Miss Granny | Review

I’ve been catching some glimpses of Asian cinema despite my busy schedule (an addict will always be an addict), and saw this wonderful movie on Netflix. Check it out below if it’s been in your queue, but not sure if it’s worth a look.


Released in: 2014
Directed by: Hwang Dong-Hyuk

Actor Actress as Character
Shim Eun-Kyung as Oh Doo-Ri / Oh Mal-Soon
Na Moon-Hee as Oh Mal-Soon
Jin Young as Ji-Ha
Park In-Hwan as Mr. Park
Sung Dong-Il as Hyun-Chul

As I’ve grown older, I started to realize more and more the sacrifices my parents have endured. Not only did they not know a word of English upon arrival in America, they had no friends or family here and had to start from scratch. Somehow, they were able to put food on the table by taking any jobs they can get. My dad and older sister worked in a factory making name tags and my mom stayed at home since we were all very young at the time. In Vietnam, before the war broke out, my dad was studying to be a lawyer and my mom was a teacher with dreams of becoming a cook. That all changed when the uncontrollable circumstances of their lives cause them to lose their dreams. Miss Granny is a movie about them–my parents. The dreams they lost and all the possibilities that could’ve came alongside them.

Oh Mal-Soon is 74 years old with a son who’s a professor at a fancy university. She raised him alone when her husband died during the war. She’s proud her son made something of himself, but that feeling isn’t mutual unfortunately. While she did everything she could in order for her son to have the same chances as anybody else, her wishes became little more than a whisper and soon not a trace of it was left. For the most morbid of reasons, she decided to get a new picture taken before she gets any older and the picture for her funeral will be of an even older woman. Little did she know taking this photo will be her second chance to do what she wants to do and not what she had to do.

Continue reading →


More Reviews Coming Up

I just saw not one but TWO movies I’ve been anticipating since I’ve heard of their release. I was sooooo happy when I found them. It takes awhile for them to get subtitle and even though I’ve studied Japanese, I’m not that much of an expert to watch it without a little help ^^; Anyway the movies were….

Paradise Kiss

Centering around a girl name Yukari Hayasaka (played by Keiko Kitagawa) who dutifully studies for her college entrance exams everyday at her mother’s insistence, but found no joy in the act (who can blame her?) She chances upon a group of student from a fashion design school and they insist she become their run-way model for their fashion show. Whose insistence will she follow? Or not follow anyone’s at all?

Kaasan, Mom’s Life

You’d think a movie about a manga-ka, or comic book artist in Japan, who writes about motherhood in a very humorous tone will have an equally humorous life. That’s where life is strange and the people in it are stranger. Rieko Saibara (played by Kyoko Koizumi)  juggles motherhood, the hectic deadlines of a manga-ka, and her alcoholic husband. Her life is never boring, nor is it ever normal. Will it ever be?

Both reviews will be on Yonasu.com in the coming weeks! 🙂

A Tale of Two Sisters | Review

Halloween has already started for some, but it will officially be here in two more days. So why not scare yourself silly by having an Asian horror-flick night? Asian directors can make your cry, laugh, but they can also scare you enough to never go into a closet and close the door behind you ever again.

Released in: 2003
Directed by: Kim Ji-woon

Actor/Actress as Characters
Im Soo Jung as Su-mi
Moon Geun Young as Su-yeon
Yeom Jeong-ah as Eun-joo
Kim Kap-su as Moo-hyeon

Do you have someone that you’re really close to? You want to protect this person with all your being and when you fail to, the hurt lingers and damages you. Su-mi and Su-yeon are sisters and are very close. They live with their father, Mu-hyeon, and their step-mother, Eun-joo. The movie starts with Su-mi in a presumably psychiatry ward. She is unresponsive to all questions asked by the doctor and only picks up her head when a family photo is shown. When she gets better, Su-mi goes back home with Su-yeon hand in hand as they enter the house. Their abode is old, large, and dark: a perfect place of residence for evil and the supernatural. On the first night, Su-yeon senses someone enter her room and runs to her sister’s room for protection. From there, this mysterious presence continues to make itself known and only shows itself to Su-mi.  To make matters worst, their step-mother takes all her anger out on Su-yeon by locking her in the closet and their father doesn’t believe a word Su-mi says. When Su-yeon has bruises all over her arms, Su-mi finally confronts her father only to receive a most terrible answer.  Continue reading →

I’m back!

