a new occasional feature of the blog, in which I catch up on news of Tony Jaa.
Tom-Yum-Goong 2, Jaa's martial-arts swansong with his former studio Sahamongkol Film International, is [link to Amazon removed per DMCA takedown notice – I don't have time to deal with this bullshit Magnolia, so thanks for nothing].
Even though folks are pleased to see Jaa in action, reception is generally along the lines of "Tony Jaa loses fight with CGI".
Fans are more excited about Jaa's upcoming projects, such as Skin Trade, his action drama with Dolph Lundgren, Ron Perlman, Michael Jai White and Selina Jade.
The guys at Twitch, having seen Jaa's sneak peek at Skin Trade, were raving, noting that the director – Ekachai Uekrongtham of Beautiful Boxer fame – makes a big difference. They go on to lambast TYG and Ong-Bak helmer Prachya Pinkaew, and they make fair points, especially about the godawful Elephant White. I think Prachya has a better track record and more promising future as a producer – taking a supporting, mentoring role behind more distinctive directorial voices, such as Panna Rittikrai, Chookiat Sakveerakul and Tanwarin Sukkhapisit.
Back to news of Tony Jaa – you can follow his official updates on Facebook – work is continuing on Skin Trade and he'll also soon resume production on Fast and Furious 7. Much of that and more is covered in an interview with Asian Movie Pulse.
Also coming up is Jaa's Hong Kong debut SPL II, the sequel-in-name-only to the 2005 knock-down-drag-out that had Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung whacking each other with golf clubs. Neither of those two have been mentioned for the sequel, which stars Wu Jing. But Senh Duong's Movies With Butter notes that original SPL star Simon Yam will join the cast along with Max Zhang, the baddie from Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster. Soi Cheang (Accident, Motorway, The Monkey King) directs, taking over for Wilson Yip, who is still aboard as producer. Senh's still holding out hope for a Donnie cameo.