Posted in *Recommended, Documentary

Meet and Eat at Lee’s Garden – watch on now!

Day’s Lee worked at her father’s restaurant as a kid in Montreal and in this documentary that she made, she discovers more about her parents and the customers who ate at the restaurant in the 1950s. The official website has more details.

Anyone in Canada can watch it on the CBC website for free! You may need to create an account on the website or CBC Gem app.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Film Screenings

Fantasia Classics at Fantasia 2020

At this year’s virtual edition, Fantasia will be screening some films they screened in the past years as VOD rentals as part of their Fantasia Classics programming.

This is a great initiative and one that I hope continues in future editions. Sometimes you simply cannot watch a screening because of schedule conflicts. Considering how difficult it can be to find and watch some of these movies, it’s nice to get a second chance to see them even if it’s not in the cinema. I’ve linked to my reviews of some of the movies that I have already seen.

A Hero Never Dies
Air Doll
Fly Me to Saitama
Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats
HK: Forbidden Superhero
HK: The Abnormal Crisis
Milocrorze – A Love Story
The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Posted in *Recommended, Reviews, TV

TW-Drama Review: In Time With You [Recommended]

In Time With You / 我可能不會愛你 [wǒ kě néng bù huì ài nǐ ] (2011)
[13 episodes, approx. 80 mins each]
Director: Winnie Chu
Writer: Mag Hsu
Cast: Ariel Lin, Chen Bolin, Andrea Chen, Sunny Wang

I have watched Taiwanese dramas in the past but only random episodes. I never finished a full series so that makes this one a first. At 13 episodes it’s actually one of the shorter Taiwanese dramas but each episode is about 1 hour and 20 mins long. This is longer than both Japanese and Korean dramas. In total viewing time it’s a bit longer than a typical 16 episode Korean drama series where each episode is about one hour. I usually find such a long runtime to be tiresome but this drama manages to mostly warrant all the time spent. The English title does not have the same meaning as the Chinese title (wo ke neng bu hui ai ni) which translates to “I probably can’t love you.”

It’s about a male and female who are best friends. They were in the same classes in high school and college. You Qing (Ariel Lin) works for a shoe company and Da Ren (Chen Bolin) works at the airport. You Qing is about to turn 30 so thoughts of marriage become more frequent. Da Ren and You Qing make a money bet with each other to see who will get married first before 35. It becomes fairly clear early on that Da Ren has romantic feelings for You Qing although he is extremely reluctant to act on them.

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Posted in *Recommended, Uncategorized

These works predicted our lives in 2020

Quarantine during these COVID-19 times was unexpected by many but I found some works from the past that predicted what our lives would be like now.

The 2m social distancing rule comes up in various Asian dramas.


Manager Han Kyul telling employee Eun Chan to keep a safe distance of 2m away in Coffee Prince (2007).


Senpai Naoki reminding kouhai Kotoko to walk 2m away from him in Itazura na Kiss (2013).


Takeo-kun making sure to have adequate protection before kissing his best friend Sunakawa-kun in My Love Story!! (2015).

Posted in *Recommended, Animation, Lists

The Most Nostalgic East Asian Films I’ve Seen

While there are movies that I feel nostalgia for because I saw them in the past and sometimes were linked with a personally significant event in my life, this is not a list of those movies. This is a list of movies that invoke a sense of nostalgia themselves with their own content.

What makes the story evoke a sense of nostalgia? It could be a variety of things and this list likely skews to what makes me feel nostalgic, which is usually something involving childhood innocence or teenage naivete, coming of age, and/or teenage/young adult romances. Often there is a yearning for a seemingly simpler or better time in the past or a regret on missing an imagined better outcome whether possible or not. Sometimes there are bittersweet thoughts of “what if” or “if only I…”. Many of these movies also have some imaginary and/or fantasy elements in the story or hazy memories that may be unreliable.

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Posted in *Recommended, Lists

The Funniest East Asian Drama-Comedies I’ve Seen

This is a genre that I think both South Korea and Japan excel at. Their comedy-dramas / drama-comedies / dramedies (or whatever the term is) can be both funny and offer emotionally satisfying drama. South Korea tends to be a bit more emotional with greater swings of the pendulum between serious and comical. Japan tends to be a bit more subtle sometimes.

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Posted in *Recommended, Lists

The Funniest East Asian Romantic Comedies I’ve Seen

The classic romantic comedy is a well worn genre. I often feel like romances in general work better in the longer TV series format where you get to see the relationship develop over many episodes. But a film can be good if the romance is at least believable and the comedy is really funny.

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