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Trailer Reaction: Fast & Furious 8


It's here! It's here! It's finally here! I can literally feel the palpable force of the thousands of fangirls and boys just having a mental breakdown because of the teaser release. The teaser for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is a continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and is set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. You can bet your ass that I am not the only one that thinks the teaser looks downright amazing! I also recommend you to make your own trailer reaction video and tag me, I want to see it!

The teaser looks absolutely gorgeous and gave us a short but enough action to get us all amped up for the full-length trailer. There are so many more things to be said about the teaser that I didn't even mention in my trailer reactions like the new bots, the female lead manically driving away, the intense spaceship battle, the army of Stormtroopers, and of course, that lightsaber! There were only glimpses but considering that the filming wrapped at the beginning of the month, the film still has a long way to go before it is even completed. So you already know, once they finish making the final tweaks and tucks here and there, the film is going to be everything we wanted and more. With the sinister voiceover, there is an ominous danger permeating through the Star Wars-sphere.  And it is undeniably terrifying especially with John William scoring the film once again to elevate the film even further.

We don't know what the full story is yet but it's so exciting to actually have the original cast back from Mark Hamill to Carrie Fisher to Harrison Ford! There are also a bunch of today's generation's best actors and actresses starting with Oscar Issac, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Adam Driver, and of course,  Andy Serkis (This man deserves an Oscar). It's going to be a good one! Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out December 18th, 2015! It seems like a far, far, away, but it'll be here before you know it so prepare to get your tickets now.

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I had the privledge of being invited to the King of Reactions, Ryan Right's popular YouTube channel, The Reel Rejects, to do some trailer and shorts reactions with him! I haven't really gotten a chance to collab with many YouTubers but I got to say, Ryan Right is pretty fun! He has an outrageous and explosive personality that basically screams DGAF all the way! We did a trailer reaction to the new Peanut's film and Cinderella as well as a Shorts reaction to There's a Man in the Woods. I normally would not pick these kind of films but it was refreshing to see films that hasn't been on my radar especially if it were not for Ryan. So take a look and get ready to laugh a butt load because we were a cosmic riot together! 


There's a Man in the Woods is a spoken word short film that is very reminiscent of Atonement. Director Jacob Streilein endured at a young age, the older kids starting a rumor that quickly became a terrifying experience. He's been wanting to make this animated short film and the results are chilling. Who said animation couldn't be scary! Just look at Yeon Sang-ho films. 


I don't know if you know this about me but I dislike the Disney Princess movies because as a 90's kid and as a female, these princess stories warped our expectations of marriage and relationships and I honestly don't know if this is the kind of message we should be sending to our little girls. I thought by now, with all these new Pixar films that we would have more films about empowered girls and so to my surprise, they are reviving a lot of Disney films and one of them is Cinderella starring Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. Visually, it is stunning but obviously there is nothing original about this version. The only reason I will see it though is for Blanchett and Carter's impeccable acting!



I didn't grow up with Charlie Brown and so I don't really know anything about the world of Peanuts and Snoopy. But It looks like Snoopy is getting his own spin-off which is exciting! As for the teaser/trailer, it seems like Snoopy is going to go on a grand adventure that includes flying through Paris and what not! It looks decent but obviously, it is not for me. 

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Year: 2014
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Writer: Mia Hansen-Løve & Sven Hansen-Løve
Cinematographer: Denis Lenoir
Cast: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Hugo Conzelmann, Roman Kolinka, Vincent Macaigne, Greta Gerwig, 
Country of Origin: France
Rating: N/A
Time: 131 min.



Kristen Sales (Sales on Film) and I went to AFI FEST this past month and we were able to catch some of the same films together and so we decided to do the natural thing and record some reviews together. I also had the privilege of interviewing Mia about her fourth feature, Eden (see interview here) which chronicles 20 years of the life of a French DJ (Félix de Givry) who's credited with inventing "French Touch" or "French House" which was popularized in the 90s.


