Double Feature: F*&% the Prom (2017) & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Back full power into the alphabetical train, the next two films in the double feature

F*&% the Prom (2017)

F The Prom

Director (and co-writer): Benny Fine

Cast: Danielle Campbell, Joel Courtney, Cameron Palatas, Meg DeLacy, Aidan Alexander, Michael Chey, Brendan Calton, Nicholle Tom, Jill Cimorelli, Madelaine Petsch

Maddy and Cole were inseparable friends until high school started and Maddy became the most popular girl on campus. When she starts feeling lonely and heartbroken, she reconnects with Cole and the duo conspire to destroy the ultimate teen popularity contest – the Prom. – IMDB

If it wasn’t for the sporadic releases of movies like The Edge of Seventeen (review), Easy A (review) and even The Duff (review), I’d have written off teen comedies in general. Netflix Originals in general have been fairly cool but when it comes to teen comedies, it seems they are not really finding the unique angle to take quite yet. I can’t remember the title of the last one I saw that was a disappointment..gimme a sec..#RealityHigh (review).

F the Prom

F the Prom is absolutely better than that one. It has hints of some of the older teen comedies but unfortunately, does fall flat and gets rather generic. You can’t shame it for at least doing like a Carrie style scene or having a ragtag team of bullied kids. The film is okay for what it is. There are some funny parts and I think Madeleine Petsch fits into the mean girl character (just like she is in Riverdale). I’m guessing this movie is more for this generation as it fits in a lot of social media and lets just say, I’ve been out of high school for almost 15 years now so to be honest, I laugh at some of the overexaggeration of say selfie-taking (since I always feel weird about it) and the emojis and whatnot. Either way, point is, F the Prom might have something and might have its demographic but its not for me and other than some little chuckle moments, I thought it was fairly generic.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

guardians of the galaxy vol.2

Director (and co-writer): James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel(voice), Bradley Cooper(voice),  Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Sean Gunn, Sylvestor Stallone

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. – IMDB

Its really hard to not love the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 even when there are some of the normal downfalls I feel about MCU movies. For one, their soundtrack is fantastic and it remains that way in the sequel. On top of that, the ragtag team’s follow-up is one that shows them both bickering but also in the depths sees them forgiving towards each other in their stubbornest or dumbest moments. In fact, its because of their mishaps and their differences that give each of this team so much character and uniqueness and makes them both lovable and fun to watch. With that said, I don’t think in my limited film knowledge would I find so much joy in watching a little baby tree stump who only says three words over and over again. And not to sh*t talk Bradley Cooper but every time Rocket Raccoon talks, I forget that its Bradley Cooper and wonder who does such a great dynamic voice.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Aside from the strength in the key characters, The Guardians along with some of the new additions to their team, we do also meet some cool characters and cameos. Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn, playing Yondu and his right hand man Kraglin, get a bigger role here and we learn more about The Ravagers. Alongside that arc, we also see a cameo from the awesome Sylvester Stallone. We love Stallone over here, so its always great to see him in all kinds of projects. He only had two scenes but its still really great. The Ravagers is something of a side arc while the main arc really goes to both the Guardians being chased down by the Sovereign, lead by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and Peter Quill’s father, Ego (Kurt Russell) showing up. I recently saw Elizabeth Debicki in Cloverfield Paradox (review) who was fairly decent. She’s alright in this one although to be fair, in terms of villains, Guardians still is quite lackluster as always, maybe its because we know our heroes are always going to be victorious. With that said, the Sovereign is an interesting galactic race to see especially when they battle like going to the arcades. On the other hand, Ego is a decent turn of events and introduces also the pretty funny Mantis (Pom Klementieff). The planet is beautiful and they have their own mystery as to what happens with it all.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fun ride through the galaxy as we see the Guardians save the galaxy another time. This time, there are fun characters, Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone with some new funny additions like Pom Klementieff as Mantis. On top of it all, the best moments is absolutely with Rocket and Baby Groot who have some adorable moments especially when Baby Groot does a great dance around as the Guardians fight a interdimensional monster. Just from that first scene, it already sets a tone for what to expect in the rest of this action adventure.

