Well I was able to check out the 1977’s ‘Black Samurai’ for the first time and I’m not quite sure why I put it off for so damn long, I think it might have something to do with the shoddy looking cover art on the VHS copy I had. Being a HUGE fan of ‘Enter the Dragon’ and having such an amazing time seeing ‘Black Belt Jones’ on the big screen here in Portland Oregon for the legendary Hollywood Theater’s Kung Fu Theater a few years back with a packed crowd I should have certainly done it sooner. Yep Jim Kelly is once again a total bad ass in some of the most outrageous scenarios of his whole career! The proof is in the poster alone…
So I really wouldn’t say he screams of a “Samurai” per say here in any real way even though there’s a brief scene of him messing around with a samurai sword. Here’s really more of a 007 James Bond type of guy here, an Agent of D.R.A.G.O.N. to be exact, who’s using his crazy kung fu skills to annihilate any asshole who he can get his damn hands on! And boy do throw some real wild ones his way for a total ass whooping. The whole plot revolves around Kelly hunting down a satanic black magic cult who’s kidnapped his lover, lead by the most geeky unthreatening, snake obsessed, white guy, villain boss I’ve surely laid my eyes upon. Kelly’s challenged by all sorts of his evil minions, tuff guy street thugs, tribal type warriors, insane little people with whips and most bizarre, the cult leader’s evil giant pet vulture! Yes he has a hand to hand battle with a damn vulture and also flies around in a jet pack, has a couple rad car chases and hangs at a mariachi party all while looking the most stylin’ and ripped as Bruce Lee while doing it all.
That’s not to say the sleazy cult director, Al Adamson makes it at all flow smoothly as there’s some seriously ridiculous yet fully satisfying martial arts battles here to gloriously behold. Jim Kelly still has the kick ass moves, but the crazy choppy editing and some of the perplexing overdubbed dialogue thrown into scenes has just got to be heard and seen to be believed! This certainly has got me on a Jim Kelly kick lately because this one was so satisfying, after this pandemic cools down I’m sure this one needs another play with a group of friends. It’s a full on train wreck of fun that plays out just like a grimy pulpy comic book adventure.
Jim Kelly’s one of the coolest 70’s action heroes and here in Black Samurai he proves once again exactly why he can’t be messed with especially if you decide that kidnapping his girlfriend is somehow a good move (it’s NOT). It’s well paced, throws everything but the kitchen sink at you and to be quite honest most of it sticks to the wall. From his rad track suits to his flashy sports cars, Kelly displays a suave, cocky swagger that never gets old. Let Black Samurai take you back to the 1970’s for on hell of an over the top adventure! Check this trailer out if you’ve never seen it before if you’re in doubt!
Here’s a great interview with Jim Kelly:
I’m super duper pumped about the recent addition to the “Phase 4” of Marvel’s cinematic universe, they’ll indeed be introducing none other than Shang Chi: The Master of Kung Fu to audiences around the globe! This really did kinda catch me by surprise, I mean who’d have ever thought Shang-Chi would get his own blockbuster film? I understand the Black Panther, as he’s easily in my opinion, one of Marvel’s most iconic, at least to any real collector of superhero comics. He’s a legend. However Shang-Chi (who as a kid I was a collector of his titles) is a pretty obscure character whom I never thought got enough credit. He’s been around though since the early 70’s and was Marvel’s direct reaction to the popularity of Bruce Lee.
Now in 2018 Shang-Chi once again has an advantage, as Marvel searches for it’s next big hit, cashing in at the box office on diversity in their movies, they’re aiming at lightning striking again with a movie that features an all Asian cast & director in a similar fashion as the Black Panther. I’d have been more impressed honestly if Marvel had introduced The Black Panther movie years before it’s release in 2018, but it seemed like they waited until the right time though to make as much money as possible with diversity being a hot topic. That being said better late than never for The Black Panther and now Shang-Chi I guess.
