Tag Archives: film

Monday's Link Attack: Moon Bloodgood, Grace Kelly

Moon Bloodgood Steps in for Franka Potente

The “Falling Skies” star was recently cast in an upcoming independent movie.

When a last minute production snag caused Franka Potente to drop out of the indie pic ”The Power of Few,” Moon Bloodgood quickly stepped up to join the worldly ensemble cast. Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson, Q’orianka Kilcher, Jesse Bradford, Nicky Whelan, Juvenile, and Navid Negahban star in the mystery time-bender being sold by Arclight Films’ at Toronto.

Now appearing in Speilberg/TNT’s ‘Falling Skies,’ Bloodgood plays Mala in ‘TPOF,’ the pregnant owner of a cyber cafe where criminals, smugglers and holy fools converge on a day of possible transformation.

Pettersen downs Choi in LPGA playoff
AP via Google News

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen overcame a nine-stroke deficit then defeated South Korean Choi Na Yeon at the first playoff hole to win the LPGA Safeway Classic.

Q&A: Back injury didn’t keep Danielle Kang from back-to-back amateurs
Los Angeles Daily News

By winning her second straight U.S. Women’s Amateur title, the former Westlake High standout and former Pepperdine golfer pulled off something of a historic comeback herself. Kang was tied for 27th place, at 2 over, during the stroke-play portion of the event at the Rhode Island Country Club. Then, a nagging upper-back problem affected her in match play after scratching out a quarterfinal win.

After a 45-minute chiropractic readjustment, saving a trip for her superstitious mother, who is an acupuncture specialist, to fly in and treat her, Kang recovered to reach Sunday’s 36-hole final, capping it off with an impressive 6-and-5 victory against Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugard. Enough people must have watched it on the Golf Channel: Kang said she got 75 text messages, 40 voicemails and 78 friend requests on Facebook before she even went to her postmatch news conference.

“I don’t accept the person if I don’t have a mutual friend, really,” she admitted. “My brother always yells at me if I accept somebody. I learned.”

South Korea churches’ beacons an eyesore to some
Los Angeles Times

The L.A. Times reports on the current backlash from some South Korean citizens who resent the neon church steeple crosses dotting the nighttime landscape.

Tens of thousands of churches dot South Korea, most with their own red neon crosses. In Seoul, where several churches crowd onto a single block, illuminating their crosses until midnight or later, the beacons combine to color the urban night like a carnival come to town.

“Looking from above, the night scene of Seoul looks like that of a graveyard,” one Internet user complained in a posting.

Englewood Cliffs looks to fund 9/11 memorial

The city of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. is hoping to raise $30,000 to honor two locals killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The benches would honor Rajesh Mirpuri, the borough’s only resident who died in the attacks, and Leonia resident Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim, who also was killed. Kim’s father, Paul Kim, operates a business in town, Cioffi said.

Local teen dubbed ‘the future of jazz’
The Dedham Transcript (Mass.)

As a 19-year-old Asian-American female, Grace Kelly is something of a rare gem in the jazz world. But to her, what matters is that people love her music.

“It’s great when people say ‘You’re great for your age,’” says Kelly, who performs a free concert at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston on Aug. 25. “But I think it’s so much better when someone goes up to me after a show and tells me, ‘Your music is wonderful.’”

Kelly, who has been featured on seven albums, has been called a prodigy by both critics and musicians. The Wellesley-born, Brookline-raised Korean-American is also a bandleader, arranger, composer and singer. Kelly — not to be confused with the late actress/princess, though she adored the other Grace Kelly as a child — traveled to Europe four times and toured in eight countries just this year.

Cho names strong squad for opener

Korea Republic coach Cho Kwang-Rae has named a strong squad for the country’s opening FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Lebanon on 2 September. Cho has called up six Europe-based players though is without Bolton winger Lee Chung-Yong (broken leg) and Wolfsburg midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol (torn ankle ligaments).

Korean TV talent search show scored for Muslim portrayal, apologizes
Manila Bulletin (Philippines)

Korean TV talent search show “Star King” has issued an apology after a recent episode came under fire from viewers who criticized the show for depicting a wrong portrayal of Saudi Arabians and Muslims in general.

North Korea to Auction Resort Owned by South
New York Times

North Korea on Monday gave South Korean tourism officials 72 hours to leave a mountain resort, declaring that it will start auctioning off South Korean-owned hotels, restaurants and other remnants of what used to be a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.


