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 ***:
Evan Jackson Leong's Linsanity (The Documentary), Mayhem, Lee Chang Dong's "Burning", Justin Chon's 'Gook', 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), The Conjuring, 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, Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, F6: Fast & Furious 6, 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
10/05/2019: My Top Five Asian-American Films (In The Modern Era)
1. Better Luck Tomorrow - An ensemble of Asian-American leads who defy stereotypes to rule their school in scams and other shenanigans. As Roger Ebert aptly put it - "They can be whoever the hell they want to be!". Damn right - a classic for sure.
2. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle - I can see why this isn't really considered Asian-American cinema, since only the leads are Asians. It's really a story about weed, misadventures, and the craving for white castle burgers haha. Still, I'll rank this one at the top.
3. Always Be My Maybe - Romcoms are not my thing, but this was important in many ways. Even your everyman actor such as Randall Park can absolutely hold his own as a lead. Hilarious and relatable.
4. Searching - This time, John Cho is front and center (and deservedly so). In a technology-driven society, this was well-crafted and well-done.
5. K-Town Cowboys - This should have gotten more attention, and deserved more releases in theaters. Story of a group of K-Towners who reunite for more of that night life.
Honorable Mention:Ping Pong Playa - how could I forget about this one. It's in my top ten favorite movies list, but as an Asian-American film - it's a Top Ten for sure as well (a close tie with K-Town Cowboys).
09/07/2019: Going For The Color Purple..."Ms. Purple"
Justin Chon's film "Ms. Purple" opens theatrically today. Chances are, independent films such as these are not going to be shown
in a common theater. But if you are near a theater that does show it, it is poignant film worth watching that has a down-to-earth, relatable story and characters. I've seen the trailers,
and hopefully it'll be shown on Netflix at some point in the future or some other VOD platform.
Justin Chon also stars in "Coming Home Again", which I recently found out.
Who woudn't want to see Daniel Dae Kim as an astronaut again? DDK puts on a spacesuit in "Stowaway". Not sure when that'll release, but it's something worth
I'm not familiar with Anton Yelchin's work or the person himself, but you have to believe and trust what John Cho says about the person. And when he recommends watching the documentary (other than knowing him through working with the guy).
There are only a very few who can be trusted or believed for sure, particularly in this film industry where there are more despicable / deplorable individuals (racism usually is a characteristic of them) or "no-talent asshats" (as the "Office Space" character would say heh) than decent or objective individuals.
Instead of wasting energy on irrelevancies, I think it is more important to utilize our efforts in finding support and understanding of our plight, which is out there. Fortunately, there is - just not as evident or conspicuous.
My favorite scene from the first "Harold & Kumar" - after eating or devouring god-knows how many burgers and cherry cokes (after watching it countless times, I still don't remember heh), Harold tells off his lazy-ass co-workers - "You're just stalling because you're too slow to think of a comeback". An empowered Harold
leaves the fast food joint to go after his girl. Happy 15th!
07/24/2019: Welcome To The MCU, Simu Liu
Simu Liu is going to do quite well and fits the role to the tee - he has the body, the athleticism (doing back or front flips with ease is a testament of that) and the charisma. It is a monumental moment as he'll be the first Asian superhero in the lead role.
I'm not familiar with who Shang-Chi is or usually am not into the superhero genre anyway. But this should be worth the support. Despite the sketchy background or history of the comic, hopefully it'll be updated or tweaked a bit.
Simu had to be persistent in social media, and it paid off. Unfortunately, Asian-Americans or Asian-Canadians have to be even more persistent / aggressive in speaking out or going after things that need to happen or get done due to the amount of discrimination and prejudice they face. Eventually,
one would think that the efforts are going to be heard. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed.
A future "Toy Story" idea - the toys eventually end up with Andy's kids (when an adult Andy has kids), and the return of an adult Sid Phillips. Or perhaps that carnival guy might have been him heh.
The teaser trailer for the live version of "Mulan" is out, and can't wait for the official trailer. Puh-lease - this is a live-action epic, not the animated musical from 20+ odd years ago meant for kids or general audiences. This is
a live-action film. Fortunately, with an All-Asian cast.
Don't watch it, if you are looking for that satirical or humorous character. Cartoons can brain-wash and leave indelible impressions unfortunately.
The fact that I could watch ABMM over and over gets the four-star upgrade. It was inevitable. Anyway, the response to the film has been outstanding / overwhelming.
I highly doubt that there'll be a sequel, but an idea would have Marcus as a stay-at-home father. It would be a few years later, with Marcus and Sasha starting a family. Marcus' band just became successful with impending national tour dates,
and new conflicts happen. We can only fantasize.
Another film to check out is Wong Fu Productions' "Everything Before Us" - I forgot that was on Netflix, hopefully it's still there.
I haven't heard any updates on John Cho, but I think he's busy with or currently prepping for "Cowboy Bebop". I'll need to check out his other films that he was in, which could be on Netflix as well. "The Grudge" is something to look forward to as well, but no idea when that is happening.
06/04/2019: Always Be My Maybe **** - Review Continued...
Everyone is still talking about it, and I can't seem to stop talking about it as well. Of course, the fans can't seem to stop talking about Keanu Reeves' grand entrance heh. I think it's well-deserved, since
it's been awhile since we've seen his comedic side (but don't fret - Bill & Ted 3 is in the works). He's a one-of-a-kind celebrity for sure, in terms of humility and just being down-to-earth.
