11|4|2015

16th ANNUAL SAN DIEGO ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL: Best in the West

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

16th Annual - SDAFF LogoWe’ve just finished Halloween, gained an extra hour on the proverbial space time continuum and El Nino is going to hit Southern California with inclemency worse thanSharknado 4. What more could possibly make So-Cal the place to be? As nature warns Pacific Coast residents to buy flood insurance, San Diego announces the arrival anon of  the 16th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF), which will flood the city with 130+ films from 20 Asiatic countries over a 10-day period, November 5-14. Of note, SDAFF is now considered to be the largest showcase of Asian cinema on the West Coast and this year’s festival is featuring some far out fantastical films.

Though Korean American Lee Ann Kim, the Pacific Arts Movement and SDAFF’s founder and executive director, has parlayed more of the SDAFF’s film programming into the hands of artistic director Brian Hu, in this time of more correct eating habits, she’s become …



Loading ... Loading ...
08|12|2015

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. – Neo Nostalgia is the New Past

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

old men from uncleHey daddyo, the new Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie based on the jazzy, 1960′s, Cold War, go-go and groovy TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68), comes across more of a gas than a drag as we relive the tight wire tensions of an unlikely U.S.-U.S.S.R.-U.K triumvirate of enemies uniting under the pillar of preventing some underground, covert agency of creating worldwide nuclear mayhem. What’s totally hep about this cellular rag is that director Guy Ritchie kept the film’s 1960′s fab, rather than get all spaz attacked out under the guise of making it a repertoire of modern flash by inveigling pseudo-technology way beyond it’s time period.

new men from uncleRitchie’s approach to the film is actually rather daring when you consider that anyone under the age of 30 might not get what’s the big deal of American CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) working with the KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). Furthermore, the film avoids big, over-the-top …



Loading ... Loading ...
06|30|2015

TERMINATOR GENESYS: I’LL BE BACK?

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

Smiling Terminator ArnoldThe major problem with the $170 million budgeted Terminator Genisys are the trailers…all the important twists and plot points are as visible as James Cameron and Linda Hamilton not being involved in any Terminator project since The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Basically the cool, unexpected twists that can make a film unique are revealed in each trailer, so at the end of the day, there are no surprises in Genisys, thus the film plays like a reboot revival movie used to stimulate a franchise, not unlike what we have seen with the Batman, Spiderman and Superman films. We also already know that Genisys won’t have a real ending since lead Arnold Schwarzenegger, the onscreen glue of the franchise, has loudly said, “I’ll be back and I want J.J. Watt (NFL’s current top defensive player) to be a terminator, ” and Terminator Genisys 2 is already slated for a May 19, …



Loading ... Loading ...
02|5|2015

Jupiter Ascending: Another Crazy Galaxy Adventure

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

JUPITER ASCENDINGWhat do you get when you cross The Matrix (1999) with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), mix in a villain that pathetically and effeminately tries to act like Gary Oldman’s Zorg character from The Fifth Element (1997), a hero that’s part Lycan and Ryan Reynolds from Green Lantern (2011) and a universe that tries to explain crop circles and alien abductions via some crazy, overly contrived genetic science? Good guess…Jupiter Ascending, the latest sci-fi mind fender bender vehicle from Lana and Andy Wachowski.

What planet do you think might be involved in this caper that is going to decide the ultimate fate of mankind, animal kind and mother nature on Earth? Second good guess…Jupiter, who just also happens to be the name of the pseudo-earthling being the central spot of the film…not unlike her planet namesake also having a central spot.

JA-FP-0003Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an earth bound toilet bowl cleaner, becomes a spot …



Loading ... Loading ...
11|6|2014

BIG HERO 6: Disney Marvel meets SONY HalWall

By Dr. Craig D. Reid

BayMax - soccerDisney’s dapper 3-D computer-animated cartoon, Big Hero 6, which looks more like a Pixar movie, but is a superhero film based on a Marvel comic book (thus look for the Stan Lee nod), has taken its portmanteau San Fransokyo (yes, a mixture of San Diego, Frankfurt and Tokyo) story location one step further. They further quasi-Tokyoed up the toon’s flubbery balloon-ish, untired Michellin, non chef pillsbury doughboy, marshmellow-esque hero by naming it after SONY’S betamax VCR line…Baymax.

Created to be doctor that also loves soccer, where was Baymax this past summer when Brazil’s Neymar was injured an unable to play in the World Cup semi-final? Developing a voice that’s a cross between the ever gentle, but possibly vicious robot Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey with the gentle twang of Pixar’s Wall-E. Add in that the human hero is named Hiro and his soon to be five best friends are hi-tech geeks all



Loading ... Loading ...