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31 Days of #AAPIFilmz (Pt. I)


May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (See #AAPIFilmz) so it's always nice to kick off the month with Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival! Opening Night of the festival was the 15th anniversary of Better Luck Tomorrow where Director Justin Lin and cast came together and it was a blast from the past! On the anniversary of the LA Riots, Justin Chon's Gook was screened and it's honestly one of the best films I've seen this year! And of course, the Closing Night film was the #StarringJohnCho film, Columbus, directed by Film Essayist, Kogonada! This was by far one of the best LAAPFF film line-ups and I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

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April was a great month for blockbusters and indie films alike! Of course as a car movie enthusiast, I had to watch The Fate of the Furious aka Fast 8! Charlize Theron was such a badass villain, I can't wait to see what she does in the next two films! Long time Jeremy Saulnier collaborator, Macon Blair, debuted with his directorial feature called I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore which is the most realistic revenge film I've seen yet! To cap the month off, I went to see the guns blazing film, Free Fire starring the beautiful and talented Brie Larson. Overall I say that April was a solid month! What were your April Film Favorites?

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OoOo I'm loving the character poster design of Ana Lily Amirpour sophomore feature, The Bad Batch! It looks almost grim only showcasing the bodies of the characters with their heads chopped off but that basically sums up the vibe of this film. It's a brutal, psychedelic, and transcendental ride through an apocalyptic wasteland. I thought this film was so utterly fantastic that I filmed both a review and a trailer reaction for it! I can't wait to hear what you all think of this cannibal love story when it comes out June 23rd. *Cue Yeah Yeah Yeah's Head Will Roll 



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Last week was like any other week but something really cool happened because I got to work on my first ever Buzzfeed shoot! I truly feel like I've peaked being a millennial after working on it considering how it felt like I was suppose to work on a Buzzfeed shoot my whole life. Jokes aside, I had a blast and hope to continue to work with them! I will definitely let you know once that video comes out! On top of the shoot, my week was extra exciting because I finally got to watch The Fate and the Furious! Vroom vroom! #JusticeforHan


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As we approach the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots, many films, documentaries, and think pieces have been popping up but it's Justin Chon's film, Gook, that I have my eye on. The topic of the LA Riots is always a touchy one for many Korean and Black Americans alike but I'm glad that Chon made a film that involved both parties especially when the divide between Korean business owners and the Black community has persisted for many decades.

Gook follows Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers who own a struggling shoe store and has an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street wise 11-year old African American girl. When the Rodney King verdict was announce, riots broke out in South Central Los Angeles and with chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family. The film won the Audience Award at Sundance and it's having its LA premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this Saturday, aptly on the anniversary of the LA Riots. All I can say as a daughter of a Liquor Store owner, that watching this teaser was an emotional rollercoaster so get ready because it's going to be a riot.

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The Girl Talk Series is back and this time it's a Korea Edition in I Think We Were Born in the Wrong Country. Jaejung and Heejin, two 14-year-olds, living in Seoul, Korea, discuss their discontentment of the high pressure Korean education system. It's widely known that South Korea ranks second in the list of Countries with the Best Education Systems. But at what cost? Most kids attend school on the weekdays and in addition, an after school academy, seven days a week. Not only do they have a remarkable and intense education system in Korea but it is one of the leading countries with the highest suicide rate. It's shocking to hear these girls joke about suicide but this is their reality and they're very aware of it. Studying 12 hours in total, morning to night, seven days a week is a lifestyle they've come to be accustomed to especially when good education leads to a guaranteed brighter future. At times somber and bleak, this is a glimpse into these young girls' world.


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This trailer for Atomic Blonde almost slipped through my radar and I'm so glad I caught it because it's one of the most badass things I've seen yet! Charlie Theron can do anything in my book. She was an incredible villain in the latest installment of the Fast and the Furious series, Fast 8, and now as a top-level spy for MI6, she can do no wrong! It's no wonder why this film looks and feels like John Wick considering it's by the same director, David Leitch! Theron kicks some serious ass and is definitely taking names come July 28th!


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The Girl Talk Series is back and this time it's a Korea Edition in Marriage is Complicated. Vivian and Mia, two Korean girls living in Seoul, Korea, discuss Korean weddings, dating culture and martial customs. Growing up in a culture obsessed with the concept of weddings and marriage, the rampant societal pressure to tie the knot is more fervent than ever. In Korea, if one can't find a partner through means of a dating website or friends, parents can apply their children into a dating arrangement so they can meet someone. Although, some want to break out of the traditional mold of marriage, it's still difficult because in Korea, marriage is not about just two people but the entire family. As Vivian and Mia exchange words about Korea's most traditional subject, we learn not only more about Korean culture but realize that even though we all come different cultures, we're not so different after all.


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Sarah Adina Smith's sophomore feature, Buster's Mal Heart will not only quench Mr. Robot fan's thirst but give you most rewarding and retrospective movie experience of your life. Smith's previous film, The Midnight Swim had a haunting and refreshing spin on the tired "found footage" genre that solidified her as one of the freshest voice in American cinema. Buster's Mal Heart is an introspective, philosophical ride that'll leave you awestruck from beginning to end. As always, Malek delivers a hauntingly powerful performance as a man who starts questioning his own sanity after encountering a conspiracy theorist. The film comes out April 28th!

