Vasan Bala’s Bollywood action comedy Man Who Can Feel No Pain has a new trailer in anticipation of its premiere at Toronto International Film Fest’s Midnight Madness.

Eric Jacobus action directed the project, and Dennis Ruel served as fight coordinator. The two of them spent a month in Oakland with The Stunt People previzzing the action scenes.

After that, Jacobus and Ruel traveled to Mumbai, India for two months meticulously shooting the action scenes with a sizable stunt team from all over India, alongside some truly gifted actors like Abhimanyu Dassani, Radhika Madan, and Gulshan Devaiah.

The Man Who Feels No Pain premieres at the TIFF Midnight Madness at midnight on Friday, Sept 14th. Jacobus and Ruel will be there with the director and cast. Perhaps we’ll see you there!


Having just been released in China yesterday (January 8th), The Grandmaster, which is based on wing chun master Yip Man – portrayed by Donnie Yen in the Ip Man movies and with a third installment ready to be shot in March this year – and starring top-class actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Bullet in the HeadHard Boiled, Infernal Affairs), is set to impress and attract audiences (especially martial arts movie fans) around the world. Read reviews below.

Shooting of The Iceman Cometh 3D has already started and been ongoing since December 17. Helmed by long-time Johnnie To/Milkyway Image associate Law Wing Cheong (Punished) and written as well as produced by original Iceman Cometh writer/producer Stephen Shiu, this remake puts Donnie in Yuen Biao’s role and is led by a cast consisting of principal cast members Wang Baoqiang (Assembly, The Fire of Conscience) in Yuen Wah’s villainous role, Simon Yam (Bullet in the Head, Full Contact, Election, Exiled), Eva Huang (Kung Fu Hustle), Mark Wu, Ava Yu, Shi Yongli, and Jacquelin Chong.

Donnie who also is the film’s action director describes the forthcoming action scenes as explosive and breath-taking, including a James Bond-like scene involving skiing while taking on the enemy and fighting the Hong Kong Special Duties Unit on top of the Hong Kong Police headquarters. On top of that, Donnie also praises co-star Wang Baoqiang highly –  who by the way is a legit martial artist and has had 6 years of intensive training in shaolin kung fu at the shaolin temple – joking that Wang’s martial arts skills are superior to all of his action choreographers’.

Donnie Yen and Cung Le dining in Hong Kong


So far, there hasn’t been any updates on Donnie’s anticipated action film Special Identity which should complete its’ post-production stage at some point soon. Meanwhile, I’ve found a couple of interesting news on what’s to come from Donnie…

In a tweet by MMA champion Cung Le made on September 14, he revealed that he met up with Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen – while touring Asia and stopping by in Hong Kong – and discussed opportunities of working together again in the near future, possibly next year. Both guys first collaborated on Teddy Chen/Peter Chan’s epic political action thriller Bodyguards & Assassins about a group of fighters assembled to protect revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen against the Qing Dynasty and its’ army of assassins in the early 20th century. Yen played one of the protectors and got to square off against Le’s ruthless Qing assassin in one major fight scene which is considered to be one of the highlights of the film, although it was somewhat unsatisfying for some people in terms of editing and overall style as well as design of the fight choreography. I think this could be the time for both to work together again as Donnie has publicly stated that he’s moving on to doing contemporary action films after making a streak of period action films in the last five years.

Word from Hong Kong Cinema expert Bey Logan is that Donnie might star in a Hong Kong remake of Tony Scott’s 1991 action film The Last Boy Scout starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans, with Bey himself playing Willis’ role. I’m not sure about the overall idea but at least it’s a sign of films Donnie promises to make from here on.

Contemporary action/crime films in Hong Kong seems to be making a big comeback. Evident is the release of two anticipated films this year. First up is Sunny Lok and Longmond Leung’s bud-budgeted Cold War featuring a cast of huge stars. It includes Andy Lau, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeung and Gordon Lam. Next up is film maestro Johnnie To’s Mainland-financed Drug War starring Louis Koo, Sun Hong-Lei, Crystal Huang Yi, Michelle Ye and Lam Suet.



