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Posts Tagged ‘Thai action’

The Kick

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

tn_thekickTHE KICK is a family friendly Thai martial arts movie from director Prachya Pinkaew (ONG BAK, TOM YUM GOONG, CHOCOLATE). It’s not as ridiculous as POWER KIDS (arguably that’s a bad thing) but way less cheesy and broad than MUAY THAI GIANT (definitely a good thing). It’s less gory than POWER KIDS but otherwise schews a little older, with a teen brother and sister getting alot of the focus.

Despite being a Thai production it’s about a Korean family who train and perform Tae Kwon Do. The father has alot of resentment about a loss at the Olympics long ago, just as he had to abandon his dream in order to raise a family. Because of this he puts alot of pressure on his family to train hard, especially his older son, who would rather pursue his dream of STEP UP style dancing. Dad doesn’t even want him to go to a big audition to be a dancer for “Dream Entertainment.” The poor kid has to make a deal to master the impossible “Tornado Kick” to even be allowed to pursue dancing at all. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Power Kids aka Force of 5

Friday, November 11th, 2011

tn_powerkidsPOWER KIDS is another Thai action movie but for kids. It stars the same two girls from MUAY THAI GIANT plus three boys, and no giant. There’s the Thai Wil Wheaton as sort of the main kid, the Thai Corey Feldman as the slicked back hair charmer guy who thinks he’s hot shit, and the first kid’s little brother who has a weak heart.

The first 35 minutes is just like a cheesy kid’s movie about trying to get the money to buy their brother an RC car for his birthday, trying to stop the bullies at the RC track, also getting in a fight with a big drunk Australian guy (not Nathan Jones sized, but big). Then all the sudden two very bad things happen: (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Muay Thai Giant

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

tn_muaythaigiantI first paid attention to Nathan Jones in THE PROTECTOR/TOM-YUM-GOONG I think. He’s a bald Australian muscleman who’s about 7 feet tall, so it’s striking to see him fight a regular-to-small sized guy like Tony Jaa. I guess he was also in Jackie Chan’s FIRST STRIKE, I haven’t seen that in a long time but I’m sure that was a pretty cool fight. In the review of THE PROTECTOR I wrote “I’d love to see this guy in some more movies – luckily he’s in an upcoming MOST DANGEROUS GAME rip-off from prestigious WWE Films.” Well, that turned out to be a brief, badly-shot fight against Steve Austin in THE CONDEMNED, where you couldn’t even tell how big he was. He fared a little better as a tournament fighter in Jet Li’s FEARLESS. In the recent CONAN THE BARBARIAN I think maybe he was the guy guarding the giant octopus. To make sure nobody throws unhealthy food in the tank or whatever. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Why I’m taking credit for TOM YUM GOONG 2

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

vernpredictsThere’s alot of action movie news going around (I guess Jet Li’s not gonna be in EXPENDABLES 2, and they’re trying to get Donnie Yen?) but to me the big one is TOM YUM GOONG 2 (aka THE PROTECTOR 2). We already knew that Tony Jaa had returned from the monastery to do this sequel. We maybe were so fixated on his return to civilization that we didn’t properly acknowledge what good news it is that Jaa has patched things up with director Prachya Pinkaew (ONG-BAK, TOM YUM GOONG, CHOCOLATE, ELEPHANT WHITE) after their falling out over ONG-BAK 2: THE WEIRDENING.

Now comes word that TYG 2 will co-star Jija Yanin, that badass little asskicker who starred in CHOCOLATE and RAGING PHOENIX. (thanks to rewrite in the comments for tipping me off.) (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

BKO: Bangkok Knockout

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

tn_bkoBANKGKOK KNOCKOUT is the name of the latest cinematic knee to the skull from those crazy fuckin Thai stunt people – the guys with the amazingly acrobatic, bone-crunching martial arts, the unbelievable falls and vehicle hits, the guys who get knocked off of trucks or hit by motorcycles for real, and make all the stunt people in every other country look like total sissies. Here in the U.S., Magnet Films will release it on DVD August 30th under the title “BKO: BANGKOK KNOCKOUT,” which stands for “BANGKOK KNOCKOUT: BANGKOK KNOCKOUT.” It’s directed by Panna Rittikrai, who’s had a hand in pretty much all of the modern Thai action classics. He was director of BORN TO FIGHT and ONG BAK 2-3 (taking over after Tony Jaa left), and choregrapher for ONG BAK, TOM-YUM-GOONG/THE PROTECTOR and CHOCOLATE. He was Jaa’s mentor and founder of the Muay Thai Stunt team. He’s pretty much the godfather of this shit. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Elephant White

