In the spirit of holiday movies (as well as the sheer boredom from no other shit to watch - perhaps next year), here is a list of some funnies to get yer jollies on:
12/12/2019: Must-See Update
Here it is:
Who you gonna call? Re-make Busters! We better call Ricky Berwick in that case haha. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" - I'm not sold with kids being Ghostbusters, but it is what it is. But finally - a Ghostbusters 3. Better have hired Ricky Berwick as a Ghostbuster haha (his "Reboot-Buster" video below):
I've been wondering what Justin Chon's been up to after "Ms. Purple", which I'm looking forward to watching if or when it becomes available on VOD. Currently, he's been busy with a new film called "Blue Bayou". I haven't read the details on it nor really know what it's about, but should find out about it. Except for this color theme in the film titles, perhaps it's just coincidence or a metaphor.
Besides John Cho in "The Grudge", "Tigertail" is another film to look out for - although not much has been revealed as well (as to the release date, updates or description - you can always look it up in Wikipedia I guess), certainly it encompasses the Asian experience or story.
10/22/2019: Holding No Grudges For The "Grudge"
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"
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
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).
06/01/2019: Always Be My Maybe ****
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 the music.
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:
"Hellboy" opens April 12th.
Daniel Dae Kim's interview on "Hellboy":
It looks like the '80's are coming back. We were treated with a successful Youtube Original series, "Cobra Kai" from the "The Karate Kid" series. And now, a third Bill & Ted movie is in the plans. I would never have thought of it. But for sure, So-crates would approve haha.
Perhaps they'll do a Rufus tribute or some sort of honoring of the character (I don't think they should replace the actor / comic) - it wouldn't have been an Excellent Adventure without...Roooo-fus!.
We watched "How To Train Your Dragon - The Hidden World", and the highlight of it was "The Hidden World". The aesthetics or the artwork, was something else / dazzling. I don't think I'll do a complete review on it (depends), but I did enjoy the film. I was inclined to watch it since I enjoyed the first one.
I'll be awaiting further updates on "Surrogate Valentine 3" and "Ms. Purple", whenever they'll be available.
It's refreshing to hear that Asian-themed films are going to be made. An Asian-casted "Mulan" (not sure if I'd be interested in that however), and now "Shang-Chi". I'm not into that genre, but as a means to support - for sure, it would be worth watching.
I agree - Simu Liu should be a candidate for the main character role.
03/03/2019: Ain't No Doctor
We got a glimpse of DDK's character Daimio from the recent Red Band trailer of "Hellboy" - what a transformation heh. I'm not familiar with the story or the characters, so I would not have known anyway.
I tell ya though - Hellraiser got nothin' on Hellboy haha.
The film opens next month - get ready to get on the highway to hell.
02/02/2019: Burning ***1/2
Kudos to the cast and director Lee Chang Dong, well-deserved accolades. Another must-see film that is stylish and purposeful is Kogonada with "Columbus" - the theme of that revolves around architecture.
01/25/2019: Let's 'Dance' With "Ms. Purple"
12/20/2018: Hungry For Some "Bao"?
A hell yeah for "Hellboy"? Since they rectified the situation, all should be forgiven. Now the casting of DDK makes it that much more authentic.
Other new indies or kickstarter projects to look out for - "The Paper Tigers" seems interesting - a martial arts infused comedy.
Right now, Steven Yeun's "Burning" film is making the rounds in the independent scene as an international film - and from reading the reviews, it's becoming another must-see film (if it's available in a theater - but I'll opt to rent it on VOD if possible). Fans should stop type-casting him - he's moved on to more projects (films such as "Mayhem" and now "Burning", "Voltron" series, etc) - and it's better for his career.
I haven't heard from Justin Chon in a while, but apparently he's directed a new film called "Ms. Purple". I only recently found out about it. I have no doubt this is going to be good film as well, and another Kickstarter project I'll have to watch alongside "Surrogate Valentine 3".
I've seen "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle" so many times as well as quoting from it, the name Danny Leiner became familiar - maybe not a household name but familiar. With that said, rest in peace. I wish he directed the other two installments but they held their own.
If I get a chance to watch "Gemini", "Burning" or the "I'm Sorry To Bother You" flick, I'll review that. But it appears more likely that it'll be "Surrogate Valentine 3". If it becomes rentable, for sure I'll watch it on VOD.
