Archive for the ‘Asian-American’ Category

Everything Everywhere Eyes

March 14, 2023

The eyes have it. First time seeing this poster today. How can I not share it?

And The Oscar Goes To… 2023 – Everything Sweep!

March 13, 2023

Not much for watching the actual Oscars. We opted to screen Women Talking instead. What an absolute joy. Review coming soon. After the movie, I discovered my favorite movie of the year, Everything Everywhere All At Once won both the Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role.

Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis won for Everything Everywhere All At Once. My boos.

Then Best Director went to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

And the Daniels won for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).

Paul Rogers won Best Film Editing for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Wow – our gal Michelle Yeoh won Best Actress!!! for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

And finally Everything Everywhere All At Once won Best Picture!!! Congrats to all.

Sarah Polley won Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for Women Talking. Just saw the film tonight – amazing!

Oscar Nominations: 2023

January 24, 2023

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning. For the first time in a long time (ever?), my favorite film of the year, Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAAO) was nominated for eleven awards, the most for any film. Yay!

I have a lot of catching up to do. Aside from EEAAO, I have only seen Elvis and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. I am shocked Nope received zero nominations. That’s just ridiculous. Meanwhile a beautiful moment from EEAAO. They so deserved the noms.

Everything Everywhere All at Once (take 2)

January 5, 2023

I decided to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once to make sure I loved it as much as the first time. I finished with two takeaways. First, you have to commit to watching the entire film. You cannot stopping watching halfway through and decide whether you like it or not. You are free to stop watching it, just refrain from having an opinion on it unless you’ve watched it in its entirety. And second, Everything Everywhere All at Once is my favorite film of 2022. Click on any of the links or image to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

Everything Everywhere All at Once currently streams on Showtime and is available on disk from your local public library.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

July 13, 2022

Rarely do I ever get the feeling that a film might rise to the heights of Donnie Darko for me: a classic cult film which I adore more with each subsequent screening. But I have a clear feeling about that with Everything Everywhere All at Once. Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert create a multiverse world where each main character lives thousands of lives in alternative universes. In the original universe Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn inhabits a sad existence running a failing laundromat with her husband who’s about to serve her divorce papers while they are audited by IRS. The agent is played by a fabulously unrecognizable Jamie Lee Curtis. Stephanie Hsu plays Evelyn’s lesbian daughter Joy whose multiple characters become a huge force in the film. Ke Huy Quan plays Evelyn’s husband Waymond, the soul and teacher of the story. There are also wonderful featured roles from Tallie Medel as Joy’s girlfriend Becky, Harry Shum Jr. as Chad the chef, and James Hong as Gong Gong, Evelyn’s Dad. I’m not sure how much plot I really want to give away in this review. I will say this – Evelyn’s called upon to assist the entire multiverse system. Her other lives explore all different paths she might have taken and provide dazzling glitz to this frenetic Sci-Fi extravaganza of a film. Full disclosure, I first watched this after working a full week and then working a Saturday, so I fell asleep first try. But then watched it eyes wide open the following day, fully awake and am in awe. The great thing about Everything Everywhere All at Once to me is they take some majorly recognizable Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure tropes and turn them inside out. The real power is not in violence but in love and kindness. I cheered over the film once I realized where it was taking me. What a ride. You owe it to yourself to check out the glorious, genre-busting deliciousness of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Just go ahead and hand Michelle Yeoh all the acting awards for this year. There another sassy sentence I want to add to this review, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so for now my lips are sealed. 5 out of 5.

Everything Everywhere All at Once currently streams for a rental fee on various platforms and is free on disk from your local public library.

joel kim booster: psychosexual

July 1, 2022

New stand-up special, joel kim booster: psychosexual highlights the talent of gay Asian-American comic Joel Kim Booster. Joel’s a triple threat. He wrote, produced, and stars in one of the funniest and sweetest rom-com’s this summer, Fire Island. He currently stars in Loot with Maya Rodolph and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Pose). And his own stand-up show just landed. That’s a lot and it’s well-deserved. Booster not only makes me laugh, he weaves identity and the awareness of identity throughout his show leaving the audience with laughter, thought-provoking ideas, and more laughter. Topics include being Asian, being gay, being adopted, sex, drugs, relationships, even a section on cats versus dogs. Just when you think this might be one more comedian mining well-used material, Booster engages with the audience, and analyzes why he talks about what he talks about. Yet, in the end, it is all about the laughs. The audience leaves happy and satisfied. I sure did. Joel’s not only adorable and sexy as hell, he’s also a major talent. 4 out of 5.

joel kim booster: psychosexual currently streams on Netflix.