More info on both films here:

Philippine Cinema: 1960s-1990s

The situation of Philippine Cinema has seen major dramatic changes after the 1950s which is considered by critics and film watchers/historians to be the Golden Age of Filipino film-making. During the 1960s, films were characterized by rampant commercialism with James Bond and Western knock offs, bomba (soft porn) films, and musical films. The studio systems came under siege from the growing labor movement, which resulted in labor-management conflicts.

Touted as the second golden age of Philippine cinema, the 1970s was the period of the avant-garde filmmakers. Local producers and filmmakers ceased to produce pictures in black and white. But on 1972, the Philippines was placed under the martial law where films were used as propaganda vehicles. President Ferdinand Marcos and his technocrats sought to regulate film-making through the creation of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures (BCMP). Prior to the start of filming, finished scripts were required to be submitted to the Board and incorporate the “ideology” of the New Society Movement like a new sense of discipline, uprightness and love of country. Annual festivals were revived, and the bomba films as well as political movies critical of the Marcos administration were banned. Despite the censorship, exploitation of sex and violence onscreen continued to assert itself. Under martial law, action films usually append an epilogue like claims that social realities depicted had been wiped out with the establishment of the New Society. The notorious genre of sex or bomba films still existed but in a milder, less overt way. The 1970s also paved way to the ascendancy of a new breed of directors like Cannes Film Festival-nominated Lino Brocka.

Around the 1980s and 1990s, most Filipino films were mass-produced with quality sacrificed for commercial success. Storylines were unimaginative and predictable, comedy was slapstick, and the acting was either mediocre or overly dramatic. Producers were antipathetic to new ideas or risk-taking. Instead they resorted to formulas that worked well in the past that cater to standards and tastes of the masses. Teen-oriented films, massacre films and soft porn composed the majority of the genre produced. The film industry prospered and produced more than 200 films a year. Majority of them were pit-pit films, shot in seven to ten days and aimed at quickly recouping their minimal costs. Attendance in theaters rose and several productions became huge successes. New laws were also introduced that gave more rights to women, causing several female directors to launch careers. Aside from competition with Hollywood films, the Asian Financial Crisis, escalating cost of film production, exorbitant taxes, arbitrary and too much film censorship, high-tech film piracy, and rise of cable television further contributed for the trimming down of production costs of film outfits that resulted to falling box-office receipts of domestic films, and the eventual precarious state of the local film industry.

Philippine Cinema: 2000s-present

The era saw a dramatic decline of the Philippine movie industry. Hollywood films dominated mainstream cinema as they ever did, and fewer than twenty quality local films were being produced and shown yearly. Many producers and production houses later stopped producing films after losing millions of pesos. However at the same time, a new sense of excitement and trend enveloped the industry with the coming of digital and experimental cinema. This has proven very successful for indie filmmakers such as Brillante Mendoza and Eric Matti and shows the growing popularity as well as high demand of digital filmmaking in Philippines, which allows for bigger space and free creativity by veteran as well as new directors.

Philippine Cinema: Action films

The revival of local action films was noted when the crime drama Manila Kingpin was released in Christmas last year. Since then, investors seem to make more effort by putting forth more productions in work. Next up is an action horror titled Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles and artsy crime film OJT (On the Job Training), both by Eric Matti. If successful, these films could certainly encourage more directors to produce more action films and revive the once dying genre in the near future. Check out videos below.


After working on eleven period action films in a time period of just five years, Donnie Yen is ready to go back to what he does best and made his name: modern action films. Donnie – who is currently in New York to attend special showings of his films Iron Monkey, SPL, The Lost Bladesman and Wu Xia – was also present for interviews and Q&As and revealed this relieving news to fans.

Donnie also stated that not only will he be the lead actor in these future projects but he will also start to produce his own films through his production company Bullet Films – the company he formed when directing Legend of the Wolf and Ballistic Kiss in the late 1990s. In the meantime, there’s Donnie next film Special Identity (post-production has gone on for two months now) gearing up to be released later this year so stay tuned for more news and trailers for that one.