The beauty within Hansen-Løve's work is how she takes simple everyday stories in a person's life and is able to adapt it to screen with painstaking realism embedded into every scene. With it's naturalistic performances and precise camerawork, Hansen-Løve brings her stories about people and their passions alive. Paul, the French DJ is stuck in a phase of arrested development where the grim realities of adulthood hasn't kicked in and Eden captures his rise and fall with swooning melancholia. This isn't your average musically-driven, club-setting, DJ story but wholly shows the night and club lifestyle in unfiltered form. 



Follow Kristen:
Blog // Twitter 

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Year: 2014
Director: Céline Sciamma
Writer: Céline Sciamma
Cinematographer: Crystel Fournier
Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré
Country of Origin: France
Rating: N/A
Time: 112 min.



Kristen Sales (Sales on Film) and I went to AFI FEST this past month and we were able to catch some of the same films together and so we decided to do the natural thing and record some reviews together. Starting off with Céline Sciamma's Girlhood (Bande de filles)  which is a breathtaking examination of social navigation and identity within Marieme's world as a young woman. Girlhood is booming with ferocious energy and daring performances that is complemented really well with it's cool electronic soundtrack. 


It is probably one of the best coming-of-age stories that is told in the backdrop of lower class Paris neighbors which features an all-Black cast of first-time actors starring with Karidja Touré who plays subdued teen Marieme. Sales and I both really love Sciamma's style and approach to storytelling that truly commands your attention to examine sexuality, identity, and society as seen in her previous works like Water Lilies and Tomboy. I hope you enjoy our review and come back for more reviews from AFI FEST this week!



Follow Kristen
:
Blog // Twitter

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*SPOILER ALERT!*


I must be one of the last people on this planet who has not watched Christopher Nolan's very grandiose, breathtaking, and complex, Interstellar! Well folks, I recently saw it and my science novice mind was thoroughly boggled with all the head-scratching, scientific babble regarding time, gravity, black holes, and dimensions. And of course with layered and scientific matters incorporated into a film, there is bound to be a ton of explanation, graphs, and artwork that is circulating in the internetsphere. Here are two timelines that are both outlining the sequence of the labyrinth-like film in their own distinct and creative style. Just looking at them, makes my head quiver with perplexity. Owww...

(via. Sivakumar)

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Year: 2014
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer(s): Peter Craig & Danny Strong
Cinematographer: Jo Willems
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore
Country of Origin: U.S.
Rating: PG-13
Time: 123 min.

"If we burn, you burn with us!" is probably my favorite line ever and I will be repeating this line to every person I see from now on! The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part I) is the second to last installment of one of the best young adult franchises to have come along since Harry Potter. Naturally, the studios followed Harry Potter's footstep and the final book was split into two films which obviously has good and bad aspects to it. Inevitably, it's the split created a very lukewarm and inconclusive tone. But nonetheless, it packs a punch with it's thrilling action sequences, emotionally captivating performances, and supremely talented cast. As a fan, I loved just watching these characters return and expand their world that focuses on their grim and harsh realities back home that is politically charged. 


(See my Trailer Reaction)

EDIT (11/28):

Arshad and I had an in-depth discussion about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part I) as we are huge fans of the book and films alike! You saw my take of the film up above and now, you can see us discuss the film in terms of performance, structure, story, and the differences from the book and the film. We really get nitty gritty with it and geek out a little bit so take a look!


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These luscious Korean posters for young quebecois, Xavier Dolan's fifth feature Mommy has been released and it is beautiful! I had the privilege of watching Mommy (review coming this week) at AFI FEST this past month and I absolutely was blown away by the intense yet intimate story which showcased tour-de-force performances that'll surely secure this Canada's official entry to the Oscar a spot in the upcoming nominations. These posters captured key emotional moments of these powerhouse characters with acute sensitivity. I am so glad to know that this film will be shown in Korea considering that we tend to have volatile relationships particularly with our parents which surely will be relatable to all. Mommy will be release December 12th in Los Angeles. 





