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Friday, February 27, 2015

DBZ: Light Of Hope (2014) Movie Review

Above photo: (C) 2014 Robot Underdog, Poster of DBZ: Light Of Hope

Kudos to the hard working team over at Robot Underdog. With the myriad of fan films and web series out there, their version of Dragonball Z manages to rise far above the crop, and propels the DBZ series back to what the fans want to see; action, fights, and superpowers!

Funded entirely by the fans, 'Light Of Hope' Episode One follows the rise of two heartless and maniacal androids. Dispelling with names, for automaton reasons the two go by Android 17 and Android 18. Portraying the characters are Tyler Tackett and Amy Johnston. As adorable as Amy is, nice to see her portray an diabolical character, in 'Light Of Hope' stretching her acting chops.

Combating the evil androids are Gohan (Anton Bex) and Trunks (Jack Wald) two youngsters, still on the rise and developing their powers. The pair has a difficult battle on their hands, and appear not quite ready. The young characters have time to grow into their true selves and by the end of the episode are practicing harnessing their vast power.

Above photo: (C) 2014 Robot Underdog, screen cap of Amy Johnston as Android 18.


Episode one opens with the two androids terrorizing the population, and a call rings out for Gohan and Trunks. The two respond and of course an epic battle, or battles, ensue. Full of rage and aggression the four combatants battle all over and even float into the air. The fights are long, and full of the cartoon violence that Dragonball Z is known for, focused energy beams included!

Although 'Light of Hope' took a long while to complete the first episode, the cast and crew are in place for subsequent episodes and already a funding effort is underway to assist the team.

Overall this is an excellent start to the series and even works well as a stand alone short film. 'Light Of Hope' is full of action, and has a definite repeat watch factor, and rates a 9 out of 10!

Check out DBZ: Light Of Hope on youtube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opji5DgE_nQ
Check out the official Page for Robot Underdog @ http://www.robotunderdog.com/
Check out the exclusive Dan's Movie Report Amy Johnston interview @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/actress-amy-johnston-interview-c-2014.html
https://www.facebook.com/RobotUnderDog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cinematographer Carmen Cabana! - Featured in 'The Chemist'



Cinematographers are often the unsung heroes of film and TV. Their technical knowledge delves far deeper than just "holding the camera" Although there is an Academy Award for them, a select few are recognized, and many hone their craft in the shadows behind the scenes.

In addition, just like female directors, there are surprisingly a very small amount of female cinematographers, not sure why that is, but here is hoping people like Carmen Cabana can change that! Carmen recently worked on the Art Camacho feature 'The Chemist' so get ready for action!

Carmen Cabana is a cinematographer of Colombian and Venezuelan descent. Currently based in Los Angeles, USA. Carmen is an active cinematographer not only shooting in Los Angeles but on location (Mexico, Cuba and in multiple US states such HI, NE, CO, NY, MI, AZ, CA, FL, LA, OK and PA)
Carmen has shot several independent features including Vietnam War drama "Ride the Thunder"; action genre "The Chemist" directed by Art Camacho, "Bullet" starring Danny Trejo, Jonathan Banks and Torsten Voges; thriller "The Pact 2" starring Camilla Luddington, produced by Ross M. Dinerstein and acquired by IFC Midnight; urban drama "Destined" with Cory Hardrict, Hill Harper, Zulay Henao, Jesse Metcalfe, etc; Christopher Guest style comedy "All Stars" starring Fred Willard, John Goodman and Angela Kinsey among many others. She also worked as Additional Cinematographer on the film "Yellow" directed by Nick Cassavetes.

Her work has screened at many renowned film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, Cleveland International FF, Palm Springs FF, Newport Beach FF, Bel Air FF, Pan African FF, La Femme FF, Acapulco FF, Guadalajara FF, San Diego Latino FF, NY HBO Latino FF, and Comicon among many others.

One of her earliest works, "Cartas a Elena" (Letters to Elena) earned Carmen a "Diosa De Plata" nomination for Best Cinematography; besides receiving many more nominations and awards, the film also had a WideTheatrical release in Mexico, Spain and Costa Rica, and a Limited Theatrical release in the US.

Carmen is a Film Independent member and Project Involve Fellow (2010), A Sundance Director's Lab Crew Participant (2008) and a member of the Friends of the ASC educational program.
Her unique vision and effective way of working has allowed her to build a name for herself among other filmmakers. Her main effort focuses on complementing a director's vision through semiotic methods of visual storytelling. Carmen Cabana understands cinematography as the art of complementing a statement without being redundant.

Fluent in Spanish, English and basic Japanese, Carmen is an excellent communicator to her co workers.

Check her out on these Social Media and Official Websites:

.Official website: www.carmencabana.com IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2357496/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carmencabanaonline Twitter: https://twitter.com/carmencabana Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user3742716 
Instagram:
www.instagram.com/carmencabana

Keep reading Dan's Movie Report for exclusives on Carmen coming later in 2015!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weapon of Choice (2014) Movie Review



Harkening back to the 70s, in a time before CGI, quick edits, 'Weapon of Choice' finds an action niche. portrays Jack Lee, he is a retired assassin, and master of many forms of hand to hand combat, not to mention a wide variety of weapons. Incidentally Kang, co-wrote, produced, and directed the film!

The film does follow the 'Taken' plot line some what, daughter kidnapped and trained father, who will stop at nothing to get her back, but the two twists are the two lead females in the film are not shrinking violets, as police officer 'Ash' Jordan and Jack Lee's niece (who acts as his daughter) as Jamie Lee not only get in on the action, they are a part of it in an important way. The two actresses were very enjoyable to watch, taking time to get into character. Hats off go to Dennis as Jaime Lee, she had to be full of rage at times and daughterly at times and she really pulls it off.The second twist one you have to watch, I am not going to spoil it. It involves a hit-man for hire!

