1st Grand indiewise Convention

1st Grand indiewise Convention
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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Outcast Movie Review

Above photo: Chinese Poster for 'Outcast' (C) 2014 Yunnan Film Group


'Outcast' is an odd film, an amalgamation of U.S. and Chinese talent. Starring Nic Cage, , and . Basically the film is a story of a murder and sort of revenge, all set against the backdrop of odd Crusade style uniforms and time period, with mish-mashed time period devices and variety of English dialects.

'Outcast' opens with a medieval, crusade style battle, dare I say melee. Actually the battle sequences on the 3D 97 minute film are enjoyable, not super long, but good enough to evoke an emotional response. Not really sure however if the Crusaders in the 12th century actually made it to China, mainly because the country was still in the Confucianism stage of evolution. Skewed history, but still possible to make a fun film, however, sadly other aspects of the film make it fall flat.

Character development in 'Outcast' is on the fly, but never delves deep enough to full care about, nor even like or dislike any of the characters. The younger cast members, the children of the fallen leader actually are the most likeable ones, and it is easy to develop a sympathetic ideaology to them, however the same cannot be said for much of anything else. The film travels from battle to battle rapidly, and when the cast is not fighting the dialogue is rather week and uninspiring.

Above Photo: (C) 2014 Yunnan Pictures


I wanted to enjoy 'Outcast' as I think that the combination of U.S. and Chinese film making can and needs to work. In order for films like this to work a concerted effort in dialogue, perhaps mixed languages, and or accents need to be upgraded. If it is an historical type drama, even a work of fiction to at least set it in a backdrop of the proper time period. There just were not any knights Templar in China in the 12th Century. Finally cast actors and actresses with a zest for emotion.

Overall I give 'Outcast' a 5 out of 10. I do admit that the battle scenes, action, and stunts are fun and perhaps worth a rent, but that is about it. Hats off go to Nick Powell, and the entire action and stunt team, as it is a difficult transition from stunt man to director, and I am sure his next film will be a leap forward.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Uppercut! Exclusive Behind The Scenes Photos And Video From The 2015 Action Film!




Above video: (C) 2014 Maria Tran- Shout out to Dan's Movie Report!

Uppercut is still in production, watch for exclusives as they come! In the mean time check out Maria Tran's other cool film called Hit Girls, and her action demos! Like Her on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/mariatranactress?ref=br_tf  My review and link to Hit Girls is @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/07/hit-girls-movie-review-short-film.html



As always, watch for more exclusives direct from Producer Marcel, including a detailed full contact, ultra-violent and adorable interview with Maria Tran in 2015! On the only real independent source for exclusive movie content on the web, Dan's Movie Report! Forget the zeros get with the heroes!

Check out the film on IMDB @ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4242836/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

Yoson An Interview (C) 2014 A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive!

ABOVE PHOTO: Yoson An publicity shot for 'Ghost Bride' (C) 2013 Clinton Tudor

Greetings my valued readers, I hope you all had a joyous holiday season. For my final interview of 2014, I present to you, all the way from New Zealand, Yoson An. Yoson is a multi-faceted performer who first caught my attention as the lead actor on David Blyth's horror film Ghost Bride (See Review:  ) In addition he has starred in two television shows for HBO in New Zealand, one called Flat3 and the other a horror mini-series called Grace. Big things are planned for Yoson in 2015, I am happy to have a short chat with him about Ghost Bride, and keep reading Dan's Movie Report as next year Yoson will discuss his newer projects!


Chat about your childhood, and what made you become interested in acting.

I was born in China and went to an international school there until the age of 6. My family then moved away from China and went to live in Australia for 2 years, then to New Zealand, and have been in New Zealand ever since. I've done some musical theatre in high school and absolutely loved it. But I didn't really get into acting until the 2nd year of my University Studies.. I just did not enjoy what I was studying at all and thought to myself "is this really the path I want to take? and do what I don't enjoy for the rest of my life?" So I just started exploring really.. first started with free student short films, then went onto acting classes and got myself an agent I can trust. Have never looked back since. 


Continuing the discussion of your background, I know you have some action and martial arts experience chat about that and some additional training you have developed.

My dad threw me and my sister in Karate classes when I was about 9 and I've practiced Karate for over a decade now (I have a black belt). Some of the other martial arts intrigued me as well, such as Ninjutsu and MMA, I also trained in them for a few years. But I don't like fighting, I learn a Martial Art more for the philosophy behind the art. I'm a very peaceful person :)

ABOVE PHOTO: Yoson An as Jason in 'Ghost Bride' (C) 2013 ILA Film Productions


Chat about the process for being selected for Ghost Bride.

I saw an ad on a website called Starnow for Ghost Bride and I thought to myself, why not? So I applied. But I didn't hear back from David until 3 weeks later.


Many times I see that ads are a powerful tool to begin the process. Did you have to go through auditions, or was it more informal?

Oh did I have to go through auditions... I did about 6-7 auditions for Ghost Bride, including call backs. It was insane! David had me on the edge the entire time during that process (bless him). It was my first feature film audition, so I was incredibly nervous as well. But there really was no reason to be nervous, David's a really nice guy and made sure I was comfortable during the audition process.


I respect the audition process, also it is good practice for future film and TV roles. Ghost Bride has some cool story ideas, when you read the script, what went through your mind as you read the dialogue for your character Jason? Did you see any of yourself in Jason

To be honest, Ghost Bride was my first feature so I was ecstatic when I got to read the script. I did also see a little bit of me in the character when I read the script. The film's idea is very unique and original as well I must say, the part that I enjoyed reading the most was the climax, I just wanted to keep reading to see what will happen next in the story.

ABOVE PHOTO: Yoson An as Jason kisses Rebekah Palmer as Sky in 'Ghost Bride' (C) 2013 ILA Film Productions


In the film your character Jason has a strong relationship to Rebekah Palmer's character Sky, how did you prepare for the on screen chemistry?

