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So's Reel Thoughts Turns 9!


The trailer for one of the best films has arrived and it's Julia Ducournau's cannibalism film, Raw. This French-Belgian horror film stars Garance Marillier as a vegetarian college student who, following a hazing ritual, becomes a cannibalism. Crome Yellow and I did a full review for it after we saw it last year at Beyond Fest and we were completely floored by this tantalizing coming-of-age story (See Review).  Now, we get not only one but two spanking new trailers for Raw! Be prepared, you're not ready for this!





The two trailer gives off very different vibes but nonetheless, it's an intense story that touches on everything I love: sisterhood, female sexuality, and of course, cannibalism! And despite how jarring the trailer is, Raw is one bloody brilliant film with incredible performances and unforgettable scenes that truly re-invent the cannibalism genre. You cannot miss this when it comes out, March 10th!

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You know I love me some Fast and the Furious films! After the tragic death of Paul Walker, nobody were sure if they were even going to continue the franchise. But I'm assuming as a tribute to his death, the cast and crew wanted to continue expanding the Fast and Furious. So here we are with the latest installment, Fast & Furious 8! The solid foundation of Dom's family will be rocked to its core when he betrays them and joins a cyberterrorist! Gasp, what will happen to the family? We will find out April 14th!

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So's Reel Thoughts turn 9-years-old today! It's been one hell of a wild ride to get to this point but I'm glad that we are here because having this blog has given me incredible opportunities/friendships/joy and we are just getting started! I am continuously amazed how long it's been and if there has been one thing that I've learned, it's that you can choose to succeed on your own terms. Manifest your passion into something and even if it's not what you thought it would be, at least you showed up and put in the work. And trust me, something always good comes out of doing what you love. So here's to cultivating our passion and craft, now & forever. And thank you to everyone, whether you have been with me from the beginning or just now, I thank you. <33
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There's nothing more exciting than hearing the words "All-Female Directed Horror Anthology". As much as some of the best horror films have been directed by men, the truly horrifying stories seem to come from female perspectives (The Babadook, Goodnight Mommy). So you can imagine my trauma after watching the latest trailer for the all-female directed horror anthology film, XX.



Four deadly tales from four killer directors consisting of Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Annie Clark aka St. Vincent who makes her directorial debut, Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird) in addition to award-winning animator, Sofia Carrillo (La Casa Triste) help weave the stories all together to create one ultra suspenseful tale of terror! Also, I'm loving the poster design! The film premieres at Sundance Film Festival on January 22th before slaying the rest of us all when it hits theaters and VOD on February 17th.

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It's a difficult art to translate interpersonal intimacy onto the big screen for any filmmaker but So Yong Kim does it so masterfully, she takes it to another level. Her latest film, Lovesong, follows a relationship between two friends whose bonds deepen during an impromptu road trip. The premise sounds vague and even the trailer only shows a glimpse of the breathtaking transcendental beauty that lies within the film. I got to catch the film at Sundance's NEXT Fest and the film completely broke me with it's delicate portrait of the ebbs and flows of female friendship. I can't wait for everyone to see the film when it comes out February 17th!


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Award shows aren't usually my thing considering it's a huge popularity contest but 2017 is about change so I thought, why not do a recap of the first award show of the year, the Golden Globes! Out of all the award shows, the Golden Globes are considered to be the most fun because it is a bunch of Hollywood big-shots getting together and being boozy together! I talk about Moonlight’s big win, Rami Malek getting snubbed, and Meryl Streep’s powerful speech to say the least. (See list of winners) Live streaming afterwards was incredibly fun so this may happen again once the Oscars roll around! What were you favorite or least favorite moments?

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December is a time to just wind down from the hectic year and just chill with your family. In the beginning of the month, I saw the fantastic Moana that reminded me why Disney films reigned supreme. A friend recommended a British show on Netflix called Chewing Gum, which is about a 24-year-old girl who is trying to lose her virginity. It's one of the most hilarious shows I've seen as of recently, it had me ROFLing. Literally. And how can I forget Gareth Edward's Rogue One that brings the darkness and realness to the Star Wars Universe to show that there is no battle without casualties of war. And to cap off the year of 2016, La La Land captured my heart especially because of it's message of the sacrifices and compromises that need to be made in order to achieve one's dreams. And ain't that the truth!