09/04/2018: Searching ****
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 ***
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
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"...
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 ***
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"
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 ***
11/11/2017: Mayhem ***1/2
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
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 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.
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).
Perhaps they're following this popular quote from "Tokyo Drift": "Life is simple. You make choices and don't look back".
Congrats to J-Chon! There actually might be a film to watch in theaters again:
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.
Other than Justin Chon's films, I'll be on the lookout for more Asian-American involvement in films as far as steady, positive roles are concerned. I heard that Ki Hong Lee is supposed to be appearing in a horror film soon. It doesn't seem to be a hefty role, but who knows. As for Youtube sensations, Ryan Higa was in a flick which I should probably check out eventually. Speaking of Ki Hong, I've wondered what happened to his character in the Maze Runner. Since there hasn't been any updates on a third film or what the ending of the second film suggests, it's probably over or a moot point anyway.
Sung Kang is appearing on 'Snakehead', from the director of 'Linsanity'. I'm not into subject matters such as smuggling, but if he has a sizeable role in it, then I'd consider watching it. I'm waiting for 'Code 8', but no idea if that'll start filming anytime soon. No updates on that.
I'm sure there are more Asian actors I don't know about, it's just a matter of finding them.
Congratulations are definitely abound for Justin Chon's new film at the Sundance Film Festival, which won the audience award. It's something I have to check out at some point when available. I already have a growing list of independent films to watch if I can. Aside from the controversial nature of the title of the film, I admit it takes getting used to. But who better than an Asian-American himself to use a 'racial slur' as the title and re-define or make folks think differently for a change? Nonetheless, it only tells part of the story from the perspective of Asian-Americans during the race riots of that era. I'm glad to see the transition of Justin (known for his 'Twilight' and '21 & Over' teen flick roles) to a more serious and dramatic side in films. Could this also be the start of Youtube comedian D-So's new film career? Who knows muhaha.
I doubt there is going to be anything worthwhile watching this year, but who knows (unless another Star Trek sequel is in the works). With that said, it's time to focus attention again to the independent scene or film festival movies. One noteworthy film to check out is Justin Chon's new film about Asian-Americans during the race riots of that era with a shoe store as the backdrop. It is really a movie about a slice of life nobody really has understood, and seen through the perspective of Asians for once. Yes, even they are victimized and go through turmoil.
Chon also can be seen in "Taipei", but as a co-star. I heard about John Cho's new film as well that's making the film festival rounds. When these films are released on VOD or other viewable platforms, I'll rent or even purchase them for sure. Add them to my list.
I'm not going to review "Rogue One", but the ending with Darth Vader was nostalgic.
08/05/2016: Star Trek Beyond ***
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, as it was dynamic and fun-filled replete with the usual familiarity of the original Star Trek that we know. After completing three years of the Enterprise crew's five year mission, they head to a what is sort of like a starbase or outpost to recharge. They are dispatched once again to respond to a distress call, only to find themselves ambushed by thousands upon thousands of mini-ships that completely destroy the Enterprise. Escape pods are jettisoned, and crash land on the planet below. They meet an ally in a new female alien to combat a former starfleet Captain-turned villian (Krall), who planned to use the artifact he stole against the Federation.
The action was dynamic, and this felt like 'Star Trek' again with the familiar banter between crew on the ship and planet, the use of communicators, Captain heroics, etc. I suppose that's why they paired Spock with McCoy, because we knew the conversation would get interesting heh. I thought there were some nice homage to Leonard Nimoy, by indicating the passing away of Ambassador Spock. And also showing a picture or image of the original crew at the end.
We definitely have to remember that this was an alternate universe created in the first reboot, as a lot of things have changed. Although I believe that they should've kept Sulu straight even in this alternate reality, the focus was more on the story and action so it wasn't made a big deal. Of course, there are some things I didn't like. The villain should've been kept as an alien and not as a former starfleet officer, and I think a lot of the action seemed very 'Fast & Furious' like, but that's Justin Lin for ya. It still worked.
NCC-1701-A. There's bound to be another sequel, hopefully they'll consider adding a Klingon or a new species as the villain. Here's to hoping Justin returns to direct as well.