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As some of you may know, I run social media for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles! IFFLA ran from April 5-9th and it was five jam-packed days of premieres, filmmakers and parties! Needless to say, it was an absolute success! I got to meet Nisha Ganatra, director of iconic LGBTQ+ film, Chutney Popcorn and even got to see Danny Pudi IRL! I bumped into several film friends and tweeted and instagramed to my heart's desire! If you haven't been to the festival yet, it is definitely worth checking out!

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What a hell of a trailer, Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is! For the first time ever, I decided to do a double trailer reaction to this film and my god, I am blown away by its spectacular visuals and stacked cast which includes Rihanna! Did you hear me? Rihanna, I tell you! I'll do anything for Princess Riri. I mean, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne aren't bad together either. Their talent and beauty alone makes them one of the most hippest couple to ever grace the big screen. I have very high hopes after seeing the trailer but it looks so good that I'm scared that it'll be bad. I guess only time will tell when the film comes out July 21st!

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This has been a long time coming but I am introducing to you, the first ever, So's Film Diaries! I've been documenting my #FilmLyfe through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but now, I'm taking it to another level and compiling my Instagram Stories into full videos where it can be accessible to everyone outside of my ig! In this video, I went to go watch The Belko Experiment, attended the last IFFLA meeting and re-watched The Matrix Trilogy, only to confirm my boundless love for the series! Trinity and Neo are seriously #RelationshipGoals! 

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Considering that March is post-Oscar season, it's always a good month knowing how all the good films start rolling out! The first film to really knock it outta the park was James Mangold's Logan. People have been saying it's one of the best Superhero films and I gotta agree. March was also the month where I made a whooping 6 videos including my film review for The Belko Experiment and Power Rangers! It's also David Cronenberg's birthday so I had to revisit a classic, Crash! And last but not least, Shudder has been a really superb streaming site for hardcore horror enthusiast where they have coveted films from Ken Russell's The Devils to new releases like Prevenge! I watched the Jean Rollin's vampire film, Lips of Blood and it oozed with the kind of european horror that I didn't know I needed!

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Clowns never looked so scary until Pennywise came onto the scene! Adapted by Stephen King's 1986 novel of the same name, this remake of the 1990's It film, channels the same creepy vibes as the original but instead of the brilliantly terrifying Tim Curry, we have Bill Skarsgård! This film will be split into two parts which tells the story of 7 kids as they are terrorized by an eponymous being who exploits their fears and phobias. Say goodbye to all children's birthday parties for me and prepare to be personally victimized by Pennywise come September 8, 2017! 

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Year: 2017
Director: Dean Israelite
Writer: John Gatins
Cinematography: Luis David Sansans
Cast: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: PG-13
Time: 124 Mins.



Who knew that 90's nostalgia would get the best of me?! Damn those amazing trailer editors! Whatevs, I'm glad it did because this is one reboot, I can get behind! Dean Israelite's Power Rangers gives all the right kinds of feels and with this new class of Power Rangers, I believe we're in good hands! Despite the natural corniness that comes with the film, it's the personal and poignant stories of  each teen beyond their ranger status that makes the film such a rewarding viewing experience.



One of the truly bittersweet aspects of the new Power Rangers its lopsided pacing. The film invested so much time in building the foundation of each teen's origin story that by the time they were able to fully active their Power Rangers' power, the steam runs out quickly. Regardless of the cons, this reboot is a worthwhile franchise that has much to offer even if you didn't grow up with them.

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Year: 2017
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: James Gunn
Cinematography: Luis David Sansans
Cast: John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Sean Gunn
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: R
Time: 88 Mins.



In The Belko Experiment, a 9-5 job never looked so deadly! Directed by Wolf Creek's Greg McLean and written by Guardian's of the Galaxy's James Gunn, The Belko Experiment is Battle Royale set in a office setting. In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogota, Columbia and ordered by an ominous voice via the intercom to participate in a game of kill or be killed. What could possibly go wrong? (Considering that most people hate their co-workers!)



This should've been an instant hit considering the talent behind it but sadly, the screenplay and direction succumbs to cliches. While the action is wholly satisfying to ultra violence lovers, the beautifully set-up character development and premise doesn't pay off like it should. Instead of utilizing the office space in its entirety as a battle ground and weapon registry, it relies on quick kills via a gun. Regardless, it was a thrilling watch but let's be real, this is no Battle Royale.

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It feels like forever since I saw Ana Lily Amirpour's The Bad Batch at Beyond Fest last year! The trailer for it finally came out and it's always a delightful surprise to see how they edited the trailer. Safe to say, there is no misleading or spoilers shown, it is just as eccentric and transcendental as you think it would be. Sal from Crome Yellow and I did a review for it and we were completely enthralled and entranced by the whole cinematic experience. We especially were fond of Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey like always! Catch The Bad Batch when it comes out in theaters June 23rd! 

