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. Linsanity: The Documentary
Other Favorites ***:
Mayhem, Justin Chon's 'Gook', Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings, Hang Loose, K-Town Cowboys, Harold & Kumar 2 & 3, 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, Toy Story 1-3, Pixar's Up, Office Space, Beavis & Butt-Head Do America, Idiocracy, The Ringer, Jackass 3, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Shine, The Goonies, Forrest Gump, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet's Society, Rocky, One Hour Photo, Psycho II, Poltergeist ('82), John Carpenter's The Thing/Halloween, SAW, 1408, Pet Sematary, The Amityville Horror ('79), The Conjuring, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, 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, 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, Do The Right Thing, Escape From Alcatraz, The Twilight Zone: The Movie, Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, Fast Times, Pulp Fiction, 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
09/04/2018: Searching ****
First off, props and kudos for Aneesh Chaganty and the film crew for making this happen. And for not taking "no" for an answer from John Cho heh. The film certainly
lives up to its hype, and probably surpassed it in some ways. "Searching" meticulously tells the story through the lenses and screens of cameras, mobile devices and computers. It takes the audience on a ride
to piece together the puzzle, and make sense of things from the texts, the images, the videos, the surveillance, etc. It is a cerebral type of film, and certainly a breathe of fresh air.
I'm certainly not going to spoil the plot. However, the story seems very straight-forward: David Kim becomes increasingly distraught over his missing daughter and what appears to be the inevitable. The film takes a turn that I would not have guessed at all.
There are hints and clues throughout, if you can pay enough attention to everything that is on the 'screen' (the theater screen, or the in-the-movie screens, whatever heh - etc). I definitely need at least another viewing or two. But it's a type of film that you can enjoy watching it over again.
Although you can say that the devices and computers take center stage in this, I felt that the cast brought a certain realism and believability to their characters (without having to overact - which typefies the current as well as dull industry). The only hint I'll probably give is to think about this - watching Hitchcock's "Psycho" for the first-time without hearing anything about it.
I'm not saying there is any similarity (far from it), except when it comes to the suspense and tension however.
08/22/2018: Crazy Rich Asians ***
First of all, I have never been into rom-coms at all. However, most seem to enjoy it and appears more mainstream than other genres. Unfortunately, the genres of horror, sci-fi, etc. have been just as bad or even worse in the lack of Asian representation department. Anyway, onto "Crazy Rich Asians".
The deciding factor for me was its cinematic significance and breakthrough in regards to an all-Asian cast of a studio movie.
The film is based off of Kevin Kwan's book, and I heard it stayed true to the story. I don't read books so I wouldn't know heh. But this much was certain - it takes place in Singapore and the characters are Southeast Asian. Well, it's a start.
At this point, we all need to support each other and continue to create. I usually don't go over the plotline or story of the movie in my reviews, but just thoughts that come to mind (or came to mind).
So what did I like about it? Other than an all-Asian cast for once, the different characters between both families - their quirks, intricacies and personalities. The theater seemed to mostly laugh from Awkafina's character - not necessarily a comic relief, since this is a romcom afterall. It's supposed to have humor.
Who else wants to enter in a Mah-jongg tournament? heh. I have no idea how to play, but that scene with the mother at the end might have been the scene-stealer.
Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng, and Jimmy O.Yang should've had more scenes. I don't think I can say enough about the city of Singapore and its architecture - it's spectacular and dazzling. I don't pay any attention to the news, so I am pretty ignorant of keeping up-to-date to what's been happening around the world and such.
Kudos to the two leads of the film - they had chemistry. I'm ambivalent about watching a sequel - this can be a standalone film in its own right.
Next review - "Searching".
08/09/2018: At CRA Premiere
It is a momentous occasion for sure, as Asian-Americans from all over are supporting and celebrating its big screen premiere; as well as its significance when it comes to Asian-Americans in the industry. From the reviews and previews, the film certainly appears elegant, stylish and a story that all could enjoy. The only difference? The cast is all Asian - for a change.
And they are in non-stereotypical roles - that should be intriguing to watch for anybody as well as being a breathe of fresh air. There is no doubt that Asian-Americans are above and beyond the stereotypes and typecasting. Those days are long gone, but progress has been slow.
"It's more than a movie, it's a movement" - John Chu, Director
07/26/2018: H40 - Halloween Re-Visited
For classic horror fans, rejoice...I think heh. If I had a dime for every horror sequel and remake / reboots that are out there, I'd be a millionaire. Naturally, I thought - Goddamn, another "Halloween" movie? Enough said. The original '78 was minimalism at its finest - proving you do not need to show blood and guts to be effective. Just some eerie music and camera angles.
Apparently, the 2018 version forgets about all the sequels and takes place 40 years later after the original. And it's Carpenter-approved, which I'm sure it's important to fans. In this one, Laurie is portrayed as a 'heroine' and not the 'victim'. Take it for what it's worth. It's not October yet, but I suppose there's something new to watch for fans besides the Halloween marathon.
06/19/2018: Looking Forward To "Searching"
For me, this is the movie poster of the year - simple and direct. In an industry where they try to do too much (with blah results),
this is certainly welcoming. However, nuanced themes and ideas can also be interesting (which might require thinking). In a way, I guess this poster has a bit of that as well. Less is obviously more.
06/11/2018: "Action Point" Probably Needs More "Jackasses"...
Was there a point to even making "Action Point"? This ain't no "Jackass Presents..." unfortunately. I saw the trailer, and initially thought it might be funny. But after some thought, it did not seem to have the usual hilarity or energy of a 'Jackass'- produced movie.
Still, there are some scenes you can't help but laugh.
