Tuesday, August 31, 2010

KTown Reality Show

K-Town Reality Show is already in the works and will be coming to the small screen near you. Soon I hope. This show is going to based in Los Angeles' own Koreatown.

This show is going to rule! Ninja plz! First, its Asians hanging within the nightlife of Koreatown! That is a culture that needs exposure. Second, these Asians will not be the typical guys that go home after work and play SC2 all night long. But these kidz are going to go and rule the night. Third, its going to make you think about your priorities. When you see someone else on screen that make a big deal about something you may also think is a big deal. You reevaluate it in your life. Most likely a demotion in importance. Lastly, from now on, instead of the usually, "what WOW do you play?" It's going be, "So, you the Situ-asn?"

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Frozen Flower - 霜花店:朕的男人

A Frozen Flower (霜花店:朕的男人) is a 2008 film out of Korea. The movie stars Jo In-sung, Ju Jin-mo, and Song Ji-hyo.

The movie is based in Ancient Korea near the end of the Goryeo Dynasty. The King, played by Ju Jin-mo, seeks to rid his kingdom of control from China's Yuan Dynasty. One move he makes is to recruit and train up an elite group of body guards called the Kunryongwe. As it turns out, the King is actually gay and began an affair with the chief of the body guards, Hong Lim, played by Jo In-sung. But the king starts to take pressure from the imperial court when no heir is on the horizon. The Yuan force their hand by suggesting a crown prince. This would essentially nullify the King's powers. With no other viable options, the King recruits Hong to impregnant the Queen, played by Song Ji-hyo. However, emotions develop and it becomes a love triangle.

A Frozen Flower wraps ancient imperial court drama and the confines of royalty. The story was suggestive at first, went into detail, went suggestive again, before it finished off in tragedy.

I think I read somewhere that this was a follow up to the King and The Clown. I haven't seen King and The Clown, but I'll go out on a limb and say that the subject matter was very different, but still based on in the imperial courts. Politics, Politics. Intriguing story to say the least.

The unfortunate thing about this movie is that it spends so much time on the flesh that it doesn't do a good job selling the characters. The political rules are presented very well, but there was not enough character development to make me care. Why should we care? When tragedy befalls them, so what? In the end, I was ultimately disappointed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ninja Plz!

If you've been living under rock or in a stone cave, you may not have heard. But are you a NINJA? Ninja plz!

A couple of months ago, this YouTube clip was passed around via Facebook, IM, etc. Bottom line, its stupid funny. If you're within the CJK realm, this clip makes perfect sense to you. If not, you're just thinking, "those crazy azns at it again, being all racist".

Word up my Ninja?!

If I had thought up this crazy idea, I would have used Pirate! Arrrggggh-uably the best word ever. Blimey avast my pirate!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

All's Well Ends Well 2010 - 花田囍事2010

All's Well Ends Well 2010 (花田囍事2010) is a 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Louis Koo, Sandra Ng, Ronald Cheng, Raymond Wong, Angelababy, and Lynn Hung.

The film is about a royal family in the beginnings of the Ming Dynasty. Louis Koo is the emperor. Sandra Ng is the crazy women. Angelababy is the princess and her squeze the general played by Ronald Cheng. Princess falls in river, loses memory. Picked up by Million, played by Raymond Wong, forces her to marry. General looks for Princess. Queen wants to see princess. Emperor is not very smart. LOL moments placed every 5 minutes or so.

This is what it is. Mindless entertainment with the stars of today looking their best in ancient gear. Angelababy stands out as a stunning beauty. Louis is going nuts, in the movie and real life for doing these films. Ronald is Ronald. Lynn Hung is a giant and looks out of place in this film.

See it for the eye candy. Skip it if you're looking for a engaging story.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Short of Love - 矮仔多情

Short of Love (矮仔多情) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Wong Cho Lam, Angelababy, Race Wong, JJ Jia, and Kate Tsui. With cameos from Ella Koon, Chrissie Chau, Divas (HK), Louis Cheung, I Love You Boyz, ToTo Mui, Eddie Ng, Louis Yuen, and Lynn Xiong.

