Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - What A Year!

2012! What a year! Indeed! I had a good three month run in the spring time, but have been pretty quiet this year in terms of blogging.

I haven't seen all the movies from 2012 from the US or Asia. But I did see a lot from the US side. My interest in films from Asia continue to decline. There are still gems, but I am no longer willing to invest that time.

From the US, The Avengers stole the show and capped off Marvel's grand plan since the debut Iron Man in 2008. With an $1.5 billion USD worldwide box office take, it sits as the third highest grossing film of all time.

In the land of television, the breakout series for this year has to be Game Of Thrones Season 2 and The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead had the second half of Season 2 and the first half of Season 3 broadcast this year. Elementary and Revolution were the two breakout debuts for the year. Honorable mention to True Blood's fifth and most unique season.

In Asia, the big hit is out of Korea. The Thieves broke box office records in is homeland and than took its chance with the rest Asia. Modest success was found and I even watched it in the movie theater here in the US. Masquerade is also making a run, but I doubt it'll enjoy the same type of international appeal.

However, the biggest story for 2012 was Jeremy Lin! Yes, the Linster's February was mystical and he continues to make top 10 list for 2012.

Monday, October 15, 2012

626 Night Market - 626 夜市 - October 2012 Edition

The 626 Night Market is back this weekend on October 20-21, 2012. Apparently, ppl in LA really like night markets. They've double the length of the event to the whole weekend and set up shop at a venue made for crowds. NICE.

I am going to try my darnest to make it out this time. Even if rumors of a cover charge exist, I may shell it out for this family of four. If its super awesome, I'll hope for another 626 night market.

They've turned off embed for some reason, head over to YouTube for some 626 videos.

Behind the Booth: Java Cafe
626 Night Market: "Greatest Night Ever" (Chinese Version)
Learn Chinese: Common Phrases to Use at the Night Market
Behind the Booth: Takken Sushi & Grill

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monsters Calling Home - Honda Surprise

Monster Calling Home had a most unusual introduction to the world a month ago. This Korean-American folk band was invited to play for 600 Honda employees. The Honda marketing team got wind of their YouTube video. The video was shot in their Honda's to the tune of "Fight To Keep".

However, when only 6 employees showed up, they were visibly a little disappointed. BUT, Honda surprised them with the news that they were really there to perform across the street on the Jimmy Kimmel Show! Amazing story, amazing band, amazing outcome.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jeremy Lin Having Fun In Houston

Jeremy Lin seems to be settling into his new city just fine. KevJumba and Jeremy Lin had a classic 2011 lock out video. They hook up again in Houston to deliver to the rest of the world some crazy hijinx.

Lots of YouTube videos to prove this below.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Walking Dead - Season Three - Upcoming

The Walking Dead is one of my favorite US made television series. It is based on a comic book series of the same name. The series follows a band of survivors in the ATL trying to survive in the wake of an Zombie Apocalypse.

The series is going to premiere its third season this coming Sunday on the AMC channel. The first two seasons were a blast. I had seen bits and pieces of it, but I recently purchased the Blu-rays and binged watch it. AWESOME!

The show also features Steven Yeun as the former pizza delivery expert as a main cast member, Glenn. The dood is a gopher and gets in an out of places. I hope its not playing on the "sneaky Asian" stereotype.

Glenn's love interest on the show is the lovely Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene. I was a bit surprised to see this go down. It is working against the "sexless" Asian male stereotype. NICE.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Old

Tomorrow, I will be changing the layout slash theme slash skin of this blog. I leave this screenshot as a remembrance of what was from November 2008 to October 2012. Almost made it to four years.

The reason I didn't switch to something more up to date is because I couldn't find one that separated out my post. I don't blog more than once a day and in some cases spend days working on a post. Some post are a minute.

But I have found a few recently. I'll be switching between them and settling on one soon.

Good bye old look and feel, you served your purpose, but it's out with the old.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jeremy Lin in Taipei - Summer 2012

In a bit of old news, a week ago, Jeremy Lin posted a video of his basketball exploits in Taipei this summer. After signing with the Rockets, posting a video to YouTube, he headed off to Asia for a MONTH! A whole month. Longer than Kobe and Dwight and King James.

If you look up YouTube clips for August, you'll see Jeremy Lin's activities throughout Asia. However, in the land of his parents, Jeremy Lin decide to sneak out and get his pure ballin on. No one in Taiwan would stand a chance against Jeremy Lin and David Lee in a pick up game and you see that they were off the pedal most of the game.