Perhaps Bad Grandpa 3 or The Ringer 2 should have been preferable to make muhaha.
Brought to you by the Flex Tape guy, "I can see the whole operation falling apart, I'll fall into the water....!!!" muhaha
05/21/2018: "Can You Read My Mind?"
We should all know Margot Kidder from the "Superman" movies. I always thought Christopher Reeve & Margot Kidder were one of the more memorable on-screen or cinematic characters or couples there ever was.
The next film to review might be "Searching". Unfortunately, I have not been able to watch some films that were not readily available in theaters - probably have to wait for them to be on VOD.
02/04/2018: Maze Runner: The Death Cure ***
A fitting end to the trilogy, and a fun movie to watch. It was a long movie at 2 hrs and 20 minutes almost, but it kept your attention. Some of the action sequences were a bit absurd (but then again, that exists everywhere), but what can you do when it comes to computer-generated images.
In this finale, Thomas and his friends are on a rescue mission and to do it, they'll have to break into the city where WCKD is located - a city that only allowed a select population in while discarding the rest.
We encounter a familiar face from the first movie who re-unites with the group to help with the rescue efforts. All the while, poor Minho. He was seemingly tortured and experimented on, but I was happy that he eventually fought his way out. Unfortunately, Newt succumbs to the virus and
another sacrifice is made at the end.
Not all films have happy endings - this sort of was - at the cost of more lives. It turns out that Thomas' blood was the cure for the virus.
Not all films have happy endings - this sort of was - at the cost of more lives. It turns out that Thomas' blood was the cure for the virus. Had he willingly cooperated from the beginning, perhaps none of this would've happened. But from first Maze Runner film, the organization's motives and intent remained enigmatic and unclear - they were only a shadow
of what was thought of as an evil organization using some youngsters for experiments. In any event, this was a fun movie to watch. But as in most trilogies, the first film is usually the most gratifying. I'm not sure how closely these films followed the books, but I'm sure it did for the most part.
"Why are you helping us? I put a spear through your chest" heheh.
12/15/2017: Ger Yer Jollies On, With "Jingle All The Way"
It's that time of year or season, when the usual Christmas movies crop up. Once again for this year, it's the 'why did they even make this movie' type of funny - "Jingle All The Way"!
Santa says: "Ho Ho Ho" We say: "Hahahahahahahahahah, Hahahahahahahaha, Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha, and on and on, - etc"
Remember to get your kid a Turboman (or dress up like one) or a Johnny Omega, and you won't spoil the Yuletide season muhaha.
I'm looking forward to more projects from actors such as John Cho, Steven Yeun. They've been pretty busy so I heard. I've been also searchin' for "Seoul Searching" on VOD. If that is available somewhere perhaps that that'll be the next film review; or "Gemini".
The independent scene is the way to go - better quality movies for sure, and a touch of realism.
11/15/2017: Columbus ***
I finally got to watch this on VOD. What can I say - a poignant, artistic film with the central theme of architecture. I don't really give a rat's ass about architecture myself, but I thought it was interesting how it was intertwined in the story as one of the focal points in the film and the character's interests.
John Cho's character of Jin seemed to play the role of a guidance counselor to the young girl who seemed destined to remain in the town taking care of her deadbeat mother for life. But with the rapport and kinship that follows between the two, she eventually makes
the decision to leave to pursue her achitectural goals thanks to Jin's guidance.
Apparently, Jin seemed to be in an emotional turmoil of his own. With the advent of his father's hospitalization, he seemed emotionally out of it as it was revealed that their relationship was certainly not on good terms. I'm not sure if his situation was actually resolved at the end, but the film ended with the girl leaving. It certainly
left us ponder or wonder if there ever was going to be a reconciliation or an emotional resolution. Perhaps another viewing would be needed.
Do not expect a fast-paced film - it is a movie that plays out as if you were actually there observing the interactions and the buildings. I felt there could have been more depth to the characters or story, but overall it was effective.
I definitely have to give my thumb's up to the cast and director for what it's worth.
11/11/2017: Mayhem ***1/2
What a fun, wild movie. At first, I was under the impression that it was going to be a horror movie from all the blood - but it was more of an intensely violent action / comedy or satire. So to speak, what would happen if everyone's inhibitions, anxiety and pent-up rage were let loose all of a sudden. That's really the premise in a nutshell, with the virus as the instigator.
Steven Yeun was smooth and bad-ass, and he certainly kicked-ass as Derek Cho. It's a welcome change from the passive or pacifistic Asian characters we usually see - it really breaks free from the 'model minority' stereotype. I'd like to think that the character's actions were part of his hidden personality and not because of the virus.
The directorial style and narration of the film flowed smoothly, and the action intensified until the end (as in a musical composition - where a piece can crescendo to a climax). I take this movie as a satire of some sort of the stuffy corporate environment. And satires are meant to be exaggerated for sure. I certainly felt it was well-done.
We are introduced to Derek Cho, who has slaved his way to a promotion but yet is still over-worked and under-appreciated. He then gets framed for a case (in what seemed to be a corporate conspiracy against him), and gets unjustly fired. The tensions around the office mount as the virus spreads, and the building is eventually quarantined for eight hours.
All hell breaks loose within that eight hours. Derek and Melanie work their way up to the 'top' (literally and figuratively) to get even or revenge against the head honchos.
I enjoyed Derek's smooth and clever way of getting the best of his enemies as he topples them; a few floors at a time. That's what I call "lovin' it when a plan comes together" muhaha. This is a film worth purchasing it as well. I recommend renting it on VOD in the meantime, or going to a theater if available. Disclaimer: graphic violence, foul language, compromising situations,...all the good stuff heheh.
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".