Wednesday's Link Attack: Ken Jeong, Koreans Sue Apple

Ken Jeong Promotes ‘The Hangover Part II’ in Seoul
Korean Beacon

Ken Jeong, who plays ‘Mr. Chow’ in both Hangover films, arrived in Seoul earlier this week to promote the release of The Hangover Part II in South Korea.

Steven Yeun Speaks Out About Frank Darabont Leaving

Steven Yeun is the first cast member of AMC’s zombie TV show “The Walking Dead” to speak out about the departure of creator Frank Darabont.

Home is where the heart is for new Canadian
Calgary Sun

Jung Yeun Song finally became a full-fledged Canadian Tuesday, a wish her adoptive mom has been longing for, but a decision the Korean immigrant has struggled with for years.

At seven, the 31-year-old woman was separated from her Korean family to face 17 surgeries in a Montreal hospital.

Seoul to bring back women-only subway cars
Los Angeles Times

The South Korean plan aims to combat groping and other sexual crimes against female commuters. Because reaction to the proposal has been mixed, the restricted cars will run only late at night.

Korean-Chinese woman booked for smuggling N. Korean art
Yonhap News

Seoul police said Wednesday that they have booked an ethnic Korean woman from China for allegedly smuggling North Korean paintings into South Korea, selling them to local consumers and sending some of the profits to the North.

The 46-year-old woman, surnamed Kim, was accused of bringing in about 1,300 paintings by some well-known North Korean artists in violation of a law regulating the flow of goods between the two Koreas, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

27,000 South Koreans sue Apple over iOS privacy

As expected, Apple has been hit with a class-action lawsuit in South Korea.

About 27,000 South Koreans filed their class-action suit against Apple today, charging the Cupertino, Calif.-based company with privacy violations in its iOS-based devices, the Associated Press is reporting. The plaintiffs are requesting about 27 billion won ($25.3 million) in damages, which translates to about $936 per person.

Gerard Butler Sued: Ex-Workers Claim They’re Owed Overtime Pay

Apparently, Scottish actor Gerard Butler co-owns a Korean restaurant in Hollywood, along with some other notables. Oh yes, his workers are suing him for unpaid wages.

Chocolat Releases Debut Music Video “Syndrome”

Check out the video for the new K-pop girl group which features three biracial Korean Americans.


August Cover Story: Kung Fu Panda Master

Unleashing Her Inner Warrior

Jennifer Yuh Nelson didn’t exactly kick her way into the director’s chair of Kung Fu Panda 2. But now that the sequel has achieved blockbuster status, she’ll likely return as master of the Panda universe.

story by Eugene Yi

photograph by Eric Sueyoshi


Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson said she got a lot of that when she’d show up for various press events to talk about the movie she’d just directed. “It was a big deal when I showed up at some of the press stuff wearing a dress,” she added, laughing.

Much of Nelson’s press has dwelled on how she, as the director of a big studio film, defies type. Not only is she a woman, not to mention an Asian American woman, but the bespectacled 39-year-old is also unfailingly polite and softspoken.  Actress Angelina Jolie, who provides the voice of Tigress in both Kung Fu Panda films, described her as “the calmest person I’ve ever met.” But the notion of the commandeering, chair-throwing director stems from perhaps a very traditional (read: white male-centric) view of the job, and it begs the question: why the surprise that someone like Nelson would direct Panda 2? She is a revered storyboard artist, hailed as a brilliant and nurturing collaborator, and a giant martial arts and action geek to boot.

It’s worked out pretty well. Panda 2 has now grossed more than half-a-billion dollars worldwide, and it’s got a certified 82-percent fresh rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes.  Panda 2 appears to be that relative rarity in Hollywood: the crowd-pleasing, critically acclaimed blockbuster sequel. By the time it’s out of the theaters, the movie could be the highest-grossing film directed by a woman in the world.

Nelson has already hit one milestone as the first woman to direct a major studio animated feature on her own—and yet, she was an initially reluctant director, handpicked by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, among others. That’s almost unheard of in Hollywood, where ambition outstrips talent far too often. It’s perhaps anti-climactic for those hoping for a more classic underdog scenario where the heroine boasts a backstory of unbridled discrimination, slaying bigots left and right on her way to shattering the glass ceiling and emerging victorious with a record-breaking film.

