Posted in Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

The Dude in Me – movie review – Fantasia 2019

The Dude in Me / 내안의 그놈 [Naeanui Geunom] (2019)
Director: Kang Hyo-jin
Writer: Park Dae-sung
Cast: Young Jin, Ra Mi-ran, Park Sung-woong


A bullied overweight teenager is thought to have committed suicide by jumping off a building but he falls onto a 40 something year old businessman / gangster. Both survive leaving the gangster in the a coma but when the teenager wakes up, he isn’t himself but rather has the mind of the gangster.


The body swap comedy is definitely a setup that can generate laughs when well done but it can also feel routine and predictable if not done so well. This is one of the better ones and produces a good amount of laughs. It’s also accompanied by a fair number of fight scenes, which are more like beat downs administered by the gangster in the teenager’s body. The majority of the movie is the gangster in the teenager’s body. By comparison you don’t get much of the teenager in the gangster’s body as that only comes up closer to the end in the buildup to the climax.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Another Child – movie review – Fantasia 2019 [Recommended]

Another Child / 미성년 [Miseongnyeon] (2019)
Director: Kim Yoon-seok
Writer: Lee Bo-ram, Kim Yoon-seok
Cast: Kim Hye-jun, Yeom Jung-a, Park Se-jin, Kim So-jin, Kim Yoon-seok

The next screening of this film is Saturday, July 20.


An affair between the single mother of one classmate, Yoona (Park Se-jin), and the father of another classmate, Joo-ri (Kim Hye-jun), brings conflict between the classmates. As if that wasn’t complicated enough Yoona’s mother is also pregnant. Then Joo-ri’s mother finds out about her husband’s affair and pregnancy.


A setup that is ripe for melodrama and histrionics is told with nuance and grounded realism. The drama remains compelling with characters dealing with the situation in their own ways.  The high school classmates have the bulk of the screen time and show both maturity and vulnerability. The story also gives enough time to the adults who are far from all knowing and in some ways act more immature than their own kids. This is mostly a serious movie but there are also a few moments of well placed humor.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Extreme Job – movie review – Fantasia 2019 [Recommended]

Extreme Job / 극한직업 [Geukhanjikeob] (2019)
Director: Lee Byeong-heon
Writer: Bae Se-young
Cast: Ryoo Seung-ryong, Lee Hanee, Lee Dong-hwi, Jin Seon-kyu, Gong Myoung, Shin Ha-kyu, Oh Jeong-se, Kim Eui-sung

The next screening is on Wednesday, July 31.


A team of cops are trying to bring down a drug ring but with little success. After staking out one of their locations, they decide to take over a fried chicken restaurant across the street. But the restaurant’s unexpected success distracts them from their police work.


This is a cop comedy and action movie rolled into one deep fried chicken. It’s exaggerated with slapstick at times. This team of cops are more like bunglers in the beginning, especially the way the first case we see them handling goes awry. The ensemble cast work really well together and much of the comedy is physical. The actors really sell the physicality of their scenes.

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Posted in Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia International Film Festival, July 11 – August 4, 2019

Another edition of the Fantasia festival will start very soon. The full schedule is available on their website.

For the 2nd/final wave announcement of films see the following Fantasia press release.

Here are some of the East Asian films announced.

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Posted in Food

Shaved ice, crushed ice, snow ice, shaved snow; same difference?

There are Asian desserts like bingsu, kakigori or baobing that are made from ice but are translated into English using various names. Shaved ice seems to be the most common although I’ve also seen crushed ice, snow ice and shaved snow. I also thought shaved ice meant ice shavings, basically that snow-like powder that is created when you shave a block of ice or when you stop with ice skates on a skating rink. But apparently shaved ice can be used to referred to snow cones which are made of small chunks of ice, sometimes called crushed ice, which has a crunchy texture.

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Posted in Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2019 – First Wave Announcement

Fantasia International Film Festival just announced their first wave of films. Here’s a list of the East Asian movies. Trailers will be below the list.

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil
Door Lock
House of Hummingbird
We Are Little Zombies
Ode to Nothing
No Mercy
The Fable
21st Century Girl
Fly Me  to Saitama
G Affairs
The Island of Cats
The Moon in the Hidden Woods
White Snake

To see the full list check out the press release below.

Trailers below

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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.


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