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Badass Femmes is a bi-weekly column that I write on Crome Yellow about all the Badass Females in pop culture that has shaped my life.


The Harry Potter series is easily THE go-to franchise billions of fans, leading Harry’s fantastic wizarding world to become more of a mantra and lifestyle for different kinds of people across the globe. It’s a lot to tackle, spanning multiple forms of media, from novels, films, theme parks and even tons of fan-generated content – just look at the numerous youtube videos for proof! One thing is clear though, Hermione Granger was and is always a standout. Like so many other kids, I followed her example and as she showed us that we could all reach our full potential, intellectually and emotionally with blazing confidence and wit.

Truth be told, I wasn’t one of the millions of kids who would stay up all night burning through every new Harry Potter book; I waited for the films. But when I did start the books, I was intrigued by Hermione’s resilience and tenacity to constantly level up or surpass her companion’s abilities despite harsh criticism of doubt, especially the despicable Malfoy. When the books finally trekked their way to America, I was a teeny nine-year-old who considered herself more street smart than book smart. Even with my terse palette however, J.K. Rowling’s written words were feverishly addictive, introducing a female heroine for the ages.
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Year
: 2014
Director: Shim Sung-bo
Writer(s): Shim Sung-bo & Bong Joon-ho
Cinematographer: Hong Kyung-pyo
Cast: Park Yu-Chun, Kim Yun-seok, Han Ye-ri, Lee Hee-joon, Kim Sang-ho

Country of Origin: South Korea
Rating: N/A
Time: 111 min.
Contemporary Korean films have made a reputation of being the most grim experiences out there, replete with unabashed violence, incest, social inequality, and crime – Haemoo has three of those things! Adapted from a play by Kim Min-jung, it’s about a real life incident that occurred when a Korean fishing crew got mixed up in a botched human trafficking operation. Screenwriter-turned-director Shim Sung-bo’s adaptation is a harrowing film riddled with nail-biting suspense and easily accessible blockbuster conventions.
The film takes place in 1998, when the IMF Crisis made life hard for ordinary South Koreans. The owner and captain of a beat-up boat, Kang Chul-joo accepts a high risk job smuggling ethnic Koreans from China in exchange for enough money to save the ship he’s so desperately attached to. Kang doesn’t bother to reveal his desperate plan to his fellow fishermen until they’re out on the treacherous sea, entrapping them in an inevitably doomed arrangement. While everyone seems on board with the plan thanks to the persuasion of a hefty sum, it only takes one of the crew, Dong-sik (Park Yoo-chun), to fall in love with one of the immigrants, leading him to rebel against Kang and his shipmates.
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Year: 2014
Director: Josephine Decker
Writer(s): Josephine Decker & David Barker
Cinematographer: Ashley Connor
Cast: Sophie Traub, Joe Swanberg, Robert Longstreet

Country of Origin: U.S.
Rating: N/A
Time: 94 mins
If Terrence Malick had a twisted little sister, it would be Josephine Decker; the resemblance is clearly discernible in her sophomore feature, Thou Wast Mild & Lovely, utilizing Malick's uninhibited and experimental handheld style but with her own dash of psychosexual drama. Decker's story is framed against the backdrop of a quiet country farm, and shells out the kind of chills that not even Malick could muster. 

In the vein of John Steinbeck's East of Eden, the film follows Akin (Joe Swanberg), a man who's taken a summer job on a farm only to develop an attraction to its owner's daughter, Sarah (Sophie Traub). In what's seemingly an inevitable romance, the pair's physical attraction is amplified by their isolated setting, leading this quaint farm story to pack a ferocious intensity. If Terrence Malick had a twisted little sister, it would be Josephine Decker; the resemblance is clearly discernible in her sophomore feature, Thou Wast Mild & Lovely, utilizing Malick's uninhibited and experimental handheld style but with her own dash of psychosexual drama. Decker's story is framed against the backdrop of a quiet country farm, and shells out the kind of chills that not even Malick could muster. 