Rebeckah and I got along since day 1 of the shoot, even during the auditioning process. So I didn't have much to prepare for in terms of acting as a couple, we kind of just went with it since we're get along really well behind the camera anyway.


Rebekah seems very cool, look forward to interviewing her in 2015! Chat about working with David Blyth, and some of the information he has given you for Ghost Bride and your future projects.

It's been very interesting working with David, I was never really into horror films until I met David. So I now have an experience as to what goes on behind a horror film set. It's best to just enjoy the journey of making the film because that's where the fun is.

(ABOVE PHOTO: Yoson as Jason shares a moment with Fiona Feng (Mey-Ling) (C) 2013 ILA Film Productions


Chat about the process of working on lower budget films in New Zealand.

Ghost Bride may have been a lower budget NZ film, but the crew were all professionals and many of them have worked on the LOTR and Spartacus etc. I have also had the opportunity to work on big budget productions myself, and I feel that with lower budget films you have much more flexibility and things 'get done' in a much quicker pace.


That is good to know about the professionalism of indie projects. I know many big budget films shoot in New Zealand, do you feel that many of the local actors and crew are allowed the same chances that outside people are given?

I wouldn't say 'many' but there are a few, but more and more of them are coming to NZ. So in that aspect, I do feel that local actors and crews are a little more disadvantaged than actors and crew members from LA for example. But in saying that, I heard 2015 is going to be a big year for the New Zealand film industry. Fingers crossed!


I hope more film an TV opportunities come to native New Zealanders. What are some of your future desires in film, people you want to work with and types of projects?

I wish to write/produce/direct/act in my own films in the future. Working with Christopher Nolan would be amazing.


Is your ultimate goal to move to the USA?

No, I wouldn't say that's my 'ultimate goal'.. No offense to the US, but I quite like it here in New Zealand, I really enjoy nature. But I'm not saying there won't be a possibility of my moving to the US though, that's just not my ultimate goal in life. I think my ultimate goal would be finding peace and happiness within myself; acting on my highest excitement at every moment with zero expectations of what the outcome ought to be, I believe that's the ultimate formula to happiness for anyone. 

I respect your honest answer, Hollywood at times does not seem to realize that films are worldwide, and there are many opportunities away from the U.S.. Outside of the obvious, what are some other projects you have lined up in 2015?

I will be doing my first theatre production in early 2015, and also planning to shooting my own feature that I'm writing at the moment. I'm not really sure what I'll be doing yet, I'll have to go with the flow and whatever the Universe brings me :) 

Thank you for your time Yoson, I know we will be chatting in the near future, I look forward to seeing the TV shows as well. Have a great new year! For further information check out Yoson on his official Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/YosonAnOfficial his IMDB page is @ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5256788/?ref_=tt_cl_t11 Definitely keep reading Dan's Movie Report for more in 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Knock Movie Review (2014) Short Film



Above Photo: Poster for 'Knock' (C) 2014 Joseph I. Martinez




From the clever horror mind of Joseph I Martinez comes a 5 minute blast of creepiness called 'Knock' After a dare, Emma goes to the abandoned mine and knocks three times. She claims she has heard three knocks back, and a mystical being called  "The Cavewitch" The two ladies hole up in the bedroom in fear for their life.

'Knock' has a 'Candyman' style premise but the mystery is never solved. Actually 'Knock' would make a great feature length film. With only a 5 minute run time, the audience is thrust into what essentially is the middle of the film, kind of like a Poe short story.

'Knock' Behind the scenes. Noelle Ann Mabry, Arielle Branchfeld, Joseph I. Martinez ,David M. Brewer. (C) 2014


All of the aspects of 'Knock' are totally pro in feel. David M. Brewer
who also was the director of photography on 'Insidious' gives the audience an up close view of the fright, we see fear on the actress faces, and the creepiness of the surroundings. Lighting, shadows, and almost ghostly images permeate the film to add urgency.

'Knock' Behind the scenes. Noelle Ann Mabry, Ashley Pallas (C) 2014


Acting from the two leads as Emma, and as Murielle, is consistent and not over the top, which happens in horror films. Amazingly enough they look scared, but the screams, whispers, and facial expressions, denote an air of insecurity, not just fear.

Arielle is experienced in the horror genre and it shows.Her mannerisms and expressions add gravitas to the production. Many horror films suffer from the either dis-interested or unconvincing actor, emotionless or the other extreme of over the top faking it.

At times, short films that run only 5 minutes do not give the audience enough to chew on, in 'Knock' the view is treated to a cornucopia of subtleties and multi-layered textured concepts and directions the story could travel if fleshed out.

Watch for the film at festivals, and later in 2015 to be available for online viewing!  Check out the film on IMDB for more info @ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3746020/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_74

KNOCK will make its world premiere as an OFFICIAL SELECTION of the 2015 Pasadena International Film Festival!  http://www.pasadenafilmfestival.org/#!passes-events/c1mya the festival runs February 11th thru the 15th.

In addition to his new film 'Knock' Joseph Martinez also has another amazing film out called 'I See You' Starring Celina Jade! Check out  'I See You' on Vimeo @ http://vimeo.com/32697337 my review is @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/i-see-you-movie-review-short-film-2012.html


Monday, December 22, 2014

Lady Bloodfight In Production! Hong Kong 2015! (Exclusive Report!) (Exclusive Photos!)





Update: 3-12-15: Greetings my fellow action fans!!!! As promised over the course ot the next few months Dan's Movie Report will be THE exclusive home for all things Lady Bloodfight! Lead Actress Amy did her interview prior to the production due to her busy schedule. Now that the film has wrapped and in post, ready for a slated November 2015 unleashing! Bey Logan and Jet Tranter have been asked and accepted the challenge!

