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Vern recommends the shit out of UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION!!!

Walter Hill's original UNDISPUTED was an exaggerated look at the classic concept of the prison boxing league. UNDISPUTED II showed that the same thing is going on in Russia, but with full-on mixed martial arts. Naturally UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION takes it to the next level by creating an international tournament for the champions from all different prisons. Part 4 might have to send them into space. But the true genius of director Isaac Florentine's two DTV UNDISPUTED sequels is that each one stars the villain of the previous chapter. In UNDISPUTED II: LAST MAN STANDING Michael Jai White took over for Ving Rhames as the asshole accused rapist heavyweight champ George "The Iceman" Chambers. He was the last man standing of the title. Part III, which comes out on DVD Tuesday, is about the next-to-last man standing. Scott Adkins returns as the man whose knee the Iceman crushed, disgraced Russian prison champion and convicted double-murderer Uri Boyka. To this day I would love to see Stallone direct a movie called IVAN DRAGO, in the style of ROCKY BALBOA but telling what happened to the communist golden boy. If I never get that at least I have UNDISPUTED III, where I get to root for the menacing (and in the end honorable) villain from part II. Most DTV action is bad for the same reasons: bland, generic characters in overly convoluted plots setting up poorly shot and staged action scenes. UNDISPUTED III succeeds by being the opposite of those three things. Boyka is a simple character. He doesn't talk much, and usually wants everybody else to just shut the fuck up. His life is shit but he doesn't want anyone's pity. He rehabilitates and trains himself in his dank cell using buckets and pullies. He's friendly with the rats that crawl all over him in his cell, and even uses one of them to cross his heart during prayer. He's so not a people person that when he does the ol' begrudging-respect-exchange with his loud-mouthed American antagonist Turbo (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) it's actually kind of sweet. Even at the end, when the kicking and punching was over, I was genuinely interested in what happened to these characters. Marko Zaror, the Chilean asskicker so good at playing innocent manchildren in his movies like KILTRO and MIRAGEMAN, has even more fun as a hissable villain nicknamed Dolor. He seems crazy and lives a decadent lifestyle by prison standards. As the local champ he gets to sit in a lawnchair and do his summer reading while everybody else does hard labor in the rock quarry. It's a great lightly sketched character with only one problem: I don't see how they could make this prick the hero against the space prisoners in part IV. The story is simple too, with the classic tournament structure but enough stakes added on the sides to create tension (for example the fighters don't know, but we do, that after you lose a round your next fight is against the firing squad). I think too many modern filmatists miss the importance of an elegant, streamlined story in a bare knuckle, headbutting kind of film. Not Florentine. And of course the main attraction is the fights. In-the-ring competition is usually the most boring type of cinematic martial arts, but Florentine and choreographer Larnell Stovall make it thrilling. Since the fighters are from different countries they represent different styles, for example Lateef Crowder (you saw him in TOM YUM GOONG/THE PROTECTOR) uses capoeria. You can't call these fights realistic (Boyka sure is doing alot of jumping and flipping for a dude with a bum knee) but that's why I'm watching this and not one of those shitty street brawl videos. It's an exaggerated style that creates its own skull-crushing reality. You get the feeling a muscle is torn or a bone is crunched with every hit. And yes, Adkins does his trademark flying double spin kick where the first pass is a fake-out and the second one connects. In my opinion it's a better trademark than Van Damme's doing-the-splits. So what you have here is a fun, fast-paced, completely badass martial arts movie that when you think about it is also a testament to the concept of second chances and finding good in the worst people. Or at least finding fighting skill. You definitely don't need to have seen the other UNDISPUTEDs to understand what's going on here, but I recommend watching part II first to get the full effect of the villain-turned-hero. I'm actually not a big fan of the original, despite the usual great performance by Wesley Snipes. This is the rare series where the DTV sequels are better than the theatrical original. I'm not yet prepared to declare which of the sequels is better. I miss the dry humor of Michael Jai White, but I think the fights might be even better this time. They might be tied. Fans of DTV action already know these movies, but they're good enough to break through into the mainstream. I know at that Actionfest film festival the jury (including our wayward son Moriarty and Chud's Devin Faraci) were so impressed with this they changed the rule to give it a couple of awards. I recommend watching UNDISPUTED II-III and if you like those you can go back through the other films of Florentine and Adkins. Florentine is the king of DTV martial arts and Adkins is his kickboxing DeNiro. Adkins stole SPECIAL FORCES in a supporting role as an asskicking SAS officer. He played #2 bad guy in THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL (that was taken away from Florentine in the editing, but it has great fights and Jean-Claude Van Damme carries around a bunny for the whole movie). And he had the lead in the recent NINJA, which I think is underrated. It's a solid use of classic ninja tropes and weapons, a charismatic villain and great fights (especially the one on the subway). It even has Big Oil executives who are also robe-wearing cultists. But admittedly when he's not fighting Adkins is a little bland as the ninja Casey (playing American for some reason). Non-Adkins Florentine joints include BRIDGE OF DRAGONS (a Dolph Lundgren fantasy movie, but not literally about dragons) and US SEALS 2 (which I honestly like better than the studio movie it's a sequel to a rip-off of). As a martial artist himself Florentine is very passionate about the choreography, and having built up his directing chops doing that tv show "Power Rangers" he has a strong foundation of energetic camerawork that emphasizes the action instead of muddling it like most directors do these days with their wobbly cameras, quick cuts and inept closeups. Years ago I claimed the DTV beat as my own because I got a laugh out of trashy unwanted sequels and increasingly weird vehicles for action stars of the '80s and '90s. But I justified it with an idealist pipe dream about this format, that there was no reason these low budget, under the radar movies couldn't be like the ones from the Roger Corman days: a training ground for interesting new directors and a place where they were given the freedom to do whatever the fuck they wanted as long as they finished the movie on time. Well, maybe it's not quite that, but in the last two years the standards for direct-to-video action have raised a hell of alot. I truly like last year's BLOOD AND BONE (starring Michael Jai White, directed by Ben Ramsey), this year's UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION (directed by John Hyams) and Florentine's two UNDISPUTED sequels better than pretty much all American action movies released theatrically in the last few years. I'm hesitant to say it, because I wouldn't want these guys to get wasted on mediocre Hollywood movies, but the studios are idiots to keep hiring inept commercial and video directors to do their bidding when proven directors like Florentine, Hyams and Ramsey are right here under their noses. Well, okay, they're probly all in Bulgaria somewhere, far from their noses. But the movies speak for themselves. These guys are making much more entertaining and better crafted movies for nothing and most likely under more difficult conditions than the Hollywood pansies ever dreamed of. Why is it I keep spending money to watch incomprehensible bullshit action scenes projected onto a giant screen while Florentine's carefully crafted ones go straight to my cramped living room? That seems backwards to me. I'm not saying the guy is gonna make 2001. But give Isaac Florentine a Punisher, a GI Joe, a Transporter, or better yet just tell him "here is a modest Hollywood budget, go make a kickass action movie with Michael Jai White and/or Scott Adkins," I guarantee you he'll knock your socks off. And you don't need those socks. You don't deserve those socks if you don't notice this shit. I deserve your socks. Hand them over. Nah, forget I said anything. I hope he does UNDISPUTED IV with Zaror and an Adkins spin-off called BOYKA. You guys can keep your shakycams, I'll be happy over here. thanks fellas --VERN author of Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer! www.outlawvern.com

