With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, July 05, 2021

SILAT WARRIORS: DEED OF DEATH reviewed; coming to digital, Blu-ray & DVD today, Tuesday, July 6th

Well Go USA
Entertainment
Presents
Silat Warriors: Deed of Death / Geran
Directed by Areel Abu Bakar
Malaysia, 2019, 102 minutes

Silat Warriors: Deed of Death (a.k.a. simply as The Deed of Death) is an action-packed martial arts film from Malaysia that arrives on digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD today, Tuesday, July 6th from Well Go USA Entertainment. This review is based on my watching the Blu-ray version.

Mat Arip (actor Fad Anuar) is a young man and an inveterate gambler who wages — and most often loses — money and other possessions on illegal betting, drag racing, or street fights. When he puts up the deed to his family’s home and, his widowed father, older brother Mohammad Arip Bin Nayan (single monikered actor Namron) and his sister Fatima (Feiyna Tajudin) must confront the gang that shows up to collect on his debt. Fortunately, both of his siblings are formidable martial artists.

(Silat, for those not familiar with the term, is the collective name for various martial arts practiced in Malaysia, Indonesia, and other areas of Southeast Asia. There are many different styles (aliran) and schools (perguruan), but they tend to focus either on strikes, joint manipulation, weaponry, or some combination thereof.)

Silat Warriors: Deed of Death marks the feature film debut of director Ariel Abu Bakar. He’s assembled much of the talent from Malaysian martial art schools and training facilities and put them to good use. The movie is chock full of extended action sequences. The last is a “one-against-many” fight that pits Nayan against the numerous members of the gang that have kidnapped Mat Arip. It is most certainly because of these sequences that Silat Warriors: Deed of Death won the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2020 New York Asian Film Festival, the first Malaysian film to win the award.

Stick around through the beginning of the end credits for a brief coda that will bring you face-to-face with an important character for the first time and which clearly seems to indicate that a sequel is in the works. 

Disc Specs:
-- Audio
   -- Malaysian DTS-HDMA 5.1
   -- Malaysian Stereo
-- Subtitles
   -- English
   -- Off
-- Trailer
-- Previews
   -- Raging Fire (teaser)
   -- The Paper Tigers
   -- The Fatal Raid

AsianCineFest Rating - 2.5 out of 4 stars. Certainly a decent enough actioner, but not much to offer in the way of plot or character development. So my 2.5 overall rating is the average of 3 stars for the action and 2 for the story.

Monday, June 21, 2021

THE PAPER TIGERS reviewed; available tomorrow on Blu-ray and DVD

Well Go USA
Entertainment
Presents
The Paper Tigers
Written and directed by Tran Quoc Bao
Starring Alain Uy (True Detective), Ron Yuan (Mulan), 
and Mykel Shannon Jenkins (Undisputed III),
USA, 2020, 108 minutes
 
The Paper Tigers is a very fine martial arts action comedy that puts some interesting twists on the traditional "You killed my master!" revenge tale. It will be available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 22nd.
 
Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins), Danny (Alain Uy), and Hing (Ron Yuan)

When they were teenagers, Danny, Hing and Jim were  the only disciples of their kung fu master. Twenty-five years later, now in their forties, they have grown apart and are no longer practitioners of the martial art they once loved so much. They pretty much have changed into washed-up middle-aged men dealing with such issues as weekend visitation with their teen-age kid, bad knees, annoying former classmates, and middle aged spread.
 
Upon learning that their elderly master has been murdered, Hing reestablishes contact with Danny and the two of them then seek out Jim. Determined to avenge their sifu, they have to muster all the skill and bravado they can in an effort to identify the assassin and exact retribution.

Disc Specs:
  -- Audio
    -- DTS-HDMA 5.1
    -- Stereo
  -- Subtitles
    -- Off
    -- English SDH
    -- Korean
    -- Traditional Chinese
    -- Simplified Chinese
    -- Vietnamese
  -- Bonus
    -- Behind the Scenes
      -- A Look Behind the Film
      -- Tai Tung Restaurant
      -- Production Design
    -- Deleted Scenes
    -- Bloopers
    -- Trailer
  -- Previews
    -- Silat Warriors: Deed of Death
    -- Undercover Punch & Gun
    -- Deliver Us from Evil

Watch the trailer here.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended, a film that's very well worth seeing.