Bey Logan is a legend in HK action! Prior too Lady Bloodfight he worked on the new Crouching Tiger film! Currently he works in Asia, China and HK. Currently he works @ 
  Bey Logan resumes participation in The Weinstein Company on its Asian production and acquisition. The first major project is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel. Various exciting acquisitions for North American and international markets are also in the pipeline

Jet Tranter is a powerhouse of action and intensity, she brings her A game to every project she puts out! here is her 2014 showreel prior to filming Lady Bloodfight!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGXvQJRrmCg

Follow her and like her! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jet-Tranter/128814600483609

Update: 2-18-15 Hot new exclusive photos from Behind The Scenes of 'Lady Bloodfight' (C) 2015! Principal photography is complete on the Bey Logan produced film starring Amy Johnston, and directed by Chris Nahon! Check out the brand new IMDB link @ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4327752/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


Above Photo: Amy Johnston poses for pre-production on 'Lady Bloodfight' (C) 2014 Uri L. Schwarz

Update February 12th 2015: Lady Bloodfight principal photography almost complete! Actress Amy Johnston reports exclusively to Dan's Movie Report that the film is in the final stages of principal photography only 3 more days til wrap! Amy provides these exclusive quick snaps on set of the action film in Hong Kong!



All above photos (C) 2015 Amy Johnston, exclusive for Dan's Movie Report!



Get in on the action! From Producer Bey Logan, (Crouching Tiger II: The Green Destiny) comes 'Lady Bloodfight' The film promises to be a full force action masterpiece featuring ladies in the forefront. Director Chris Nahon and action director Hung Yan Yan prepare for the action by scouting locations. The actresses including , Jet Tranter (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jet-Tranter/128814600483609?ref=br_tf ) Jenny Wu, Lisa Cheng https://www.facebook.com/spiderlisa , Muriel Hofman and many more are in training for the fights and detailed action sequences!



Keep watching this space as production concludes, with more exclusive photos and video!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Upcoming on Dan's Movie Report: Action Actor Vinicius Machado!




Greetings my action fans! As the year winds down, here is something to look forward to for the future an interview with Vinicius Machado!

Most recently, Vinicius played the controversial role of Nomar Arcielo on Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's new TV show "Power" on Starz.

With roles in many prime time TV shows, including "Cold Case", "CSI Miami", "NCIS", "Flash Forward", "The Shield", "General Hospital" - he is sought after today as a Hollywood talent around the world.

On the big screen, Vinicius hilariously played a valet attendant in the box office blockbuster comedy "Get Smart", starring Steve Carell. He also produces and writes – many of his self-produced, self-written projects are already completed and available for viewing online, while others are in development, and some are being filmed now.

Watch his demo reel here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx9WOA9p8ns
 
 Born in Niteroi, Rio De Janeiro, Brasil, Vinicius grew up in Orlando, Florida. An early love of performing birthed from dancing Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts) led to major roles in local theater productions, commercials, and feature films. His passion and talent eventually brought him to Los Angeles, where he immediately found success on Nickelodeon's hit series “Neds’ Declassified School Survival Guide”.

Check out his IMDB page for a full list of his credits here - www.imdb.com/name/nm1759256


When not working, Vinicius spends his time with his three kids and wife, living the life they always dreamed of together. He is a big advocate of the charities Feed The Children and Vision for the World.

You can follow Vinicius on his social media here:

Twitter - www.twitter.com/actorvinicius
Instagram - www.instagram.com/actor.vinicius
Facebook - www.facebook.com/actor.vinicius

Alien Rising Movie Review (2013)



Originally titled 'Gemini Rising' this independent film will be released by Breaking Glass Pictures on January 20th 2015. Keeping this film review short, Alien Rising is a story of an ex-homeland security agent Lisa Morgan (). After watching her partner die on a mission, she wants to put distance between herself and her past life. Turns out Lisa is a twin and she is needed for some sort of top secret experiment on an alien and it's doppelganger.

Sadly the film unfolds at a pace that is about as urgent as a snail riding a turtle's back. Lisa is kidnapped against her will and she is forced to fight much larger agents to prove herself. While the fighting itself is not bad, the action feels like padding that serves as a distraction to the main story.

Lance Henrikson and the rest of the cast plod through what perhaps could have been a decent film, but the twin connection is never fully explained, and by the time the action gets going, the interest in the characters wane.' Alien Rising' has some rather questionable CGI but not bad for an indie film.

On the positive side, the film has some thought provoking concepts, with regards to the treatment of the aliens. The fact that it explores treatment of another species can of course correlate to the way the U.S. treats immigrants. Amy's acting is pretty good, given the tepid source material. Overall, I give 'Alien Rising' a rent only rating, 5 out of 10. The film is available on Amazon, follow the link below.






Thursday, December 18, 2014

99 Cent Movie Network Launches!



Brand new streaming movie site goes online today! 99 Cent Movie Network has now officially gone live!

Navigating the site is easy, you get three movies for 99 cents. If you want to buy the whole collection of movies it is $1.99. You stream them on our site www.99centnetwork.com (not live yet). It goes under your personal collection - every time you log in you have those movies to watch forever.. for no extra costs. You can even share your collection with a friend to watch too. 

The initial collection will grow as time goes on, and 99 Cent Movie Network offers a new way to stream content, check it out. 

In the coming months watch for reviews of some the 99 cent films on Dan's Movie Report!

Like the site on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/99-Cent-Network/1510883565837399

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Salvation (2014) Movie Review (Short Film)



Before I start this review I must apologize to Ross Boyask the director. I watched Salvation and sort of dismissed the film, and said I would write about it. One thing lead to another, and now it is almost six months. Actually upon first watching imitially my thoughts were a bit negative, but with a fresh approach, and 5 viewings of the 10 minute short, Ross, I get it. In fact usually I watch short films multiple times prior to reviewing. That said, my thoughts...

The 10 minute film opens with Jackie( ) tied to a chair, suffering from several bruises from being roughed up. Rather than spoiling the plot or undertones, Salvation paints Jackie as a merchant of Salvation, and the film cleverly leaves the viewer to decide if she is good or bad. 'Salvation' has religious and righteous overtones, without being preachy.

