Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Over My Dead Body Official Trailer with English Subtitles

Over My Dead Body (2012):LA Asian Film Festival

 Ahh it's been too long of a gap between the last post. I duly apologize but finals ultimately too precedence. It is over and now I am free.

Even though the film festival is long over, I still wanted to blog the final movie I saw during the festival. I forgot to mention this at the last post, both "Nice Girls Crew" and this movie were screened at the fabulous CGV theaters. It's a theater nestled in koreatown in LA. The theaters are absolutely beautiful and shiny. Plus the parking is free, sweet. The have american movies with korean subtitles and korean movies with english subtitles, so hoorah for me. The seats are soooo comfy. There are two-seaters up at the top that just make you feel like royalty. If you do visit, try the coffee ice cream. It is divine!!

I watched this movie right after "Nice Girls Crew", so I was pretty tired. I also came in disappointed because this movie replaced a k-pop movie. Dammit, I'm so glad they replaced it. It was a great surprise.

This movie is essentially a game of tag. A rich, corrupted man attempts to smuggle a valuable microchip out of the country. He pretends to be ill so he could go to the US where the investors are waiting. Meanwhile, the workers are  threatened to lose their jobs if the microchip is gone, so they stage a huge protest as the rich man is led off to the hospital. Two of the workers chase down the ambulance and ultimately prove in a big way that the rich man is not ill at all. One of the coworkers is gravely injured by the rich mens henchmen. Meanwhile, In an attempt to keep the scheme going, the vice president KILLS the rich man and plans to grab the microchip from the body afterwards. During this time, the injured coworker's daughter and the other coworker (sorry they have korean names and I just cannot remember) hitch their own plan to steal the rich mans body and hold it for ransom. While their at the lab, they are interrupted by two clown debt collectors. During a scuffle, the lab man had switched the placards to the one where his friend is hiding (the one who owes the debt), so the daughter and the coworker had taken the wrong body. And then the vice president tries to come and take the body. But the body is gone because the lab guy took it!!Ahhh!!! The chase for the body begins!

Damn this is hard to write about!!! Not only is hard to keep track of all the korean names, the plot just kept getting more and more intricate. Instead of losing it completely, the plot was so wonderfully woven that there was no loose end, no plot hole. I'm not kidding. From growing up in a town where plot holes seem to be a requirement, this was absolutely phenomenal. I had a great time just trying i guess who had the body and how the hell the main characters were going to get out the mess.

There were many characters trying to steal this body but the three main ones are the injured coworkers daughter (the one with the pink hair), the coworker friend, and the lab guy's friend. The pink haired girl really reminded me of Lisbeth Salander in terms of aloofness but that changed when she crashes the SUV and just smokes her nerves away. That was the glimpse of vulnerability and  bravery. She turns out to be reasonable and resourcfullness. The coworkers friend is a great combo of smart and sheer bad-ass-sery. He nerds out the plan with his photgraphic memory so he should be just delegated as the nerdy character. Oh no, he is the bad-ass action guy. He's leaning out of movie cars, jumping all over the place, and punches everyone. The lab guys friend is goofball but he's a pretty slick and clever slimeball.

I am barely doing this movie any bit of justice. This was such a great bit of a movie. It was fun, thrilling, and had a  great ending. I did not see the ending coming at all. Although I never the ending coming anyhoo. If your able to catch this movie, then do so. It's definitely full of action, fun, and comedy.

So concludes my own adventures at this years LA Asian Film Festival. I would have loved to catch more movies but what I did see, I am completely satisfied and inspired in the asian filmmaking community. Maybe, I will get to showcase my own work at the festival. Who knows....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nice Girls Crew Trailer!

Nice Girls Crew (2012): LA Asian Film Festival

So this is a weird blog. I barely knew anything going in before I went in.  I almost bypassed it until I saw ....

 "As Asian American media moves to greater prominence in the online space, web series are becoming the norm thanks to the likes of Wong Fu Productions, NigaHiga and KevJumba. However, like most filmed entertainment, female-centric stories driven by women content creators are still a rarity. This is antipodal to a recent Nielsen report on social media that shows the largest demographic of the most active social networkers are Asian American women between the ages of 18-34 years of age. Filling this void are transmedia tastemakers like Felicia Day (THE GUILD), online make-up guru Michelle Phan, and Aussie Natalie Tran (Community Channel), but they're outnumbered by the dominant man-child machismo that infests the current internet entertainment landscape. Into this void comes Christine Kwon, Festival Managing Director of the Center For Asian American Media (CAAM) and longtime Film Festival darling Tanuj Chopra (PUNCHING AT THE SUN, Festival 2006), who team up for the original web series, NICE GIRLS CREW!"

........a mention of Felica Day! Well I am a huge fan of Felicia Day so I had to attend.

     "Nice Girls Crew" is composed of Geraldine, Sophie, and Leeta. As the intro simply explains, they have been friends since second grade and have reunited for a book club. Well, hell yeah...I love book clubs! I'm part of....three at the moment I think...

     The series was damn FUNNY.  Each episode starts off with a book that the girls decide upon. And it just goes off the complete tangent curve from there. For the first episode, the club begins with the third book of Harry Potter, chosen by Geraldine. Geraldine had decided that this was the best book in the series ( I agree) and there is no sense in reading the others. Ultimately denying the others a chance to discover it on their own. And the bickering flies off! It's just hilarious how the episodes have the thinnest connection to the book chosen.

