Michael Jai White

Charles Matthau’s upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Freaky Deaky was all set to be a star studded, A-list affair. First, it scooped up William H, Macy in a starring role. Solid, sturdy, that’s a good choice. Then it began filling out the ranks of its cast with big names put in supporting roles. Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Craig Robinson, they were all on board, and it was looking like this could end up being a big hit like one of Leonard’s other page to screen adaptations, Get Shorty. But then, suddenly, the entire cast dropped out of the pic and were recast with names that are more, uh… B-list. Uh-oh, that can’t be a good sign.

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What do you get when every episode of your show is only 10 or so minutes long? This week it’s two action sequences and a plot point. When we last left our players Sonya Blade had freed herself from her chains and her rescuer Jax and the jerk that chained her up Kano were diving away from an explosion. When this episode begins we are dropped back off in the warehouse, right in the middle of some more shooting and fighting. First a newly freed Sonya Blade takes out some lackeys and finds herself some firepower. That’s one of two action sequences in the episode, and it’s very brief. The bulk of what we get for the rest of the run time is a hand-to-hand fight between Jax and Kano. What I saw here was a big indication of where this web series is heading in the future and what it’s going to accomplish. If you’re going to make a serial show about Mortal Kombat, probably the most essential thing that you’re going to need to get right is the hand-to-hand fighting. Now that we’ve seen some fisticuffs between two of the big characters, I have more confidence that Mortal Kombat: Legacy is getting things right.

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What started out as a web short, and what may some day become a feature length film, is currently a debuting web series. A company named Machinima, in conjunction with Warner Bros., brings you the first episode of the new web based series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The first episode tells the story of an evil guy named Kano (Darren Shahlavi) who has a hideout where he leads a force of evil guys in evil tasks, and their captive Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) who is a police person of some sort. The thrust of the episode’s around 11 minute runtime is a pair of police named Jackson Briggs (Michael Jai White) and Kurtis Stryker (Tahmoh Penikett) leading an assault on Kano’s compound and trying to get Sonya out. Technically, the show is up to par with any sort of action sci-fi show that you might see on basic cable currently, so clearly Warner Bros. is investing a decent amount of money into this project. But aside from the purely financial concerns of what they’re capable of doing, the show is pretty artistically put together as well. The image looks very digital. I guess that’s to be expected, as it’s largely the advances in digital photography that are making projects like this possible, and the slight waxiness of the actors doesn’t take much away from the aesthetics of the show. Much of what we see is set in a dark warehouse, and while we largely get a shadowy noir look to things, […]

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Remember 2009? Of course you do. It was full of some really good films that have continued to grow their audience in the last two years. But none of them seemed quite as cult heavy as the blaxsploitation throw back, Black Dynamite. The film is everything a good cinefile appreciates about the sixties and seventies. Now I know what your thinking, “the sequel is coming?! Yes!” Sadly it isn’t that. Instead I have better news. What would you do if I said that very soon you’ll be able to receive a weekly dose of Black Dynamite in television form? That’s the question Cartoon Network is asking because /Film reported today that the network has officially picked up an animated series based on the film. The series will be directed by Carl Jones of Boondocks fame and will feature the vocal talents of the cast of the film including, Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Byron Minns. The series is set to begin in early 2012 on Adult Swim.

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Last summer, this fantastic short film featuring the characters of Mortal Kombat hit the internet with a furious vengeance as if it were trying to rectify the first two movies. It might have succeeded. The short starred Michael “Dynamite” Jai White as Jax, and it’s led to a 10-episode web series. That web series may very well lead to a movie produced at Warners.

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It may be hard for some of us Americans to believe, but our friends across the pond in England are just now getting to see the wonderment that is Black Dynamite. It’s been available on DVD and Blu-ray here in the states for months and we’ve all watched it several times, laughing our asses off the whole way. Finally our tea drinking brothers get to feel the same. While making the press rounds in support of the Black Dynamite release abroad, Michael Jai White revealed to The Mirror that he’s already working on a sequel. White told the press that there were a lot of things they wanted to squeeze into the first film, but just didn’t have the time for. The idea for a sequel has been gestating in his brain for awhile now and he plans to have the film pick up right where the first left off.

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Mortal Kombat Movie

Forget the silliness of the last attempt to adapt the Mortal Kombat video game into a film, there is new life in the franchise. As you know, Warner Bros. has been trying to get a new project off the ground for a while now. And as of today, it would appear as if they are succeeding. Succeeding with flying colors.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr damns the gods with reviews of Clash of the Titans, The Last Song and Why Did I Get Married Too?

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Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Scott Sanders gives us the skinny on Blacksploitation and the geopolitical impact of Richard Nixon’s evil plot against the good people of your neighborhood.

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Few films in the past year have made me laugh as hard and often as Black Dynamite. Even fewer are as prevalently in love with the films it pokes fun at.

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Listen up, all you jive turkeys. There’s been too much control given to ‘The Man’ in this country. And we need a hero. We need someone with soul and badassery, someone who can reign down terror on the forces of evil and bring the heat to the ladies. We need Black Dynamite.

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Black Dynamite, the smoothest, baddest mother to ever hit the screen (as per the trailers) is also one of the funniest, at least in recent memory.

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One of the most talked about films of Sundance, an Audience Award winner at the Seattle Film Festival and one of the baddest mothertruckers in the world of cinema ’09, Black Dynamite, is finally ready for release.

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Apparently we’re buzzing again with news that Spawn 2 might actually, finally be made. Todd McFarlane sounds optimistic, but should we?

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If there is one thing I wish I had learned last year at Sundance, it is that midnight shows are a lot of fun. Last year I made the mistake of avoiding the midnight public screenings, choosing instead to sit in the stuffy press screenings. It just isn’t the same. And this year I’ve learned that the Park City at Midnight selection is more than just a selection of edgy or bloody affairs. It is, at least this year, a series of fantastic film experiences — the types of movies that worked best when served with an energetic, excited crowd. The latest of these selections, and perhaps the most ambitious, is director Scott Sanders’ throwback comedy Black Dynamite. Sexy, campy and downright hilarious, Black Dynamite comes charging in with a fury of action, sex and badass kung-fu. It follows the story of Black Dynamite, played perfectly by Michael Jai White, a legendary hero who finds that his brother has been killed by “the man,” the orphanage that helped raise him is flooded by heroin and the streets of his beloved city are being targeted with a secret weapon disguised as Anaconda Malt Liquor. Fed up and pissed off, Black Dynamite begins recruiting brothers and putting out the warning to all the jive turkeys who’ve been doing wrong — he’s one bad motherf*cker and he’s coming to pimp-slap them all. Expertly towing the line between satire and spoof, Scott Sanders’ film utilizes a wonderfully crafted retro aesthetic and a massive cast […]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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