Saturday, July 14, 2012

Albert Pyun's Cyborg Nemesis to Begin Principal Photography in Argentina

For more on Natassia check out her exclusive interview on Dan's Movie Report interview @

For further information check the Facebook link for Albert Pyun @

Watch for more exclusive news, photos, and interviews from Dan's Movie Report.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hijacked Movie Review

Above Pic: Poster for Hijacked (C) 2012 Anchor Bay Films

My friends know I am a huge MMA fan so of course I have to review Hijacked, the latest effort of Randy Couture. This one of those films that will surprise the audience, Hijacked has that Die Hard feel, full of action yet enough tense story line to keep things interesting.

Hijacked opens at a lavish Paris party thrown by one of the richest CEO's in the world, Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbass). Lieb is trying to save face as he is being investigated by the SEC for shady business practices.

The story unfolds when Paul Ross (Couture)is asked by Lieb to come aboard his private plane for protection, with a side story of Paul's ex- fiance' Olivia (Tiffany Dupont) on board as well as Lieb's press/publicity agent.

The villains in Hijacked are scowl faced bad guys lead by Rostow Pawlak (Holt McCallary). They intend to take the entire fortune of Lieb Industries and parachute off the plane with the cash secured in a Swiss bank account.

Hijacked is full of violence, gun play, and fights, but there is enough time in between the action to properly tell the story and develop some of the characters. Hijacked is a hard R rated film as there is a lurid sex scene that has a not so nice climax.

Above Pic: Randy Couture has to protect a plane full of people. (C) 2012 Anchor Bay Films, Dan's movie Report Screen Cap

The acting in Hijacked is decent, Couture is about as low key and unflappable  as they come in action heroes. I am not sure if his emotion would have made a difference, he was supposed to be playing a special-ops trained CIA agent. Tiffany shows enough emotion for every cast member in Hijacked as she clearly relished her role, and enjoyed being sexy and smart at the same time.

The 90 minute film flows at a lightning pace, never a wasted moment. Some of the minor characters look a bit lost, but this does not detract from Hijacked's main story or focus.

Above Pic: The villains in Hijacked, angry and hell-bent on violence, especially Lynn Moore, girls just want to kill for fun haha. (C) 2012 Anchor Bay Films, Dan's Movie Report Screen Cap. 

Another thing I like is that Hijacked has several dynamic female characters, even a sultry, yet consistently angry female villain, played by Lynn Moore. I wish more action films would allow the women to have a bit of interplay, and not always portray the scared victims. 

Technically the film looks and sounds sharp, polished, and slick. There is much gunfire, scuffling, and running around in Hijacked. The foley artists must have worked overtime on Hijacked.

This is a good film, definitely worth a rent or purchase for the tense action, and rates a 7 out of 10. Buy the film directly from the Amazon Link Below:

Actress Emily Kaiho Interview (Exclusive)

Emily Kaiho burst onto the scene with her dynamic portrayal of Momoko in the action film Bunraku. Beautiful and multi-talented, Emily is currently fronting her own metal band called SeeVa. Emily has a wide variety of experiences and takes time out of her busy schedule to conduct this exclusive interview with Dan's Movie Report. Enough of me being a blabbering buffoon, on to the adorable Emily.(Special thanks to Jeff Centuri, Kiara Schwartz, and Tara Macken for help woth this interview)

Update 12-12-12: Check out Emily's new band ARA Avex Rising Angels!

Describe a bit about your upbringing, and share a funny story from your childhood.

I was a very energetic child, just like how I am now, but was shy in public. I only showed my active side when I was with family, but was very quiet and self-conscious at school. It was mainly because I was half Caucasian and looked different from everyone else. Living in a small town in Japan, it was very rare to be one. 

Above Pic Credit: Kiara Schwartz  http://www.tobruckave.

Did you want to act in films early on? What made you finally decide to get into film? 

Actually, I started acting in musical theater when I was 13. This is when I got less shy and more outgoing. I really loved to sing, dance and perform. I know this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

On to Bunraku, describe the audition process, were there many actresses there with you, at the original audition?

Well, I grew up in Japan and was working as a model and dancer. And the more I got into it, I felt I wasn’t going any further. Once for life, and while I was still young, I wanted to take a chance
and go for the “American Dream.” I pretty much said good bye to everything, my family, friends, past, and flew to LA. Luckily, I could sign with Click models as soon as I got there and started working at a Japanese restaurant. After two months working at this restaurant, a casting director came to eat and told me about this audition for BUNRAKU. I never really had experience of film acting, but went for it. After two castings, I got the part and 3 days later, they flew me to Romania. I did not meet a lot of actresses at the audition, but afterwards I heard that they have been casting for this role for months and even went to Japan, but couldn’t find the girl. That was so amazing to hear.

