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 ***:
Tigertail, 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
Here's another inspirational story or gem to watch - Minari. It stars Steven Yeun (it's been awhile - haven't heard any news about him for more than a year. Or did he get rid of social media) as the father of an immigrant family
striving to achieve the dream (all the while navigating through their own family dynamics and struggles). It's a highly anticipated film to watch. Of course, I'll have to rent it once it becomes available.
This is definitely a film to look out for.
09/24/2020: Lang Lang's "Journey" To The Big Screen
My first thought of when I heard the news that Maestro Lang Lang's autobiography "Journey of a Thousand Miles" is going to be a film - excited, but why isn't an Asian production company making this. Or has one even considered it.
But then again - considering Lang Lang's collaboration with celebrities and such, it is a no-brainer. Plus, there'll be more exposure and most likely more revenue from a hollywood production.
But hollywood has been known for white-washing or over-dramatizing Asian stories. I think we have to trust Lang Lang - hopefully, he'll have some say or creative control. His is a remarkable and inspiring story of overcoming hardships, poverty
and a very strict father to become the most celebrated and arguably the most talented classical pianist there is. If I enjoyed "Shine", perhaps I can enjoy this. Still - the original book is going to always be where it's at.
Just a suggestion - consider hiring his friend Jay Chou to play a role or even play the adult Lang Lang himself haha. Jay Chou is quite the pianist himself.
09/06/2020: "Mulan" on Disney+
For anyone subscribed to it, it might be worth renting it. But as in any business endeavor, it is a money-making scheme for the channel. For anyone who do not have the channel,
just wait for it to rent on other platforms or VOD.
This live-action film is something I would be interested in watching - Jason Scott Lee, Donnie Yen, others who I don't know about, etc. It's an all Asian cast, as authentic as it gets from that perspective. As for the story and characters,
we'll just have to watch it to find out.
08/01/2020: Tigertail ***
It's a beautiful piece with subtlety writtin all over it. Visually relaxing and refreshing, stylish. You do not need to say much, nor have much dialogue in order to get a message across or to be well-directed or filmed. Kind of similar in style or reminds me of "Columbus" (with John Cho), and
"Ms. Purple" (Justin Chon directed). My favorite scene is when the young protagonist
opens and closes shop over and over - to convey the repetition of the daily grind, and the passage of time / realism.
You have the theme of regret - missing out on an old flame for opportunities elsewhere. The parents end a relationship that was not right to begin with - and with children, the father became estranged with the daughter.
More diverse story-telling needs to be heard, and this is why I watched it. Kudos to Alan Yang.
07/22/2020: IWMYM - Surrogate Valentine 3 ***
Let's put it this way - there was closure. And that's what we wanted all along. As noted previously, the ending of "Daylight Savings" was open-ended, but there was never
any kind of intention or indication that there was supposed to be resolution or closure - just a "that's it, that's the end" kind of conclusion. With that said, Boyle stepped away from the series
and never planned on a third. Until Lynn Chen stepped in.
This film is seen from the perspective of the three women from the previous films. What I interpret as what this "closure" is - things change, and nothing stays the same. What
is not or was not meant to be, still is not meant to be. In the end, Goh has matured and comes to terms with where he is now - he just laughs off the "I felt cheated on / revenge" kiss from Lynn's character.
In the end, he reconciles with his ex. I had sort of hoped he would have gotten together with Yea-ming. In the end, she had issues to work out and are just friends.
As fitting and enjoyable the film was, I wish it was a bit longer and wish it had a bit more drama in terms of the dynamics between all characters. Also, did Goh decide to write music again? Or is he just playing music as a hobby now?
Nonetheless, IWMYM gives closure to this trilogy.
07/15/2020: How 'Sweet' It is - "A Sweet Mess"
Daniel Dae Kim is going to produce and star in "A Sweet Mess", a rom-com novel by an up-and-coming author. I no longer read any books (they bore the crap outta me), so I have no idea about any authors.
But you have to give the benefit of the doubt to any young author - if it is picked up or considered for a film adaptation, it could be alright or worthwhile.
Talk about ironies of all ironies - if DDK considered Ali Wong for the lead as well haha (considering their characters in ABMM). And Randall Park for a role. More thoughts to come.
I'm looking forward to Daniel Dae Kim's role in "Stowaway". I heard he's also involved in some ghost story? Don't know anything about that.
"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.
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".