Double Feature: Flowers in the Attic (1987) & The Foreigner (2017)

Next double feature is here! We’ve arrived at the F features. The first is 1987 adaptation of V.C.. Andrews novel with the same name, Flowers in the Attic followed by 2017’s The Foreigner with Jackie Chan in this action thriller. Let’s check it out!

Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Flowers in the Attic

Director (and screenplay): Jeffrey Bloom

Cast: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Lindsay Parker

Children are hidden away in the attic by their conspiring mother and grandmother. – IMDB

I still remember back in the days when I first discovered V.C. Andrews through some school friends reading it and it was such a rebellious thing to do because of its edgy content. Of course, I read some other series and not Flowers in the Attic which I learned when I got older that it was a very popular title in her writing. Until today, I haven’t read it so I also went into this knowing nothing about its plot. Call this a fresh watch if you may but this story is definitely a bit edgy as it deals with incest and religious beliefs and control. The story itself has a good premise to work with especially in the realm of a gothic thriller.

The execution of the film does leave a lot to be desire. There are some obvious direction to give it the scary grandmother and the mystery behind the family secrets and why the mother was kicked out in the first place as well as the general dislike and unaccepted feelings towards the children. There’s a lot done to give those unsettling moments. All this somewhat falls apart with a lot of overacting and the camera wanting to focus a lot unnecessary bits almost trying to hint that something would happen between two characters that would be unacceptable in the eyes of the grandmother. The mother at the same time is one of those characters that come and go and is meant to be incredibly odd and not meant to be likeable.

Flowers in the Attic was rather disappointing. I am curious whether the source material is as lackluster in general because the potential of the premise is there but then it feels so unsatisfying as a reveal. Its a tad bit predictable and there are some decent scenes. Even some moments that work between the siblings but when you put them all together, it just never seems to be well-paced and everything feels very deliberate. Not really my cup of tea but then its given me the desire to eventually get back to some V.C. Andrews reading and see how it holds up now.

The Foreigner (2017)

The Foreigner

Director: Martin Campbell

Cast: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Orla Brady, Dermot Crowley, Ray Fearon, Rory Fleck Byrne, Michael McElhatton, Charlie Murphy, Liu Tao, Lia Williams

A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities. – IMDB

The Foreigner is a fairly typical sort of action thriller. The story itself wraps around terrorism and politics and human clashes between a father who wants to seek justice and a government official who has some questionable background connections.

The story takes the time to give these characters a little growth as every step of the mystery opens up a little more of their backgrounds, especially the obvious one, how a businessman is so knowledgeable in creating these scare tactics and evading the pursuit of government official’s men. If we talk about characters, the movie is essentially carried because of Jackie Chan who plays the father called Quan and the government official played by Pierce Brosnan. I mean, two veteran actors who deliver good roles all around. Their clashes and the action from Jackie Chan is reflective of the story itself and doesn’t overdo it a lot.

While there is a whole other issue at hand with supporting plotlines with marriage and family, The Foreigner does remember where its main focus is as an action thriller and sticks to it. It adds a few twists and some secrets from the supporting cast. Its not exactly unpredictable and not a lot of surprises but its a decent movie experience.

That’s it for this double F feature!
Have you seen these two films? Thoughts?
Also, have you read Flowers in the Attic? Is it worth a read?

Music Obsessions [February 2017]

It’s time for some music obsessions again!

Usually February is all about love songs. Actually, I think last year I already didn’t do that as much. Haha! There’s been really very little music that I’ve been listening to a lot. Here are some of the choices plus I added a non-music video in the end that I’ve enjoyed lately on Jackie Chan and his 40 years of JC Stunt Team. Its a good watch!

Here we go!

THE WEEKND – Party Monster/Drake- Fake Love (Beatbox Cover) by KRNFX & Leroy Sanchez

Just saying that I’m not a fan of Drake but this mashup is pretty good. Plus, KRNFX has some mad beatbox skills. I just sad

Crumblin’ – Noah Maffitt and Jessica Freedman

Did I tell you that one of my fave movies is In Our Eyes? Well, this song is in it. I know its been around for a while but I just love it! And if you haven’t seen In Our Eyes, go check it out!

