Thursday, June 30, 2011

City Under Siege - 全城戒備

City Under Siege (全城戒備) is an 2010 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi, Collin Chou, Jacky Wu, and Zhang Jingchu.

Aaron Kwok plays Sunny, a orphan and an apprentice to the knife throwing star of a traveling circus. Collin Chou plays the main bad guy and main knife thrower. However, when they trick Sunny into finding buried treasure, they are all exposed to gas from an long forgotten WWII lab. They all inherit superpowers and start to mutate. With this mutation, Sunny becomes an star, but Chou's gang robs armored bank trucks. Jacky Wu and Zhang Jingchu play a couple that are also special agents set to bring in the Chou gang.

The movie was really full of action, but the action was way over the top. The mutations are at an extreme at the end of the film. I'll be honest, this wasn't a good film. But its one of those guilty pleasure films. Lots of action, cheezy dialogue, really hard to follow plot, a gazillion characters.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

第36個故事 - Taipei Exchanges

第36個故事 (Taipei Exchanges) is a 2010 film out of Taiwan. The film stars Kwai Lun-Mei, Lin Zaizai, and Chang Han.

Kwai plays Doris, a pastry chef that opens a cafe in an art district type neighborhood. Doris opens the shop with her younger sister, Josie, played by Lin Zaizai. Doris has grand dreams of her cafe where she can serve drink and desserts. For her grand opening, her friends and ex-coworkers give her a bunch of weird items. Instead of getting rid of the random junk, Doris decides to put the stuff around the store. Josie strikes up an bartering system one day. From that point on, its a exchange system. And the items are required to come with a story.

The movie's Zhong Wen title is actually "The 36th story". In the movie, there's a significance of that number. However, with or without that number, the movie will make sense.

I wasn't so sure about the movie, but it plays well as a story that tries to stay away from the usual. There isn't really a "love story" presented. But one does develop and you wonder about Josie's role in all this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Matchstick Men - 火柴人

Matchstick Men (火柴人) is an 2003 film. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, and Sam Rockwell.

Cage plays Roy. a con artist in the San Fernando Valley of the Greater Los Angeles area. Cage is in cohoots with Frank, played by Sam Rockwell. Frank is learning from Roy and doesn't go on his alone on gigs yet. Suffering from a near mental breakdown, Roy seeks professional help and finds out about an 14 year old daughter. Roy sets out to enter her life. Eventually Roy does enter Angela's life, played by Alison Lohman. From there, they catch up and form a strong bond. However, there's a twist to the story that I won't give away.

This movie was quite simply amazing. The story is unique and has a very "real" ending to tragedy. A very twenty something Alison Lohman lights up the screen as an 14 year old Angela. Sam's part as Frank is small, but very significant to the story.

In the end, its a story of redemption for something that caused a lot of pain to others and likewise, suffered it himself. A very enjoyable watch.

Monday, June 27, 2011

有一天 - One Day

有一天 (One Day) is an 2010 film out of Taiwan. The movie is produced by famed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien. The movie stars Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh and Bryan Shu-Hao Chang. It is also the first full film from director, Hou Chi-Jan.

Nikki Hsieh plays the daughter of a single mom, Singing. Singing is a ferry worker and heads out to work one day. Bored, Singing dozes off and dreams. In this dream, Singing is chased by a Indian man looking for food and water. While avoiding the Indian Man, Singing runs into Tsung, played by Bryan Chang. Bryan is in the army and currently on a short leave. They are introduced to each other and fall for each other. However, they both know its a dream and they want to make it last. When Singing awakes, she tracks down the real life Tsung and slowly enters his life. Slowly but surely, her invasion is complete and they become a couple.

From one of the interviews, they mentioned that it took 13 days to film the movie. Which seems quite amazing considering the number of locales and utter sense of loneliness it presents. The story itself has a twist that I didn't reveal, but you don't know this until half way through the film. A very stylistic film that moves rather slowly but deliberately. Singing and Tsung are strangers in the real world, but lovers in their dreams. Would you let love blossom knowing that it will eventually die?

