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Trailer Reaction: Fast & Furious 8


Oh Mama! There's been a lot of buzz surrounding Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's horror film, Goodnight Mommy after it premiered at Venice Film Festival last year. I even missed it when it was showing at AFI FEST so I am so happy that the trailer is finally here! I don't do well with horror films but after watching Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, I think I can watch anything. And by the looks of it, it seems that Goodnight Mommy would be on par with The Babadook in terms of providing jarring imagery, mommy issues, and psychological mind-fuckery. This trailer is bound to induce some blood-curdling yelps and come September 11th, we most likely will witness of one of the best horror films of this year!

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In the third episode of the Girl Talk SeriesMotherhood is Serious Business, Becky & Rea talk about their contrasting views of motherhood, careers, and life when they discover that their friend Sophie is pregnant. Entering our mid-twenties, the ever so pressing topic of marriage and motherhood all while juggling a career always seems to be on our minds. Although we might want to do it all: have a successful career as well as build a family, sometimes it's just difficult to manage especially given our individual circumstances in life. We explore the vast spectrum of different women who feel innately tied to motherhood to those who feel that maybe the idea of maternal instinct is a social construct that they simply don't possess. Whatever their take on it is, it is important to show the various viewpoint so we can shatter the societal expectations of women and support each other's decision no matter what. 



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Our favorite grrrlz are back! Amy Poehler and Tina Fey reunite after doing Baby Mama with another hilarious and riotous ride in Sisters. As seen in most films, women get a bad rep for being complete party poopers but nope, not this time! This time Poehler and Fey bring the fire when playing two sisters who decided to have a last rendezvous at their parent's house. And boy, do they bring the noise! I'm so glad to finally see women letting loose in an obnoxious, unfiltered, and of course, hilarious way as we normally do! Directed by Pitch Perfect's Jason Moore and written by SNL veteran Paula Pell, this film is going to be a blast especially starring Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, and more! Sisters comes out Christmas and you bet your ass I'll be the very few people watching it by myself if I have to! 

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Oh snapz! Our favorite hip and uber talented Quebecois auteur, Xavier Dolan is here once again with another film called Tom at the Farm! Granted he made this film before Mommy which I saw a year ago at AFI FEST it but finally got a U.S. trailer so here it is! After the sudden death of his lover, Guillaume, Tom played by Dolan travels to his home in the country for the funeral. It's a sexually charged, psychological thriller that climaxes to a twisty and deceptive conclusion. 



Considering Tom at the Farm was the second film I've seen of his after Lawrence Anyways, I wasn't sure how to make of the film especially the ending. You can see my spoiler-filled review with Sales on Film here. In retrospect having seen most of his filmography now, I think I should revisit the film considering the film's Hitchcockian tones and feels is worth reanalyzing. Tom at the Farm opens on August 14

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In this second episode, Let's Have a Body Party, Alisha & Camille discuss body issues after watching Lily Myer's slam poetry of "Shrinking Women." In the video, Myer proclaims that women have been taught to grow in while men have been taught to go out. In a culture where women constantly have to filter their thoughts and habits, it's important to focus and point out how talking about our bodies affect our self-esteem and our health. Especially when you mix culture and parents into it. This is a topic that needs to be discussed time and time again and most people just think that Asians are "naturally" petite which is on the contrary. Alisha & Camille touch on this subject of body issues within our culture to shed more light on the pressures to be thin, food habits, and the misconceptions of Asian body norms. 

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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.

Girls are constantly being told that they can’t do what boys can, simply because…. biology. Alright, we get it! Now, shut up! I understand that we are physically not built the same way. But while we sometimes might not be able to carry something really heavy or open an insanely air-tight mason jar, it doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to offer. This is why it’s so obviously infuriating to tell a woman, a person who can bring life into this world, that they can’t do and don’t have the same power as men. This idea is one of the central themes in Karyn Kusama’s breakthrough debut, Girlfight, starring then fresh-faced newcomer Michelle Rodriguez as Diana Guzman. As the role that catapulted the now, Fast & Furious star to fame, the role of her lifetime gave us an unapologetically fierce and downright in-your-face Diana, a woman who fights (literally) against gender discrimination both in her private and public life.
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After I saw Alex Ross Perry's third feature, Listen Up Philip last year, I was completely blown away by his idiosyncratic and refreshing cinematic voice which cemented his status as one of the best American filmmakers of our generation! That is a loaded statement but when you can read my Listen Up Philip review and you will know why! So it's no surprise why I would be excited to see what Ross does next especially starring the incredibly dynamic and powerful actress, Elisabeth Moss in Queen of Earth. The film centers around what happens when two childhood best friends reunite for the summer. Sounds so innocuous huh? But blending the memories of the past and present, we witness as Virginia (Moss) begins to spiral out of control as the her and her bestie's (Katherine Waterston) lives begin to intersect. 



