Top Favorites **** :
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. The Shawshank Redemption
4. Psycho ('60)
6. Better Luck Tomorrow
7. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
9. Ping Pong Playa
10. Always Be My Maybe (2019 - A.Wong / R.Park dir. N.Khan)
Other Favorites ***:
WF Productions' Everything Before Us, Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite", Evan Jackson Leong's Linsanity (The Documentary), Mayhem, Lee Chang Dong's "Burning", Justin Chon's 'Gook', 'Ms. Purple', Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings, Hang Loose, K-Town Cowboys, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Finishing The Game, Jet Li's Fearless, The Year Of The Yao, To Be Takei, Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (The Original Anime), Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories, Katsuhiro Otomo's Metropolis, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki's Nausicaa in the Valley Of The Wind, Pixar's Up, Toy Story, Office Space, Beavis & Butt-Head Do America, Idiocracy,
The Ringer, Jackass 3, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Shine, The Goonies, The Karate Kid ('84) / Part II ('86), Forrest Gump, Dead Poet's Society, Rocky, One Hour Photo, Poltergeist ('82), John Carpenter's The Thing/Halloween, Saw, 1408, Pet Sematary ('89), The Amityville Horror ('79), Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek, Star Trek Beyond, Back To The Future Trilogy, The Breakfast Club, First Blood, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Avatar, Cool Runnings, Field Of Dreams, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The School Of Rock, The Hustler, The Color Of Money, Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory,
Rain Man, Fast Five, F & F: Tokyo Drift, FF6, Best of the Best, The Matrix/The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions,
The Terminator, Alien, Aliens, Casino, The Godfather Trilogy, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Maze Runner Trilogy, Escape From Alcatraz, The Twilight Zone: The Movie, Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, Fast Times, Die Hard, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Ghostbusters ('84), Monster House, Spaceballs, Beetlejuice, Employee Of The Month, The Usual Suspects, Wreck-It Ralph
REVIEWS AND THOUGHTS
"They say he's a righteous dude" - the secretary lady might have said the quote of the film haha. Other than, "he makes you look like an ass, that's what he does".
She was also a car rental lady in her former life on "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" haha.
The film is filled with quotables, and "Reunited Apart" has struck again with a reunion.
"Yep, that's me - Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago". "I better make this count - otherwise, I'll have to cough up a lung next time"
06/25/2020: Gettin' "Over" It with "Over The Moon"
Here's an animated film I'm looking forward to, coming to Netflix - "Over The Moon". It is an imaginative story with animated Asians - although the theme of it (or any morality / thematic tale) can be relevant to anyone with an imagination. And better yet, with actual Asian-American or Asian actors voicing the characters! How rare is that.
I always believed, accept only authenticity.
I don't know exactly the details of it - but I'm sure it'll be an exciting and wondrous journey through a girl's imagination and determination. More thoughts to come.
06/06/2020: Mirai ***
This was a pleasant surprise, considering there is nothing else worth watching these days - a cute fillm for kids, with a unique style of visuals and animation. But for us adults, we can enjoy
the animation style, story and visuals. The upload was in its original language - subber for life. It's a fantasy tale about a spoiled, ill-tempered boy who learns life's lessons by being whisked into different dimensions or time - meeting his future sister, great grandpa of the past, etc.
The ending when Kun is in the train depot and is about to get his ultimate lesson about running away. That creepy train sequence was quite creepy indeed - but I think it made the film worthwhile. It can't all be peachy, and at some point
there must be a climax. When it comes to anime, Studio Ghibli or Miyazaki films are the only thing I recognize. Other than Katsuhiro Otomo. Hope there is more out there.
The next films to watch should be "IWMYM" and perhaps "Tigertail". Haven't decided on that yet (although I did make a watch-list).
05/24/2020: Everything Before Us ***
I am glad that Wong Fu Productions made this available on Youtube, albeit split into five chapters. It is a film worthy of a theatrical release, and superior in quality / content to a lot of mainstream stuff. It goes to show
that Asian-American filmmaking and representation is still a work in progress in terms of visibility, and we have to continue to fight the fight and speak out (never be meek about it).
Anyway, the concept of an Emotional Integrity score is a very fascinating one - for sure, very unfair and not practical at all in reality. How fair is it that getting a job as well as keeping a job for one, is dependent on your EI score.
But this goes into that as a film - I won't go into plot details, but in essence - the film centers on two couples, with the protagonist
played by Aaron Yoo having to deal with his ex in the midst of getting into another relationship.
Let's get into cameos. Roll call: Randall Park, Ki Hong Lee, Timothy Chantarangsu, Khalif Boyd (I think), among others. Funny moments:
Travis King telling off the bouncer or guard at the club, especially his hair haha.
