Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Furie – movie review

Furie / Hai Phượng (2019)
dir: Lê Văn Kiệt
cast: Veronica Ngo (Ngô Thanh Vân), Phan Thanh Nhiê, Cát Vy

FURIE will be released on June 25 (digital and dvd/blu-ray combo) by Well Go Home Entertainment.

Synopsis

Hai Phuong (Veronica Ngo), an ex-gangster, is a single mother working as a debt collector in a remote village with her daughter, Mai (Cat Vy). When her daughter gets kidnapped, she searches for her in the city where she encounters a detective (Phan Thanh Nhiê) who has been investigating numerous kidnappings. They team up to track down the kidnappers and rescue Mai before it’s too late.

Review

The movie takes some time to show the relationship between mother and daughter. It doesn’t need to do much to establish the bond between the two. Their scenes together are all quite good even if they are predictable. There are some flashbacks to Hai Phuong’s past but they don’t add anything to the story. There’s a scene with a family member that was completely inconsequential. It tries to push some theme of redemption and being brave in moments of fear but it feels tacked on and isn’t really backed up by events in the plot.

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Big Brother – movie review

Big Brother (2018)
Dir: Kam Ka Wai
Cast: Donnie Yen, Joe Chen

This title is available now on DVD and Bluray from Well Go USA.

Synopsis

Mr. Chan (Donnie Yen) who is an ex-soldier is hired as a liberal arts teacher and uses unorthodox methods to earn respect from a particularly unruly class of students. He goes as far as helping one particular group of students with their personal issues. One student gets involved with a gang and the teacher has to do some teaching with his fists.

Review

Any movie with Donnie Yen makes one assume it’s going to be a martial arts or action movie. This is not the case here. This is a drama with comedy and two pretty good fight scenes. Focus is on several students in the class and how Mr. Chan helps each of them to find their own path. It’s a very familiar premise but it’s in the details that determines if the movie will feel forced & formulaic or genuine & enjoyable.

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Triple Threat – movie review

Triple Threat (2019)
Dir: Jessie V. Johnson
Cast: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Scott Adkins, Micheal Jai White, Tiger Chen, Jeeja Yanin, Celina Jade

This title is available now on DVD and Bluray from Well Go USA.

Synopsis

Mercenaries are hired to kill a wealthy heiress and stop her humanitarian efforts. Trackers who helped the mercenaries in a previous job without knowing their true intentions team up with a local to take down the mercenaries.

Review

This movie features lots of well known talent that martial arts fans will be very familiar with. Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White are probably the biggest names. Lesser known Tiger Chen (who starred in a movie directed by Keanu Reeves) is also part of the cast along with UFC fighter Michael Bisping and female Thai fighter Jeeja Yanin. That raises the expectations on the fight scenes in the movie quite a bit. So does the movie meet those expectations?

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Posted in Food, Reviews

Food Fight! Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken vs Japanese Karaage vs Taiwanese Large Fried Chicken

As far as comparisons are concerned this isn’t really as fair as you would think. All three types of fried chicken present here are in different forms.

Korean fried chicken is served as whole pieces of chicken with the bone while karaage is boneless chicken fried pieces and the Taiwanese fried chicken here is a large fried cutlet with bone but flattened. I guess I could have even tossed in General Tao/Tso into this comparison but what really defines it is the sauce moreso than the fried aspect of it. I’m pretty much sticking to comparisons of fried chicken that isn’t sauced. I’ve never seen a sauce-less General Tao. I also completely forgot to consider torikatsu (panko breaded chicken) although that often also has sauce on it too.

FoodFight-FriedChicken

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Posted in Books, Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians – book trilogy review

After watching and enjoying the movie I wanted to read the book by Kevin Kwan to see how it compared. I quickly found out there were three books comprising a trilogy. I wondered to myself if I really wanted to commit myself to that many books with each being over 500 pages long. Eventually I ended up buying a box set of the three books anyway.

The first book (Crazy Rich Asians) is more interesting than the movie that’s based on it. If you liked the movie I think you’ll like the book because there is, of course, more detail, especially in regards to all the social/cultural aspects of the super wealthy in Singapore and side characters. The first book mainly focuses on Nick’s side of the family but there is also more on Rachel’s background near the end of the first book that sets up the second book (China Rich Girlfriend), which is pretty much mostly about Rachel’s side of the family. The third book (Rich People Problems) returns the focus back to Nick’s side of the family when his grandma’s health becomes an issue.

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Posted in *Recommended, Art & Animation, Reviews, Trailers, Video

After the Rain – live action movie review & anime comparison [Recommended]

koi_wa_ameagari_no_you_niAfter the Rain / 恋は雨上がりのように / Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (2018)
Director: Akira Nagai
Writer: Jun Mayuzuki (manga), Riko Sakaguchi
Cast: Nana Komatsu, Yo Oizumi

On a flight back home, I was surprised to see Japanese films available and this one was at the top of the list since it was in alphabetical order. I had never heard of the movie but recognized the two main actors so decided to watch it.

The story centers around a 17 year old high school girl, Akira (Nana Komatsu), who has a crush on her 45 year old manager, Kondo (Yo Oizumi), of the restaurant where she works. But what initially looks like a cringey wish fulfillment setup is actually more about two individuals who have both lost their passions and how they end up helping each other rediscover them. The original source material is a manga and an anime adaptation already exists. I ended up watching the anime later which made for an interesting comparison.

Normally my reviews are spoiler free but this one will have some mild spoilers since I’ll be comparing it to the anime.

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Posted in Music, Reviews, Trailers, Video

BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul – concert movie review

BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul is a concert movie that had limited theatrical releases. The screening I went to was sold out, which should not have surprised me. But luckily, I still managed to get a last minute ticket. Although I don’t follow k-pop much, especially boy bands, I was vaguely aware that BTS was one of the more popular boy bands.

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Posted in Food, Reviews

Miyazaki beef at Park restaurant in Montreal

Antonio Park was the first (and probably still the only) Canada-based chef to get a Kobe beef license. However, it seems the menu at his restaurant, Park, has changed from offering Kobe beef to Miyazaki beef. What’s the difference? Both Kobe and Miyazaki beef are high-end, marbled Japanese beef, otherwise known as Wagyu. Each comes from different parts of Japan. Kobe is most famous to foreigners but apparently Miyazaki beef has won two Wagyu Olympics in a row and the Prime Minister’s award at the last three most recent Wagyu Olympics (but Kobe doesn’t participate in it).

Park is one of the most well known Japanese restaurants in Montreal. Antonio Park himself is not Japanese. He’s Korean and grew up in South America and trained as a sushi chef in Japan. He has a lot of different culinary influences. His restaurant is highly regarded and its prices reflect that pedigree. I didn’t get any sushi or sashimi which is something I’ll have to do the next time I go. The reason for this is because 2oz of Miyazaki beef costs $99 and that’s the appetizer. There is a main dish of 4oz Miyazaki beef which is $199. Granted, I read somewhere that Park makes pretty much no profit on Wagyu and he does this because he wants to educate eaters in Montreal about Wagyu. So these prices are not inflated or outrageous at least by Wagyu standards.

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