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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cynthia Rothrock Interview! SHE IS BACK! (C) 2012 Dan's Movie Report

Update 2014: Cynthia premieres new Martial Arts Kid Trailer at SDCC! http://www.dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-martial-arts-kid-trailer-drops.html

Follow link to see Cynthia Rothrock live in the Summer of 2012 at a Martial Arts Seminar!



Exclusive!!! (C) 2012 Dan's Movie Report! Danny Shamon!
See Cynthia Live in Detroit on March 24th 2012! Click Link for more information on The Battle For Detroit! Also with Don (The Dragon) Wilson! Battle of Detroit Registration and info!


Above Pic: Jump kick! Cynthia is Back!

The 2012 year of action is officially in high gear! After 8 years I chat with Cynthia Rothrock about her long layoff and her glorious return to film in White Tiger, which begins principal photography on February 2nd! Time for the young bucks to be taught in the ways of The Rock, Cynthia Rothrock! Enough of my noise you all know who she is, on to the interview!

Who are some of your acting and fighting influences? Why do you like them?

When I was young my hero was Jackie Chan.  My martial art teacher Shum Leung would take us to Chinatown every Sunday after class to watch a Kung Fu movie.  I was amazed by Jackie Chan.  I would go home and try to remember all the tricky moves he did and copy them. I just loved how creative he was, where he could take any implement in a room and use it as a weapon.



Above Pic: Cynthia Demonstrating the "Rothrock Sting" at a recent Seminar
 


Are you looking forward to returning to acting again? Did you miss the layoff?

I am very excited to return to acting.  I did miss it but my life completely changed when I had my daughter.  I wanted to be home with her instead of working on a set.  Most of my films were out of the country so it wasn't something easy to do.  I did Outside the Law when Sky was turning two.  We shot it in Puerto Rico and my mom came with me to watch her.  That worked out great, but when she turned five I couldn't take her out of school to travel with me.  Now she is turning thirteen this summer it is much easier for me to get away, and the invention of facetime really helps.

Do you think the movie business has changed with the rise of immediate
downloads like netfilx?


I don't think it has changed, because they still have to pay Netflix for the right to have the movies downloaded.  The companies make money, and the volume of people watching them is probably larger now.




 

What current actors or actresses you enjoy watching?


I love watching great actors.  Right now I am in love with "The Artist". I thought that both Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were incredible.  To pull off amazing performances without sound was astounding.  I also love watching Kenneth Branagh who always gives a brilliant performance.

How about the action films, now seems to be a better time to be a
woman in an action film, probably more roles are opening up?


It definitely is a better time right now.  I was hoping Haywire would have done a lot better.  If it did it would have opened more doors for women that can really fight.  I worked with the girls from Charlies Angels, again the show was cancelled.  But at least big studio's are starting to make action movies with women.  When I was doing films it was a hard sell to get into the big pictures.  I still hope someday I can cross that border.  I came close with a TV pilot and a film which was to be shot with Sly Stallone.
 
How did you get involved in White Tiger? What is the plot about?


George Tam, the line producer of White Tiger contacted me to be in his film.  The plot is Matt Mulins partner is killed in Bangkock, and he goes over seeking revenge.  He teams up with Don Wilson an ex mercenary, who has had a drinking problem to help him.  I play the bad guy (or I should say girl) in this film.  It's only about my 4th time in my career where I am the bad one.  I am looking forward to playing the role.

Dean of Pentagram Pictures told me you are going to be involved with Friday's Child, a horror film, are you looking to branch out to different film genres?

I have always wanted to be in a horror film.  Horror is one of my favorite genres as long as the story is good.  I love the script of Friday's Child, and really hope Dean can get the financing for it.  Plus it's shot in London, one of my favorite cities.  I also just got a script for a Dracula film, which I always wanted to play a vampire.  I may not be a vampire in it, but the vampire hunter.  Still close enough.

If you could change one thing about the movie business today what
would it be and what would you do to alter it?

LOL, to use me in a big budget film or tv show, and prove to the that it could be a success.

How about women in action films, do you feel often they are portrayed
as comic relief and the fighting is not as serious as the guys?


No actually I don't find that when they use women they are the comic relief. 


Above Pic: Classic Rage and Honor Poster

 

Do you miss the 80s style HK films, full of action, or do you enjoy
today's films more? Why?


I miss the Hong Kong action so much.  Deep in my heart, I know that my Hong Kong films have the best fight scenes in it.  I love doing this kind of action, which is the most challenging for me. I would love to work with Cory Yuen again, now in today's type of films, kind of like a female Jason Statham.

