Thursday, July 7, 2011

C-movie: Divergence (2005)

Synopsis - IMDB

A cop, a lawyer, and an assassin cross paths after the murder of a federal witness and the kidnapping of a famous pop star.

Did I ever mention that Daniel Wu is so adorable and my favorite Hong Kong actor?

He's so versatile. Gorgeous.

I know about his background. People criticize him for not being Chinese enough since he grew up in America but since I'm not Chinese, I don't care. I love him.

Danile plays the hitman in Divergence. I just love that he takes on that diversity in his film choices. Come on, his first film ever, he played a homosexual!

I think the casting was just right.

Daniel as the hitman. Aaron as the cop. Ekin as the lawyer.

My only problem is the many crying scenes of Aaron! Oh gosh! He is such a cutie-pie but needs to step it up on the acting part. I cannot believe he won an award for the movie! If anyone it should've been Daniel or Ekin!

Ekin had such an interesting, silent role. He was so badass!

I love how the movie makes all three men connected, all with different lifestyles and paths.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. A lot! I would love to see a remake of it too.

9 out of 10

PS - I did see this on Netflix instant view also.

Kmovie - I Saw The Devil (2010)

Synopsis - IMDB
Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, but were unable to catch him. One day, Joo-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief becomes his prey and is found dead in a horrific state. Her fiance Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), a top secret agent, decides to track down the murderer himself. He promises himself that he will do everything in his power to take bloody vengeance against the killer, even if it means that he must become a monster himself to get this monstrous and inhumane killer.

I love me some thriller movie. I was so stoked and excited to watch I Saw The Devil on Netflix instant viewing. Lee Byung Hun is my favorite Korean actor, plus he's a hottie, so good to look at!

When he acts, he speaks so much just by his eyes! I love it. It's so intense. His smile just melts me away.

I've heard so many great things about the movie.

Lemme start off by saying that the film is very fast paced and gives you a thrill...but I am just not into the storyline. I felt that it was not explained very well, to me.

For example, I do not  understand why Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) had a fasination with killing these beautiful young women. I just "assume" that it was because of his lost wife?? It clearly showed his son but never really why. And his friend...who helped with the killing. Did he actually eat his victims? That one scene where he says, "there are no more guts" and then goes and get a girl, ready to kill her.

I was confused. Someone enlighten me. I don't really understand the purpose of the killing, not that I condone any of it, I want to know the mind of the psycho-paths. They are just plain sick and nasty, I know but that's what the movie was lacking for me. If that part was fulfilled, then I would've enjoyed the movie a bit more.

Movie is really gory and bloody but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it. I love the Saw series. Gory but had a storyline to it that makes sense, to me.

I love how it took a different turn to the cat-mouse game and how Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) just wanted to punish the them, not giving them a quick, painless death.

Rating 7 out of 10

Friday, June 24, 2011

The lost history of Bruce Lee

Most of us know him as the kung fu movie star with the Beatles haircut and the mind-blowing physical prowess. What we’ve forgotten is that Bruce Lee had
the spirit of a true ’60s radical as he reshaped a hidebound Eastern art into a brash form of self-expression and shattered popular conceptions of Asian men. And his thrilling crusade began here.

By Charles Russo

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco and spent his first few months in a boarding house in Chinatown with members of the Mandarin Theatre (his father was one of their comic actors). Another now dimly remembered fact about him is that just over a decade ago, Time put him on its list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, alongside such iconic company as Muhammad Ali, Che Guevara, and Mother Teresa. And what many of us never knew at all is that Lee honed the skills and philosophy that secured his place in history right here in the Bay Area.

Without specifically aligning himself with the region’s counterculture, Lee embodied many of its early-1960s ideals. Over the course of just a few years, while still in his early 20s, Lee challenged traditional authority within the Chinese community, joined with progressive-minded martial artists twice his age to spur the evolution of their craft, and had the legendary fight that drove him toward the supercharged street-fighting style and mindful, self-disciplined way of being that jolted the world to attention. “More than any other place,” says Lee archivist David Tadman, “the Bay Area was essential to the person that Bruce was.”

And ultimately, that person changed the culture at large. “Before Bruce Lee, Asian men were represented as house-boys, laundrymen, or rickshaw drivers,” says Valerie Soe, an assistant professor in San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies department. “They were never very interesting, sexy, or physically strong. Then Lee comes along and just blows all of those perceptions out of the water.”

Yet for all Lee’s social relevance and cultural cool, there’s no local memorial to the history of this man who is arguably the Bay Area’s most famous native—no major plaques, no statue, not even a well-rendered mural by a discerning graffiti artist—despite a plan by former Oakland mayor Ron Dellums intended to remedy that (his proposal eventually fell by the wayside). The spot where Lee’s martial arts school once stood now holds an auto dealership. Ambitious plans are under way for a Bruce Lee museum—in Seattle. It’s a peculiar regional amnesia, considering the true course of Lee’s life.