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The Blade Runner 2049 teaser is truly a tease. Capping at a minute and a half, we see that Harrison Ford is continuing his role of Rick Deckard and Ryan Gosling as Detective K who needs Deckard's help to unearth a long-buried secret. I'm glad that one of the original writers, Hampton Fancher, is returning to write this sequel. So lower your volumes a bit and watch me scream my head off every five seconds. This is going to be a good one!

Like most people, I was skeptical about Blade Runner getting a reboot, sequel, or whatever Hollywood is always concocting up to ruin all our favorite original films. But once I heard Denis Villeneuve's name attached to the project, my disdain quickly turned into elation because that is one man that can do no wrong! Villeneuve has consistently released some of the most groundbreaking and thought-provoking films in the last decade to shows that he can play with the big dogs in Hollywood on his own terms. And that's not something to fuck with. 

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2016 was a whirlwind of a year, in terms of films and real life events alike. And it seems like we need films now more than ever to empower and share our important and untold stories. Because if there's one thing in this world that can change perspectives, it's films! 

This year, I put So's Reel Thoughts on the back burner for once in pursuit of transitioning from a film critic to a filmmaker. I released the 5th episode of the Girl Talk Series and made 2 shorts (here & here). Sadly, it seemed like I would eventually have to shift my total focus to creating more films instead of talking about them if I ever wanted to become a better filmmaker. It's only realistic to wholly invest all my time in one passion if I sincerely want it to happen but is it? Could being both a film critic and a filmmaker be possible? I'm hoping to find out in 2017!

My baby, So's Reel Thoughts is turning 9-years-old this year and that's no small feat! This blog chronicled my ever-evolving film taste through the good, the bad, and the ugly. But nevertheless, offered an fresh and honest perspective that is seems so desperately needed in our pre-dominantly white landscape of film criticism. It's brought me incredible opportunities and joy so why stop? Hence why, I'm excited to continue and expand by bringing new voices (Holla SRT Gang!) so we can talk about Badass Cinema. All day. Everyday.

Now, don't think I forgot, my Top 10 Films of 2016 is coming very soon! (I bet you can guess what's on it!) All in all, 2016 was one for the books! And last but not least, I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for tuning in and sharing your love of cinema with me. Love & peace to you all. <33

XOXO,
So
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October and November is undoubtedly always my busiest months out of the year as it is Beyond Fest and AFI FEST! I had the honor of being chosen to be on the Jury for the San Diego Asian Film Festival so, I went to the Gala where I went on stage and helped present the winners! And of course, my ultimate favorite film festival, AFI FEST went down in the heart of Hollywood! I saw numerous spellbinding, heart-wrenching, and masterfully made films but my favorites were Sarah Adina Smith's Buster's Mal Heart starring Rami Malek, the absurdly comical Toni Erdmann, and Pedro Almodovar's sultry and deeply touching, Julieta. And how can I forget, The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (review)!


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Year: 2016
Director
Writer: Ian B. Goldberg & Richard Naing
Cinematography: Roman Osin
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond
Country of Origin: UK
Rating: R
Time: 99 mins.



Sal from Crome Yellow and I had the privilege of attending Beyond Fest--LA's best and baddest genre film festival--where we got to watch the scariest film of this year, The Autopsy of Jane Doe. After the police find numerous gruesome murders in a house and a seemingly pristine corpse of a nude woman in a shallow grave, father and son coroners, Austin and Tommy Tilden must find out how she died. As their examination progresses and no closer to a conclusion than they started, they start to speculate that a supernatural element is at play.



Brought to you by the Filmmaker who brought us The Troll HunterØvredal expertly crafts a minute by minute mystery thriller that creates a suffocating atmosphere that never lets up. This has got to be the scariest film I've seen this year along with South Korean film, The Wailing. I love it when the initial premise morphs into another theme that I would've never imagined! The film's incorporation of supernatural elements creates a chilling climax that you soon won't forget. So if you're a masochist like me, go watch this film when comes out December 21st so you'll be plagued with nightmares for the rest of your life!