I'll have to do some soul searchin' to decide whether I should watch "Seoul Searching", which I heard was going to have its own theatrical release next month. But it's worth supporting by watching, and it might be good. The only way I could probably watch it is via VOD or a video platform that I have an account with. But if you're in an area where the film is going to be in a theater, go check it out.
"Real Asian actors playing real Asian parts" Hell Yeah.
Youtube Seoul Searching Promo / Theatrical Release
05/22/2016: Justin Lin and Beyond Star Trek..
When I heard that Justin Lin was going to direct the new Star Trek film and leaving the Fast & Furious franchise, I was skeptical. That first trailer re-affirmed the potential awfulness of the new Trek franchise, although the first reboot was good but that's it. At this point, I might watch "Star Trek Beyond" as more info on it and a new trailer completely changed things a bit. It certainly can't be worse than the previous sequel; which I'm glad I have not watched.
Justin Lin's style is fast-paced and dynamic for sure. He is cutting edge and knows how to direct, and Lin certainly revitalized the Fast & Furious fanchise back into life. In my opinion, "Better Luck Tomorrow" stands out as my favorite Justin Lin film. And reading the story behind it, I'm glad that he stood firm and held onto his vision which made the film work and succeed. Film critic Roger Ebert even exclaimed; "Asian-Americans can be whoever they want to be!" to the opposition. With a plethora of Asian talent, they should not be pigeon-holed but expanded to portray more unique as well as major/ leading roles. There hasn't been any films worth watching recently, which is why I've been looking more on Youtube and kickstarter or indie projects for more diverse and unique films. Anyway, recent article on Justin Lin is here:
"Spock, you haven't changed a bit. You're just as warm and sociable as ever" -Star Trek: The Motion Picture
*yawn* "Keepin' you busy?" -Sulu, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
03/29/2016: K-Town Cowboys ***
I finally watched the "KTown" movie the other day on VOD, and it's something worth purchasing. All in all, they did a good job interweaving each individual's stories and issues while introducing the world to what is known as K-Town; the night life, the hangouts, the 'activities' heh. Perhaps the most well-known aspect of it all is going from spot to spot throughout the night (something that was detailed in the web series), drinking the shit out of yourself with soju and hite. As well as attempting to pick up girls.
Although the movie was released in theaters in only four cities, it's still an accomplishment in of itself considering that it was developed from a web series. I'm happy that the movie did well in the film festival, which led to the theatrical release. "Better Luck Tomorrow" however is still my favorite Asian-American film albeit one of my favorite films. But that was over ten years ago, and there hasn't been much since.
It was nice to see some alumni from "Best of the Best" involved in this project although cameos. My god have they aged, but then that film was over 30 years ago. Also, props to cameos by Daniel Dae Kim and Ken Jeong (exec. producer- knowing the guy, he likes to plug stuff anyway heh).
For those that haven't seen yet, do so. Get yer soju fresh on, and always remember 'bro's before ho's' muhaha.
What else is there to watch now? I'll be waiting for updates on "Code 8" for now.
I watched the short film that Sung Kang participated in called "Code 8", and I think it's pretty f'n cool. I heard it'll be made into a feature-length film eventually. Hopefully, Sung Kang's character is going to be a major part of it. Otherwise...anyway. So folks, go and support! I certainly appreciate film and music projects that develop from Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Some are definitely worthwhile. Anyway, check it out:
In a few days or whenever I have time, I'll watch the new "K-Town" flick through VOD and definitely write some thoughts on it. Congrats to the crew for their theatrical release.
Oh yeah, the K-Town film arrives March 18th in select theaters and on VOD on the 25th. Although I'd prefer to watch it in a theater, I'll probably have to watch it through VOD. Alright, for the umpteenth time: old faces, new places! hehe.
This is cool. There'll be a 10th anniversary screening for "Tokyo Drift" presented by BTILT film series from janm.org and other organizations. Has it been ten years already? It wasn't that long ago that the "Fast and The Furious" series took a detour in Tokyo introducing the world to the art of 'drifting'; but also lost a fan favorite character. Anyway, when a film has reached its 10th anniversary, you know that time has just passed by like nothing. I saw F7 awhile ago, but thought it was too outrageous and unrealistic. No plans on review.
