I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

We told you so

florentineI have a hunch the bigger movie websights are about to catch up with us DTV action scholars re: the films of Isaac Florentine. Over there at Actionfest in North Carolina they gave best picture to MERANTAU (which recently got a rave review on kungfucinema.com) but the much anticipated (by us) UNDISPUTED 3 got best director for Florentine and best choreography for Larnell Stovall (that’s Florentine kicking Stovall in the picture there – no joke). According to this article on twitchfilm.net (thanks GoodBadGroovy for posting that in the comments) U3 wasn’t originally intended to be in competition, but the jury felt so strongly about it that they chose it anyway. That jury included Mr. McWeeny of Hitfix, Devin Feraci of Chud and Todd Brown of Twitch, so maybe those websights will start talking up Florentine the way we’ve all been after seeing UNDISPUTED II, NINJA, THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL, US SEALS 2, BRIDGE OF DRAGONS and SPECIAL FORCES.

Feraci tweetered, “UNDISPUTED III is the future of low budget action – amazing digital photography, crisp and exciting fight choreography and personable leads.” He probly hasn’t seen UNDISPUTED II, BLOOD AND BONE or UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION if he thinks that’s a new development, but I’m glad he’s on board. Now we gotta introduce those guys to John Hyams.

The other big news is that apparently Chuck Norris declined his lifetime achievement award and gave it to his brother. That’s sweet and also kind of hilarious since it was already goofy for Aaron Norris to found a film festival to give an award to his own brother. Now he gave an award to himself!

Anyway, sounds like it went great and will hopefully continue to grow.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 10:37 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to “We told you so”

  1. Good to see Isaac getting the kudos he deserves, and great to see U3 finally getting seen. Hopefully it won’t be long now before its finally released. Can’t wait to see Scott Adkins kicking ass again.

    Merantau, by the way, is also fantastic. It isn’t as flamboyant as Tony Jaa’s movies but is a much more well-rounded film, with a decent story, great villains and a soundtrack which really enhances the big fight moments. There’s one moment in an elevator which will have people reminiscing about classical John Woo and his themes of brotherhood, all condensed into one scene.

  2. Nice that they gave Stavell an award. That kick looks painful. This might cheer him up. :)
    And Vern, I understand, love and respect your wish to stay anonymous and mysterious, but you should really be the president of the jury next year. (What about wearing a Ninja mask in public?)

  3. I have become a dedicated Florentician since Vern turned me on to his work a few years ago. The earliest one I’ve seen is a VHS-only modern-day western called DESERT KICKBOXER, which is not up to par with the man’s later work, but it’s called DESERT KICKBOXER and no one can take that away from it. It’s probably the best Native American-themed martial arts flick ever shot in Israel and co-starring Paul L. Smith as a Mexican drug lord. I recently watched COLD HARVEST, which is a post-apocalyptic kung-fu movie where everybody thinks it’s the old west. (I figure Florentine must be a Leone fan.) They’ve got long dusters and six-shooters and bandannas around they’re necks, but they also all know kung fu and live in a bombed-out wasteland (probably Vancouver). I have no idea why it’s called COLD HARVEST but I recommend it anyway. People get kicked through the air real good.

    Now I just need to track down affordable versions of his first two films: SAVATE (also known by the Weinstein-worthy title of THE FIGHTER) and his 1987 debut, SHALOM LA-MECHASSEL (translation: FAREWELL, TERMINATOR. I’m so glad I now know how to say “terminator” in Hebrew. That oughtta come in handy).

  4. Mr M, I salute your sly dig at The Weinsteins. I’m still baffled why SPL became Killzone, or The Banquet
    became Legend of the Black Scorpion!

    And Vern, I second the motion that you get on the judges panel for next year’s Action Fest.

  5. Cold Harvest sounds great!–somewhat on the level of Brotherhood of the Wolf! Maybe there should be a review of it by someone in detail (but who??) {g}

  6. Sorry to be such a shameless individual but I reviewed “Merantau” many moons ago, it’s rife with run-on sentences but I hope you guys might read and enjoy it if you feel so inclined.

    http://brandoncurtis.blogspot.com/2009/10/fantastic-fest-review-merantau.html

  7. Wearing a ninja mask as the president of next year jury will officially make you the coolest movie critic in history , but it’s a little one-sided : it will only represent ninja movies . I suggest a ninja mask , a cowboy hat for westerns , a cape for super-hero movies , a machete for slashers and a toy laser gun for science fiction . Now that’s a costume !

    But if you can’t make it to next year Actionfest , why don’t you just try to interview Florentine ? After all you had an interview with that director of action/tits movies , why not try with him next ?

    Now if only I was able to find US SEALS 2…..

  8. Can’t you order it from American Amazon? I know the shipping will be high, but they’re selling it used for as low as 66 cents so it might be worth it.

    The movie does rock, by the way.

  9. Yeah , if I can’t find it in the video stores over here , I will order it from the Internet. I’m never completely comfortable with ordering from the web , but if it’s my only option I will use it . And since we’re talking about titles , I don’t know why , but here in Italy US SEALS 2 is called “Blackmail in Washington” ( Ricatto a Washington ).

  10. Cold Harvest – does this mean that Gary Daniels actually starred in a decent film other than City Hunter? Consider my interest piqued.

  11. Brandon – cool review. As a Harlan Coben fan I was wondering if you’ve seen Tell No One.

  12. Vern, everybody (not like you really care or have shown any interest in my situation before, but anyway. . .), sorry I couldn’t make it to ActionFest this year. Stupid war got in the way, had to fly to a 3rd world shithole again on a little business trip.

    Seems like I didn’t miss too much in terms of events–Chuck Norris appearance & a panel event on stunts–though I would have enjoyed sending correspondence on films that haven’t yet made it into Vern’s review index. I’ll try not to lose sleep over it. I’ll film some of the crazy shit we do here and set it to Johnny Cash tunes, so that’ll probably be more compelling than most Chuck Norris films.

    My friend in Asheville tells me Centurion was one of the bloodiest films he’s seen in a while. He recommends it.

  13. As far as Gary Daniels goes I think Bloodmoon is his best movie. Those that like low budget fight choreography will like this one a lot. Very skillfully made.

  14. Mike- I’ve read all of Harlan Coben except the first two books of his that are out of print, medical mysteries–I found one in a torrent, but the name escapes me, No Second Chance which I’m only a quarter of the way through and Tell No One which I didn’t read because there’s a movie. However, curious as to how the film found its editing style I’ve noticed in reading that Harlan Coben does like to double back and show similar events from another perspective although you could argue that his big reveals are exactly that. But switching gears to the film, Tell No One fucking rules I like to call it the French Gone Baby Gone even though it’s an American novel but you have a Bubba Rugowski type character, two lead characters whose lives are seemingly irrevocably damaged and they receive, quite some time later, a chance to heal the fissures. I also think Tell No One might be one of the best edited movies of the decade and that no other movie will ever use a U2 song that well again.

    Lawrence- Bloodmoon is amazing. I may be more amused than most that Daniels sidekick is a motorcycle riding, martial arts practicing magician who is BLACK! Also, the confetti bomb is super gay and I love it.

  15. brandon, you’re not the only one. Personally I’d take that guy over Chris Tucker any day.

  16. Really liked your comment on Devins’ review Vern. I’m pretty sure he reads them he just won’t respond.

  17. Speaking of Gary Daniels (I assure you that some of us were speaking of Gary Daniels) did anybody else notice that he’s in The Expendables? They just keep digging deeper and deeper for obscure badasses. Who’s next? Olivier Gruner?

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