Ashley Park Interview

Cupid's Paradise (2018) Movie Review (C) 2020 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Poster for Cupid's Paradise Greetings valued Dan's Movie report. Fresh off a successful festival run comes a new film cal...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Cupid's Paradise (2018) Movie Review (C) 2020 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Poster for Cupid's Paradise

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report. Fresh off a successful festival run comes a new film called Cupid's Paradise. The film centers around a woman named Jennifer Meyer (Andrea Martina) who has to find a match or else become a slave to cupid.  Making life difficult is the rating's system which displays the person's quality and looks scale based on a one to ten rating, all be it superficial.

The film is set in what looks to be the near future, a Miami Vice style bar updated for perhaps the mid 21st century. A sexy barista/bartender adeptly and intellectually portrayed by Crystal Huang  serves an elixir which can potentially increase your rating to be able to date higher quality people. It seems that if a person is lower than a 6 a match cannot be made.

Above: Crystal Huang, serving drinks with a side of hotness in Cupid's Paradise. She also serves as Executive Producer on the film.


The special effects are really spectacular for the short film. There is a lot of super imposed numbers above each person to show their rating, and the background is enhanced by some cool CGI.

The film is professional in all aspects with solid acting and production values for the small budget. Always interesting to see what film makers can do on limited funding.

Above: Talented Ivy Lao on set of Cupid's Paradise


The film was written and directed by the talented Ivy Lao. Ivy did a great short film called The Chase back in 2016.  Ivy is super organized and professional. Cupid's Paradise was her final work in college, she also did the film editing and visual effects among many other things. Ivy literally can work in all aspects of the film industry. I hope she can get a solid budget to do a feature film!

Cupid's Paradise is available beginning at 7:15 am on February 11th, 2020 on Dust https://www.facebook.com/watchdust

For more information connect with the film on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CupidsParadiseFilm/

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Global Legion FC Host Nina Bergman comes to South Florida!! Live MMA and Boxing Event! Exclusive Photos!


Above: Flyer for the event



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. I had the opportunity to hang out with Nina Bergman live. She was hosting a very cool fusion event mixing MMA and Boxing in the same night. Global Legion FC (Fight Club) took place December 13th at the Florida National Guard Armory in Miramar, Florida.

The eleven bout event had a unique ring with a cage at the base and ring ropes at the top. Check the photo below:




 Essentially they alternated between MMA and boxing, and successfully merged the two. Highlights of the even included a great bout with boxer Harold Calderon who is the WBC Latin champ and the return an victory of Thiago ( he was in the UFC, but has not fought in a couple of years. 




Since this is a movie site, I am going to focus on actress/singer/host Nina Bergman. She states “I was in Denmark and this job was surprising, I am in Florida now!” She was gracious enough to allow me to take a few red carpet photos and I took some of her in the ring as well! Watch for new 2020 interview with her soon! Kudos to the entire staff of the event from security to wait staff very professionally done, minor gripes only being the entrance music was playing during her intros and the running order of the fights was not posted on the flyer. Other than that the entire nearly 4 hour event was great!




The next event from the promotion is in February, 2020. go to http://globallegionfc.com/ for more information – Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/globallegionfc/


Facebook Connect with Nina @ www.facebook.com/ninabergmanworld 

All photos Copyright 2019 by Danny Templegod and are watermarked in photo. The photo of Nina and I on the red carpet was taken by a gentleman at the event, if you took the photo please connect to me and I will of course post your name as credit.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids (2019) (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod

Above photo: Poster from Blood Hunters Facebook Page (TriCoast Entertainment will release the film soon!)


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, Thanks to Sarah Chang I was able to get an early screener of Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids. The film had it's premiere at the 2019 Urban Action Showcase, and has won several awards. The film originated as a short film and has expanded into a feature. Actually Sarah told me initially it was supposed to be a pilot for a TV series. Vincent Soberano accents the comic feel with comic page transitions during the film, telling the story

Essentially Blood Hunters is a vampire hunting film, and clocking in at only 70 minutes, a very short one. Sarah told me that initially the film was supposed to be 90 minutes until it was edited for a TV pilot style length. The editing actually takes out much of the story elements and the film moves briskly from one action scene to another.

