I read a lot. In the past year or so I’ve ingested over 100 books, so imagine how excited I was to find that our little site here was catching enough eyes for Harper Collins to ask us if we’d like some books to review. Granted, mostly I’ve caught up on a lot of the classics, I read all 7 books in Asimov’s Foundation series, most of the books in the adjoining Robot series, some of Heinlein’s best works, a little Jules Verne, a few old AD&D stories, got halfway through the Sword of Truth series and started reading through the Wheel of Time books. So I wondered to myself upon its arrival, especially with the dust cover boasting admonitions from the likes of Cory Doctorow and William Gibson, how I’d never heard of Richard Kadrey or his Sandman Slim books. Especially considering how good this one is. Continue reading
We’re all at risk.
The NY Asian Film Festival for 2013 is over, and my life can return back to some form of normalcy. I’m sad to see it go, but working a festival, and having a life is hard. It’s a damn good thing that the festival itself was a lot of fun and totally worth it. The last two weeks have flown by in a blur, but I’ll try to give you some of the highlights on what happened. I only managed to catch three of my top five films I wanted to see, but I managed to watch several other films that turned out to be amazing.
The only reason I can imagine that you don’t know about The Asylum’s latest opus, Sharknado, would be that you didn’t touch any social media platforms in the past week. If SyFy (I still hate that name switch) had put this much effort into promoting series like Stargate Universe, the show’s ratings would have likely been more than enough to keep it going….not that I’m sore about that or anything. Still, I think the ramped up ridiculous-ness of this “series” of mega-monster films is definitely to thank for its popularity and presence in our collective social consciousness. It’s become not unlike a bad joke that you just keep telling hoping that it will somehow get funny. Mostly, that doesn’t work. With last night’s premiere of Sharknado it absolutely did. Continue reading
Last night I had the opportunity to attend an early screening of Pacific Rim which releases this Friday, July 12th. I will start by telling you that THIS MOVIE WAS AWESOME.
Leaving this spoiler free won’t be difficult and there’s a great reason why.
If you’ve seen the trailers, you get what the movie is about, Giant Monsters Vs Giant Robots (Kaiju Vs Jaegers in the movie lingo). Now I’m sure we’ve all been burnt before by
On July 4th while most of you were celebrating our nation’s birth, there was a theater full of people watching Young and Dangerous 1+2 at the Lincoln Film Center. Seeing Y&D on the big screen with a large crowd was an awesome experience, and probably one of the best I’ve ever had at the NY Asian Film Festival. Most of the audience like me hadn’t seen the movie in years, but it still held up. You could tell that the crowd had forgotten several actors were even in these films by the audible gasps, when Simon Yam, and Anthony Wong appeared on screen. Both of these actors have gone on to have a tremendous body of work, including other films that screened this year at the NYAFF.
After both movies screened, the director Andrew Lau was gracious enough to take time away from his current project Revenge of the Green Dragons, and attend a Q&A (seen in the video below) and, an impromptu signing. Aside from the Young and Dangerous series, Andrew Lau is also known for Storm Riders, and Infernal Affairs, which was later remade here in America as The Departed. If you enjoyed The Departed, you owe it to yourself to check out its superior predecessor Infernal Affairs.
The first weekend for the NY Asian Film Festival is over, and I’m exhausted from all the different events, but damn it was worth it! I was insanely busy helping out and didn’t get to see everything I wanted, but I did manage to check out a few good films and hobnob with a few celebrities I’ve loved through the years. If you weren’t able to make it out this weekend, I’ll try to recap some of the awesomeness that you missed.
Thankfully none of my top 5 films I’m excited for were screening this weekend or I would have sadly missed something. Instead I wound up watching the opening night world premiere of Tales From the Dark Part 1 which is an interesting horror film made up of three short stories in the same vain as Three. The three short stories were completely unrelated other than the fact that they were all ghost stories. My favorite of the three was A Word on the Palm which was a horror/comedy about a couple being haunted by a dead teenage girl. The couple goes to a psychic that works in a mall to help figure out what’s going on. The other two short films were decent, but none of them were scary, so the added comedic element made A Word on the Palm the best.
I also saw The Legend is Born: Ip Man which I was kind of skeptical about walking into it. There have been many Ip Man (sometimes written/pronounced as Yip Man) movies made since 2008, and I felt a little burnt out by them. When the Chinese film industry finds a popular hero from the past to latch on to, everyone and their mom makes a movie about them. There are nearly 90 Wong Fei Hung movies, and almost 20 Fong Sai Yuk movies. There are about 7 or 8 Ip Man movies that have been made starring the character, and I felt kind of done with him. Thankfully The Legend is born brought my interest back again.
Director Herman Yau and writer Erica Lee put a really good film together about Ip Man’s early years before he became the master the other movies portray him to be. For those that don’t know, Ip Man was martial arts Grand Master that made great advancements in Wing Chun. Later in life he became one of Bruce Lee’s many teachers. I don’t know how accurate this movie is to real life, but it made an entertaining story. The lead actor Yu-hang To has a striking resemblance to Donnie Yen, so the movie works well as a prequel to the first two Ip Man films. On Sunday at the festival, they also screened Ip Man: The Final Fight, which was also made by Mr. Yau and Mrs. Lee. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this screening due to scheduling conflicts, but according to the publicist there will be another screening sometime in August, along with a wider release. I talked to both Herman and Erica quite a bit over the weekend, and they were very cool down to earth people.
Outside of the movies being screened, the NY Asian Film Festival also has several events which are usually closed to the public. The Korean reception was held on Saturday for the stars the Korean stars we invited including Ryoo Seung-Beom, E-J Yong, and the NYAFF Rising Star Award recipient Kim Go-Eun. The event was catered with some awesome food and free beer, so I extremely happy.
On Sunday there was an art gallery showing for Fab Five Freddy, and MC Yan’s paintings in tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Enter The Dragon, which was screened after the art show. MC Yan is (obviously) an MC, but he also does graffiti art. I talked to him about his artwork in the gallery, and his creative process. He told me that it was all done by spray paint, and his artwork different shapes he used to give it a 3D effect were inspired by sound proofing in music studios. During the event, Roc-A-Fella records co-founder Damon Dash showed up to check out the gallery. The art gallery was open to the public and, and catered with wine and finger food, which once again, made me extremely happy :-).
All of that happened in the first 3 days of the Festival, with another 14 days remaining. Do yourself a favor and look into going to the NY Asian Film Festival. You don’t want to miss out on what is likely the most entertaining and personable film festival in NYC.
Last week I got to see Max Brooks at Midtown Comics, where he was signing his new comic Extinction Parade. The Extinction Parade is about Vampires living in our world while a zombie outbreak occurs. This isn’t the first time this subject matter has been tackled, but I’m very interested in seeing Max Brooks take on it. So far the first book seems pretty solid, and whet my appetite for the next issue. Here’s a description from Avatar Press.
Vampires have always been the elite of the undead. These apex predators have never feared foe or lack of food…until now. By remaining too out of touch with the modern world they have failed to notice the subdead zombie race turning the tide over the human population. Now, perhaps too late, the vampires must stop the encroaching shambling dead or find themselves starved out of existence.