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AFI FEST has finally come and gone! AFI FEST has always been on top of their game when it comes to showcasing some of the finest and groundbreaking International and American cinema and this year, they outdid themselves. Highlighting the fest, they had an emotional and long-overdue tribute to the legendary Sophia Loren who has graced the Italian and American screens for generations. I had the privilege of being able to watch just a fraction of the films they had and I am even sad that I was not able to watch EVERYTHING! AFI FEST is a particularly great festival considering that all their tickets are FREE. Yeah, you heard that right, $FREE.99! 

And with that, you have one of the best curated film festivals in Los Angeles that caters to the mainstream and the indiest of audiences! You betcha that I was able to film some stuff while I was there so make sure to check out my film vlog down below! And keep your eyes out for upcoming reviews this week and many more updates on these films because I loved them all so much and everyone must watch them!

Top Five Films:
Girlhood (Dir. Céline Sciamma) (See review)
Mommy (Dir. Xavier Dolan)
The Tribe (Dir. Miroslav Slaboshpitsky)
The Absent (Dir. Nicholás Pereda)
Felt (Dir. Jason Banker) (See review)

A Most Violent Year (Dir. J.C. Chandor) (See ReviewB+
Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve) (See interview
The Midnight Swim (Dir. Sarah Adina Smith) B+
Two Days, One Night (Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne) A
Merchants of Doubt (Dir. Robert Kenner) A
Inherent Vice (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) B+
Thou Wast Mild & Lovely (Dir. Josephine Decker) (See ReviewA-
Stations of the Cross (Dir. Dietrich Brüggemann) A
Haemoo (Dir. Shim Sung-bo) (See ReviewB+
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (Dir. Nick Broomfield) A
Happy Valley (Dir. Amir Bar-Lev) A
What We Do in the Shadows (Dir. Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi) A
Fish & Cat (Dir. Shahram Mokri) A

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Mia Hansen-Løve’s fourth feature, EDEN, chronicles two decades in the Parisian club scene, starting in the early 1990s. Following aspiring young DJ, Paul (Félix de Givry), from his early gigs at house parties to a life of international travel and then through the waning popularity of garage music in the mid-2000s, the film is filled with both passion and melancholy. Hansen-Løve discusses her inspirations for the film, the importance of staying true to the authenticity of her experiences, and how Daft Punk became a vital part of the story.
AFI: What inspired you to tell this story?
MHL: I had written three films that were all very personal, but I felt like I was at the end of that inspiration. Even though EDEN is inherently a very personal film, I thought I had to explore a new territory. At the same time, I asked myself [how] the film would be about my generation and what it meant to me. That is something I asked myself when I watched Olivier Assayas’ SOMETHING IN THE AIR, because that was about his generation in the 1970s. I realized the music, especially electronic music, was the one thing that was defining for my generation. I had been talking with my brother, Sven – who had been involved in the music scene for 20 years since becoming a DJ at the age of 18 – about making a film about his story. I thought his pathway was very relevant as a way to talk about [our] generation, and its ideals, inspiration and fragility, too.
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Year: 2014
Director: Jason Banker
Writer(s): Jason Banker & Amy Everson
Cinematographer: Jason Banker
Cast: Amy Everson, Kentucker Audley, Elisabeth Ferrara, Roxanne Lauren Knouse
Country of Origin: U.S.
Rating: N/A
Time: 80 min
It's a rare discovery when a film can materialize the internal terror that women experience on a daily basis so disturbingly close to reality. Blurring the lines of documentary and narrative storytelling, Felt truly is a film that demands to be felt. It accomplishes its goal by penetrating the deepest, most harrowing aspects of trauma to tell one of the most powerful and jarring stories about the female experience and rape culture ever put on screen.