The film has copious amounts of action, but the story and dialogue are the highlight because the film sets up what potentially could be fleshed out to a TV series of Trilogy movie series. Actually I watched another film shot back in 2011 but reviewed this year called 'Bloodtraffick'. Though the plot of the two films were a bit different, they had the religious themes centered on woman in peril, yet Bloodtraffick concentrated more on story than action, with the action taking place toward the end after setting up the lead character, thus structurally, a bit of a better film flow and concept.

Direction and editing by is tight and unwavering.  The film takes place in a dark enclosed space, yet the viewer is able to see the action with clever lighting and shading. Ross has experience with action with Warrioress and 10 Dead Men, and knows the tricks of the trade to make the fights pop. Writer deserves a special mention for crafting a pretty cool and complex story for a 10 minute film, i am looking forward to new material from him!

My one complaint with 'Salvation' is Cheryl, while a good actress, seems to force the issue with the action sequences, and although a stunt double is used, I wanted to see more of  her character Jackie in the philosophical rather than the physical. Just a matter of personal preference, but having watched so many action shorts, one can get jaded. Positively, Cheryl has a warm likable quality, and I am sure she will be offered film and TV parts in the future, in 'Salvation' she has some adaptive facial nuanced expressions, and a rather adorable British accent. (ed note. Wait for beating from Cheryl, haha)

'Salvation' admittedly gets better with multiple viewings, and surely this is a stepping off point of reference for all parties involved. I do recommend checking this film out when it becomes available on the film festival circuit (Salvation already premiered in the Action on Film fest earlier this year.) 'Salvation' rates a 6.5 out of 10.

The Official Facebook Page is @ https://www.facebook.com/salvationfilmuk/timeline

Monday, December 15, 2014

Game Of Assassins (2013) Movie Review (AKA 'The Gauntlet' 2013)

Above Piv

Originally titled 'The Guantlet', and released to the festival circuit in 2013, 'Game Of Assassins' follows a band of unsuspecting people abducted for the pleasure of a twisted human group who are destined to punish those who have taken a life, by putting them in a crazy 'Saw' like situation with the exception is that in 'Game of Assassins' they must traverse a medieval type labyrinth maze wrought with peril. Incidentally, the review is for the Lion's Gate home DVD release, with screener provided by the director Matt, for Dan's Movie Report.

After the opening montage 'Game of Assassins' begins with David () sitting on a, for lack of better words "mound of death" thrust into an unfamilier dungeon in an unsuspecting manner, The first person he encounters in his new found hell is Jin () The two scuffle for a bit, quite good action, then realize they are trapped down in a private hell. 

Director  makes sure we see the surrounding vision of  's screenplay. The audience is treated to both the hear and now, showing the atmosphere and physical horrid qualities of the toturous realm. Each character we meet along the way of this sordid adventure has a unique story of terror on how they ended up, this is told through a short flashback montage. For a film that runs appx. 80 total minutes including credits. the characters are rather well developed, along the fly. 

Next in 'Game of Assassins', David and Jin come across Emma ( ) and Tyler () The two represent the "younger crowd" stating they were on vacation prior to being trapped. A bit further along in the film we learn, and no it is not a spoiler, as it is 14 minutes in,  the true nature of the story. 'Gideon's Escape', four levels one way in and one way to move from level to level is the private hell the group are encased in. The remainder of the film, I will not spoil, has the four of them plus a few other characters they meet along the way trying to survive and escape, ah to what end?

Perhaps the highlight of the film for me is the complex character Kim Lee (). By actually introducing her a bit later in the film as a mysterious type of combination protagonist and antagonist, the story gets more philosophical and forces the other characters to examine their own philosophical values. Bai does a great job of delivering enigmatic and mysterious lines trying to play on Jin's fears and playing her own brand of survivor haha, trying to be friends, and trying to be deceptive to the other characters. Bai has come a long way since becoming clean and sobre, her positive zeal for acting has definitely returned. Back in 2011, I was lucky enough to conduct a short interview with Bai, Click on this link (http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2011/08/bai-ling-raw-and-unfiltered-c-2011.html )

There is action, suspense, and a pretty cool payoff in the end. 'Game of Assassins' is tightly filmed, no wasted time filler. The characters move from level to level, and go on the combination treasure hunt and deception all as a means to survive. Overall I really liked 'Game of Assassins', the film rates a 9 out of 10, on the buy because of Bai scale! Seriously though, everyone involved in the film did a great job, the film is full of twists and turns!.

Finally special mention to LionsGate for releasing many films that would perhaps not see a wider audience, as an independent writer, I enjoy their zeal for the under ground film community, while releasing big films. For more info: http://www.lionsgate.com/

The film is available on Amazon @ 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ratchet Point Movie Review

Above Photo: (C) 2014 Chamia Lane from 'Ratchet Point'


Greetings my fellow readers, and the multitudes of purveyors who revel with insanity. Today my friends we take a short film trip into the twisted mind of Chamia Lane. Apparently Chamia wants to have a throw down fight with sexy Sachiko Ishida and the parameters of the fight are quite interesting!

Poking fun at some stereo types, 'Ratchet Point' gets down and dirty, haha, the ladies a ready for fighting, but first the set up. The girls are ready to fight, of course and the boyfriends are just window dressing! "Here Pookie hold my lolly" proclaims Chamia, as she prepares for battle. Ah what battle would be complete without the obligatory removal of the large hoop earrings! Of course Sachiko has to remove her gum, and purse and states "Come on bitch step to me" Haha,

More articles of jewelry come off, as does a wig from Sachiko, hahaha etc... and trust me it gets funnier with each one. They ladies begin to tussle, and eventually we are treated to an odd black and white slow mo fight, with the boys in the background assessing the action, you know, the way guys just seem to back off when women fight. Chamia, the writer, has the astute vision to recognize that particular fact. Constantly showing the guys' reactions to each and every combat or simulated combat move, with gestures and provocative facial expressions. In fact, all of the actors in 'Ratchet Point' do a stand up job, haha, selling the action.