Readers Talkback
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  • May 31, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Uh... first.

    by Fah-Cue

    Fags.

  • May 31, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    And no thanks...

    by Fah-Cue

    I won't be seeing this bullshit movie.

  • May 31, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Here's to your fuck, Vern!

    by CRISPIN_GLOVERS_ACID_FLASHBACK

    You're one of the best man, love your work.

  • May 31, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: A Great White New Hope

    by Mike_D

    it'll happen

  • May 31, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    why do we even bother?

    by LegendarySpartanBlood

    i see no point in watching this. the first one wasn't even that good. never saw the second one

  • May 31, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Undisputed V: The Disputed

    by Mike_D

  • May 31, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Undisputed VI: The Deportation

    by Mike_D

    A mexican bullfighter gets arrested in the states and gets deported back to Mexico to fight for his life after being accused of killing his bull.

  • May 31, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Electric Boogaloo

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Undisputed: Death Sentence

    by Mike_D

    The inmates on death row fight in a tournament to see who gets the chair last.

  • May 31, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Part Deux

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: No One Will See It

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: No One Cares

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Undisputed: Return to Guantamano Bay

    by Mike_D

  • May 31, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: My Cawk Burns

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Vajazzled

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Undisputed: 2050

    by Mike_D

    prisoners are televised to fight to the death in a rolling steel ball

  • May 31, 2010, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Fi' Dolla' Sucky-Sucky

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Undisputed: The Remake

    by Mike_D

    release date: right after Undisputed: 2050 (sometimes in the later quarter of 2011).