The movie is about Wong Cho Lam as Jack, a very rich stock trader. Jack is short, has curly hair, fat lips, and not very easy on the eyes. Yet in this movie, he's a playboy and gets all the girls! Amazing! In this movie, he's already living with Chrissie Chau as Lily, but due to some comedic circumstances, Lily thinks Jack is poor and leaves him. Down on his luck, he abandons work and looks for love, or sex partners. Angelababy as an Angel gives him some advice that helping others will help him find love. It starts at his shrinks office when Race Wong as Chrissy/Christine/Chris mistakes Jack for a shrink. Jack does his best to woo Chrissy, but Chrissy has multiple personality disorder. With drugs in hand and than mixing them up, Chrissy developers even more personalities. On the run, Jack bumps into JJ Jia's Caca and befriends her, by playing a blind masseuse. Of course, Caca finds out he's not blind. Kate Tsui as Sandy enters his life. And falls for Jack?!

Wow. I had this movie on while doing bills, so, it was tolerable. If I were just watching the movie and doing nothing else. I'd stop and read the business section of my Los Angeles Times to feel smarter. The movie seemed to only be a showcase for Wong Cho Lam. Unfortunately, Jack is a character that stays unlikable to the very end. And you have to wonder in your head, none of these real life beauties should give him the time of day.

This was the second movie with Angelabay I've seen. Angelababy is now my favorite HK actress. Amazingly beautiful.

Chrissie Chau, this is the first movie I've seen her in a movie. Chrissie's been in the HK news a lot lately as a sexy bombshell. Unfortunately, from this movie, bombshell she isn't. Bombshell is a combo of looks an body. Chrissie may have the boby, but not the beauty part.

JJ Jia makes another great appearance. JJ's great and her personal blog ads to her aura. Sweet and gentle, but all so beautiful.

Angelebaby softens up the movie and had way to little screen time. Boo! More screen time for Angelababy!

In essence, you're watching this movie for the all the lovely ladies stomping around. That's it. The story only moves you to the next lady. Fine by me. If the ladies were any less, the movie wouldn't have gotten me to the end.

Watch for the ladies, skip it if you're looking for an interesting story.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crying Fist - 哭泣的拳頭 又名: 赤搏之男

Crying Fist (哭泣的拳頭 又名: 赤搏之男) is a 2005 film out of Korea. The movie stars Choi Min-sik and Ryu Seung-beom.

The movie starts with Ryu Seung-beom as Yu Sang-hwan. Yu is a small time crook who burglarizes people for a living. Yu is always up for a fight and doesn't back down from anyone. Choi Min-sik plays Kang Tae-shik, a former elite boxer. Kang is forced to a life of a street entertainer to make money. Without going into specifics, these two have problems. Lots of problems. Problems with family. Problems with making a living. Problems. These two are also very impulsive and engage in self destructive behavior. However, when boxing becomes a focal point in their lives again, they actually stay focused and train really hard and stay out of trouble. Can boxing be the cure in their lives?

The two stars of the movie were at a crossroads when this movie came out in 2005. Choi was enjoying the limelight of Oldboy and Ryu Seung-beom was an up and coming young stud after Arahan. Both have had varying degrees of success since. Choi still remains a A-List Star and known to the international audience. Ryu has continued to stay busy, but is virtually unknown outside of Korea. Back in 2005, I really wanted to watch this movie. But due to lack of English subs, I was never not able to watch around its time of release. And it eventually fell off my radar. In fact, most Korean cinema fell off my radar from 2006 through 2009. I've slowly been getting back into and re-visted this when I found a version with English subs at a local video store.

And was I ever disappointed. In general, this movie was the reason I stopped watching Korean cinema back in 2006. It presented the 2 protagonist as 2 flawed people. Very flawed and with no real redeeming value. I didn't like them at the beginning of the film and I liked them less as the film ended. Nothing they did from the character development side made me cheer for them. If the boxing was the only thing to focus them, I felt no pity for them. Because they continue to be bastards that are highly unlikable. The boxing didn't change them, it just drew their attention for a moment.

