Ashley Park Interview

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

Above photo: Poster from Blood Hunters Facebook Page (TriCoast Entertainment will release the film soon!) Greetings valued Dan'...

Saturday, November 9, 2019

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Above trailer: 



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

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


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

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

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




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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

DMR: Chat if you can about upcoming projects.

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

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






Sunday, November 3, 2019

Danger Close (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report

Above: Poster for Danger Close (C) 2019 Saban Films


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. As we fast approach Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving, I was given the opportunity to review an excellent war film 'Danger Close'. Saban films unleashes the film to the U.S. Market November 8th. Actually this film has been in release for a bit in the Australian Market, the filming location. With a robust 35 million dollar budget, time was taken to to tell the story of the Battle of Long Tan. The Battle of Long Tan is a real battle that occurred during the Vietnam War in August of 1966, 18 Australian soldiers were killed and 24 injured. Essentially, a major part of the story involves a demand of the major to fire upon his position due to the fact they were pinned by superior enemy firepower.

Although sensationalized with much of the back story, and embellished, 'Danger Close' really unleashes the grit and angst of war. Opting to start out with a bit of character building unlike the more in your face 'Saving Private Ryan' allows a more 'Hollywood Experience' yet the good side of this, once a character is killed or wounded the audience is in the feel moment. The movie actually starts with green new recruits coming to the unit, and an overbearing commander. Researching this, apparently someone involved in the actual mission is saying the commander was not actually like this, made me think, why would they alter it? My guess is for intensity of story. That said, it does make for an interesting delve into the actual battle.

Where 'Danger Close' shines are the amazing battle sequences, costuming, sound. The battles are filmed close in on the cast members, then pull back to show artillery fire from a rear battery of mortar gunners. Time was taken to show the guns, radios, jeeps, and artillery from the period. This is a damn epic battle film, even though some of the actors are obviously not very skilled with weaponry. The costuming is great and the uniforms are simple and well worn. When someone takes a hit, the team do a great job of showing the uniform tears along with the blood. What I really like is the blood is not over the top, the soldiers actually bleed rather realistically. The sound is really good, get headphones, trust me this film has some killer tense music and very good ADR on vocals and weaponry.


I will state that I watched the film on a full sized TV, not computer with headphones, that said, this film needed a theatrical U.S. Release. War films lose impact on small screens, I mean when this hits the streaming services, I can just imagine people being flummoxed trying to watch this scope on a 6 inch phone.


The acting in 'Danger Close' is alright, no one really detracting from the story. Travis Fimmel as Major Harry Smith is a standout, but there is no real Al Pacino epic monologues ha, 'Danger Close' is all about the war action. The interplay between the seasoned veterans and actors Daniel Weber (Private Paul Large) and Nicholas Hamilton (Private Noel Grimes) mimics real life. The young actors work hard to get into character.


Towards the end we see air support and very battle warn and rusty tanks, this level of realism was pretty bad ass. War is hell, and these vehicles have been through it. War films are no laughing matter though, especially when this battle really happened. Studying this battle in further detail due to the terrain, and lack of area mapping, seems like logistical errors were made in not doing some sort of air support mission prior to sending in such a small company of men to a forward position. 'Danger Close' shows this, the faults and foibles of this military action. Even though a small company held off 2,000 Vietnamese soldiers, almost once entire company was sacrificed.

The film expounds on the sadness with some slow motion and mournful music towards the end. Also in the beginning the film shows a band performing, trying to boost company moral. Actually these two items bookend the story of young men trying to have some semblance of life on the battle front.

Director Kriv Stenders is to be commended for wrangling the large cast, and Keir Beck, stunt coordinator is to be for some praised for some damn fine ratchet set ups along with some attention to detail. The ending credits show photos the actors side by side with there real life counterparts, which was really heart wrenching to see.

Despite some initial questionable embellishments, 'Danger Close' is lives up to the title, men in peril, with the overpowering enemy circled around them. The film rates a “harrowing firestorm of bullets” 7 out of 10.

'Danger Close' unleashes the firepower in the United States on November 8th. Look for the film on various outlets.

