The ‘Goonies’ are Good Enough but Not for a Sequel

The Goonies director Richard Donner recently told TMZ that work was underway on a sequel to the 1985 adventure classic and that “hopefully” the original cast would all be back.

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Now, I love this movie. One of the reasons for this was Jonathan Ke Quan’s Data. Yes, having the Asian kid be the one who’s good with gadgets could be construed as a stereotype, but damnit, if he wasn’t the coolest kid with the coolest gadgets! Between this and his role as Indiana Jones’ kid sidekick in the Temple of Doom, I was convinced at the time that he had to be the luckiest Asian kid in the world.

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But with that said, I think the idea of a sequel is a bad one. For the same reason the long-talked of Ghostbusters 3 is a bad idea—its time has passed.

Hip Hop Awards China in Shenzhen

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Before my trip, I started asking my friends on WeChat, the most important social networking and communications app in China, if they knew about the hip hop dance scene in China. Filmmaker Fan Popo hooked me up with a friend who then introduced me to Come Lee who said he was organizing the Hip Hop Awards China in Shenzhen. I had never been to Shenzhen before so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to check out both the city and the hip hop scene there.

[I got to present an award to the ultra-talented Han Yu]

The Serendipitous Spectator

I was given the infamous hand by casting director Poping Auyeung on the street of Hong Kong

I was given the infamous hand by casting director Poping Auyeung on the street of Hong Kong

A month ago, I made plans to come to the Hong Kong Filmart where I was offered some incentives from the American Consulate. I was then put on a seminar to pitch some investors from Guangzhou. And who knew I would be going to Guangzhou on Monday to scout out the city where theoretically my ancestors were from?

So far, the market has been an amazing opportunity to meet with old filmmaking colleagues and make new contacts. I was talking to many industry folks who seemed to rank the Hong Kong Filmart as the essential market to attend for Asia, over Pusan and Beijing. I will be in Beijing for the BJIFF Filmart and will find out how it is.

Japanese girl shredding on her guitar will melt your face!

Now we’ve seen many videos online of gifted young musicians (mostly Asian) who are breathtakingly amazing at what they do and the high level of musicianship they reach. We’ve even wrote about them here and here.

Well, here’s another example of a kid who simply shreds on her guitar, rising up to Dream Theater metal/prog rock status. Only 8-years old, this little Japanese girl goes by the name Li-sa-X and she is a total bad-ass! Not only does she rip on her electric guitar (which is almost the same size as her diminutive stature), but she does it with a smile! We’ll be keeping an eye on this young, Asian padawan…

(Via Huffington Post)

Laura Palmer Returns Today or TWIN PEAKS is 25 Years Old

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Laura Palmer returns today to talk to Special Agent Dale Cooper. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you are not a fan of TWIN PEAKS, the seminal TV show that shook the foundations of what network television is all about. The brainchild of David Lynch and Mark Frost, TWIN PEAKS was essentially a soap opera set in a small Washington State town where the central mystery involves the murder of prom queen and all around “good girl” Laura Palmer. The show’s main character is the quirky FBI special agent Dale Cooper, with his love of all things cherry pie and coffee may seem by-the-book in that DRAGNET kind of way, but his dabbling in mysticism, New Age thinking and cosmology made him fit right in as the central mystery of “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” explored some pretty weird and odd shit that happening in the town and most importantly, the woods surrounding the town.

Sam Mendes’ Rules for Directors

Sam Mendes is an acclaimed director of both stage and screen helming works like the Academy Award-winning American Beauty, Skyfall (the last James Bond outing) and the successful stage revival of Cabaret, which he is remounting on Broadway later this year.

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Medes was recently honored by the Roundabout Theatre Company and used the occasion to share his 25 rules for directors. While some of these were clearly meant to be taken with tongue firmly in cheek (yes, I’m sure I can just call up Dame Judi Dench and she would agree to work with me), the advice doled out does collectively amount to as good an approach to the craft and profession as any.

So since there are a number of aspiring directors reading our blog, here are Sam Mendes’ 25 rules for you to mull over:

Why Japan is Awesome #15: Recently, My Sister is Unusual

GOLLY

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Coming to a Japanese theater near you…Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga aka Recently, My Sister is Unusual aka the live-action feature film version of a manga title about…well, let me quote the description exactly so there’s no misunderstanding:

“…a high-school girl who wakes up one day wearing a magic chastity belt, possessed by a ghost who wants to make her have sex with her stepbrother enough times to fully power said belt and send the spirit to Heaven.”

Yowza! Check out the trailer (no subtitles necessary):

A List of Asians who Have Won Academy Awards

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Songwriter Robert (Bobby) Lopez, along with partner Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won the Oscar last night for Best Original Song for “Let It Go” from the hit animated feature Frozen. This makes Lopez the first Filipino American to win the Academy Award, but of course he’s not the first Asian to win. Here’s a list of other Asian winners of Hollywood’s highest honor:

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Best Foreign Language Film:
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The Most Epic Video You’ll Ever See If You Love Movies!

Holy shit. Speechless. Dizzy. Giddy. Goosebumps. These were some of the things circling through my head after watching this most epic of mashup videos. Inspired by Steven Jay Schneider’s incredible book series, 1,001 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE (BEFORE YOU DIE) , this video contains an additional 215 extra titles to illustrate the the sheer, visual and aural brilliance of the most powerful medium of human civilization.

Edited by Johnathan Keogh, it took him over a year to create this video and damn, he did a fine job. It is literally a rollercoaster, mind fuck, movie explosion and the best 10 minutes you’ll see in quite awhile. If I was living in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, captured and brainwashed by having my eyes pried open, then I can imagine watching this video.

6 Hollywood Films Where the Asian Villain Should Have Kicked the Good Guy’s Butt

In no particular order.

Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) 

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Martial arts superstar Jet Li made his American film debut as the villainous Triad leader/human trafficker/counterfeiter Wah Sing Ku in the fourth and (so far) final installment of the popular buddy cop series starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Nevermind that Li, who was already a mega star in Asia, was playing second fifth sixth fiddle to Gibson, Glover, Chris Rock, Joe Pesci and Rene Russo, but does anyone really believe that he’d lose in a hand-to-hand fight against Gibson and Glover?

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My sentiments exactly. This was just as messed-up as watching a rerun of the old Batman TV series as a child, seeing Burt Ward’s Robin kicking Bruce Lee’s Kato’s ass and knowing even then it was bullshit. As you can see from the offending clip below, Li was robbed:

Watch these Short Films from THE SHORT LIST if you are sick of Valentine’s Day

AMOUR

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THE SHORT LIST (the program that I curate consisting of the best short films that I have seen that lives on the YOMYOMF YouTube channel) may be on temporary hiatus, but it doesn’t mean I can’t highlight a short film (or two or three or four…) that would be great to view on this Valentine weekend occasion.

But when perusing through The Short List Playlist, I discovered that the shorts that I selected, were in fact, were not so romantic per se, but in fact too grey in their romanticism or pretty much tragically anti-romantic.

I Love This House

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How serious am I?  I’ve made it my screensaver – not my kids, wife, dog, or cat – nope, this house is the first thing I see every time I turn on my computer.

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But I could never live in it: one sock left on the floor, a splatter of spaghetti sauce on the counter, a child’s crayon scrawl on the wall – would destroy the pristine perfection of this jewel.

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It was also impractical for the woman who commissioned it in 1946.