Fire Island

June 16, 2022

Don’t need to say much about the indie darling Summer 2022 rom-com Fire Island other than WATCH IT! It exceeded all of my expectations. I was hoping it was fun. Check. Sweet. Check. But then it just kept getting better. And better. It’s silly in places, stupid in a few as a nod to the Rom-Com genre. It’s also inclusive and poignant and romantic and full of hope. Writer star Joel Kim Booster hit it out of the park with this delightful distraction from our collapsing democracy. And boy do we need some breaks from that train wreck. Fire Island joins a very small list of sweet, happy, sexy, silly, romantic, hopeful gay male films who dared to take on the Rom-Com genre and turn it out. Simply amazing. 5 out of 5.

Fire Island currently streams on Hulu.

The Chair: Season 1

August 31, 2021

Actor Amanda Peet takes the reign as creator and writer of The Chair, a 6-part Netflix half hour comedy about the trials of working in academia. Sandra Oh kicks ass in the title role. Whenever I see her tackle something complex, I think back to her pre-Grey’s Anatomy days of gritty indie films and smile. She truly is a great talent. Joining Oh are fellow actors Holland Taylor, Jay Duplass, David Morse, Nana Mensah, and Bob Balaban. The premise revolves around the first female chair to an English department in a small liberal arts college. You’d think such colleges would be progressive. But no, like most institutions, they are kicking and screaming well into the 21 Century. Oh is a single Mom, somewhat involved with Duplass’ character who’s a widower, a star at the school, and really screwed up over his grief. What is it with hot women being attracted to guys who don’t shower on a regular basis? I don’t care how smart someone is… ick. So the show looked like a lot of fun. Unfortunately it suffers from a number of tired TV tropes. Mainly the old people (three of them) playing to stereotype, the aforementioned drunken, irresponsible genius, and single Mom trying to balance work, home and the generations in her family. Although Netflix produced this, it felt at times closer to a network sitcom. What saved it were moments of greatness from Sandra Oh, Holland Taylor, and Nana Mensah in particular. They should have done the show just about the women. That would have made for a more interesting watch. The Chair‘s not bad, it’s just in need of some better three dimensional characters. The final episode redeems the series, but ends on a way too obvious note. Less obvious storytelling and more wonder from these great actors. 3 out of 5.


June 27, 2021

I hate it when I don’t gush over a beloved film. Minari‘s got a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I found the movie dull and not particularly realistic. A Korean family moves to Arkansas in the 1980’s to create a farm and grow vegetables specifically for the Korean-American community. The history of the family was fascinating and true to the American immigrant story. Husband and wife spend time sexing chickens in factories in California. Squirrel away money and move to Arkansas where they can have their own business. One spouse is better at sexing than the other. Their two kids are simultaneously intrigued and horrified at their new surroundings. What didn’t ring true to me was the lack of bigotry and prejudice. I like the idea of a film not focusing all of its energies on hatred so it can show a story about a young family struggling to find their American dream. Minari just didn’t seem realistic to me. How could this family plop themselves down in rural Arkansas and not face any prejudice from the white community? As a result, I didn’t finish Minari. But I did get through enough of it to feel like I needed more. 2 out of 5. Next.

Minari currently streams for a rental fee on many platforms and is available on disk free from your local public library.

Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020

This year in 2020, we embrace Thanksgiving in America with some sadness. A large number of Americans cherish the tradition of gathering on this very American holiday. Others are reminded of the horrific treatment the indigenous people faced from European settlers. Still others just want to be left alone. In this year of COVID, we are all a bit lost today. No matter what you are or are not doing today, I hope each of you finds a moment of peace and tranquility. And if you’re looking for a holiday film to brighten the day, may I suggest Gurinder Chadha’s 2000 indie classic, What’s Cooking? It will put a smile on your face and remind us all we are more alike than we are different. Click to read Reel Charlie’s review of this Thanksgiving classic and food lover’s film.

What’s Cooking currently streams on Tubi.

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