Saban Films Official Website: http://www.sabanfilms.com/




Saturday, November 2, 2019

Director Larry Smith Interview 'Trafficker'! A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive! (C) 2019 Danny Templegod




Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report. Recently I reviewed a cool new film called Trafficker. After watching it and really enjoying it, I had to learn more. Here is a very detailed interview with the Director Larry Smith who also is one of the writers had a lot to say about the film. Plus, he shares his thoughts working on Eyes Wide Shut.

Chat about working with Kubrick, Tom Cruise and Sydney Pollack, on Eyes Wide Shut.

Talking to Sidney on the set one day while Tom Cruise was away on a premiere for Jerry McGuire. I asked Sidney how long it would take him to shoot a movie like Eyes Wide Shut, I was thinking 14 to 16 weeks, he said if he was shooting for Warner Bros, he would probably get 10 maybe 12 weeks. But if He shut down like we did two things would happen number one I would get fired; number 2; I would get sued.

On the opening two scenes of the movie in Bill's apartment. I was testing various looks with a very saturated blue light I was playing around with this look before I started Eyes Wide Shut. I was testing different layers of blue light on Tungsten lights outside of the windows., they were getting very hot, burning through the blue gels. I kept adding layers of blue to counteract the layers of blue that had burnt through. Sometimes the extra layers of blue had not quite burned through. The level of saturation looked a bit theatrical. One time I was doing this, and Stanley came onto the set and I was expecting him to say it was too blue, too theatrical, but he loved it and we decided to go with that look all the way through the movie.

Above: Larry Smith with Kubrick & Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut

The other scene was when Bill and Alice go to the party and they are coming down the winding staircase with that wall of fairy lights. We had lots of debate about it. Stanley was worried if there would be enough exposure there. I suggested yes there is, and I think it looks really nice. We tested it, and ultimately, we went with that we added more layers to the existing ones, it was a very soft and subtle light. We would drape some of the lights over a c stand and use it as a soft fill. I think it worked well. It was devoid of shadows and was in keeping with the tone the movie. Stanley named it the Larry Light; it amused the crew.



Chat about working as director, writer, producer on Trafficker.

Larry Smith: It is something Stanley Kubrick did very successfully. I learned a lot from him doing it, and he seemed to manage it comfortably. of course, it is a whole different scale to what he does from what I was doing on Trafficker. It came of course with various problems. The reason I became a producer on Trafficker is because the original producer Nicolas Winding Refnn pulled out due to the fact he was working on getting his own film Only God Forgives into the Cannes Film Fest.
At the 11th hour I was thrown into doing that job, but it did not really phase me.
I had already been in Thailand three months trying to get the casting and locations worked out. I was also working on the script as well as getting the production design in shape. I never felt any pressure to do those jobs.
I lit the film in a very simple way.

Producing is a bit more difficult, once you start shooting it is very hard to be a director and producer on a 24-day schedule working. six days a week, you have to trust in other people. I tried to keep all of the big decisions in my hands so there was no wasted time (or money) as we had such a tight budget. Ultimately, we were about 125,000 pounds short of what we were originally supposed to get. I think I had a solid 85 percent handle on everything we spent. We were not able to get the cast we originally set out to, even though people assured me we would get a top cast. The story has a strong moral center, yet we just did not get the top actors, ultimately, we had local actors for the most part. We tried to mold them into Vietnamese, people who looked authentic. With the help of some later ADR and various other post production items I think Trafficker was improved upon. Actually the film was never really finished until the end of 2018 into the beginning of 2019. It was always a work in progress up until that point.
I changed the original script a lot and the writer did not want to take the screenplay title just the stories by which is why I have the screen play credit , I felt the script needed to be streamlined a bit to fit the shooting schedule. also to try to reach a wider audience.

Chat about if there was a cast read through:

In terms of a read through I did not get the cast until very late, I did work with Krystal Vee, Guy Ratchanont Suprakob and Johnny. Raggett we really did not have any time for cast rehearsal. Guy who plays Hao is a well-known star in Thailand, he had a lot of TV commitments, but he always came to the office when he could. We tried to get a blueprint for how I thought the characters would interact with each other. How the two brothers would interact.

Above: Trafficker movie boat location

Chat about locations for the Trafficker film.