Nikki Hsieh puts on a pretty good performance. Having to carry the majority of the film, you had a lot of close ups and her face had to carry it. And it did, nothing to much for her to stretch. Bryan's role was a little less, as he was complimentary to the story.

The movie was slow, but the payoff was good. This movie really reminded me a little bit of romantic movies out of HK in the late 80s and early 90s. Love can triumphs over the situation, but tragedy will befall you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

You Don't Mess with the Zohan - 特勤沙龍

You Don't Mess with the Zohan (特勤沙龍) is an 2008 film. The movie stars Adam Sandler. A bunch of others are also in the movie including John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, and Rob Schneider.

Zohan is an Israeli super solider that quits the armed forces and comes to the USA to be an silky smooth hair stylist. That's it, that's all you need to know.

This is a classic Sandler movie with a guy thats is normally likable coming of age and getting the girl. But there's also a "can't we all get along" message passed along. The Jews and Palestinians getting along at the end of the movie.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Warrior's Way - 沙漠戰士

The Warrior's Way (沙漠戰士) is an 2010 film. The film has been credited to both the USA and New Zealand. Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, Tony Cox, and Ti Lung star in this b-movie western.

Jang plays Yang, a master swordsman who's left for the wild west of the US from some unnamed Asian country from accross the sea. Yang lands in a town where a former friend ran a laundry shop. There, Yang meets Lynne, played by Kate Bosworth and Ron played by Oscar award winner Geoffrey Rush. All three have a shady past that they would like to escape. When some bandits visit the city, Yang is forced to draw his sword, which leads his former clan members to converge on the town.

This was a guilty pleasure kind of western. The main protagonist, Yang, was like cartoony in his powers. Able dodge bullets and slash everything in sight. Lynne and Ron brought some humanity and angst to the film.

A good watch, but one that I could have waited for cable to give me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Drive Angry

Drive Angry is an 2011 film starring Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard.

Nicolas Cage plays a father that escapes hell to exact revenge on a leader of a cult who killed his daughter and has his grandchild. Cage plays someone that's already dead so he can't be killed. Amber Heard is saved by Cage and comes along for a ride. Nothing romantic happens between the two. If anything, its more of a father/daughter relationship. All hell breaks lose with he find the cult.

This is a guilty pleasure type of film. Don't try to reason with it, just let the violence entertain you. Things explode, bad guys are killed, and there are lots of car chases! Dood, its the 70s action movie genre all over again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

命運化妝師 - Make Up - Upcoming

命運化妝師 (Make Up) is being released tomorrow in Taipei on June 24th. The movie stars Sonia Sui, Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh, Matt Wu, and Bryant Chang.

From the trailer, it looks like a mystery suspense with a little "horror" edge to it. But it stars Sonia Sui and Nikki Hsieh! Dood, that's enuff for me to get on board.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Go With It - 愛情大臨演

Just Go With It (愛情大臨演) is a 2011 film. The movie stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anniston, and Brooklyn Decker. Supporting cast and cameo apparences by Nick Swardson, Nicole Kidman, Dave Matthews, and Dan Patrick.

Adam Sandler plays a plastic surgeon who was extremely hurt on the eve of his wedding 20 years ago. After that, he gets a nose job and finds that wearing a ring let's him get some action and not have to stay committed. Now, a very successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, he's rich and living life. However, at a party by the beach, he bumps into Brooklyn Decker as a 2nd grade teacher. But when the awake the next morning, she finds a wedding ring in his pocket. Distraught, she doesn't want to see him again. Adam's office manager is played by Jennifer Anniston and he confides in her with all his life stories. Anniston suggest that he fake a divoce to prove that's he truly wants to be with Decker. They goto Hawaii to make this happen!