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October was by far my favorite month as it was Beyond Fest (see reviews) and Halloween all in one month so you know it was absolutely bonkers! Beyond Fest is LA's biggest and baddest genre film festival in LA and even though it's my 4th year attending the festival, as always it reigned chaos! In addition to watching as many horror films as my brain can handle (ie: 10 Horror Masterpieces), I saw breathtaking and humanistic films like Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, The Eagle Huntress, Moonlight, and We Are X! Many of these films possessed a universal message about the inspiring power of the human spirit and a powerful look at just what it means to be human. As you can see, October did not disappoint! 



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Year: 2016
Directorna Lily Amirpour
Writerna Lily Amirpour
Cinematography: Lyle Vincent
Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Diego Luna
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: R
Time: 118 mins.



Sal from Crome Yellow and I had the privilege of attending Beyond Fest--LA's best and baddest genre film festival--where we got to watch the another cannibalism film, this time directed by Ana Lily Amirpour called The Bad Batch! Arlen (Waterhouse) is thrown into a fenced-off desert wasteland past the Texas border where all the "bad batch" of society now live. After getting her leg and arm chopped off by local cannibals, she ends up finding hope and love. Trust me when I say, you have never seen a film like this. Like Amirpour's previous hit film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I enjoy and appreciate her work immensely as an experience rather just a film. With it's incredible cast of new and old school actors and a banging soundtrack, psychedelic vibe, The Bad Batch surely is not to be missed!



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Year: 2016
Director: David Yates
WriterJ.K. Rowling
Cinematography: Philippe Rousselot
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell
Country of Origin: UK | US
Rating: PG-13
Time: 133 Min. 


I wouldn't say that I'm a Potterhead but I can say with full confidence that as an avid fan of the potterverse, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them did not do justice to the beloved series. This film is J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut which is inspired by the book of the same name. Back in 2001, Rowling came out with the textbook under the pen name of Newt Scamander where it chronicles the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. We get a dose of breathtaking mystical creatures as well as a deep look into the magical world in the U.S.



As much as J.K. Rowling is an phenomenal novelist, when it comes to screenplays, the cohesive story structure is simply not there. I'm hoping for the next films that she will co-write with someone else. David Yates returns yet again as the director and he provides enough laughs and thrills for us fans who have been so famished for more stories of the wizarding world! There will be 4 more films in the Fantastic Beasts series where it will lead up to the much anticipated and epic battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. If only, Johnny Depp wasn't in it. 

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Year: 2016
Director: Julia Ducournau
WriterJulia Ducournau
Cinematography: Ruben Impens
Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Country of Origin: France | Belgium
Rating: R
Time: 99 Min.



Sal from Crome Yellow and I had the privilege of attending Beyond Fest--LA's best and baddest genre film festival--where we got to watch the best cannibalism movie of this year, Julie Ducournau's Raw. Following a veterinary college initiation ritual where she has to eat a rabbit kidney, vegetarian Justine becomes consumed with cannibalism tendencies. This film has everything I love: sisterly love, exploration of female sexuality, and a refreshing spin on the cannibalism genre! This is Ducournau's directorial debut feature and it's an absolute stunner that is crafted with confidence and innovativeness.



Raw took the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes Film Festival and even made grown men faint when they saw it at Toronto International Film Festival! Sal and I are not sure EXACTLY which scene they fainted because there isn't anything outrightly grotesque that warrants a fainting spell so for those with weak stomachs, this film is A-OK! It's all around intensely engrossing film with a brutal coming-of-age story that will give you sweat-inducing flashbacks of your college years and an in-depth look at a girl's transition to womanhood, blood and all. 


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Year: 2016
Director: Park Chan-wook
Writer: Seo-Kyung Chung & Park Chan-wook. Novel by Sarah Waters
Cinematography: Chung Chung-hoon
Cast: Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Jo Jin-woong
Country of Origin: South Korea
Rating: NR
Time: 144 Min.



