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Doctor Strange is More than Multiverse of Madness. Thoughts and A Review

16 May

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster.jpgSpoiler Alert

One terrific thing about having Sam Raimi back to making comic book films is in how those movies are imbued with his viceral style. His passion for whichever property he’s sculpting will forever bear his mark. That’s especially evident with Spider-Man 2, and in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, the use of Dutch angles or some other cinematic trick distinguishes which universe the master of mystic arts is in. Seeing this film through the eyes of the monster is another camera technique he loves using.

This MCU product feels more Evil Dead than anything else and I love it since it may even suggest Marvel’s Zombieverse will return. This film marks the second time the heroes have visited this realm. Marvel’s What If (“…Zombies!?”) introduced fans to this danger.

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Who is The Girl From the Other Side, and Should We Be Scared?

12 May

The Girl From the Other Side, Siuil, a Run Volume One CoverPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the Aratani Theatre @ JACCC May 13, 2022 7:00 pm (BUY TICKETS) and coming to Fantasia 2022

The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún (とつくにの少女) is a tale that deals with several themes. One is about a battle between man versus himself. Another is concerning redemption. There’s a curse affecting nearly everyone and a blight destroying a kingdom.

Anyone infected turns into a shadow of their former selves and when a lone individual (later named Teacher) finds a young girl (named Shiva) abandoned in the woods, he can’t leave her alone. Strangely, she doesn’t succumb to the darkness as others have. This tale takes on a tone which deserves more films to fully explore, explain and resolve–or I can read the finished manga.

My preferences is with the former since the artistic design is rapturous and Rie Takahashi, the voice of the young child is so cute! Even if I was to look at the printed version, I’ll have her voice stuck in my head.

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Judy Lei’s “The World’s Greatest” Evokes Love and Heartache

12 May

The World's GreatestPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ JANM May 13, 2022 (Buy Tickets)

Judy Lei is a young filmmaker based out of New York City, and her debut work serves more than one purpose. The World’s Greatest is a powerful story about a Chinese-American family struggling with life. I find the title has two meanings:

Call it Fresh Prince of Bel Air or something else, but I firmly believe this film cautiously and intimately examines that relationship between parent and teen (played by Lei). There’s also getting to understand the mindset in the lead and what she wants to do to achieve that dream. These two ideas combined makes for a compelling tale. I found it’s a very personal and relatable piece.

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Kent Donguines’ Kalinga Digs into a Strange Social Problem

8 May

KalingaPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the 2220 Arts + Archive venue on May 10, 2022, 7:00 pm (BUY TICKETS)

Kalinga (Care) is a very emotional documentary with a local connection. It examines a group of Filipino women who left their families to become nannies abroad. Some arrived in the ironically named Terminal City (Vancouver, BC) to help non-Asian parents who don’t fully have the time to always spend with their children when managing a successful business. They’re going to need help. These people pay well, and those hires tend to mail those funds home to help their families.

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Enter the Sublime at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Shorts Program

8 May

2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Shorts ProgramThis year’s set of cinematic shorts programs playing at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival continues to enlighten and educate. My tip is that anyone curious about SouthEast Asia should check these curated selections out! Each nation has a uniquemess that not everyone is aware of, and I’m constantly amazed at what the filmmakers from here can produce. Even if you can’t make it to this event, most of them can be found streaming online.

From the program guide on one of these programs:

Through various frames and points of view, we are brought closer to encountering an ancient Pacific past. Once again Pacific Cinewaves pushes the importance of āina, ancestry and belonging, challenging how Pacific people have been imagined throughout history. In these films, seven filmmakers become modern-day navigators using their hands and creative vision to steer each story.

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