The movie was very very very predictable. From the get go, you knew that things were a little off. It is a typical Sandler film. Sandler starts the film off as a jerk with a big heart. A coming of age story unfolds and he realizes what's really important in his life and he gets the girl! Same story all the time. Its just the getting there and with whom that changes from film to film. For this one, it wasn't so bad to see Anniston and Decker square off in bikinis. Nice.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

你是否依然愛我 - Will You Still Love Me - Upcoming

你是否依然愛我 (Will You Still Love Me) is set for release in Taipei on June 24th. The movie stars Megen Lai and Shaun Tam. I cannot find his English name of the third star, 金佳.

The movie seems to be set in Taipei with a maybe a love triangle between the female star and two male stars. I like Megen and will try to catch this film on DVD when it reaches LA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shutter Island - 隔離島

Shutter Island (隔離島) is an 2010 film. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, and Michelle Williams. The movie was directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese. The movie is based on an 2003 novel by Dennis Lehane. This was the fourth film together for Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays an U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels who's been assigned to Shutter Island off the coast of Boston to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando. During the ferry ride, Teddy is assigned a new partner Chuck, played by Mark Ruffalo. They start the investigation and things start to get weird when the staff refuse to cooperate with Teddy and his investigation. As they get deeper and deeper, a bigger conspiracy is uncovered.

This movie was a total trip. From the opening to the ending. I was on the edge of my seat. The suspense and layers of truth came a very good pace and I was wondering aloud sometimes at the things unfolding.

If you like DiCaprio or Scorsese films, this is a much watch.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Who's the PHOB? - Taiwan-Born American

Who's the PHOB this week? Laura Hsin Feng of the most epic blog Taiwan-Born American.

Laura (TBA) was born in Taiwan and at a young age, moved to the good ol' USA. Hey, sounds just like me. TBA decided to move back to Taiwan to teach English at a Bu Shi Ban institution. I've been semi-following TBA for a little over a year now. I think it was some US Census 2010 Taiwanese post that got me there. TBA is doing what I wish I could have done back in the 90s when I got out of college. Living in an "foreign" homeland.

If you're looking to goto Taiwan to teach English, TBA has some helpful posts. If you've young and not established in a career just yet, go abroad. Seriously.

<< The last PHOB, Di "Moon" Zhang...
...The next PHOB, Kate Shin>>

Saturday, June 18, 2011

True Grit - 真實的勇氣

True Grit (真實的勇氣) is a 2010 film. The movie stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper. The film was directed by famed siblings, the Coen brothers. This is the second movie adaption of an 1968 novel by Charles Portis. The first adaption starred the legendary John Wayne from 1969.

Hailee Steinfeld plays a 14 year old lass named Mattie Ross. Mattie's father was murder by Tom Chaney, played by Josh Brolin. Seeking justice, Mattie enlist the aid of an U. S. Marshal, Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn played by Jeff Bridges for $50. A large sum in the 1880s. However, a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf played by Matt Damon, finds out about Mattie and asked for Roosters help to help bring in Chaney for the reward money. They start their quest into Native American territority for Chaney, who's joined "Lucky" Ned Pepper gang, played Barry Pepper. The quest starts and eventually, there's a conclusion that isn't all that happy.

The was a pretty good movie. Long, slow, but full of intensity when things started up. The character development of Mattie, Rooster, and LeBoeuf was steady and not overwhelming. Once the action started, it was a ride. This may be the best Western I've seen in quite some time. The only westerns that pop to mind are Tombstone and Dances With Wolves.

Another awesome thing about True Grit was the dialogue. Simply Amazing. The way it flowed was as if they were from the 1880s. The dialogue was not modernized for today. That's something that Zhong Guo's "Gu Dai" films do very well. Keeping the language of the era. In True Grit, it felt as if they were from the 1880. The expressions were awesome. I need to work that vocabulary back into my communication patterns.

Even in this western, there some Asians! Rooster stays in the supply room of a Chinese man whom ones a General Supply store. Nice! I like how Rooster runs into a bunch of hanging ducks when he's trying to get dressed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

帶一片風景走 - Leaving Gracefully - Upcoming

帶一片風景走 (Leaving Gracefully) is being released in Taipei today. The movie stars Huang Pin Yuan and Hou Yi Jun.