Hey, if you like that kind of cinema, go for it. It does present a slice of life that seems based on reality and something you won't see much of in K-dramas. Gritty, violent, and intense for most of the film. Lots and lots of subplots to drive the main plot point.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Robbers - 我的唐朝兄弟

我的唐朝兄弟 (The Robbers) is a 2009 film out of China. The movie stars Hu Jun, Jiang Wu, Wang Xiao, Lichun Lee, Li Sa, Yin Jian, and Yu Xiaolei. There is a large supporting cast, but its too numerous to list.

Two hunters enter a village. The two hunters are played by Hu Jun, as Shisan, and Jiang Wu as Chen Liu. Shisan carries bow and arrows along with a long and short knives. Liu carrys a pole blade with long and short swords. They ask for water at a house on the outskirts of town and starts to rob them. But Tang soliders start their way to the village. Shisan and Liu force the grown daughter of the hut, Lue Niang to lie to them. But the Tang are more interesting in raping Niang. Liu kills the solider, which cause them to kill others and bring trouble to the village. The villagers now come and capture the two and plan on handing them over to the Tang soldiers that are surely to return. The robbers trick the villagers and escape falling into a well. The Tang soliders return the next day but the do not give mercy to the villagers. And back and forth they go, the robbers, villagers and Tang soldiers.

The movie is loud and hard to follow. There are so many characters among the villagers and it was hard to connect to them. But when the movie shifted back to Shisan and Liu, the movie seemed to set the tone for why the movie is. It is their relationship to each other that drives the film.

The movie was entertaining but I didn't understand the point at the end. But I still haven't figured out if it was worth the time. Which usually means it wasn't.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Legend Fighting Championship - 武林傳奇

Legend Fighting Championship (武林傳奇) is a MMA promotion from Hong Kong. They recently finished their 2nd event in June. From the clips, it doesn't look like the fighting is great, but exciting enough. I do hope for this promotion to succeed and help develop MMA with Chinese fighters.

I've been into MMA since the "winner takes all" tournaments of the original UFC. It was so crazy back in the 90s that many places started to ban these events. However, MMA has slowly matured to its current state. Recently, with so much UFC on Spike, I've gotten more and more into it.

If you're a fan of MMA, there is hope for a Chinese organization to succeed. Maybe in 20 years, we'll have a Chinese guy as a world champion in a weight division. Maybe even as an olympic sport?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Green Hornet - 青蜂俠 Trailer

A couple of months back, a full trailer of the upcoming The Green Hornet (青蜂俠) trailer was released to the wild.

As you'll notice, Jay Chou's English sucks. If anything, it's monotone and forced. I hope the story makes up for it. Please don't make him too fobby!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Target Commercials

Target is fast becoming a all in one shopping destination for my family. Back just 3-4 years ago, we had to split shopping trips into the supermarkets, the mall, Costco, and Target. Recently, Target has given reason for me to eliminate supermarkets, malls and Costco. Target has it all now. From clothes to dairy products to simi-bulk items. There really isn't a reason to look else where.

The prices may not compare to Costco, but I don't have to worry about storage space and the massive lines.

Malls have all been eliminated from my trips. Malls are such a hassle when you've got to drag around 2 young kids. Parking usually sucks and the mall is usually multi-levels. Not fun to navigate around.

Supermarkets have been reduced to meat, fruit, and veggies. So, its been reduced from once a week to once a month. We've also made it a point to make it out to the local Farmer's Markets as well.

So, Target has recently been airing lots and lots of commercials. In the case of Target, they actually present Asians normally. As part of life. No ching chong flute music. No bamboo garden on the desk behind. Just regular settings.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gallants - 打擂台

Gallants (打擂台) is a 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie is a homage of sorts to the kung fu flicks of yesteryear. The old skool cast include Siu-Lung Leung (Leung Siu Lung aka Bruce Leung) as Tiger, Kuan Tai Chen (Chan Koon Tai) as Dragon, Teddy Robin Kwan, and Shaw Yin Yin (Susan Shaw). The new skool cast includes Wong You Nam, JJ Jia, and MC Jin.

