the film from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter universe.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to theaters on November 16, 2018 from Warner Bros.

H/T: Dark Horizons

Sanshiro Sugata Part Two (1945)

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Akira Kurosawa returns to the martial arts stage with this sequel to his 1943 film with elements that can be said to be an influence on some of today’s martial arts films.

In 1887 Yokohama, a young rickshaw driver is assaulted by an American sailor. Coming to the rescue is legendary judoka Sanshiro Sugata. Since he has defeated his archrival two years ago, Sanshiro has been a popular name all over Japan. His actions towards the sailor have attracted the attention of the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy wishes to introduce Western boxing to Japan. Boxing champion William Lister  wishes to compete in a fight against Sugata. Sugata, however, refuses, mainly due to the rules of the Shudokan. He is even more shocked to learn that jujitsu expert Kahei Sekine will fight Lister for both money and to bring the glory of jujitsu back.

Sekine’s action brings Sugata back to the Shudokan, where he meets his master Shogoro Yano. Sugata thinks he fights to bring the spirit of judo and realizes he crushes his opponents’ dreams. Yano, on the other hand, has different thoughts. He feels that fighting is not for seeing which style is better, but to ensure the survival of the Japanese martial arts.

However, as if the Western influence in Japan wasn’t bad enough for Sugata, things are about to get worse. At the Shudokan, two mysterious men appear. They turn to be Teshin and Genzaburo Higaki, the younger brothers of Sugata’s arch-nemesis Gennosuke Higaki. The Higaki brothers have mastered the art of karate and plan to seek revenge for their brother’s defeat. However, at first Sugata refuses to fight. That is, until the Higaki brothers begin to assault and injure various members of the Shudokan, Sugata decides he must end it once and for all.

Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa had a hit film with his original Sanshiro Sugata. The film despite having wartime censorship contained no pro-Japanese propaganda and turned out to be a classic film about the spiritual path of a judoka. When he was approached to do this sequel, he was unsure until Toho pushed for it. The end result is a pretty good film that has themes that can influence some of the current martial arts films of today.

The typical theme of revenge plays out for most of the film. While the Higaki brothers seek revenge against the titular Sugata for their brother’s upsetting loss, it is Sugata who ultimately must seek revenge when his students become victims of the karateka brothers. However, a plot twist arrives in the film as Ryunosuke Tsugikata plays both the hot-headed Tesshin and the defeated Gennosuke, who has found it in his heart to forgive Sugata and understand why he defeated him two years ago. Gennosuke even goes as far as giving Sugata the secret to his family’s form of karate. However, old wounds almost open when Gennosuke sees Miss Sayo, whom he fell for but lost her heart to Sugata.

Sugata’s conflict in life not only pertains to the revenge-seeking karatekas, but that of Western influence making its way to Japan. With the U.S. Embassy planning to introduce Western boxing to Japan, Kurosawa wrote the screenplay to bring forth perhaps a message for the survival of Japanese martial arts and goes as far as displaying Americans as “lovers of violence” as they constantly cheer for the boxing champion of the film. In a bold scene, Sugata walks towards a double door with two U.S. flags as he sees jujitsu expert Sekine beaten at the hands of the American boxer. The use of Western influence as an adversary in Asia can be later seen in films like Once Upon a Time in China, Fearless, and more recently, Ip Man 2.

The action sequences are well done for its era once again. Lead actor Susumu Fujita is truly at the top of his game as the titular judoka. Playing a jujitsu expert in the original, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata returns as a karateka and once again, their climatic battle is top notch. Instead of a wind-filled field, Fujita and Tsukigata duke it out in the snow filled mountainous area of a forest. The two contrasting styles are well planned by a group of four martial artists who served as the film’s action instructors. There is even Western boxing, courtesy of Middle Eastern-born actor Roy James, who plays boxing champion Lister. Unlike films like Rocky and Raging Bull, James resorts to using fast repetitive body shots rather than hit the head as much.

Sanshiro Sugata Part Two is truly a wonderful sequel to a classic martial arts film. It could be said to be a prototype due to its depiction of Western influence as more of a negative rather than a positive. With the addition of some shocking twists, it truly ranks as good as its predecessor.

WFG RATING: A

A Toho Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Akira Kurosawa. Producer: Motohiko Itô. Writer: Akira Kurosawa; based on the novel by Tsuneo Tomita. Cinematography: Takeo Itô. Editing: Akira Kurosawa.