What about up and coming martial arts stars, actors, or actresses you
enjoy, who are they, and what attracted you to their work?


I love Jason Statham, the way he does action and also the story lines of most of his films.  I was surprised to hear he didn't have a martial art background.  I haven't seen Haywire or Columbiana, yet both both trailers look like the female action is quite good.  I also feel Robert Downey Jr. does an excellent job with the fighting in the Sherlock Holmes films. I always said it doesn't matter if it is male or female, good action is good action.

Is there and actor or actress you would love to work with that you had
not had the opportunity to? Who and Why?

Oh there are so many that I would love to work with.  I would like to work with Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Johnny Depp, how cool that would be to be a pirate, or on the flip side do a Disney movie similar to the Rock style.

2012 will be a busy year for Cynthia, any thoughts of going behind the
camera to produce any films or TV shows?


No, I think I will just stick to the acting side of it.  Although I have to say I loved training the girls for Charlies Angels.  Since I know about action, and making it sell as a woman, I felt I had a lot to offer them, as to what makes them look strong.  It's not only the action, but bringing the spirit and look to it as well.  Also being a photographer, I wouldn't mind taking the pictures LOL.

THAT is it for now, more updates from White Tiger as they happen! Cynthia is preparing to begin her journey back to action once again. For more information high kick your browsers to her official site @ www.cynthiarothrock.org


Keep reading Dan's Movie Report! Where the action is in 2012! 

Below is the older interview which ran on kungfucinema on 4-18-04! 

INTERVIEW: Cynthia Rothrock, the Lady Dragon
by Danny Shamon (2004.04.18)

For martial arts and action movie fans, actress Cynthia Rothrock needs no introduction. She has graced the cover of every martial arts magazine and has legions of fans on both sides of the Pacific. Cynthia has evolved from an undefeated forms and weapons champion in the early eighties, to a veteran of over 40 feature films. She has more experience than any other American in Hong Kong films, and has worked with legends Sammo Hung, Corey Yuen, Yuen Biao, and Michelle Yeoh. In addition to movies, she played The Fire Elemental Enforcer 2 on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys television series episode "Not Fade Away."

Cynthia is always training and late last year opened up a martial arts school in Studio City , California . She also shares her vast knowledge by conducting seminars nationwide. Cynthia is one of the busiest women in Hollywood with a variety of activities, but still loves to spend time with her friends and fans.

KFC: Yes Madam was your fist feature film, what made you make the transition from martial artist to movie action star?


Cynthia Rothrock: I grew up watching the Jackie Chan movies. I would always fantasize about being a film star like him. I never thought it was a reality, just a dream. At the time, I was on the first professional demonstration, the West Coast Demo team. We were known all around the USA . One day, the then editor of Inside Kung Fu magazine called the team leader and said that a Hong Kong company was looking for a new male to be like Bruce Lee. Since there were a few girls on the team he decided to bring everyone. When I got to the karate school where they were holding auditions, I saw many martial artists that I knew trying for the part. When my name was called I did some forms, weapons, and self defense techniques. After looking at everyone they decided to go with me instead of a guy. When I went over to Hong Kong to do Yes Madam I thought I would be doing one movie only and that would be it. After I finished filming, Sammo Hung asked me to be in another one. After that movie, Shanghai Express (AKA Millionaire's Express), I knew that that was what I wanted do for a living.

KFC: Who was you favorite Hong Kong actor and actress to work with?

CR: My favorite actress in Hong Kong to work with was Michelle Yeoh. We became good friends on the set of Yes Madam. My favorite Hong Kong actor to work with was Yuen Biao. He is so talented and our timing was really close so it made the fights much easier to do when both actors are in sync with each other. At the time he didn't speak English so all we ever said was, "hi" and "bye," and did our scenes together, his in Cantonese, mine in English.

KFC: Working on several Hong Kong productions, how did you get around the language barrier to get your point across on the set?

CR: The language barrier was quite difficult for me at first. Hardly anyone spoke English nor understood it. I had a translator there at first. At first they wanted me to say my lines in Cantonese. Do you know how hard it is to learn this language? Never mind that since it was my first film, I didn't know anyone on the set, and saying lines in English was hard enough. I thought ok; well I'll try to remember the Chinese, even though I didn't know what the translation was. Well, Corey Yuen was the director and he yelled action I just started repeating the first two words over and over again. No one seemed to mind. Well then I panicked and the producer came over to me and said no problem just say, "bull shit" and "goddamn." I eventually learned how to communicate through sign language and then I started to take Cantonese lessons, but I wasn't very good at it. When I would speak I don't think anyone understood. We were trying to understand each other, and Corey was trying to speak English. One day he said go closer on my dialog, and I was up against the actor’s ear until I realized he meant farther away.