The fight gets kind of sexy and silly at the same time, fun to watch, a clever take on the absurdity of fighting, I kind of look at it as a Jerry Springer spoof type thing, 'Ratchet Point' pokes fun at the lurid level of combative realty TV, without the idiotic story set up. Basically, 'Ratchet Point' cuts through the bull crap, and gives viewers just the 5 minutes of action, and boom, the crowd cheers! HAHA!

The filming quality is solid for an outside shoot, some spur of the moment style fight choreography, nothing wild and crazy, just the flailing arms and legs things, with a few martial arts material thrown in. Jason S. Williams directs 'Ratchet Point, and blends Chamia's story on screen with ease, seamlessly melding the physical comedy with sardonic action.

Overall I really liked the film, never taking itself too seriously, and showcasing rising talents of Chamia Lane and Sachiko Ishida. 'Ratcher Point' rates a 7.5 out of 10.

The entire film is on Youtube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZYRfww1_EU&feature=youtu.be

Watch for more exclusives from Dan's Movie Report including an interview with Sachiko soon!
Follow Sachiko on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/ishidasachiko

(Thank you to Elizabeth for correcting Jason S. Williams as the director of Ratchet Point, review has been updated 12-15-2014.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lap Dance Movie Review



Yeah, Yeah, I know what my readers are thinking, extricate your mind from the gutter, Lap Dance is not a porn film, in fact far from it. Ali Corbin plays Monica, her father is stricken with cancer and his hospital bill is with extended care is a super high 15,000 a month! Of course her salon job is not going to cut the expense, so she decides at the behest of a friend to be an exotic dancer to make extra money.

The film is based on the true story of director Greg Carter and his girlfriend prior to moving to LA. While the film is decently written, and potentially has some drama involved, sadly the acting left me a bit flat. The actors saunter through each scene, one never feels the importance or urgency of the matter at hand. The father is visited in the beginning in his hospital bed, and we just do not see enough interplay between Monica and Kevin, as they are too busy getting there jollies with other partners. The audience is never really shown much of the story.

 plays Monica's husband Kevin. He does give Monica his blessing to dance in the beginning, but eventually he begins to become a bit suspicious. One thing leads to another, and the husband and wife relationship degrades to infidelity.

The film is not sexy enough to be an erotic thriller, nor is it dramatic enough to be a true drama. Lap Dance falls into the meandering yarn of the issues of women in the exotic dancing profession. People slam Showgirls, but there is more than talking in strip clubs, there is fighting, arguing, slutty women with major issues, Lap Dance, was just to timid and tame for such a lurid subject. 

Watch for cameos from Stacy Dash, Carmen Electra, and Nia Peoples. Yeah it is a sexy film, but definitely not Showgirls type over the top crazyness sex. Lap Dance is not gritty like the Australian film"X" Where the two young prostitutes travel down the dark end of the street. The three add a bit of life, to try to spice things up, but their extended cameo roles ultimately are just window dressing for the main plot film.

Perhaps Lap Dance would have been a better BET or Lifetime Original Movie. Whoa I know, what about the sexy parts. Well take out the nudity and you have a tight 85 minute film, perhaps add some additional dialogue and deeper background characters. 

Overall, I wanted to like the film, unfortunately Lap Dance is a mildly tepid drama with a relatively small amount of overtly sexy scenes. I rate Lap Dance a 5 out of 10, perhaps a rent only.

Amazon has the film for a very reasonable price @ 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Director Antony Szeto Interview (C) 2014 A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! FIST OF THE DRAGON!

Above Photo: Antony Szeto as "The Buyer" From Fist OF the Dragon (C) 2013

Greetings fellow action fans! Closing out 2014 in style is an interview with director Antony Szeto chatting up his cool new film "Fist Of The Dragon". Antony has built up a solid reputation all over the world with his variety of talents, ranging from acting, to stunt work, film editing, and more recently directing. Perhaps best known for "Jackie Chan Presents: Wushu" recently Antony has directed two films for Roger Corman, a horror film called "Palace of the Damned" and "Fist of the Dragon". 

With "Fist of The Dragon" rolling out release in Thailand, and soon to be worldwide, what better way to find out more about the film than an exclusive interview with Antony about production! No filler, no BS, just honest, hard hitting text from a talented film mover and shaker. Antony wore many hats on Fist of the Dragon" , stunt driver, editor, director, and a maniacal character called "The Buyer" sit back, relax, grab a cup of tea, and prepare for action!


Chat about the initial ideas to do Fist Of The Dragon, and how you were approached to work on the project.

I was finishing off I think the 5th or 6th edit of Palace of the Damned and Roger Corman was really happy with the outcome. He then offered us, ACE Studios, to make a second film with him. He knew that my forte was action so he wanted to do an action film with me directing. Over the coming months, after Palace of the Damned was delivered, Roger sent a few scripts to us, which were all based on previous action films that he had made. He finally decided that we should do a remake of Moving Target, which was a Don Wilson actioner filmed in Ireland and released in 2000. What really hooked me was Roger allowed me full freedom with the action part of the new film.


How long was the shooting schedule? 5 and a half weeks, with no stoppage.
Budget on IMDB says $500,000, I know budgets are a closely guarded industry secret, but perhaps, the budget might inflated. I loved the final project, were there any sequences that had to be shortened or edited due to budgetary situation?

From the very beginning we had to make decisions based on our budgetary constraints. For starters, we made sure the script didn't have any outdoor night scenes, so we can keep the crew on the same hours and not lose rest time, as one normally needs to schedule in if changing from a day shoot to a night shoot, and vise versa. Next, we decided clearly that the main selling point of the film was action, and all else just had to be good enough to hold the audience from one action sequence to the next. This meant that only the bare basics was spent on wardrobe, sets, special effects and visual effects. On top of that, to keep things in complete control, everything was shot at the studio. Once this was done, we didn't make any compromises with what we could squeeze out from the action. In the end, we did cut out and/or simplify a lot of the drama. But action, we gave it all we could (given the money we had).


I am a balance guy about women fighting, I think it is a great idea to present strong female characters in films, like Roger Corman has always done, did you have discussion with him and Associate producer Juju Chan about this. 

