Major Tom's Movies reviews MAK

The Martial Arts Kid

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Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I got really into martial arts movies, starting with Enter The Dragon.  It is easily one of the greatest Kung-Fu movies of all time.  I really got into the action movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal.  It was a testosterone-fueled decade.  The 90’s wasn’t much different.  During the 90’s, I began watching some of the smaller martial arts flicks with actors like Yuen Biao, Richard Norton, Sammo Hung and Cynthia Rothrock.  To my great regret, there were some martial arts actors whose movies I have completely missed out on.  Don “The Dragon” Wilson is one of those actors that I completely overlooked.  Hopefully, I can start watching more of his stuff, because with The Martial Arts Kid, I actually like what I see.

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Screen Anarchy interviews Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Interview with Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Don “The Dragon” Wilson is no stranger to the world of martial arts. In four decades, The Dragon has won 47 fights by knockouts, won the world championship title eleven times, and is regarded as the best kickboxer in the sport. Aside from fighting, The Dragon holds a passion for acting, as well. He has been acting in films since 1982, including Bloodfist, Ring of Fire, and The Last Sentinel. I had the great opportunity to ask The Dragon about his acting and one of the more recent films he acted in, The Martial Arts Kid.

Don, thanks so much for joining me for this interview.

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Best Movie Guide covers MAK

A Review from Black Belt Magazine

Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future Is The Martial Arts Kid a knockdown, drag-out fight flick in which Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock lay waste to gang bangers and drug dealers? Nope. It’s more accurate to describe it as a family film in which an ordinary teen discovers the meaning of the martial arts.

However, because I’m a few years past being a teenager, it wasn’t themovie’s portrayal of the trials and tribulations of teen life in the21st century that appealed to me most. What I really enjoyed was theway the movie paid homage to the men and women who helped spread themartial arts in America. Both in front of and behind the camera, thestars were out in force.

Wilson and Rothrock may have retired from competition decades ago, butthey still can throw down — and they get a few chances to do exactlythat. Among other encounters, Wilson takes on martial artist T.J.Storm, and Rothrock dispatches some baddies on the beach. The man whochoreographed those close encounters is veteran martial artist, actorand stuntman James Lew, perhaps best known for his work in Big Troublein Little China.

Another martial arts veteran contributed her expertise to the making ofthe movie: Cheryl Wheeler served as co-producer. You probably recognizeher name. She’s a former Black Belt columnist and WKA kickboxing champwho’s done stunt work in scores of movies — including fight-doublingfor Rene Russo in Lethal Weapon 4, which featured one of my favoritemale-on-female fights.

As I mentioned, Wilson and Rothrock are center stage in The MartialArts Kid, where they’re surrogate parents for troubled teen Robbie(Jansen Panettiere). Yes, critics fired a few shots at Wilson andRothrock’s performances in the early years of their acting careers, buttheir skills have improved substantially. In fact, their scenes withRobbie are among the most engaging parts of the movie.

I also loved the film’s nods to history. I’m talking about things likeRothrock’s character hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania, the citywhere the star actually grew up. And things like the dojo her characterco-owns hosting seminars with real martial arts luminaries like Pete"Sugarfoot" Cunningham, Gerry Blanck, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues,Olando Rivera and Jeff Smith. And details like using old competitionphotos of Rothrock to adorn the walls of said dojo.

The positive messages that run through The Martial Arts Kid make itperfect for youngsters who are in the martial arts, as well as thosewho should be. But there are plenty of gems that make it fun to watcheven if you’re a generation removed from that target audience.

— Robert W. Young Editor-in-Chief, Black Belt magazine

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That's Not Current Interviews Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Kickboxing, Action Films and Friendship: An Interview with Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson

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Don The Dragon Wilson. A name synonymous with legit badass action films for more than 35 years. A kickboxing champion before he even starred in his first film (and during his film run as well), he’s been kicking, punching and shooting bad guys, the stoic hero with some one liners thrown in, depending on who directed or wrote the film.

We sit down with the 11 time kickboxing champion with 47 knockouts and star of over 60 films to discuss his career from his early days in kickboxing up until his most recent film credits.