Given the schedule that we had, I did not want to make the mistake that we did on Only God Forgives, with the locations being really spread over Bangkok, and the horrendous traffic. You really have to wade your way through it. It made the days excessively long. I tried to pick blocks of locations where we would be for two or three days. The trucks would be parked there and we could easily move from one location to another. One of the locations in particular was the shootout on the rooftop, we chose that location for the look, we liked the streets around there. I said let's try to find the nightclub scene somewhere around there, and we should try to find the 'drug den'. Luckily they were two or three streets apart and we were able to shoot those three scenes over two nights. We had two full days shooting on those locations without any moving around, which I thought was invaluable. The two motorbike scenes, one of them was shot on the locations I just alluded to. The other one I put the motorbike on the back of a little trailer, just picked up a few shots of the brothers riding around Bangkok, fairly simple, we shot it with a fairly small crew in an evening. That was Guy's motorbike. He was very happy to do it. He put his heart and soul into it, a real trooper.


Describe a typical set day.

The set days were fairly relaxed. I like to try to keep a relaxed atmosphere. There was two or three complicated days. One when we went down and shot on the river about 2 hours out of Bangkok, we did a lot of the boat stuff, where people are getting onto the boat and the boat getting shot up. They were very tight nights, to be honest I probably did not get in as much coverage as I wanted.
The most difficult was the night scene with the shoot out on the boat. We had terrible problems with the special effects the squibs never worked. I actually had to go back and re-shoot some of it because of the failure of the special effects department. This really irritated me on the night, because we were out of town we had similar problems on the re shoot losing a lot of time.


Chat about some of the on the fly script changes.

I alluded to that earlier, I am a believer on less is more. I think sometimes scripts are over written. I was always looking to hone that a bit. The ending was always something I agonized a bit over. I shot different endings, . I was always going to end the film cutting back to the father who hung himself back where the boat started from. I to this day think it would have been a better ending. The opening sequence in the boat, and the refugees is a classic example of not having enough time, only one night. I felt rushed that night. In hindsight now I should have pushed that we had more time for this scene. That is one of the problems shooting movies sometimes it’s hard to get enough coverage.
The editors say it is always better to be looking at it than be looking for it. There is an element of truth in that, however, films and TV shows can be vastly overshot. There is a fine line, this is a particular case of more being more is one of those situations where more would have been better however we could not change that.


Will the film be out on DVD?

I think the film will be out on DVD. It is out on Amazon Prime. It should be out on other streaming platforms soon Indie rights are our Distributers .

Chat about DP work.

I am very lucky as a DP. I still get a chance to choose film or digital sometimes I shoot Film and sometimes Digital depends on the project .



Chat about some of your influences director wise.

I love a David Lynch's work. Hitchcock, Kubrick, Ron Howard, Barry Levinson, Michael Chimene. Martin Scorsese.
In terms of DPs. I loved the work of older cinematographers in the 30s and 40s. The had to be spot on in lighting the shadows and set ups had to be perfect. Those guys were superstars. I loved Gordon Willis. Freddie Young. The film stocks that were available at the time were far less advanced., the cameras were heavy and the lenses slower.

Some of my memorable projects going back. Of course Eyes Wide Shut. It was Kubrick’s last film kind very sad. It was a very hard film for me to shoot, yet was really amazing to work on.
I did a film after that called The Target, with Dennis Hopper and Diane Kruger. It was great to work with Dennis, who was not always the easiest person to work with for a lot of people but I got along very well with him, he was a very good stills photographer , he had these piercing blue eyes which were just like a magnet when you looked at them. Dennis was very charismatic, a wonderful actor.
Just after that I did a film called Fear X with director Nicolas Refn. This film was very underfunded. People pulled out at the last minute. The production went ahead to try to get the film made. We Shot in Winnipeg for 3 weeks and went back to Denmark to shoot about 10 days in Copenhagen. The memorable aspect of the film was it was quite interesting to shoot in Winnipeg. I enjoyed it. It was extremely cold during the shoot. I thought it was his best work so far though. I liked it because of its simplicity. I thought John Turturro carried it. I then did something for Tom Hooper, called love in a Cold Climate. I really liked it , we had wonderful actors . I worked on Red Dust with Hilary Swank. We shot anamorphic on film, I had many challenges on it. I thought we got the best out of the African locations tough.