The original film already set out the female roles, so there wasn't anything further to discuss in that respect. However, a lot of time was spent discussing the action sequences. I don't like it when I see women hitting and taking hits like men, especially when we're talking about small women. That's just too fake. So we made sure to choreograph the Maria vs Josh fight in a way that the audience can believe a woman getting the upper hand. A good amount of time was spent getting that fight right.

Juju told me that she initially she was to play Maria Tran's violent role, but was bumped to a central character, and not a martial artist. This is a great idea, Curious if you know the specifics of the change. 

Because JuJu has a strong martial arts background it was obvious that she should play the role of the Lady Killer. But when we started looking for an actress for the lead role it became clear that JuJu was always the better choice. Also, because Maria was working with JuJu on the fight choreography it wasn't difficult to find someone else to play the Lady Killer, Maria. The question was if Maria could act. We tried her out and found that she could, so the rest became history.

Yes, Maria is a natural at facial expressions, and Juju, is full action ICON, and the world will know in 2015! Speaking of fighting, chat about fight sequences and filming pressures in close quarters action like in the hotel room with Maria's fight. How long was the set up for that?

We had no pre-production time at all with the actors, so that was a huge disadvantage for us. On the other hand, all of our action related actors were actually accomplished martial artists, and this was a tremendous advantage. Our fight choreographer was Trung Ly. Though this was his first gig to fight choreograph on a feature film, he had tremendous experience choreographing live shows, and had worked with Maria Tran on choreographing fights in short films for her. When I saw his work I was blown away by his creativity. On top of that Trung knew how to organize things. Bringing him on board was fantastic for the film. He pre choreographed all the fights, so that we had things to give to actors to work on as soon as they arrived at the studio. Trung was also very quick to make changes so we could take advantage of people's abilities, or the location. In the end though, time was very tight. We would sometimes film 20 hour days so as to get everything in. It was incredibly tiring work for everyone, especially the actors themselves. I can't thank them enough for the hard work that they put into the film.


Yes the fights were spectacular, and creative especially given the limited set up time, getting back to Maria and her odd brand of torture in Fist of The Dragon haha! I spoke to Maria about this, ahha, when she was holding Juju Chan Hostage and threatening her the facelicking was a joke, but Juju had such an amazing reaction to it.

Haha… yeah. The wonderful thing about shooting with digital is that I can shoot everything without worrying about extra costs. In the old days, when shooting on film, I would rehearse things over and over until it was near perfect before shooting it. This goes for both action and drama. Nowadays I would shoot rehearsals in case something great happened…and it often did. The face lick was one of them. It's also my rule that actors must always stay in character no matter what, until I call cut. JuJu's reaction during a rehearsal is a perfect example of her staying in character when something unexpected happens. It was perfect.

Yeah not only was Juju in character, she looked surprised and disgusted haha! Speaking of cool characters, chat about The Chef! amazing classic person, Kwong-Keung Kong did Juju cast him? How was it to work with him in full power "heavy crane" style action? 

Yes, Juju did cast Kong. With any film I think you need maturity in a lot of the characters to give the film more depth. Not many actors can upkeep themselves to do action as they get older. Of course you do get a lot more of them nowadays, as the action genre seems to never get tired. Kong was an old hand at it and I was really pleased to have him on the team. He gave us everything, showing us his unique way of fighting. It's actually a martial arts style that he invented and I thought Trung worked well with Kong to bring the style out.

Yes the style he used was unique and entertaining, speaking of action, in this era of CGI must have been a blast to get down and dirty action, Chat about working with non film fighters and actual fighter Josh Thompson onset. Is it hard to teach an MMA person to film fight? 

Specifically Josh Thomson was the only martial artist who didn't have any film experience, so before meeting him I was most worried about how he would take to film fighting. I've worked with martial artists who wouldn't do moves on film cause they argued that the moves wouldn't work in real life. In the end they would insist on using "real" moves, and the results were really boring. Josh turned out to be great to work with. He understood immediately that film fighting would not be the same as what he did in the octagon. He also readily admitted that he wasn't experienced with what worked and didn't work on film and so submitted himself to our expertise. To me, that sort of humility showed he was a confident martial artist with nothing to prove. And it also meant that we could do great fight scenes with him. In the end, Josh worked the hardest. He was always happy to allow his character to start every fight as the underdog, which made for much more engaging fights. Everyone had nothing but good things to say about working with Josh. 


Great to see Josh taking an active interest in the process he seems like a cool guy ready to learn. Shifting gears, you are also the film editor for Fist Of The Dragon, was there a time pressure to keep it right at 85 minutes? Were there scenes left on the table?

No, we basically left in all that was good, and took out what dragged. Often directors leave too much of an original film in because they make decisions that are tainted with the emotions of filming particular shots. I know this so when editing my own work I keep asking myself if I'm leaving a shot in cause it really needs to be there, or because I just like it for some reason or other. My first edit was about 95 minutes. There were many things we cut out from Roger's advice, and things that I trimmed down as we re-edits. I think we had this down to the present film by the 4th edit.

Interesting with regards to the running time, shifting to creative control in Fist Of The Dragon, how important is that, as I think it is so important.

I think if a director knows what they're doing, and they know their audience, then they must retain creative control. It's always difficult for an investor/producer to allow this, but I would argue that by not doing this you end up with a more generic film, and the audience today doesn't go for that.

I know you have more materiel to work on, let us wrap up our discussion, chat about things you wish you could have changed about the film, and the aspects you liked the most. 

Oh, there are MANY things I wish I could have done differently, but given the resources I had very few of these things could have. Everyone talks about the ending CGI being poor. If I had known that would be the way the CGI would turn out I'm sure I would have argued harder to shoot in a real location. But even so it might not have made any difference as the time was so tight then I still might not be able to shoot it any other way. Of course, I love our fights. Loved the opening fight between Andrew Dasz and Xin Wuku Sarith, loved the fight between Josh Thomson and Xin in the palace, loved the fight between Maria Tran and Josh, and of course loved the final fight of Josh against Daniel Whyte and Kong. Then there's the big fight of Josh against the world! Gotta love that one too.

