Saturday, May 17, 2014

Raze Movie Review (Fight Or Die!) (C) Dan's Movie Report 2014! New Photos!

(c) 2013 IFC Midnight Raze film poster!

Well then, it has been over two years since this cool film graced my website, and gladly I can say without question that Dan's Movie Report was the first site on the web to give it press coverage. Sadly I was unable to make it to any of the screenings, and and bless her sweet heart producer Allene Quincy was trying to get me a preview copy. Finally I saw the film on IFC Midnight! So Bang here goes my descent into literary madness, follow along, or comment and hate, but be warned, girls are violent! My philosophy I am a writer, I let those who fight, fight!

What we have in a nutshell, is a tournament style fighting film, somewhat of a throwback to "Van Damme in Bloodsport", style stuff, ultra-violent, vengeful, but with somewhat of a heart. The main character in the film is  (Sabrina), and she delivers her fiercest performance to date as the tormented and reluctant fighter fighting for her freedom. She has a huge role in Raze and really shows solid, and thought provoking emotional depth in the film.

Ruthless underground fight purveyors, Elizabeth and Joseph played by:  and   stop at nothing to torment the girls prior to their fights, and force them to fight to the death while others watch. Yeah I know what my readers are thinking, I have seen this before, yayaya, well no, you have not, as usually women in fighting films are lets just say more on the over the top silly side. Make no bones about it, or shall I say "break many bones about it", these ladies are full of rage and confusion. Stripping down the sexiness of the ladies is a cool concept as well. An endless flow of female action and fight films make sure the ladies look proper, happily these ladies look disheveled, hair a wreck etc, and they are all outfitted with the same sweatpants and t-shirt. Why is this important, on an deeper level it strips away any notion of not only femininity, but a sense of one self, they are "Owned" "Property" and serve the almighty. All of the characters have only first names in the film also suggesting a sort of one in a crown mentality where there is zero individuality. Sardonic duality, cascading destitution and foreboding resolution permeate Raze, this proving looking at the world through rose colored glasses is the opposite as looking through the world with a detached retina! Bang!

Rachel Nichols for the sci-fi show Continuum, is fabulous as her character is developed in the beginning, she had a producer role in the film as well, clearly a labor of love project.  Rachel has a certain realness to her acting, not only delivering her lines but adding humanity weight of the world gravitas to them.

Above Pics: Tara Macken (C) 2014 IFC Midnight.

Actually many of the minor characters, are underdeveloped, but they serve a purpose, for example Tara Macken as Dee; portrays a lost soul, with sad empty eyes, her fight was merciful, but a tumultuous, yet predictable outcome ensued. Tara is such an accomplished fighter, my one small complaint about her fight was that it was over far too rapidly. Tara Macken is one to watch! Check out her full interview on Dan's Movie Report: @

I could go on and on about each fight, each fighter, I will save words, and sum it up:  All of the combatants tell a short story about themselves as they are walking to the cement walled, dirt floor fighting room. Raze is not a Disney film, hell it is not even as nice and cuddly as the last Batman, nor the new Ben Affleck 'extra chunky' Batman haha, this is violent, dark, brooding yes, but super bloody and sad, which is why Raze is the style of film that will sadly only find a niche audience.  I had to watch the film a few times prior to my review, and to come up with a rating of 8 out of 10, minor flaws, such as a really short running time, but the tone, mood, and outcome are diverse and appropriate, and painfully awesome to witness, whoa, I am OUT~!.

The film is available now on IFC Midnight , and Tuesday May 20th everywhere click the link below to order on Amazon: 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kung Fu Hero (AKA Kung Fu Man) (2012) Movie Review (C) 2014 Dan's Movie Report

Kung Fu Hero (AKA Kung Fu Man), starring Tiger Chen, Chyna McCoy and Vanessa Branch was the very first film I ever covered on Dan's Movie Report see post: . Although principle photography commenced back in 2009, the release was not until 2013. The delay was also due to the fact that Tiger Chen was working on another project with Keanu Reeves called Man of Tai Chi. By releasing that film first more attention will be placed on Kung Fu Man, as Tiger Chen will be better known. This review also contains some exclusive photos, from the production from Chyna.