The movies seems to follow the lives of a couple with an daughter. The wife comes down with an brain tumor and slowly starts to deteriorate. But the husband is by her side. Seems like a very moving movie. I'll try my best to catch this if I see it on DVD around town.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

River's Edge - 大河邊緣

River's Edge (大河邊緣) is a 1986 film. The movie stars Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Crispin Glover, Daniel Roebuck, and Dennis Hopper. The movie was partially based on a true story.

A group of friends in High School are led to a nearby river to view the dead body of an missing friend. One of the friends decided to kill one of them and show off about it. The self proclaimed leader of the group tells them all to keep quiet and he'll handle it. However, someone reports it to the police.

I recently caught this again on some movie channel. It was about 2 minutes in when I flipped over. While washing dishes, it brought me back to the late 80s when I saw this. I rented it for $0.50 at a local Sam Goody's on VHS. During that time, I was a huge Keanu fan. Dood had that "it" factor that I still follow today. In this movie, the lead role is split between Keanu, Ione, and Crispin. But Keanu plays the conscious, he's the one that reports it to the police. During that same time in life, I had hair just a bit longer and had a similar "skater/punk rocker" look. Well, at least I tried with my super limited budget. The leather jacket with an cut off jean jacket was a look that was quite popular in those days. And those bangs! Ione's hair was a reflection of mid 80s to early 90s hair. Aquanet it all!

The subject mater and the acting is a bit dated. Dialogue from older movies like this seems so elementary to indie films these days. But I was really captivated by the film's depiction of that slice of childhood for me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

JabbaWockeeZ - Devastating Stereo

ABDC Season 1 winners JabbaWockeeZ have been on a roll since there competition days. They've appeared in the NBA with Shaq Diesel. They have been in an Nike commerical. And they ripped the stage in ABDC's season five charity episode. They also recently blew us away on the finale of ABDC's season six as I aM mE were crowned champions. But they're biggest accomplishment may be their Las Vegas show. Seriously, Las Vegas show. And with that notoriety, they've released a video recently to top that off. In the word of Marvel fanboyz, "'Nuff said", just watch.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles - World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles - 世界異戰

Battle: Los Angeles / World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (世界異戰) is a 2011 film. The movie stars Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Peña, Ne-Yo, Ramon Rodriguez, and Bridget Moynahan. The movie was shot in a neo-documentary style.

Aliens attack 20 cities around the world. Los Angeles is among one of them. A platoon of marines is sent in to retrieve civilians from an police station from within enemy lines. The story follows them as they get to the target to retrieve and how they get out.

The movie was quite intense. Shot in an neo-documentary style, its majority shot with handhelds and in your face.

I really enjoyed the movie. After looking at the box office numbers, its sad that this film didn't do better. There were no big names in the film to pull it and maybe that's why it was released in the spring to avoid the summer bloodbath. All the actors and actresses did a pretty good job of protraying their characters. With as much of a event film like this, you have to set up the main guys to at least care about them as they start to get picked off. I was onboard from the beginning to the end.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mother - 母親

Mother (母親) is a 2009 film out of Korea. The movie stars Won Bin and Kim Hye-ja. This was the first film by Won Bin after he fulfilled his mandatory military service. The movie was also well received on the international market and one of the top 10 domestic films of 2009 in Korea.

Won Bin plays Do-joon, a mentally challenged individual who seems to have problems with his memory and ability to tell right from wrong. Do-joon's mother is a worker at a traditional medicine shop. Do is suspected of killing a local girl and put into prison. Do's mother believes that the police coaxed an confession and that he's innocent. From that point on, the mother is hellbent on getting to the truth and getting her son free.

What's not to like about a mother's quest to get her son released from jail? But a very common theme among the recent high profile Korean films is darkness. What type of activity drives individuals to do what they do? What drives a mother to go beyond her means to get her son released?