KFC: Did you find that the more experience you had, the more a particular director or stunt choreographer would listen to your ideas?

CR: Well in Hong Kong , they knew what I could do and what I thought I couldn't do. Somehow they always got me to do whatever they wanted. I worked with Corey Yuen a lot so his people knew that they could show me anything and I would try it and keep practicing it until I got it down. As I started doing American movies I would change the moves if I didn't like them. The great thing about working on Chinese films is that the action is so good; I never needed to change their ideas.

KFC: What was your favorite fight scene in any of the movies that you have done?

CR: Wow! That is a tough one. I loved all my Hong Kong fight scenes. I guess if I really had to pick one, I would say the rope scene in Lady Reporter (AKA The Blonde Fury). We did a week of fights on the ropes. It was very difficult. The ropes were hard and would burn your legs when you bounced off them. All the bruises were worth it though, because I thought the fight scene was brilliant.

 KFC: Give some insight into you newest film Sci-Fighter. Describe your character The White Dragon.

CR: I really enjoyed acting in Sci-Fighter. I loved playing the White Dragon because she wasn't a person but a video game character. The only other time I got to play a character in costume was in Hercules. I also played Sally, the professor's assistant. He modeled the White Dragon after her so I got to play dual parts which were both enjoyable. We did a bit of wirework which was great. I haven't done wires since I left Hong Kong . My favorite part of the movie was where I ran across a body of water. The White Dragon was good, unlike all the other characters. She wanted to help the Jack character find his son and get out of the video game alive. Fighting to her was easy and fun.

KFC: Although Sci-Fighter didn’t have too much wire work in it; do you think it is overused in action films today?

CR: I think for awhile wirework was overused. I think audiences started getting bored with it so it has ceased. It works in some movies now and then but not all of them. I'm glad they got back to regular strong action.

KFC: What prompted you to open your new teaching facility in Studio City ?

CR: Although I love doing movies I still missed teaching martial arts. I always wanted to open up a school but I couldn't do it alone because of my movie schedule I couldn't be there all the time. I met Charles Mattera from United Studios of Self Defense and decided to partner up with them on a United Studio in Studio City , California . We opened in October, 2003. The address is 12147 Ventura Blvd. , Studio City , CA   91604 . The phone number is 818-980-1809. I chose United because I loved the way they thought [about] the martial arts. They want to make sure that if you are a student you will definitely learn how to protect yourself. I was impressed with the people from United because of their integrity, respect and caring for all the students involved with them. For all the fans of this site, if you live in the area mention that you read this interview and that I invited you to a free private lesson at the studio.

KFC: What future projects do you have in the works; movies, TV, or other events?

CR: I have two movies slated this year. One will be a TV movie with potential to be a TV series and the second is one that I am going to produce with my partner Gerard St. Germain. It will be different than any movie I have ever done before with a strong horror/vampire emphasis. I am very excited about this and we are working on the script at the moment. I am also working with United Schools of Self Defense on a program called Bunkai. It is the first martial art exercise program that helps you burn fat at the same time learn real self defense moves. We should have an infomercial on Bunkai on TV in May.

Danny Shamon is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Kung Fu Cinema. For more information on Cynthia Rothrock and her current projects visit these sites:


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure Movie Review


Above Pic: Poster of film on IMDB


The 2012 year of action on Dan's Movie report takes a swerve to the far East for a bit of lighthearted family oriented, romance mixed with action in The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure. This is the fourth installment of the series and no I HAVE NOT seen the other films. Actually The two main reasons I am reviewing this film are that even though the film is two years old, there are no critic reviews on IMDB, and because of the tremendous amount of searches on my site for all things Selina Lo related, I know my readers have extremely excellent intellect and astute vision. haha!

The story opens with the King and Queen of Denmark (Chris Geere) and (Kam Heskin) going to Thailand (a fictional kingdom) To meet with there King and be a part of the Royal Wedding. Things get complicated when the rich factory owner's arranged marriage to the King's Daughter (Ase Wang) is thwarted by the fact that the she is actually in love with a stable boy, who incidentally trains and watches the Royal Elephant.

There is an altercation between the bride to be and her smarmy rich factory owner and the the Royal Elephant runs off. Up until this point the movie was pretty slow moving, but once the adventure to find the elephant begins, the movie is fairly full of family friendly adventure.


Above Pic: No random thug shall go unpunished! Selina Lo as Rayen!