Revive Me – Ayin & AAfrAA feat KARRA

I’ve been on a pretty low findings for electronic music in general, let alone progressive house selection. However, this one has really matched up to my tastes and has been whats been keeping me going in this past week as things were a little out of control.

I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys – Max, Alyson Stoner, KHS Cover

Definitely more of a N’Sync girl but I do appreciate Backstreet Boys music. This is one of those songs that I used to sing stupidly in my room whenever it was on the radio.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Cover) – Claire and Dave

I found this darling daughter and dad version of You’ve Got a Friend in Me when they went on Ellen Show. It is so cute. This 4 year old is so adorable.

And as I usually do lately, a little extra which I liked quite a bit on a Chinese show for Jackie Chan as a surprise by his JC Stunt Team celebrating the 40 years together from the 7 generations. There’s subtitles and its a Facebook video. Hopefully it’ll work.

Jackie Chan has had his bit of bad publicity in Hong Kong paparazzi but I never follow it much. However, all those years in the business and all those great movies and stunts makes him an icon for what he does. I personally love a ton of movies that he has done and the bond you see over so many years with his JC Stunt Team is pretty awesome. Hope this worked and you could enjoy it as well.

That wraps up this month’s Music Obsessions! 
What have you been listening to lately? 

Breaking Emotions Blogathon: Smiles & Thrills

breaking emotions blogathon

We’re now on the third week of Mettel Ray’s Breaking Emotions Blogathon.  I had a lot of fun with the last two weeks breaking awkward and then breaking tears and surprise.  This week, our mission is to break smiles & thrills.  You can check out the post HERE for more info! I have to admit right from the get go I already had two (one each) that popped in my head.  The rest I’ll have to skim my movie collection and see which really brought out some smiles and thrills.


1) My Neighbor Totoro – Meeting Totoro

This was only part of the scene but its the best that I could find on Youtube.  A lot about Miyazaki makes me smile.  Totoro is my all-time favorite and its all kinds of smiles and laughter for me.  Its cute and especially that scene where Mei meets Totoro.  Its heartwarming and adorable and that brings on lots of smiles.  At least one type of smile 🙂

2) The Holiday – If You Were A Melody

This was really between this and Pride and Prejudice but then that had a million scenes I could’ve but in The Holiday this one with Jack Black and Kate Winslet makes me all giddy and happy.  Maybe its the whole musical background I have but it doesn’t make you stop loving it every single time.  This scene is one of those feel-good scenes that brings smiles to my face all the time!

3) Tricky BrainsStephen Chow‘s awesomeness

Stephen Chow is my comedian hero.  I’ve watched him since I was really young, maybe 8 years old and I’ve been hooked.  Tricky Brains is one of the many that I know by heart all the dialogue and this segment makes me laugh every time (along with the rest of the movie) but I could’ve picked tons of scenes from this and other movies but Stephen Chow has to be part of any list that contributes to my smiles.  Its not romance-y or cute smiles but its just all the humor, wit, absurdity that he brings to his scenes.  Its just epic!

Next up is the hard part.  I almost didn’t want to do BREAKING THRILLS.  Why? Because I can’t remember enough to do this.  I had one and then I stood in front of my movie collection for a few times in the evening before figuring it out.

1) Fast Five-Final Ending Car Chase/Heist

When I think thrills, a few scenes from Fast and Furious come to my mind.  The 4th one had a few scenes but nothing beats the thrills from watching the final heist and car chase down Rio de Janeiro streets.  Its awesome, fun and just SO exciting! I’m a fan so maybe if you’re not, you won’t love this over the top heist (but then what could beat the crazy long runway from Fast Six, right?

