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The London Action Festival announces second wave of events this July

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The London Action Festival announces second wave of events this July

The London Action Festival, which runs from 28th-31st July, continues to add to an impressive array of unique events to its inaugural lineup with a further six not-to-be-missed events announced today:

“Con Air” a Special 25th Anniversary Screening of the classic action thriller directed by Simon West and starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich. Written by Scott Rosenberg and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun Maverick), the film centers on a prison break aboard a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System aircraft, nicknamed “Con Air”. It features Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Dave Chappelle, Rachel Ticotin, Danny Trejo, and Monica Potter. A must see for all Nicolas Cage’s aficionados and devotees of action cinema as its best. The screening is followed by a Q & A with Simon West.

“The Car Chasers” is a look at key moments of action design in Film and TV from some of the best stunt performers who specialize in being both fast and furious when it comes to cars on screen. We’ll look at the Top #5 Car Chases of all time as chosen by global followers of Den of Geek. The panel will include stunt drivers and performers Steph Carey (No Time To Die, Morbius), Lloyd Bass (The King’s Man, F9: The Fast Saga) and Rick English (The Batman, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) who together have over 450 Film & TV credits between them.

“Don’t Try This At Home! – How To Become A Stunt Professional” is a free to attend bonus event from the London Action Festival presented in association with the British Stunt Register, the world’s leading and largest association of stunt professionals.

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With over 45 years experience, they provide the Film & TV industry with Stunt Performers & Stunt Co-ordinators with all the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge that are demanded by stunt work in the 21st century and have established their own Career Grade Scheme. Do you have what it takes? Come along and hear from the professionals who are on and run the Register about how you can explore a career in one of the most exciting professions in the Entertainment industry.

“The World in Action” looks at Asian Cinema with Hong Kong as its traditional epicentre and the huge influence it has had on global Action Cinema. We assemble a group of experts to explore the films and filmmakers that have had the most impact and delighted audiences the world over.

Speakers include: Joey Ansah (actor, director and martial artist best known for his roles in The Old Guard, and The Bourne Ultimatum where in the role of Desh Bouksani, his set-piece fight scene between himself and Matt Damon is regarded as one of the best ever filmed) and directing the hit YouTube short film Street Fighter: Legacy, followed by two acclaimed TV series, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist and Street Fighter: Resurrection.; Mike Fury (journalist and author of the acclaimed book series, “Life of Action” speaking to world-class actors, filmmakers and stunt people making some of the most highly regarded films of their kind); and Jude Poyer – whose passion for martial arts in cinema took him to Hong Kong aged 18 where had the chance to work with Jackie Chan & Jet Li. Back in London for more than a decade, Jude is now a sought after 2nd unit director, action designer, and stunt coordinator. In 2021 Jude worked as action designer & stunt coordinator for the forthcoming Netflix movie Havoc, starring Tom Hardy. This marked his third collaboration with noted action film director Gareth Evans (The Raid) following their acclaimed work on the SKY/HBO series Gangs of London.

DRUNKEN MASTER: The Legend of the Drunken Master © 1994 WBEI

“The Legend Of Drunken Master (aka Drunken Master II)” was selected by the British Film Institute (BFI) as one of the 10 best action movies of all time. This special presentation of one of Jackie Chan’s biggest hits is a rare screening of the original, uncut Hong Kong version in Cantonese with English subtitles in a new restoration from Warner Bros. The battles sequences incorporate five different fighting styles, including Shaolin Kung Fu, Taekwondo and Drunken boxing. The climactic seven-minute fight, directed by Chan himself took four months to film. This follow-up to one of his breakthrough roles set box-office records when it premiered in Asia.

“What’s The Score?” explores just how significant the work of the Composer along with other music team members are in bringing action to life and the techniques of scoring for Film & TV. This unique workshop offers an insight on creativity in the field including Steven Price (Academy and Emmy Award-winning composer known for groundbreaking score for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, a key collaborator with Director Edgar Wright on Last Night In Soho, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Baby Driver and whose debut score was for Joe Cornish’s 2011 feature Attack The Block). Other details to be announced.

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EVENT UPDATE: The London Action Festival is proud to be working with the Royal Geographical Society (1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR) located in the heart of South Kensington’s arts and science district where the “The World’s Greatest Screening of “Die Hard” Ever – Probably!” is taking place on July 28th. Q&A with the film’s legendary director John McTiernan will take place afterwards, as well as other surprises for the evening.

The RGS is one of London’s most charming and iconic venues, it has long been associated with many historic real life action heroes such as Scott, Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Copyright: Die Hard © 1988 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

The London Action Festival, which runs from 28-31 July, is a first-of-its-kind celebration of one of the most globally produced and commercially successful genres of Film and TV will launch in London with a major 4-day celebration this Summer. Ticketing and full information can be found at: www.londonactionfestival.com

Den of Geek, the world’s leading information media company dedicated to all things genre, will be the Senior Media Sponsor for the event.

Picturehouse Central, right in the heart of London’s West End, will be home for the festival over its main weekend with additional events taking place at other major venues in Central London.

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Further details on special panels, screenings, guests, and surprise events will be announced in the coming days.

For ticket packages and to find out more about The London Action Festival, please visit www.londonactionfestival.com

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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