Speaking of anniverseries and panel discussions, I happened to stumble upon the 30th anniversary panel discussion two years ago for the iconic 1984 film "The Karate Kid" courtesy of janm.org Youtube. It's as if I had completely forgotten how long ago this film was made. However, I don't think anyone can forget the indelible impression it left as far as phrases and references were concerned; a lot of which has been repeatedly imitated and has become part of the culture. Anyway, panel discussions are usually informative and revealing.
When it comes holiday films, everyone has their favorites to watch every December. Some of mine are "Home Alone" and "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas" among others.
But with every Yuletide feel-good movies, there are duds that would even have the grinch guffawing in a 'smh' sort of way. And the "Holiday Dud Of The Season" belongs to the silly "Jingle All The Way" muhaha.
In essence, casting somebody such as Arnold in a comedy such as this where he has to wear a toy costume is laughable 'all the way'. Everyone knows Arnold as The Terminator, but as Turbo Man? muhahahahah. It's just as inane as watching 'Rambo' trying to sing country music, ..or just trying to sing at all.
It's hilarious watching Arnold trying to act comedically as an obsessed father competing with a hefty mail guy to get a rare Turbo Man doll for his son's Christmas present. All the foibles and slapstick humor are not as funny as his acting in this. I still get my jollies on at watching this whenever it's on.
If anything, I guess the lesson to be learned is to never forget to buy your kids their favorite toy early. That, and giving Arnold some advice to only stick with action movies muhaha.
Holiday Quote of the Day:   "...last year I got a sweater with a big bird knitted on it. *oh, that's nice*. Not if you're in the second grade, you can get beaten up for wearing something like that. I had a friend who got nailed because there was a rumor that he was wearing dinosaur pajamas" -Home Alone
I heard about the K-Town Cowboys film earlier in the year, but was curious if that would ever get finished. I've seen the web series on Youtube, and the film should be worth watching. Lo and behold, they have finished it and it'll be ready for next year. The teaser trailer:
Apparently, F7: Furious 7 is going to arrive next year in April. I'm not sure if I'll watch it if at all. If I do, this'll be it for me as far as the series goes for sure.
It seems that there is a theatrical release for the K-Town film that I've been anticipating for, and it'll be in Spring 2016. Here is the trailer below, as is in the multimedia section. Old Faces, New Places!
Spring 2016. K-Town Cowboys Trailer
10/22/2015: "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" (2015) **1/2
While I didn't think that this was as enjoyable as the first, it was still energetic and fun. A fun popcorn movie so to speak, which there hasn't been in awhile. But then again, I haven't been really watching any films recently since there is youtube and other platforms to watch other videos on. Anyway, "The Scorch Trials" is the second in what appears to be a trilogy.
In this one, the group escapes from certain nefarious plans. Although they are hunted down by the corporation, they meet with survivors who have escaped or survived other mazes with the realization of what was really going on. Ki Hong's character was captured at the end unfortunately, and not sure whether he'll survive that ordeal. Well, who knew that he could survive a nasty lightning strike earlier in the film. There does seem to be a few implausible scenarios and situations, but I doubt that it's something that is meant to think about when watching a movie like this.
This sets up the third and probably the final film in this series, and it seems as if the survivors are on a mission to take down the nefarious organization before any more harm is done.
7/30/2015: "The Maze Runner" (2014) ***
With the sequel arriving in a few months, I thought I'd review this after watching in its entirety awhile ago. The story is about a group of adolescents who have been living within the confines of a giant mechanical maze, controlled by a corporation unknown to them with hidden agendas. As the film progresses, the reasons become apparent as the audience is introduced to the character of Thomas; who appeared to hold the answers to the whole situation. In the end, the survivors that made it out of the maze are transported to another testing ground.
Overall, it was an energetic and fun film to watch. Of course, the story called for an adolescent cast perhaps most in their teens or 20's. Sort of like a futuristic Lord Of The Flies. But it was a breathe of fresh air from the everyday film scene however, with a youthful and diverse cast (I can imagine inexperienced too as they are very young in age). I have to give a nod to Ki Hong Lee who played one of the maze runners and experts (he seemed to be at ease without overacting). Not sure if his character is going to survive the sequel or one after that, but it's time to find out when "The Scorch Trials" opens.