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Sofia Coppola's latest film The Beguiled, is just the kind of thriller we didn't know we needed! Adapted from Thomas Cullinan's novel, A Painted Devil and the 1971 film adaptation starring Clint Eastwood, the film stars an incredible line of women: Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Angourie Rice and of course Colin Farrell.  Think the Virgin Suicides with less teen angst and more sexual tension! O la la! The Beguiled comes out on June 23rd by Focus Features. This is gonna be a good one!


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Kristen Stewart has teamed up with Olivier Assayas once again to bring us a ghost story called, Personal Shopper. Y'all know, I don't do ghost stories but I didn't realize that till the end of the trailer so I'm in for a reaaaal treat! Stewart was in Assayas' previous film Clouds of Sils Maria where she went to win the Cesar Best Supporting Actress Award, making her the first American actress to win a Cesar Award (French equivalent to the Oscars). Personal Shopper is a film that seems like it'll challenge Stewart to face certain demons while providing a dense story about loss. It comes out March 10th and so I still have time left to build up some courage to watch it!

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February was an exciting month for films! I realize that 3/4 of these films are horror films which explains why I haven't been sleeping so well these days. Started off the month with a bang with the all female-directed, horror anthology film, XX, which feature 4 killer tales by 4 killer directors. Then I was entranced by M. Night Shyamalan's split-personality film, Split, starring James McAvoy like we've never seen him before! There was the Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro that offered a refreshing perspective on not only the history of racism in America but the possible solution for progression. And then I capped off the month with the uber haunting and nuanced political satire, Get Out. All these films are so timely and executed to perfection, go watch them!

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Year: 2017
Director: Chad Stahelski
WriterDerek Kolstad
Cinematography: Dan Laustsen
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Common
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: R
Time: 122 Min.



John Wick is baaaacck and he is not messing around. As much as I was elated to hear that Keanu Reeves was reprising his role as Wick, all I could do was wonder "Why is he back?!" in John Wick: Chapter 2. Turns out for Wick to be able to quit the hitman game, he had to ask a favor from an Italian drug lord. And because of a marker aka a "blood oath", Wick has to now pay him back. Can't John Wick just live in peace?



It's no surprise why director Chad Stahelski was able to craft such an adrenaline-pumped and innovative action film as he was a stuntman for more than 20 years before he got a chance to release his directorial debut feature, John Wick. I went a little bonkers when I saw the trailer and for good reasons because there was a mini Matrix reunion and you know how much I love The Matrix! John Wick: Chapter 2 was one hell of a good time with a star-studded cast, ultra-violence and expansive look at the hitman culture! I can't wait to see what the third film has in store for us! 

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Oscars 2017 was a wild trip. From Jimmy Kimmel's outrageously satisfactory roast of Matt Damon to the Big Picture screw-up, this Oscars was one for the books. I recap some of my favorite highlights as well as list my predictions and wins down below. My most favorite part has to be when the all the La La Land producers knew that they lost but gave their winning speeches anyways. Whew! What a way to end Black History Month! A huge congrats to the Moonlight team, they deserve all the awards!



Red = Who Won
Blue = Predictions

BEST PICTURE
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land (Will Win)
Lion
Moonlight (Who I Want)
Manchester by the Sea

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences) (Will and Who I Want to Win)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) (Will and Who I Want to Win)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Isabelle Huppert (Elle) (Will and Who I Want to Win)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Emma Stone (La La Land) (Big Chance)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola Davis (Fences) (Will and Who I Want)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle (La La Land) (Will Win)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) (Who I Want)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kubo and the Two Strings (Big Chance)
Moana 
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle (Will Win)
Zootopia (Who I Want)

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro (Who I Want)
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made In America (Will Win)
13th (Big Chance)


DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
The Salesman (Iran) (Will Win)
Tanna (Australia)
Toni Erdmann (Germany) (Who I Want)

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Arrival (Will and Who I Want)
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Hell or High Water
La La Land (Will Win)
The Lobster (Who I Want)
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women (Big Chance)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jackie
La La Land (Will Win)
Lion
Moonlight (Who I Want)
Passengers

ORIGINAL SONG
"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from La La Land
"Can't Stop The Feeling" from Trolls
"City of Stars" from La La Land (Will Win)
"The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story
"How Far I'll Go" from Moana (Who I Want)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival (Will Win and Who I Want)
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight (Who I also Want)
Silence

FILM EDITING
Arrival (Will Win and Who I Want)
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight (Who I also Want)

COSTUME DESIGN
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Who I Want)
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie (Who I Want)
La La Land (Will Win)

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond (Will Win and Who I Want)
Suicide Squad

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Who I Want)
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land (Who Will Win)
Passengers

SOUND EDITING
Arrival (Who I Want)
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land (Will Win)
Sully

SOUND MIXING
Arrival (Who I Want)
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land (Will Win)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Thirteen Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

VISUAL EFFECTS
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book (Who I Want)
Kubo and the Two Strings (Will Win)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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