Park Chan-wook is back and he's better than ever! The Handmaiden is a decadent dessert that is luscious, super kinky, and full of deceit! Adapted from Sarah Water's novel, Fingersmith, Park takes the essential elements and transports the setting to the 1930's Korea when it was under Japanese colonialism. A con man hires an orphaned pickpocket named Sook-hee played by fresh-faced, Kim Tae-ri, to become the maid to heiress Lady Hideko in attempt to steal her wealth. The plan goes array when Lady Hideko falls in love with Sook-hee. I'm getting all hot and bothers here just writing the premise!



After the divisive reception of Stoker (See Review), I'm glad Park Chan-wook went back to making a Korean-language film that not only tantalized native Koreans but everyone else as well. Park was shocked to discover that some of the Americans that watched the film were so taken back by its provocative display of lesbian sex, contrary to his belief that most Americans are more "liberal". The Handmaiden is classic Park Chan-wook but with a more dense structure and erotic storyline that aims to beguile as well as seduce you! Once again, Park never lets me down and let's hope he never does. :D


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Halloween is a week away so I thought why not do a live stream where I share 10 horror masterpieces. Some may be obvious but if you don't know the other films, I urge you to seek them out because they truly are an unparalleled cinematic experience in itself. No matter if these films are of the supernatural, psychological thrillers, or slasher genre, all these films dare to push the boundaries of the horror genre that inevitably changed the game. This is a long one so get yourself some popcorn and let's talk about some scary movies!

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Year: 2016
Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer: Andrea Arnold
Cinematography: Robbie Ryan
Cast: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough, Arielle Holmes, 
Country of Origin: UK / USA
Rating: R
Time: 163 Mins.



Andrea Arnold's American Honey has been my most anticipated films of 2016 and let me say, it is one of the most finest films of this year! American Honey follows a free spirited teenage girl, Star, who leaves her troubled home in the midwest and hits the road with the mag crew--a group of outcasts who sell magazines door to door. They work hard and play even harder! Star meets the hardworking and charismatic Jake, played by Shia LaBeouf and falls madly in love with him. As expected, it's an audacious and bold social realism film that'll have you pin to the screen and grooving in your seat!



Andrea Arnold is one of my favorite filmmakers because her films portray life in all its beautiful chaos showcasing raw intimacy and electrifying performances. Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf's undeniable chemistry is an indulgence of pure ecstasy and dangerous passion. With a streamline of the hottest hip-hop songs from start to finish, American Honey not only shows a daring portrait about the socioeconomic landscape of America but also focuses the various people occupying it. It's no wonder Arnold won her third Jury Prize Award at Cannes this year with the film. It's explosive and engrossing, you HAVE to go see this film!

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I love the 90's. Especially 90's teen horror films to say the least. So for my latest DVD haul, I manage to find some DVDs that are not just worth buying but ones that have been very dear to me since childhood. So of course, I had to cop Wes Craven's Scream, The Faculty, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Robert Zemeckis' Death Becomes Her, and Nicolas Roeg's The Witches! I can't wait to show some of these at my annual Halloween movie night and considering that these are from the 90's, it's gonna be a good one! What are you favorite 90's Horror films?

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The trailer for André Øvredal's The Autopsy of Jane Doe is here and let me just say, it's the scariest film I saw this year. I had the honor of watching this magnificent film at Beyond Fest and I did not sleep well after. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch play father and son coroners who investigate the death of a beautiful "Jane Doe". Don't let this terse trailer fool you, there's so much more to this story than what is shown. This film truly is filled with crippling tension and it's haunting storyline will have you disturbed for days. So great that IFC Midnight will be releasing this film December 20th! Sal from Crome Yellow and I will be doing a review very soon so look out for that!

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Like August, September was about straight chilling and watching films without the obligation of attending so many screenings and doing reviews. So I decided to go back to the film canons that are in the Criterion Collection and watched John Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence and Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Double Life of Veronique. Both were exceptional & must-watch films. Along with those, my other favorites were Andrew Dominick's One More Time with Feeling, the ultra feel-good film, Queen of Katwe, and iconic Asian American film, Chan is Missing! And of course, Beyond Fest is a given, which I'll talk more with you in my October Favorites! Tune into my live stream to hear more about these wonderful films!