The movie takes place entirely in China, and the essential plot points are that Ping (Tiger Chen) protects a young boy named Christopher () from ruthless villans including     and

Kung Fu Hero is part action, part kids oriented story, part chase drama. The film opens with a mysterious box being delivered to an unsuspecting store worker (Chen) at night. Lo and behold, the wicker box moves! Ping investegates the contents, and Christopher is found, bound and gagged inside. Christopher is 8, initially suspicious of Ping, although there is a language barrier, eventually Ping convinces Christopher he is the only person to trust.

Turns out, his kidnappers are actually those originally hired to protect him, a plot point revealed early in the story. The principal antagonists Chyna McCoy and Vanessa Branch are hell bent on finding him and extorting ransom money out of his real and very wealthy parents.

The  Chinese Police are hot on the trail and not sure who to believe. Kung Fu Hero, is a fast and furious actioneer with a well thought out story, taking time from the frantic action to develop storyline. An extensive amount of taken in the beginning of the 83 minute film for the interplay between Ping and Christopher. Later in the film the two meet up with and especially heartwarming, unsuspecting teacher, who becomes entangled in the plot, and has to help enterperet the boys English for Ping, thus facilitating communication. The actress who portrays her does a wonderful job, I will update this space when I learn more about her.

Kung Fu Hero is a thought provoking film, has underlying tones of Superman and superhero movies, as Christopher relates to Ping as his own personal Superman. Intersperse some imaginative, wistful, animation into the film and Kung Fu Hero is a story the whole family can enjoy.

With regards to the child actor Arman, I thought that he did a decent job, perhaps a bit of repetitiveness in lines, however stress can do that, this the film-makers were adding a sense of fear, I do think he nailed the facial expressions for a kid on the run.

Andre (Chyna) McCoy shines here, in a role, what I determine to be the "Supreme Villain Zen Master": calm, cool, and calculated. He is a man of few words but the fights he partakes in toward the end with Tiger Chen's Ping character fall into the epic category. No short cuts here, full force action, Tiger and Chyna going hard, in a bombastic, ballet of brutality. Weapons can be anything and come from anywhere, and watch Tiger soar on wires.

Vanessa Branch's role is a bit limited, as she tries to be the innocent person looking for the boy, turns out she is a vile kidnapper in disguise, her character is cold, and ruthless, perfect for a villian.

Tiger Chen, is, in a word amazing, he has the moves, intellect, and timing to be the next action hero. He is Kung Fu Hero in the truest sense. The fighting, speed, adept wirework, everything is just mindblowing, Tiger  is a master at his craft and his craft gets more creative by the minute.

Overall, I really enjoyed Kung Fu Hero, I give it a must own especially if you have 8-15 yr old kids, it is an enjoyable film with repeat watchability. I give Kung Fu Hero a solid 9 out of 10, it is really a blast!

Check out the official Trailer @

For more info follow Tiger Hu Chen on Facebook @

Chyna McCoy official facebook page @

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kimberly Arland, Commercial Success and a Positive Attitude!

 Above Pic: (C) 2013 Groupon

Acting and work in Hollywood is often very difficult to come by. Starring in a commercial or series of commercials can often be a stepping stone to further success. Kimberly Arland has a couple of cool commercials out, that should further her career. Kimberly is smart, humble and very hard working. I particularly like the Groupon commercial which shows Kimberly's great smile portraying a student pilot. Kimberly has a clear speaking voice, and should transition smoothly into more feature work in the future.

In addition Kimberly is also in this commercial

Her IMDB page is @

Check out Kimberly's Youtube page for more info @

She has also been in both new Star Trek films!  Watch for more of her in the future of Dan's Movie Report!

My 2 Black Girlfriends! New Web Series Online, from Producer Allene Quincy!