Fast forward I got together with John Michael McDonagh. For a film called The Guard. I thought it was a great cast. A dark comedy/crime drama with Don Cheadle who I thought was really amazing in it. The film had a great cast including Brendan Gleeson, mark strong. Great group of people we shot for 5 to 6 weeks.

I did another film called The Man Who Knew Infinity for director Matt Brown. The film starred Jeremy Irons, who I worked with before. We shot in India, London. We had a really good cast and crew.
I enjoyed working on Trafficker I had the opportunity to shoot a an episode of Alienist . Recently I shot a series for Netflix called The Letter For the King. We shot in New Zealand and in Prague for a hundred days. I am currently shooting a movie in New York called Things Heard and Seen with Shari Springer Berman and Bob Pulcini.
Upcoming projects I am working with John McDonagh again on a film in January. in I am also working on a screenplay of my own a historical true story which I am writing, also I am going to shoot a Film in L A with a young very talented Director called Helier Bissell-Thomas called The Honored Society.

Thanks for your time Larry, this interview is quite enlightening and informative.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Wild League - 2019- Ready To Be Unleashed! New Film From Director Art Camacho! EXCLUSIVE!

Above: Photo from IMDB page. Used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

 
Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, Producer/Director Art Camacho sent me a press release link to a film called Wild League. The Russian film actually is a true story The film is unleashed in November at the Asian World Film Festival and then screenings follow afterwards throughout the remainder of 2019. Art filmed in Russia, and had many unique experiences. Actually the film releases October 24th In Russia. Art Camacho is the first Hispanic Director to helm a film inside of Russia.

Art Camacho: “The (Wild League) script read like an epic love story in an era of honor, idealism, and unyielding determination.” 

Below 
Photo Credit: (C) 2019 modern age productions:  Photo: ARINA CHEREDNICHENKO A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive!




Art had this to say exclusively to Dan's Movie Report  “Since Wild league was based on historical events, It was important get it right and also to keep the cultural sensitivities of that era. I was blessed with an amazing cast and crew; some of the best I’ve worked with in my long career!"

The film also stars Adrian Paul of Highlander fame.


Synopsis: Based upon the real-life events of the 1910s, this extremely topical story is about a guy from the lowest social strata, who, in order to be with his beloved woman, had to leave his native land and to start his life anew in Moscow. Proved himself in a battle, he was noticed by the Englishman owning a closed soccer club, who invited him to try his hand at his team. However, soccer is an aristocratic game and the team didn't accept a barge-hauler from the Volga. Therefore, he gathered his courage, found the right people, with whom they created the Wild League consisted of street teams from Moscow. Thus, he became a leader, changing his life and the lives of people surrounding him. Varlamy replaced folk fun - battles «wall against the wall», in which perished ordinary people - with soccer. Now they're challenged by the soccer lawmakers.



The trailer for the film can be found at: https://vimeo.com/320758605



Sunday, October 20, 2019

Phantom of the Ice In Production Now!! A Dan's Movie Report Global Exclusive! (C) 2019 Danny Templegod

Above: Star Nikita Yan  Side: Co Star Angel Lin



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report Readers. Producer Bey Logan informed me exclusively about the current production of 'Phantom Of The Ice' The film is currently shooting in Northern China. The film is currently shooting in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang, near Harbin in North-East China. It is the first production to film at the extensive Qiqihar Ice Hockey City. Production is slated to continue until early November.

Southern Light Productions has graciously provided exclusive photos from the production for Dan's Movie Report.

Synopsis: An underdog ice hockey team made up of plucky Chinese girls must meet the challenge of a fierce foreign team. Matters are complicated by the fact that their coach and that of their opponents are former lovers. The Phantoms must prove their skill and courage on and off the ice to win the day.

The film stars Nikita Yan: Nikita Yan, also known as Yan Lu-yang, is a Beijing native, and has starred in over 20 Chinese movies. She worked with veteran Hollywood effects director Anthony La Merinara on his Chinese production ‘You Are You’. Nikita received Best Actress nomination at the American International Horror Festival for her performance in the film ‘Mystery Field’. 