Can you think of a funny story about the audition?

Car troubles!!! On the day before the first audition, I got my car towed! Yes, I was a bad driver (Ed Note: Stear clear of Emily!)
with only two months of driving experience and parked in front of someone’s drive way. So, it’s my bad, but I just got the sides that day and was so freaked out. It took me until midnight to get the car back and just practiced the sides over night.And there’s more...On my way to the second audition, which is the final audition, I got a flat tire! Again, it was my first car and had no idea what to do with it! I just parked on the street with a note and found a girl walking to her car and got a ride!! I was sweating bullets!!!!!! After this, it has to be my lucky charm to have car trouble before an audition, cause it means that I will totally book it.

What type of training did you have to do for Bunraku, acting, stunts etc..?

I originally had a solo action sequence and also a short fight scene, and the stunt team trained me for it. (They cut out the solo sequence. Oh well!) We had a lot of free time, waiting time on set and I was board, so I would just go train with the stunt guys. After several sessions, I really got into it and wanted to learn more. It was so much fun. I continued after the film and still practice everyday. All the stunt guys are still my really good friends too. It’s another great gift BUNRAKU has gave to me. 


Did your dance background help in Bunraku with the fluidity of movement in the action sequences?

Certainly! Dancing and martial arts have a lot of movements in common, and how you use and acknowledge your body.

How long was your portion of the filming?

I was in Romania for three months, but I had a lot of days off too. It was perfect. I could both work and enjoy some time off.
Any hard hits or bumps on set? Maybe share a story about working with Ron, or any of the other actors on Bunraku.Not really. Only when I was playing and trying to fight the Stunt guys off set. Lol Working with all the big name actors was an amazing experience. They were all very professional, but real people too. Josh would go and get his own coffee and asked if anyone wanted anything, I did some yoga with Woody and GACKT was like my big brother and Demi told me that I was doing a great job. hehe. Simple words, but it was very special to me. And we all sure did party hard! Almost every night, the hotel bar was full of BUNRAKU cast and crew.

Do you know of any plans to make a second Bunraku film or one like it?

I’m not sure if they would make another BUNRAKU, but certainly I am always on the loop of auditioning.

Above Pic: Bunraku Screen Cap, Dan's Movie Report

Did you have a better understanding and appreciation for action films after the production completed?

Yes. Before, I thought action film were just brutal, but now that I studied martial arts and saw how an action film is made, I see it differently. It more like a dance performance. There is always a fight choreography and something to express through the movements. If it’s just shooting away,
not so much, but martial arts is really a kind of an art.

Above Photo Credit: Kiara Schwartz http://www.tobruckave. 

In general do you like films like Sin City and Bunraku that use a lot of green screen or more live background stuff?

I like all kinds of films, no matter what the genre is. I think the most important is a great story and interesting characters. Moreover, great acting, directing, music, editing...anything can add up, but I’d say if you’re looking for a good film, look for a good story.

Any more film or TV work upcoming, I noticed you worked on a few commercials for Adidas, Nike and Wal-mart as well?

Yes, I have recently got cast in a horror film and will be starting to shoot next month in August. I will be playing the main character and it’s going to be a big challenge for me, but I am very thankful of the opportunity.

On to the music side,I saw on the internet you are in a band called See Va, how long has the band been active for?

SeeVa is an all girl Metal band based in Tokyo. It’s a brand new band, just three months old. I signed with a Japanese record label Avex this year and through some connections I met with my guitarist, Rena and we formed our band together.

Above Pic: SeeVa from Emily's Facebook Page

How would you describe your sound to someone that has not heard your music before?

We are very much inspired by Heavy Metal, Rock and Progressive Rock. We like to make intense, hard rockin’ music.

Most of my readers are from the US, are there any US bands and singers that influence your musical style. Maybe also let my readers know about some Japanese or other Asian bands who are your influences?

Dream Theater, KISS, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer
Japanese Bands: X Japan

Above Photo Credit: Kiara Schwartz http://www.tobruckave. Tara Macken and Emily

What made you get interested in taking the stage musically?