Director and cinematographer Jason Banker follows his 2012 debut film, Toad Road with Felt, co-written by Amy Everson who stars in the film as Amy, a San Franciscan artist recently plagued by a trauma (not explained but certainly sexual) inflicted by the men in her life. As her ordeal unravels emotionally and psychologically, she plunges herself in the world of art as a coping mechanism. 

“My life is a fucking nightmare” are the first words out of Amy’s mouth, a vocal confirmation of her trauma, usually reserved for her performance art. From there, we see her as she caves in on herself, crawling so deep and beyond, it’s unknown where the real Amy starts and ends. She re-appropriates the male form by frolicking in the woods, wearing an anatomically correct muscle suit and trying to re-enact the dominance demonstrated by the men she’s encountered. But it doesn’t stop there, as she continues to embrace their stereotypical brash, lewd attitude outside of costume form. This outlet to reclaim the power taken from her by an unknown attacker is only the beginning of how her mental disintegration manifests. Witnessing her inner battle materialize in outer form further conveys the delusion and terror that Amy struggles with every day, heightening the grim realities and the harsh effects of our gender warped society.
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Badass Femmes is a bi-weekly column that I write on Crome Yellow about all the Badass Females in pop culture that has shaped my life.

For those people who don't know this about me, I'm not a horror film fanatic. Since I'm not well versed in the genre, it's my mission in life to constantly broaden my horizon, whether it's discovering new films at Beyond Fest or somehow finding them on my own. Luckily, I have the expertise of your very own Sal from Crome Yellow to help me. And it was about this time last year when I finally had the nerve to watch a film highly regarded as one of the most horrifying experiences ever, Pascal Laugier's Martyrs. I went in with a gist of what to expect but when I crawled out, it was like I was stripped of my whole existence--reborn, bare, broken and transformed into a person I didn't recognize. that might seem like an exaggeration but those who have witnessed and experienced this singular film will know exactly what I'm talking about. Because like Anna in the story, we become martyrs simply by surviving the film. 

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It's BBBAAACCCKKKKK! The Fast & the Furious films are by far one of  my favorite franchise/series, hands down! How can you deny it's unrealistic action sequences and heart-felt message about friendship and family?! This is a film 14 years in the making and I am incredibly sad that it will end. But at least, it's for sure that they will go off in a HUGE BANG! The whole gang is back (R.I.P. Han) and this time, someone else is out for their blood. And that person is none other than Jason Statham, who is thirsty for revenge against Dominic Toretto and his crew for the death of his brother Owen Shaw (see Fast & Furious 6). 

James Wan is embarking on new genres outside of his usual Horror realms so it'll be real interesting to see what he brings to the table. This will be Paul Walker's last film and I just can't help but be sadden by the tragedy of his death but I'm hoping the film honors his immortal presence in the film to give him a well-deserved farewell! Check out my trailer reaction as I borderline go apeshit. I honestly was shivering throughout the whole trailer reaction as even my body could not contain its excitement! Furious 7 comes out April 3rd! Are you ready?! (Hurry up April!)


Really lovin' this minimal yet straightforward poster!

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As a big fan of Park Chan-wook, I am always excited to see new works by him whether it is features or shorts. And this time, we get all the ingenuity of Park but in a pint-size in a A Rose Reborn, a short film in promotion for an Italian fashion company, Zegna starring Jack Hudson (Boardwalk Empire) and Daniel Wu (Europa Report, Warcraft). The short introduces us to a young CEO who travels across the globe to meet a Chinese investor but stumbles upon a number of riddles and other odd exchanges before they can reach a deal. 



A Rose Reborn is filled with many Park trademarks of vivid and dark cinematography that is filled with a number of chilling and mysterious quirks which eventually transforms the tone to highlight the magically beautiful philosophical contemplation on life. I've only seen one other short film by Park called Nightfishing and this is another rare film that never ceases to amaze in his never-ending ability to tell dense and thoughtful stories that encompass the universal story of the human experience. It was a great move by Zegna to have Park concoct a unique and global story about the journey of discovery and growth that also emphasizes the lifestyle of fashion. 





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