Above: Director James Nan
 

Phantom Of The Ice is directed by James Nan: Director James Nan was a producer on the international hits ‘The Grandmaster’ and ‘Chinese Zodiac’. His own Southern Lights company has since released a string of genre titles worldwide, including ‘Lady Detective Shadow’ and ‘Vixen’. A protégé of famed Taiwanese cinema vetern Li You-ning, James makes his directorial debut with ‘Phantom of the Ice’.

Above: Nikita Yan


Director of Photographer Yuan Qing-guo hails from Taiwan, and has worked with his illustrious countrymen King Hu, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ang Lee. 

Above: Training Sequence.

All photos & video contained are copyright 2019 by Southern Light Productions, exclusively for Dan's Movie Report. Below, an exclusive teaser! Edit by director James Nan.



 

Producer Bey Logan has worked on numerous Hollywood and International productions including Vietnam's inclusion to the 2019 Academy Awards 'Furie' as best Foreign Film. Mr Logan has also penned several books relating to the action film genre. Please check out our two detailed interviews for more information: 


Cast and Crew List:

Nikita Yan / Yan Lu-yang: Angie
Bella Liu: Ma Wei
Cherie Chuang: Jiang Na
Angel Lin: Cheung Mong-ying
Yen Ger / Chi Shr-ping
Victoria Kant : Coach Elena
Wang Qian-you: Coach Liu Bin
Olive Wong: Sheung Kwan-yin

Director: James Nan
Producer: Bey Logan
Line Producer: Tian Guo-xiong
Director of Photography: Yuan Qing-you
Consulting Producer: Li You-ning
Assistant Director : Ray Li

Keep reading Dan's Movie Report for more exclusives on 'Phantom of the Ice'!!!


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Rabid (2019) Movie Review (C) 2019 Dan's Movie Report Danny Templegod



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. One of the first introductions to horror for me was David Cronenberg's 1977 masterpiece 'Rabid'. More of a thinking man's infection outbreak film. In that film, a sexy Marilyn Chambers undergoes an experimental plastic surgery, and develops a taste for human flesh. Cronenberg's films have violence and blood, but always stray away from the norm. Fast forward to 2019, Jen & Sylvia Soska tackle the difficult remake. The Soska Sisters are co-directing and co-writing the film. The updated film has elements of stem cell research and a very slick fashion designer theme as well.

The Soska's up the blood and gore factor, but it works in the 2019 Rabid. They are masters of the flowing gelatin, yet the biting social commentary makes for a sultry dynamic ride. Horror told from a female prospective allows for a reveal of the initial facial scar, and how much emphasis is placed on looks. Vanity is almost forced on ladies in the film world, and the 2019 Rabid makes sure to up the way the ladies not only look, but comment on how their counterparts appear.

'Immortal skin grafts' are discussed, as Rose gets the treatment. Laura Vandervoort as Rose delivers a sublime, and commanding performance as Rose. She constantly checks her appearance, and gains confidence through the movie. Sometimes she is passive, other times she is feral and aggressive. Vandervoort is a pro, and she pushes her own boundaries in Rabid. Rose has the visions of feral, carnal violence.

The original Rabid is 90 minutes including credits and the Soska version is 107 minutes. The longer version allows for more dialogue and retrospective. In addition a very developed side plot of fashion designer Gunter portrayed by Mackenzie Gray. Gray is a pro and revels in the eccentric character, pushing the envelope of flamboyant behavior to the extreme, yet coming down a bit for the quieter moments. Gunter serves as the pushy boss, in a modern day environment, another social device. Look for an appearance by wrestler CM Punk as well.

Rabid has amazing costuming and scenery, especially in the fashion show. Also a special mention to Hanneke Talbot, who portrays Chelsea. I refuse to spoil what happens, but she is a powerhouse force, and whoa, that escalated quick! She states “I am closing the Motherf@#cking show, I am great!” She is amazing and pushes hard to get into character, ranging emotions rather rapidly.