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Valentine’s Marathon: I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

I love Michelle Pfeiffer (and Meg Ryan) a lot and for those reasons, I always try to work in their movies into my schedule as much as I can. Its absolutely slim pickings on Netflix for these movies but we do have two right now that just popped up again. In the heart of a romantic comedy, I decided to check out I Could Never Be Your Woman. I have never heard of this movie before so I know very little about what to expect or what its all about. Still, its Michelle Pfeiffer and when the film started, there’s a very young Saoirse Ronan as well, so I think this movie is already looking up.

I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

I Could Never Be Your Woman

Director (and writer): Amy Heckerling

Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Saoirse Ronan, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash, Fred Willard, Jon Lovitz, Tracey Ullman

A mother falls for a younger man while her daughter falls in love for the first time. Mother Nature messes with their fates. – IMDB

I Could Never Be Your Woman is an odd movie. Odd doesn’t mean that it wasn’t entertaining but rather that I can’t quite pinpoint how I feel about it. On one hand, it ticks the typical romantic comedy sort of story and feels a little like a partial Clueless reunion tour with Stacey Dash and Paul Rudd doing the high school things since Amy Heckerling did write and direct this movie. The movie feels like the other side of the camera of Clueless if anything. None of these things are bad things. Clueless is a fun movie and remains that way even if its dialogue and fashion is dated so in some ways, this makes this one feel slightly nostalgic levels. My only issue with it was really some over the top scenes that seem fairly ridiculous and made myself feel kind of embarassed to watching it happen. Maybe that was the film’s intention, who knows, right?

I Could Never be Your Woman

In terms of characters and performances, the cast here does a great job. I mean, we have a winning cast in Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd and Saoirse Ronan. Its funny to talk about Paul Rudd because over the years, he has done some good stuff but when you ask me what, I only remember very few of it. Here, he delivers on his role and is quite fun to watch, especially when he does all his silly things to make the woman he likes smile. He has some boyish charm that seems to not fade away since his Clueless days. Playing opposite him is Michelle Pfeiffer as Rosie, a divorced mom who is the writer of this high school series with dropping viewership and trying to fight through her feelings against falling for this young guy. In many ways, Michelle Pfeiffer is always great for this role because you can see that she still is beautiful and charming no matter the age difference here. While I think the issue here is that I felt like the characters themselves were decent but as a romantic comedy, it did lack a bit of chemistry. If you were to watch this for its funny moments, well, there is a lot of those.

I could never be your woman

However, my favorite part of this was Saoirse Ronan who debuts in a movie role and it is so obvious how talented she is. She plays as Rosie’s 13 year old daughter, Izzie who is believes she is falling in love with a boy in school and trying to get his attention. She is genuine and believable and so creative. She reminded me deeply of how it was to be in some silly high school crush back in my high school days and going through the phase of making everything feel more significant than it should. Of course, part of the best parts is watching her change the lyrics of two 90s pop songs and its both brilliant and awesome. Izzie is way ahead of her time and in the world of learning about loving this boy, Dylan who seems not worth her time, there are some valuable lessons here, even if its about loving who you are and believing that you are good enough. It was an fun experience to watch Rosie and Izzie’s mother and daughter relationship here as they each go through their first step into love both in different stages of life.

i could never be your woman

Overall, I Could Never Be Your Woman is a fun and silly romantic comedy. It falls a little flat on the romance department but has enough comedic moments to make up for it. Its just some simple harmless fun with a great cast who delivers on their performances, regardless if its Paul Rudd and his boyish charms or Michelle Pfeiffer and her elegant wit and especially the Saoirse Ronan, who proves that she was talented right from her debut role here that she’s made for success. While I can’t quite pinpoint the Mother Nature angle, played by Tracey Ullman, that it started with, it still brought in some nice banter and humor.

Valentine’s Marathon & TV Binge: What is Love (2012)

Happy Valentine’s Day! We made it here sadly with very little posts so you will see tomorrow that I will most probably be extending the marathon throughout the month. The stars really didn’t align for us this month with the PC issues and such. However, we will deal with the blog stuff later.

Today, I have lined up such a fitting TV Binge to add into the Valentine’s Marathon and that 2012 Taiwanese drama, What is Love. I just wrapped it up over the weekend and maybe I will even start doing a ranking of Taiwanese series soon. There is an incredibly small amount of photos for this show online since I am working with a computer that can’t read Chinese so I went back to the series to screenshot some pictures. Hopefully you will like it. I apologize if the quality isn’t that great in advance.

Lets check it out!