Jeremy Lin also found time to pimp them Volvos.

Friday, August 3, 2012

女朋友.男朋友 - GF BF - Girlfriend Boyfriend - Upcoming

女朋友.男朋友 (GF*BF/Girlfriend Boyfriend) is being released in Taipei today. It is ALSO getting a limited release run in the major Taiwanese/Chinese hubs in the US, including my part of the 626, The Heights. The local AMC 20 will have it showing this weekend. I have no idea if I'll get to watch it, but I hope so. My only concern is that this is from the mind of the makers of Orz Boyz, a movie I did not like much.

In the meantime, go watch it if you can, Taipei or Los Angeles. GO go Go!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jeremy Lin Is Now A Rocket

Jeremy Lin is now officially a Houston Rocket. The Knicks had until 11:59 PM EDT on July 17, 2012 to match the Rocket's 3 year $25 million contract. They let it pass after months, MONTHS of saying to the world that they were going to match ANY offer. Since July 1, when the teams around the NBA started talks with Free Agents, Jeremy Lin's story was just behind the Dwight Howard saga. A a player with such a limited resume, Jeremy Lin dominated the US sports talk world for a couple weeks. After this week, we won't hear much of Jeremy Lin until the season's training camps get on the way. The question in October will be if he can sustain his play to a whole season.

As I read and hear of the developments behind the real reasons for the Knick's failure to match the offer, it makes James Dolan and his crew look like elementary school kids. As a life long Lakers fan, it would have been nice to extend an offer to Lin, but with Nash around, there's no need. I am sad. Maybe in a few years when Nash has retired and Jeremy Lin's contract is up.

Last weekend, while talking about Jeremy Lin's future with the Knicks, I couldn't get over the fact that Melo called Jeremy Lin's contract "ridiculous". What?! Have you ever heard others complain about another players contract so publicly. Retired players and analyst, etc. whom use to play do not count. And JR Smith going so far to say the locker room would not welcome him. What?! I only had one reaction, racism. Jeremy Lin is of Taiwanese decent and of Chinese ethnicity. That's a huge factor. I couldn't help be feel betrayed. If James Dolan is to feel betrayed, Melo should be the first. Didn't Jason Kidd get drunk and run into trees? What the heck?! NYC is suppose to be the US mecca of cultural sensitivity. Suppose to be. By the action of NYC's current headline takers, James Dolan, Melo, and JR Smith will never admit it's racism. How could they?

Friday, July 20, 2012

626 Night Market - 626 夜市 IS BACK in July 2012

The fine folks that put on the first 626 Night Market are back for an encore event on July 28, 2012. Apparently, Pasadena is part of the 626. I thought it so north that it would be either 323 or 818, but its mostly 626. Go figure.

This time, I will not be going. I am hosting a BBQ that day and won't be able to make it out. But I hear that the event promoters listened to all the disgusted reviews of the first night. Thus, they've selected a bigger venue! That's a start!

Personally, it's impossible to replicate the Taipei night markets. Impossible. I haven't spent all that much time in Asia, but from what I have seen, the Taipei Night markets stand on its own. The HK night markets are their own personality as well. Can't be duped. But they can try to make a SoCal version. Which I would welcome and try to get out to if it becomes more regular and closer to The Heights!

In honor of the 626, some transplants to the 626 made this homage a few months ago. They also cover a lot of The Heights in another video honoring Colima Road which is also part of the 626.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jeremy Lin On Jimmy Kimmel

In even older news, Jeremy Lin appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show in June. Jeremy Lin joined in on an Skype scavenger hunt against the Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers. Jeremy Lin and Roy Hibbert had to find 3 things in their apartment based on what Jimmy Kimmel wanted them to find. Funny stuff, I rarely get to watch Kimmel and this bit was really good and funny.

Jeremy Lin found all three items slower than Roy Hibbert, but due to Jimmy Kimmel disqualifying Roy for the first item, Jeremy Lin lost 1-2.

Very funny and light hearted bit. I hope to see more of these type of things with our favorite NBA players! Good job JKL!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

K-Town Episode 1 Premieres

O...M...G... The K-Town reality show finally premiered last week on July 11. LOUD is putting out episodes weekly for the rest of the summer on YouTube. Prior to the shows premiere, the reaction to a reality show about Los Angeles' K-Town has been mixed. Stereotypes are at the heart of the mixed reactions. Some will see it as breaking down Asian stereotypes for the better. While others see it as perpetuating a subculture that isn't representative of Asian Americans in the whole. But than again, as the Asian version of Jersey Shore, no one's going to mistaken Jersey Shore members for the rest of the US. I think people just like to see a train wreck.

