Posts Tagged ‘Armand Assante’

Legendary Hong Kong action movie bad guy Bolo Yeung is back from his temporary retirement, and officially a part of the Jonas Filho‘s The Karate Weirdo– now in production.

This film will be Bolo‘s first since his previous return for the Kazahstani’s Diamond Cartel (2017) where he was surrounded by other veteran actors and Martial Arts practitioners such as Peter O’Toole, Michael Madsen, Cary Tagawa, Armand Assante and Olivier Gruner & Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Decade before that he returned in another Kazahstani production- Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter (2007), featuring professional fighter Cung Le in the lead role, but unfortunately that movie never got a proper distribution.

Movie will also feature a Karate Legend Fumio Demura (Karate Kid, Ninja) so it will surely be a treat for us old school Martial Arts movie fans. Producer/ Director is Jonas Filho, himself a Karate instructor at the Traditional Karate of Newark– so I’m sure we’ll see some authentic Martial Arts displayed in what looks to be a Karate Kid for the new generation:

Sofia Correia with the original Miyagi, Sensei Fumio Demura

Beside The Karate Weirdo (2023) this year we should finally see the long gestating documentary on his life Chinese Hercules: The Bolo Yeung story and hopefully there’s still chance for that third collaboration with Jean Claude Van Damme that we heard whispers about last year. All in all- it’s a good time to be a fan.

We already talked to some length of our love of Kazahstani cinema.  From the long lost action of Blizhniy Boy with Kickboxer/ MMA fighter Cung Le and the veterans like David Caradine, Carry- Hiroyuki Tagawa and Garry Busey to Beyond the Game with everyone from Olivier Grunner and Mark Dacascos to Eric Roberts and Michael Madsen.


Well, now we finally have a new trailer (and the release date) for the long gestating  Diamond Cartel (formerly  know as  The Whole World at Our Feet). Featuring (as always) all- star cast of Armand Assante , Michael Madsen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Don “Dragon” Willson, Olivier Gruner, final performance of acting legend Peter O’Toole and my personal favorite old school Kung Fu ass-kicker Bolo Yeung!


Enjoy the trailer and we’ll talk about the movie after it comes out March 31.

Now, I’m a big fan of the Kazahstani cinema, not ’cause I think directors are overly talented but for the sheer fact that they approach film-making like the kid collecting the stickers- they try really hard to collect them all.


And then you have things like Olivier Gruner (Nemesis, Alien Interceptor), Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Agents of SHIELD), Martin Kove (Karate Kid, Rambo 2, Assault on Devil’s Island), Cary Tagawa (Mortal Kombat, The Man in the High Castle), Eric Roberts (Runaway Train, Best of the Best, Raptor), Billy Zane (Titanic, Phantom), Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dinamite), Bai Ling (Age of Hobbits,The Crow, Crank 2), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Kristina Loken (Terminator 3), Armand Assante (The Odyssey, Prophecy) and Danny Trejo (Machete) all working on the same freakin’ movie!

And it’s about manhunt + reality TV mix with a fare share MMA action to boot- who can say no to that?


Now that you’ve enjoyed the trailer, prepare for more Kazahstani goodness ’cause we are expecting another offering from them this year and that’s The Whole World at Our Feet with unlikely mix of Armand Assante, Peter O’Tool and Bolo Yeung!  Hope they never stop doing what they do.

Movie intro scene courtesy of Japanese BluRay



         Run ,it’s the Man-Bear-Pig!

This is one of those movies where you just don’t know where to start, since it’s so damn horrendous from start to end, one can get confused from all it’s messiness and absurdity. Oh well, since we have to start somewhere, let’s first point out that this movie was directed by John Frankenheimer, known for for filming some very good movies, such as Grand Prix, Fixer and Ronin, and started Talia Shire (Godfather, Rocky) in main female lead. Looking back now, almost 35 years later, it’s safe to say this move killed both of their careers…

Anyways, movie kick off as your classic horror flick, where two lumberjacks are mauled to death by “something”, and thus local authorities issued a call to Dr. Robert Verne (Robert Foxworth), and his wife Maggie (Talia Shire), both of them some sort of environmental pollution specialists, since it’s perfectly logical to call them instead of police in these kind of situations.

Our heroes sniff around local paper mill to find out that plant is producing some kind of illegal mercury mutagen that causes birth defects, which the plant spilled into the lake and, naturally, caused all surrounding wildlife to turn into a monstrous abominations bent on killing everything in their site.