2) New Police Story – Bus Scene

I’m pretty sure most of you have witnessed Jackie Chan‘s stunts.  The man is amazing at what he does from his Project A days till now.  New Police Story was an awesome movie with ridiculously thrilling stunts from not only him but well, my own personal fave, Nicholas Tse.  This makes this movie, especially this scene (which had the front part not included) completely intense.  Its a long chase that somehow turns into a crazy bus scene.  Jackie Chan’s stunts at his very best are unpredictable so they make every scene a thrill to watch.

3) Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Infinite Fall (among the many)

Journey to the Center of the Earth was possibly the first movie that I saw with the whole 3D effect as their main purpose.  The experience was enhanced by the 3D effects.  Among the many scenes that were really exciting including the finale, although with some jokes the infinite falling part was crazy thrilling.  We don`t know whats at the bottom of the drop and on top of that as the movie progresses, it only gets more amazing with more adventures and more unknown factors thrown at them.

Now that I went searching, my mind had a hard time actually choosing scenes. So many choices! Both breaking smiles and thrills has brought back a lot of movie scenes.

What scenes do you think of that make you smile and laugh or brings you sitting edge of the seat thrills?

2 Young (2005)

2 Young is one of my most favorite recent Hong Kong movies.  To me, its a hidden gem because it does nothing to attract the audience in the first place but I like to root for the underdog and pick up weird movies.  This one features Jackie Chan‘s son Jaycee Chan and I’m completely interested in how his career has been.  This is not my first viewing but its been 2-3 years since I last saw it.

2 young posterDirector: Derek Yee

Cast: Jaycee Chan, Fiona Sit, Eric Tsang, Anthony Wong, Teresa Mo, On-On Yu

Fu (Jaycee Chan) is a young 18 year old in night school trying to complete his high school diploma while his family is not very well off.  Nam (Fiona Sit) is the complete opposite: She is a 16 year old private school student whose parents are known lawyers in Hong Kong who are rich and have no time for her.  Fu is attracted to her and looks for her outside her school every day from a distance until one time, Nam approaches him and asks him to take a chance to sneak in at the school’s annual Christmas party.  After that, when they went camping together on New Year’s, they decided to have sex and few months later realizes that she is pregnant.  Against both of their parents’s wishes, they run away and try to take care of themselves, be together and eventually take care of their future baby.  With no help, no education and no money, they are forced to take things as it comes.  Question is: will their young relationship be able to tough it out?

2 young 1

I’ve seen this movie since its release about 3-4 times.  Every time it impacts me as its the first time I’ve seen it.  Young, innocent, naive and reckless love happens all the time, so why does this impact me so much? 2 Young has a lot of pedigree.  First off, we have Derek Yee, who is an amazing director.  I haven’t reviewed much of his newer work but 10 years before this, he did Full Throttle and you can see the review HERE. He knows how to get the right shots and use the right tone.

2 young 3

Second of all, he has a great cast.  I’m going to start off with the more renowned supporting cast.  Eric Tsang is an Golden Horse Best Actor (Hong Kong equivalent of Oscars).  He’s is a phenomenal actor.  He is in the very famous Infernal Affairs, for example. This guy plays the father of Fu in this one.  A poor, uneducated but morally correct man who wants to just love his wife and take care and protect his family.  Playing opposite him is an actress who reappeared in the business with this movie, Teresa Mo used to be in a bunch of Stephen Chow’s movies and she does a great job and playing the common housewife and caring mother and supportive wife.  The two mesh so well together.  Then we come to an even more popular actor possibly: Anthony Wong.  He plays the restricting and overly controlling and protective father of Nam who really just loses how to be a father and a husband at the same time as being a successful lawyer.  Most of the time in the movie, I wanted to push him in the face to wake him up.  That means he did a good job because I think that stubborn act really came through perfectly.