The comedy in the episodes are based entirely off the wonderful acting and physical comedy timing of the actresses. These women were absolutely phenomenal. The personalities of the characters were solid. Geraldine was the fun, out-there drinker. Leeta is the bad-ass edgy chick.Sophie is my absolute favorite as the bubbly and air-headed member. The physical comedy was stellar.

As an awesome experience,  there was a Q and A with the cast, director, and producer. The Q and A was emceed by the man behind angryasian.com. The embarrassing part is that all three actresses were sitting near me during the whole screening. I really hope they enjoyed my laughing and snorting...

From what I gleaned from the Q and A:
* the director, Tanuj Copra, is hilarious
* there was alot of improvisations
* The women have known each other before, but this is the first time they've been given a chance to do physical comedy
*Copra did the series on the condition that the three women would be given the roles
* There was an intention to add more female presence on the web (that was my question!!!)

Currently, the videos are not  on the web yet. The first five episodes are combined together and being shown around the film festival circuit.  I definitely encourage everyone to catch these at a nearby festival and to support this to become a webseries. It's a an absolute treasure!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

SHANGHAI CALLING - Official Trailer

Shanghai Calling (2012): LA Asian Film Festival

This movie is absolutely AMAZING!!!

I can definitely understand why this movie was chosen to open the LA Asian Film Festival. I managed to attend the second sold out screening of this movie. I had to stand on my worn out feet for about 40 minutes in the rush line but I did it! And damn am I glad that I did!

"Shanghai Calling" starts off with the success of Sam (played by the scrumptious Daniel Henney), a New York attorney on the brink of being named partner of his prestigious firm. Flushed with success of winning a major case, he believes that he will be named, until the partner firm drops a doozie: they will be sending him to China, to lead their firm. Why? Sam is not only a very successful attorney but he is Chinese. Not to let an opportunity slip by, he takes it even though he speaks no lick of chinese. None. Doesn't even know how to drink tea.
With the help of a pretty relocation specialist (played by Eliza Coupe), a fantastic assistant (played by Zhu Zhu), an ex-pat Mayor of Americatown (played by Bill Paxton), and a quirky english teacher (played by Sean Gallagher), Sam discovers not only his own identity but his own principle.

Where can I begin to explain how awesome this movie was? It has been a long time since I've seen a decent rom-com. This movie is so much than a rom-com. It has a great story, great characters, and stunningly beautiful scenery. 

What really gives the movie a depth are definitely the characters. Zhu Zhu was stunning as the assistant. She was phenomenal and her hair is amazing. Seriously, I wish my hair could stay like that. I absolutely adored the comedy antics of the love interest of Zhu Zhu. There were so many cute scenes of the poor IT guy trying to capture the attention of Zhu Zhu. He even brought epinadas to her family house to impress them.

I have no shame in admitting that I have developed a major crush on Gang Le and Daniel Henney. Geng Le played Awesome Wang, an amazing journalist who is able to snoop out any details on anyone. He was so damn adorable in his quiet confidence and intelligence. I am absolutely serious! I adored him.

Oh...and...oh Daniel Henney. Oh my gosh DANIEL HENNEY. He is unbelievably, mockingly HOT. He is tall, asian, built, and has a deep voice. And he's funny...omigosh he is so funny! There is this adorable scene where he's bouncing on the edge of the bed with a goofy grin on his face. Just so. damn. adorable. And there is this beautiful (thank you director!) glimpse of his hiney. Oh beautiful...

There I have now stopped drooling and calmed down.

This movie will definitely speak to the young mixed races growing up this country. Especially the asian americans who do not speak their own cultural languages. Many of us have grown up without knowing the guidelines and rules of our other culture.How many of us have been embarrassed on making a cultural snafu? Oh look at the sea of hands.

Not only is Sam HOT (wiping mouth now), his character arc is great. He starts off as this bloated head of a prick and ends up centered. The journey to get to that point was fun and clever. I seriously thought I figured out who the villain would be. I was wrong. Pleasantly wrong.

There are very few movies where I can completely forget where I was, what I was doing before, or what I doing tomorrow. I just simply enjoyed and loved being in the moment. I have not felt that for a very long time.

On a random note, I thought the intro to the film reminded me of the promo of "10th Kingdom" with the upside down view of China and New York.

Love this movie. If your able to catch it at a film festival do so. Watch it. And watch for that hiney.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Special Edition: LA Asian Film Festival

Today kicks off the first day of the LA Asian Film Festival. The opening welcomes the premier of "Shanghai Calling" at the Directors Guild of America.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at the LA Film festival for the past five years. It started with an outing between two other friends. We wandered into the festival on opening night thinking that we could watch the movie on general admission. We quickly found out that the opening night tickets actually went for thirty dollars (that explained all the fancy dressed people...). Our energy deflated, we were all set to go home when the nicest thing happened. One of the staff members decided to admit all us in to see the movie for thirty dollars. All three of us for thirty dollars. The movie we watched was the 2007 premiere of "Finishing the Game".  I always felt bad that I never saw that generous staff member again. The  experience of that night opened my mind to a whole new realm of movies. "Finishing the Game" featured many prominent asian actors that I had never been exposed to before.

The next year, I looked into volunteering and  I have continued ever since. I've always managed to volunteer during the opening night. In exchange for a few hours of manual labor and such, I get to see and experience the hustle of the asian american movie industry. Every year the festival  gets bigger and lucrative.

This year, I arrived in time to hand out water bottles to actors and actress, helped out the box office, and made some cotton candy. Yup, cotton candy. That was an experience that will always bring a smile to my face.

I encourage everyone in the LA area to check out this festival. There are plenty of movies that may perk your interest.