Cast: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Yukiko Todoroki, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata, Akitake Kôno, Ichirô Sugai, Osman Yusuf, Kokuten Kôdô, Sôji Kiyokawa, Masayuki Mori, Seiji Miyaguchi, Ko Ishida, Kazu Hikari, Roy James, E.H. Eric.

The Secret Rivals Part II (1977)

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It is always a rarity when a sequel is just as good or at times, more superior to the original film. This sequel to Ng See-Yuen’s hit 1976 film proves to be one of those rarities with John Liu and Hwang Jung-Lee back to using their impressive kicking skills with Tino Wong making a worthy replacement for Don Wong (no relation) as the Southern Fist expert.

Six months after Shao Yi-Fei and Sheng Ying-Wei defeated the evil Silver Fox, it is revealed that the Silver Fox has a twin brother, Chin H. Chin Hu is also known as the Gold Fox. Upon learning that his brother is killed, he begins to not only look for the two heroes, but an 8-diagram map that leads to the gold that was robbed three years ago.

However, Sheng Ying-Wei has left to do government duty in the West. Before leaving, he entrusted the map to his younger brother Sheng Ying-Wu. Like his elder brother, Ying-Wu is an expert in the Southern Fist style. Gold Fox hires local thug Hsin-Yi to find Ying-Wu and get the map. Hsin-Yi will do the job only if he marries Gold Fox’s daughter. Reluctant, Gold Fox agrees.

Meanwhile, Shao Yi-Fei has returned to take on a former classmate turned troublemaker. On the other hand, Gold Fox has invented a new spinning weapon and has hired four assassins trained in kicking and four assassins trained in fist styles to take on the duo of Yi-Fei and Ying-Wu. This comes after Ying-Wu has avenged the death of his younger brother Ying-Yang by killing two of Gold Fox’s men while Yi-Fei defeated the remaining two after defeating his former classmate. With no option, Ying-Wu and Yi-Fei must devise a way to stop Gold Fox once and for all.

Ng See-Yuen proves that lightning does in fact strike twice with this second installment of the Secret Rivals films. Once again, Yuen finds a fantastic choreographer, this time being the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping. Woo-Ping definitely utilizes the talents of superkickers John Liu and Hwang Jang-Lee. However, as Wang Tao was unavailable (possibly shooting the similarly themed The Hot, The Cool, and the Vicious), a suitable replacement was found in former stuntman and bit part actor and martial artist Tino Wong.

Liu gets to show more of his kicking skills here and he spends most of his sequences going in full action mode. While the first film gave him a sense of mystery as to who he was, he gets more action here, even showcasing a hell of a fight against the late Blacky Ko. This time, Corey Yuen and Hsu Hsia get some action in as two henchmen of the Gold Fox, played by the awesome kicker Hwang Jung-Lee.

Similar to the first film, the finale is truly a delight to watch. Unlike the original, the film is more a smooth transition of just pitting Liu and Wong against Hwang, who resorts to not only using his trademark kicking skills, but a deadly weapon that looks to be two sticks that spin with the flick of his wrists. Aside from the added weapon, expect lots of kicking and acrobatics and even a surprise end to the finale.

If you liked the original Secret Rivals, then chances are you will love The Secret Rivals Part II. Liu and Hwang once again shine with their kicking skills and Tino Wong actually makes a suitable replacement for Don Wong here.

WFG RATING: A-

A Seasonal Film Corporation Production. Director: Ng See-Yuen. Producer: Ng See-Yuen. Writers: Ng See Yuen & Tung Lo. Cinematography: Chang Chi. Editing: Poon Hung.

Cast: John Liu, Tino Wong, Hwang Jung-Lee, Charlie Chan, Corey Yuen, Hsu Hsia, Yu Chung-Chiu, Sham Chin-Bo, Philip Ko, Blacky Ko.

Guyver 2 – Dark Hero (1994)

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The Japanese-born superhero is back in this far more superior sequel in which its host attempts to find where the units come from.

It has been a year since Sean Barker became the host of an alien-armored unit known as The Guyver. He has been using his powers to dispense vigilante justice incognito. However, he has been having nightmares that he cannot understand. When he learns of bear attacks at an archaeological dig, he is convinced that perhaps some of the attacks are coming from perhaps Zoanoids who escaped from Chronos, the company he has destroyed.