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HOLY SHIT. This trailer came out of nowhere it's possibly the best thing I've seen. Get Out is Jordan Peele of Key & Peele's directorial debut film and surprisingly it's a horror film! And it's not like any horror film you've seen before because it truly deals with the horrific prejudice and racism that is occurring in America today, which is infused with other elements of the horror genre. So brilliant. What we get is a bone-chilling story straight from hell. I'm sure this scenario is many people's ultimate nightmare including mine with all it's complex and layered storylines. Get Out comes out in February and while I'm scared shitless, I can't wait to see this!

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Last summer, I shot something on the fly with a group of impassioned girlfriends with no money & no plan. The result is Wildest Dreams which features my friend Michelle and I playing two teenagers who spend a night in Koreatown, talking about our dreams & shit.
Out of many shorts I’ve made and despite the lack of resources and preparation that went into this, this short film has got to be one of my favorites as it embodies my filmic style, themes, and story. I never intended on showing it publicly considering it's conditions but this short film is truly a labor of love that's 1000% coming from our hearts. Thanks Jennifer for producing it, Jacqueline for DPing, Andrew for Camera oping, & Chris Hahn for sound editing & Michelle for always being so down to collaborate with me. I hope you watch & enjoy, I would really appreciate it. Much love. XOXO

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My beautiful actress, Kristine Gerolaga of my Yomyomf Interpretations 2.0 short film, Blue Paradise, is also a filmmaker and made her own short film called Hit or Miss. Hit or Miss made it to the top 15 and I could not be happier! Hit or Miss is about an amateur fighter who grieves over the loss of her mother while sparring with her new instructor. With only 4 lines of dialogue and capping at 3 minutes, Hit or Miss is a beautifully immersive experience that touches on the universal and poignant struggle of losing a loved one. It's so well done in terms of cinematography, sound design and acting. Voting is still in progress so give Kristine is a big thumbs up so she can possibly direct her next short film with Justin Lin! Vote here.

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Holy crap, Tom Ford's sophomore picture Nocturnal Animals looks so dang good! This psychological thriller is based off of Austin Wright's 1993 novel, Tony and Susan. It has a talented and beautiful-looking cast consistingAmy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Laura Linney and more. After Ford debuted with A Single Man, I was instantly a fan and am so happy to hear that Nocturnal Animals won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival. The film comes out December 9th, just in time for Oscar season!

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August could possibly have been my favorite month this year because I literally tried to do nothing! Which most likely means, I still watched a lot of stuff and went to plenty of events which I did including Guillermo del Toro's At Home with Monsters Exhibit at LACMA and Sundance Next Fest! At Sundance Next Fest I watched So Yong Kim's Lovesong, The Greasy Strangler, and Under the Shadow. I can't wait for everyone to watch it when it comes out! And as someone who rarely watches T.V., I binged on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my new favorite, Mr. Robot. I'm going to have to do an individual video for these two shows because they're just too good! What were your August Favorites?

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My July Film Favorites is here! I watched so many amazing films this month that were action-packed, anxiety-inducing, and straight out inventive! For my film favorites, I picked Justin Lin's Star Trek Beyond (see review), Yeon Sang-ho's Train to Busan and no joke, Ghostbusters! I also went to Outfest which is L.A.'s biggest and best LGBTQ+ film festival where I saw Andrew Ahn's Spa Night (see trailer), The Intervention, and Kiki. July was an exciting month for film especially because I got to experience it all at the peak of summer! Which were your film favorites for July?

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I had a chance to go to Guillermo del Toro's At Home with Monsters Exhibit at LACMA and it was utterly fantastic! We got to see all his inspirations, props, and figurines from all his films from Cronos, Hellboy, Blade II,  Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak (see review), and beyond! It's incredible to see up close and personal his private collection that truly embodies not only his works but also the images of his boundless imagination. He had said his monsters are envisioned by the images he saw as a child and that is undoubtedly the most petrifying thing to know once you've witnessed the collection. If you have a chance, go see the exhibit for yourself before it leave in November, you will be equally dazzled and terrified.