Finally, chat about what is on the horizon for Antony new projects etc?

I'm now in post production for Death Mist, which involved a lot of the cast from Fist. That was a lot of fun to shoot. The investor of Death Mist is now preparing another fight film which might bring me back to direct and use the same Fist team again. Fingers crossed.

Thank you Antony for taking time out of Post Production, to conduct this insightful interview. I am sure 2015 will be an epic year for you, and action fans worldwide will have something to enjoy when Death Mist drops from the sky!

Although this interview is a few years old, check out Antony with Maria Tran, with him chatting about the industry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrjHy9JQqaI Keept reading Dan's Movie Report for more Antony and Fist of the Dragon Exclusives!

Kung Fu Femmes Celebrates 10 year Anniversary!



Hard to believe it was a decade ago I went to Dragonfest 2004! Back then Tony Laudti's troupe was called Chicks With Sticks. Tony , a film and TV editor by trade, came up with clever idea of featuring females front and center in the action, in short films, and in live action shows. Over the years the series has morphed into more detailed films, longer, and thematic.

Recently Tony and fantastic star Carly Sunae, (check interview) http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/actressfitness-expert-carly-sunae.html were honored at the Action on Film festival for best actress 2014.

Check out this cool photo below of Carly in the studio being interviewed by Del from AOF fest.

Above Photo: Carly Sunae (C) 2014 Tony Laudati for Dan's Movie Report.

Last year in 2013 Tony also was honored from Action On Film Festival for film of the year with From China With Love as top action short film of the year. Incidentally that film happens to be my favorite film from all of the Kung Fu Femmes series. Check my review here @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2013/05/from-china-with-love-movie-review-short.html

Recently Kung Fu Femmes launched a new cool series called "The Goddaughter" a take on "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. The first two episodes are online now.

All of the Kung Fu Femmes videos can be found on the YouTube Channel @ https://www.youtube.com/user/anthonylaudati/videos

Check out Kung Fu Femmes on Facebook as well @ https://www.facebook.com/kung.fufemmes.1?fref=ts

To Order a Kung Fu Femmes Volume one DVD go to https://www.createspace.com/328704 The dvd features several cool shorts including "Angering The Gods" with Amy Johnston.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Nighthawks in Bangkok Movie Review

Above Picture: Poster for Nighthawks In Bangkok (C) 2013

Hard to believe that it was 3 short years ago, that I had the fortune of interviewing Krystal Vee for my website. Krystal has made the big move from Thailand to the U.S. pursue her acting dreams, all the while working on her craft and remaining grounded.

Nighthawks in Bangkok is a story about a restaurant waitress Proy who works with her family who feels empathy for a lonely man, a drifter, played by   who hangs out at the restaurant only ordering one beer. Shogen has dozens of lines of dialogue in the film and pulls them off expertly. Watch for him, currently he is in the amazing Streetfighter: Assassin's Fist.

The 22 minute film, expertly written and directed by essentially is a chance meeting, of a man who wants to tell the story of his life, and a person who is willing to listen, and not judge. The story undulates with emotion, and displays many trials and tribulations of real life.

He tells the complete story of his past relationship, why it changed, how it ended. All the while under a listening ear, not offering any additional commentary. More often than not, films rely on a diatribe to initiate some sort of conflict, Nighthawks In Bangkok, displays the conflict inside the mind of a troubled young man, and rather offer ways to help, at times, what is needed is just a good listener. Incidentally, he speaks the majority of dialogue in a language she does not understand, do not worry there are English subtitles.

Nighthawks In Bangkok is not just about the words, it is also about the emotions Both leads are excellent. There is an air of pensive sadness, to the drifter character, but towards the end of his description it appears to become evident, that he has affected Proy, although she does not speak, her body language is strong with empathy, but her work calls her back.

Short films are a powerful tool in an actor's arsenal. Although she is from Thailand Krystal Vee speaks very clear, proper, and erudite English, yet in Nighthawks in Bangkok, she speaks English in a Thai dialogue that is exactly like a typical worker in a Thai restaurant, complete with staccato  vocal inflections, and the chopped English. Krystal is constantly honing her craft, and learning all she can about various aspects of acting and Nighthawks In Bangkok is an important step in that evolution. Hopefully she can continue to obtain more dramatic roles.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Nighthawks in Bangkok is the ending. While totally ambiguous, I can see Nighthawks In Bangkok as a short film, actually being the beginning to a feature length film. What happens after their chance meeting, how would the drifter change his life, how would Proy change her life, would the encounter have an impact on other people in there life? Many questions left unanswered, yet many answers, without questions. Nighthawks in Bangkok displays a perpetual conundrum in the circle of life, death, and relationships.

I strongly recommend Nighthawks In Bangkok, and rate the short film a 9 out of 10. No explosion, no fighting, no car chases, just a person telling a story, and what a tale he weaves!

Check out the full film on Vimeo @ http://vimeo.com/44146050

Facebook for Shogen @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shogen/200856046603764?fref=nf&pnref=story

Krystal Vee @ https://www.facebook.com/veekrystal

Monday, December 1, 2014

Producer/Director Uwe Boll gears up for Rampage 3- No Mercy! Indiegogo campaign.

Above Video: Uwe chats about his ideas for Rampage 3: No Mercy.

Uwe Boll is a true innovator in indie film. Throughout his career he has managed to secure financing for over 30 feature films, including established actors including Sir Ben Kingsley and Jason Statham. He has specific ideas to indie film making, although he has garnered a bit of controversy, he always sees projects to fruition.  His Rampage series of films is a departure from typical B movie fare in that it depicts a harsh, all be it over the top sardonic reality. For Rampage 2 he took his message to the masses holding clever theater discussions with the audience and not shying away from questions.