Upon seeing the dig site, he meets Cori Edwards, the daughter of the archaeologist in charge of the dig. Sean’s premonitions soon prove correct when he finds himself facing a Zoanoid as the Guyver. Atkins, an undercover agent, learns Sean’s secret and reveals to him that he had only destroyed the Los Angeles branch of Chronos, who are a worldwide business. Meanwhile, Crane, who works for Chronos, has learned about Sean’s secret as the Guyver. While Sean searches for answers once a spaceship has been unearthed, some major revelations are imminent and Sean will face his greatest challenge yet.

When American audiences were introduced to Yoshiki Takaya’s The Guyver in 1991 via a film starring Mark Hamill and Jack Armstrong, it was met with mostly mixed to negative reviews. While the film’s effects were a highlight, it was the action that proved to be a low point in the film. Three years later, Steve Wang, who co-directed the original film, goes solo for this sequel but this time around, he brings in a cast of mainly newcomers but knowing the first film’s big mistake, amps it up with the action.

David Hayter replaces Jack Armstrong as Sean Barker, the host of the Guyver. For a film debut, Hayter is not exactly a bad actor and brings a sense of emotion when he tries to discover the origins of the very unit he has merged with. This is just in addition of doing what the Guyver does best. Hayter would go on to become a well-known voice actor and screenwriter whose credits include X-Men, The Scorpion King, and even directed the underrated werewolf film Wolves.

Kathy Christopherson’s Cori is somewhat of a meshing of damsel-in-distress and a strong woman. While the character of Mizky Segawa appears in the film, it is relegated to more of a cameo and played by a different actress who thinks Sean is becoming delusional. The interaction between Sean and Mizky in this flashback becomes the catalyst for Sean’s quest. Bruno Giannotta plays the character of Crane as a very dangerous person whose look here and mannerisms has a reminiscence of veteran villain actor Michael Ironside. Christopher Michael proves himself to be a worthy ally as Atkins, an undercover agent who not only learns Sean’s secret identity but is willing to help him upon learning said secret as he has “tracked” the Guyver’s activity.

While the cast is mostly made up of newcomers so the acting isn’t exactly on an Oscar-type level, the real star of the film is the action. Knowing that the lackluster action helped make the original 1991 film somewhat of a mixed bag, Wang employed the services of the Alpha Stunts team to handle this film’s action scenes. The costumes in the film look lighter than its predecessor, this allowing more flexibility when it comes to executing martial arts action. Koichi Sakamoto truly adds a sci-fi element with the use of wirework, but the fight scenes here are simply stunning. Kudos goes to Stone Age Warriors actor Anthony Houk and Sakamoto themselves as they play the Guyver suit actors and perform some fantastic stunts with Sakamoto and fellow Alpha Stunts team founder Tatsuro Koike in the suit of Zoanoid Crane, who does the unthinkable, all leading to a fantastic fight-filled climax.

Guyver 2: Dark Hero is one of those sequel that truly outdoes the original film. The SFX are still great and even amps up some gore-like effects but the martial arts action is breathtaking. If you had reservations about the original film, then you will want to see this sequel for a heck of a ride.

WFG RATING: A-

New Line Cinema presents a Biomorphs Inc. production. Director: Steve Wang. Producer: Steve Wang. Writer: Nathan Long; based on the original characters created by Yoshiki Takaya. Cinematography: Michael G. Wojciechowski. Editing: Russ Kingston and Steve Wang.

Cast: David Hayter, Kathy Christopherson, Bruno Giannotta, Christopher Michael, Stuart Weiss, Billi Lee, Jim O’Donoghoe, J.D. Smith, Alisa Merline, Wes Deitrick, Veronica Reed, Stephen Oprychal.

“Kickboxer” Sequel to “Kick” Off in 2018

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Kurt Sloane will return to “kick” off the new year!

This past weekend, Kickboxer: Vengeance lead actor Alain Moussi took to Instagram to announce an official release date for the sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation, which back a few months, had mentioned a September release date. However, Moussi has announced that the film will be released on January 26, 2018.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane, Steven Swadling, and Sam Medina reprise their roles from the original reboot of the 1989 martial arts action film and will be joined by Christopher Lambert, Mike Tyson, Brian Shaw, Roy Nelson, Jessica Jann, and HafÞór Björnsson as the new big bad fighter, Mongkut.

Dimitri Logothesis co-wrote and directed the sequel with Rob Hickman producing.

Kickboxer: Retaliation is set for a January 26, 2018 release date.

H/T: Alain Moussi Instagram