Last Christmas (2019)

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Kate is a mess. She’s got no home, she gets drunk every night, and her nascent singing career is going nowhere. The only stable thing in her life is her job at an all-year Christmas shop, run by a Chinese woman named “Santa,” which she despises. In all fairness, though, Kate had a very traumatic year, actually requiring a heart transplant at one point. That would be enough to rattle anyone. And with overprotective, immigrant parents, it’s no wonder she wanted to move out. She could have been nicer and more strategic about it, but still. What will happen, though, when she meets a mysterious, eternally jolly man named Tom, who seems determined to get Kate back in the Christmas spirit? Why a break-in, an unexpected coming out party, and the murder of a fish, of course! Continue reading

Parasite (2019)

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The Kims are a family at the bottom rungs of society. Literally, since their shitty, one bedroom apartment is in a basement. They’re so poor that they have to use a neighbors fumigation to kill the cockroaches crawling over their belongings. They’re willing to do just about anything to get ahead, even if that means lying, and getting other people fired. Which is precisely what they wind up doing when the son gets an opportunity to act as a rich girl’s English tutor. He forges a university degree, and when the parents of  this girl like him, he’s able to find the rest of his relatives employment as the rich people’s art teacher, driver and maid, respectively. All is well, until they realize that the maid they got fired has been hiding something in the rich people’s basement, and that they just might have walked into something far more dangerous than they could have imagined. Continue reading

Abominable (2019)

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When she discovers a Yeti on the roof of her apartment, Shanghai teenager Yi decides to return him to his Himalayan home. So she sets off with her neighbors, Jin and Peng, to reunite their furry white friend with his family. But their journey won’t be an easy one, as there is a crazed billionaire who wants to capture the Yeti hot on their trail.  Continue reading

First Love (2019)

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When he’s diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, orphaned boxer Leo finds himself without purpose. After visiting a fortune teller, who urges him to “fight for someone other than yourself,” Leo saves a young woman, Monica, from a man chasing her. What he doesn’t realize is that Monica, real name Yuri, is a prostitute, the man he punched, Otomo, is a corrupt cop, and that by saving the former, he’s unintentionally caught himself up in a large, extremely dangerous scheme involving stolen drugs, the yakuza, and a crazed female assassin. Now he and Monica must survive the night by avoiding the many parties coming after them. Will they? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2019)

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When his father dies, a man from rural China (Huang Jue) returns to his hometown, and begins searching for a woman he once loved (Tang Wei). Through a fragmented series of flashbacks, he recalls how they met, had a pregnancy scare, plotted to murder her gangster boyfriend, and were eventually caught. Then, after falling asleep in a movie theater, he has a long, meandering dream about his mother, his unborn son, and a woman who looks very much like the one he’s searching for. Continue reading

Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting… But Should They Be?

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So if you’ve been paying attention to entertainment news recently, you probably saw that Marvel Studios has finally announced its first project with an Asian lead. The film, Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings, will be released in 2021 and will star Awkwafina, Tony Leung and Simu Liu as the title character. This is a big deal. It’s what Asian American filmgoers have been demanding for years; a big Hollywood blockbuster with an Asian lead, an Asian director, and even an Asian screenwriter. It’s perfect. Or is it? See, I’m very happy that we, as Asian Americans, are getting a big superhero film of this nature. But the more I looked into the movie, the more confused, and concerned, I became. Continue reading

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…

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You’re watching a movie or TV show, two characters are talking, and one of them says something offensive. The other person tells them to not say that, and then winds up saying something even more offensive.

Here are just a few examples of what I’m talking about:

FROM THE BOONDOCKS:

“Don’t say that something’s gay. It’s offensive to fags.”

FROM CRASH:

“Don’t be ignorant. They’re probably Thai or Cambodian. Totally different kinds of Chinks.”

FROM THE BIG LEBOWSKI:

“Also, dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian American, please.”

“Walter, this isn’t a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy—“

“What the f*** are you talking about?”

“Walter, he peed on my rug!”

“He peed on the Dude’s rug.”

“Donnie, you’re out of your element. Dude, the Chinaman is not the issue here!” Continue reading