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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:07 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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This post is going to have several videos included, so to respect everyone's browsers, each shall be hidden in a spoiler tag.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist is a project that got funding to begin, as a result of this trailer. This trailer was meant to be a proof of concept for how a Street Fighter feature could be made as a live action movie.
Spoiler: show


Several years later, here they are, getting ready to release the first episode on Machinima later this month, though they haven't stated exactly when. This series is intended to focus on the early years of Ryu & Ken's training with their teacher, before they even learned the Hadou stuff. It's meant to show in parallel what happened with the previous generation of this art, and to see if the tragedy of the last generation can be avoided by the present generation.

Ryu's trailer:
Spoiler: show


Ken's trailer:
Spoiler: show


There is, of course, more stuff on their Youtube channel, as well as an interview with one of the writers for the project, Joey Ansah.

I'm pretty excited about this, and to be perfectly honest, I couldn't tell you exactly why - more than likely an exploration of the whole superhero thing whose concept I'm fascinated by. I mean, the last Street Fighter game I played was the Capcom vs. SNK 2 for the PS2. I thought the Street Fighter movie was awful (except for seeing Raul Julia chew scenery like a starving man who only just now found the last all-you-can-eat diner on Earth), and I didn't bother seeing the Chun-Li movie, since it looked awful.

To be fair though, the writers of Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist appear to be of the same opinion.

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 2:54 am 
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And now, the real trailer has been released:


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:44 pm 
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According to the Machinima YouTube channel, the entire series will be available to watch for free on that channel on May 23rd.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:33 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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And, here it is.

I haven't watched all of it yet, but thus far I'm getting close to the end, and it's very good so far.

For being basically a low budget operation, overall it's very well done. Amusingly, my one nitpick so far is that the actor playing Ken has a few small dialog problems, stemming from the fact that the actor is English, playing an American. For the most part his accent is fine, but there are a few words I hear that have a more English pronounciation than an American one. Like I said though, that's a very minor nitpick, and I heartily recommend seeing this series.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:42 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Ok, final verdict, now that I've seen the rest.

Overall, very good - the minor details (even though since I'm not a huge Street Fighter nerd, I probably missed a couple of things, but hearing Dan mentioned made me snicker) were all good, and a large amount of time was spent getting the little details right, and it shows.

The ending I felt could have had more resolution, but on the other hand, all the pieces are there for what's going to happen next. You can take the ending on it's face that this phase of Ken & Ryu's lives are coming to an end, with their real journey ahead of them, but it's also a setup for the World Warrior (Street Fighter I) storyline, which I fully expect them to try tackling next.

As I mentioned earlier, my one and only real nitpick is with some of the pronounciations of the actor who plays Ken. For the most part, he gets the American accent just fine, but you can hear the English pronounciations for a few words. It's not even all that noticable, but compared to the large amount of attention paid to all the other minor details, it stands out.

As it is, I would recommend seeing this, even if you're not a video game (or even a Street Fighter) nerd. It definitely shows good storyline progression, character progression, and good rapport between characters. In the end, any given story is about the characters and their experiences, and Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist treats those things with respect.

To borrow a page from Havoc, my final score is 8/10 - a very good intro to the work these people want to eventually do. I docked one point because of the actor who plays Ken's accent in a few places (even though I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this is me nitpicking), and another point because I wanted a bit more of an explanation as to the history of the Hadou stuff. It still gets full points for characterization, pacing, writing, and production quality.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:49 pm 
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Willing to bet that Havoc would score it lower :P

Still, I'll consider it. Although I'll be blunt. I've been burned so bad and often by street fighter media that I am really unexcited at the idea of putting my hand on this stove top again.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:58 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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frigidmagi wrote:
Willing to bet that Havoc would score it lower :P


Oh, quite probably. ;)

frigidmagi wrote:
Still, I'll consider it. Although I'll be blunt. I've been burned so bad and often by street fighter media that I am really unexcited at the idea of putting my hand on this stove top again.


To be honest, I can't say I blame you. I got hyped over this for different reasons, and I admit I was cautious when I began watching this for the same reasons you are - but, very soon, I became glad I did. Your mileage may vary of course, but I was impressed.

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:48 pm 
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After being released only last Friday, the series playlist has broken 2.5 million views so far. This is excellent to see, and I think the people behind it deserve every bit of praise they get for it.

This was an excellent live action adaptation, and I wish them continued success, so they can continue it from here.

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:51 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Since the playlist on youtube has hit 3 million views now, I figured I'd post a review of Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. Several reviews have been done, all of which gave the series at least a 9 out of 10 (even IMDB gave it a 9.3). This review, I think, is the best to show why this is the case.