A few notes, I recommend checking out the original Rabid film prior to watching this. Though it is not a requirement, more intellectual horror, requires thought. Rabid is not a typical 'zombie or slasher' check your brain at the door film. There is inherently more dialogue in Rabid than perhaps 95 percent of the horror film released. If you see negative commentary of this film, consider the source. The original Rabid is more subdued, yet the terror is real when it ramps up. Rabid 2019 is more of a frantic pace, yet has much of the same feel. Comparing the two films is unfair as the pacing is different, yet there is enough of the similar elements for a remake. In 1977 Rabid had a rather specific and limited audience, yet developed a cult following years later. With a splash in major horror film festivals and a release, the 2019 film will repeat that, and hopefully get people viewing the original film as well.

Catty behavior, some biting humor, expertly filmed, the 2019 version of Rabid is ravishingly entertaining. The film expounds and pays homage to the original with updated gore and special effects, which do not detract from the intensity. The Soska's Rabid rates a solid 7 out of 10, Happy Halloween!

Rabid unleashes in the USA around December 13th from Shout! Factory.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rabidmovie/

Twisted Twins:  http://twistedtwinsproductions.net/

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cleaning House (2019) Short Film Review - (C) Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. From the creative action minds of Marissa Labog and the incredible Shahaub Roudbari comes a brand new short. A slice of action entitled 'Cleaning House'

Synopsis: CLEANING HOUSE is an 80s driven action comedy that revolves around a spirited maid named Sydney (Marissa Labog) and an overzealous secret agent named Dylan (Shahaub Roudbari). As her love for Whitney Houston disrupts his covert op, a frantic battle erupts revealing things are not always as they seem.

Marissa serves as the writer and producer and Shahaub serves as the director for Cleaning House. The film opens with Marissa as a maid with headphones on, seemingly oblivious to the fighting going on around her where various thugs are attempting to take out Shabaub's character. In all actuality, things are not what they seem. Eventually and I mean deliberately, slow, and methodical, Marissa, unscrews a mop handle, very dramatically. In the ensuing seconds she uses her speed, action, and amazing dance moves to punch and kick her way through the thugs.

Above: Marissa Labog in 'Cleaning House' (C) 2019 Up Productionz


Marissa, always engaging, makes astute social commentary as well, about women in the work place. Though 'Cleaning House' is a far lighter tone than the Earth shattering short 'When Kids Grow Up'. In that film Marissa plays a potential rape victim, with realism and danger. Marissa manages to get a message in, and drive the point home, even though Cleaning House is a comedy. Marissa may be short in stature, as she often demonstrates in her action films by taking on much bigger opponents, yet displays no fear, and always pushes forward. In Cleaning House' the action is clear, pronounced and easy to see and enjoy. Everyone involved should be commended for their efforts

Near the end of 'Cleaning House' the amazing action professional Amy Sturdivant comes out and proves that women not only belong as equals, but are as Marissa puts it are “more than qualified”. The fighting takes place in a pastel lit Miami Vice style room, adding to the 80s vibe. Overall, another great short. 'Cleaning House' rates a strong 8 out of 10, I hope it goes to some action film festivals in the coming months!

The entire short is now live on YouTube:



'Cleaning House' Cast and Crew list:

Directed by — Shahaub Roudbari Written & Produced by — Marissa Labog Director of Photography — Jennifer Hook CAST Sydney — Marissa Labog Dylan — Shahaub Roudbari Security Detail Aviel “A.V.” Ayoung Stephane Fiossonangaye Ryan Gray Anthony Oh Dustin Stern-Garcia Amy Sturdivant Yavuz Topuz Fight Coordinators — Shahaub Roudbari & Aviel “A.V.” Ayoung First AC — Lauren Peele Gaffer — Conor Soules Key Grip — Jake Reardon Sound — Jacob Miller Makeup Artist — Olga Voronova Editor — Ernesto Matamoros VFX — Jaron Clegg Sound Mix — Johnny Gao, Jae Kim Colorist — Billy Jackson MUSIC “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Written by Jim Steinman Performed by Bonnie Tyler Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” Written by Shannon Rubicam and George Robert Merrill Performed by Whitney Houston Courtesy of Arista Records By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

For more information on UP PRODUCTIONZ:

Finally, although it was conducted some time ago, please check out my interview with Marissa: http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2013/04/actressstuntwoman-marissa-labog.html

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Eternal Code (2019) Movie Review - Dan's Movie Report

Above: Eternal Code Poster (C)  2019 Vision Films from IMDB



Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. The folks at Vision Films have unleashed a thriller/drama called Eternal Code. The 'eternal code' referred in this film is transferring mind to a new body. Two corporations caught up in a merger, with ruthless thugs forcing the merger to happen. Kidnappings, murder, betrayal, and general mayhem all ensue!

Eternal Code requires the viewer to be completely engaged, due to the fact there are so many plot twists. The eerie relaxed pace adds some tension, and allows the viewer to catch up, yet at a 106 minutes, I felt that the run time is a bit too long, and there is a bit of transitional time wasted. Unexpected turns in a film are amazing, but if there are so many it can bog down the film, as good as the Eternal Code story and idea is, the impact and message is at times, muddled.

On the plus side, the acting is natural and not forced. Richard Tyson as Oliver brings a command performance to Eternal Code playing a vet who is down on his luck, but has a conscious for others. Scout Taylor-Compton is great as well, showing emotion, and concern. The younger actors in the film do a solid job. Actually, this is one of the strengths in Eternal Code, and for an indie film is refreshing.Executive Producer/Director/Writer Harley Wallen worked very hard on this film, and it is obvious from the quality of the acting.

I do not want to spoil any of the plot of Eternal Code, but I will say, be patient watching it. There is a moral character study occurring here, and it unfolds as the movie progresses. The end of life technology is never completely explained, nor explored that much, but implied. In addition, there are so many characters introduced, there is just not enough background material on them to initiate empathy when they either expire, or someone close to them does. A second watch, which I did, yields better results, and due to the plot complexity of Eternal Code, it is nearly mandatory.

The quality of the film, sound, editing, and ADR, is very professional. All of the dialogue can be heard, even when a character is speaking under their breath. Lighting, location and accouterments in Eternal Code allow for an clear viewing experience. I am thinking with a few less characters and perhaps 10 minutes of running time trim Eternal Code could have been pretty epic. Even with the gripes I have, Eternal Code is clever and engaging, definitely not a check your brain at the door, film. With a variety of u-turns and worth a watch for fans of dramatic thrillers. Admittedly, I struggled with a rating score, as stated prior, a second viewing yields an evaluation 6.5 out of 10.

Eternal code is available for rent or purchase now on various outlets.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Courier (2019) New Trailer And Confirmed Release Date! Dan's Movie Report

Above: IMDB Poster for The Courier (C) 2019 Roller Coaster Angel Productions
Website: https://rollercoasterangelproductions.com/
U.K. Release: December 20th, 2019 - Theatrical.


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and www.action-flix.com readers. Chatted with my friend Lee Charles recently. He has a part in and was Olga Kurylenko's trainer for the new kick ass film called The Courier. Olga plays the title character (The Courier) and she had to go through a myriad of training for the part. Now the trailer has dropped and the film has a release date November 22nd, 2019.

Synopsis: This intense action-thriller film unfolds in real time as two embattled souls fight for their lives. Academy Award Winner Gary Oldman stars as a vicious crime boss out to kill Nick, the lone witness set to testify against him. He hires a mysterious female motorcycle courier (Olga Kurylenko) to unknowingly deliver a poison-gas bomb to slay Nick. But after she rescues Nick from certain death, the duo must confront an army of ruthless hired killers in order to survive the night.

The Courier is directed by Zackary Adler, who also serves as one of the writers and one of the producers. Lionsgate will distribute the film in the U.S.A. Look for a November 22nd release!!

The Courier looks to be a R rated thrill ride with the amazing Gary Oldman and Dermot Mulroney involved. According to Lee, crafting action took several months, very meticulous, and hard training. Olga Kurylenko brings maximum effort to all the projects she is in, and this looks to be brutal! What is also cool is a balance of not just guys saving the day, the ladies, are involved in the action! Actress Alicia Agneson plays Agent Simmonds, she also will enter the dangerous fray. Incidentally, Lee plays a character named Fripp, and is the assistant fight choreographer, very much looking forward to this action!

The Movie Trailer Channel has an official U.S. Trailer



Connect with the amazingly talented Olga Kurylenko on her official pages:


Keep reading Dan's Movie Report and www.action-flix.com for more exclusive content over the next several months!