What is Love (2012)

What is Love poster

Cast: Chris Wu, Jade Chou, Duncan Lai, King Chin, Kimi Hsia, Gina Lim

Thirty-two-year-old Li Yi Hua (Jade Chou) is longing for a romantic relationship and wants to marry a good man. Along comes Bai Zong You (Chris Wu), who breaks women’s hearts with one-night stands. Bai Zong You sets his sights on wooing Li Yi Hua next. What she doesn’t know is that she might have true feels for him. – Wikipedia

I’d like to think that I am fairly picky when I watch Taiwanese series mostly because I have been watching them a long time and with it, comes the expectations that there are so many better ones and hoping to find ones that truly find a nice balance of romance and comedy depending on the story they deliver. Of course, I have also fallen out of the loop for a while since I stopped watching them for a few years until they started appearing on Netflix last year. These series fall into their own tropes but they also have some nice silly bits that usually help with the story. I went into What Is Love having no knowledge of what the story is about and a little bit skeptical on how this would turn out. Let me tell you, it was definitely a very pleasant surprise. There are many plot points here that break the normal perception of what these characters would act and somewhat flips the typical story on its head a little. Plus, it creates a lovely balance of romance drama and romance comedy as well as comedic breaks with both its dialogue and its characters. At the same time, the story never forgets that when the journey of love includes a lot of factors, be it your best friends, your family and all kinds of elements and these characters play a decent role in how these two main characters approach their decisions.

On top of that, this is a completely new cast to myself. The only person here that I wanted to watch was Chris Wu (aka Kangren Wu) who is the main male role Bai Zong-You who was in Autumn’s Concerto which I loved quite a bit as well. You can check out the TV Binge here. In that one, he played the supporting male character which was the total opposite of this role. I have to say, while I liked that role, this role was really fun and matched his handsome and charming appearance.

What I Loved:

  • The Songs and Opening Theme Clip: I usually don’t talk a ton about music around here except for the music obsessions segment but I thought this opening clip was adorable, especially that surf board balancing part. Not just the opening theme clip was really nice but the songs were all very fitting to whatever scene they were playing in.
  • Chris Wu & Jade Chou: Chris Wu (aka Wu Kangren) plays Bai Zong-You, the playboy who becomes mesmerized by the challenge of proving his love to Jade Chou’s character, Li Yi-Hua. A lot of the “romance” is in the beginning because the course of the film is about them both realizing what is love. They are at the opposite spectrums in many sense. However, consider the chase and the enlightening moments for Bai Zong-You being the really great parts, whether he does it through revenge or plotting or slowly finding the way to approach his love interest and acknowledge love with her. At the other end, Li Yi-Hua is one of those rare characters in Asian TV series that really shows a strong sense of a woman that acknowledges her loneliness but will not compromise her love for someone who is undeserving no matter how much pain she feels in having to go through the heartbreak. what is love
  • The Guys: One of the best points of the series is its ability to create a balance of characters. Even if you look at these guys here who are best friends. They have varying personalities as well and their own lessons to learn. Each of them fit somewhere else in how they see love and a lot of the humor is in their silliness. This links heavily to the next point that I liked. 

What is Love

  • The Ladies: Just like the guys, the ladies here are quite fun to watch. Our main character of course has already been talked about before, but her best friends are equally diverse in personality from Xiao Lu on the left who plays a young divorcee with a kid who is really silly to the opposite, Lan Jun who plays the mature friend who reasons and sees through a lot of the bullshit.

What is Love

  • Love Interest: I’ve always been the type that finds it funny how the supporting character that you know the main character won’t end up with is always very perfect and deserving to be loved. Taiwanese series loves to do that and this one honestly gives Yi Hua a worthy man in Shao Qian (played by Duncan Lai). He’s quite the gentleman. what is love

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Too Many Flashbacks: One of the biggest pet peeves I have with TV series, especially of the Korean and sometimes Taiwanese nature is their love for flashbacks. I get flashbacks especially when it helps elevate an emotion but when you get the same flashback every episode just to emphasize on a character’s hooked onto this moment, its okay to drop a few of those.
  • Lengthy Episodes: While this didn’t really turn me off so much as its inconvenient to find a place to stop watching, the 1.5 hour long episodes are quite abnormal to me. I wasn’t sure if it was just a Netflix choice but as I was researching the show, it seems it was aired with that episode length, a little baffling in my mind but what do I know. Since this was quite binge-worthy, I didn’t quite mind the lengthy episode since the power of the pause button and Netflix saves my spot whenever I take a break.