So being a fan of the greatest martial artist in the MCU I’m hoping they do indeed pull this one off and pull the character into the A-List category! What do we want from a “Master of Kung Fu” movie? Well how about the exact opposite of what we got from the Iron Fist series? This movie needs to bring on a superhuman kung fu spectacle unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Iron Fist was a giant disappointment, it’s terrible fight sequences/choreography, mixed with it’s ultra bland plot & unappealing lead character made for a truly tough series to sit that many hours through. Shang-Chi should be a full on action adventure movie, something like a mix up of Indiana Jones & Enter The Dragon but with the most insane martial arts battles put to screen, To pull this off they need someone who’s a true veteran to do the choreography/directing duties like Wilson Yip of the ‘Ip Man’ franchise or the legendary Sammo Hung. Continue reading
So the news just dropped that the Netflix Iron Fist series has officially been axed. I can’t say I’m sad about the news, but what I can say I’m sad about’s how badly they dropped the ball on what should have been a live action series that set a new bar for hyperactive kung fu mayhem. Not only did the series NOT deliver the impressive kung fu choreography I’d hoped for, but it was actually some of the most uninspired melee combat I’ve seen put to screen in quite some damn time. As I’ve said before, this show had the potential to feature Danny Rand as one of the best superhuman combatants (Let’s not forget about Shang Chi too) the world has ever seen. Rand should’ve been doing crazy ass stunts, breaking bones left n’ right and flexing his Iron Fist power on the bad guys like it was nobody’s goddamn business!
Instead we got a seriously weak ass plot, an annoying, whiny version of the character and some pretty pathetic action sequences. We never even got Iron Fist in his actual costume either, which in the end is a good thing cuz I don’t wanna watch some craptastic kung fu being performed by a dude wearing the classic IF duds. Add in some utterly forgettable villains and the supporting character of Colleen Wing being more bad ass and like-able than the series’ lead and you’ve got a major problem that finally caught up to leading to it’s ultimate demise. It actually blows my mind that some of these comic book adaptations can have such a hard time coming up with something fans would dig, Iron Fist should have been an easy sell. Somehow out of touch people in the industry always seem to think they know better than the fans? What gives with that these days?!
Anyway the good thing about the show being cancelled is that we don’t have to endure the torture of watching an epic character like Iron Fist being drug through the mud any more. Though it was a true utter failure, this actually frees things up somewhat for the superhero. Though it’s likely that we won’t see another season of the character, as reported we’ll maybe see Danny Rand making cameos in other Marvel Netflix shows, I think that it might eventually lead to a new Iron Fist altogether. Look how fast other properties get the reboot treatment-Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Hulk and most recently Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker. So why not Danny Rand?!
A reboot in this case, in the form of a movie would be exactly what I’d love to come to fruition, one that takes an entirely new approach. I’d love to see Iron Fist portrayed by someone who’s got the real skills and choreographed by someone who’s ready to knock kung fu fan’s socks off. I’d posted before how the Iron Fist action sequences should have been something more like Tony Jaa’s stunning performance in “The Protector”, for one second imagine Tony had a cool Iron Fist costume on in this scene:
So Yeah I’m glad Iron Fist is over for now, bummed they fucked it up so bad, but hey eventually someone who knows how to make excellent kung fu action on screen AND provide a compelling story for the character WILL indeed come along to give Rand some redemption, at least for now we can hope for that. Now at least I don’t have to sit through another 10 hours of mediocre / subpar Netflix “superhero” programming…..
Do you remember The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu?! Well I thought it’d be cool mention this old comic book magazine put out by Magazine Management Company, which was a part of Marvel Comics way back in the mid to late 1970’s primarily because of how amazing their covers were! Back during this time comic book magazines were quite popular and I was a big fan of The Rampaging Hulk magazine as well. Well The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu gathered Marvel’s most fierce martial arts superheroes in some crazy adventures as well as Kung Fu movie reviews and often time interviews with real life martial artists. Man looking at these incredible covers really makes me want to see a Shang Chi flick sometime soon! Check these out and imagine these on news stands during a time when the kung fu craze was in full effect!