The king vows to halt the wedding for two days until the elephant is returned to the Kingdom. The King and Queen of Denmark travel through the jungle with their assistant, guide, and protector Rayen (Selina Lo). Selina takes this film by the horns and runs, picking up the pace, even the other actors seem to step up their game when she is around. Selina has her opportunity to fight off a few bad guys and I have decided, if I need a bodyguard for a dangerous location I am contacting her haha!

The action moves through various settings, all scenic and tropical. In fact that is one of the highlights of the film is the scenery, settings, and elaborate costumes of the various royal folk. The film does have drawbacks, however, as the pacing is odd, sometimes full of action, other times, especially the beginning part are rather slow moving and tedious.

The acting is average, save for Selina, she put way more effort into her character than the others, but when she was onscreen with the other actors and actresses, it seemed like they were a bit more lively and into their character.

The film is directed by Cathrine Cyran, who has written a bunch of R rated action films in the past such as Blood Fist II and Future Kick. I thought she did a decent job merging the action and the slow parts, but the story needed a bit of tightening up even though the film has only an 90 minute run time.

Overall I liked The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure. I believe it sends a positive message to kids, and has no real objectionable material even though it is PG rated. I rate the film a 6 out of 10 worth a rent, definitely a buy if you are a Selina fan. Amazon actually has the film for only 5 dollars now, follow the link below.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2-Headed Shark Attack Movie Review


Above Pic: 2-Headed Shark Attack Poster


As a fan of low budget films, I can usually count on The Asylum to deliver some low budget madness my way a couple times a month. Some of their films are better than others, some are downright bad, 2-Headed Shark Attack falls somewhere in the middle, time to delve into the gory details.

The story opens up with a small boat pulling two attractive lady skiers and a couple of guys on board taking video and pictures of them. Then woosh, in an instant this giant CGI two headed monstrosity attacks them and eats them. No this is not a spoiler, it happens right away, before the opening credits! I am not a fan of showing the creature right away in these types of films, especially when the animation budget is minuscule.



Above Pic: Some of the nice scenery in 2-Headed Shark Attack

The main story opens with a group of students on a boat with their instructor, Professor Babish (Charlie O'Connell). The group is on a semester at sea. Carmen Electra plays Mrs Babish, who is supposedly a Doctor, hahahaha. Needless to say the acting on this Shark Attack was pretty sub-par, and downright comical, but this is obviously intentional, or not? The girls are all very good looking, and 2-Headed Shark Attack is about hot chicks in the Florida Keys splashing around and getting violently mauled and mutilated, what's not to like?

Surprisingly, the best acting in this film is by Brooke Hogan. Even though she has little experience, I thought she does a decent job with her character Kate. Kate has a more involved story arc in the second half of 2-Headed Shark Attack. Brooke has a calm, clear speaking voice, not whiny, and she tries her best to act scared at the appropriate times, forceful at others.  I am sure she will get more movie roles after this film.


Above Pic: Brooke Hogan in 2-Headed Shark attack, Will she be shark Bait?


(Minor Spoiler)The film's story blasts into high gear when a giant half eaten shark gets caught in the boat's prop, thus disabling it, luckily for the folks on board there is an island close by. As we find out later in the film, the island is not too safe of a place to be either, as it is sinking, no more spoilers!

This 2-Headed shark is explained that two headed animals do occur in nature such as snakes and turtles, and that this is a sort of genetic mutation. Ok then, now that the illogical science is out of the way back to our actual story. The majority of the rest of the film is spent trying to figure out how to escape the relentless, always hungry shark, and return to the boat to repair it. I am assuming they want get the hell out of there.

As for the plot, There are some good ideas, as the shark was not the only thing the group has to contend with. The dialogue is typical low budget drivel, but occasionally important plot points find there way in, haha, did I mention the hot, scantily clad, Florida chicks.

Not sure exactly what to rate this one... 2-Headed Shark Attack is not boring, and the setting and scenery is nice. The film is, for the most part watchable. I give 2-Headed shark Attack a 5 out of 10. The Asylum needs to shoot more movies in Florida! The film is available for pre-order on Amazon and ships January 31st.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Natassia Malthe Interview (C) 2012 Dan's movie Report SURPRISE!!




Above Pic: Still of Vikingdom Coming in 2013!

Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers! Here is my first surprise of 2012, I delve inside the mind of the beautiful and talented Natassia Malthe. I must admit  watching the sexy Ms Malthe has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. She has a tough girl attitude on screen at times, but always is likable person in her films. From Elektra to the last two Bloodrayne films she has made her mark on action cinema. Recently she wrapped filming on Vikingdom. Enough of my babbling on, on to the interview.