Randall Park is made for comedic / dramatic roles, so it comes to no surprise that as a DEI clerk, his lines come off as funny to me in a way - "I assign 76% at fault to you Bradley" haha
I usually enjoy live stream commentaries if there is one, such as the Watch Party. Very nice job.
05/15/2020: Quarantine Cast Reunions - 35th Anniversary Editions
Quarantine life can be dull - but online cast reunions can be nostalgic. It's not the typical Q & A from panels at conventions. From Olaf himself, "Reunited Apart" is the first for two classics in '85 - "The Goonies"
and "Back to the Future". Here are some of my selections for scenes or quotables (aside from the known ones):
"Gee, mister. You're even hungrier than I am", "You smell like ?????", "Pizza?.....Pepperoni.....?"
Sloth reveals Superman shirt
"Mama..You've been bad!" After singing rock-a-bye baby on the treetop, Sloth proceeds to throw mamma off the plank. "Throw Mamma Off A Pirate Ship" as an unintended sequel? haha.
I've always wondered what happened to the pirate ship after it sailed away at the end. It could not have just disappeared as if it were a ghost ship. Could that be an anchor point for a sequel?
Part I: "Let's see if you bastards can do 90". Sometimes, it's tough not to mutter it whenever I'm on the road.
Part III: "Let's make us some wake up juice!" - they gotta sell some 'wake up juice' as a hot sauce alternative.
Part II: "Hoverboards don't work on water." "Unless you have power!"
It's a shame that some actors can't let go or hold permanent grudges. But it is what it is. Was he truly wronged? Probably. Crispin was also peeved at the actor (Jeff Weissman?) who portrayed George in Part II (in addition in using his facial likeness) - something to the effect of,
he "can't act for shit" haha.
04/09/2020: Typo's Should Be A 'Noh-Goh'
Well, I heard there was a typo with Goh's name in a recent IWMYM article but appears corrected:
03/07/2020: An Intriguing Tale, "Tigertail"
This is one to look forward to - Alan Yang's "Tigertail". I'm not sure what role John Cho has, but it should be worth it. It'll be on Netflix April 10th, and looking forward to the trailer.
What is Sung Kang up to? From "Fast" cars, to the "Party Boat" and now to horror comedy haha.
I hope "IWMYM" or "Surrogate Valentine 3" can be on video on demand or other platforms to watch. Bummer indeed.
03/01/2020: I'll Call It "Surrogate Valentine 3"
The third film in this series might have a different title (perhaps an indication that the POV is different as well), but I'll still refer to it as "Surrogate Valentine 3". For an independent film, I'm glad
it's getting some kind of theatrical release. I'll be waiting for it on VOD.
Let's reminisce - the first film "Surrogate Valentine" introduces Goh Nakamura as a guitarist / singer / song-writer, and it involves another character he has to baby-sit or supervise for a movie that'll be about Goh. "Daylight Savings" is the second entry, and
it involves a road trip to Vegas with his cousin - meeting another struggling guitarist, and another non-committal relationship that didn't develop. The ending of "Daylight Savings" was very open-ended and unresolved for sure - we see Goh
sitting there, undecided whether to answer his phone or respond to the ex beside him.
Bottom line - we hope "Surrogate Valentine 3" is going to be the closure or the bookend to this trilogy. I'm not sure how satisfying it'll be, since this one is no longer from Goh's POV but the ladies. Trailer below:
02/11/2020: Pictures Of The Day
It's the "Tokyo Drift" reunion, behind-the-scenes picture from "F9" that's been uploaded on various social media.
I always liked to think that Earl changed his name from Virgil Hu, after recovering from his head wound at the end of "Better Luck Tomorrow", and moved to Tokyo with Han. Or he could be a completely
different character. The wonders of imagination.
It's nice to see John Cho up and about. He looks as if he's recovered from his injury. We're looking forward to the completion of "Cowboy Bebop" and other projects of his.
His name is Park. Randall Park. Hahaha. Let us all offer a prayer for Randall Park to gain more recognition and lead roles (such as in "ABMM"). The difference between
an "Asian-American" and an "International Asian" is clear-cut. However, it is a problem that still plagues the entire entertainment industry with their stereotyping.
02/01/2020: Fast 9 - Theories and Speculations...
It is exciting news. But there are bound to be theories or just curious as to the "How". Hopefully, it'll be explained in the film or the next one.
The news caught most of us by surprise - there was nothing or no information about it at all. Perhaps that kind of secrecy is what makes it all worthwhile when the trailer is actually released.