For me, I also have mixed reactions. Mainly because the lives that the individuals choose to live on the show is very far from my reality. Yupe, way back in the 1990s, I had the opportunity to taste a slice of K-Town as a life long resident of the city of angels. The K-Town that I remember is very different that presented on the premiere episode. My K-town is all about the food. I worked close to K-Town for five years and frequented the fine food establishments for lunch during that time. I don't know if I've seen it in the dark since the 1990s (passing by on the freeway at night does not count).

The characters presented are all very camera friendly. Let's be honest, pretty people will get viewers to stay. Introductions were good. We need to get invested in the train wreck to come. Drama, drama, drama, Korean American style. Will we hear the irresistible Korean whining voice?

I didn't make it through the whole episode, I got bored. I went to do other things and I haven't wanted to finish the episode. I'll have to see if episode two will keep my interest.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jeremy Lin At The 2012 ESPYs

This is a bit of old news, but last week, Jeremy Lin took Los Angeles by storm. In the city of his birth, Jeremy Lin was there to accept the award for "Breakthrough Athlete of the Year". Jeremy Lin had some stiff competition in Alex Morgan, RGIII, Anthony Davis, and The Gronk! As much as I am a Jeremy Lin fan, I would have voted for THE GRONK based on his dance performance after his super bowl lost. You just can't understate how we were all Gronked. We were GRONKED!

Jeremy Lin was presented the award by Timothy Richard Tebow and Jessica Claire Beil. Jeremy Lin's acceptance speech was both humble and geek heaven at the same time. Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin will most likely be on different teams for the 2012-2013 NBA season.

Good job fans, you gave the award to the best guy there. But you got it wrong, THE GRONK should have won. Think about it, we could've tasted the dance of THE GRONK onstage.

Friday, June 29, 2012

時尚達人 - Sleepless Fashion - Upcoming

時尚達人 (Sleepless Fashion) is being released in Taipei this weekend. The movie stars Vic Chou and Vivian Hsu. Fashion world Asian style. Let the walk off begin!

I am not sure I want to watch this. But I am a big Vivian fan and might watch it for just that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

寶米恰恰 - Cha Cha For Twins - Upcoming

寶米恰恰 (Cha Cha For Twins) was released in Taipei this past weekend. The story of two twins in high school. And their problems with boys.

I'll be passing on this. I am much too old for this stuff now.

Friday, June 15, 2012

寶島雙雄 - Double Trouble - Upcoming

寶島雙雄 (Double Trouble) is being released in Taipei today. Ironically, it was release last weekend in Los Angeles in limited release on 12 screens for a $17,978 USD run.

The movie stars a bunch of Taiwan game show personalities and Jackie Chan's son, Jaycee Chan. A really weird mix. The trailer is pretty absurd too. Lots of action.

I will most likely look to catch this via DVD in the future.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 - Katy Perry Superstar Finale

Last night was the tenth and final episode of the seventh season of America's Best Dance Crew. The super star for this week was Katy Perry. As is the final week, we had the two remaining crews do a farewell routine. This week, Elektrolytes was paired with Season 5 champions, Poreotix. 8 Flavahz was paired up with Season 4 champions, We Are Heroes.

After the four crews performed, Season 6 champions, I aM mE, brain banged the world with their final "current" champions tag performance. They showed the world that their Season 6 win was not a fluke. Pretty sick routine.

As the final minutes of the show rang in, Elektrolytes was named the Season 7 champions. Yupe, those boyz from the A to the Z. Also ending the "AZN" theme of ABDC as well. No one that I know of on Elektrolytes is AZN. Dang, it wuz a good run A Z Ns.

As I reflect on the season, I still harken back to Season 1, 3, and 5. Even season 6 is starting to make its way up there. Will Season 7 make it into my top seasons. The feeling is no. But you never know.