In 1994 and 2009, audiences all over the world watched in horror as the “Street Fighter” series, one of the most beloved and enduring video game series ever created, was subjected to the cinematic equivalent of a crucifixion, only to have their faith that the series might someday be done justice in live-action form restored by the fan film “Street Fighter: Legacy” in 2010. Four years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears later, the fan film’s highly anticipated follow-up, “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist” has finally arrived. To say that it makes up for the previous two film’s failures is understatement and a half. “Assassin’s Fist” is the “Street Fighter” movie fans have been waiting for, and exceeds just what they hoped the series would eventually become by an enormous margin.

Cast

Assuming the role of the series’ major protagonist Ryu is Mike Moh. Few video game heroes carry the degree of stoicism that Ryu does, which makes him a hard character to craft for both the writer and the actor playing him, but whether it’s conveying his rock-solid mental focus and discipline or his massive physical prowess, Moh couldn’t be more at home in his character’s skin.

Reprising his role as Ryu’s close friend and training partner Ken Masters from “Legacy” is series co-creator Christian Howard. A far more jovial and rambunctious character than Ryu, Ken is nevertheless his equal as a fighter, and Howard adds some splendid comic relief with his character’s many one-liners and seemingly spends half the series with one or both legs off the ground performing some jaw-dropping kicking techniques.

Akira Koieyama portrays the duo’s wise martial arts mentor Gouken, while Shogen embodies the young version of the character, who receives some intense mentorship himself under the tutelage of Goutetsu, played by Togo Igawa. Gaku Space gives a highly emotional performance in his role of Gouken’s ambitious young brother Gouki, while the series’ co-creator Joey Ansah assumes the role of Akuma, the darker, more ruthless martial arts master that Gouki is destined to become after his overzealous embrace of Satsui No Hado.

Plot

In Japan in the late 1980′s, Ryu and Ken Masters, two eager and highly promising students of the arcane martial art known as Ansatsuken, have excelled far enough in their training that their wise teacher Gouken finally deems them ready to learn the art’s most advanced techniques known as “Hado”. Under Gouken’s guidance, Ryu and Ken master techniques at the highest pinnacle of Ansatsuken training such as the Shoryuken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and Hadouken, with their expertise in each eventually such that both are able to summon their natural energy, or ki, (also known as ‘qi’ or ‘chi’), at will and astronomically heighten their physical abilities.

In the midst of their training in Hado, Ken uncovers an old training manual of Gouken’s detailing a technique called “Satsui No Hado”. Impressed with its ability to strengthen his ki, Ken begins practicing Satsui No Hado, only for Gouken to sternly forbid him ever doing so, with the warning that Satsui No Hado should never be practiced. Gouken later relates his own Ansatsuken training days alongside his brother Gouki under the wise Goutetsu to Ryu and Ken, assiduously hiding from both of them what his aversion to Satsui No Hado stems from – Gouki’s eagerness to master the technique eventually led him to become vicious and bloodthirsty. His determination to master the technique would ultimately result in his transformation into the demonic entity, Akuma.

Action

Imagine watching a version of “The Matrix” in which Neo’s abilities to defy the laws of the artificial reality crafted by the machines was only exploited once or twice throughout the entire film, and with only about one one-hundredth of their true potential, and it’s easy to understand the horrendous reception which last two live-action “Street Fighter” films received among fans of the series and the general public. “Assassin’s Fist” rests on the opposite side of that spectrum.

We see Shoryukens, Tatsumakis, and Hadoukens right from the start in episode 00, aptly titled “Alpha”, which flashes the series into the future to show Ryu and Ken sparring at the peak of their training, before going back several years to show how each of them reached that skill level.

Already, “Assassin’s Fist” has set itself a universe apart from the last two films, and indeed most video game adaptations, by allowing the viewer to sample what’s to come before taking them on the same journey as Ryu and Ken to reach the skill level that we’ve seen. Simply endowing Ryu and Ken with the fighting prowess each holds in the games and letting them cut loose would have been more than enough for fans of the series to pump their fists into the air and cry out for joy. But seeing both of them in awe at the sight of Gouken demonstrating a Hadouken before their eyes for the first time gives a weight and meaning to their abilities that they’ve arguably never had before.

Right away, “Assassin’s Fist” has done the unthinkable by outright stating for the viewer that the superhuman abilities Ryu and Ken display in the games, and the opening sequence of the series, are something that both must work tirelessly to achieve, and which the viewer gets to see them accomplish. The fact that whenever any character launches a Hadouken, it has roughly the same destructive power as a hand grenade certainly doesn’t hurt either!

The series parallels Ryu and Ken’s training under Gouken with flashbacks of Gouken’s training alongside his brother Gouki under the tutelage of Goutetsu. “Assassin’s Fist” is actually far more of a drama than most fans will be anticipating, especially in the flashbacks showing Gouki’s gradual fall from grace and transformation into Akuma. The Darth Vader of the series, Gouki is guilty of nothing but the sheer determination to reach his highest potential in Ansatsuken and a refusal to accept defeat, and Gaku Space gives an incredibly emotional portrayal of his character, both in dramatic scenes and in combat.