It is most plausible that Han escaped. Films do not necessarily follow real time, and there are time skips or lapses. Hence, there could have been enough time to either get pulled out, or crawl out on his own. The "fake his death" seems
to be reasonable as well. But one thing is for sure, we never did see his body afterwards - only the car erupting in flames.
With that aside, let's get to the story. Apparently, this one is about a sibling rivalry - with the villainous one played by John "You Can't See Me" Cena. From street car racing to taking down bad guys, you can be assured that the Fast franchise is jam-packed
with action, stunts, and overall craziness. If I ever see another car airborne again, it'll be too soon heh.
01/31/2020: Fast 9 - Justice Is Coming
I can't believe it - this is really happening. I gave up on the franchise, ever since they turned a villain into a homie-type; that did not make sense, and certainly didn't respect Sung Kang's character at all.
The #justiceforhan movement was what we needed, and fortunately - the patience paid off. Justin Lin makes his return as well - fitting too.
And now - I am looking forward to returning to the series with "Fast 9" as a new beginning. Other than "Tokyo Drift" and the original (who doesn't like it, and I'm not talking about the tuna sandwich heh), Fast Five was my other favorite. F6 was alright.
Fan favorite quote: "Life is simple. You make choices and don't look back".
01/27/2020: At The Film Festival
The above pictures are from Sundance, supporting and promoting new films of theirs ("Blast Beat", "Nine Days", etc.). Steven Yeun is also
there for "Minari" I believe. That is another film that must be worth watching.
I'm glad to hear that John Cho is up and about - whether he's fully recovered from his injury remains to be seen.
01/17/2020: Be My 'Valentine'...Surrogate Valentine 3
SXSW - that's where it's at. When I rented and watched "Surrogate Valentine" and "Daylight Savings", films based on Goh Nakamura's music with a plotline involving Goh and unresolved relationships or feelings - I was hooked. The ending of "Daylight Savings" was left inconclusive, up to the audience to decide or interpret. Which way was Goh going to go, or who was he going to commit to (if at all)? After being dumped or turned away, anything goes I guess.
In "Surrogate Valentine 3" or "I Will Make You Mine" - Lynn Chen (the woman from the first film) has taken over the directing duties and flips the script - this time from the point of view from the women themselves. Is Goh going to become more conflicted, or do the women have some kind of hidden agenda? I am looking forward to this, and hopefully it'll be available on VOD once it is done with its film festival circuit.
01/09/2020: Ms. Purple ***
The film was beautiful in its visuals, and captured the essence of story without too much dialogue. It didn't need to anyway - the soundtrack or music meshed well with various scenes. Although the film does not go too in-depth of the sibling characters,
the point was more of the re-connection of their relationship as well as their different relationships with their bed-ridden father. While the sister stood by her father and seemingly had a healthy relationship, we learn that the brother was the opposite. However,
we never find out if he ran away or where he lived (although we have to assume he ran back home later) during the brief flashback as kids.
Kudos to Justin Chon again, in the second of what I deem a "trilogy" of sorts. While his first film was in B & W, the color theme seemed to be purple in this one - with some scenic visuals, the hanboek, etc. Let's find out what "Blue Bayou" is about - his next film.
The ending is open to interpretation - was that a ghostly figure of their father finally looking in contentment, or a dream? Although I wish there was more to the ending or a more definitive conclusion or ending, sometimes that's how films or dramas end. You decide.
"Frozen 2" - in a compromise with my wife, I was ok with seeing this since I enjoyed the first one. While the first one might have been about self-identity or coming to terms with oneself, the sequel was mostly about origins, parents. It was fun to say the least - although
too many musical numbers. But these are animated musicals afterall. A Frozen 3 is possible - you can come up with new villains or shit.
GET READY TO SPEND A DAY IN HELL WITH...."HELLBOY"
"BAO" - ANIMATED SHORT FROM PIXAR
'SEARCHING' FOR SOMETHING ACTUALLY GOOD?...WATCH "SEARCHING"!
OFFICIAL "MAYHEM" TRAILER: THERE'S A WHOLE LOTTA 'MAYHEM'...GO WATCH IT
"Old Faces, New Places" K-Town Cowboys Trailer
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Dubya Gettin' His 'Weed' On With Harold & Kumar in 'Harold & Kumar 2'....
This shit is hilarious, basically my favorite scene in the second film of the series 'Harold & Kumar Escape
From Guantanamo Bay'. H & K parachute into Dubya's ranch house unbeknowest to the duo, and some funny dialogue ensues with Dubya's usual idiocy and southern drawl; "Oh shit it's Cheney, that guy scares the crap outta me", "Haw, haw, haw, I thought you guys were terrorizers", "Oh fuck G-bay", "Mitsubishi-Wah", "Well, Kumar. That makes you a hypocriticizer too".