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There has never been a time that A24 has let me down. They acquired and distributed the most innovative films to come our in the last decade like Spring Breakers, Under the Skin, The Witch, American Honey, and now, there's Moonlight. They've been doing a terrific job but now, they're taking leveling even higher up with Moonlight considering that it is A24's first in-house production alongside Plan B, with Brad Pitt as Executive Producer. This is Barry Jenkins' sophomore feature film and he is not messing around yall!



Moonlight is based on the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The story tells the life story of a young man named Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) through three chapters of his life. This trailer is hands down one of the most beautiful trailers I've seen in a while. The luscious cinematography, tornado-like score, stories about sexuality are simply the kind of films I tend to fall deeply in love with. I love you so so so so much A24! Thank goodness the film is premiering at TIFF and then being released a month later. Till then, I gotta catch up with Barry Jenkins' first film, Medicine for Melancholy!

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You know that anything with Nick Cave is going to be an emotional and powerful experience as clearly seen in this trailer for his latest film,  One More Time With Feeling. It's been ten years since Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' has collaborated on Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and now they are reuniting for this film!  Originally the film was going to be a look at the  creation of Nick Cave & the Bad Seed's latest album, The Skeleton Tree but soon it evolved into something more as it shows Cave grappling with the sudden loss of his son Arthur last year. 

Nick Cave only came into my radar after I watched 20,000 Day on Earth at Beyond Fest and I was so enamored with it, I named it one of the best films of 2014! The trailer only offers a glimpse of what is in store for us but as always, it seems breathtakingly haunting and immensely somber. The film will be out on September 8th for a one night event! I'll be bringing my tissues along, no doubt.


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It has finally arrived! One of the most buzzed about films to come out of Sundance this year is Andrew Ahn's Spa Night! Ahn perfectly captures the specific yet universal aspect of the Korean-American experience with his directorial debut film. The story follows David Cho, a Korean-American teen who battles with his burgeoning sexuality and the familial expectations when his family's restaurant is forced to close. Joe Seo who plays David won the 'Breakthrough Performance' at Sundance Film Festival and it's clear, that there is immense talent in front and behind the camera. I've seen the film several times before it's LA premiere at Outfest which I was honored to write the capsule for and let me tell you, the film hit me like a rocket (in a good way)! Thank you Strand Releasing for finally releasing it August 26! 

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Time for another live-stream video! I've always wanted to do a Film Favorites video considering that they one for every genre on YouTube besides for film so I did one! There were so many incredible films that came out in June but the ones that left me LOLing, bat-shit terrified, and wholly polarized was Taika Waititi's Hunt for Wilderpeople, Na Hong-jin's The Wailing, & Nicholas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon, respectively. All three of these films came from an auteur with a strong vision that continuously dares to challenge us as spectators and as human beings. Let me know what your June film favorites were & if I missed anything! 

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Park Chan-wook's latest film The Handmaiden already made waves at this year's Cannes Film Festival and lo and behold, the marvelous poster just dropped! When I was in Korea, the film had already come out and this exact poster was the one plastered throughout the city and I'm glad they're using the same one for the American poster because it says so much. The story follows a young female pickpocket from the slums who is hired by a con man to join an elaborate scam in which she becomes the personal servant of a wealthy Japanese heiress, who she ultimately tried to seduce! I can't wait to see this steamy lesbian drama unfold once it comes out in theaters October 14!


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Year: 2016
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung
Cinematographer: Stephen F. Windon
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: PG-13
Time: 120 mins.



For skeptical Star Trek fans that were scared that Justin Lin would ruin their favorite franchise, have no fear, Star Trek Beyond is out of this world! A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to land on a foreign world. Lizard-like dictator Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact from the ship and so the crew must now battle a deadly alien species while trying to find a way off their hostile planet! This film was one of my most anticipated film of the summer and it did not disappoint!



With the old writers out and Simon Pegg and Doug Jung in, they take us back to the roots of Star Trek which foundation was built on the message of unity, diversity, and discovery. It's one exhilarating ride that seamlessly blends a story with palpable emotional weight, inventive action sequences, and a kickass score! I'm so glad that Lin was able to make this film his own while continuing the tone, essence, and general fun of the franchise that we all love so much. Without a doubt, Star Trek Beyond is the summer blockbuster of this year! 