what is love

Overall, What is Love was quite the pleasant surprise. It delivered a really fun story. Not only did it give a rather strong female character with a lot of personality, it also gave an array of cast that were unique in their own way but impacted the story as well to create a nice balance. Taiwanese TV series like these are romantic comedy affairs but somethings it forgets to find that balance and while there were some odd ends here and there that went a little overboard, this one achieved that balance really well. It always remembered to toss in some funny moments to never let the drama last way too long. Plus, just like Yi-Hua needed to learn to accept a playboy and Bai Zong-You had to gain her trust, we saw both sides of the story and was able to at least feel like he could be trusted also. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of “What is Love” because it differs in so many ways and isn’t always just romantic and this one does tackle all of it. There is no formula but at least, its a really fun journey thats us on a nice ride as the characters all figure out their version of love and thats pretty awesome in my book.

Valentine’s Marathon: Splash (1984)

Sorry for taking a little while to get back to the Valentine’s Marathon.

The next movie is Splash! Ultimate 70s blogathon has just started up and as I go and rewatch my 70s choice, I was thinking about last year’s blogathon and a few movies that someone else chose and I hadn’t seen. Luckily Splash landed on Netflix recently so I got a chance to check it out.

Let’s check it out!

Splash (1984)

splash

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Dody Goodman

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is. – IMDB

I think about this movie and I start wondering about how I’ve never actually disliked Tom Hanks, in fact, I usually like a lot of his films but then, I also never seem to watch a lot of them or do I make any deliberate move to see his films and then they always turn out to be surprisingly entertaining (or of late, quite grim and intense like Bridge of Spies). I have been meaning to catch up with a lot of older movies of late and Splash is just the start of it all. Splash is a fun little movie, in fact I think that it was fun mostly because I love movies like this where someone who doesn’t understand the human world enters it and then learns about it and in turn does a lot of funny things. Do I think that the romance between the two characters were incredibly unforgettable? I wouldn’t say that but the journey through it was fun enough and it had a lot to do with what was scripted for the mermaid here to do.

splash

Taking a look at the cast here, its a pretty nice one. For one, I always liked to watch older Tom Hanks movies because they were more light-hearted and much more fun to dive into. Splash is absolutely no exception as he plays Allen, a man who honestly doesn’t really know much about loving someone but somehow this unknown beautiful creature that is incredibly forward pops up in his life and suddenly, even her weirdest things makes him curious and feel love. In that sense, both Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah give off really fun and genuine performances for their characters. There were awkward and funny moments and that was really where all the charm was. I’m going to say right now that I don’t think I’ve actually seen John Candy in anything until this movie and his role wasn’t really significant but he’s a fun character and same goes for Eugene Levy as Walter Kornbluth who tries to prove the existence of mermaids in any way possible, many times making a fool out of himself.

Overall, I don’t really have a lot of thoughts on Splash. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and had a lot of fun watching it. The love story was pretty cute but the comedy here definitely stood out more than the romance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that since its some fun comedy and that works well for my preferences. I actually thought that the mermaid here worked so well. It was pretty believable and not to mention the star here does go to Daryl Hannah in her role as Madison who has some really hilarious scripted parts.

Sunday List: Stephen Chow Films, Ranked [updated regularly]

Stephen Chow was possibly the first actor to spark my love for cinema in general. Hong Kong cinema has changed quite a bit but most people associate it with action films from the likes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li for starters. There is an entire world of cinema to explore here. With that said, I have many actors and actresses that I’d love to explore.

Stephen Chow is the first up and honestly, in his extended filmography, I still have a long way to make this a complete list and will update it as I catch up and rewatch more of his films, both as an actor and/or director and some titles might even be rearranged. A few of the titles have been too many years since I’ve actually seen it and probably remember it and feel differently about it now. I’ll expand on the descriptions of the films to be updated gradually as well. Remember to check back for more Stephen Chow goodness!