Couple of boring minutes later, and movie finally “grace us” with a presence of a mutated bear, with so hilariously horrendous costume, that I’m pretty sure it inspired the infamous “man bear pig” South Park meme. Nevertheless, the bear starts it’s killing rampage by praying on a family who were hiking in the hills. What’s interesting about one of it’s first victims is that it’s actually a young boy, something very unusual for horrors of the time. But, man, the way that boy died… What ensued was  definitely the  “pissed myself laughing” moment of the film, as the poor kid went off in the blaze of glory…  or feathers for that matter…

In the meantime, our heroes meet with the rebellious, but righteous young Indian, played by now legendary Armand Assante (yeah, sure as hell looks like Indian to me too…), and together they agree to stop the bears killing spree.

Can’t argue with that…

Two mutated bear cubs found, and one helicopter malfunction later, and our heroes (along with a  couple of Indians) find themselves deep into manbearpig’s territory, stalked by manbearpig it self! Thus, the game of cat and mouse begins… In the next half of hour or something, we learn that bear is capable of rolling trucks while standing still and showing up out of nowhere in the same time, mercury mutagen makes you breed underwater, and nursing a mutated bear cubs is good for your health! Couple of mauled bodies later and the final showdown commences in the abonded shack. Assante tries fighting bravely with a bow, but gets roflpwned by the manbearpig, thus leaving our main protagonist, Dr. Robert, with no other alternative but to engage the bear into a wrestling faceoff. Couple of wrestling moves later, and arrow finds it self in the manbearpigs eye, ending it’s rampage and this horrible movie.

Heed the advice folks…

In the very end, film abruptly switches to to Dr. Robert and Maggie safely flying home, while another manbearpig shows it self in the forest, hinting at the sequel, which, thankfully, never happened, since this laughing stock of a movie was a commercial and critical flop…


To this day I can not understand how this blasphemy managed to win an award (if there is still anyone who counts Emmy as award) and be nominated for Golden Globe. This version of a wonderful and extremely interesting Homer Epic had started wrong from the very beginning. First mistake – Armand Assante as Odyssey. I don’t know who came up with idea of casting a Italo-Irish man to play a Greek hero but I do know that that person should bear consequences for his actions. Assante’s accent combined with his attempt to sound Greek turned out to be a failure of epic proportions. In 85% of the movie Assante is totally incoherent and people who ought to understand anything are forced to turn on their speakers to a maximum and then press ears onto it (tho, due to the awful script they still won’t be able to understand a thing).
Anyway, let’s continue. Odyssey’s wife, Penelope, gave a birth to a baby in a record time of 2 minutes. Also there wasn’t any fluid, blood, umbilical cord or any other thing which are present at any normal giving  birth to a human being. Also, the fact that the baby didn’t cry after being born is very disturbing and confusing.

Can’t argue with that…

Next one of many, many, many wrong things in this movie is representation of Hermes who is messenger of the Gods and son of Zeus. His appearance in this movie had implemented a new, until now never seen category A FLYING FAGGOT! I don’t know where the urge to represent the son of supreme Greek god as nothing else than a plain homo came from. Someone in the crew had some strange issues.

Next, the vampire effect. Odyssey had spent 20 years on the sea and during that time almost all the characters look the same. Neither Penelope, nor her mother,  nor her wooers who invaded her house  aren’t getting any older. Apart of their son, who had grew up a bit. Penelope look exactly the same, with no wrinkle on her face. She still refuses wooers who are now using her house as a some kind of bordel from hell. Her dedication to remain loyal to Odyssey is really impressing due to fact that he already cheated on her some 2500 times by my account.

Screwing up some of the adventures Odyssey had. Cyclops event more looks more like a comedy than a danger. Assante had friendly conversation with a Cyclops, talking and laughing and such. Then Cyclops without any reason eats a half of a member of  the Odyssey’s crew. Next 2 seconds are followed by screaming and disbelief  just to see everything turning back to normal a mere moment later. Odyssey continues his friendly and nonchalant chit-chat with the Cyclops. The rest you can see above.

Next two and a half  hours are followed by “nothing happens” and  “something almost happened”, until the moment Odyssey come home and slaughter literally everyone who happened to be there. Strange thing is that not a single drop of blood had been spilled  in all of that massacre.

Conclusion: My advice – Don’t watch this garbage. Better read a book.

Sad but true