It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve picked up anything new by Marvel in the comic book department, but this week I couldn’t resist when I saw the vintage logo of Power Man and Iron Fist on the stands. Marvel comics for me have become a bit of bland reading experience, often times the art’s pretty subpar and at 4 bucks a pop shit better be really fucking impressive! I’ll say it again once comic books reach the 5 dollar cover price I’m done. However this week I was lured by that nostalgic old logo and couldn’t resist giving this new series that unites Luke Cage and Danny Rand for some street smart retro style adventures in the big apple.
I was actually pretty impressed with this new series which thank god isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. Most Marvel titles are monthly changing superhero genders, races, characters etc etc blah blah. Don’t get me wrong I am all for those changes if they’re part of a creative story but lately it seems Marvel is simply trying way too hard to change everything to cash in on modern trends on social media. Sometimes keeping things simple and somewhat familiar really is the best way to create a meaningful story. We’ve got some witty writing here from David Walker that’s filled with nostalgic throwbacks to their heyday when Luke “Power Man” Cage used to sport a shiny silver tiara and the two used to be partners in their small biz “Heroes for Hire”. Luke Cage now a family man with Netflix’s latest sensation Jessica Jones is being tempted by Danny “Iron Fist” Rand (now a bit more wise cracking than usual) to “get the band back together”. I also totally love Iron Fist’s new version of his costume, harking back to Bruce Lee in Game of Death.
Luke’s resistant to the idea and Jessica even more, so Rand claims she’s got Luke “on a short leash these days”. When their former Heroes for Hire office manager gets out of prison they agree to do her a favor and retrieve a family heirloom stolen from her years ago. Sounds simple enough? Well turns out the albino super gangster Tombstone has it. I’ve gotta admit too I’ve always been a big fan of Tombstone and hopefully we’ll get more of the big stark white weirdo dude as he’s disposed of far too easily. Come on now Tombstone is a total bad ass!
The issue delivers a lot of promise for the future though with cool but heavily stylized artwork from Sanford Greene that some might love and others could easily be turned off by. It works for me though, I really dig it and it’s perfect for the more comedic tone so far of the series. I like simplicity of the story and also the smallness of it all, I really do like my comic stories kept on a personal level most of the time. It’s been a while since I grabbed a Marvel comic but this one seemed like a much safer bet than say something like the completely wretched “Totally Awesome Hulk” series or whatever million of the Deadpool books are floating around on the shelves these days. I’ll be back for issue number two for sure as it’s nice to see the boys are back in town once again…
What do you think? Am I missing out on something truly awesome from Marvel these days woth the cover price? If so please enlighten me!!
So everyone is making their “Expendables 3” wish list in hopes that the third installment will be even bigger, louder and more ridiculous than the first two. So naturally Universal Dork has got to chime in with a little wish list as well! There are already rumors about Nicholas Cage (whoopdeedoo…) joining the cast and Harrison Ford & Clint Eastwood being approached. Now that’s all fine and dandy, but for some reason Ford and Eastwood just don’t strike me as the type of actors to jump into a huge ensemble cast. Sure Danny Trejo, Carl Weathers and Kurt Russel would all be great and I know they top the majority of of the lists out there so I am am choosing a few that may have been forgotten but would be equally as awesome as any mentioned. So here’s seven actors I think should get back into the gym and start training for numereo tres!
1. Jesse Ventura: Jesse “The Body” Ventura is one of my favorite people in the world. I loved the guy as a kid and today I love him for his political views. It’s been rumored that he may run for president in 2016 and if so he’ll definitely get my vote, so in the meantime I think Jesse needs to get his ass back into making movies, at least for this one.