  • May 31, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: The Rape of Undisupted III

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: "Lost" Explained

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Better than Watchmen

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Penicillin Makes Me Happy

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: The Final Dispute

    by CRISPIN_GLOVERS_ACID_FLASHBACK

  • May 31, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: One Night In Paris

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Undisputed V: Douchebags wear "Affliction" shirts

    by LegendarySpartanBlood

  • May 31, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: I Switched to Geico

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Shit-Stained Film Strips

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: I'm Done

    by Fah-Cue

  • May 31, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Thanks Vern

    by SirBiatchReturns

    and I agree about getting competent action directors. The situation in Hollywood is just horrendous right now. So much crappy fight chereography

  • May 31, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    this wasnt funny compared to descent review...

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • May 31, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Undisputed: The Showers

    by Mike_D

    A new inmate prevents a prison rape in the showers, then gets put in a boxing match against the rapist. Winner gets a box of cigarettes.

  • May 31, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Undisputed IV: Mike_D and Fah-Cue visit Brokeback Mountain

    by sirerikt

  • May 31, 2010, 6:24 p.m. CST

    il be seein this

    by bourne7855

    not giving undisputed 2 and 3 a chance because you didnt like the first one is a mistake. these two sequels are absolutely nothing like the first one. their ten times better. thanks vern for bringing this movie to peoples attention. if you like action movies especially martial art movies you should definitely see these two plus blood and bone. didnt really care for the adkins Ninja movie though.

  • May 31, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    American action films are just about non-existent!

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    DTV has become the place to view "GUYS KICKING OTHER GUYS ASSES"!<P>Today brain-dead geeks think action films only consist of skinny women going wire-fu and striking poses!

  • May 31, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Jett...

    by Bvc79

    Don't bring your "it was funny once, eons ago" pathetic bullshit to Isaac Florentine's movies, please.

  • May 31, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    it's in the queue

    by GhostDad

    I'm with Vern, some of the best action flicks of the last few years have been DTV. I'm really hoping this translates to a renaissance for the big screen action movie and we stop trying to pass off nancy boys as action heroes.

  • May 31, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    also Vern

    by GhostDad

    you should start hunting for some unrepresented action scripts and trying to attach your name to them, you're basically the guru of action flicks and probably could use a lot of capital to get some good action movies made.

  • May 31, 2010, 8:25 p.m. CST

    The Tournament was another badass DTV

    by TheDark0Knight

    imo it was 10x more badass then Stallones Rambo.

  • May 31, 2010, 8:59 p.m. CST

    yeah i enjoyed the tournament as well

    by bourne7855

    thats another good one i forgot

  • May 31, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    and Adkins was in THE TOURNAMENT

    by Vern

    Playing a Russian again, too. Not as good as the UNDISPUTEDs, but I agree, THE TOURNAMENT was a fun one. I like when Ving Rhames uses everybody's blood as lubricant to slide across the floor.<p> By the way, anybody notice how the illiterate nincompoops in this talkback are the ones slagging on the macho action movies, the people who know how to communicate with each other are the ones who like them? Take that, stereotypes.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:34 p.m. CST

    I'm watching this tonight

    by Gwai Lo

    I watched the first two on the weekend and the second one is definitely a solid action flick with European art film production value standards. I didn't really consider myself the DTV action type before but Vern you have converted me by your insistence on these recent ones. UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION was great, and I'll now be checking out NINJA and BLOOD AND BONE as well. Totally agree with you that Hollywood is dumb not to hire some of these guys, to even pull off something halfway competent under the restrictions of the DTV process is a miracle in itself. Give them money and say the word go, absolutely. If they can turn franchises like UNDISPUTED or UNIVERSAL SOLDIER into gold, think of what they could do with something that theoretically seems easy to get right, like THE PUNISHER.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:34 p.m. CST

    the tournament

    by bourne7855

    yeah the main reason i bought the tournament was to see adkins kick some ass so i was a little disappointed that he had one scene basically but i was pleasantly suprised with the rest of it. oh and why the hell isnt Michael Jai White a A list movie star by now???

