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 ***:
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
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.
"Maze Runner: The Death Cure" cometh? This is one to look out for. I checked Ki Hong's Instagram, and there he was alone on one of the actor's chairs. Poor Asian guy still has to work while his co-worker's have their time off muhaha.
Anyway, I checked Wikipedia and his character Minho is supposedly still alive and well according to the book at least. We'll see what the situation is for any further updates.
*He will also be in a new movie called "Wish Upon". If you're the type that likes to get a good scare in a dark movie theater, perhaps this is worth checking out. I'm a horror fan somewhat, but the only other time I saw one in theater was a 'Saw' sequel. The rest, perhaps in the comforts at home.
06/25/2017: Columbus In Theaters....August 4th.
John Cho is starring in a new drama, and it is going to be released Aug. 4th. I'll certainly have to check it out once it's in theaters. I'm glad to see Cho tackle his dramatic side, after playing Harold in a cult comedy favorite "Harold & Kumar" and
Sulu in the science-fiction genre of "Star Trek". That begs to questions, is there going to be a 'Harold & Kumar 4'? Probably not, but never say never.
I saw the preview, and it seems to be an interesting story as well as a character study of a chance encounter and the ensuing rapport between the characters. Not to mention the intriguing style from the famed director so I hear. I'm usually not into dramas but with the lack of quality films these days, it should be worth it.
Also, Justin Chon's film festival award-winning film is going to be released in theaters on the 18th. Hopefully, I can catch that as well.
05/03/2017: A Whole Lotta 'Mayhem'
This is a neat movie poster. Steven Yeun's character looks like he's ready to kick some ass. Or he already has kicked some ass muhaha.
It's been awhile since I heard any recent updates from the actor, but it's good to know that he's been busy with some projects. I have yet to find a trailer for this film.
I read the synopsis, and it seems to be another dire straits situation he finds himself in and has to get himself out of. Hopefully, he comes out victorious. All hell is going to break loose? I'd bet my money on 'Mayhem'.
04/25/2017: Let There Be Justice...
I stopped watching the Fast series after 'Fast & Furious 6' for several reasons - the departure of both Sung Kang's character as well as Director Justin Lin (of course, a new director could be a breathe of fresh air sometimes in style). Anyway, there have been rumors that Sung Kang's character might return in some capacity (they are surely not going to resurrect another deceased character so I hear).
I also heard about the controversy in turning a despicable villain into a face, which doesn't make sense if the series had any honor to its family theme. If that is the case, why not do the impossible as well (perhaps somebody was able pull him out in time).
04/15/2017: "Better Luck Tomorrow" 15th Anniversary
Happy 15th to the ground-breaking Asian-American film "Better Luck Tomorrow", in which there'll be an anniversary screening on the 27th co-presented by YOMYOMF. I wonder if they'll have an HD or Hi-Def treatment of the film, since the download
that I purchased years ago could use an upgrade. Otherwise, the film continues to stand the test of time. Some notables from the film: "How does it feel being the token Asian guy on the team?" "I didn't include it because he didn't say what I wanted him to say".
There's probably some personality traits of each character in all of us.
The rundown of films to look out for or watch:
Bobby Choy "Fiction & Other Realities" (new kickstarter film)
Justin Chon "Seoul Searching" / "Gook"
John Cho "Columbus" / "Gemini"
Sung Kang "Snakehead" / "Code 8" (If that ever gets made. Have not heard of any updates recently)
Ki Hong ("I hope Minho lives and that there'll be another Maze Runner if at all" muhaha). Really, if there's ever an Asian-American or a minority in a horror or sci-fi film, they get off'ed unceremoniously.
Wong Fu Productions "Everything Before Us"
I'm sure there are other notable films that I haven't heard of yet, but it would take a bit of researching through AA Film Festivals, Kickstarter projects and Youtubers. Besides film, there also got to be a plethora of projects on other platforms
that feature prominent AA actors.
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".