Did I like this movie? No, I was following along with the story, but was uneasy the whole time. It took over 2 months to finish this. Seriously, ten minutes here, ten minutes there. Finally, I said to myself, finish it. And I did and I also said, "Why'd you watch this movie?". The hype. I gave in to the hype. And it did not live up.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bridesmaids - 伴娘

Bridesmaids (伴娘) is an 2011 film. The film mainly stars Kristen Wiig. With a huge supporting cast of Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O'Dowd. The movie was based in the Milwaukee and Chicago area.

Kristen Wiig plays Annie Walker, a woman going through a rough patch. Annie's bakery failed a few years back and has had a real run of bad luck in life. Annie's bestfriend is recently engaged and Annie's the maid of honor. Hijinx follow. Seriously, hijinx follow. That's about all you need to know.

Is this a chick flick? Heck yeah. It does take the "gross out" humor of the last 7-8 years to true form to a predominantly female cast. If you're a fan of the Apatow movies like Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin, this is right up your alley. Labeled as "Hangover" for gals, this movie may have lived up to the hype. I found myself laughing and cringing for much of the movie.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Genki Sudo - World Order

Genki Sudo is an retired MMA fighter turned musician and dancer. Genki had a storied career in MMA, retiring at a time when most were reaching their peak fighting years. Genki turned that energy into "World Order" and other opportunities. Although I like the music a lot, I can't help but be mesmerized by the dancing.

It's such a unique style that many may not even notice it as dancing. However, it is and to a level few will ever reach. From the faux running to the visuals with the industrial park backdrops. You want your mind to go on a trip? Genki's World Order vids will do it for you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blue Valentine - 藍色情人節

Blue Valentine (藍色情人節) is a 2010 film. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.

Ryan Gosling plays Dean, a mover and house painter who falls for Cindy, played by Michelle Williams. The movie shows how they first fall in love and than how they start down the path of divorce. A movie about love found and lost. However, we're presented the "lost" part first and as the movie progresses, the "found" part is intertwined. Even though the stories collide, both the past and present are presented in sequence. There seems to be a 7-8 year gap between the two storylines.

The movie was really hard to watch. I think the filmmakers went with trying to tell as realistic movie as they could. You'll even notice that with the way scenes are shot. As you watch both stories unfold in front, you have this sinking feeling in your stomach of "why?". Why can they fall so deeply in love with each other just years ago and not get it back? But as with all things in life, things don't stay the same. Relationships well always evolve. I can't recommend this as its too hard of a story to endorse and its not a lifestyle I would promote either.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who's the PHOB? - Di Moon Zhang

Who's the PHOB this week? Di "Moon" Zhang of the newly crowned ABDC season six champions I aM mE! Homeboi Moon's English skillz were so bad that MTV felt the need for subtitles whenever he spoke. Ironically, I didn't notice it until my wife pointed it out to me during the finale. Because I understand homeboi Moon perfectly.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, I can find very little 411 on Di Moon Zhang. Moon has a twitter, a Youtube Channel, and a FB page. Many random postings of his mad dance skillz, but nothing much on the man, the moon, the Zhang. I haven't even been able to find out his Zhong Wen name either. I have deficiencies in my Zhong Wen skillz too. But nothing in English tho. I don't know how old he is. I don't know when he traveled across the great blue yonder (2005?). I don't know much other than his videos kept me from being productive for a few hours.

But homeboi Moon can dance. And Moon's style is very nice and has very precise movements. I've compiled some of my favorite videos, so you don't have to waste hours. But I am pretty sure you're gonna end up watching all his other amazing vids anywayz.

<< The last PHOB, Harry Shum, Jr...
...The next PHOB, Taiwan-Born American>>

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

拜金女王 - Material Queen - Upcoming

Woohoo! 拜金女王 (Material Queen) is finally set to be released in Taiwan on June 17th! The idol drama will star Van Ness Wu, Lynn Hung, and Daniel Chan. Seems to be a story of riches again. Seems you can't go through many dramas without something of "Rich" vs. "Poor". A very different concept than what's here in the US.