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Money into Light interviews Don "The Dragon" Wilson

AN INTERVIEW WITH DON 'THE DRAGON' WILSON (PART 1 OF 2)

Don 'The Dragon' Wilson has been a martial arts action star for over 25 years, headlining such fan favorites as BLOODFIST (1989), BLACKBELT (1992), OUT FOR BLOOD (1992), RED SUN RISING (1994) and NIGHT HUNTER (1996). On top of such accomplishments, he was also the world kickboxing champion a record eleven times, winning 47 matches by a knockout. Don is regarded as the greatest kickboxer that ever lived. Thirty years into his acting career, Don has played against type in his latest films. In the first part of a two-part interview about his career, we talked about his role as a hitman in PAYING MR McGETTY and as Uncle Glen, the dojo-owning mentor figure in THE MARTIAL ARTS KID.

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Forces of Geek reviews MAK

‘The Martial Arts Kid’ (review)

 
A bit of a stylistic throwback, and with a lot of homage paid to The Karate Kid with some modern day tweaking, The Martial Arts Kidgoes more the family-friendly route than you might expect from movies featuring Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist) and Cynthia Rothrock (Lady Dragon).

A delinquent high school kid from Cleveland, Robbie, portrayed by Jansen Panettiere (Ice Age: Meltdown, Robots) is sent to live with his aunt Cindy (Rothrock) and uncle Glen (Wilson) to finish up the school year, encounters bullying via the film’s primary antagonist, Bo (Matthew Ziff, Kickboxer: Vengeance) after showing interest in a girl named Rina (Kathryn Newton) and finds himself interested in Glen’s Tang Soo Do dojo after witnessing Cindy neutralize an attacker with relative ease. The other side of the martial arts coin presents itself upon Robbie also visiting the MMA gym where Bo trains under Coach Kaine, played by TJ Storm (The Wrecking Crew), who teaches a more overtly aggressive style under the mantra “Assess… Assert… Dismantle!”

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ScreenAnarchy reviews MAK

The Martial Arts Kid Review

Aunt Cindy(Cynthia Rothrock), Robbie (Jansen Panettiere), and Uncle Glen (Don Wilson) square up to take down some bad guys. 

Aunt Cindy(Cynthia Rothrock), Robbie (Jansen Panettiere), and Uncle Glen (Don Wilson) square up to take down some bad guys. 

If you’re looking for a good family-oriented movie, look no further than The Martial Arts Kid. The film opens up with an arrest a teen named Robbie, played by Jansen Panettiere of Eden Falls, after what is assumed many arrests of the same kind. Robbie’s grandmother is fed up with the lawlessness and decides to send him to live with his aunt and uncle down in Florida.

 

The aunt and uncle are played by martial art veterans Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien) and Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Paying Mr. McGetty). Wilson, who plays Uncle Glen, is the owner of a martial arts dojo and Aunt Cindy runs a restaurant on the beach. Robbie’s first night under the roof of his new family doesn’t go so well when he sneaks out to a gas station in the middle of the night for snacks. He meets a girl named Rina (Kathryn Newton, Supernatural) whom he is instantly attracted to, but runs into the typical problem. She has a boyfriend. Not just any boyfriend, though. Her boyfriend is Bo played by Matthew Ziff (Altered Perception) who is the town bully.

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Bullet Proof Action Review

Bullet Points: The Martial Arts Kid

One thing missing from many of today’s action films is heart.  Even though it is difficult to define, most people know a movie has heart because it touches them emotionally in a way that is different then just the enjoyment of seeing someone getting kicked in the face. If a movie doesn’t have heart it can still be enjoyable but it is difficult to garner the deep connection with the audience. If a movie has too much heart the filmmakers run the risk of distracting from the story and action with a syrupy pile of sap.  The 2015 movie The Martial Arts Kid is just the sort of entertainment that has enough action to keep the die hard martial arts film fans satisfied while tying in an engaging story with just the right level heart. A movie isn’t just awarded the highest rating by The Dove Foundation for being amoral schlock. (FYI –The Martial Arts Kid was awarded the highest rating by The Dove Foundation!) So join me, and bring your whole family, in a journey to the action-packed heart filled The Martial Arts Kid.

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Martial Arts + Action Movies review

THE MARTIAL ARTS KID

If there’s one movement a martial arts movie can promote effectively, it’s anti-bullying.

One of the reasons a lot of people get into martial arts for is to learn to look after themselves and overcome the constant state of fear that bullying can put them in.  It’s about improving quality of life and strengthening character.

Well this partially Kickstarter funded film, The Martial Arts Kid, tells a story that promotes this exact benefit of martial arts. It’s about a young teenager named Robbie, played by Jansen Panettiere, who learns  how to defend himself by studying martial arts.