Thoughts on the next season. Bring back the dance crew all stars. I think they've already gone through their stable of all star artist. Here's my list again:
Season 1
-- Kaba Modern
-- Breaksk8
-- Fysh n Chicks
Season 2
-- SoReal Cru
-- Supreme Soul
-- Distorted X
Season 3
-- Beat Freaks
Season 5
-- Blueprint Cru
-- Hype 5-0
Season 6
-- ReQuest Dance Crew

There you go, 10 crews from previous seasons that will definitely give good performances. I think some of these crews have disbanded since elimination off the shows, but maybe they can get them to reunite.

Looking forward to Season 8, whenever that is. Hopefully there is one.

Friday, June 8, 2012

第一次 - First Time - Upcoming

第一次 (First Time) is being released in Taipei today. The movie stars Mark Chao and Angelababy. Looks like super glorified music video. Not the US type music videos. But the Taiwanese ones. The ones with elaborate stories that pull on all your emotions. Angelababy plays a gal with a life threatening illness. When Mark Chao walks into her life, inspiration happens.

Hey, I love rom-coms from Taiwan. I'll be sure to pick this on up and make it a movie night with my wie.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 - David Guetta Challenge

Last night was the ninth episode of the seventh season of America's Best Dance Crew. The super star for this week was David Guetta. Each crew was given a medley of three of David Guetta's song, and props from the three songs' music videos. With only three crews left, ABDC went with a different format this week. All three crews performed to the medley and were critiqued. Mos Wanted Crew went first and 8 Flavahz followed. Elektrolytes ended it leading into a trio of crews performing to David Guetta's song. Nice advertising. Show up for a day, lend your name to be advertised.

Elektrolytes and Mos Wanted Crew fell to the bottom and had to do a dance battle to a song of their choice. When the dust settled, Mos Wanted Crew was let go by the judge. D-trix was visibly emotional during the recap and send off. When also means that this will be first time that no crews have AZNs. Weird. Nice. But sad at the same time.

I didn't agree with Jaycee's assessment of the crews, while Lil Mama and D-trix lent very little criticism this week. I would have kept Elektrolytes and Mos Wanted Crew for the finals. Like season one when Kaba and Jabba had to face off, the best two crews are not in the finals.

Friday, June 1, 2012

1000th Post!

I can't believe that I've finally made it to 1,000 post. One thousand! When I jumped on Xanga in 2006, I was doing research for my job. Which lead to sparse posting for 2 plus years. But for some reason, in the summer of 2008, I decided to go crazy. It took me over 2 years to add 400 posts. I already had 600 posts by April of 2010. But I've blogged a lot less since that time. Life has a simple way of saying, you've got too many things to do.

I've also had a hard time watching a lot of Asian stuff since summer of 2010. My watching use to be a 3-4 time thing a week. Now, its 3-4 every few months. I just don't have the time and the things being released are not all that interesting. And writing post is harder these days because I seem to spent more time on posts. Another sign of my aging mind.

On my 300th and 500th blog posts, I provided a little bit of 411 on populasian and my post. I'll be doing the same here again.

Top 5 Most Viewed Posts
1. Jeremy Lin - Harvard Guard
2. Chinese Paladin 3 - 仙劍奇俠傳三 - 仙劍三 - 仙劍3 - 仙劍奇俠傳之靈珠神劍
3. Roomie - Upcoming
4. 聽說 - Hear Me - Upcoming
5. 倚天屠龍記/新倚天屠龍記 – Yi Tian Tu Long Ji – Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre – 2009

History of Populasian
I would be lying if I said I came up with the term Populasian. It was actually a "project" that sprung to life in the fall of 1999, almost 10 years ago. A get together of a bunch of people that had grown up together from the late 80s through the mid 90s happened. We had all grown up, but now went to different universities and relocated out of the area. But, for some reason, we all got together that one day. As a result of that get together, we said, let's put up a website where we can keep track of each other and "write" stuff about the Asian American experience (much like what a facebook group does). Many names where thrown into the pot for the name of the website. I cannot remember the name I suggested. Populasian eventually became the unanimous winner. So, I happened to be the tech geek and set up the website. The website never came to be much other than me parking it as participation became like pulling teeth. Now, its resurrected as the name for my blog.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 - LMFAO Challenge

Last night was the eighth episode of the seventh season of America's Best Dance Crew. The super star for this week was LMFAO. Each crew was given a song and to create a routine from it. Members of Quest Crew helped the crews out. This week, the bottom two were Rated Next Generation and 8 Flavahz. In the end, the judges decided to eliminate Rated Next Generation.