Wong You Nam as Cheung is a office drone that's sent out to the outskirts of HK to collect on a property. When he get there, he's picked on by local gangsters and runs for help to a local tea house. There, 2 kung fu masters are in disguise, Bruce Leung as Tiger, and Chan Koon Tai as Dragon. They take in Cheung. JJ Jia plays Kwai, an orphan girl taken in by Tiger and Dragon. Cheung and JJ form an uneasy relationship. Mc Jin as Mang is a local land developers son. The put on a tournament and try to take over the land the tea house current stands on. Tiger and Dragon have also been waiting for their master to awaken from his slumper of 30 years.

The movie was a homage to the old skool and a shout out to some of the current new skool stuff. In general, the movie was quite entertaining and I was hoping for more JJ screen time. I don't know if I bought into the hype and expected it to blow me away, but I was greatly underwhelmed. The movie was very very long and the storyline with Robin Teddy was annoying. Very annoying. And that storyline was roughly half the film. If I knew who Robin was and his impact, maybe I would look at it differently. But I don't know who Robin Teddy is.

If it weren't for JJ, I can't really recommend this film.

Friday, August 20, 2010

72 Tenants of Prosperity - 七十二家房客

72 Tenants of Prosperity (七十二家房客) is a 2010 Chinese New Years film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars a who's who of HK stardom. The main three stars are Eric Tsang, Jacky Cheung, and Anita Yuen. Bosco Wong, Linda Chung, Stephy Tang, and Wong Cho Lam round the supporting cast.

Movie starts in the past where 3 youths prevent local landlords from taking advantage of the tenants. These three youths grow up to modern day Eric Tsang, Jacky Cheung, and Anita Yuen. Eric Tsang and Anita Yuen, are now married. Eric Tsang and Jacky Cheung have competing cell phone stores and are rivals. Even their children get in on the act. But they become lovers from rivals. Watch out for all the homages to other HK films of recent times.

The movie was a jumbled mess. The main storyline of Eric Tsang, Jacky Cheung, and Anita Yuen was quite weak and than their children fall in love with each other? And than you have a nemesis from the past?

I guess Chinese New Years movies like this really don't have to be good, but just get butts in the seats. Watching this months after Chinese New Years and being in the states, the movie is a pass from me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shaw Bros Movie Action Figures

Shaw Bros Movie Action Figures are available for purchase! It really sucks to be an adult these days. When I was a kid, what toys did I have? Transformers, G.I. Joes, and Star Wars. Nowadays, everything has a toy. Including these iconic Shaw Bros movie action figures.

I wish I could have had a chance to play with these when I was a kid watching all those dubbed "Kung Fu Theatre" movies. Which included many Shaw Bros.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Supreme Swordsman -- 至尊一劍 - 老鷹的劍

The Supreme Swordsman (至尊一劍/老鷹的劍) is a 1983 Shaw Bros. film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Derek Yee and Jason Pai Piao. This was among the handful of last Shaw Bros kung fu flicks in the mid 80s.

The story starts with Jason Pai Piao as Chin/Qin looking to collect swords for his 100 sword pagoda. Chin has slowly built on this and is nearing the 100 sword mark. When he gets to 99, he has his eyes set on the 100th one. The 100th one would belong to the sword spirit. But Chin loses the battle and learns some information he didn't know about before. Chin asks his master why all the martials arts were not transferred to him. Along the way, Chin seeks the lost sword of his clan, the eagle sword. But Chin takes the sword from Yan Bei, played by Derek Yee. Insert revenge film plot now.

The movie was very good actually. From the wuxia to the fighting. I was completely engaged. The story really worked out. The pacing however wasn't the best, but the story was the main driving point. You can expect some special effects in the fighting, but most of it was OG Shaw Bros swordplay of that era, early 80s style.

A must watch for fantasy swordplay aficionados. Especially Shaw Bros ones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

14 Blades - 錦衣衛

14 Blades (錦衣衛) is a 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Donnie Yen, Vicki Zhao, Wu Chun, and Kate Tsai. If you're a fan of the old skool kung fu movies, you'll see plenty of guys from the Shaw Bros. heyday in this film.