The story is a bit hard to follow with its truncated length, apparently there is a group of vampire hunters in an encampment who are training to fight the vampires. Sarah's character Gabriella is an unwilling member of this encampment and actually wakes up disoriented, not even realizing she is there. Normally a set up like this requires a backstory of some length and description, yet in Blood Hunters the audience is hurled into the story with the same malaise as the characters in the movie.

Transitioning to the training, Gabriella and other members of the encampment learn to fight, though it seems that most have some action and fight training prior. Jeff Centauri serves as the fight coordinator and keeps the fights moving fast, with more exaggerated movements for a comic book feel. Blood Hunters, although it has somewhat of a serious tone never feels like a somber movie.

Vincent Soberano as Bolo, has a important role, a last warrior guy, always showing up to save the characters from demise. Again though many of the fights in Blood Hunters were just too short and lacked the impact needed for the theme.

Sarah told me that although Mayling Ng had a small part in the film, she was basically on set only for one day and hardly had the time needed to do a proper fight. What should have been an epic fight between Mayling and Sarah turned into a 30 second quick cut action, that barely registered.

With all of my nitpicking it seems I did not enjoy Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids, actually I liked it for the potential of what it can become. Again I feel that this is more of a series rather than a movie and this was just the set up and proof of concept to show potential networks what can be created. In the movie world, if you create a 90 minute project that is it, you get the distribution and then the company puts out the product and moves on to the next one. In a series, more time is taken to make sure that the story and elements are up to the standard for an 8,10, or 13 episode season, and that it retains the audience throughout. The short film proved that they could do a feature, the feature hopefully will set up a series.

Blood Hunters would be a great fit for Amazon Prime or Netflix as an 8 episode limited series. This way all of the characters can be properly explored and detailed back stories can be told. In the 70 minute film we never hear about where the characters came from except in very limited flashbacks. The good thing about the short run time is there is no wasted padding, just action.

The lighting, sets and music are OK, I kind of wish more time was taken on the look of the film. Many parts of the film were very dark, with the action being rather hard to see. I am sure with a bigger budget, either with a new feature or a series, the team will have the opportunity to hire more prominent set decorators and cameramen.

Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids has potential, and that is the basis for my review. When I review indie films, I compare them to other films of the same budget and how they stack up. I mean it is unfair to compare this film to a 50 million dollar block buster, but it does compare favorably to films of the same budget.

Overall Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids, is long on action leaving the audience wanting to see more. As for a rating, I will say 7 out of 10, some issues I had are out weighed by the overall ideas behind the film and the potential it has.




Acceleration (2019) Movie Revie (C) Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod



Above: Poster of Acceleration from IMDB (C) 2019 Cinetel Films

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Thanks to Natalie Burn, I heard about the filming and eventual release of Acceleration. Natalie also serves as the film's producer and casting director, Acceleration has a rather simple plot of a crime lord Vladich Zorich played by Dolph Lundgren who is doubled crossed by Rhona Zyocki (Natalie Burn). Rhona must complete a night full of tasks in order to get her son back.

Acceleration is a decent action flick, with little wasted time. Clocking in at a mere 85 minutes even after the credits, the film progresses from one action sequence to the next with rapid fire succession. Amazingly there is an incredible array of action star cameos from Danny Trejo, Rampage Jackson, and Chuck Liddell. My only issue here is that all of them are in the film for such a short time, that none of their characters are given any backstory. Wonder Woman actress Mayling Ng, plays some sort of crime kingpin, and Natalie Burn is sent in one of her endeavors to eradicate her. As cool as this set up is, I wish the fight was a bit longer, and Mayling's character was explored further.

Acceleration has a good sense of urgency, never slowing down for a sappy love scene nor downtime. Sometimes the film is even too fast, sliding from scene to scene so rapidly the audience has barely enough time to catch up. My other complaint is the film, most of which occurs at night is so dark, that it is hard to see some of the action. For a low budget indie though, it is a bit better than most, and watchable. With each person Natalie has to encounter she seems to get more brazen and less concerned about what happens to her, more focused on the mission and getting her son back. This fact is often lacking on many indie films.