Allene Quincy is a multi-faceted woman, from singing, to acting, now to producing her own quirky web-series entitled My Two Black Girlfriends. 

The 10 minute short is available on Youtube This is the first episode of the series @

For More information blast your browsers to the official Facebook Page @

For more info on Quincy Pictures go to:

Watch for more exclusives on My 2 Black Girlfriends on Dan's Movie Report!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Exclusive: New Zealand Indie Film Creator Rod Johns, The Final Interview! (C) 2014 Danny Shamon

Rod Johns was a true pioneer of indie films, never wavering in his zest for creativity. from his projects in the NZ 48 hour film festival, Stella 459, and Ghost Bride Rod was an innovator, rest in peace buddy, your legacy will be remembered for eternity----Rod Chats about Film creation in New Zealand.

The New Zealand film industry grew from small very modest beginnings and there are good and bad points about this.

The early mainstream industry was government funded, which was essential to establishing the flourishing film industry and high budget productions being made in New Zealand today; but even then there was an embryo indie/guerrilla scene happening with a few keen filmmakers like Roger Donaldson, Geoff Murphy, and Peter Jackson running around with cameras shooting their actor friends.

This produced the can-do low budget film-making ethos which New Zealand filmmakers are famous for and I believe are amongst world leaders in; but as the mainstream industry developed the small pool of production companies/producers also came with baggage.
A funding merry-go-round was created with producer A getting the funding brass ring this time, producer B the next, C the next, and so on.
I think a lot of producers got locked into government funding as the sole way of financing films because of this; which also severely limited the type and range of films (and Television) we could make in New Zealand.

When the New Zealand Film Commission funded their first film (David Blyth’s first feature, Angel Mine) for the princely sum of NZ $19,000 the controversy it caused almost brought down the fledgling Government film funding body.
I think a lot of industry people got spooked by this and were running scared: Terrified of having the PC finger pointed at them if they attempted to make anything edgy and controversial; a fear of making anything un-PC that seems to have carried over right into the present day.

This combination of reliance on government funding, and fear of the PC lobby, severely inhibited New Zealand filmmakers which unfortunately started with writers’ self-censorship: Writers thinking I can’t write that it would never get funded/made.

There was a period where the industry looked like breaking free of these constrictions with dark and edgy films like Vincent Ward’s ‘Vigil’ – still one of my favourite New Zealand films – and Michael Firth’s ‘Heart of the Stag’ but then someone seemed to decide New Zealand films were quirky/cutesy and safe and...
Oh well! Probably an era of New Zealand filmmaking I’d rather forget.

I pitched something edgy to a producer and the first response wasn’t that’s great, or crap, but: I don’t think we could get the Film Commission (the government funding body) to fund that.
I asked if that was the only place he looked for funding and he looked at me as though I was deranged.
I think he was totally convinced he was talking to a nut job when I asked didn’t he look offshore for funding? He had obviously never had to explore this possibility.

Which brings us back to the thriving indie New Zealand film industry.

With so many filmmakers wanting to make films - and the small government funding pool seeming to be totally dominated by big fish production companies and an even smaller pool of ‘Stars’ - even though filmmakers are well used to and hardened to rejection (and if you aren’t you had better get out of the industry fast or it will destroy you) a lot of aspiring filmmakers have simply given up on even applying for government funding.
They (thanks to the wonders and low cost of digital filmmaking) have reverted to the indie/guerrilla filmmaking ethos that made New Zealand filmmaking what it is today and, like the aforementioned Roger Donaldson, Geoff Murphy, Peter Jackson, etc. are just getting together a bunch of friends who are passionate about film and getting out there and doing it.
 Chat about freedom

Today’s indie/guerrilla filmmakers don’t have the guerrilla freedom and leeway that some of the early filmmakers did of course: The late-great actor and wildman Bruno Lawrence once told me they needed an explosion in a film so they just went out before dawn, set it up, set the explosion off and shot it, then threw their gear into the cars and buggered off before anyone came to arrest them.

