Jailbreak (2017)

Posted in Reviews

Jailbreak forms part of a cultural renaissance in Cambodia following the slow rebirth of its local film industry after years of political upheaval, war and bloodshed. Interestingly, although this multilingual film is proudly and predominantly spoken in the Khmer language (with moments of French and English), it has taken a mostly European-trained crew – including Italian-born director, Jimmy Henderson, and UK-based stunt performer, Jean-Paul Ly – to put Cambodian action cinema on the map. The country’s lack of cinematic infrastructure does little to dampen the creativity or enthusiasm shown on screen, and the team do a fantastic job on a …

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Assassin’s Creed (2016)

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Director Justin Kurzel reunites his Macbeth cast of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard for this disjointed sci-fi action yarn based on a video game – which has never been a phrase to fill anyone with confidence. The scenes that feel most like a computer game are actually the best parts of the film; namely the free-running flashback fight sequences across 15th century Spanish rooftops. These are all atmospheric, slick and punchy. They tell of a dedicated band of ninja-like assassins who seek to restore order in Spain at the height of the Inquisition, who covet the so-called sacred ‘Apple of …

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Kung Fu Yoga (2017)

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“I love Indiana Jones,” says Jackie Chan‘s character, Professor Jack Chan (yes, really), who is “China’s greatest archeologist”. At the behest of an undercover Indian princess (Disha Patani), Jack is recruited to recover the lost treasure of Magadha, believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism and a site of significant historical importance in the development of Chinese-Indian relations. At times, the film’s script sounds more like a public information film, referencing things like the ‘one belt, one road’ policy, as if Jackie Chan fans have much interest in China’s cross-border trade agreements. Even the title suggests a union, of sorts, …

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Dirty Ho (1979)

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A note-perfect kung fu film from Lau Kar-leung which is character-driven, full of remarkable fight choreography and great fun. In shades of Henry IV Part 2, Gordon Liu plays one of the Emperor’s 14 sons, Wang, a successor to the throne, who shuns the royal life in favour of sampling China’s cultural delights: art collecting, wine-tasting and the study of kung fu. He travels incognito and bores the girls at his local brothel, where he takes a shine to the thieving young local boy, Ho (Wong Yu). Lau leaves the reason for Wang’s affection for the boy open to interpretation. He …

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The 18 Bronzemen (1976)

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The formerly wooden guardians of Shaolin’s inner sanctum turn bronze (or, rather, bald men in gold body paint) in this modestly budgeted kung fu film from Joseph Kuo. It’s a great gimmick to disguise an otherwise routine period-set political pot-boiler. The image of the 18 bronzemen is now somewhat iconic (in geek terms), despite the fact the titular guards are criminally underused, given adequate airtime in the first half of the film only to disappear completely and never return. Once their guard is broken, skull-busting disciples Carter Wong and Yee Yuen leave the temple with vengeance in mind, hunting down …

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Profile: Matthias Hues

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 14 February, 1959 (Waltrop, Germany)

Occupation: Actor, martial artist.

Style: Taekwondo, kickboxing.

Biography: Matthias Hues is a German-born martial artist and actor. He was born in Waltrop, Germany. He is the son of Dr. Josef Hues and Maria Humperdinck Hues – the niece of the Hansel and Gretel composer Engelbert Humperdinck. Hues was a sports enthusiast when growing up. At the age of 19, he was part of a German pentathlon team which won medals in Hannover, and was the German hopeful in track and field events. He proved himself to be very quick despite his weight and 6’5″ height, …

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KFMG Podcast S02 Episode 21: Matthias Hues

Posted in Podcasts

“You can’t be normal to win this game. You have to be insanely competitive.”

Today we welcome one of martial art cinema’s all-time greatest villains to the show. The giant, musclebound German fighter Matthias Hues has spent a career taking on the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Cynthia Rothrock, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Bolo Yeung, Billy Blanks, Lorenzo Lamas and Mark Dacascos. But despite his on-screen persona, Matthias is actually a very sweet-natured person, as revealed in this wide-reaching, in-depth conversation. His story is fascinating. It starts in the small town of Waltrop, Germany. He became a highly successful owner of health …

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Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger (1976)

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There’s a genuine sense of grief and anger in this Bruceploitation offering, made only three years after Bruce Lee‘s sudden and mysterious passing. This explicitly links Lee’s death to Triad drug pushers and sends Bruce Li out to investigate. He plays David – Lee’s close friend and kung fu student, not to mention an idolising lookalike – who lands in Hong Kong during a media storm to find the film star’s mistress, called Suzie Yeung (a cipher for Betty Ting Pei), being harassed by crooks over evidence which suggests using Bruce Lee as an international drugs mule. The film essentially …

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Dynamo (1978)

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An interesting Bruceploitation flick in which a Bruce Lee imitator (Bruce Li) is caught in the crossfire between two warring Hong Kong advertising agencies. Li is a taxi driver who becomes a big-shot fighter due to his likeness to the fallen movie star. He’s hired by a ruthless ad lady called Mary (Mary Hon) who flies in from head office during Bruce Lee’s funeral to transform the fortunes of the company’s Hong Kong branch. “A lot of people are cashing in on his death,” says her local fixer, just before Bruce Li can be seen wearing Lee’s yellow jumpsuit from …

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Profile: Michael Worth

Posted in Profiles

Date of birth: 13 January, 1972 (Philadelphia, US)

Full name: Michael Troy Worth

Occupation: Actor, writer, director, producer, stuntman.

Style: Aikido, karate, Northern Shaolin, Eskrima, Jeet Kune Do, Tang Soo Do.

Biography: Michael Worth was born in Philadelphia to German and Delaware Indian Native American heritage. He spent his childhood around the Chesapeake Bay area before the Worth family relocated to northern California. Michael’s first experiments with film was at the age of 10, when he made his own films using a Super 8 camera bought by his mother. He was captivated by kung fu movies growing up, in particular, the Bruce Lee and …

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