However, I am looking forward to this series. The first one in a long time for me. Hope its a good one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Am Number Four - 獵殺第四行者

I Am Number Four (獵殺第四行者) is a 2011 film. The movie stars Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, and Teresa Palmer. The movie is based on a fiction novel of the same name.

Alex Pettyfer plays John Smith, an alien from the planet Lorien taking shelter here on earth. Lorien was ransacked by another alien race, the Mogadorians. The Lorien sent eight of their most gifted children to earth. However, the Mogadorians have followed to earth and have to eliminate the eight in order. John Smith is number four. John Smith and his protector, Henri, goto Paradise, Ohio, USA to research something. John Smith falls for Sarah, played by Dianna Agron. However, because of the internet, John Smith's alien activity has made it onto YouTube. How can John Smith stop the Mogadorians?

The movie was very sci-fi at its core. Alien lifeforms on earth. Co-existing among use? Yupe, suspend your belief and just roll with it. Yes, the movie is cheezy. Yes, the protagonist deserves to be found with his foolish, "I want to be noticed", mentality. But without it, how shall we see the bad guys? How will he get the girl? You don't need the answers, you just need your suspend logic for a pretty typical sci-fi movie.

Monday, June 6, 2011

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 6 - The Finale

Last night was the tenth and last episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 6), the Finale. I aM mE and ICONic Boyz had to wait out lame movie award promos to see the 5 past champions preform onstage, before finding out who won for season six. Shockingly, I aM mE won season six! Good job guys. I aM mE was the most consistent group on the show and had the most insane routines in comparison to their competitors.

The show itself sucked! Sucked big time. For some lame reason, it was decided to that they had to plug the lame movie awards in-between the ABDC segments. If you ever watch MTV long enough, you hate it. Commercials galore. Makes me wish I had Tivo. Almost. Add in the lame movie award promos, the show was super long. Seriously made for a miserable watch. I hope the reruns cut that crap out.

I am quite shocked that ICONic Boyz didn't win. These boyz rode the wave of goodwill to the finals, never falling into the final two. Even with subpar and predictable performances, they were safe every week. Until now. My previous posts on the ABDC season reflected what seem like an unstoppable marketing force.

I aM mE! Where do you go now? Chachi is 15 and still has to finish at least HS. Moon! Are you going back to the motherland to ring in a new world of hipsters to your success? Can this be a career to bank on for the immediate future? I don't know, but I think it'll all work out fine for you guys. You guys deserve the win. Mad props to I aM mE for using FM's Rocketeer for their final performance song.

So, what of the past 5 champions? With extended timeslots, they were all able to show up a little bit and inject their personalities that have grown since the show. However, I was most impressed with Poreotix and JabbaWockeeZ. Poreotix did their signature style moves and was quite entertaining. These boys have made strides. JabbaWockeeZ gave a Genki Sudo like performance with a huge group and bounce like movements. Quest Crew's wasn't far behind tho! Looks like D-Trix is really no longer part of Quest.

ABDC producers, its time for an all-stars season. Bring back Kaba Modern, Breaksk8, Fysh N Chicks, SoReal Cru, Fanny Pak, Supreme Soul, Beat Freaks, Massive Monkees, Blueprint Cru, and Hype 5-0 for another run at the top!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Li Na - 李娜 - Wins 2011 French Open

Last night in Paris, France, Li Na (李娜) won the 2011 Women's Single French Open. Li becomes the first person born in Zhong Guo to win a Grand Slam title. Li is also the 5th oldest to win at the age of 29 years old.

Congrats Li Na! You've been knocking at the door for the past two years and came very close at the 2011 Australian Open, being the runner-up. You've had great runs since 2008. But at the French this year, you did it.

Li Na's had a lot of first for the tennis players from Zhong Guo.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Mechanic - 極速秒殺

The Mechanic (極速秒殺) is a 2011 film. The movie stars Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Supporting cast include Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, and Mini Anden. The term "mechanic" is also slang for "hitman" or assassin. This is a remake of the 1972 cult classic by Charles Bronson.