Production values do, by low budget constrictions, suffer on some indie productions but as David Blyth once told me the object isn’t to make a perfect film (although this would be the ideal) but to make ‘A Film’ and tell a story.
A similar thing was expressed by Kiwi sound guru Ande Schurr in one of his blogs where he said he suddenly realised on a shoot he wasn’t able to get ‘perfect’ sound in every take.
Within the constrictions of a low budget you can’t do that 27th take to get a slightly better performance, lighting, camera movement, or sound; you have to go with the best you can achieve within the constraints of the budget at the time.
The object is to make a film; not half a perfect film – if such a thing as a ‘perfect film’ even exists.

For more information about Rod's final project in production Stella 459 go to:

Rodney George Johns 1942-2014 RIP

The Martial Arts Kid Takes Offf Kickstarter activated!

Cynthia Rothrock, Don (The Dragon) Wilson and several other stars are working on a family oriented action film entitled The Martial Arts Kid.

Press Release: 
Plot Outline
When troubled teen Robbie moves to Cocoa Beach, Florida from Detroit after his grandmother has had enough of his antics, he soon realizes that everywhere he goes there is somebody who doesn’t want him to be happy… and in Cocoa Beach, that somebody is Bo Whitelaw, the toughest and most popular guy at the high school.

From the moment Bo gives Robbie a beat-down in front of Rina (the prettiest girl in school), we know Robbie’s chances of living in a happy neighborhood are just not realistic. To help Robbie stand a chance of survival in a dangerous teen world, his estranged Aunt Cindy and Uncle Glen (played by action legends Cynthia “Lady Dragon” Rothrock and Don “The Dragon” Wilson) are there to coach and train Robbie. Along the way, Robbie learns defensive skills that will give him a chance to defend himself… But will that be enough to protect himself from Bo in an all-out epic battle? And will Robbie ever be ‘the man’ in Rina’s eyes? Find out when everything comes to a head in a final showdown that pits legends of traditional martial arts against MMA fighters in a battle you will have to see to believe.

Button South Reunion Show IV Blasts Off!

Above Photo (C) 2013 Dan's Movie Report

Press Release from creator Darlene Delano:

The 4th annual Button South Class Reunion will be held on September 26 & 27 2014 at Revolution Live in Ft Lauderdale Fl.

The Button South Class Reunion has become an annual event to celebrate a legendary nightclub. It’s a reuniting of customers, employees, bands & musicians that drove the soundtrack of Rock N Roll in South Florida from the late 70’s, starting as the Agora Ballroom to the mid 90’s. The Button hosted literally thousands of concerts in those years, being open till 6am 7 nights a week. The stage was dark for only brief moments of those hours for set changes & breaks because in the Button South Kingdom live Rock N Roll ruled.


The Button South had the likes of Johnny Depp’s The Kids, Marilyn Manson, Saigon Kick & Nuclear Valdez playing there on a regular basis prior to being discovered by the rest of the planet. It was host to regional cover & local original bands by the dozen on any given week. Bartenders, waitresses, soundmen & door staff wanted to work there. Customers wanted to drink, party & dance there. But most of all every musician wanted to play there.

The Button South Class Reunion recreates, if only for a weekend once a year, the aura & attitude that was The Button South. All 10 bands playing over the 2 nights played there, all video screens will be filled with footage filmed there & all the music you hear was played there. It is without a doubt the South Florida Rock N Roll throwback event of the year, every year.

This year’s scheduled reunion performers are:

A special tribute set for Sean GTO Gerovitz by
The Hep Cat Boo Daddies with Joel Da Silva & Randy Blitz
The Button South All Star Band
Featuring 15 members from 15 bands
Tuff Luck, Farrcry, Miss Conduct, Cold Turkey, Psychodrama, Actual Proof
& 9 more!

This year’s celebrity hosts are:
Madman Mike – Liz Wild – Steve Stansell – Billy Murphy

For official website go to:

For program advertising: