New York Ninja (2021)

Officially on 4K and Blu-Ray from Vinegar Syndrome on November 1st; will be getting a 35mm release in various theaters and cinemas during the first quarter of 2022.

1984’s “New York Ninja” is that type of classic grindhouse picture where you can almost smell the stale cigarettes, and burnt popcorn wafting from the rows in the discount movie theater. It’s that kind of classic schlocky ninja picture that would have played in a double feature, and that’s a lot of the reason why it’s such a special film. I’d be hard pressed to call “New York Ninja” was good movie at the end of the day. As an experience, though, it’s that kind of silly, ridiculous, campy ninjasploitation soaked in New York City ephemera that you’re bound to fall in love with.

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Mortal Kombat (2021) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

Despite being one of the most violent games ever released (of its time), in the nineties studios worked hard to water down the series for a younger audience. With that, they effectively killed off any cinematic prospects for over twenty years after 1997’s embarrassing “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” Now in 2021, Director Simon McQuoid brings us a new vision for “Mortal Kombat” that’s faithful in many respects, and embraces the gore and grue of the original games. It’s not a perfect movie by any stretch, but it’s a damn good martial arts fantasy when all is said and done.

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (2020) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

I’m glad there’s a lot more momentum being picked up with “Mortal Kombat” as an IP, as the series deserves a cinematic universe. It’s a series filled with mythology, and alternate universes, and monsters, as well as some vicious gore. Despite past flubs with animated attempts at “Mortal Kombat,” Warner Bros. “Scorpion’s Revenge” is a solid return to the animated medium. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel as far as “Mortal Kombat” goes, but it’s a basic meat and potatoes primer that can act as an entry way for new fans.

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Mortal Kombat (2021)

I’m one of the many who were there when “Mortal Kombat” crashed through America in 1992. Going from an arcade hit everyone talked about because of its vicious violence, to a home console darling, “Mortal Kombat” is a prime franchise candidate that was sadly snuffed out in 1997. After the absolute embarrassment of “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” it took two decades for “Mortal Kombat” to finally return as a potential cinematic/franchise heavyweight.

Is Warner Bros.’ and Simon McQuoid’s reboot perfect? No. But hot damn it is good!

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Five More Great Minority Movie Heroes

With “Black History Month” and “Women in Horror Month” dropping in February, I thought it’d be a lot of fun to post another installment of “Great Minority Movie Heroes,” a list of movie heroes that are also people of color. What started as a one shot list has become a project for me to find diverse movie heroes from various races that people of color can relate to. What are some of your favorites?

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) [Blu-Ray]

With fans of Mighty Morphin complaining that they could only get the 1995 movie on DVD when it was released as part of a complete box set, Shout! Factory finally releases the big feature film on Blu-Ray for collectors. “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” admittedly has a ton of nostalgic and sentimental value for me, so I’m not even going to pretend to thumb my nose up at it. All I know is it’s a damn fun movie, and one you can watch the equally underrated “Power Rangers” from 2017.

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A Second Look at the Underrated “The Jackie Chan Adventures”

Full Disclosure: Although Mill Creek Entertainment sent us a copy of “The Jackie Chan Adventures,” the opinions expressed are 100% honest and our own.

Jackie Chan seemed almost fit for his own kids show. While the international action movie star was in fact known for a slew of iconic movies that continue to win the hearts of movie buffs to this day, Jackie Chan’s methods of self defense always made him look like a walking, talking cartoon character—but, you know–deadly. To tap his ever-rising popularity, the WB network eventually gave him his own animated series for kids. Unlike other action stars, it seemed like a natural fit that wouldn’t alienate any of the fan base including the action aficionados. Basing a show on a hero that avoided getting hit as well as avoiding actually hitting his enemies was a breath of fresh air, and it seemed like Saturday morning kismet.

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Ninja III: The Domination (1984): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Many years later, director Sam Firstenberg’s “Ninja III” is an out of left field mix of horror, action, and ninjas, all of which were very popular in the eighties. I was never quite sure what happened to “Ninja” one or two, but when I was a kid, “Ninja III” was a bonafide favorite of mine that I’d indulge in every time it was on network television. Thankfully I’m not alone as “Ninja III” has become a cult classic that stands alone, much like “Troll 2.” There’s just something fascinating about a young woman and aerobics enthusiast being possessed by the ghost of a ninja, who begins to seek revenge on his past foes.

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