Natalie Burn is a solid talent, and she is constantly approving. She has a dark and sultry look, somewhat sweet, yet dangerous. This is a big starring role for her and she proved she is up to the task of carrying a movie. Natalie has obviously trained in fighting and gun play, and has worked on her acting skills as well. Obviously it is very difficult to produce and star in your own film, yet Natalie made a wise choice, as Acceleration serves as a great acting reel for her in future projects. I think she deserves a big shot at a theatrical film.

Directors Daniel Zirilli and Michael Merino serve as Acceleration's directors with Merino being the screenwriter. Zirilli is adept at directing action, and in Acceleration it shows. Acceleration has a bigger film feel, than it's small budget, and having a Maserati Sedan as Natalie Burn's transportation, some slick locations, and a solid cast of established stars.

Check out the shout out from the set for Dan's Movie Report:

 

Overall Acceleration has some pretty cool scenes and is worth a watch. The film rates a 7 out of 10, and Natalie Burn is a future action star in the making.

Relatively quick from the January production to the release in November, Acceleration is available now on Cinetel Films Check out the film on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Acceleration-Sean-Patrick-Flanery/dp/B07YQ9WXH9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Acceleration+2019&qid=1573276498&sr=8-1

Above trailer: 



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Actress Sarah Chang Interview (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod


Photography credit: Marti Pascual Salva (All photos used with permission and are for promotional purposes only not monetized)
Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. Blood Hunters: Rise Of The Hybrids is premiering at the 2019 Urban Action Showcase, and lead actress Sarah Chang sits down and chats about her experience on the film. Sarah has an engaging personality and is driven to work hard and achieve success in the international acting world. This is our third interview, please refer to the links below to read our 2017 and 2018 interviews:

2017: Wolf Warriors 2 http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2018/07/actress-sarah-chang-interview-wolf.html
2018: The Trigonal: http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2018/08/actress-sarah-chang-interview-2018-dans.html
Dan's Movie Report: Chat about the script and comic book feel of the Blood Hunters.

Sarah Chang: Blood Hunters is based off a comic book Director Vincent Soberano drew himself, he based it off of the Filipino folklore he listened to as a child.  The story is set in a world where Aswang (similar to vampires) run the world, families are torn apart and people live in fear.  While most cower away from the Aswang, there are groups of mercenaries that hunt the Aswang to collect their blood for a dubious scientific research firm.  A team of mercenaries band up with and avenging cop and a notorious hybrid (a human with aswang blood) to take down the Aswang race once and for all.  While the entire story is created in an alternate universe, the movie flips back and forth between comic book panels and reality, much like Sin City.   I personally love that extra comic book feel.  It really allows you to delve into a different world.




DMR: Perhaps describe a bit of the process that went into creating your character Gabriella, were you a bit nervous to take on the lead role in the film?

SC: For each role, I start my preparation with Uta Hagen's 9 questions to understand the character's circumstances.  At the time, that was definitely the only way that I felt comfortable.  Based on that, I delved into a state of anger and pain. As my first lead role in a feature length film, I was quite nervous to take on such a significant role.  It was even harder with jammed packed days and so much choreography.  As an actress, you always strive for that lead role, but when actually get that lead role, it's quite overwhelming and a really big responsibility.  Now that I've done several lead roles, I think I would have prepared in a different manner.



DMR: Actually this question is for Vincent but feel free to chime in, Chat about meeting with the Executive Producers and selling the idea of an expanded feature film?

SC/VS: Vincent was looking to turn his short film Blood Hunters into a TV pilot. After his short film won Best Action Film at UASE, he caught a lot of attention. Monsour Del Rosario, a popular action star in the Philippines, wanted in as the lead and also invested in the film. With Monsour signed as the lead, the project attracted funding from the likes of Hollywood entrepreneur Bob Romer, actor Stacey Michelon, TV producer Tonino Habana and film producer Oli Laperal. After Vincent finished shooting what he intended to be a TV series pilot, he was prodded to release it as an expanded feature film.



