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The Best Films of 2016

At the San Diego Asian Film Festival there was back-to-back shorts showcase of Bong Joon Ho's Influenza and Park Chan Wook's Night Fishing.

Influenza opens the film by stating that only CCTV's (security cameras) were used to capture the downfall of Mr. Cho and the people around him. with this information in mind, it may convince the audience that every action and consequence was taken place in real life and that these people are actually real. As if the audience was one collective kidnapped victim of Bong Joon Ho, he ties us to our chairs and forces us to witness with our eyes forced wide open the horrific impending act that will unfold within minutes. through Bong's filmic technique and timing, the blurry lines of reality and fiction creates boiling fear within the viewer as they possess the knowledge of the events previously and speculate the reality of these events about to occur.

Without fancy equipment and butt-load of money, Bong was able to create a realistic and concise story of the troubled downfall of Mr. Cho. Switching mediums allowed him to become more creative and have more freedom with his story without jeopardizing his filmic trademarks. even with the differences in equipment the use of the CCTV's one shot told a fascinating story that continuously propelled the development of the character from a homeless bum to a ruthless killer. Bong Joon Ho's short film will leave you petrified, giggling, and paralyzed and with those key descriptions, it is something to definitely check out.




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im probably the last person on earth that should make another blog but i did! and its a more personal one. i love dining out, taking photographs, and generally everything fashion so ill be posting everything i cant here, there! hope you guys enjoy. and check it out here!

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October 19, 2011:

Fallen Angels (1995) - This is "considered" as the sequel to Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express and i do see the similarities in both theme and characters but I would have to say I liked Chungking Express a bit more. It has same feeling of loneliness and longing but Chungking possessed a different kind of quirkiness that i have to admire. nonetheless, Fallen Angels is a beautifully shot film that should be seen. B+

Mister Lonely (2007) - the ultimate weirdo (or genius?) in hollywood also known as Harmony Korine has come up with the possibly the most odd (ingenious? perhaps) story about the lives of celebrity impersonators. theoretically in film form, the film has no direction and can be just seen as Korine's masturbations of his own thoughts but take back a few steps and it can be seen as possibly the most original and best film to date. a feeling of wonderment will come over you as you ponder if this is the best or the worst thing you've ever seen. B+

October 21, 2011:
The Skin I Live In (2011) - Leave it to Pedro Almovadar to make a more fucked up story than his last film. although i did not like some of the editing in the film, it helped reveal the most unexpected plot of all time. it is so outrageous that you question if what they are implying is actually what happened. it will leave you wondering, fearing, thinking about the entirety of the film for a couple of days. Bad: only few parts of the editing bothered me. A-

October 22, 2011:
Beat Rhymes and Life (2011) - The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011) - Good: It explains the rise and fall of the legendary Hip-Hop group 'A Tribe Called Quest.' as a novice of hip-hop fan, it explained how epic and monumental A Tribe Called Quest's music truly was to the hip hop world. it takes you on a journey from day one to day 3 million of everything from how they got their name to their devastating fall out. they are the 'beatles' of hip hop. watch and learn. A

October 23, 2011:
Ninja Kids!!! (2011) - this was the first film i got to see at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and considering it was a takashi miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) I HAD TO SEE IT. wow, was i sorely disappointed or just disappointed. he made the live-action version of japanese anime Nintama Rantaro and the film tried to accomplish the wacky, over exaggeratedness of the anime and it just didnt work out right. its like when they tried to remake a live-action version of dragonball z (2009), sometimes its just better to leave anime alone in its original form. D

Hello Ghost (2010) - you can say that this is like the american film ghost town (2008) starring Ricky Gervais and although i did not see that one, im pretty sure this south korean film is better (maybe im biased.) i rarely ever laugh and there were moments when i laughed so loud, it felt like i was the only one laughing. and i SWEAR i wasnt the only one laughing. it has a distinctly 90's look to the film and the korean sentimental tear-jerker aspect that added the cherry on top that completely wrapped this entire film together. B+