  • May 31, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    adkins is great

    by Waka_Flocka

    so are jai white, zaror and florentine. i had an idea months ago for a jai white/adkins cop movie set at the border. i'm too lazy to even attempt to write it. i thought it would work well. jai white as a cop in a border town that has been overlooked and adkins as a straight laced cia agent investigating the cartels. then them both going over the border to go after the cartels and it descends into some good old 80's action violence.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    DAREDEVIL

    by Gwai Lo

    Give Florentine DAREDEVIL. Doooooiiittt

  • May 31, 2010, 9:40 p.m. CST

    gwai lo

    by bourne7855

    if you liked those movie, you should love blood and bone. the fights are all good but the last fight is exceptional. shows just how good an actual martial artist and athlete White is. Can we get a Blade reboot with White. i love snipes but hes perfect for that role

  • May 31, 2010, 9:42 p.m. CST

    waka flocka

    by bourne7855

    i would definitely watch that shit.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Stuff about things.

    by hamslime

    As cool as it would be to see Florentine do a big budget action movie (he clearly deserves it) It would probably just turn into a mess since studios like to poke their untalented noses into shit and fuck it all up. I say that if Florentine is making a living doing the DTV movies, he should stay there. At least he'll have more control over making his movies badass.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    MJW is a beast

    by Gwai Lo

    Indeed. I can only assume he isn't a big star because he's still redeeming himself for SPAWN. His KILL BILL would have been savage had it made the final cut, and he was in THE DARK KNIGHT, but as far as star power the guy just has rotten luck I guess.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:45 p.m. CST

    His KILL BILL *scene

    by Gwai Lo

  • May 31, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Michael Jai White

    by hamslime

    If Black Dynamite hasn't made him a star, I can't imagine anything will. Also his line, "You can kiss this ass" in Undisputed II, although not that funny on the page kills when he says it. The guy has comedic chops for sure. Add to the ass-kicking that he does...fuck me, that guy has totally redeemed himself from Spawn in my opinion.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    yeah kill bill scene

    by bourne7855

    was cool as shit. at least we can watch it as a deleted scene on the dvds. yea spawn was not that great, but not because of white. it had many other problems lol I like that Florentine is also a martial artist, it definitely shows in his movies. Maybe hel get a chance at a big movie someday, but like hamslime says, that may just ruin what hes got goin now.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Black Dynamite

    by bourne7855

    was hilarious. the mans a great actor besides being a great martial artist. i dont know how good expendables will be but id love to see him in the sequel . no matter how big he gets or doesnt get hes earned my money watch his movies.

  • May 31, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Florentine's martial arts background

    by Gwai Lo

    I read this interview with him the other day and his response on how his martial arts background has influenced how he shoots his action scenes should be mandatory reading for anyone who has been handed the keys to a summer tentpole:<p> "J: Does having a background in martial arts give you a common language with your actors while choreographing a fight sequence.<p> I: Totally, it’s more than that. The attributes of martial arts is more than the fighting. Screen fighting, in my case. I see many directors’ even ones that work in the studio system, when it comes to the action scenes they kind of feel uncomfortable and instead of really directing the scene they just cover the scene. There’s a big difference between coverage and directing. When I say cover a scene, I mean setting up a shot and letting the camera cover what the actors are doing, hoping to have it come together in the editing. My philosophy, first I want to see the techniques. It’s like the old musicals with Fred Astrie or Gene Kelly; you saw them from top to bottom. People wanted to see them dancing. You knew it was them. It’s similar to the martial arts in my movies. So first I want to see the technique and second I want to move the camera and use it in a way that helps tell the story and becomes part of the fight scene, to glorify it. And what I want to try and avoid is really cutting or over cutting the scene. Because many times you go to films and the action is chopped and scattered and you don’t know what’s going on. You hear the sound effects and it creates the illusion but there is a sense of confusion. When I see that, I totally go against the film. So coming from a martial arts background, it really helps me because I know exactly how it supposed to look, how it should feel, and especially how to capture it on film. Sometime we will alter the routines to avoid having to make additional cuts and to keep the pace. There is another attribute that I carried over from martial arts into film making. There is this cleanness of the techniques, when you look at the form of a ‘kata’, its precision and clean. I make my edits, even in the dramatic scenes very precise. So I think that the contribution is more than know- how to stage a fight scene. Most of my actors are martial artists. They totally see that you know what you are talking about and there is an instant trust."<p> Rest of the interview is here (remove spaces):<p> http:// moviemavericks. com/?p=1258

  • May 31, 2010, 9:59 p.m. CST

    @bourne7855 re: Black Dynamite...

    by Napolean Solo

    You're so dead on the money, you're like the Grim Reaper at an ATM!!!