I feel a little mixed as I thought RNG should have stayed. RNG gave me one of the better performances this season with the new jack swing stuff. But also one of the worst with the Zhong Guo inspired Ching Chong one. But the judges liked 8 Flavahz better this week.

I think its a good top three and Mos Wanted is showing they are the best dancers. They just need to get to together every week. Will they even stay a crew after this season? I have doubts on that too.

Funny to see D-Trix being in those Season 3 highlights, but not with the crew. I think its worked out good for both parties.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Front Line - 高地戰

The Front Line (高地戰) is an 2011 film out of Korea. The movie stars Shin Ha-kyun and Go Soo. The movie is set during the Korean War.

Shin plays a investigator sent to a platoon that takes a hill from the north and loses it to the north. With the help of air support from the US, the south retake the hill. Back and forth it goes. The soliders of the front line are asked to risk their lives for a hill that will look good on a map.

The movie was mostly about the lives of the soliders that risk their lives for nothing. It explores the north and the south soliders and the lives they live. The movie is pretty long and covers the gambit of things they go through.

I think I've seen too many Korean north/south war things that it wasn't all that interesting to me. It took me a few days to finish it because of my general lack of interest. Good thing for Netflix.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Contraband - 禁運品

Contraband (禁運品) is an 2012 film. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, and Giovanni Ribisi. I've seen this film on Blu-ray and multiple times via HBO.

Mark Wahlberg plays Chris, an owner of an security installation company. He's chilled from his former life of running "contraband" on ships. Married with children, he tries to stay away. Hey, but if he did, we wouldn't have a movie. When Chris's wife owes some sharks money, he is forced into action to get a pay day to settle the dept. However, there's a bigger plot on the side that puts Chris's family in harms way. Can Chris save the day?

Of course, its a movie! Mark plays a really compelling character with skills and an dark past. A past that we can stereotype into kung fu master territory. When he's force to do a job, the movie kicks into high gear. At its essences, this is an heist movie. And all well made heist movie rock! This one is no exception!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate - 龍門飛甲

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (龍門飛甲) is an 2011 film out of Zhong Guo and Hong Kong. The movie stars Jet Li and Zhou Xun. The supporting cast include Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Kwai Lun-mei, Louis Fan, and Mavis Fan. The movie is the "sequel" to the 1992 film New Dragon Gate Inn staring Tony Leung Ka-fai, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, and Donnie Yen. The movie is one of the first wuxia films in 3D.

Jet Li plays Zhou, the rebel that is causing trouble for the Ming Dynasty in the desert regions. Zhou Xun plays Ling, a wanderer in search of Zhou. The government is on the hunt for a boy and Ling saves him and leads them to the location of the Dragon Inn. The Ming soliders get there and the desert holigans are also there. All wanting a piece of the action. Zhou and Ling also make it there to bring some spice to the party.

The movie is a sequel to the 1992 version as Jet Li plays the main guy. The eunuch is now replaced by a version by Chen Kun. The movie is pretty slick in its effects and it's got a very complicated story, like the 1992 version. The two versions can and should not be compared. Why should you compare them? Tsui Hark is the reason. Why should you not. The movies are roughly 20 years apart and mainly a Zhong Guo production. You just don't have that HK silver era feel in this movie. The effects are different and the story is quite different.

I liked the movie for its bigger is better attitude. I like the fighting too. Very slick. The story on the other hand was weak and hard to follow. I think from an international level, the story is too convoluted to follow. However, a must watch for wuxia fans. A must watch for Jet Li fans.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Haywire - 即刻反擊

Haywire (即刻反擊) is an 2012 film. The movie stars Gina Carano. The supporting cast include Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, and Bill Paxton. Pretty impressive resume for Gina's debut in film. Gina Carano is best known as an MMA cage-fighter with Strikeforce. The movie is directed by the acclaimed and well respected Steven Soderbergh.

Gina plays, Mallory, a mercenary working on covert operations for the US government. Mallory is the prize agent of her current firm. The firm's head and Mallory had a thing in the past that has recently ended, but it hasn't directly affected their personal lives. On a mission to Spain, things go a little off when they extract out a exiled national from Zhong Guo. When back in our home base of San Diego, she's sent back out into the field, in Dublin. There, things go haywire and she's framed for murders. Back in the US, she tries to go Bourne and find out what happens.

This movie was a lot of non-stop action a la the Bourne movies. Except, you have a female lead in Gina doing the spy thing. The fighting is brutal and the made to be like real life. The story itself was hard to follow as there were so many characters on different sides. Gina didn't have to do too much acting as the movie was a constant motion picture. It reminded me of Japanese movies where they film people walking. Lots of long shots of Gina doing athletic things.