The Stool Pigeon (2010) - The Stool Pigeon is a Hong Kong action film directed by Dante Lam that stars the ultimate badass Nicholas Tse. I did not see Lam's previously film called Beast Stalker and apparently The Stool Pigeon is so similar to that it is being deemed as its sequel. While i did not see Beast Stalker, The Stool Pigeon alone was the 3 E's: ENTICING, ENTHRALLING, and an ENTERTAINING piece of work! it kept me on my nail of my toes and even made me scream once or twice from its unexpected plot twists. it is surely something to watch. A-
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October 11, 2011:
The Ides of March (2011) - Good: This is George Clooney's first attempt at directing and lets face it, its only good because he got all friends to help him out. It was interesting but not incredible and memorable enough ( i even forgot i watched it last week. ) It was an all-star cast with a very story about loyalty and betrayal with Ryan Gosling leading the pack. Bad: The story was very minimal and drama-driven. and what i mean by that is that the story isn't relatable and uses fabricated drama to make the story interesting when its just not. B-

October 12, 2011:
I've Loved You So Long (2008) - Good: With a story thats as heartbreaking as this one, it is hard to tell the whole story without it feeling too heavy or slow but manages to create its own mood of mystery and dread. very powerful story that doesnt let you in till the very end. but without saying much it is kristin scott thomas' acting that truly says it all. Bad: twas good. A-

October 14, 2011:
Iron Monkey (1993) - Good: It is the fictionalized story of the childhood of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung and his father Wong Kei-ying and their encounter with the "Iron Monkey." It is like a Robinhood and Batman kind of tale in which the Iron Monkey must fight against evil for the people. It was actually far more entertaining than i initially thought. They had moves that I thought that i didnt think were possible. Bad: nothing. A-
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October 7, 2011:
Tokyo Godfathers (2003) - Good: Critics have called this "the greatest anime ever!" thats a big statement to follow and while it isn't "the greatest anime ever!", the story and characters were interesting enough to watch. A group of homeless Bad: It isn't "the greatest anime ever!" and at times i felt like they relied on coincidences to develop their story. B-

The Housemaid (2010): This is a remake of the 1960's version which is supposedly more outrageous and scandalous, but I havent seen it yet so hopefully i can soon! its a luscious portrait of the downfall and outcome of an affluent family man who fools around with the housemaid. who will win and who will fall? this soap opera is dripping with sex. Beware. Bad: the ending is certainly unexpected! but im not sure if its a good or a bad unexpected move. and i certainly would love to discuss it with anyone who's seen it. B+

October 8, 2011:
Animal House - Good: what else can you expect from an infamous 80's film about a party house? A LOT of booze and A LOT of partying, thats what!!! TOGA! TOGA! TOGA! Bad: why did i think that there was anything more to this movie than party animals? C

Dogtooth (2009) - Good: FANTASTIC! MESMERIZING! SPELLBINDING! what could possibly go wrong when the parents of three grown adults withhold the dangers of the outside world from their litto itto babies? umm... EVERYTHING? Bad: absolutely-fucking-nothing. A+
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people always say "this film is a tour-de-force, its unlike any other film out there! it will surprise and amaze you!" blah blah blah all that bullshit. but believe it or not, its hard to make a film nowadays without being and having some influence from other films in one's own work. but let me tell you dont trust me or all the critics in the world when they say that DOGTOOTH is by far the most original and superbly made film to come out in a very long time! this 2011 oscar nominated best foreign film has got everything covered from direction, acting, cinematography, story, everything was perfect!

Dogtooth is a 2009 Greek film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a husband and wife who go through extensive lengths to keep their children imprisoned on their property from the corruption and dangers of the real world. (usually when i watch a film, i try not to read or see anything about the film before i actually watch it. so you can understand my puzzlement and surprised when i watched the first few scenes)


Unlike most films today, Dogtooth shows that less really is more. With its simple and yet disturbing story, the direction and cinematography is so noticeably clean and sharp that itll leave you bleeding and wanting more! it'll make you laugh out loud, extremely uncomfortable, and just down right petrified to your balls! like michael haneke's style of directing, its the subtlety with the jab of violence that makes his films so effective in getting its message through. But unlike haneke, Dogtooth doesn't have the gritty and cynical undertone but rather carries the film with a cloud filled with an innocent and pristine touch.

