8 items from 2011
A month ago today, an announcement appeared that had Twitter all aflutter: "On the occasion of the centennial of the birth of acclaimed film director and Hollywood legend Nicholas Ray (Galesville, 7 August 1911 - New York, 16 June 1979), the Venice Film Festival announces the world premiere screening on Sunday 4 September at the Lido of the restored/reconstructed copy of We Can't Go Home Again, the definitive version that is faithful to the original idea of Ray's posthumous masterpiece." A panel followed yesterday's screening, "with the participation of American director and actor James Franco and Spanish director Victor Erice, author with Jos Oliver of the book Nicholas Ray y su tiempo (Madrid, 1986). Also invited at the panel are the acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker Douglas Gordon, and Henry Hopper — the son of Dennis Hopper, who starred in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and accompanied Nicholas Ray in several of his subsequent artistic endeavors. Henry Hopper »
Given the popularity of the sport, its unsurprising that a slew of recent action films seem to be basing themselves in the world of mixed martials arts. While the majority of these are low-budget affairs (I'm looking at you, Circle of Pain), Lionsgate are hoping that the inclusion of star names such as Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) and Nick Nolte (Affliction, Hulk) will be enough to propel their latest action/drama Warrior into the mainstream.
Directed by Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory), Warrior sees Hardy as a rising Mma star on his way to the top, with his success putting him at odds with his estranged brother, played by Joel Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Animal Kingdom).
Take a look at the synopsis and trailer below...
An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan (Hardy) returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh »
Vinnie Jones, Ufc Legends Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson and Rashad ‘Sugar’ Evans, plus championship Martial Artist Tony Schiena star in Locked Down, a no holds barred prison thriller with real punch. which is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.
Danny (Schiena) is a respected cop who gets set up and sent down. Once in prison, he must assess his best means of proving his innocent and getting out, in a world where normal rules don’t apply. In underground cage fighting system dictates survival of the fittest. The fights are governed by the formidable Vargas (Jones) and Danny has no choice but to compete. With the help of fellow inmate who happens to be a former mixed martial arts champion, Danny devises a scheme to bring justice and clear his family name…if he can just get out of the cage alive.
Thanks to the folks at Lionsgate Home Entertainment »
Another month, another straight to DVD action movie – this one’s another from the cast and crew of Circle of Pain, and like that film, it stars martial artist turned actor Tony Schiena as another hard-done-by guy forced into a situation not of his own making.
This time round Schiena plays Danny, a respected cop from a long-standing cop family, who is framed, set up, and sent to Blackwater Prison. Locked up with the very crooks he put away, Danny must prove his innocence and watch his back. But Blackwater is no ordinary prison, it’s home to Vinnie Jones’ Vargas – a big-time gangster who still runs his criminal empire from within the walls of the prison. A criminal empire which, like any good martial arts movie, includes underground prison fights! »
The blokes who flex their muscles in Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts events are mostly a larger-than-life blend of showmanship and brawn – which explains why they’re increasingly being snapped up by Hollywood. As rollicking prison thriller Locked Down hits the Blu-ray and DVD shelves, we look at the ten biggest hitters from the Ufc and Mma who are making the transition to the movies…
Winner of numerous Mma trophies around the globe, Schiena flexes his acting chops in Locked Down as a framed cop who winds up in jail and is forced into cage fighting by none other than Brit hardman turned thesp Vinnie Jones. Schiena retired from sport after breaking both his ankles (ouch!) but has since found his feet on the big screen working with everyone from Pacino to Van Damme. He was last seen in the straight to DVD flick Circle of Pain. »
If you browse the action section of your local DVD rental shop, or take a quick look online through any retailer’s action section, you’re not likely to get five DVDs in before you stumble across a mixed-martial arts flick. They’re saturating the market of late, and as with sudden genre-splurges of this type, there are a fair few well, shit ones. However, now and again you might come upon a gem – “Undisputed II & III”. So where does “Circle of Pain” come in the grand scheme of straight-to-dvd Mma movies? Probably somewhere in the middle. It’s not terrible, but it’s not amazing either. Saying that, any expectations of potential amazingness were a long way from my mind, so its final outcome came as no surprise. In short, it ticked all the boxes that I’d laid out for it. Therefore I enjoyed it. It’s trash »
- Gazz Ogden
Another week, another list of DVDs and Blu-rays out to buy from today. It’s a mixed bag this week, with killer sharks, elevator accidents, blackploitation, scary homes and plenty of arse-kicking!
Black Dynamite (DVD)
When “The Man” murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to fight all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House. Michael Jai White stars as Black Dynamite, a gun-toting, nunchuck-wielding, ladies man and soul brother.
Circle Of Pain (DVD)
After a fight that went tragically wrong, Mma champion Dalton Hunt (former world karate champion Tony Schiena) retired from the ring vowing never to return. But when a ruthless promoter discovers there s one fight left on his contract, a clash is set up with The Brick, the fearsome new and undefeated title holder. »
Ah, the straight to DVD action movie, how I love you…
Yes, Circle Of Pain is the latest DVD martial arts movie to cross my path, and this one’s a doozy!
Essentially a mix of Kickboxer and Rocky, Circle Of Pain is an epic mixed martial arts extravagnza that sees retired Mma champion Dalton Hunt (Schiena) forced back into the steel cage by ruthless fight promoter Victoria Rualan (Ling) to battle the current undefeated champ Colin Wahle (Herring) in what she sees as a dream bout – one that will bring in big money for her. Unable to break his contract, which guarantees one more fight, Hunt – with the help of ageing semi-retired trainer Willy – must overcome both being out of shape, »
8 items from 2011
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