I liked the film for the fact that it was a slight departure from the Bourne and Statham type movies. Gina can kick @$$ and you'd believe it. I'd prolly last all of 10 seconds in the cage with her. 9 seconds of it is running away. Good movie, but the story was quite difficult to follow.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

War Of The Arrows - 弓箭之戰

War Of The Arrows (弓箭之戰) is an 2011 film out of Korea. The film stars Park Hae-il, Moon Chae-won, Kim Mu-yeol, and Ryoo Seung-Ryong. The alternative title of the film is "Arrow: The Ultimate Weapon". It was the box office champ in Korea for 2011.

Park plays Nam-yi, the son of a former general, who's very skilled with the arrow. His sister Ja-in, played by Moon, took refuge with another general who is had ties with their father. The general's son and sister plan to marry. On the day of the marriage, their city is attacked by the Manchurians. Ja is captured with the rest of the city to be slaves. Nam was in the forest hunting when this transpires. We he arrives back in town, he sees that his sister is gone and may still be alive. He starts to track her, but on the way he gets into a arrow fight with some Manchurians that were left over. Surviving, he sets out to track his sister. Along the way he's got his arrows and wit to help him against the Manchus.

This movie was pretty hyped for me. In the fall of 2012, it had a limited release run in the US. I was considering trying to catch it. But life got in the way and I had to wait for Netflix. As the number one movie for 2011 in Korea, I felt like it would be a good movie. The trailers were pretty good in promoting it as action picture. But the history behind it was intriguing as well. The acting was a bit "over" for many of the captives scenes, but when it got back to the arrows, it was the reason for the movie. Nicely made film that can have international appeal.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jeremy Lin - Not Quite An Olympian Yet

Jeremy Lin is headed back to Cali. Even tho its NoCal, its still Cali. Cali rulz. Respect....

In other news, Jeremy Lin was trending number 1 over things like Facebook on Monday with rumors of his future being up in the air.

Jeremy Lin was selected to the "practice" squad for the upcoming Olympics. The squad that plays against the crew that actually goes to London. The squad that goes need practice. We are talking about practice. Practice mang.

The other news is that he can only do this if he has a contract. And as of today, none. Which means he can't practice. Sad. Let Jeremy Lin play.

With STAT wanting his former teammate Nash in NYC, where can the Knicks put Jeremy Lin. Who else wants to make a run at a guy coming off an injury.

Maybe my hometown Lakers will shake things up and that gives a chance for Jeremy Lin to come. Hey, I can dream right?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 - Rihanna Challenge

Last night was the seventh episode of the seventh season of America's Best Dance Crew. The super star for this week was Rihanna. Each crew was given a song and to use props inspired by the song. This week, the bottom two were Fanny Pak and Elektrolytes. In the end, the judges decided to eliminate Fanny Pak. This was the fourth week in a row that Fanny Pak fell to the bottom.

I am not all that familiar with Rihanna songs, but a couple of them popped up today that made me go, "oh hey, I didn't know this was from Rihanna". In my late 30s now, I hear the songs, but I normally don't have a clue who the artist are. Most of the time.

Mos Wanted Crew finally came through and did an amazing performance. I think we all know that they are the best dancers, but as a crew, as a unit, they've hardly proven that. Maybe they'll have enough of a good showing these next two weeks to propel them. However, at this point, I think any of the four crews can win. Do you think anyone can stop 8 Flavahz? I don't. But I thought that of the Iconic Boys from season 6 as well. In season 8, the first criterion is to be sub 15 years old.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

貧民英雄 - Common Heroes - Upcoming

貧民英雄 (Common Heroes) was released in Taipei this past weekend. I wasn't going to post on it because it looked like one those games shows in movie form. But its the Taiwan version of Hot Shots and Scary Movie. Taking shots at the conventional and turning it on its head. After a lunch of speaking all Mandarin yesterday with some co-workers, I've got a renewed vigor for which this blog was created. I promptly went to sleep early too and watched nothing last night. Nice.

Because of the trailer alone, I am willing to give it a try.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inglourious Basterds - 惡棍特工

Inglourious Basterds (惡棍特工) is an 2009 film. The movie is directed by the infamous Quentin Tarantino. It stars Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger.