Jinyi Wei is a special military police that serves the Emperor during the Ming Dynasty. Donnie Yen plays Qinglong, the leader of the Jinyi Wei. Given orders to retrieve a box by an eunich that's controlled the emperor, Qinglong is betrayed and wounded. Qinglong goes on the run by hiring a escort group to get him out of town. It is there that Qinglong meets Vicki Zhao's character of Qiao Hua. Hua is a tomboy and very impulsive. Qinglong and Hua embark on a journey to a city in the west. There, they meet Wu Chun's character of Sands. Sands is the leader of a group of thieves set on stealing from a group that just entered the city. Qinglong teams up with Sands. Both go after what they want.

The movie was pretty awesome when it came to the action sequences. Very fast editing harken back to the 90s a little bit, but the modern effects are all there as well. The story is a little hard to follow as the subplots are just filler.

If you're looking for action, this movie has it. If you're looking for a modern wuxia film with a touch of 90s, you'll also get it. And you're get a high recommendation from me to watch this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

周杰倫 - 跨時代 -- Jay Chou - The Era

周杰倫/跨時代 (Jay Chou/The Era) was released a few months back. AMAX had a full display of this during my weekly trip there. I picked it up and it's a doozy.

The first song is classic Jay Chou with his R&B inspired beats and his rap-singing. Something that's hard to reproduce since no one else in the industry has come close. The rest go into all directions of musical styles. Again, classic Jay Chou. Or similar to his the blueprint from his last 2 albums.

In all, I was quite impressed and had it on repeat for a week. I do listen to it on and off nowadays.

Since Jay's debut in 2000, he's had a studio album every year until 2009 came around. Something about making a Hollywood movie got in the way of his schedule. As most of his albums have come in the fall, but this came right before summer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reason to Watch Amazing Race Again

For the 17th season of Amazing Race, it looks like KevJumba and his dad are going to be contestants! Awesome. I haven't had any interest in the Amazing Race since Tammy and Victor won season 14.

So, get ready for Season 17, it's gonna air this fall in Prime Time on CBS. Sweet. If KevJumba doesn't make it to the last week, I'll be very disappointed and blame his father.

When the promos come out, I'll update this post with the clips.

UPDATE:YouTube clips from CBS.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Socialism Studies - Hacienda Heights!

A few months back, nearby Hacienda Heights's Mandarin language classes came under attack. However, it wasn't the hard hitting news channel's covering the controversy. It was the good folks over at The Daily Show. Jay Chen does a great job of keeping a straight face through it all.

I don't normally watch the Daily Show, but whenever clips like this get passed around via FB or IMs, it's always worth a watch. Especially since everyone knows that Chinese Culture leads one to Communism.

Friday, August 13, 2010

弦子 - 天真 -- Xian Zi - Innocent

弦子/天真 (Xian Zi/Innocent) was released a few months ago in Taipei and China. I picked it up recently at AMAX. The lead song is the theme track for Always Smile!. The rest is a bunch of pop tunes that go both fast and slow. There are 4 MVs for the CD already, you can take a listen yourself.

I was very disappointed when first listened to it. But after the 3rd and 4th time, I love the CD. Sometimes, it just takes a few repeat listens to get adjusted. I do prefer the 2nd half to the first half. So, do NOT give up on it. It'll put a smile on your face eventually.

Xian Zi is from the Guang Xi region, so her Mandarin is very similar to the "proper" Mandarin spoken in Taiwan. In many cases, I was thinking, is she from Taiwan? But she makes her music in Taiwan. Xian Zi is also very easy on the eyes.

Below are a bunch of clips from her latest CD, 天真 - Innocent.

If you'll remember, Xian Zi was a contestant on some China singing show from a few years back. She was asked to sing a duet with Wilber Pan a few years back called, 不得不愛 (roughly translates to, "can't help it to love"). Which to this day, I'll have on repeat for hours on end when I need to focus.

Pick it up and give a few tries. It'll grow on you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jump - 跳出去

Jump (跳出去) is a 2009 film out of China. The movie stars Kitty Zhang as a country bumpkin that moves to the big city. The other notable cast member is Leon Jay Williams. The movie is produced by Stephen Chow and directed by Stephen Fung.