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

tn_elephantwhiteDid you know that Prachya Pinkaew, the director of ONG BAK and CHOCOLATE, was making an English language movie starring Djimon Hounsou and Kevin Bacon? I didn’t either until a screener wound up in my hands. It’s yet another weird, internationally produced DTV action movie from Millennium Films. (This is an early heads-up review – it comes out May 17th on DVD.)

Hounsou plays Curtie Church, a mercenary hired to take out some sex traffickers in Bangkok to avenge the death of a guy (who played a similar character in THE MARINE 2)’s daughter. Turns out Church being manipulated to start a war between two gangs, so he gets caught in the middle. A young girl from the brothel follows him to his bell tower hideout. To protect his mission he gags her and ties her to a pole, only to eventually (you better sit down and swallow all liquids first, this will surprise you) soften up and start trying to help her out.
(read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Raging Phoenix

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

tn_ragingphoenixYou know how it is when you’re a young woman playing drums in a band but you see your boyfriend with another girl at your show so you flip out and get kicked out of the band and you’re depressed anyway because your dad is dead and your mom left town for months so you get real drunk and some guys in a parking lot try to kidnap you but some other dude takes you from them and you get chased by guys hopping around on bladed pogo-stick goat-leg stilts and you pass out and wake up with some dudes hanging out in a warehouse and it seems like this is their home but it turns out they brought you with them when they broke in here to rescue girls from the human traffickers who tried to take you. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Tony Jaa rides his elephant off into the sunset?

Monday, May 31st, 2010

ongbak2Well, if you haven’t heard already, it’s being reported that a couple days ago Tony Jaa literally shaved his head, rode an elephant up to a Buddhist temple and took his vows to become a monk. The most complete article on the matter is at twitch.

(read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Ong Bak 2

Friday, May 1st, 2009

tn_ongbak2Usually I prefer to wait to see a movie on the big screen, but when I saw an import DVD of ONG BAK 2 I just couldn’t resist. What on earth is that guy gonna jump off of or over in this one? Who or what will find their bones crushed by his bones? And the thought of that little guy running around on top of elephants… I don’t know man. I wasn’t gonna sit around waiting if I didn’t have to.

I think we all agree that Tony Jaa is the closest thing we got to a New Jackie Chan. Not that his persona or humor is the same or anything. But he’s an inhumanly great martial artist and stuntman whose movies make our jaws drop with feats of physical prowess and death defiance. They don’t make too many of those these days so it’s a big deal. I don’t know about you but I really hadn’t  quite had a “holy shit, a guy really did that!?” reaction like that since the heyday of Jackie. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.

Chocolate

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

This heart-rending melodrama from Thailand tells the courageous story of Zen (newcomer Yanin Vismistananda), an autistic girl who finds out her mother has been suffering from cancer but hasn’t done anything about it because she can’t afford proper medical treatment. With the help of an orphaned street urchin, and despite her many mental obstacles (she is easily distracted by small round objects, she can barely speak, she is afraid of flies), Zen goes around the city struggling to collect enough money to save her dying mother.

Harrowing, huh? But you know come to think of it I should’ve mentioned that this is from the director of ONG BAK, so the way she collects money is by picking fights with gangsters, battling 15 or 25 guys at a time, doing flips, hopping over and under various furniture and pipes, hitting people with her feet, hands, knees, elbows or head, swordfighting, throwing people off buildings, etc. See, her mom used to be a gangster and all these assholes owe her money, and Zen wants to collect. And it just so happens that one of the things she is fascinated with is the movie ONG BAK. She has focused much of her mental energy on observing muay thai in that movie and in the kickboxing school she lives next to, and has somewhat superhuman hearing and reflexes. It’s just a lucky combination I guess. So look out. (read the rest of this shit…)

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.