I always loved to sing, starting in musical theater and tried out for so many singer auditions but never really got through. And I met so many great singers in the process, I totally lost confidence at a certain point. I had more offers as a model and kind of stepped away from singing for several years. Just recently, I met someone from Avex and because of BUNRAKU they had interest in me. I auditioned for them and got the ticket to come on board with them. Never give up, and keep on doing it, and someone will be watching. I really do think so. I not just a lucky girl. I just never give up.

Above Pic: Emily from her IMDB page

Must be exciting to have the immediate impact of being onstage and connecting with your fans?

It’s a brand new band and we are still in process of making our own songs. We are mostly in studio. Sometimes we perform in front of small crowds at a Rock Bar, but more like testing out our songs. It is quite a process, but for sure, we will start performing in the near future.

How about any stories from your live performances?

Not yet.

I was checking over the See Va page is their currently music available to listen or buy on there?

Not yet.

What is in the future for Emily? More acting? Music? What career path are you focusing on?

To me, acting, singing, modeling or dancing is all the same. It’s performing. It’s expressing.I don’t want to limit myself to just one thing, even though it is a lot more work, I choose to do it all! I’m sure there is space for all of us performers and if we keep on doing it, it just keeps getting better. I just go one day at a time, but always eyes on a brighter future.

Any final advice for young musicians or actors just starting out?

It’s sure a tough road, but there are so many amazing things about this job. That’s why I’m still here. Many people would think you are crazy when you tell them you want to be a performer, but let them be! Whatever people say, even your family, it doesn’t matter. Just go your way, and
make your own life just way you want it.

Thanks Emily, for more info on her, scream your browsers over to these following web areas:

SeeVa official blog (Japanese):

SeeVa Official Website:

Iron Monk News And New Photos

The JNC team behind Iron Monk sent me a couple of new stills, the first one below is a full cast shot.

Still of Iron Monk producer Jason Ninh Cao with Choi Tseveenpurev, Lisa Carrodus, Silvio Simac, Yanzi Shi, Richard Wu, Zara Phythian & Vincent Wang.
Photography by: Rupert Shelbourne & Helen Jones

In addition, my new favorite shot of the sexy and mostly dangerous Zara Phythian, in a very tight outfit. If this offends, then your browser is stuck on the wrong website. Zara also will be in a new action film, so watch for more on her on Dan's Movie Report! Follow the sultry Zara on Twitter, she always updates her followers with regular tweets,

For more information on Iron Monk, several web portals are available to punch your browsers toward:

YouTube Trailer:
The trailer has 1/4 million views already!

The Limelight Movie Review

Got a very cool e-mail from Glen Maney. He wrote, co-directed with John Robson, and starred in his own film appropriately titled, The Limelight. Glen plays a down on his luck underground comedian, Gary Shand. The sardonic and sublime humor in The Limelight is decidedly British, but even as an American I enjoyed the dark comedy tinged with some sexual, but realistic undertones.

Gary has dealings with several bizarre characters along the way, including a landlord, who he paid in postage stamps! Haha, and an agent who books him at local comedy venues then conveniently, does not pay him. He often visits a local watering hole, where the bartender seems to offer a few words of wit and wisdom.

Technically  The Limelight is well shot in HD, but the sound is a bit on the thin tinny side. The settings and backgrounds set the tone of the film, and it is obvious that Glen knows from experience the depths of character development.

The humor is an acquired taste, as a few of the cast are from The Eastenders. My favorite scene is when Gary meets up with a sexy blonde lady named Sara Meo, (Sonya Roseman), she asks him do you want to go somewhere and Gary mentions the zoo, and the monkey cage. What she meant was she wanted to be "with" him. Eventually the two wind up in a hotel room, already booked by another, but available for 1 hour, he freshens up, she falls a sleep, perhaps out of being bored to slumber, by the time he imagines what can happen, nothing does! HAHAHA! Sonya is quite fetching, a good actress, and it would be hard to imagine a bloke, ah my British is coming out, not wanting to shag her! HAHA!

There is a surprise twist at the end, one you definitely cannot see coming, I won't spoil it, but it is a fitting end to this irreverent look at the British comedy scene.

I like it, I rate The Limelight 6.5 out of 10 not for everyone, but if you like dark British humor, this film is a great effort.

