Film InteReview: Sue Sylvester on Eddie Fernandez’ Martial World and Final Level

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How It’s New York: because both films take place in the Bronx, NY.

How It’s Irish:  because the Irish – historically, all the way back to the ancient Celts – have always been interested in fighting,  and these films were shown on St. Patrick’s Day. (And they take place in the Bronx in NYC: a place that the NY Irish have called home for a long, long time.)

Sue Sylvester, a martial artist herself, reviews  two “old-style, blood-and-guts-in-the-backroom movies,” precursors to the current mixed-martial arts trend– including The Hunger Games!


Young Fighters



Ok, I am a martial artist, specializing in Chinese martial arts. Those of us studying now have heard the stories about the Chinatown no-holds-barred, bar-knuckle, bloody backroom competitions: they’re part of NYC martial arts “lore”.

But Director/Writer Eddie Fernandez says that not only were they real, they are still alive and “kicking”. And he has, through his production company Eternal Eye Entertainment, made these two movies, the short “Martial World” (2012)  and full length Final Level  (2011) to corroborate his claims.  His reasons? One is his great love of martial arts. Another is his impatience with the more esoteric treatment given martial arts in recent commercial films. According to Fernandez’ movies, there is still all-out fighting, jealousy between martial arts schools, and high-noon-like showdowns to see who’s best.

And Fernandez and his partner (and actress wife) Sybelle Silverphoenix, have truly worked hard to craft some convincing illustrations of this. Never having made a film before, they cut their teeth making Martial World, an humorous first-time-out contribution with amateur performances (except Silverphoenix), but with surprisingly interesting martial arts “lessons” courtesy of Primadonna, character “Alex Deleon”.

Karina Colon

For their second movie, Final Level, which they began making a few years later in 2008, they “evolved” both the story line and their knowledge of filmmaking: they schooled themselves using Sony Vegas Pro, an editing software program, and dubbed all the sound – including the dialogue – to impressive results. They also enlisted some impressive young talent, including the gifted and charismatic actress – and previous non-martial artist – Karina Colon as Alex Deleon, toothsome Guile Branco as Bryan, her student and possible love interest, and exotic Sybelle Silverphoenix, who stepped into her expanded MoonCat role in Final Level to rescue the production after the actress playing MoonCat quit. The elaborate story successfully grabs the imagination on many levels: learning martial arts, detective work/who-done-it, a sort-of love story, even some occult leanings. The filming and editing were sophisticated and kept the pace lively and tight. And Mobyyes, that Moby – supplied some music!

I am still not convinced that most martial artists are interested in violent “showdowns”: we come in many shapes, sizes, and have many reasons for learning what we do. And I would never wish to prepare a young student to live like that, either. But it is interesting to see the efforts of people like Silverphoenix and Fernandez, whose love of martial arts is obvious, and whose aptitude and talent for filmmaking will no doubt take them far.

Special mention need to be made of The After-Set Independent Film Program, who operates this weekly screening of films for free in order for filmmakers to showcase their work to an audience. The program is part of After Set, the world’s leading private online community for professionals working in the film industry. There is a small online admission fee, and they give a weekly contribution to Healing The Children Northeast, an organization that helps doctors travel abroad and operate on children. For more information, e-mail them at nyc@after-set.com

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Copyright 2012 New York Irish Arts

Comments

  1. This film was a blast!!!! These guys seriously put their all into it and have a serious future ahead of them!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The sound is real low quality, and some of the acting is real off. It seems like a good theme but in the above article it states they dubbed all the sound – including the dialogue – to impressive results. I’m sorry but I’m not that impressed with the sound….the hitting sounds, sound like they come from a 1970’s Batman TV show and the whole movie sounds like they recorded it in mp3 format or recorded it with a plug n play standard microphone held up to a TV speaker.

  3. Jaime Hall says:

    This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen….do any of the actors even know what they are doing? Is there even a script? Eternal Eye Entertainment is not going to make it very far in this business producing crap like this. There was no story, no action, the fighting and sound effects were really raw and poorly done. Great Job Eternal Eye Entertainment for producing a film with the quality equivalent to the Power Rangers. “These guys seriously put their all into it?” If this was their all, then they are in for a world of fail. I wonder how much money they paid Coco Craft and Tarot to right that review. Eternal Eye Entertainment is the worst film makers of the 21 Century….

  4. Jaime Hall says:

    This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen….do any of the actors even know what they are doing? Is there even a script? Eternal Eye Entertainment is not going to make it very far in this business producing crap like this. There was no story, no action, the fighting and sound effects were really raw and poorly done. Great Job Eternal Eye Entertainment for producing a film with the quality equivalent to the Power Rangers. “These guys seriously put their all into it?” If this was their all, then they are in for a world of fail. I wonder how much money they paid Coco Craft and Tarot to right that review. Eternal Eye Entertainment is the worst film makers of the 21 Century….

  5. My name is Travis Trapane (Hilkey) a.k.a. DJ Blade Runner. I had been a contributor for Eternal Eye Entertainment since 2008. I thought I was in with a great company but I was wrong.

    Reason being:
    The actors are the worst actors/actress’ I’ve ever seen, The sound effects and special effects are horrible, there is no real plot, no storyline, no script. They thought they could make a movie completely without a script. None of the actors keep in contact with them anymore, The CEO, Eddie Fernandez, has such a soft heart he can’t tell his people when something is not good enough.

    He lacks the skills needed to run any kind of business let alone a full on company, and to top it off with all that in mind, he wanted to incorporate EEE? With what? his charm??? His crew is only consistent of 3 potential contributors, a not so great pencil artist, a couple of people that really don’t know what they can contribute and a “CEO” that can’t be honest with his crew. A total of MAYBE 6 folks. Incorporate what? a slumber party? They can’t produce anything that is good they can’t keep contributors, they can’t get funding, they can’t impress too many people but their first priority is trying to incorporate a group of 6 folks that barely talk to each other in more sentences than “look what I can do” on a facebook comment status? not diggin the whole fantasy gig… I see from the comments above not too many people are satisfied and the one that has something good to say about them sounds like he/she/they were bribed to review it. This I say because I have a copy of both their movies and neither of them are anything like they say in this review or in that comment. They are horrible movies…Eternal Eye Entertainment you will go nowhere in this business until you learn HOW to do what you thought you could do. This is why I left this group.

  6. Actually, “write” is not spelled “right.” Wrong context, wrong word. Before you criticize the skills of others, use your spell-check. 😉

  7. Your grammar also needs checking, but I’ll let you figure that out because clearly, you know everything about good writing…