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PIMPKILLAH: Indie Comic Book And Film Auteur Sarah Bitely On The Evolution Of An Amazing Idea

About five years ago I managed to interview stuntwoman, actress and producer Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez. It was through her I managed to build a rapport with several other veterans and up-and-comers in the industry whilst getting an angle going on covering the stunt field and it was a privelege to be able to exchange with her than as it still is now from time to time.

She's a talented singer as well - a fact that I was reminded of clean and clear when last year, I managed to screen one of her most recent short film appearances, Pimpkillah, courtesy of filmmaker and comic book creator Sarah Bitely. I think it quite surprised Michelle and that was sort of the feeling I got when I commented on one of her posts at the time.

Alas, the shortfilm has since gone public, marking a significant milestone for the budding filmmaker and comic book creator who moved from her hometown on the outskirts of DC/Baltimore in Maryland to Los Angeles, California in 2010. Her coming out party has assuredly …

The New Red Band HOTEL ARTEMIS Trailer Totally Kills It

Leave it to Jodie Foster who throws down with one the best lines moviegoers can expect on June 8 with the upcoming thriller, Hotel Artemis. Drew Pearce makes his directing debut with an action-packed sci-fi dystopia tale about a hidden hospital within a rustic, old hotel for criminals. In HOTEL ARTEMIS, set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, Jodie Foster plays The Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals. Surrounded by an all-star cast that includes Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day, and Dave Bautista, HOTEL ARTEMIS is a stylish, high-octane action-thriller written and directed by Drew Pearce (writer of IRON MAN 3, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION, SHERLOCK HOLMES 3). This week's red-band trailer delight totally kills it, packed with stunt gems and zingers from our cast. Check it out below!

A Case For Better Action Movies: Benny Tjandra's SYNDICATE SMASHER, And The Thinning Line Between Love And Hate

I love independent movies, as we all should. That said, I still stand by this notion even as not all independent films will love us back, and often times apart from the gems that can be found, you will especially find yourself discovering titles that are lesser to your liking.
Some of those titles will often star actor Mel Novak - someone I'm often highly pushed to give attention to because he starred in Bruce Lee's Game Of Death and as it just so happens, I run an action movie blog. Now, I have nothing personal against Novak in the least, nor the PR firm that promotes him, or the filmmakers with whom Novak recently collaborated for the new action thriller, Syndicate Smasher, which you can currently find on Amazon Prime at your own behest.
On that note, it was four days ago that the film was given more press treatment for hitting #1 on the Amazon charts. I can't really speak for those people as I try to wrap my tired brain around putting together constructive analysis, bu…

ANALOG: Chad Stahelski To Direct Image Comics Sci-Fi For Lionsgate

Comic book movie news remains this week as Chad Stahelski is up to direct Analog, the Image Comics sci-fi series that launched in April. He's teaming up with USA series Colony co-creator, Rampage writer and Amazon's Conan series scribe Ryan Condal to shepherd the film's development following a robust acution over the weekend that ultimately won over at Lionsgate, as THR's Borys Kit confirms.
Here's how Image describes the comic property: Five years from now: the security of the internet has been totally destroyed. Secrets are no longer sent over the web, they're entrusted to armed couriers called "Ledger Men," like human punching-bag Jack McGinnis. He's got a gun in one hand and a briefcase handcuffed to the other. Danger lurks around every corner, and Jack has to watch his back—because he had a part in the cyber attack that changed the world. Get in on the ground floor of this new ongoing series and thrill as we slam Jack's fist into the face…

Liam Neeson Is Circling MEN IN BLACK For Sony

Well isn't this a fine "How do ya do?"
Fish around long enough online and you'll find some interesting plot hints for The Fate Of The Furious helmer F. Gary Gray's latest reboot take on Men In Black. Whatever the case may be, expect Thor 3 actors Chris Hemsworth and actress Tessa Thompson to lead the cast for the Sony production as the studio looks to make this franchise a thing come at least by next year.
This now brings us to Justin Kroll's exclusive at Variety which entails news of actor Liam Neeson now circling the role of the U.K. branch manager of the clandestined organization bent on operating in secrecy whilst monitoring and mitigating with extraterrestrial life on and around Earth. The role is in the same vein as that of the one played by Rip Torn in the original movies.
The report states this will be a pivot from Nesson's usual hard-edged, seasoned action thrillers - although honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing Neeson go Bryan Mills on some al…