For more info point your browsers to:!home/mainPage

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Actress Stephanie Cheeva Interview

Above Pic: Stephanie at 2003 Vegas Awards Banquet (C) 2003 Danny Shamon

Hailing from Bulgaria, Stephanie Cheeva made a name for herself in her early years as a decorated martial artist, in the mid 90s she made the big move to Hollywood, to pursue her dream of acting. Fast forward to 2012 she is starring in a cool new movie called Black Cobra, and has put forth an extreme effort and dedicated her life to end child sex trafficking and with her husband Kelsey created Love Never Fails World Charity. Stephanie is a truly loving individual with a unique story to tell, no more of my rambling, on to Stephanie in her own words.

Big changes in your life, since our last interview in 2003, what made you decide to create Love Never Fails World Charity?

I heard about child sex trafficking for the first time and I couldn't believe that such evil existed. I learned that there's an organized commercial child sex industry, in America and across the Globe where kids are raped 10 to 20 times a day. The average age is 6, but there are some as young as 4 months old, sold for as little as $16US. My whole being was shaken... I kept looking at my own kids - 7, 4 and 2 - and felt sick when I would imagine what an intercourse would do to their little bodies, let alone their spirits. I couldn't sleep for weeks, and I was haunted by what I now knew. The more my husband and I learned about child trafficking, the more clear it became to both of us, that we couldn't live with knowing and not doing something about it. Thankfully, we also learned that there are solutions to the problem and with God's help we want to spread the word, and inspire and equip people to take action. That's how Love Never Fails World Charity was started. Big thanks to Dan's Movie Report for doing your part and supporting us by putting a permanent banner up on your site and helping us reach more people!!!

Having children of your own made you realize the plight of kids worldwide?

Definitely! Having kids of my own has given me a big heart for kids in general, just by witnessing how loving, and trusting, and pure they are, and filled with wonder. And that's taken away from them when they are systematically abused and raped. My husband and I are Christian folks,... and talk about "Love your neighbor as yourself"... heavy.... I don't know that I can love all of them as I love my own kids, but there is definitely a very authentic commitment that's taken a permanent place in my being, that for as long as I'm living I will not stop doing my best to help stop child trafficking. I know it's the same for my husband as well.

Organizing events such as Jeremy Lin The Musical for Love Never Fails must help raise awareness, are there any more events upcoming?

Yes, and yes:) Having artist come together and do what they do best for this cause is so powerful. We are very grateful to Aden Park for initiating the whole idea of the musical and putting it together. People were definitely made aware, and then inspired to do their share to stop child sex trafficking. It's such a beautiful thing to see, because they feel empowered to be able to make a difference and they feel good doing it, which in turn becomes contagious and others want to join in. It's like this movement, this powerful wave that's being created... It's amazing! My mind always goes to the thought that the ocean is actually made of drops of water. Sometimes we may see ourselves or our efforts as insignificant, but an ocean of those efforts becomes overwhelmingly powerful. Child trafficking is a 32 Billion Dollar industry, second only to drugs and the fastest growing. But I'll bet you, that for every one person who benefits from keeping this industry growing, there are ten of us who feel strongly about stopping it. The key is to unite. Having events is a great way to do so. We have a few that are coming at the end of the summer and early autumn, and we will keep you posted on details. We are also launching a photo campaign in October, where many volunteered to come and model for us, give interviews, etc. We are big advocates for community involvement and are very grateful for, and in need of people who want to come and help us put it all together. If anyone who's reading this article feels lead to join this movement, we'd love to hear from them, wether they have thoughts, suggestions, or want to come hang out and help in anyway. They can contact us through our website -
One thing they can do right now, is go "like us" on Facebook, or tell another person about what we're trying to do.

Above Pic: Stephanie and Kelsey in 2003, (C) Danny Shamon

What is the most difficult aspect of running a charitable organization?

The endless hours of work, on top of working to pay the bills. But again, it is also very satisfying. There is joy in knowing you're making a difference.

On to Black Cobra, how did you get involved with the project? 

I was approached, at one of the Martial Arts celebrity events, by a person I didn't know - Sebati Edward Mafate - and he said that he's written a novel and has adopted it into a screenplay, and he wants me to be in it. I had just given birth to my first child, so I was like: "Yeah, sure.... It'll probably never happen..." So it started out as a joke, but took a life of its own. I told my friend Lilly Melgar about it, she told her friend Mark Jacoby about it. They became executive producers and brought in the money. Than Scott Donovan (director) and TJ Storm (starring) also joined the team. We have all been friends for years. And to top it off Reuben Langdon and Ken Ohara from Just Cause, with whom I had worked for many years, came in as stunt coordinator and action director and brought A-list stunt performers to do their magic with the fight scenes. Our luck didn't stop there, through Scott's contacts we've had the incredible privilege to have the Kami Asgar, Tim Tuchrello, Sean McCormack team - two times academy award nominees, Emmy winners, Golden Reel winners- to do the post production for the film. All that culminated in a Lionsgate release of the movie on May 24th of this year/

Must be fun to work with friends T.J. Storm and Lilly Melgar, does being friends first sometimes put more pressure on you to do a good job with the film?