'Weapon of Choice' is a true independent film, a labor of love. The acting is decent for an indie film. Jino Kang, is a serious no nonsense guy, molded like old school Steven Segal.with a dash of 'Shaft' The film actually does have a 70s grindhouse vibe and even a classic car is used in the end.

There is copious action and fighting throughout the film. The choreography is rather enjoyable, and the filming is adequate. Obviously some combatants are far more skilled then others, towards the end, some guys seemed to be useless fodder, but Jino Kang keeps it interesting by varying the weapons, enough to keep up interest.

My minor complaint is the film does not seem to move from scene to scene with enough urgency, however it does become obvious that this is an attempt to provide character depth, as the film begins on the fly with action. Obviously, with a bigger budget, more time could be taken with accoutrements, and affording higher quality equipment, 'Weapon of Choice', although it has a few lull points, is an entertaining action movie, definitely worthy of a watch especially for fans of old school martial arts and 70s action films, and rates a 7 out of 10.

Lots of ways to watch!




Fist 2Fist 2: Weapon of Choice - Released Everywhere!
On iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/fist-2-fist-2-weapon…/id956655371
http://www.amazon.com/Fist-Weapon-Choice-Jino…/…/ref=sr_1_1…





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse Movie Review

Above Photo: (C) 2015 Universal Pictures




Universal Pictures have quite a clever marketing approach. By making lower budget versions of their original hits, essentially they are attempting to capture the magic of indie films, and shrink the financial impact. 'Dragonheart 3' is a real gem, and captures no pun intended, the heart of story telling, weaving a tale and caring about the characters.

'Dragonheart 3', produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis   is linked to the original, by the heart sharing of human and dragon, had a rather unique story in that the dragon is virtually powerless and forced to live in the shadows, by a ruthless powerful being who can put the dragon under his spell. Essentially the dragon needed the human companions to break the curse and free it. A dichotomy exists between man and beast, but their actions are linked. 'Dragonheart 3' is a "message" movie to fight you own battles, a task, often made more difficult when the odds are stacked.

'Dragonheart 3' opens with our 'hero' being denied knighthood, after he shows compassion to a local shop keeper and does not take his gold share and give to the ruthless king. The king tells him, in order to be a knight he must pay 100 "crowns" (assuming gold) He decided to journey into the forest to find, the mysterious meteor which has landed in an area of ruthless Picts. The 97 minute film is more of a quest film, than action, as the hero, red haired warrior, and wizard in training try to protect the dragon eggs from the clutches of the evil sorcerer.

The voice of Drago the Dragon is provided by Sir Ben Kingsley, but the true highlight of 'Dragonheart 3' is the spirited portrayal of Rhonu by actress , Tamzin, portrays a arrow wielding warrior and is hell bent on fighting for what she believes in. In 'Dragonheart 3', SHE is the one with the courage, even though Gareth () is linked to the dragon. In one scene she is running towards the fight while he is retreating in the opposite direction, remember though, he is not a knight. Tazmin actually is the hero in the film, and no, I will not spoil it! She added a lot of fire to 'Dragonheart 3' and definitely not just with her red hair.

Above photo: (C) 2015 Universal Pictures


The action, scenery, and various accoutrements of 'Dragonheart 3' were not spectacular, but pretty good, for the limited budget. It is obviously hard to compare, to the original film, in terms of atmosphere, but CGI artists were hard at work, creating a mythical being who moved in an out of the shadows.

A bit of humorous dialogue "She sneered at you, that means she likes you" is among the various sardonic lines scattered through 'Dragonheart 3'. The unique plot twist, the humor, coupled with the pace of the film, actually elevated 'Dragonheart 3' above the average direct to video film. 'Dragonheart 3' rates a 8 out of 10 a must own.

Film is available now on streaming links and blasts to DVD and Blu-Ray on February 24th! Follow Amazon link:


Friday, February 6, 2015

Dragonfest 2015! Get Ready! July 18th and 19th in Burbank, Califonia! (Exclusive!)

Above: New banner for Dragonfest!


It is closing in on that time of year again! With the new resurgence in action films, Michael Matsuda, in conjunction with the Martial Arts History Museum have re-energized the Dragonfest.

For 2015 a festival first, it expands to two days, and is now held at Holiday Inn Burbank-Media Center 1-818-410-4770. Click the Dragonfest link for information on how to get the discount of $118 per night! http://museumdragonfest.com/

Above: Dragonfest Promo Video!

The amazing event will feature anything and everything related to martial arts and action films. Trust me, watch for the film stars and a wide variety of things to enjoy and purchase.

Already confirmed at the event are:

1. John Mantegna
2. Steve Oedekerk
3. Cynthia Rothrock
4. Benny Urquidez
5. Fumio Demura
6. Olivier Gruner
7. Albert Leong
8. Art Camacho
9. Eric Jacobus


At Dragonfest 2015, meet accomplished Actor, Writer and Film Director Robert Parham. He will have a booth for both days at the event. Booths are starting to sell, gets your today before we sell out.
— with Robert Parham.

Watch for stars and producers from brand new films: The Martial Arts Kid, and The Chemist!

https://www.facebook.com/MAKMovie2014 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chemist/441007052705852

A great thing about this event, it only costs 30 dollars for both days and, it is tax deductible! Tables are also tax deductible as well!

Watch Dan's Movie Report for upcoming Dragonfest Exclusives! Interviews, pictures and video before, during and after the event!