Asian Cinema Scene

Indonesian Insanity. A young man from a small rural village goes to a big bad city, rescues a girl, and engages in serious butt-kicking. Ring any bells? The upcoming Merantau may sound like an Indonesian Ong Bak, but the success of any martial arts film depends entirely upon the execution. Judging from the official trailer, which arrived this weekend courtesy of Todd Brown at Twitch, I'd say that Merantau is an excellent contender for this year's action crown. Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the film stars Iko Uwais and showcases the silat discipline of martial arts. You can watch the gorgeous, high-def trailer and find much more information at Twitch.

Translated Japanese. Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to Blood: The Last Vampire, Chris Nahon's live-action adaptation of an anime series that I remember as pretty darn good. "Demons have infested the earth," says the official synopsis. "And only one warrior stands between the dark and the light: Saya (Gianna Jun), a half-human, half-vampire samurai." Nippon Cinema has the new trailer for the film, which is reportedly due in theaters this summer. The effects-heavy flick looks like it could be a cheesy disaster -- complete with the lead actress speaking English phonetically -- though I hope it meets the minimum standards of entertainment.