Well, we've all worked together on many projects before, and that familiarity helps a ton. Plus, it's fun to work with friends. We all wanted to our best for each other as well.

How long was your portion of the film production?

Pretty much from beginning to end, but heaviest during pre-production and principle photography. 

Share a funny set story from Black Cobra.

One of our locations was in the city of Pasadena. We didn't know it at the time, but filming in Pasadena is a bit less expensive, but as intricate as filming in Beverly Hills. Mind  you, we are an ultra low budget sag film, and we had to get a ton of different permits for every little thing we were going to do  and had to collect signatures from the neighbors in Pasadena in order to even be considered for a permit! Well, we did it all and of course a on the day a piece of equipment was being temperamental while we had all these elaborate set ups of balsa wood furniture and doors, sugar glass and fire for our night shoot stunts. We didn't get the shots and we needed to come back the next night, but there was no way we could get the permits in time and it was the last day of filming and our very last budget. So some said - "Forget it. This is my cousins house. I've lived here for years and my neighbors are cool with us filming. Let's just get the last shot, or you guys don't have a movie." So we started filming and sure enough the police and the fire-marshal  showed up at the door. We knew they were going to shut us down, and in desperation I asked Lilly to meet them. On top of her beauty, she has been a professional on camera host and really has a way of disarming people through her interviews:) By the time they were done talking to her, we got our shots. I think that was as "gorilla" as we got during the principal photography. We really tried to do everything by the book.

Is it enjoyable to be back into the action film realm again?

Yes. It is something that I do well and seems natural and easy, so therefore, enjoyable:)

How about regrets or negative aspects of Black Cobra, any problems arise, were you completely happy with the final project?

After each project you do, you learn so much and there's always ways to improve. I would do some things very different on my next film. But knowing what our budget was, a lot of experienced filmmakers told me: "Good luck! But you'll never be able to do an action film for that much." We did. And we paid our actors and we paid the crew and we finished the film, AND we got great distribution. I'm very proud of that.

Any more plans to collaborate with Lilly or T.J. on other Projects? 

Nothing truly tangible quite yet, even though there are some talks about a Black Cobra sequel.

Above Pic: (C) 2003 Danny Shamon

What is next for Stephanie, more movies, MoCap work, etc... 

I am truly committed to make an impact against child trafficking though the media I produce. After we traveled to South East Asia to see first hand what is happening with the trafficked kids there, as well as visiting some of the safe-homes, my husband and I made a short documentary called" Healing Kindness", which is currently submitted to the Burbank film festival. My next projects are a full length documentary and an action thriller entitled "Pure". To know more, you can check out:

Thank you, Danny!

Watch for more on Stephanie, exclusively on Dan's Movie Report!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Forger Movie Review

 Above Pic: Poster for The Forger

Doing a little research, I found out that this film was actually shot on a 24 day shooting schedule in 2009 before the release of The Hunger Games. Actor Josh Hutcherson hones his acting chops in this drama revolving around Art forgery and how one is lured into it.

With the sometimes lack of originality in Hollywood, I enjoyed the intricacies of the plot of the Forger, although I wish there was a bit more on the action side, but this is strictly a drama. Hutcherson plays Joshua, a young kid with a gift, not only is he a good artist, but he has the ability to copy paintings. He is a good artist in his own right, but is shown the cash he can make if he forges masterpieces and sells them.

Josh Hutcherson is hungry, not for killing, but for art in The Forger (C) Barh Productions Inc. Screen Cap: Dan's Movie Report

For a film that only took 24 days of principal photography I am quite impressed how the scenery and background are so detailed, and every attention to the setting is portrayed and sets the mood of the complex characters. Characters move from scene to scene with little effort, thus making for a rather impressive film from the technical aspect.

Lauren Bacall and Hayden Panettiere do a solid job in their roles as Anna-Marie and Amber respectively. This is a well acted drama not over the top preachy but exposing the lucrative but sordid world of art forgery.

I rate The Forger a 6.5 out of 10, wishing there was more plot action, a longer running time than 96 minutes to flesh out the characters,  but well worth a 3.99 amazon rental.