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Mike Fury Reviews MAK

THE MARTIAL ARTS KID

The Martial Arts Kid is a Karate Kid themed tale following rebellious teen Robbie (Jansen Panettiere) who has various run-ins with the law. He soon moves to Cocoa Beach, Florida to live with his Aunt Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock) and Uncle Glen (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) who also teach martial arts.

Struggling to settle in, Robbie takes a liking to local girl Rina, but her bully boyfriend makes it his mission to punish and humiliate the new kid. In his attempts to stand tall and win the girl, Robbie begins training with his Aunt and Uncle, soon learning that Bo the bully trains at a rival club, leading to the inevitable showdown between both sides.

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That's Not Current Review

Movie Review: The Martial Arts Kid (2015 )

Growing up as a kid who loved action films (and still does), I was of course into the big guns of action; Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. I branched out to Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris. But I couldn’t get enough action, so I would catch some awesome lesser known stuff (at least to the pre-internet age), such as the Golden Harvest and Shaw Bros. films, Hong Kong action and then that led to seeing certain actors in those films and other low budget films, especially from companies like PM Entertainment and Cannon Films. Two such actors were Cynthia Rothrock and Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson. Every time I would see a box at the video store and they graced it, I knew I had to rent it. And for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.

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Outlaw Vern reviews MAK

The Martial Arts Kid

THE MARTIAL ARTS KID is about a young man who gets in trouble too much so he gets sent far away to live with his aunt and uncle. He meets a nice girl he likes, but she has an asshole sports car driving bully boyfriend who threatens him just for talking to her. And the boyfriend is part of a bad crowd and they end up in competition over the girl and in sports. And he has an older mentor that trains him.

Explosive Action about MAK

The Martial Arts Kid (2015)

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Robbie (Jansen Panettiere) is a struggling teenager. Caught by the cops (we don’t find out why), his Grandma has run out of patience and ships him off to his Aunt Cindy and Uncle Glen's in Cocoa Beach. I don’t know why Robbie was so reluctant to get along with his adoptive parents - they are Don “The Dragon" Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock! They are the best parents a kid could possibly have! They agree too, and suggest he joins their martial arts school to learn some discipline. Unimpressed at first, he soon gets into it after seeing his Aunty and Uncle show off their skills on people that deserve to receive them. Robbie has an altercation with the local bully Bo (Matthew Ziff) whilst chatting up his girlfriend Rina (Kathryn Newton) that leads to further harassment in the school halls. He needs to learn how to defend himself if he wants to survive the rest of the school year.

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Cincapse covers MAK

THE DRAGON’S STILL GOT IT: THE MARTIAL ARTS KID

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Hayden Panettiere’s little brother teams ups with legit martial arts greats Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, and TJ Storm in this solid little family action flick. The Martial Arts Kid began as an idea in the mind of Wilson’s brother James E. Wilson, writer/director Michael Baumgarten, and writer Adam W. Marsh. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the film became a reality, playing festivals and a small theatrical run, even winning a few awards along the way.

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Martial Arts + Action Movies reviews MAK

THE MARTIAL ARTS KID

If there’s one movement a martial arts movie can promote effectively, it’s anti-bullying.

One of the reasons a lot of people get into martial arts for is to learn to look after themselves and overcome the constant state of fear that bullying can put them in.  It’s about improving quality of life and strengthening character.

Well this partially Kickstarter funded film, The Martial Arts Kid, tells a story that promotes this exact benefit of martial arts. It’s about a young teenager named Robbie, played by Jansen Panettiere, who learns  how to defend himself by studying martial arts.

Read the full article here

The Movie Elite review MAK

The Martial Arts Kid (2015) Review

Review: I finally sat myself down to watch this movie the other day and after hearing so many good reviews it’s one of the few movies that surpassed my expectations. Yes, it’s practically a remake of The Karate Kid and the odd supporting cast member won’t win any acting awards any time soon but that doesn’t prevent The Martial Arts Kid from being hugely entertaining and inspirational. Bullying is a big problem in schools and it’s nice to see a movie that tackles the subject head on without being overly preachy or unrealistic.

Jansen Panettiere is incredibly sympathetic as Robbie and I liked how he wasn’t a one note character; he starts off as a teen who has gone off the rails that gets into trouble with the cops so he is sent to live with his aunt and uncle who look remarkably like Don Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock.

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