Monday, May 31, 2021

UNDERCOVER PUNCH & GUN available on Digital, Blu-ray™ & DVD June 8th with an all-new English dub

Well Go USA
Entertainment
Presents
Undercover Punch & Gun / Wo hu qian long
Co-directed by Lui Koon Nam and Frankie Tam
Hong Kong, 2019, 91 minutes
 
An undercover cop’s daring plan to infiltrate a notorious drug ring is severely compromised when a rival agency attacks mid-trade and kills the gang’s leader in the action-packed MMA thriller Undercover Punch & Gun (a.k.a. Undercover vs. Undercover). Their cover blown, both teams are forced to unite and take to the high seas in an attempt to overthrow the ruthless smuggler behind it all. Undercover Punch & Gun wil be coming to Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD on June 8 with an all-new English dub from Well Go USA Entertainment.

First-time co-directors Lui Koon Nam and Frankie Tam assembled an exciting cast – including Philip Ng (Enter the Fat Dragon, Chasing the Dragon), Van Ness Wu (Ip Man 4, Dragon Blade), and Andy On (Special ID, Once Upon a Time in Shanghai) – for this MMA extravaganza with the explosive action fight sequences choreographed by Philip Ng, “…one of the best action directors working today.” (Asian Film Strike)

Synopsis:
While an elite cop is working undercover to infiltrate a notorious drug ring, his plan is compromised when a rival agency with a grudge attacks during a trade, killing the gang’s leader. Their cover blown, both teams are forced to unite and take to the high seas in an attempt to overthrow the ruthless smuggler behind it all.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

SILAT WARRIORS: DEED OF DEATH debuts on Hi-YAH! on June 4th; coming to Blu-ray & DVD on July 6th

Well Go USA
Entertainment
Presents

Silat Warriors: Deed of Death / Geran
Directed by Areel Abu Bakar
Malaysia, 2019, 101 minutes

When their younger brother brings a ruthless criminal gang to their door, a family must fight together against the threat in the action-packed martial arts epic Silat Warriors: Deed of Death (a.k.a. simply as The Deed of Death), which will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-YAH! on June 4th, before hitting Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD July 6th from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In addition to actors Namron (One Two Jaga, Dukun, Redha) and Fad Anuar (Dollah Superstar, TV’s “KL Gangster: Underworld”), first-time film director Areel Abu Bakar selected much of the talent from martial arts training facilities and competitions in order to give a sense of realism the exciting action sequences. His first-time actors include Khoharullah Majid, Feiyna Tajudin, Taiyuddin Bakar, Megat Shahrizal and Azlan Komeng.

Silat Warriors: Deed of Death won the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2020 New York Asian Film Festival, the first Malaysian film to win the award.

Synopsis:
When a reckless young gambler’s wild lifestyle of illegal gambling, drag racing, and betting on brutal street fights pits him against a ruthless criminal betting ring, his luck finally runs out. The gang shows up at his family’s home to collect on the debt, forcing his family to fight in order to save their land and his life—before their limited time runs out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

DELIVER US FROM EVIL reviewed

Well Go USA
Entertainment
Presents
Deliver Us from Evil / Daman akeseo guhasoseo
Directed by Hong Won-chan
South Korea, 2020, 109 minutes

Deliver Us from Evil is a high octane action, crime thriller from South Korea. It debuts on digital & Blu-ray today, May 25th from Well Go USA Entertainment.
 
Synopsis:
After the shocking kidnapping of a little girl in Thailand, Kim In-nam (Hwang Jung-min), a mercenary with a murky past as a government black ops agent, is forced to re-emerge from the shadows when he learns the incident is closely connected to him. With the help of expat Yui (Park Jeong-min) he flies to Thailand and begins tracking the girl’s whereabouts, moving ever closer to the notorious child trafficking ring responsible for her abduction. However, when an infamous gangster nicknamed The Butcher (Lee Jung-jae) learns just who has entered the country and is finally within his grasp, he goes on a bloody rampage to thwart the ex-agent’s rescue mission as retaliation for a killing that he will never be able to forget—or forgive. 
 
There's no shortage of exciting action sequences in this thriller. Fists, feet, knives, guns, etc. all come into play at one time or another. 
 
Disc Specs:
-- Audio
  -- Korean DTS-HDMA 5.1
  -- Korean Stereo
-- Subtitles
  -- Full English
  -- English
  -- Off
-- Bonus
  -- Making Of
  -- Filming Location
  -- Teaser
  -- International Trailer
  -- U.S. Trailer
-- Previews
  -- The Paper Tigers
  -- The Swordsman
  -- Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula
 
AsianCineFest Rating of Deliver Us from Evil: 3.5 out of 4 stars, very highly recommended; a highly entertaining actioner.