  • May 31, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST

    MJW neeeds to be in Expendables 2

    by GhostDad

    The expendables franchise needs to include every action star, DTV or not. MJW would kill it alongside Sly, it'd finally get him the projects he deserves.

  • May 31, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Expendables 2

    by Gwai Lo

    Don't they set Arnie up as a parallel Sly with his own team of Expendables? Hopefully they do a sequel with MJW, JCVD, Seagal, Norris, Tony Jaa and Bill Duke.

  • May 31, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Gwai Lo

    by GhostDad

    I dunno but that would be awesome, but there would have to be a Li/Norris fight in the middle of the Coliseum. I don't think Sly likes Seagal, though, and I don't think Seagal will be doing much any time soon with the criminal charges. JCVD probably wouldn't do it either. But as you were saying about Florentine's MA background, I think Lexi Alexander kind of ruined any chance for unkown directors with Martial Arts backgrounds being handed the keys to any big property.

  • May 31, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    If Seagal/JCVD won't do it

    by Gwai Lo

    I guess they'd have to use Dudikoff.

  • May 31, 2010, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Give Florentine POWERMAN AND IRON FIST

    by milesdyson

    starring Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins. That could be the greatest movie of all time.

  • May 31, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Isaac Florentine.

    by Munro Kelly

    This man deserves a shot at studio filmmaking. In the 80's and early 90's, people like Joel Silver would have given him a chance. He's earned a shot to play with a 20 - 30 million dollar budget. Even if it doesn't work out, at least he'd have the experience of working in the studio system one time.

  • May 31, 2010, 11:38 p.m. CST

    The fact that MJW hasn't bacome a MAJOR action star

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    ...Is simply a CRIME! Like many have already said, the man had looks, great acting chops, comedic skills, is built like a dang superhero and has the martial arts skills of... uh... a skilled martial artist!!!<p>Seriously, give me one good reason why Undisputed 2, Black Dynamite and Blood & Bone didn't make it into theatres, while crap like Cop Out, MacGruber and Jennifer's Body does!

  • May 31, 2010, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Seriously, if you LOVE Martial arts films...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Check out Undisputed 2 and Blood & Bone. You brain will bleed trying to figure out why those films haven't gotten more press and exposure.

  • May 31, 2010, 11:43 p.m. CST

    And I second hiring White and Adkins

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    To play Luck Cage and Iron Fist. They had great charisma together in Undisputed 2, and unlike a lot of martial artists, they can actually ACT. QUIT WASTING TIME, MARVEL!!!! >:O

  • June 1, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Vern, you speak the truth

    by heks

    I remember being amazed when I saw Undisputed II. Then I saw III a week or two ago and it was absolutely awesome. I said exactly what you did ... that I liked the DTV sequels better than the theatrical original, which is not something I'd generally expect, obviously. I'm with you on Blood and Bone, too. That was a great martial arts flick and the fighting was top notch. That once bit where MJW jumps in the air and kicks 4 guys before landing again was an instant classic in my books.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Just watched Undisputed III. Verdict...

    by Napolean Solo

    Awesome. <br> <br> The thing that stands out the most along with the great choreography, is the acting! I was totally shocked at how good these guy's performances were! <br> <br> Thanks Vern.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Watched it

    by Gwai Lo

    Fucking excellent. Adkins is a star. Hey Fah-Cue, are you interested in watching it after all this praise? Or are you still an obstinate ass-hat?

  • June 1, 2010, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Seen it, loved it!

    by joergn

    Pretty much the best MA-Tournament movie since the classic "Bloodsport"!

  • June 1, 2010, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Undisputed 3 is fucking great!

    by HardSteel

    Best action flick I`ve seen in a while.

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  • June 1, 2010, 4:51 a.m. CST

    SC OTT ADKINS!!!

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Dude is a sensational martial artist. And just generally seems like an all around nice guy. It's a shame he isn't in more stuff. The days of badass martial arts movies are behind us, sadly. Nowadays it's all about CGI robots and whatnot.

  • June 1, 2010, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Blood and Bone

    by Autodidact

    If you like this flick, and Undisputed 2, check out Blood and Bone. Of course, if you like those two movies, I probably don't need to tell you about Blood and Bone. The point is Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins have made some cool-ass martial arts movies lately. <p>As for trademark moves, while I LOVE Adkins' kick, it's hard to deny the power beauty and grace of JCVD's helicopter splits. And if you think about it, Adkin's double wheel-kick (first pass being a fake) would seriously lack power (since the second kick moves backwards against the rotation of his body).