06/05/2015: WF Productions Presents...
"Everything Before Us" is a new film from a Youtube channel called Wong Fu Productions, who are well-known for their skits and other collaborations. They've been around for awhile, but I only recently found them a year ago before subscribing. Of course, I don't watch everything but just material I find interesting. When I found out that the story for their film revolved around relationships and romance, I wasn't really interested as opposed to a thriller or drama as far as genre is concerned initally. Nonetheless, it's a film I would definitely watch in order to support the Asian-American scene for sure.
Right now, it is available on Vimeo but I don't have an account for that yet. Vimeo is a platform I'd consider uploading my video recordings anyway so might as well. Anyway, here are URL's:
Everything Before Us - Final Trailer
Everything Before Us on Vimeo
Aside from waiting to watch the K-Town film if it's available to rent or download at some point, I said that I'd consider watching F7 when it's available. And perhaps even an obscure feature called The Maze Runner; which was released quite awhile ago but never heard about. I'll probably review them.
03/28/2015: Year Of Sequels...
I plan to watch the K-Town flick when it's hopefully on Amazon or Netflix, perhaps even J-Chon's new flick "Man Up" when they are available or released. In the meantime, I'm sure there are others of interest but right now it's still a search.
But this years seems to be the year of sequels and potential blockbusters, and perhaps some of them are worth going to the theater again (which I haven't in years and years). "Jurassic World"- who would have thought that the Jurassic Park series would have another sequel. This time, the story revolves around a completed park where humans and dinosaurs seemingly coexist. Of course, expect things to go awry as usual. "Terminator: Genisys"- I first thought, you got to be kidding me. After the lackluster effort of the previous sequel, I had no interest in watching another installment. But the plot of an alternate timeline could be of interest to some. And how old is Ah-nold now? heh. Another Mission: Impossible? It's ok, I didn't really follow the series to begin with.
Other movies I've watched recently: How To Train Your Dragon 2, and the final Hobbit. No plans on reviewing them.
The world of comedy as well as the film industry lost Robin Williams, a recognizable figure who has made audiences laugh either on screen or on the stage. If he wasn't remotely likeable even just one bit, either in character or in persona, I wouldn't be mentioning this here or anywhere. But I have enjoyed watching him in his older films, in particular when it comes to the dramatic roles; whether it's a teacher ("carpe diem"), a therapist or a photo lab employee. He had a knack for impersonation and improvisation, which made his comedic prowess well known. Other than that, I don't know much else about Robin. As far as his suicide is concerned, I have absolutely no idea what he's been going through. But it shouldn't have come to that.
It's been awhile since I last updated this web page, not sure if I'll do a review this year since there hasn't been anything worth watching yet. I did rent "The Motel" on Amazon a month or so ago, but I don't plan on a review since that film was made years ago. Other than that, I'll just have to continue to wait until there is something to review.
12/17/13: F6: Fast And Furious 6 ***
There's a new kind of tornado in town, as F6 takes the action up a notch with more intensity and fury going global. The FF crew agree to help take down a team of international criminals across borders. All the while, going after a former member who has now been working in cahoots with the villains. It certainly would take some serious car action as well as balls to take down both a tank and what seems to be a cargo plane at the end. And now, let's get back to reality.
With the untimely passing of one of the Fast & The Furious originals, I've heard good things about Paul Walker from all the outpouring. Ok well, maybe not his films earlier in his career but at least in terms of charitable work and such. Although I had planned to watch F6 before this happened, I guess it made it even more special to do so now. With that said, here's a nice tribute that's out there for all the "Fast & The Furious" fans out there:
10/27/13: The Conjuring ***
Interestingly enough, this actually was based on a case study by the Warrens; paranormal investigators back in the '70s who also investigated the infamous "Amityville Horror" and before that, the Raggedy Ann doll which was said to be possessed. In between, there was a case not really known to the public at all. I sure didn't know about them, or the fact that they investigated "The Amityville Horror". But after watching the movie, doing a bit of research on the Warrens shed light on some these things. As a fan of paranormal occurrences and real hauntings, this was something interesting.
Based on 'true' events, the Perron family moves into an estate in a rural community and become fodder for increasingly intense paranormal occurrences ultimately ending up in a possession. Apparently, they moved into a land where there were multiple suicides and deaths; including somebody who supposedly practiced witchcraft way back when and is the source for the possession. As far as how much of this is true, you'd have to do a bit of research and watch/read any documentaries or articles on the Perron hauntings yourself. All I know is that the film did ratch it up a notch with stuff that probably didn't happen, and intensified certain elements. What's interesting is that although the Lutzes fled the Amityville Horror house after only a few weeks, the Perrons continued to stay at their estate for awhile. Perhaps Amityville needed a good exorcism at that time muhaha.
Overall, it was intriguing to say the least. I probably would have made the house look more like the actual house, although what's so scary about a one-floor haunted location? These days, all you need is an attic and a basement/cellar with creaky stairs, and it'll be ripe for the paranormal muhaha. Nevertheless, it was well-done in terms of a stylized pace that's sure to bring intrigue and scares to the faint-hearted.
09/23/13: "Linsanity" ****
I can now cement this as part of my "Top 10" muhaha. It's a 4-Star (4 out of 4) documentary that chronicles the Jeremy Lin story from when he was a kid to the height of what is now known as "Linsanity". We all know the exceptional talent and the bona fide NBA player that is Jeremy Lin, but what a lot don't know are the obstacles that Jeremy had to endure and overcome to get to where he is. You just have to watch it for yourself. It's a well-documented and a well-produced film that is both inspiring and nostalgic, so much so that I plan to purchase this digitally.
Jeremy Lin's faith and devotion to God has allowed him to thrive in the face of adversity and negative opposition. They are inconsequential and insignificant when it comes to the grand scheme of things. I'm sure Jeremy doesn't want nor expect sympathy of what he went through because of his race. And neither should any of us who has faced such predicaments in the past. Don't let obstacles get in the way of your plans or ambitions. And that's one lesson we should all learn.
09/04/13: "Sunset Stories" **1/2
Sung Kang. He co-starred in "Better Luck Tomorrow", became part of the "Fast & The Furious" crew, and even co-starred with Mr. Rambo himself. That's a pretty decent resume right there, but I think "Sunset Stories" takes it up a notch.
Although I'm ambivalent or not too enamored with the plot point about a chance encounter between two exes, I did find losing a medical cooler to be comical. But what I did get out of it, and certainly a message that transcends any plot point; that things happen for a reason. Perhaps things happened as they were supposed to and as a result, they just weren't meant to be. The concept might seem simplistic and hackneyed or overused, but it is certainly a concept that's not readily accepted. But in this wacky universe or reality of ours, anything is indeed possible. Including the fact that some things are just the way they are because they are.
My central credo however, is that we are masters of our own fates and destinies. But some things are indeed beyond our control. Did this film have a happy ending? Sure it did, and it seemed that it worked out well for both parties in terms of going in different paths from where they were, with different destinies. Perhaps certain revelations could not have been realized without having to meet again.
08/03/13: "Rock Jocks" **
Or, the jocks that actually rock muhaha. You take a bunch of slackers and put them in charge of planet security against asteroid collisions, this is what you get. All except perhaps K-Jumba, who seems to usually play the role of the nerdy pussy; which I think is why it'll be a breathe of fresh air when we see him with a mullet in the new feature. This had laughs and chuckles, and re-defines vulgarity as the new cool muhaha. Vulgar humor is not for everyone, but if you can stomache it and tolerate the low budget graphics and set design, then grab a beer and some pizza, slouch and prepare for some asteroid-busting hilarities muhaha.
06/15/13: "Surrogate Valentine / Daylight Savings" ***
The conclusion of "Daylight Savings" has "unfinished business" written all over it, and whether there will be a third film to complete this trilogy remains in question. I'm certainly crossing my fingers on it. Goh Nakamura has taken his talents from the music scene to the film scene, and the results are two films that tell a fictionalized but unique story with his music as the backdrop. Goh doesn't need to pretend that he's an experienced actor. He just needs to be himself, and the down-to-earth quality is usually what characterizes the independent scene somewhat.
Goh certainly has a knack not only with an acoustic guitar, but writing lyrics as well. I haven't heard any lyrics that are more poetic or moving, other than a few of D-Choi's own songs. I suppose there are some truths to what he said to the effect of, "there are more things to write about when you aren't in a lasting or happy relationship, so what's the point of being in one as a guitarist/songwriter....I guess I'm better off not to". I personally wouldn't know, since classical piano is a whole different genre which usually doesn't really apply to that. But it's an interesting observation, because there is a cynical albeit a humorous sense of irony to it. Anyway, all I could say about the conclusion of "Daylight Savings". Will this be the beginning of a new relationship, and will his character go back to performing on tour again anytime soon? It's only a matter of time whether or not they decide to just leave it at that and go in a different direction, or to satisfy fans with a more concrete, unambiguous finale.
06/09/13: "Hang Loose" ***
First of all, good work to the film crew and cast. I laughed my fuckin' ass off, which means it worked. Why else would there be a scene where they had their characters get their balls lighted by fireworks? The running word of the day for that film.....balls muhaha. I bet one can count how often "balls" is mentioned as opposed to other words like say....fuck muhaha. KevJumba is just one of quite a few internet celebrities out there. Transitioning from the net to film must not be easy, and he said it himself that he was nervous. But although he's a natural when it comes to videos, I guess filming is a different story altogether. Oh man, I thought I recognized Ru-f-ee-o. However you spell that and no, it's not Rufus muhaha.
It's the story of a quiet, nervous guy who after a breakup, goes to Hawaii where his best pal is getting hitched. They get into misadventures while evading Justin Chon and his two Hawaiian bodyguards who don't know what 'extortion' means. The moral of the story? I guess don't let your balls be anywhere near fireworks muhaha.
06/03/13: "Beerfest" **1/2
No, this wasn't one of the films that I bought. But holy 'shnitzel', 'farfenugen' or whatever muhahaha, it's time to get drunk and laugh yer fuckin' ass off muhaha. I think this was released back in '06. Back in the day, I couldn't hold alcohol for crap. But now I could chug a mug like nuthin', and my brothers could attest to that. For some, I guess they'd be better off chugging some jugs as well muhaha. Speaking of raunchy funnies, the first 'Harold & Kumar' was the top of them all. And that I did buy.
One of the funniest scenes involved that "Phat Girlz" lady, beating the crap out of the fat dude that drowned in beer as he unsuccessfully attempted to drink his way out of it. Get yer "Das Boot" on, and get ready for a laugh riot on the couch!
05/17/13: "ParaNorman" ***
Until I get to see "Fast 6" either through digital download or the theater, there really isn't anything else. At least I'll go ahead and parlay my thoughts for two recent films that I've seen for now. Because the fact of the matter is, there just hasn't been any decent films in recent years, with the quality going downhill year after year.
I'll start off with "ParaNorman", a stop-motion animation feature that I believe is similar to "Coraline", or from the same animators. I enjoyed the artistry and the story of that film, so I thought this would be worth watching. It is the story of a young kid who could see and talk to ghosts, which makes him a victim for bullies. With the aid of a few, he has to end a witch's curse that has plagued the town for years. The film was fun enough, and the stop-motion animation made it worthwhile. However, the film was much too short and the story could've used a few more plot twists other than revealing that the zombies were actually victims of a witches curse. Other than, pretty fun muhaha.
The Rum Diary**1/2
Not that I condone substance abuse, but "Fear & Loathing" was a film that was both unusual and unique in presentation; as well as funny in a way. But then again, Hunter S. Thompson could've been a unique individual with what they used to call, Gonzo Journalism. Anyway, "The Rum Diary" was another adaptation based on a story that I read at a bookstore. I vaguely remember what it was about, other than that the protagonist takes a job working for a newspaper in Puerto Rico, and gets in all kinds of alcohol/substance abuse trouble while there. I'm not sure how well it stayed true to the story, but it was decent. However, didn't enjoy it as nearly as much as the other. Perhaps there just wasn't that much to work with in terms of story.
10/29/12: "Monster House" ***
This was released back in '06, but it's certainly ripe for review when it comes to Halloween flicks. Last year it was the oddball "Halloween III", this year it's "Monster House".
"Monster House" revolves around a neighborhood house that looks like the typical old, creeky house that looks haunted. Except it's more than that. The proprietor is an old codger who doesn't take trespassers well as well as any toys or belongings. Apparently, the house itself is a living entity possessed by the soul of the old man's deceased fat spouse muhaha. There's a flashback where we get to see how they met and when the house was built, and in turn the fat chicks' apparent rage at heckling neighborhood kids. There's this whole shebazz about how the fat chick and the house merged, but in the end that anger manifested itself in one creepy and angry "Monster House". And nah, the house wasn't fat muhaha. In the end, the old man and three neightborhood kids decide to destroy the house once in for awhile before reeking further havoc.
The bottom line is this. The house was convincingly created through computer animation to look and feel terrifying, and the story was well-paced to be on the edge of your seat. I'd say the house seemed to be like a combination of the "Amityville Horror" and "1408", where the Amityville house looked horrifying and the room in "1408" was actually alive with evil or possessed. I guess who knew that a CGI-created film could be as effectively creepy, but "Monster House" works in that respect. If there's a movie for Halloween to be seen that hasn't been seen, this is recommended for sure.
3/26/12- Harold And Kumar 3 ***
The latest Harold & Kumar adventure finds the duo several years grown apart, as both Harold & Kumar have new friends and new lives. Harold has drifted away from the weed lifestyle and settled down with his lovely wife with a new home. Meanwhile, the same old Kumar continues his weed ways, getting kicked from medical school and alienating his GF. The story takes place during the holidays obviously, when a mysterious package addressed to Harold (which turns out to be a joint as a gift from Santa) is mistakenly sent to Kumar but then is brought to Harold's home. Apparently, santa smokes weed too muhaha.
The film clocks in at a meager 1:25 minutes, which is pretty quick. That's really my only gripe, but I guess they didn't want to overkill the movie with redundant gags or explicit/gratuitous material. Still, it wouldn't be a Harold & Kumar flick without that raunchy humor and all. I thought the claymation sequence was pretty hilarious, and the Waffle-Bot was interesting; in the sense that I'll probably find myself eating waffles as did the first Harold & Kumar got me eating White Castle burgers muhaha. The NPH scenes could've been more raunchy other than that heaven sequence, but there's always an opportunity for the next sequel if there is one. One of the sub-plotlines has Harold dealing with his in-laws, especially the father-in-law who looked familiar. But in the end, it was all about standing up for yourself when it came to confrontations. Similar themes that ran prevalent to the first. A nice throwback when they eat a meal at White Castle. Yep, it always hits the spot muhaha. I suppose it depends on how many sliders you eat muhaha.
Overall, I found myself laughing throughout for the most part. I don't think they pushed things too far since it's atypical humor that's supposed to be raunchy; in particular with that creepy kid. That's what makes the series unique though. Will there be a fourth? Or another trilogy? Perhaps something to do with visiting the in-laws, as was hinted at the end. The possibilities and the creativity could be endless, but there has to be a more satisfactory ending to the series than a quickie like this.
1/29/12- Fast Five ***
I finally got a chance to see this while on a flight back home, downloading an on-line rental to the ipod. It was fun for the most part. One of those worthwhile popcorn flicks that actually lives up to the hype. I was never really much of a fan of the 'The Fast & The Furious' series, but I was compelled to watch this last one; which I heard re-united the main players from the previous sequels. When it comes to adrenaline-filled action flicks, this is up there. The series is known for its fast, hi-octane cars with super-charged engines, and I'm sure car enthusiasts would get a kick out of these films if not for the action or racing sequences.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker team up to pull one last job, basically to steal drug money from some powerful drug lord down in Brazil. To pull off this heist, they'd need to complement themselves with a full team of cohorts. And cars. Fast cars. I haven't seen the other sequels in their entirety, although I've seen bits of #1 and #2. The 'Fast Five' plan out, and then take out an impenetrable vault using their vehicles and evading security/police. On the hunt is the new character played by 'The Rock'. Of course, I'm sure we've all anticipated 'The Rock' eventually confronting and fist-fighting Vin Diesel, who is pretty big himself.
For Sung Kang fans, he returns as well but with not much dialogue to boost unfortunately. He does have a minor smooch scene at the end when the team disbands with their cars, money and chicks muhaha. Will there be a sixth? Could be, as a small teaser after the credits hints at another character from the series pulling off something in another country. Perhaps those scenes were deleted in the original version, but nevertheless, Fast & The Furious fans better brace themselves.