He starred alongside Arnold in Predator where his iconic line “I ain’t got time to bleed” was immortalized and again in The Running Man. He later appeared in Demolition Man with Sly so why the hell not get Ventura back to kick some ass in the next installment-he could make a great villain and when he’s finally killed in the finale Arnold could tell him “You’ve got time…….to bleed!”. Hell I should write Arnold’s future one liners!
2. Bolo Yeung: This guy was rumored to be in the second film as a major villain, when I heard that I thought it was a genius idea but somehow it remained purely a rumor. Well if there has ever been an iconic action villain it’s him!
Know for his gigantic pecs and his killer moves Bolo has faced off against the likes of Bruce Lee and Van Damme for cryin’ out loud! This time let’s have him and Van Damme on the same team! Bolo still has the moves & it’s time to give him one last hurrah as the series best villain yet!
3. Grace Jones: Yeah the film needs some female presence and Grace Jones is one of the wildest women on the planet!
She’s like seven feet tall, starred with Arnie in Conan the Destroyer, 007: A View to a Kill and could easily play a part of the Good Guys or villains in the flick. Yeah she’s that much of a bad ass-she could go toe to toe with Sly and it’d be believable. It’s time for the film to feature some ladies and she’d be perfect!
4. Mr T: Seriously Mr. T!! He made my list for the second film but from what I’ve heard T won’t do any violent movies anymore. But he does kick ass for…Snickers?
Well it’s time for him to get back on board with what he does best-kicking peoples asses to the moon and back! Part of The A-Team, Clubber Lang in Rocky III, Partners to Hulk Hogan in the WWF, Mr. T needs to get his head out of his ass and fast because his resume has got The Expendables 3 written all over it. Imagine the fans reaction to Mr. T? It’d be insane…
5. Iko Uwais: Yeah I see the problem we’ve got too many old ass dudes running around doing the ass kicking. I get that. That’s why you grab the best up and coming action stars before they hit it huge here in the USA! If you don’t know who this guy is then you are in for a treat because The Raid: Redemption makes The Expendables look like Kindergarten Cop!
Seriously Iko kicks soooo much butt it’s almost incomprehensible! Even his first movie Merantu was awesome. This Indonesian action star is a master of Silat, a truly incredible form of martial arts. He’d round out some of the old blood in the next movie quite nicely and when in action would raise the bar on the movie’s hand to hand combat sequences.
6. Roddy Piper: Roddy is a no brainer for the third film! He needs to be in the third film. He’s loud, cocky and rowdy! He also starred in “They Live” and “Hell Comes to Frogtown” to name a few.
He’d be perfect as hero or villain and he adds the perfect nostalgia of the 1980’s to the next installment. Plus let’s not forget he also tangled with Mr.T back in the WWF. Hint Hint….Rematch anyone?
7. Ice-T: Yes! Ice was a great action star in the early 1990’s. “New Jack City”, “Ricochet”, Trespass and my personal favorite “Surviving The Game” where he kicked so much ass in that movie alone he deserves to star in the third installment.
Ice has been out of the game for a while, taking more timid roles in recent years. Well Ice it’s time to get back on the saddle again. He’d most likely make a better villain than part of the team but one thing is certain it’s time for Ice to get back on the big screen. So let’s hope he gets on board…
Holy shit-you wanna see something truely amazing that will blow your mind? Well look no further cuz it’s time for motherfucking Chinese Popeye to blow it off the roof! Yeah chinese Popeye appears in a movie from 1976 called The Dragon Lives Again in which the soul of Bruce Lee heads off to Hell and meets a number of weird ass people like James Bond, Laurel & Hardy and most incredibly Popeye! But even more rad is that he’s kicking mummy ass all over the place! It’s a dream come true to have a Bruce Lee / Popeye team up bro-down!
I have yet to see this movie in its entirety but after viewing this short clip and being a mega Popeye fanatic this is clearly a must see!! Check this shit out!!! Robin Williams didn’t want you to know that some bad ass beat him to the punch-but man what I would pay to see Chinese and American Robin Williams Popeye duke it out!!