2 young 4

Third point is the unexpected factor.  Back in 2005, Fiona Sit was cooling off a bit from her pretty successful pop star career and really I never expected much from her in this one but she has her charm. This was her first movie after a Hong Kong police drama.   Jaycee Chan is Jackie Chan’s son so a lot of people have their eyes on how his future will turn out.  He had already dipped his feet in a movie before (that I didn’t see) and also a bit into a singing career.  He was completely new to me.  What captured me was the storyline itself but these two had amazing chemistry and they acted the hell out of their roles.  Maybe its because they are also young and they can somewhat relate to the pain, suffering but bittersweet love.  They can feel their generation better so they fell right into the roles but they were downright amazing, tugged at my heartstrings and I loved them both so much.  Let me just saying, my respect for them grew quite a bit after this.

2 young 2

I’m definitely going to recommend this.  2 Young is directed well, has wonderful and believeable characters to reflect on a social issue of young love and its consequences that shows that its not only sweet but tough.  Its not only the view of the young ones but also parents. With a phenomenal cast from the young main actors and the renowned older ones as supporting roles, this movie successfully pulls the audience right in from the start and lets you experience a heartwarming and at times, heartbreaking journey.  Its a well-executed story about young and reckless love and whether they can learn to take care of themselves and support people they love.   As much as it seems like a romance, I’d say its more along the lines of coming of age story. If you ever come across it,  its well worth your time.

Project A (1983)

After watching Die Hard and looking at the young Bruce Willis and his nimble ways, I had nostalgia for one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies of when he used to actually do really crazy stunts.  Plus, I’ve been taking a break from movie especially foreign ones 😉 So here I present to you: Project A!

project a posterDirector: Jackie Chan

Cast: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao

In the 19th century Hong Kong, it was ruled by the British as a colony.  However, their waters were endangered with pirates.  The Coast Guards had already set sail 2 times before with no success and now the government don’t want to give them any more money. When their ships are sabotaged right before they sail, they are disbanded to the police.  Lung (Jackie Chan) who was a Coast Guard Sergeant  now a land police has learned through his good friend, also a thief, Fei (Sammo Hung) that a law enforcer official is being bribed by the pirates to sell them information and arms.

project a stunt

This is possibly my absolutely favorite Jackie Chan movie.  This movie is crazy.  He does some intense stunts and from the bloopers, you know that he incurred lots of serious injuries.  I always refer this movie to others when they say that they love Jackie Chan and his comedic mix with action stunts.  This is about as hardcore as he can get. Plus, he directs and acts in this along with a very young Sammo Hung. Do you know Sammo Hung? Because he was the big boss, who was extremely nimble for his size in Killzone.  Now I love that movie to bits. It was the best Donnie Yen comeback ever! Okay, wait, we’re not talking about Killzone.  (Excuse the tangent, lack of sleep does that to my focus…).

project a sammo jackie

This movie actually has some good comedy.  Plus, Jackie Chan doesn’t only make us hold our breaths with his stunts, but some of them just makes us laugh out loud at his painful experiences.  The story itself is actually quite good as well. Its an old Hong Kong pirate movie.  We don’t get a lot of pirate movies in the Hong Kong movie industry.  The chemistry between Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan is fantastic as friends who don’t particularly believe in the same thing.  Plus, there is another very great martial arts actor Yuen Biao.  Do you know this guy? He’s totally awesome also.  I don’t have specific movies that I know him very well from but he always does a great job.  This movie was casted with the best action stars.

project a jackie yuen biao

This one is entertaining to put it simple.  Its my favorite and it has decent effects, a decent storyline, good laughs and has the best action and stunts. Forgot to mention that it has some nice background sound effects to match the movie and the scenes, some parts really add to it.  Jackie Chan performs his own stunts so with the danger level of what he does, he deserves lots of applause for his effort.  I really don’t know how to make this sound even better, if you want, watch the bloopers/outtakes…in the old version of this movie, they always had this at the end credits, not sure if they have it anymore.

What do you think? Dangerous enough for you? Do you have a favorite Jackie Chan action flick? Have you seen some of his pre-Hollywood movies?

Oh, and if you want to catch this, PLEASE watch the original and read subtitles.  The dubbed version is really bad…I can’t emphasize that enough..