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Surprise you guys! YOMYOMF + Justin Lin have teamed up to bring you the Interpretations 2.0 shorts contest and I have submitted my own short called Blue Paradise! The rules were that we could only use four lines of dialogue: "Don't do that", "Of course", & "I have my doubts", "What is it?" and it had to be under 3 minutes!

I have always been fascinated by how people process grief and so when I read these lines, this story about a man retreating to his safe haven after finding out his girlfriend's infidelity, came immediately to mind! It's dark, nuanced, and plays with sexuality and gender roles.

Now that I submitted it, we shall just wait to see if it passes the selection process! Whatever the outcome, I really enjoyed bringing this story to life and am so thankful to all my friends who have helped make this into a reality. I hope you watch it in fullscreen with the audio blasting! & let me know your thoughts!
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It's been a while since I posted up a video so I thought why not do a live-stream video of my entire DVD collection! I have a variety of DVDs, Blu-rays, and Criterion Collection films here that I've been acquiring since I was in the teens, hoping one day that I could open up my own movie rental shop/theater. What a realistic dream that is now, don't you think? This is gonna take a while so sit back, relax, let's talk about some movies and catch up!


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If you know anything about me, you would know that my #1 babe is Andrea Arnold. Fish Tank was the audacious, in-your-face, social realism film that I didn't know I so desperately needed in my life! And once I heard that she was going to make her American film debut with American Honey, starring Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Sasha Lane, I knew I was in for a wiiiiiiiild ride. The story is an epic roadtrip that follows a teenager girl who joins a travelling magazine sales crew and gets consumed in the whirlwind of hard partying, law breaking, and young love as she blazes through the Midwest.



American Honey premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival where it went to win the Jury Prize which is Arnold's third time winning the award. As expected, the trailer possesses the best of what Arnold has to offer and more. Entailing #1 hit tunes, a collection of unruly first-time & seasoned actors and raw intimacy, American Honey will surely be the most explosive and daring portrait of millennial youth to date. Arnold is one of the few filmmakers that continues to push the bar and tackle subjects and people that are rarely shown on screen. She is still and will always be my biggest inspiration as a Filmmaker and Critic. Thanks always to A24 for distributing the film. Surely, it will come out at the end of 2016. 

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Happy #AAPIHeritageMonth aka #AAPIHM! Everyday this month I've been listing my fav AAPI films about AAs & by AA. Read part I and here is part II! Join me & hashtag #AAPIFilmz!

Girlfight

If you've seen Karyn Kusama's directorial debut film, Girlfight then you would know that she's been killin' the film game since day one. It's no wonder that the film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance back in 2000 and was lauded by critics and audiences everywhere. The story follows Diana Guzman, a troubled teen in Brooklyn who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer. This was Michelle Rodriguez's breakthrough role and one that solidified her as a promising talent. Diana was unapologetically fierce and always down to fight gender discrimination both in her public and private life! And that's also one of the many reasons why Diana Guzman is a certified Badass Femmes



Advantageous

I don't think I even remember any science-fiction starring Asian-Americans in the forefront besides Jennifer Phang's Advantageous. It could definitely be the first! In a near-future city where soaring opulence overshadows economic hardship, Gwen and her daughter Jules do all they can do to hold onto their joy together, despite the instability surrounding their world. Adapted by her 23-minute short, Phang presents a thought-provoking and quietly disturbing sci-fi drama that touches on what happens to females as mothers, workers, and as simply humans, once civilization is in decline. It might be a hit or miss to some people but if you let the film's message marinate, you will see the beauty and tragedy of what the future holds for us. 


Planet B-Boy

It was in college where I discovered my passion for documentaries when I saw Benson Lee's breakdancing doc, Planet B-Boy. The top b-boys from Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, and the United States all rigorously train for their version of the breakdancing Olympics called Battle of the Year. It's an crash course on the history of breakdancing as well as an insight on each team's own cultural inspirations, history, and motivation behind their individually distinct dance styles. Exhilarating & passionate, Planet B-Boy will make you rethink breakdancing as more than just a dance but a true art form. 

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