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.
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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….
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! 🙂
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 →
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.
The 29th Annual SF International Asian American Film Festival just finished up recently on the 10th-20th of March. Asian American films are something I’m starting to look into recently. I feel a more personal connection to them than say a story-line about a man in Japan. Culturally, I could feel a connection to all the films I’ve seen and talked about on this blog, but with Asian-American films I feel a social connection as well. Films made for film festivals like this tend to have such story-lines and I am interested to find some good films to watch! If you are too, read on!
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Alright, alright, so you all probably think I randomly pick shows to watch purely on how interesting the title sounds. Which is true. HOWEVER, I also keep track of what’s new as well! I simply chose not to watch them because 1) the title doesn’t sounds interesting enough and 2) it’s always full of idols who can barely act. Thankfully, there has been a selected few that has caught my attention and I do believe they are shows to look through if you’re looking for a new show to watch. Just to warn you, I haven’t seen them yet either so…don’t blame me if they turn out to be horrible.
1. Athena: Goddess of War
Athena is an organization that controls the world’s energy supply (secretly). South Korea, in the plot of the drama, is attempting to utilize nuclear energy as their main power supply. It’s a powerful form of energy and if it can be harnessed will make South Korea a major player in the energy market. Thus, meddling into the affairs of Athena and “she” does not like it one bit. Continue reading →
Lately, I’m really into this genre called “Slice of Life.” Wikipedia defines it as:
It usually tries to depict the everyday life of ordinary people, sometimes but rarely, with fantasy or science fiction elements involved.
Basically, like the definition above states, it’s a story about the everyday things in life. The story tends to focus on a specific set of characters instead of a variety of them and show the ongoing events in their lives. This might sounds like something extremely boring to you like watching someone eat an apple or painting the house, BUT in drama form it’s a lot more interesting!
When slice-of-life (henceforth SOL) is applied to drama, you get to see events like contemplating the meaning of love, finding ways to burrow into someone’s heart, the awkward meetings between people, and of course the seemingly everyday thing that makes you laugh nonetheless. SOL drama/movies are also a breath of fresh air to me because their’s hardly any villains in the show. It’s the circumstances in life that sometimes bring people down, and you get to see how someone pick him/herself up and move forward. It’s much more realistic. Although there might be an evil step-sister out there, I hope and pray that it’s not really a common thing.
A show I’m currently watching is straight out of the SOL section: Alone in Love starring Kam Woo Sung as Lee Dong Jin and Son Ye Jin as Yoo Eun Ho. Continue reading →