I gave my tidbits and thoughts in the previous entry, but I didn't really wrap it up. I felt the characters and the story were really relatable, and everyone just meshed well (especially the leads). Of course, it isn't perfect - I'm sure
there were things I didn't particularly enjoy or like - but I'm not one to dwell on that. If you can look past race and not be brain-washed or influenced by stereotypes, it actually works (and even better).
One final tidbit - I never knew what Gubi Chairs were, but apparently - I guess that employee didn't either heheh. I listed some links to articles or reviews on my regular blog page, and here are some more (unfortunately, I can't list everyone and
there'll certainly be more or new ones).
What a fun, hilarious film with a touch of serious drama as well as some life's lessons. What makes a film funny or hilarious has as much to do with the dialogue as does the characters and story. Imagine telling it like it is holding nothing back, and being serious about it.
It doesn't work with everyone - some are just not funny as others (so stop pretending to be heh). But I'm convinced that it definitely works with Randall Park and Ali Wong (now I know who she is).
I'm not going to go over the plotline or story, as you can go to other film review sites for that. This is a place for just my thoughts. Here are my tidbits:
Who knew fighting or arguing at a BK would lead to an instant breakup heheh. It must've been that whopper or the chicken tenders heh.
Where can we download the song to "I Punched Keanu Reeves" - it's a must-have for sure muhaha.
Quote of the film - did you take a look at yourself (in repair man coveralls heh)..."you look like a homeless astronaut!" heheh
Remember to know your chairs, furniture, or just know what the hell you are talking about
I never knew pee'ing drunkenly on an amp or two could get you a second chance at an audition
I can relate to DDK's character the most - the car scene when he just grunts while texting as a reply or an answer. Yes, sometimes it's just too tiresome (or too lazy heh) to say a word or two when there isn't anything relevant to say anyway.
Although it's not a good idea to say "shit" and "bitch" while holding a newborn, it's ok to say "kids like to eat that shit" or scream obscenities while the window is open at the party for all to hear heh.
So what life's lessons did we learn - other than "do not mess with Keanu Reeves otherwise he'll go John Wick on your ass". Well, for me - sometimes sacrifices are necessary to adjust or adapt to someone else's lifestyle. And there are no wrong lifestyles -
a person can live however they want, as long as they are happy and does not affect or hurt others. This is a film I can watch over again, and might need to watch it again for sure.
Marcus' father was a pleasant surprise as well - a multi-dimensional figure who we learn is easy-going and doesn't want his son to be a caregiver (but to get on with his life).
This is a must-see for sure. It is practically a four-star movie (a very moving ending), and I'll probably change it to make it into my top ten.
05/24/2019: Or Maybe So...
I'm hearing good things about "Always Be My Maybe". Just as I had to watch "CRA" for its significance, I'm leaning towards watching "ABMM" on 05/31. If I do, I should certainly post a film review on it.
05/23/2019: Maybe, or Maybe Not....For "Always Be My Maybe"
I'll never be into rom-coms, but when you have cameo appearances by KR and DDK - why not heheh. Either I did not see them in any of the trailers, or just missed the ones that they were in.
I'm sure "Bill & Ted" fans are anxious to hear when production on the third fim is going to begin (or any new updates - which there haven't been yet).
I'm looking forward to finding out more details on "Stowaway".
05/22/2019: Hurray for "Stowaway"
I had to read about "Stowaway", and it appears to be a sci-fi thriller. Daniel Dae Kim's addition is going to be grand - you only have to look at his Dr. Jackson Han character on "The Good Doctor" to see how convincing DDK is
as a unsympathetically and unapologetically logical (often cold or calculating) kind of person. From what I hear, he'll be playing a similar role (perhaps not to that degree). Add this to my watch list (including "Hellboy" when that comes out on VOD).
I was intrigued for awhile on checking out DDK's funny side in "ABMM". But I'm just not into rom-coms. It's more probable that I'll watch "A Dog's Journey" - something inspirational, light-hearted and certainly family-friendly. We all need that once in awhile.
I'll stick with YouTuber Ricky Berwick for comedy heheh.
05/18/2019: Who Is Henry Lau?
I only recently found out about him when I saw the trailer to "A Dog's Journey". It seems to be a cute film for general audiences, or more geared toward family and "children of all ages" type. Pet lovers, not withstanding heh. I've never been one
who is into light-hearted, kids' films - but this one should be worth checking out.
Henry Lau is an up-and-coming singer / song-writer, and apparently is already well-known. His single "Untitled Love Song" is pretty catchy and light-hearted - with not too much emotion put into it, but just enough to balance the emotions with
Check out "A Dog's Journey"!
Today is "Hell Day". Get ready to spend a day in hell with... "Hellboy"! Unfortunately, my wife is not into the blood, gore and violence - but I'll most likely watch it at some point (if I have to rent it on VOD).
"The Dragon Painter" - I should check this out as well. Never heard of the actor, but to find out he was one of the early pioneers for Asians in film is definitely something to be recognized. If anything, I need to give Goh Nakamura's soundtrack or
compositions a listen.
Another interview with Daniel Dae Kim:
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
Click To Activate!
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".