Check out my review of Rampage 2 and interview with Uwe @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/director-uwe-boll-interview-exclusive-c.html

Review of Rampage 2 @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/rampage-capital-punishment-movie-review.html

Uwe is now launching a campaign for crowd funding for Rampage 3. I am very careful of supporting Indigogo or any crowd funding effort, unless the person has a distinct and proven track record.  Uwe has not only proved himself, but he does not bend to the will of the big companies, making movies on his terms.

The Indigogo campaign has a variety level perks, all the way from 1 dollar to 4,000 where you get to be in the film, and get shit by Bill Williamson!  in addition to exclusive DVD footage, mention in the credits, and autographs etc....

Uwe has set a goal of 100,000 US, but with Indigogo it is flexible financing, the money will be used!

The link to the Indiegogo site is @
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rampage-3-no-mercy

Fist Of The Dragon Movie Review

Above Photo: Thai release of Fist of The Dragon (C) 2014

Fist of the Dragon is Roger Corman's first production in Asia concentrating exclusively on a martial arts theme. Director Antony Szeto crafts a full force action film on a limited budget. Reminiscent of a 90s HK martial arts showcase, with enough modern elements to bring new viewers aboard.

Fist of the Dragon opens with lead actor and MMA star   as Damon meeting up with Meili played by  (Check Interview with Juju @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/actress-juju-chan-interview-exclusive-c.html ) Because the two met online, there first meeting was at a restaurant. Meili is a shy quiet demure lady in Fist Of The Dragon, Damon is a MMA fighter who lost his last fight just wanting to start over with a new life. 

At the same restaurant the two are in, a shady deal is going down to smuggle weapon triggers in of all things, Mooncakes! No this is not a spoiler, the Mooncakes are totally the main focus in Fist Of The Dragon. No not the crappy US knock offs, but the real ones, check Wiki for reference @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooncake . The action in Fist Of The Dragon. begins when the over zealous waiter inadvertently gives Damon the Mooncakes to bring to Meili at her apartment


In Fist Of The Dragon, one never knows who to trust. Even the cops in the film are on the take, they too are out for the Mooncakes. Twists and turns, fights, and more fights, Fist of The Dragon delivers exactly what is promised, a full force action film with diverse characters who are as colorful as the action!


Josh Thompson is amazing as a fighter, and seems to be integrating some of his newly minted acting skills into the fold. His character Damon plays like the reluctant hero, never wanting to really get involved, but once in the fray he seems to dive in full force to get results. 



Above Pic: villain Maria Tran as 'Zhen' is ready to um, er, ah, torture, yeah I will go with torture, sweet 'Meili' Juju Chan. Not sure what is more deadly, the blue flip phone, knife or tongue, yeah I went there!

Juju Chan plays the damsel in distress, and this is truly literal. she is quiet, reserved, and very shy. Obviously to have a long career, it is important  to stretch your acting range, portray characters exactly opposite of your persona. Meili is a simple office worker, who is caught up in the action as a hostage, when the Mooncakes are stolen. Juju is an action force whirlwind, but in Fist The Dragon, her acting chops are tested further that her actual chops.  Juju also serves as the film's associate producer and casting person.


Maria Tran, plays a bad girl, with extreme zeal, hurling vituperates, and flailing fists at the drop of a hat. Maria is a natural. Her facial expressions and emotions seethe with energy, and never appear forced. Her portrayal of Zhen ranges from controlled quiet, when she is posing as a maid, to extreme maniacal violence, when she has to fight. Maria has intellect, and creativity in all aspects of film making and production, check out my review of her short film Hit Girls @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/07/hit-girls-movie-review-short-film.html


Newcomer  plays Cassie. Her role is pivotal to the story, so no spoilers! Ellary is a good actress, and gets a bit in on the action, watch for her character later in the film.



Above Pic: Ellary and Juju look a bit tired after a tussle. Quick off to hair and make-up haha! (C) 2013 New Horizons Pictures 

Finally, and most importantly, director Antony Szeto and fight choreographer Trung Ly weave an entertaining, edge of the rail action film. Everything is relative, judging a 100 million dollar action film on the same scale as a Corman film is obviously not realistic, but Fist Of The Dragon makes the most of the settings, cast, and fight locations. In Asia, action is more of a priority that in the US film market. In addition, Fist Of The Dragon compares to Hong Kong films of the 90s more than anything else. Antony wears many hats in Fist of The Dragon, ranging from acting to editing, as often the case in lower budget films. Anthony is given much creative control. Not many Corman films come in without nudity, and this fact allows Fist Of The Dragon to never slow down pace wise from the very beginning. 



Above Pic: The Chef played by veteran action star  prepares to do unthinkable things with a deli meat slicer and various knives haha! (C) 2013 New Horizons Pictures

My only minor gripe is that the film is a tad to short, at under 85 minutes from beginning to credits close. I am sure that this is a necessary budget constraint. Fist of The Dragon would definitely benefit from more of a set up do to the copious amount of bad guys, and a bit of the background on the main protagonist characters. Even 5-7 more minutes would not only flesh out the story, but help the audience feel connected to the participants. 



Above Pic: Josh Thomson as Damon never wants a fight, but seems to find many in Fist Of The Dragon. (C) 2013 New Horizons Pictures.

Ending on a positive note, the fight scenes in Fist Of The Dragon are creative and entertaining. Paying homage to classic HK films and Don "The Dragon" Wilson work of the 90s' while adding innovation, Trung Ly  and Antony, know the angles to not only do the fight scenes, but to properly light them, and film them, and edit them, so the audience is engaged, and not left out of the action. The close quarter action sequences remind me of some of sequences in 'The Bourne Identity' films.


As a lover of off the wall, bat $h*t crazy action, I give Fist Of The Dragon a rousing 8.5 out of 10. I must say, finally, I will probably be leery of trusting a hotel maid again HAHA!, thanks Maria Tran, you are a spirited yet adorable violent one!


For more information on Fist Of The Dragon go to the official FB page: @ https://www.facebook.com/fistofthedragonmovie

Order the film from Thailand @ http://www.ethaicd.com/show.php?pid=80125