  • June 1, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    garbage like "never back down" and "fighting".....

    by Father

    ....get international theatrical releases while superior movies like undisputed 2 and 3 as well as "Blood and bone" go straight to DVD? I call bullshit on that sir.

  • June 1, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    No Ving...

    by Powerring

    so..feh. Another anonymous, low budget sequel without the original cast.

  • June 1, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    The original cast isn't in it, PowerRing, because...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    They're more expensive and the NEW cast is 5 times BETTER! Comparing Ving Rhames and Michael Jai White as fighters is like comparing Rob Liefeld to Alex Ross as comic artists. While both can draw, only ONE is an actual great artist.

  • June 1, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I still won't watch this bitch.

    by Fah-Cue

  • June 1, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST

    lol, This should be on the box of whatever movie you're talking

    by Sailor Rip

    I like when Ving Rhames uses everybody's blood as lubricant to slide across the floor. <p> Vern 5/31/2010

  • June 1, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST

    ...about

    by Sailor Rip

  • June 1, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST

    David Cronenberg and actor Viggo Mortensen

    by Broseph

    The ever-fruitful and edgy creative partnership between director David Cronenberg and actor Viggo Mortensen continues, with today’s announcement of a sequel to their captivating 2007 Russian mob film Eastern Promises

  • June 1, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Undisputed

    by Lone_Wolf_McQuaalude

    I'll give parts two and three a shot, but I don't know how you can top Peter Falk in the original

  • June 1, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Redbelt

    by Judge Briggs

    Best unseen movies in years!

  • June 1, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    You can top Peter Falk

    by Bruce of all Trades

    ...with GAGA! <p><P>And no, I'm not referring to the he-she singer.

  • June 1, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Father and Judge Briggs

    by bourne7855

    fighting and never back down were total shit. makes me sick how things like that get a release. Redbelt was an absolutely excellent movie. what true spirit of martial arts are about, at least that got a theatrical release even though i dont think it did that great.

  • June 1, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    I gotta stick up for FIGHTING, actually

    by Vern

    I was surprised how good that was. It's basically a more naturalistic indie-drama type of approach to a LIONHEART type of underground fighting storyline. It's the smarter and artier take on the exact same material as NEVER BACK DOWN, which is LIONHEART as teen subculture movie (not good).<p> I'm not saying it has great fight scenes like the UNDISPUTEDs and no, it's definitely no REDBELT (which also doesn't have great fight scenes like the UNDISPUTEDs) but it deserves credit for its serious approach, its great New York locations and especially for Terence Howard's weird characterization of the fight promoter/mentor whose dream in life is to open an IHOP.

  • June 1, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    all in Bulgaria somewhere?

    by MDS3592

    No, they are not here, but I do like that they come over to make some fun martial arts/action movies! I just watched Undisputed III-awesome fighting sequences, straightforward story, excellent villain fighter but some crappy scenes/dialogue which could have been polished and better edited. Still really fun and please add Tony Jaa to Undisputed IV and give the fighters a better arena with more freedom to move and interact with the environment than a boxing ring! TY for the recommendation!

  • June 1, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    @Fah-Cue

    by Bilblow

    "I care" signed, Nobody

  • June 2, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Wow, that was actually quite inspiring.

    by Knuckleduster

    Nice one, Vern. <p> As for the different shooting styles in studio films compared to DTV movies... Well, I guess the reason is because studio pics have actors pretending to be martial artists and the DTV movies have martial artists pretending to be actors. I'm guessing that's why the shaky cam technique is so popular these days. It's kinetic, it allows the filmmakers a great deal of flexibility in the editing and it hides any sloppiness seen in the actors' inexperienced fighting abilities. Let's face it, I'd rather see Matt Damon (who is a damn fine actor) playing Bourne and Christian Bale playing Batman (in films with shaky cam action) rather than having a great martial artist who can't act butcher those roles. Still, there should be ways around this. Hollywood action movies weren't always like this. Wouldn't it be great to see a return to the Enter The Dragon way of shooting a fight scene.

  • June 3, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Michael Jai White IS Luke Cage...

    by SDCrews

    But I think Scott Adkins might be too buff to play Iron Fist, who's really skinny white dude w/ a whole lot of chi (or ki, if you like).

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