Taking the Bay Area by storm
Soon after Lee’s birth, the family returned to Hong Kong, where he remained until age 18. At that point, his worried parents sent him to America to finish high school and go to college—run-ins with Hong Kong’s turbulent street life had gotten the hyperambitious teenager (who’d already made his mark as a child actor, an amateur boxer, a competitive cha-cha dancer, and a kung fu student) in trouble. The boat trip took about three weeks, during which the charismatic Lee charmed travelers. Back in Chinatown, he worked as a dance instructor to make money for school and began showing off his tougher kung fu style during demonstrations at Bay Area dance halls. In Hong Kong, he’d been exposed to neighborhood rooftop fights between teenage gangs and had trained in Wing Chun kung fu, which encouraged speed and close contact. His exhibitions here showcased both influences—and captivated viewers. “I’ve never in my lifetime seen an instructor move so fast,” says George Lee, now 94, who watched the 19-year-old Lee give a demonstration in Oakland. “It was a blur, especially when he kicked. It was just amazing.” Word spread quickly, and even when Lee was going back and forth between San Francisco and Seattle, where he studied philosophy at the University of Washington, Bay Area martial arts mavericks sought out the young phenom. Eager to collaborate, Lee would show off his explosive power and otherworldly speed, often in the form of his legendary one-inch punch, a physics-defying finger’s-length blow that would send sizable opponents sprawling. “Sometimes when he was punching you could actually hear it, like Pop! Pop! Pop!” says kenpo master Ralph Castro, who ran the Valencia Street school. “And we said, ‘Whoa, he’s pretty good.’ ”

Defying the masters
Chief among Lee’s forward-thinking colleagues was James Yimm Lee, the tough-as-nails Oakland native with whom Lee would strike up a deep and brotherly relationship. “Bruce is smart,” says James Lee’s son Greglon. “When he’s in his 20s he’s hanging out with guys in their 40s, so he can gain their experience.” A well-known local fighter and trailblazer, James Lee was among the first to publish how-to books on martial arts, and he made a point of putting his Caucasian student Al Novak—a muscled 300-pound beast of a fighter—on the cover. He also changed the traditional spelling gung fu to kung fu in order to make it more pronounceable for non-Chinese. By the summer of 1964, Lee had returned from Seattle to live in the Bay Area and had opened a branch of his kung fu school at 4157 Broadway, in Oakland, where he taught a cross-section of nationalities and experimented with a less restrained, more individualistic form of the art. Soon, however, to save on rent, he relocated his classes to James Lee’s residence on Monticello Avenue. There, he sharpened his in-your-face style. He grew vocal about what he saw as the inadequacies of historic martial arts technique. “He was always going up against tradition,” says Lee’s wife, Linda Lee Cadwell. “He trashed classical kung fu,” says James’s student Leo Fong, who watched Lee during one of his signature demonstrations around that time. “He imitated the forms and asked, ‘How could you fight like that?’ I knew all the teachers in the audience, and their faces turned red.” Adds Lee archivist David Tadman: “Bruce knew that the old guys weren’t doing anything exciting or new. So he went 100 miles per hour with something so raw and so cool that everyone was leaving their instructors to go train with him.”

Fighting for a new order
A few months or so after Lee returned, his brazen critiques sparked a showdown with the martial arts elite from San Francisco’s Chinatown. One autumn evening, behind locked doors at 4157 Broadway, Lee squared off in a battle against rising star Wong Jack Man. One ex-Wong pupil calls the battle “a Chinese Ali-Frazier,” and nearly a half century later, a palpable sense of both urban legend and ill will still surrounds the event. The cocky Lee wore a tank top and used economical blasts of his hands—the least effort for the most damage. Wong, known for being more reserved, arrived in traditional garb and fought in the more acrobatic Northern Shaolin style. The prevailing theory is that Wong had been sent to Oakland as an enforcer to stop Lee from teaching kung fu to non-Chinese pupils, a sore point with aging Chinatown masters who felt that the Chinese should never teach their methods to foreigners. But others, including Leo Fong, say this theory is “bullshit,” noting that other Chinese studios were accepting Caucasians. The fight’s result also depends on whom you ask: It lasted anywhere from 90 seconds to 20 minutes before Lee either won or conceded, and various fictional-sounding scenarios involve black eyes, early cheap shots, and a slapstick chase. Hollywood’s surreal 1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story goes so far as to place the fight before a council of elders in a secret Chinatown basement, with a defeated opponent breaking Lee’s back with a cheap-shot kick to the spine. (Now retired and still living in the Bay Area, Wong denied a request for an interview.)