Before I start, I ask you please tell a short story about life on the set of In The Name of The King 2, how long you worked on it, etc..

We had rehearsals first with Dolph , he's a relaxed cool cat. I worked on it for two and a half weeks. Not long, we wrapped everyday at two pm.. shortest shoot I have ever done.

You have worked with Uwe Boll on several films, do you think his unique vision is inspiring? He does things his own way, as a writer I respect that, what are your thoughts?

Its inspiring that he allows me to create whatever I want. I find his out of the box approach inspiring regards too the fact that he is courageous and doesn't conform.. That is pretty cool.

How about playing up the sexuality in films like Bloodrayne, does it portray a balance of power using your guile as well as strength? Are you a bit of a mischievous lady in real life, sense of humor?

I don't like doing nude scenes, and It was a problem on set. Uwe and I got into a fight about it, but we made up and came to terms with our different idea's of how the scene should look. I wanted it to be dark where nothing could be seen. Just outlines. I was pretty shy and did not feel powerful doing such a scene. But I did grow up in Norway and everyone on the beach went topless so that did play in my mind that if I were in Norway it wouldn't be a "thing" nor have a stigma around it. in real life I am goofy.. and quite prude.

Low budget films offer a bit more creativity?

With Uwe it seems like the actors have a bit more of input to the character. it can be creative but when u have a low budget you don't always get all the camera angles that can show all the creativity.

What pisses you off about the film industry today?

Imdb and age discrimination. I have lost big budget movies that could have changed my career.

Above Pic: Vikingdom Promo Picture

Do you think the home video market going the way of netflix and such helped or hurt the industry?

I think it opens doors to independent creative people because we need to find other ways to survive it. In doing so people are getting more creative, working with the changes.. like web series..it has, in a sense hurt the industry. Studio's used to take more chances on up and comers, now they only hire stars to secure the finances. The stakes are a lot higher, also they are making movies that are sure deals, which doesn't exactly promote the movies I love.. I love the movies made in the 80's.

As a woman who is comfortable with her body, do you feel that sometimes nudity is necessary to sell lower budget films rather than big budget ones? Is it over used?

it is used when the script isn't written by a million dollar writer. It is a hard business out there and unfortunate that integrity may be compromised to sell flicks.

What about the action, do you like the rough stuff on film, the fighting and falling etc? 

I do enjoy fighting.. its something i know i can do with confidence.. of course I would like to do other kinds of films as well...

American vs foreign films, which do you like working on more as a generalization? I am sure it varies, but I am curious.

I love french films, such as Betty Blue, they use great music in France and I love Italian films... Malena was one of my favorites...I wish I could do more artistic films foreign or American. American movies are sometimes amazing but i don't like the commercial ones that have been done over and over again... love to do a poetic foreign film...

Do you have a particular genre of films you like working on the most? What about to watch? 

I love watching biographical movies based on true stories, I love watching movies like Crash, movies about love ,like The Notebook.. so romantic... I also loved Witches of Eastwick, Scarface, Blow... etc....

I know you are active in charitable organizations, what are they, and what made you attracted to them? 

I created my own .org, with some friends and it was premeditated, one thing lead to another since I was deeply effected by what happened in Japan... it is a new passion I have found through trying to help the victims of the tsunami. It was unintended though. More like a self discovery thing that happened to me...my link would be www.tderf.org


Above Pic: Sexy Natassia as Brynna is captured in Vikingdom.

What is on the horizon in 2012 and beyond for Natassia? New projects, producing, acting etc? 

I am currently working on producing with a few friends and developing a production company and auditioning.. It is hard to shake that acting BUG I have. It is a total burden. I wish I could leave it behind and quit but I simply can't, and that is annoying because it makes me dependent on it. Like a fix.

I just did a movie called Vikingdom where i met some nice people like Jon foo and Craig Fairbrass. I play a female who fights with men called Brynna , she is the Captain of a ship and falls for Dominic Purcell's character called Eirick... it is coming out 2013.

For more info on Vikingdom like the film on the official Facebook site @ https://www.facebook.com/Vikingdom

Thanks Natassia, for taking time out of your busy schedule to do the interview.

Watch for more news and pictures from Natassia upcoming on your home for action and tough girls, Dan's Movie Report.

Zoë Bell in Raze! New Picture and Info


Zoë Bell and Rachel Nichols are ready to Fight or Die in Raze. If you live in the Alamo Texas area there is an exclusive video clip of the fight scene showing before the movie Haywire. Blast your browsers over to the theater's official site for more info @ http://drafthouse.com/austin

For more info on Raze, like the film on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/#!/RazeTheMovie