DMR: Jeff Centauri is a well known Fight Coordinator and I have had the pleasure of meeting him in LA in 2004, chat about working with him and crafting the action of your character. His style is more comic book with quicker fights and your style seems a bit different, chat about some of the ideas you had with regards to the action, and some of Jeff's ideas and how things merged together.

SC: With regards to the action choreography, we were really blessed to have a great team of martial artists to fuse together all of the very traditional Filipino Martial Arts.  That was the first time I had learned Filipino martial arts, so I was really thrust into a very demanding schedule to learn all the different styles.  I learned illustrisimo with Master Arnold Narzo, Modern Arnis with Master Bax, Balintawak with Master Patrick Balos, and trained Kali Arnis with Reviric Jocson, Jim Tulipas, Jim Lim, Angelo Estanol, and of course Wushu with Temujin Shirzada who played Naga.  It was a really incredible experience. These were the guys that really created the fight sequences. Jeff was very creative in his camera techniques, he used some really nice camera angles that complemented the choreography.  He also helped to adjust some movements to make them more cinematic.  Vincent was really hands-on and specific about the action cinematography and choreography, I think we all made a great collaborative effort. 

DMR: Chat about having an action sequence with Mayling Ng, how long was she on set and chat about some of the choreography you worked on?

SC: I loved working with Mayling, she was so energetic and sweet the moment she jumped on the set. She was actually a late addition to the cast. Vincent had to write in her character on our first day of shooting, and additional funding had to be pulled in to able to hire her. Unfortunately, we only had a day to work with her because of budget constraints, so the choreography was quite short and simple. Vincent was actually making up her scenes on the spot, while we were shooting!

DMR: Chat about the dialogue in Blood Hunters, how you prepared for your role with emotions and body movements.

SC: There was actually three times more dialogue in the shoot than what was shown in the final cut because Vincent wanted the movie to go straight to the action. There was even a love scene, a dialogue with my screen grandson and some comedic lines.  Actually on the set Naga and I were in a constantly in character, we were basically in battle the entire movie. 



DMR: We spoke about the film being originally 90 minutes then edited down for a TV show to 70 minutes, which is what is the end result, maybe you can share with my audience what are some of the things missing from the original 90 minute film to the 70 minute film.

SC: Vincent cut out a lot of scenes with a lot of dialogue. I even played the role of a grandmother in a flash forward scene.  There were a couple of cute, comedic moments as well. However, a lot of these sequences tended to drag the story and take away the comic effect that Vincent wanted. He wanted the audience to have an experience like reading a comic book, not a novel. Thus, in the end he compromised and shaved out several scenes to push the action.

DMR: Finally an in general question, chat about working on film in the Philippines and what are some of the things you like about it and some of the things that can be improved.

SC: I love working in the Philippines.  I was catered to the moment I stepped foot into Manila.  Everyone is always so happy and accommodating.  Also it's much easier to communicate in the Philippines because most people can speak English, albeit with a "nosebleed" as they call it. It almost feels more like a really great vacation sometimes.  Stay in a hotel, go to great beach locations, train martial arts, shoot, and repeat.  On the flip-side, not everyday is like that, it can be a grind when sometimes the set is too lax, and people are not doing their job quickly and efficiently.  There's a saying in the Philippines that is called "puede na yan" which means "it's good enough", which really lowers the standards because people just allow something to be half-assed.  I do see that happen on the set, that could be improved.  During Blood Hunters, I thought the wire rigging could be improved and then Vincent and I started our own action design and rigging team.  I think all countries have their pro and cons, it's all about how you deal with those problems.  We've just been fortunate to meet like-minded passionate people who are interested in pushing the action genre in the Philippines.

DMR: Chat if you can about upcoming projects.

SC: Next year is definitely going to be a busy year, we've got several of projects lined up.  I'm really excited for an upcoming Chinese Filipino co-production that I will be starring in with the same production team behind Wolf Warrior 2.  The director Ming Su has already made several trips to the Manila to start our tactical training and I can't wait until we start production early next year.

Thanks Sarah for taking time out of your busy schedule to conduct this interview. For further information on Sarah Chang, connect with her on social media and check out her 2019 reel: