Top Favorites **** :   1. 2001: A Space Odyssey 2. The Shawshank Redemption 3. Jaws 4. Psycho ('60) 5. Amadeus 6. Better Luck Tomorrow 7. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings 8. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle 9. Everything Everywhere All At Once 10. Searching 11. Justin Chon's Blue Bayou 12. Always Be My Maybe (2019 - A.Wong / R.Park dir. N.Khan) 13. Ping Pong Playa
Other Favorites ***:   Don't Make Me Go, Love Hard (w/ Jimmy O. Yang), Ghost / Grotesque Mansion (K-Movie 2021), Fast 9, Wish Dragon, Tran Quoc Bao's The Paper Tigers, Stowaway, Evan Jackson Leong's "Snakehead", Lee Isaac Chung's "Minari", Tigertail, Over The Moon, WF Productions' Everything Before Us, Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite", Evan Jackson Leong's Linsanity (The Documentary), Mayhem, Lee Chang Dong's "Burning", Justin Chon's 'Gook', 'Ms. Purple', Surrogate Valentine, Daylight Savings, Hang Loose, K-Town Cowboys, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Finishing The Game, Jet Li's Fearless, The Year Of The Yao, To Be Takei, Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (The Original Anime), Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories, Katsuhiro Otomo's Metropolis, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki's Nausicaa in the Valley Of The Wind, Pixar's Up, Toy Story, Office Space, Beavis & Butt-Head Do America, Idiocracy, The Ringer, Jackass 3, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Shine, The Goonies, The Karate Kid ('84) / Part II ('86), Forrest Gump, Dead Poet's Society, Rocky, One Hour Photo, Poltergeist ('82), John Carpenter's The Thing, John Carpenter's Halloween, Saw, 1408, Pet Sematary ('89), The Amityville Horror ('79), Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek, Star Trek Beyond, Back To The Future Trilogy, The Breakfast Club, First Blood, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Cool Runnings, Field Of Dreams, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The School Of Rock, The Hustler, The Color Of Money, Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Rain Man, Fast Five, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, 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, Escape From Alcatraz, Fast Times, Die Hard, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Ghostbusters ('84), Monster House, Spaceballs, Employee Of The Month, The Usual Suspects, Wreck-It Ralph

05/16/2024: On The Topic Of A.I.
It is becoming a relevant topic in reality, and is also being used as material for Youtubers / content creators as well as in film. The latest - "Atlas". Simu Liu plays an A.I. with a mission to exterminate humanity. You can say, the new Terminator. Once I watch this, a review should be forthcoming. The message of distrusting technology or machines, is something anyone can relate. Would you step into an automated or self-driven car or taxi? Hell no. There is a thing called "malfunction" and it can happen to any piece of technology. At the same time, we use technology to our advantage.

The most prominent films in the past about A.I. - the classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" and of course, "The Terminator". Of course, you have the benevolent or humane A.I. such as Justin H. Min in "After Yang".

Simu Liu has been in movie after movie after movie, etc. Simu is most likely the most successful Asian out there right now. I couldn't be happier for his success. I just found about "Arthur The King". A lot of his films are not self-promoted however, so I might never hear of them.

04/06/2024: Bad Grandpa Says, "Make It Special, Again" With "Sweet Dreams" haha
Here's the trailer. If you haven't seen Bobby Lee in a movie (not since the Harold & Kumar trilogy), then here's the new film trailer for "Sweet Dreams". I'm already hearing Bizet's Carmen music throughout the trailer already haha. And that's the 'Action Point':

04/03/2024: "Barbie" and "Fast X"
I'm late to the party watching these, as they were last year's films. However - found time to watch them. "Barbie" was an atypical toy movie. You'd think it would be an adventure / action film with Barbie toy characters coming to life. It was more than that. It had messages, it was about identity. It was finding out the differences of being human and being a toy. It was a musical dramedy. I'm not surprised it was a global hit. How do you act like a toy. It is not easy (kind of stiff or wooden), thus it would not have been taken seriously I'd reckon. In the end - everyone's a Barbie. Everyone's a Ken. The world has changed. And it is still changing / evolving. As long as you are not stuck in the old, prejudiced ways of thinking.

"Fast X" was a cartoonish film that felt more like an MCU film than a typical "Fast & Furious" action movie. Sure - the series has changed into something unrealistic or unbelievably silly, popcorn-eating type movie (while I enjoyed F9, I felt going into space was too much). Was there any saving grace to this. If anything - it did have a lot of car action. Car racing action. However, driving down a near-vertical dam (the laws of physics don't seem to apply), and lifting a car with one arm just screamed a cartoonish MCU film (Shang-Chi 2 should save the genre back to respectability). Perhaps this is the new style to end the series. I think the intention was to go overboard, as long as audiences are still captivated by the characters and their interactions. Now that most have seen it - the ending seemed dire. Everyone appeared dead - with the dam about to explode. FX Part II, whenever that is.

"Barbie" gets 3 stars. "Fast X" just 2.

New filmmaker sensation could just be Sean Wang. I just found about this youngster pertaining to Sundance and Oscar news. I need to find out more about "Nai Nai and Wai Po" - the recently Oscar-nominated short doc. I think I briefly heard about "Didi", and I need to find out more about it however. Sean Wang is so young, I could be his grandpa literally. He's younger than Sungwon Cho.

While Asian films turning heads and even winning at Sundance certainly elevates them, there are still tons of gems at AA film festivals. AAIFF46 2023 film trailers - a lot of interesting films. My selections: "The Stranger", "The Absence of Memory" and "Starring Jerry As Himself". I need to find more Asian-American film festivals or sites - any that uploads regularly or on a situational basis.

Hoping for AAIFF47 at some point this year.

02/05/2024: Get Yer "Yolo" On
In the past two years, the only film that I really looked forward to watching was "Everything Everywhere All At Once". And now - the "Yolo" trailer might be the next "Film Of The Year". I might not be as heavy or hefty as the central character trying to "Get-In Shape", but I certainly can identify with slouching, gaming and eating hahaha:

I am looking forward to hearing more about the new project with Randall Park and Jordan Peele. Both are known for comedy, but I believe they are capable of dramas as well.

Randall Park made his directorial debut in "Shortcomings", and Jordan Peele has been directing since "Key & Peele" ended years ago (wish there was a reunion of some sort). In the meantime, Peele's latest film "Nope" is his most recent I believe. Steven Yeun had a guest role in it.

01/10/2024: Daniel Dae To Broadway
Daniel Dae Kim can be seen in the upcoming "Avatar: The Last Airbender", and the upcoming production of "Butterfly" (which might take awhile, since casting hasn't been finalized / nor a script probably). Still - since most of the worthwhile stuff to watch are not films, I'll update this page for any meaningful projects that might be film-quality or film-like.

I heard Daniel Dae Kim is returning to Broadway in David Henry Hwang's (a playwright) play called "Yellow Face", a social commentary about white-washing (in particular, DHH's observation about the white-washing of the "Miss Saigon" play back in the day). How pitiful. DDK is no stranger to plays - he can be seen in "The King & I". Not sure when that was, but I heard rave reviews.

12/22/2023: The Year In Review
It has been a lackluster year for films, nothing really noteworthy. "Barbie" is probably the biggest thing so far, next to "Fast X" (I even forgot when that came out - I think during early summer). I heard "Barbie" was a global success - I have yet to see it. The identity crisis of "Who Is A Ken", appears to be one of the central plot points (as well as other storylines or drama), interweaved in the Barbie fantasy / toy world. Not to mention the Ryan / Simu real-life conflict or drama, which Simu seems to deny vehemently. Also - Ryan's newfound "Ego" that resulted. haha.

My attention was more toward Asian-American films. "Shortcomings" is still on the must-see list, as well as Dustin Nguyen's "The Accidental Getaway Driver" (if that is ever available on VOD).

With all the strikes going on for the later part of the year, I completely forgot about movies (What was a 'movie' again? What does that word mean again?). Whatever - onto next year. I'm sure at least the Asian-American ones I'll eventually remember.

09/21/2023: A Whole Lotta "Shakin'" Goin' On With Sung Kang's "Shaky Shivers"
Check out "Shaky Shivers" when it releases in theaters for one day only. If you enjoy / believe in practical effects (and campy horror / comedy back in the '80s), this might be the film for you.

Film festivals can showcase certain gems, and this appears to be one of them. Kudos for Sung Kang for his directorial debut. I'm looking forward to his next directing project pertaining his family upbringing.

09/16/2023: Ken Jeong's "A Great Divide"
I'm intrigued about this. The subject matter however, is about Anti-Asian hate, and is quite sensitive or can have adverse effects if you don't watch it with a level head. It's the same thing with Steven Yeun's "Beef". The subject matter and how it's presented in the show, would probably have adverse effects on how I think, so I opted not to watch it. There are Dashcam Lessons clips to watch for any lessons in what not to do.

Still - "A Great Divide" appears to have a 'great' story and most likely great acting / directing. I think I'll still add "A Great Divide" to my must-watch list eventually, even though there might be some misgivings. If not for the story, and is about the Asian-American experience.

08/01/2023: "Play"time No More: A Homage

I grew up watching Pee-Wee's Playhouse as a child. Pee Wee's Big Adventure was a cult classic - every scene quotable, repeatable and hilarious. You can't think of Paul Reubens without thinking of Pee-Wee Herman. Of course - he's been in countless other films as cameos or support actor. But the iconic character of Pee Wee Herman is etched or ingrained forever.

By now - the news is out that Paul kept his cancer hidden for many years. Did he even hide it from doctors, or even refused to get treatment. That's what makes it tragic. In this day and age, 70 is not that old anymore. Hell - some are living way past 90 now. Like or hate the actor (never mind his sketchy past - besides, even Bobby Lee did it haha). I don't think anyone discount the influence of Pee Wee Herman - the child-like magic is in all of us whether we want to admit it or not.

"Things You Can't Understand." "Things You'll Never Understand." *long pause* "Things You Shouldn't Understand" - Mike's Bike-O-Rama


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