Hey folks, thanks to those who stuck around. I’m back and will start posting again. Last I left you, I was trying to figure out what to do with this blog. Well, I’ve figured it out and my About page proves it! Here’s the new description of what this blog will be about:

Thoughts on the Asian Stage has gone through a lot of evolutions as I tried to figure out my purpose for this blog. I first posted in September of 2007 and haven’t stopped since. It was initially an emotional dumbing ground for all my thoughts after I watched a really good or really bad Asian movie. As my thoughts became more coherent after a couple of posts, I began posting reviews on the drama/movies I’ve seen instead to make it more concise. My reviews soon caught the eyes of other Asian entertainment bloggers and I was asked to blog for their blogs. From there, I split my posting schedule between this blog and other blogs. When things became really hectic, I took a short hiatus in August of 2011. Now I’m back and have turned this blog into a collection pot directing readers to my posts on other blogs. Occasionally, I’ll also post reviews just like the old days.

So stick around. If you’re a fan of my writing, there will be more not less. They just happen to be posted somewhere else most of the time. To be up to date on new posts, you can now subscribe to this blog via Feedburner 🙂

BRB – Be Right Back!

I'll be back soon! ; _ ;

Dear Awesome Readers,

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts and rambles about the joy of Asian cinema these past few years. I never expected to find so many fellow enthusiasts like myself who are in love with Asian cinema and all its subtle charms that slowly but surely wiggle itself into your hearts. This blog has brought along lots of new friendship and opportunities, and I will always cherish and be thankful of it. Unfortunately, I’m now at a point where I won’t be able to keep up with the maintenance of this blog anymore. Meaning, I don’t have any time for reviews (or rather, I don’t have any reviews to post due to reasons below).

As some of you might know, I am a contributing writer for yonasu.com on all things drama and movies in Japan. Since it would be really redundant if I post the same review for Yonasu there and here, I usually have a link to the review on Yonasu from this blog. Thus, all my Japanese related posts now goes to Yonasu and all other posts would still remain on this blog. However, I was recently asked to be another contributing writer for another popular review site: JapanCinema.net focusing on all things Asia and Anime. I know it’s my own fault for saying “yes” but I’m now left with little remaining materials to blog about.

Therefore, I am taking this hiatus to figure out what to do with this blog in the coming future. It has brought me more things than I could’ve ever asked for so I definitely won’t ever delete it or the likes. The reviews that I’ve done here will still be here, and feel free to comment. I receive an email notifications on all comments so I will still get to read everything you guys posted. In the meantime, be sure to check out my new playground at yonasu.com and japancinema.net! I’ll still be active in promoting Asian Cinema, just not here and on a larger scale. I hope you all understand my plight and I vow to return soon once I figure out what to do.

Take care,


Summer Wars | Review

Directed by: Mamoru Hosoda
Animated by: Madhouse
Released in:  2009

Overall Rating: B+

I saw this movie a few weeks ago and was planning on writing a review for it when the magnitude (now rounded up to) 9.0 earthquake hit Japan on March 11th. Coincidentally, I find a warm connection between what happened in the movie and the disaster that actually happened in Japan.

Told through the life of Kenji Koiso, an 11th grader gifted in math, Summer Wars tells a story of a modern Japan where the country and the rest of the world is linked to an online network known as OZ. People can access the network through their electronic devices that range from portable gaming devices like the Nintendo DS to cellphones. OZ is more or less the equivalent of the internet but more advanced. Not only is it a place to meet people and find information, it also provides the data backbone of hospitals, traffic system, and other important systems for the real world. Once inside, your security is assured thanks to the most advance encryption system known to mankind protecting each and everyone’s information.

Of course that’s a big lie and there’s a crack in everything. When Kenji  solved a math equation sent to his phone, it opens to door for a powerful AI called Love Machine to invade OZ and takes control of everyone’s account. These accounts, unfortunately, include those that could influence real life such as the ones said above and other high profile account like a satellite system that can be programed to crash into a nuclear power plant and let’s not forget all the nuclear weapons of the world as well. When OZ breaks down and along with it the orderliness of the real world, can a nerdy math geek save the day? Read more at yonasu.com.