The one point of consensus is that the fight was instrumental in Lee’s development of his new martial arts approach—Jeet Kune Do, The Way of the Intercepting Fist. He had hoped to win in just a few rounds and was frustrated that he had become winded, so the next year he began bodybuilding furiously and refining his philosophy, while raising his family at the Monticello Residences in Oakland. Around the same time, Lee’s stunning demonstration at the Long Beach International Karate Tournament caught the attention of Hollywood agents, and soon he was visiting 20th Century Fox for a screen test for the role of Charlie Chan’s Number One Son. Instead, he landed the role of Kato in The Green Hornet, and by early 1966, he had moved his family to Los Angeles to pursue the film career that made him world famous. Seven years later, after having established himself as the “father of mixed martial arts,” Lee died under mysterious circumstances in Hong Kong. The world mourned his passing, and Bruce Lee became a household name.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2 Filipino movies I saw recently

One of my Pinay friends wanted me to start watching Tagalog movies so she sent me a few to watch. Now since I've seen a handful, she started to send me more.

This time, a few of the movies have hot and sexy Derek Ramsay!!! He is hawt!

You can always attract me with hot, sexy men with six-pack abs :D

And I Love You So (2009)

Photos - pinoysgottalent, Google

Lara (Bea Alonzo), a preschool teacher and owner, is widowed five months after she married her boyfriend of five years, Oliver (Derek Ramsey). Several months after his death, she meets Chris (Sam Milby), a young man also suffering from the loss of his spouse. They become friends and help each other move on. But as their friendship grows, their unmistakable attraction for each other grows. Can these two broken people find love again? Or will the ghosts of their past tear them apart?

The movie started off a bit slow but overall, I liked it.

I have to admit, when I first saw Sam, I was like, no way...but as the movie progressed, I started to love him. He has a soft, yet edgy side to him, which made me love him. Maybe it was his character but I loved him so much in the movie.

Derek is like the perfect husband, a little to perfect for me.

It was Bea's movie all the way. I was a little annoyed with her character at first but I loved how her character transferred from a naive girl to an independent woman.

One More Chance (2007)


Basha (Bea Alonso) is an architect in the same firm as her fiancé Popoy (John Lloyd Cruz), who is an engineer. They belong to the same close-knit group of friends and have been together for five years until Basha gets fed up with Popoy's controlling but well-meaning ways and opts out of the relationship, building a new life for herself. Popoy goes on self-destruct mode but is later able to recuperate in the kind arms of Trisha (Maja Salvador). Basha realizes that he wants him back but things have already gotten too complicated.

Best line - You had me at my best, she loved me at my worst.

Good movie. I loved it. I loved how both characters had to make changes in their lives to know what they have been missing. I love that both characters had to grow because they've been together for so long that they had to find themselves again.

Derek was in the movie just for eye candy :D

John is such an amazing actor! Wow! I am so impress with him! I would like to see more of him.

Bea is cute and sassy. I really like her.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kmovie - The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Synopsis - IMDB
Photos -

An ex-special agent CHA Tae-shik's only connection to the rest of the world is a little girl, So-mi, who lives nearby. Her mother, Hyo-jeong smuggles drugs from a drug trafficking organization and entrusts Tae-shik with the product, without letting him know. The traffickers find out about her smuggling and kidnap both Hyo-jeong and So-mi. The gang promises to release them if Tae-shik makes a delivery for them, however it actually is a larger plot to eliminate a rival drug ring leader. When Hyo-jeon's disemboweled body is discovered, Tae-shik realizes that So-mi's life may also be in danger. Tae-shik becomes enraged at the prospect that So-mi may already be dead and prepares for a battle, putting his own life at risk

That's what I'm talking about! An entertaining movie from beginning to end!

It is straight up action and keeps me wanting to see what is happening. Storyline is different to me.

I enjoyed watching the cat-mouse chase.

I was stoked to see it because Won Bin is my favorite Korean actor. He is diverse and doesn't stick to romantic roles.

When he got back from the military, I was eagerly waiting for him to return back to acting! He's the best.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kmovie - Typhoon (2005)

Synopsis - IMDB
Photos - MovieXclusive

Myung-sin, who has become a pirate, lives with hatred in his heart and endures the hardships, seeks revenge on the two nations, North and South Korea, using nuclear waste that has the devastating power of plutonium. Se-jong, a South Korean naval officer departs with his team of elite forces to prevent Sin's master plan of Nuclear Typhoon. Born under the same skies of the same race, but of a completely different nation... Living a life so different, the two point their guns at each other's heart...

I really liked the movie! It was a breath of fresh air for me. I haven't seen a Korean movie in a while and this one did it for me. I love how both leads live different lives but were able to understand each other's pain through experience and finding the truth.

The climax scene seemed like it was taken from a Hollywood movie! Many shots were unrealistic but beautifully shot!

Many people will say that the storyline is nothing new but it doesn't matter, as long as it's a well-made movie, then it's good to go!

Definitely worth a watch. I really really am starting to like Jang Dong Gun. I've seen him in other films but dang! He's getting better and better!