Jason Statham plays Bishop, a isolated mechanic for a secret organization. His handler Harry, played by Donald Sutherland, is framed for a botched job in South American and the organization asks Bishop to eliminate him. Ben Foster plays Steve, Harry's son. Steve has no direction in life and ask Bishop to train him to be an mechanic. The two form a bond as the movie progress and they start going on jobs. However, Steve has a knack to stir up trouble and they are now targets themselves. Bishop decides to take down the organization when they come after him. Steve comes along for the ride.

The movie was actually really entertaining. I really enjoyed the concept and story behind Bishop's life. Although Bishop's past isn't mentioned or explored, you see his current life and how he operates. You get a sense that hitman are very isolated and have to look behind their shoulders at all times. Just when you thought he was a machine, enter a bromance story. I vaguely remember the 1972 original. I remember watching a lot of Charles Bronson during the 80s when they rerun all the 70s action films. This movie has sparked my interest to find the 1972 in the near future.

Friday, June 3, 2011

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 6 - Battle of the Final Two

Last night was the ninth episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 6), the Battle of the Final Two. The show focused on the two remaining crews, I aM mE and ICONic Boyz. The show was not the final episode and highlights each crew in various different ways.

The show had each crew re-preform one of their previous performances with a little bit of extra time. I aM mE re-did their "S&M" performance. The performance was the start of Chachi's focus within the group. And they did that again today. The performance was a little longer and slightly different than the original one. I don't remember the first one so it was hard to tell what changed. But it was a good one. ICONic Boyz re-performed their "Baby" dance. Was about the same.

The show moved on to hightlight friends and family within each of the groups hometown. I aM mE is based out of Houston, but many of the member are not from the area including, Di "Moon" Zhang. My PHOB Moon is straight outta Zhong Guo and ripping it on the stage. They showed a clip of Moon taking to whom I presume to be his dad. Nice, bei fang style mandarin in da haus!

I still have hope that I aM mE can pull this off. But from the fan vids, it looks like the boyz have too much momentum. Good run I aM mE! Moon, am I gonna see you in Hip-Hop Kung Fu 3?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who's the PHOB? - Harry Shum, Jr.

Who's the PHOB? Me, you, or maybe all of us! I will be starting a new series by highlighting some of the most amazing PHOBs out and about. PHOB is a play on the derogatory term FOB. But instead of it being negative, I think of PHOB as Asians making it nicely here in the US. Who qualifies as being a PHOB? As this is a Asian focused blog, it'll be Asian related in some sense. PHabulous will happen randomly, but I will try to do a "Who's the PHOB?" at least once a week! Haha, but also let me know if its a bad idea! My wife thinks its a bad idea, but I think its an PHAT idea!

For the inaugural "Who's the PHOB? I want to highlight Harry Shum Jr. Dude has recently been in some of my favorite YouTube videos with WongFu Productions. However, I first remember Harry from "You Got Served" and "Step Up". As one of the few Asian faces in those movies, I looked him up on IMDB. Most recently, Harry has been one of the regular cast members of the television show Glee. Sorry Harry, i don't really enjoy Glee, but you're awesome in the WongFu stuff! Harry's also in a pretty dope YouTube video, 3 Minutes.

The next PHOB, Di "Moon" Zhang>>

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Faster - 極速復仇

Faster (極速復仇) is a 2010 film. The film stars The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. The supporting cast includes Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Moon Bloodgood, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Maggie Grace. The movie was a return to the action genre after a couple years doing non-action projects.

The Rock plays Driver, a man that's about to be released from prison after serving 10 years. Once he's out, he goes and gets a car, a gun, and a list of people he's going to kill. But he has to do this before the law finds him as his killings are all public. Killer, a hitman, is hired to take out The Rock. Slowly as the movie progresses, the reason Driver is after these people is revealed. As they say, the plot thickens.

The movie was pretty enjoyable for the action alone. I wouldn't say it was an world class movie, but it was fun and had its moments. It felt that the character development of the supporting cast, specifically Killer, was more so than Driver. But it didn't matter to the ultimate plot of the movie. A man out to seek revenge on those that killed his brother.