Kitty Zhang plays Phoenix, a country girl that loves to dance. A former member of the country city returns and says that he can hire 3 people back to his factory. Phoenix and her best friend make it. There, she persue her dreams of dancing. Hooking up as a cleaner at a dance studio, Phoenix learns moves and grooves to the surroundings. Eventually, she's good enough to represent the school!

What a story! If you don't know, Kitty Zhang was hand picked by Stephen Chow as his next vixen in CJ7. Kitty Zhang has gone on to Shaolin Girl and now Jump with Chow's production company.

Kitty however isn't very pretty as a country bumpkin. In fact, its a sight to behold, especially at the end of the movie. Where you wonder, is Kitty really a vixen?

Back to the movie, should you watch it? Yes, its irrelevant fun. The end with its bend of kung fu to hip hop plays only slightly different than Kung Fu Hip Hop.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Wish I Knew - 海上傳奇 - Released

I Wish I Knew (海上傳奇/海上传奇) is a documentary out of China by famed "sixth generation" China director, Jia Zhangke. The movie is a documentary of families that stayed or left Shanghai prior to the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War. The movie will explore 12 out of the 80 he got on film.

Personally, I claim Shanghai as my main ancestry point. Although I am half Sichaun, I feel closer to my Shanghainese ancestry due to growing up with my paternal grandparents. At one point in my elementary years, I was able to speak to my grandparents in Shanghainese. I've since forgotten everything, which is a major shame.

So, the movie looks very intriguing on so many levels for me. The trailer seems to have Cantonese and Shanghainese so I'll need English subs to understand those parts. Here's to hoping it does get subs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ninja Assassin - 忍者刺客

Ninja Assassin (忍者刺客) is a 2009 film starring Korean pop icon Rain. The movie was highly anticipated due to the involvement of Rain and the Wachowski brothers.

The movie starts off with the destruction of a Yakuza gang lead by potty mouth Sung Kang getting a traditional Yakuza tattoo. When a note is sent to them, the tattoo artist is shocked and tells the gang that their demise is imminent. The gang laughs at such a preposterous concept. But the lone ninja comes and destroys the gang. The ninja comes out of the shadow and you can tell its Rick Yune. Fastfoward to Rain with his flowing locks as Raizo. Flashback to his training as a Ozunu clan ninja proceeds to be scattered threw the first half of the movie. Rain is tracked down by a Forensic Researcher of Europol and they go on a hunt for the leader of the Ozunu, of which Raizo has renegaded from. Lots and lots of fighting happens after this. With a few minor twists.

The movie was pretty bad. From Rain's faux robo voice to the CG fighting. The way Rain wins battles is a very very unbelievable. Because you have to take into account what he does to others and reconcile with why those things don't happen to him in a fight. Maybe Raizo is just that good. Don't ask, just believe.

Rain does get to show off his impeccable body to the masses. Rain is just adding to the reputation of leading Korean men having yolked physics. What's gonna happen to fatty when he comes along?

Lots more issues for me though. I know Rain is a superstar in Asia, but I completely missed that boat. I really have no clue who this guy is other than that he dances very well. I don't know his music nor his k-dramas. So, add that to a ninja role, I really had to suspend belief.

Benefit of the doubt I gave, but the return I got was a jumbled mess. I really wanted to like this movie.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chopped - Food Network

I've been watching a lot of Food Network, HGTV, and Cooking Channel since I got FiOS. Since a lot of my watching involves my two little daughters being around, I don't have to worry about the content of the shows nor the commercials. For the most part, everything is friendly and mostly harmless stuff.

One of my favorite shows around is "Chopped" on the Food Network. The show is split up into 3 rounds, an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Four chefs are given a basket of mystery ingredients. One chef is eliminated from each round until there is only one. The prize for the chef is $10,000 USD. After each round, a chef is "chopped" and is eliminated from the competition.

The majority of the chefs do come from the NYC area. You don't see a lot of SoCal cooking that I am so use to. In general, there are not many Asian chefs. But they are represented and have won.

