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
8. Ping Pong Playa
9. 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: Nemesis, 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, 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
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.
08/26/2017: Gook ***1/2
I'm keeping the ticket stub, and the quality is worth purchasing the film digitally as well when it's available on VOD. I've read the interviews as well as the reviews, and my sentiments are very similar. What needs to be more said? This is as intense and real as it gets, and quality films don't get made anymore.
Misunderstandings and the highly-charged emotions of the moment can lead to racial animosity and violence. The raw emotions captured in this film felt real and natural, and I applaud the efforts of the cast.
A beautiful relationship develops between Eli and Kamilla, amidst the backdrop of the LA riots and seems to serve as one of the central plot point or themes through the film. All the while, Eli has to deal with managing the shoe store, his brother's 'fat ass' (joke), Kamilla's emotionally-charged brother, and the ensuing chaos of the riots that continue to spread closer.
Mr. Kim. Props to Justin's real-life dad. The character definitely added a necessary element to the film, which provided more realism and drama. The ending was sad and tragic, but happy endings are seldom in situations like this.
The film has also light, humorous moments that lead up to the climax. Of course, one of my favorite scenes was in the car near the end when Daniel throws out his demo tape (I couldn't help but laugh with Eli muhaha). Or the impromptu dance sequence. But that's how it usually is, because that's reality.
I give props and my congratulations to Justin Chon and the ensemble cast. I wish them well in their future endeavors, and hopefully we can see more films with diversity and good story-telling. Really. The bastards that praise diversity yet continue to discriminate against Asians are similar or even worse than the extremists. We just have to continue to support and empower each other.
I'm going to have to rent "Columbus" if I don't have time to find a theater for that. The films to watch next in theaters would be the third "Maze Runner" film and a film called "Taipei", whenever they'll be released. Perhaps "Gemini" as well, but I have to find out more about it.
08/05/2017: I'm On A 'Party' Boat...
Not your typical 'House Party' muhaha. Sung Kang has a part (it seems just only a few scenes), but he's gettin' his dance on 'da' Party Boat muhaha. It's a comedy from Crackle, never heard of them but it seems
like a novelty comedy channel that is not mainstream (thank god).
I'm glad that "Snakehead" met its post-production goal, or I think. Unfortunately, I would have contributed but I've already donated toward two Kickstarter / Indiegogo projects already.
07/22/2017: "Wish Upon" **1/2
I'll just say it from the start that I enjoyed the film. I did have some misgivings since it seemed like another teen flick - the entire cast practically being young actors and the characters are high school students.
This being a horror/ suspense film, and Ki Hong Lee having a major role is why I decided to watch it.
The film centers around a teenage girl who receives a music box that grants wishes. And after starting to make a few of them, all hell breaks loose with some deaths. As the expression goes,
'there is a blood price to be paid'. This story might have been derived from "The Box" (not sure who wrote it), but I'm sure there have been some films based on it as well. Combine that with "Final Destination", there ya go heh. Like other updates or re-imagining of another story or film, "Wish Upon" certainly works
in terms of catering to the new generation of viewers.
I think Ki Hong did a good job - the acting seemed natural (over-acting and superfluous-ness/fakeness is common place in the industry).
Now, what could have been done better? I might have given this a full three stars if there were better scares and that the ending was re-done. That was just too similar to a typical ending of the 'Final Destination' series. And although it was inevitable (the box claims the soul of using all the wishes), the nature of it was predictable.
Overall, I would certainly recommend watching it.
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".