Written and directed by Perry, Queen of Earth has throwback feels to masterful psychological thrillers from the 70's (cough cough Hitchcock, who else!). While we saw Moss channel her paper-thin fragility in Philip, in Queen of Earth, it seems like she passes any coherent emotional state to soar straight into madness! The poster says it all with the manic stricken facial expressions that can send daggers into our hearts. Although the trailer is somewhat vague, I truly put full faith in Perry's ever so versatile vision that makes me believe in singularly unique cinematic voices once again! Queen of Earth comes out on August 26 & I cannot wait to descend down the rabbit hole with Moss!

     
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Oh man, I wasn't expecting this trailer at all! The trailer to David Ayer's much anticipated Suicide Squad is here! Partially because after it premiered at Comic-Con, WB failed to upload the trailer right away which resulted in shitty pirated footage being uploaded! So here it is! I am so amazed by the collection of A-list powerhouses in a "Superhero/villain film that just elevates the excitement that much more! Can we also talk about Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn for a sec? I almost crapped my pants (poo emoji)!!! She seems like the centerpiece of this entire film & I couldn't be happier. Her manic, dazed, and whimsical spirit makes her being a villain that much more dangerous! The film can't come soon enough! Suicide Squad comes out August 5, 2016!

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In this first episode, It's About that Hustle, Baby, Anh & Ellen talk about the tribulations of being an artist and all the emotional turmoil that come with the role. This is a conversation piece that we've all talked about over and over again, so much to the point of dizzying proportions. We've reached our mid-twenties and now what? With a mountain of college debt, the struggle to achieve our dreams gets increasingly harder and lost in the mound of bills, jobs, and projects. The surplus of anxiety and doubt that come with being an artist is the most unexpected and difficult struggle we've all experienced. Anh & Ellen dive deep within and reflect on their own artistic careers and identities while navigating through adulthood.



Ep. 2: Let's Have a Body Party
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Inspired by Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, the Girl Talk Series is a showcase of two girls talking in the comfort of their own intimate space about topics that are most dear to them. Most of the work I do focuses on the representation of Asian American girls because I truly feel like we don't get our stories told without the filter of some outsider's perspective.  I felt thirsty and famished to see our stories told and instead of waiting for someone else to tell them, I decided to do it myself.

The Girl Talk Series is a passion project wholly done by yours truly from producing, directing, shooting,  and even editing. These are words and stories from real girls as they discuss topics like career choices, body image, motherhood, and even loss. I was very conscious about capturing female interaction and conversations in a casual and frank light that is a honest portrayal of how girls talk in their everyday lives. Stripped down and raw, it's a sneak peek into the sacred world of girlhood especially in the intimate space of their homes. 

These stories aren't specifically related to being an Asian female but our culture and environment very much has shaped our opinions and lives. I felt it was vital to embrace our identity down to the core which propelled me to encompass every aspect of this filmmaking process with Asian-American females from behind the camera (me, duh) to the front and even down to the musical choices of each video. I hope these words resonant with you as much as they did with me. I am so proud of these girls who let me into their homes and lives. They are truly speaking for so many voiceless girls out there that just want their experience to be heard. Thank you for tuning in and I'll see you every Wednesday!

XOXOXO,
So


Anh & Ellen


Alisha & Camille


Becky & Rea

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Holy shiiiiiiiit! The Simpsons are always killin it when it comes to doing homages to revered auteurs from everyone from Hayao Miyazaki to Guillermo del toro! And now, here is Bartkira! Barkira is a parody mash-up of the lauded 90's manga and film, Akira and obviously The Simpsons! This is probably the coolest homage I have ever seen! Transforming the original Akira trailer, shot by shot, through The Simpsons lens is incredible to see! No way is this officially associated with Fox Animation but it's so great to see it be made and out there! Based on the idea by Ryan Humphrey, he has been making comics way before this trailer through the Bartkira project, a comic collaboration of Simpsons fans which is curated by James Harvey! So freaking tight! Check out their site to see more of the Bartkira project! www.bartkira.com



Now, the Japanese trailer!


