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31 Days of #AAPIFilmz (Pt. I)







Year: 2010
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Country of Origin: France
Rating: R
Time: 82 mins.

I've never heard of Quentin Dupieux until recently when his much hyped and buzz-worthy film, Wrong was premiere at Sundance this year. And after discovering that Cinefamily was going to have showings of Wrong for the next couple of weeks, I decided to see what the fuss was about with Dupieux by watching his previous film, Rubber. And to my amazement, Rubber turned out to be an incredibly meta, absurdist, and cackling-inducing film about a tire that kills anything in it's way. Yes, you read that right and it does sound absolutely insane and it is. I was live-tweeting and could not believe what I was seeing. Don't let the serene and melancholy stills fool you because this film is downright certifiably cuckoo! What was psychotically enthralling about this film was it's refreshing take on a mundane subject that seems like it was freshly squeezed and beaten till it's most absurd content came spilling through. And somehow, IT WORKS. 

If you told me two days ago that I would be watching a film about a Goodyear Tire's journey, I would've told you that I would rather eat dog shit. And here we are. Two days later, baffled, stunned, and jolted by this little film that grew to be bigger than anything I've witnessed in the last two years. After further research on Dupieux (clearly French), I uncovered that he is also an electronic musician under the stage name Mr. Oizo. With track titles like "Bruce Willis is Dead" and "Gay Dentists," Dupieux embodies and exudes the idea of absurdism into every medium of his work. But in the music sense I enjoy listening to Hun (shown below) among other tracks. While I might be a bit hesitate to watch his current film, Wrong. I will be sure to keep my eyes and arms open to experience more of Dupieux's extraordinarily idiosyncratic pieces of work. Because OBVIOUSLY anyone who can create a film about a tire and make it undoubtedly hypnotizing is a GENIUS in my book. B- 

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Gone with the Wind (1939, Victor Fleming)

Rhett Butler: No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. 
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I've been volunteering for LACMA's Film Independent Film Series where they show up and coming films with a Q&A with the filmmaker. This time it was The Place Beyond the Pines with a Q&A with Derek Cianfrance. It was a PACKED house and I was close to my vomit limitation cause I was so excited! So here it is! See what I thought of the film. And if you didn't already see, check out the stills to The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, and Emory Cohen. OUT NOW!
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(2013, Chris Sanders)

Grade: B-
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(2013, Harmony Korine)

Grade: B+
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Stand-up Comic: White folks sounds so stupid when they get mad. The be like "hey asshole, I'm going to kick your b-hind." But the brothers won't even need ot raise their voice. These motherfuckers be like "don't make me say it twice."
Susie [to Ben] That's true, that's true.
Mickinley: [to J.J. and Aaron, while laughing] I hate white people!
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(2013, Derek Cianfrance)

Grade: A
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Sony Entertainment asked me to do a giveaway on A Dark Truth starring Andy Garcia,  Forest Whitaker, and Eva Longoria and here it is! Check out my review of A Dark Truth here (or js scroll down). It is a interesting story of social injustice that is worth while. 

How to enter!
1. go to So's Reel Thoughts facebook page and Like it
2. Go to the post and Like the giveaway post or
3. Post a comment here or
4. on the youtube video (whichever floats your boat)

Deadline: March 19!

Either or, i'll accumulate all the people who's done so and pick a winner! The dvd will not come until two weeks later so be aware of that. And if you haven't noticed the awesome poster on top, i seriously dont know you. My friend Michelle Cho who is a fantastic artist made it through line app and if you think you can do what she did, I dare you to try (cause I tried and failed miserably). Follow and check out Michelle's instagram at here or @lovemcho

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Year: 2013
Director: Damian Lee
Cast: Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker, Eva Longoria
Country of Origin: Canada
Rating: R
Time: 106 min

A Dark Truth is interesting eco-thriller starring worthy actors but long-time director Damian Lee turns this possibly gripping tale of social injustice into another one of his B-rated films. Lee has been a director since the early eighties of obscure Canadian/American films like Ski School, Agent Red, and Sacrifice. Even with his extensive filmography, he managed to turn A Dark Truth to an unoriginal work that plays out like a potential Steven Soderbergh directed thriller that grips your attention right from the beginning but that slowly wanes into a lifeless drama that has little to no conflict. Andy Garcia is Jack Begosian, an ex-CIA operative who becomes a political talk show host after retiring as a spy. He is hired by a corporate whistle-blower to expose her company's cover-up of a massacre in South America. Forest Whitaker is Francisco Francis, a man who discovered that the corporation was responsible for the death of thousands of people and now is on the run from the police. So, fans of social injustice films like Hotel Rwanda and The Last King of Scotland which also stars Whitaker will most definitely be fond of A Dark Truth. 

IMDB claims that the film was released in theaters on January 4th but I don't recall it unless it was only in Canada. But regardless, it seems like it was released straight to dvd last week. The intriguing aspect of straight to dvd is the films supposedly doesn't have the mass appeal to the public to be launched in theaters and is not bad enough to be presented as a television movie. So films like A Dark Truth are in eternal limbo, floating in the realm between Red Box and cable television. But the thing about A Dark Truth is that if Andy Garcia was replaced by Brad Pitt, it would've made it to theaters for sure despite it's lacking storyline. But woulda, shoulda, coulda, we are left with Andy Garcia who stoically takes on the task of the mysterious Begosian. Although we are left with unanswered questions involving Begosian's departure from the CIA, the real charmer of this film is the always delightful Forest Whitaker. He deviates from his usual growling and dominating role to the politically charged and soft-spoken figure that overshadows every other character in his scene (like usual). That's Forest Whitaker for you. And any fan of his would be pleased to see his performance as the Spanish speaking political figure in this film. A unmasked and almost unrecognizable desperate housewife, Eva Longoria, plays Francis' wife and partner in crime on the run. I have said many faults about this film but at the end of the day, I would've bought A Dark Truth on Red Box for Forest Whitaker and its compelling storyline. C+


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The Imposter (2012, Bart Layton)

Frederic Bourdin: When I was born, I don't think there was much love. My mother was very, very young at the time. When she was only seventeen years old, met an older man, which was my father, from Algeria. My grandfather was a very racist person, and knowing that the man that my mother spent the night with an Algerian, he wanted, absolutely, my mother to have an abortion, to get rid of me even before I was born. For him, an Arab should be dealt with a nuclear weapon, and a black man is a monkey. Before I was born, I definitely had the wrong identity. I already didn't know--I was already prepared not to know who I really was. A new identity with a real passport, an American passport...I could go to the U.S., go to school there, live with that family, and just being someone and don't have never again to worry about being identified. I saw the opportunity.
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To my great surprise, I found out that Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone's Reality is being released in the U.S. on March 22! Luckily, I randomly saw Reality at AFI-FEST last year and it was amazingly dazzling and uplifting in a black comedy way. If the trailer isn't convincing enough for you read my review of it here. Reality showcases our society's modern day obsession with reality television and how the craze of the limelight has an effect on our world.  I didn't know about Garrone before this but his films have been featured at Cannes several times and his previous critical acclaimed film, Gomorrah won the Grand Prix in 2008. I definitely want to check out more of his films because his filmic style is absolutely hypnotizing. If there is a theatre that's going to release Reality near you, YOU MUST GO SEE IT! I cannot express and praise this film enough! March 22 people!
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(2013, Sam Raimi)

Grade: C+
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