1.Tricky Brains (1991)

tricky brains

My love for Tricky Brains runs very deep. There are a lot of absurd humor here. In fact, the star power behind this movie definitely brings together a culmination of what defines Stephen Chow’s career in the 90s. There is his comedic partner Man-Tat Ng who they have many fun and hilarious scenes together but also the incredibly talented Andy Lau joins in here. The ladies include many talents in the 90s which aren’t around much nowadays in the Hong Kong film industry but were familiar faces back then. Its a movie about hiring someone to do pranks in mostly a bad way to waiver the view of someone. Of course, pranks, no matter how they are will misfire or succeed and those are the best and most fun moments of Tricky Brains.

You can read my review here.

2.God of Gamblers II (1990)

god of gamblers 2

What happened to God of Gamblers, you ask? God of Gamblers is the sequel to what started out as a Chow Yun-Fat role. In fact, some would actually recognize God of Gamblers II as Knight of Gamblers which focuses on the talented Andy Lau who returns to Hong Kong  in secret after training with God of Gambler as we saw in the first movie. Their goal is to set up a charity casino however the revenge from the going on in the first movie is what causes him to be caught up. Stephen Chow reprises his role here from All for the Winner which started up as a parody film of God of Gamblers and earned him the title of Saint of Gamblers which he carries into this film and teams up with Andy Lau while of course still having Man-Tat Ng as his uncle. When the magical powers and the actually skilled gambling powers combine, hilarity ensues.

I will be reviewing the God of Gamblers franchise here very soon.

3.Justice, My Foot (1992)

justice my foot

Justice, My Foot! boasts a fantastic cast. As usual, he is partnered up with Man-Tat Ng however, this time, they play as opposing forces where he impersonates a talented lawyer and Man-Tat Ng, plays as a judge. Along with this pairing which comes up with some hilarious moments even as they investigate a murder, the material is very light-hearted here. Anita Mui plays his wife. This Hong Kong super diva plays very well into this comedic role who is both a strong and convincing lady. This movie was on Netflix for a while last year but unfortunately  has left it as this posts goes up.

4.All For The Winner (1990)

all for the winner

Pretty lady, Sharla Cheung and funny woman, Sandra Ng act together in this film that starts off as something of a parody film for Stephen Chow which gets his character the title of Saint of Gamblers and has special powers that he soon discovers can win him some big money as long as he follows the hidden rules. They try to exploit them as he reunites with his uncle in Hong Kong. There are some barriers to entry to this one mostly because it plays on the difference of Mainland Chinese versus Hong Kong Chinese and the etiquette and mannerism differences between the before 97 handover when Hong Kong was still a British colony. It also plays on a lot of puns and Chinese sayings that could get lost in translation or just lose its effectiveness in translation. However, this film was enough of a success to earn him a role that entered him for God of Gamblers 2 (which is #2 on this list).

5.All’s Well Ends Well (1992)

all's well ends well

All’s Well Ends Well is an entertaining film to say the list. It was released as a Chinese New Year celebration movie. Rightfully so, as it is a comedic affair that also does something of a parody film like reenacting scenes in famous Hollywood movies. You’ll recognize films like Ghost, Terminator and Pretty Woman for starters. Does it gain it a better entrance to a Western audience? Perhaps it can, mostly because there are a lot of unspoken humor just with its talented cast and their over the top reactions and expressions in each scene that makes the humor work. For myself, this is a movie I watched a child and still holds up incredibly well.

6.From Beijing With Love (1994)
7.The Mermaid (2016) Review
8.Look Out, Officer (1990)
9.Love on Delivery (1994)
10.Shaolin Soccer (2001)
11.Flirting Scholar (1993)
12.Royal Tramp (1992)
13.Hail the Judge (1994)
14.God of Cookery (1996) Review
15.Fight Back to School (1991)
16.God of Gamblers III (1991)
17.Forbidden City Cop (1996)
18.A Chinese Odyssey Part I: Pandora’s Box (1995)
19.A Chinese Odyssey Part II: Cinderella (1995)
20.The Tricky Master (1999)
21.Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
22.The Lucky Guy (1998)
23.Mad Monk (1993)
24.King of Beggars (1992)
25.Sixty Million Dollar Man (1995)
26.Lawyer Lawyer (1997)
27.CJ7 (2008)
28.King of Comedy (1999)

Not seen:

  • Bo fung hon ji (1988)
  • Faithfully Yours (1988)
  • Dragon Fight (1989)
  • Just Heroes (1989)
  • Liu Mang Chai Po (1989)
  • Love is Love (1990)
  • Lung Fung Restaurant (1990)
  • The Unmatchable Match (1990)
  • Curry & Pepper (1990)
  • Sleazy Dizzy (1990)
  • When Fortune Smiles (1990)
  • Triad Story (1990)
  • Yi Ben Man Hua: Chuang Tian Ya (1990)
  • Legend of the Dragon (1991)
  • Fists of Fury 1991
  • The Magnificent Scoundrels (1991)
  • Fists of Fury 1991 II (1992)
  • Fight Back to School 2 (1992)
  • Fight Back to School 3 (1993)
  • Out of the Dark (1995)
  • All’s Well, Ends Well (1997)

Do you know Stephen Chow? 
What other actors do you want me to rank their filmography?

God of Cookery (original title: 食神, 1996)

Back in the 2018 opening post, I talked about injecting more foreign films with a particular focus to catching up and revisiting Hong Kong cinema. I’ve been thinking about a Foreign Friday segment for a good while (years probably) but never found the motivation. We just passed our 7th blogiversary here and its a fine time to embrace what I truly love. Hong Kong cinema was what started my journey into movies and so it makes sense to make it a much bigger presence here. With that said, the rigidness of when to post on a particular day is still on the back of my mind but maybe I’ll get that going once I get back into a groove of reviewing Hong Kong cinema.

To kick things off (and mostly because, I had a chat about it with AC Film Club HERE) is 1996 comedy by Stephen Chow, God of Cookery.

God of Cookery (1996)

god of cookery

Director: Stephen Chow

Cast: Stephen Chow, Karen Mok,  Vincent Kok, Man-Tat Ng, Stephen Au, Nancy Sit, Kar-Ying Law, Suet Lam

The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled, he sets out to reclaim his title. – IMDB

God of Cookery happens somewhere in the middle of Stephen Chow’s successful 90’s career. I would call him the Jim Carey of Hong Kong because his humor is very much in line with how Jim Carey would be. Its absurd and nonsensical and the foundations of what is called “mo lei tau comedy”. However, Stephen Chow’s humor might be lost in translation at times however he excels at making up for it with his comical expressions. Coming from myself who grew up with Stephen Chow and speak Cantonese rather fluently, I can definitely appreciate his humor more than the Western world however, as we’ve seen with both Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, he’s a talented comedic actor and while those films differ slightly from his Hong Kong career, it definitely should be ones that will give you an entry point to look at his older works and see if you can find the appreciation for it that I have. The God of Cookery is a nice place to start. He shows off his love for Hong Kong, combines elements of food and martial arts and shows off his successful pairing with Man-Tat Ng who is a partner in crime for many of his 90’s movies. At the same time, you see the likes of Karen Mok and for those more familiar with the older Hong Kong movies, some other talents sneak in there both as cameos and supporting roles.

god of cookery

I’m not going to lie that God of Cookery did take a second viewing to love it more. There is a lot of silliness here and it does get very over the top. Just take for example that the the arrogant cook that starts off the movie has some incredibly insensitive comments meant as humor followed by a rough treatment of the people around him. However, it also emphasizes the character here, also called Stephen Chow. However, the God of Cookery does get dethroned by his arrogance and picks himself back up with a nonsensical product called Pissing Beef Balls and a ragtag group of Temple Street vendors which are funny and awkward in each of their own ways. Alongside of that,there are some funny cameos from some known names in the Hong Kong industry like Nancy Sit and Kar Ying Law who have been around for a while that take on a nice comedic character.

However, the charm of the film does go to the God of Cookery himself and his female counterpart, Turkey (played by Karen Mok). The friendship that started it off and how he realizes her admiration from him and his distaste towards her because of her disfigured face does make for some over the top humor here. Of course, there is a decent superficial element to this as while Stephen Chow does fall for the character eventually, the added bonus is that she has made herself pretty in a turn of events. However, the quirky character that Turkey is makes for some fun bits as she bursts out in a familiar Cantonese song that talks about loyalty, friendship and comraderie, A lot of Stephen Chow’s movie humor is within his dialogue and his puns that will get lost with the western audience unfamiliar with language however, there is also a decent bit of unspoken humor just through his funny reactions and expressions.

god of cookery

Odd, quirky, absurdity and over the top humor is what Stephen Chow movies are about. It captures both the characters and has a rather light-hearted journey of redemption in many cases. The creativity and the dialogue is actually quite vulgar however it also hits a lot of the essence of the Cantonese language and its crafty and clever use. Stephen Chow and Karen Mok are fantastic is this. While I do have to say that even as a fan, it took me a second viewing to fully appreciate it, there is quite a bit to love and enjoy if this is a type of humor that appeals to you. As I always say, humor and comedy is very different for everyone so it really depends on what you like.

Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Merry Christmas, my lovelies! Hope you all had a fantastic time with your family and loved ones. 🙂

We have a relaxing Christmas day of just watching fave Christmas movies and gaming. However, its Christmas day and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste without having one final Christmas movie review for the recently released Netflix Original, Christmas Inheritance starring the lovely Eliza Taylor from The 100 which I’m actually starting to get back to catching up. Of course, there is also Jake Lacy who I first saw in Miss Sloane and liked quite a bit in this one as well. Suffice to say that, its been an alright rom com holiday movie marathon for myself with a few that fell flat but pretty good overall. With a cast that I like, I’m going into this one with high hopes for some fun moments.

Let’s check it out!

Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Christmas Inheritance

Director: Ernie Barbarash

Cast: Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, Andie MacDowell, Neil Crone, Michael Xavier, Anthony Sherwood, Martin Roach

Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father’s gift business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner in Snow Falls, the hometown she never knew. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she’s forced to work for her keep, and in the process, finds romance and discovers the true gift of Christmas. – IMDB

Christmas Inheritance is quite good for all of the expected fanfare with this genre. However, the cast here with Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy and Andie MacDowell make its very fun to watch while Snow Falls is set in a picturesque little town full of snow fall and a beautiful little inn. While its set during Christmas and looks at the value of the gift business as well as a learning process for the main character Ellen to learn how to actually care for the people around her without the baggage of others giving her the special treatment as a test from her father who wanted her to shed her party heiress ways. With the help of the town and the heart that everyone has to take care of each other, she of course learns it while also seeing how her current fiancee is not what she wants to be and finding that she can see herself as doing more good despite being in a gift business as she sees where it all starts as she, under he Ellie London disguise, touches the heart of the people around her in a matter of days.

Christmas Inheritance

As I always say in all the past holiday film reviews (as they were all the same genre), what I look for in these are truly the chemistry and the lessons here. As far-fetched and some silliness as it is or as I recently perfectly heard it be phrased by Shannon over at Reads & Reels called, predictably cheesy, these one offers much of that however, perhaps its because of the fact that I already know what Eliza Taylor and Jake Lacy are capable of that I did buy into their chemistry a lot. I do have admit that I like Eliza Taylor as Ellen quite a bit especially as she really showed off in a believable way (to me) the ignorance she has out of her rich life back in New York and slowly accepts the simpler life around her with much more sincere intentions. Its fairly easy to see the surprise reveal at the end because its quite obvious however the relationship she builds with Jake Lacy’s, Jake and Andie MacDowell’s Aunt Debbie is quite fun to watch. As much as I liked Jake Lacy in Miss Sloane and would love to like him here, the role of Jake started off a little awkward for myself however, I grew to like him more as the movie went along. The ending however seems a little forced to wrap up but its still quite decent.

Christmas Inheritance

I’m going to keep this one fairly short since I feel like I say a lot of the same. Christmas Inheritance is a very good holiday romantic comedy. The credit goes entirely to the cast and their outstanding performances as their characters. The heartwarming small town and picturesque backdrop is also very nice. Predictable and cheesy for sure, but I’d have to say that I dig that especially during this time of the year so this one works for me. Netflix Originals usually do pretty good in terms of quality and this one meets my expectations. Does it exceed it? Not really. Romantic comedies in general have had quite a tough few years with nothing in particular that has caught my eye, with the exception of The Big Sick that has caught my eye this year. Chalk it up to these made for TV holiday romantic comedy being just feel-good movies, I know that I’m very forgiving of them and with this being the final review of the winter marathon, I feel that if you aren’t as forgiving as myself in this genre, you probably will probably dislike them. Just like I would never subject my husband to watching these with me.

This wraps up the Holidays Marathon!
A lot of the same this year hopefully next year, I’ll change it up!
However, hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
Merry Christmas and hope you all are having great holidays! 

Look forward to some 2017 movies in the coming week as I try to wrap up the Goodreads Challenge as well as try to wrap up the watched but not yet reviewed films.