Recently, I watched an episode title "Crunch Time" and one of the featured chefs was named Lance Nitahara. It was one of the most entertaining episodes I've ever seen of the Chopped series. Lance made it to the final round but was chopped. If on another show against other lesser competition, he would surely have prevailed. Let me tell you, there are dreadful episodes where someone had to win.

Too bad all these chefs are based in the NYC area. This LA boy will never get a chance to taste their talents. And in this case, Lance Nitahara's food. :(

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Food Jammers - Cooking Channel

I recently started to watch the first season of Food Jammers on the Cooking Channel. The show is about 3 guys that create food with things around them in the Toronto area. The first episode that peeked my interest was their episode about making soda pop. I've since seen episodes about BBQing to making ice cream to name a few.

Currently showing in the US are the episodes for their first season from 3 years ago. So, when you goto the website now, those doods look so different.

What I like about the show is that they take a rather unique look at how food is made and applying it to wood-shop items. Drills, pulleys, etc.

Nobu Adilman seems to be the host of the show and he has a mixed asian look about him. I'll assume there's some Japanese based on his name.

I recommend you give the show a try.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

近在咫尺 - Close To You - Upcoming

近在咫尺 (Close To You) is being released in Taipei on August 13, 2010. The movie stars Eddie Peng, Amber Kuo, and Ming Dao.

From the looks of the trailer, Eddie and Ming play boxers. They have a score to settle, but Ming has a medical condition that prevents him from competing. But that can't stop the two from fighting each other.

Looks like both Eddie and Ming get yolked for their roles. I had heard of the regimen from Eddie's news interviews before, but when you see the trailer, you can understand why he's so proud. Are the Taiwanese male leads taking a page from their Korean counter parts?

In any case, I am looking forward to this film and can't wait for it to get to LA. I'll have to decide to if I need to wait for English subs so my wife can watch with me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Go Lala Go! - 杜拉拉升職記

Go Lala Go! (杜拉拉升職記/杜拉拉升职记) is a 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Xu Jinglei, Stanley Huang, Karen Mok, and Pace Wu. The movie is based in Beijing with some scenes in Thailand. The movie is loosely based on a book called Du Lala’s Promotion.

Xu Jinglei plays LaLa, a career minded women. LaLa starts off at a entry level HR position and works her way up. In that same company, we find Stanley Huang as Wang Wei, the director of the sales department. Wang Wei is in a relationship with Rose, played by Karen Mok. Pace Wu plays Helen, Wang Wei's secretary. They all work in this US company trying to make it in China. Sounds like the company I work for now, except, we're an ant and the company in the movie is a elephant. Du Lala climbs up the ranks of the company. Along the way, a romantic relationship starts with Wang Wei on a trip to Thailand. Will Lala abondon her career or go for love? Can't you have both?

The movie was quite slick and I really thought Pace Wu was drop dead gorgeous. Pace Wu made the movie for me. Seriously too little screen time.

As with most big budget Chinese movies, you'll have to deal with the different Chinese Mandarin dialects as will as the Chingrish. And English. The addition of English into many conversations between Rose and Wang Wei seems forced and un-natural. Top that with Wang Wei's American English accent with Rose's British English accent. Very strange indeed.

In the end, I liked the film, but felt that there was something missing at the end.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hebe - 田馥甄 - Upcoming

I am not much of a fan of S.H.E. in general. None of their music to date has inspired me to purchase their CDs. However, this past week, a light hearted song was released into the open from Hebe's upcoming solo effort.

I loves me the pop stuff, but whenever a folksy song like this come outs, it gets my attention.

On the strength of this song alone, it'll seek out her CD.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

True Legend - 蘇乞兒

True Legend (蘇乞兒) is a 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, and Jay Chou. The supporting cast include Cung Le, Michelle Yeoh, Andy On, Guo Xiaodong, and David Carradine. The movie was directed by Yuen Woo-Ping.