Aggeliki Papoulia who plays the eldest daughter shows a riveting and powerful performance that tore the walls of my expectations for the film (not like i had any.) it is a rare moment when any audience gets to witness a performance that is much like a caterpillar coming out of its cocoon. you watch with amazement and wonderment and fear what will come next. rarely does a film ever make one feel uneasy, embarrassed, and proud for the character as if we were a mother who was witnessing their daughter discover their period for the first time.

There are not quite enough words to describe the movie, but would be better understood after experiencing it. and trust me, it is something that must be experienced. A+

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September 26:
Friends with Benefits (2011) - Good: It's hard to not judge this film with No Strings Attached (2011) but Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis had much more chemistry that Portman and Kutcher (wth seriously?) It was fun and good and basically get what you expect from this movie. Bad: predictable but what do you expect? them not to get together? B-

September 27:
Lion King 3D (1994) - Good: everything you remember/felt about it during your childhood, it's ten-folds better than that cause now you actually can understand everything and enjoy it for what it is, A GREAT CHILDREN MOVIE! Bad: 3D & R.I.P Mufasa A+

September 28:
Gone Baby Gone (2007) - What a great ethical story. This surprisingly honest film is ben affleck's directorial debut that presents ethical questions about what is right and wrong. it was a knock out film that gave amazing performances by casey affleck and amy ryan. Bad: good enough. A-

September 29:
Cobu (2012): will not disclose any information till film comes out in 2012. D+

October 1:
50/50 (2011): unlike Adam Sandler's Funny People (2009), 50/50 is able to balance this dramedy without falling off its beam even once. It's comical and endearing while telling a real-life story. seth rogen is back with his routine role of comic relief but it shows hes not exactly what he shows off to be. It is what it is: a story about cancer. Bad: Joseph Gordon-Levitt's hair. A-
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im going to start watching a lot more television now considering that the film shouldnt be the only production i should be concerning myself with. so these are the shows ive been religiously/started watching...

1) mad men: IF YOU DONT WATCH MAD MEN, YOU NEED TO START NOW. i love this show. this is one show that really makes me want to not go into film but into television. im going to need to finish season 4 after i watch boardwalk empire.

2) the office: i cant believe theyre on their 8th season and going strong! although there are so many comedy shows that have been getting more buzz, the office has still not lost its touch. there is a much more base they need to cover and i hope the series doesnt end soon!

3) community: wow, this is got to be one of the funniest shows ever. with its meta/pop culture references and witty dialogue, it is really hard not to laugh out loud. and i NEVER LAUGH. OUT. LOUD. that says a lot. each character is sterotypical yet so unique and different to their sterotype. the show never ceases to surprise me! this last season 3, episode 2 was simply one of the best yet!

4) boardwalk empire: i always love some good storytelling. it may seem like its acquired interest with its focus on the prohibition era but with this much drama, who cares! anyone will be able to enjoy this intelligent show thats able to tell a thorough story without losing an aspect of filmmaking. this is tv at its best!

5) two broke girls: from the guy who brought you sex and the city brings you two broke girls. although i never really liked kat dennings, i cant help but appreciate and love her deadpan/sarcastic humor. although producers time and time again have tried to bring back the magic of sex and the city, no ones ever going to get close to it besides the man who made it himself. while other shows are sugar-coated, this show brings out the rawness of how girls you love or hate actually act like. its dirty and fun and everyone loves that!


6) new girl: i love zooey deschanel. thats it. i love her. but if she continues to act like a helpless puppy who is so desperately weak to her knees from her break up with her cheating boyfriend, i dont know how long i can stand watching this show. hopefully the next few episodes pick up...

7) pan am: who doesnt love to watch the 1960's lifestyles of globetrotting stewardesses explore new territories while looking good while at it? i do. i do. i do. anything relating to the 60's like mad men, I AM TOTALLY DOWN FOR! first episode was interesting and will have me as a fan for a while. i love christina ricci and hope to see more of her. i hope it lives up to its hype and hopefully will be as good as its 60's related series mad men.

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one of my favorite designer Proenza Schouler somehow teamed up with IDIOSYNCRATIC (its in caps for a reason) indie filmmaker Harmony Korine (gummo, mister lonely) and made "snowballs." i have no idea why PS would ever want Korine to film something but it is indeed interesting/freaky/scary. thats the exact sequence of emotions youre going to experience throughout the four minutes. if youve never seen a korine film, watch it with caution.

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