The movie is based on the events of World War II. Brad Pitt plays the captain of a group of soliders set to infiltrate the Nazy occupied lands and to take out the troops. The do this with ruthless fun and violence. On the other hand, the allied countries have devised a plan to assassinate Hitler if they can. This sets in motion a string of events from Brad Pitts crew to Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger. Will they be able to take out the villain of the twentieth century.

This movie was ultra violent and yet suspenseful at the same time. The basement bar scene was intense as was the final scenes in the movie theater. Brad Pitt played up his part to the delight of many. The French and German portions will also a nice touch of how it was during the WWII. Since it was set in an alternate reality, it was enjoyable and a fun watch. I caught this on DVD back in the day and recently via Spike and some other movie outlets.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let the Bullets Fly - 讓子彈飛

Let the Bullets Fly (讓子彈飛) is an 2010 film out of Zhong Guo. The movie stars Chow Yun-fat, Jiang Wen, and Ge You. The large supporting cast include Carina Lau, Feng Xiaogang, Zhou Yun, Jiang Wu, Chen Kun, Hu Jun, Liao Fan, Wei Xiao, Shao Bing, and Miao Pu. There were many more. I only listed the ones I know.

The movie starts with a train going through southern Zhong Guo in 1920. The train is hijacked by bandits. The bandits demand money. The man on the train suggest that they can get money from a nearby town if they pretend to be the governor. The bandits and the man goto Goose Town to get money. Once there, the bandits find that a business man functions as the town warlord. The bandits go into battle of wits with blood and lives.

The movie is a thriller about how a bandit group takes on a local warlord and wins. I don't know if this was to play on the current state of how the people in Zhong Guo feel about some of the government corruption. When the people feel hopeless, they go with the one with power for safety. When they feel that fairness is within reach, they will fight for it. At least, that's what I walked away from the film thinking.

The acting in this film was pretty awesome. From Chow to Wen to Ge. It was pretty amazing to see them at work. Through in there a who's who of the current Zhong Guo actors landscape, you have a pretty amazing film, in terms of acting. The story was also quite convoluted. You have to pay attention to follow. No bathroom breaks for this. But you have the pause button.

It took me two sittings to get through this. The first was over a year ago via a local video store. The second was via Netflix.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Debt - 諜債

The Debt (諜債/特務謎雲/惡棍狙擊) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain, and Jesper Christensen. The movie is a remake of an 2007 Israeli film of the same name.

Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, and Ciarán Hinds are in their 50s to 60s. Ciaran's character of David Peretz has come back to Israel after being away for several decades. David attempts to make contact with Helen Mirren's character, Rachel Singer. Rachel is the subject of her daughters newly published book about the three spy's experience in 1960s East Germany tracking down a well known Nazi war criminal, "The Surgeon of Birkenau". Their goal is to capture and bring back to Israel for a trial. Tom Wilkinson's character is a man of high sature within the government. However, with the book, the past comes back to haunt them all.

The movie is an combination of present and flashback. The flashback is pretty awesome. You get a sense of the misery these characters went through to be where they are at 40 years later. If you like spy thriller type movies, this is one for you.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

District B13 - District 13 - 暴力特區

District B13/District 13 (暴力特區) is an 2004 film out of France. The movie stars Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle.

The the future, France is a military state and people or assigned to their districts and not allowed to move around. A all out war starts when the hood takes on the state. In the middle of this a freerunner and a former special agent. They take on the people that start the war.

This movie had a lame story, lame acting, and even lamer ending. Even the action was enough to make me want to go for the sequel.

Friday, May 18, 2012

50/50 - 活個痛快

50/50 (活個痛快) is an 2011 film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL) and Seth Rogen. The supporting cast includes Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston.

JGL plays Adam, a radio script writer. His best friend and co-worker Kyle is played by Seth Rogen. Adam finds that he has cancer. His girlfriend is initially supportive, but cheats on him. They break up. The majority of the movie is mainly Adam dealing with his cancer, the treatment, the decline, and the comeback. Kyle is seen as a selfish guy at first, but totally does what's in his friends best interest.

The movie was enjoyable. I had a good time watching. However, its not a subject matter I care for. As I've lost family members to cancer myself, its not a pretty sight. Sometimes its a slow decline. Sometimes it changes your life in an instant. JGL is masterful in going from secure, insecure, confident, shy, and ambivalent all in the span of the movie. For Rogan and JGL fans, its a must watch.