His transformation into Akuma (portrayed by a VERY beefed-up Joey Ansah) is terrific in how it runs counter to Ryu and Ken’s training – the viewer cheers the latter on, whilst begging the former to turn back from the dark path he’s heading down (the training montage of Gouki’s metamorphosis into Akuma, set to an ominous, foreboding soundtrack, is simultaneously captivating and horrifying in equal measure). Either story would have been perfect for a “Street Fighter” film to follow on its own, but “Assassin’s Fist” interweaves both into its two and a half hour running time.

What also stands out about both is the sheer attention to detail given to every aspect gleaned from the games, right down to the characters’ respective theme music. Not only special moves but more basic techniques from each character’s fighting arsenal are vividly seen in the action, with the techniques’ names being verbalised aloud as in the games. Even basic fighting stances, a detail that most fans may have overlooked, seem completely indistinguishable from their portrayal in the games.

All of these factors make choosing a favorite among the series’ many martial arts duels surprisingly difficult. Even without the game’s signature special moves, the choreography is marvelous in every action sequence, but one of the series’ biggest standouts is the vengeful Akuma’s battle with Goutetsu, which brings their bitter past to a head with the darkest techniques of Ansatsuken. Ryu and Ken’s many sparring matches are equally as powerful, in part from the fact that Christian Howard seems to actually be a flesh and blood “Street Fighter” character, his execution of kicking combinations worthy of Scott Adkins presenting roughly the same difficulty to him as blinking.

However, the best of Ryu and Ken’s matchups is the battle shown in episode 00. The culmination of their Ansatsuken training, Ryu and Ken are permitted to face one another without Gouken’s supervision, with no techniques off-limits. Having seen the duo’s many years’ of dedicated training, the fight takes on much greater meaning for the viewer, with Christian Howard’s aforementioned aerial kicks absolutely amazing to say the least and Mike Moh being no slouch in this arena either. Even better is the fight’s conclusion, in which “Assassin’s Fist” effectively sets up the entire “Street Fighter” universe to come with Ryu encountering something that will be instantly familiar to fans of the series…

Summary

It took twenty years for “Street Fighter” to recover from the near-fatal blow dealt to its prospects of a life in live-action form, but “Assassin’s Fist” has not only revived the series’ cinematic career – it’s set the bar exceptionally high for all video game adaptations to follow. It’s more than debunked the notion that films based on video games can never aspire to be more than puerile tripe. The way the series chronicles both Gouki’s descent into darkness and Ryu and Ken’s mastery of their abilities makes the art of Ansatsuken seem shockingly plausible, and NOT in the “Legend of Chun Li” way. Without a single doubt, “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist” is the best live-action video game adaptation, to date!

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Oh, for fuck's--

I went and checked the calendar when I saw what date this released on. Why, WHY would you skip the chance to pay homage to Raul Julia and release it on a Tuesday? :razz:

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:01 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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White Haven wrote:
Oh, for fuck's--

I went and checked the calendar when I saw what date this released on. Why, WHY would you skip the chance to pay homage to Raul Julia and release it on a Tuesday? :razz:


Hah, they really should have. Raul Julia was the only good thing in the first movie Street Fighter - watching him gnaw on scenery like a starving man at an all-you-can-eat diner was the only thing that made watching it worthwhile.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:13 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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A little fun easter egg I missed the first few times.

(Image link removed, since Facebook images don't like external references, apparently)
Link: Picture from the Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist Facebook page, showing Yoshinori Ono

That's Yoshinori Ono, the creator of the entire Street Fighter franchise - and he made an awesome cameo in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. SF:AF may be an independent project, but the fact that it impressed the creator of the franchise enough to make a cameo in it is rather awesome.

Also, question for those of you who've seen it - who do you think the old man is who constantly trolls Ken? I have my own theory, and I'm almost certain that I'm right.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:20 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Q&A sessions have begun, and the crew behind this story are taking it episode by episode, beginning with the first. I'll put it behind a spoiler tag to avoid overloading people's browsers.

Episode 1 Q&A session, with Joey Ansah
Spoiler: show

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 6:06 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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So, the movie still isn't on Netflix, but I did order the movie on Amazon to see as a complete movie, instead of as a series. And I have to say, it's actually better.

As an homage to the time I was a kid, playing Street Fighter and imagining myself as some of the characters, walking in their shoes a little, this movie serves excellently, and treats all the source material with great respect and care. Akuma is in the movie, but not as a simple villain, by any means - in fact, even if you may not agree with his actions, you at least see where he's coming from.

The scenery, cinematography, sound, and music are all excellent, especially for this being what is essentially an independent project.

In seeing this movie again a year later, it holds up just as well as it did the first time I saw it in an episodic fashion through Machinima's Youtube channel - if not actually much better. The scenes flow more smoothly as a complete movie, and there's an epilogue I quite liked that wasn't present when I saw it in series form.

All in all, I'd give it 8.5 out of 10. There were little things I can nitpick at, but overall, the movie is very well done, and succeeds very well in what it attempted to do.

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