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Year: 2015
Director: Sean Baker
Writer: Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch
Cinematographer: Sean Baker & Radium Cheung
Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O'Hagan, James Ransone
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: R
Time: 88 mins.




I had the privilege of watching Sean Baker's Tangerine back in January at the Sundance Film Festival and named it one of the best films I saw there! Starring first-time transgender actresses and shooting on-location on the corners of Hollywood, specifically, Santa Monica Blvd--Tangerine is an explosive piece of cinema that pulsates with authenticity through their vibrant characters and riotous energy that has never been seen on screen quite like this before! The story follows two transgender sex workers, Sin-dee (Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) on Christmas Eve. When Sin-dee finds out that her pimp has been cheating on her with another "fish" aka a real woman, "like with a vagina and everything," she rampages through town to seek revenge! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Damn straight!


Tangerine caused a surplus of deafening buzz at Sundance after the screening because Baker revealed that the entire film was shot on the iPhone 5s. As incredible as that is, don't call this an iPhone film because it is so much more than that! Utilizing their ultra low-budget, Baker and his incredible team of long-time collaborators were able to make one of the most refreshing films of the year despite the budget due to their sheer brilliance and dedication to true filmmaking! You will not have a more fun time this summer than watching Tangerine on the big screen! I can't wait for the soundtrack and poster to be released so I can get my grubby hands on them!!! Tangerine comes out this week!

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When you hear the word Creed, a Rocky spin-off film directed by Ryan Coogler doesn't jump right into mind but here it is! The sophomore feature by Coogler follows Adonis Creed, the son of Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa's former rival, Apollo Creed where he will be trained by Balboa himself in order to gain a title! With the skillful hands of Coogler, I suspect that this film will be more emotionally driven provided by a top-notch performance by Michael B. Jordan! Naturally Slyvester Stallone will be making an appearance and I like their chemistry from what I see. Watch my reaction below which also includes remarks relating to the "Creed-munity" that is outraged by the title of the film! Creed comes out November 25! I can already hear the Oscar buzz!


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Year: 2015
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Writer: Reid Carolin
Cinematographer: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Gabriel Iglesias
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: R
Time: 115 mins.



You thought the first Magic Mike was good, wait till you see Magic Mike XXL! Taking over for Steven Soderbergh, his go to AD, Gregory Jacobs takes over and it is definitely bigger, badder, and a hell of a lot more fun! The most unexpected aspect of XXL is how much of the film is feminist as it is bromantic. Not only do we get to know the characters a little bit more but it's their individual characteristics that propel this film to be that much more touching and downright exhilarating! Their reinforcement of female empowerment was especially overwhelming as it was coupled with overflowing shots of the guy's chiseled bodies! As you can see Jenn and I freak out a little bit!



There is no better way to explain ever thought that conjured up in our heads while watching XXL better than this article right here! Although this film is empowering, it may lead many of the audiences to have unrealistic standards for men as these men are basically PERFECT--emotionally, physically, and spiritually! But who cares right?! Finally we have a film that caters to the female gaze and provides a narrative that is equally thoughtful and encouraging to the female sexual appetite! I anticipate that it will once again break records as this is one of the best summer films to watch! Hell, it might just be one of the best films to come out this year! Enjoiii! 

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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. 

Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard being in any minority group in America. Being a woman is hard enough, but imagine being a black and queer as well – you can just imagine the sorts of challenges you might run into on a daily basis. Rarely have I seen that perspective painted as vibrantly as it is than in Alike (Adepero Oduye), the central character of Dee Rees’ semi auto-biographical first narrative feature, Pariah. The film is a gorgeously shot one, which takes us through this woman’s first loves, friendship, family and heartbreak, pulsating with authenticity and heart. Oduye as Alike gives us a nuanced, complex performance that resonates through every scene. As she reclaims her identity and sexuality amidst the vicious prejudice of her own family, we get to know a girl takes charge of her life and realizes that only she can make the choices that will make her happy.


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