JOHNNY Z: Get A Fresh Look At Martial Arts Mastery In A New Still

I've recently put The Hit List to temporary rest but I still have my eye on certain individual projects and gems hailing from the auspices of DC Stunt Coalition. On the feature film front however, I'm also definitely looking forward to whatever lies ahead in the coming months, and Johnny Z is certainly one of them. Billed as an action horror feature that nods to films like Land Of The Dead and The Raid, the project hails from a concept pitched earlier on through crowdsourcing with Johnathan Straiton directing from Black Mandala and Hurricane Bridge Entertainment.
The latest update being offered now lends us a clear look at actor and martial artist Felix Cortes who plays a martial arts master sought by one of his pupils, a half-human zombie seeking vengeance on the evil corporation that created him. Actor Michael Merchant leads the film with David McMahon, Jason Delgado, Elle Church and Wayne Johnson with a script by Ron Bonk and action sequences by Film Combat Syndicate favor…

SIX UNDERGROUND: Skydance, Netflix Pair Up For New Michael Bay Helmer, 'Deadpool' Star And Writers

I mean it when I say it: Spend your money on Deadpool 2 like nothing else matters.
Also, feast your eyes on this latest prospect signaling courtesy of Skydance Media, announcing a new partnership with Netflix to co-produce and release Six Undergroud. Plot details are nil but the presser highlights it as an original concept from Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, in which Ryan Reynolds will star with notable Transformers franchise helmer Michael Bay being tapped to direct.
I'm suddenly reminded all of Bay's films and the often lingering comedy and quips throughout between breif moments of dialogue and explosions and considering Reynolds' acumen for deadpan humor, characteristic of his on-pointe delivery as the R-rated merc with a mouth, I'm surprised Reynolds hasn't starred in a Bay film yet. Welp, I guess that's about to change and it could be a winning combination too.
Six Underground is reportedly gearing up for a summer start ahead of a 2019 rel…

PAPILLON: Down And Dirty Prison Brawls And Daring Escapes In The Official Trailer

Having found inspiration in the written and filmed life and times of Henri Charrière, Danish director Michael Noer's latest, Papillon, took to viewers late last year at the Toronto International Film Festival where Bleecker Street ultimately snagged the rights thereafter. This one bares a clear new look with some seriously brutal action that promises, hailed by the casting of Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek with a release date set for August 24, and on that note, a first official trailer to bide the time until then.
Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books “Papillon” and “Banco", the film follows the epic story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with a convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to…

MADE IN CHINATOWN: Robert Samuels (H.K.S.A.) Antes Up As Co-Director For The New Martial Arts Mobster Comedy

With weeks away before cameras roll for upcoming martial arts mobster comedy, Made In Chinatown, we can report that the production will pair director Art Camacho with producer Robert Samuels who will also share the helm as co-director. The news comes roughly one week since Camacho's arrival to the director's chair after replacing another filmmaker who was already attached as the film underwent several months of development.
Camacho and Samuels will direct from a script by executive producer and author Mark V. Wiley that centers on Vinny, a hapless Chinatown resident who, with the help of his sifu and a select few good friends, works to assimilate himself into Italian mob life and gain top-tier status whilst in pursuit of the girl of his dreams. The independent New York City-set action comedy production lands stuntman, world-class wushu stylist and champion Gold medalist, actor Alfred Hsing (Ready Player One, Ip Man 3, Birth Of The Dragon) his first major acting role.
Hungry …

THE HIT LIST: May 21, 2018

I almost spent my Sunday lingering which I felt like doing frankly, but this week's Hit List needed to get going before long because I just know things are going to pile up like they did this past week and I really need to catch up. Needless to say, this will be the last Hit List installment until June 4 when we return with the usual round of exciting stunt and independent shortfilm content hitting the internets!

The incredible, nimble actor and martial artist Andy Le gets things started in electric fashion with a training reel hailing Martial Club's best, followed by Thekla Hutyrova, Luis Fernandez, Dylan Rampulla, Fernando Campos, Kiara Nowlin, Hawk Walts, János Bognár, Dmitrious Bistrevsky, Amanda Dellapenta and Bayland Kippenkroger.

The last few years have been a bit myopic in trying to get in touch with filmmaker Jeanne Jo. We recently connected this year and I was able to screen her most recent shortfilm, Punch Me, which she had been trying and failing to get into festiv…

JCVD/Lundgren Thriller BLACK WATER Lands A June 29 U.S. Release!

Saban Films has kept its own market waiting long enough it seems and thus, the official trailer went live for Pasha Patriki's latest, Black Water, hailing a fifth pairing for action star duo Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. The film is written by Chad Law with a story that centers on a deep cover operative who awakens, imprisoned in the confines of a CIA black site on a submarine and forced in a race against the clock to search for answers amidst a daring escape.
Action-movie icons Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren deliver a double shot of adrenaline-fueled excitement in this heartpounding undersea thriller. After a failed mission, deep-cover operative Wheeler (Van Damme) is imprisoned in a CIA black site on a submarine. The CIA agents will to go to any lengths to get information from Wheeler—but nothing can prepare them for the storm of violence that erupts when he joins forces with a fellow prisoner (Lundgren) as deadly as he is mysterious. Black Water opens throu…