The movie starts with a rescue mission of a prince of the Qing Dynasty. Vincent Zhao as Su Qi Er is the head of the mission and seemingly sacrifices himself so the others can take the prince to safety. Back at the camp now, the prince is confident the Su is still alive. Andy On plays Yuan, Su's adapted brother. Su is also married to Yuan's younger sister, Ying, played by Zhou Xun. However, Su's father killed Yuan and Ying's father 15 years earlier and adapted them into his household. Yuan still holds a grudge. Ying has moved on and is now a devoted wife and mother. Yuan is given a governor position in the Hubei region and goes back to Su's hometown for revenge. Yuan gets his revenge and kills Su's father and succeeds in eliminating Su's household. Su and Yuan fight for an extended period of time. But Yuan's five vemon technique is too much for Su. Su is thrown into a running river and Ying follows to save him. Yuan captures Su's son, Feng. Ying rescue's Su and takes him to Beido mountain, where they meet Yu, played by Michelle Yeoh. Yu is a expert doctor and cures Su of his wounds from the five venoms. Su's right arm is severely injured, but nurses it back to health. Su also starts to go a little mad and practices with a Wushun, a God of martial arts. After 3 years, he is fully recovered and goes back to save Feng from Yuan. But due to his madness, Ying goes ahead to save Feng. Yuan buries Ying when Su arrives. Su and Yuan battle again. This time, Su wins, but Ying suffocates from being buried. Su goes mad again and becomes a beggar. Feng and Su now travel from town to town looking for food as beggars. Su is drawn into a fight with the foreigners and wins.

Yuen Woo-ping directs his first film in more than 10 years. And its a doozy. The film has 3 main story arcs that cover Su's life. The calm, the suffering, and how he became a legend. In each arc, it feels very familiar. LIke comfort food. But it also throws in very modern elements. Like the drunken fist being half break dancing.

Jay Chou was blamed for this movie not doing well at the box office. Jay's character is barely in the movie and is part of Su's imagination.

If you're a fan of old skool and like the new skool martial art movies, True Legend gives you both and the fighting is quite entertaining. The movie is long due to the 3 storyarcs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Book of Eli - 奪天書

The Book of Eli (奪天書) is a 2010 film out of the USA. The movie stars Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman, and Jennifer Beals.

Set in the future, the world was bombed 30 years prior. Now, the United States is an apocalyptic wasteland. Denzel plays Eli, who has the goal of going west. Eli also has in his possession a very special book. As Eli travels west, we see his interaction with those in the wasteland. In essence, humans now feed off each other. Cannibalism. A sign of this is that people will shake. Eli lands in a town run by Gary Oldman as Carnegie. Carnegie rules the town because he can supply the water. Eli befriends Solara, played by Mila Kunis. Solara reveals to Carnegie that Eli has the book he's been waiting for. Eli makes it out of town, but not before a gun fight. Carnegie and company make chase and try to track Eli down. Solara decides to tag along with Eli. Will Eli and Solara make it out alive?

The movie was pretty awesome. One of the best of the year. The pacing, the "world", and the actors and actresses make this a pretty entertaining watch. You can't just make another Mad Max type movie without a great plot and story. In this case, they had a great cast with a great premise.

Asians in the film? I didn't see or notice any. Must have all been wiped out by the nuclear bombs.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jeremy Lin in the NBA

Jeremy Lin made history last month as the NBAs only Asian-American player. The deal is 2 years long with the first year guaranteed. A dream come true for Jeremy Lin, a kid from the bay area.

Invited to play in the NBA summer league by the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs did not have Lin in line for a starting job, but most likely a stint in the d-league or on a practice squad.

The Los Angeles Lakers had also shown interest. It's too bad my hometown team will only get to see him twice this year. I may have to get out to a Lakers game again this season when the Warriors are in town.

Just as the dust was settling on his signing with the Golden State Warriors, Yao Ming recruited Jeremy Lin for an NBA function in Taiwan.

Check out the highlights and cheer him on!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

愛你一萬年 - Love You 10,000 Years - Upcoming

愛你一萬年 (Love You 10,000 Years) is being released in Taipei on August 6th. The movie stars Vic Zhou and a Japanese lady named 三村恭代 (can not find a English name yet). A Japanese director is at the helms of this movie set in Taiwan.

That Japanese lady comes to Taiwan to learn Chinese, but somehow has to learn to live with Vic Zhou's rocker persona. They have to deal with cross-cultural barriers and find love.

Sounds interesting and its being sold as a LOL comedy.