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Monday's Link Attack: Undocumented KA, Park Ji-sung, more

Undocumented and Korean at UC Berkeley
New American Media

When Ju Hong stepped before his class at UC Berkeley to discuss his status as an undocumented immigrant, the response was telling. “A lot of the students were surprised at seeing a yellow face,” says the soft-spoken 22-year-old, who notes there is a trend among many of his peers to equate undocumented with Hispanic.

Man In Critical Condition After Found At The Bottom Of Pool
Fox News New York

A man attending a party is in critical condition after he was found at the bottom of pool.

Suffolk County Detectives say 21-year old Dale Ahn was attending a party at 3 Farmview Drive in Dix Hills when he discovered by two partygoers who pulled Ahn from the pool around 12:40 a.m. Sunday morning.

A South Korean’s unwanted war legacy from Japan
Los Angeles Times

In 1944, he was abducted from his village by Japanese soldiers and forced to dig tunnels at a World War II camp. In 2005, he learned he was mistakenly listed among Japan’s war dead at a Tokyo shrine.

Korea through retrojournalism

Here are some amazing and rare color photos from the Korean War, which spanned 1950 to 1953.

Bank software company invests in its people
Austin American-Statesman (Tex.)

This is a nice business profile of a small banking software company in Austin, Tex. with a very worker-friendly environment.

A sign hanging in the game room of Banker’s Toolbox sums up the software maker’s workplace motto: Be Nice or Get Out.

The 11-year-old company, which moved to Austin from Los Angeles last year, has grown by emphasizing a close-knit, team-driven culture, said founder Daniel Cho. Every day, its 45 employees gather for a catered lunch in the cafeteria. Everyone gets an individual office. And when the company makes money, it is shared by all.

The result, Cho said, has been steady revenue and profit gains, without raising any money from outside investors.

“It’s simple — I believe happy employees will create happy customers,” Cho said. “We try really hard to make work fun, and we also believe in sharing what we earn.”

Film Review: Where the Road Meets the Sun

To call “Where the Road Meets the Sun” a juggling act would suggest that all the figurative balls stay in the air. But quite the opposite is true in this ambitious but scattered multi-character drama, which aspires to Altmanesque complexity and ends up merely addled. The bright young cast may end up giving Mun Chee Yong’s debut feature a level of posthumous celebrity, a la “Empire Records” (“Look who was in this movie!”), but its own lifespan will be comparatively short and sparsely attended.

Dotted Lines [OPINION]
The Daily Californian (U.C. Berkeley)

Annual trips to Korea in my childhood gave me glimpses into the crowded streets of Seoul, where morning and night blend together and life thrives incessantly on the main streets of the city. I’ve seen the red tents that pop up in the early evening and stay up late into the night, under which steaming vats of street food are sold to tired students and drunk businessmen alike. If I think carefully, I can hear the way the roar of the trucks and the murmurs of sleepless youth meandering through the streets below slip through the window of my grandparents’ 30th floor apartment.

Park Ji-sung Renews ManU Contract
Chosun Ilbo

Park Ji-sung has renewed his contract with Manchester United in the English Premier League until at least the end of the 2012/13 season, the team announced on its website Friday.

Son Heung-min Scores in Hamburg-Hertha Berlin Game
Chosun Ilbo

Korean striker Son Heung-min scored a goal for Hamburg in a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin in the German Bundesliga.

Historic Korean figure gets the Broadway treatment

“Hero: The Musical” will be performed at Lincoln Center from Aug. 23 to Sept. 3.

“I want to wow the audiences in New York,” said Ho Jin Yun, producer and director.

The vehicle with which Yun hopes to dazzle ticket buyers is based on the story of a Korean martyr, An Chunggun, who fought Japanese annexation of Korea, killing a high-ranking Japanese official. He was executed in Japan in 1910.

“The subject is very heavy,” said Yun. “But it is a musical, after all, so it has humor and action as well. And Korean shows provide a bigger spectacle than Broadway does.”

MTY Foods to acquire Koryo Korean BBQ assets
Montreal Gazette

Canadian restaurant holding group MTY Foods Group said it would acquire Korean Canadian restaurant chain Koryo Korean BBQ for $1.8 million, according to the Montreal Gazette. Koryo Korean operates 20 restaurants across Canada.

KAC national leaders gather in Dallas for 2011 KAC National Convention
Miju Daily

Young Korean-American leaders from across the nation gathered in Dallas last week for the annual 2011 Korean American Coalition National Convention.


Thursday's Link Attack: Will Yun Lee, J-Pop Star Crystal Kay, Artist Frank Cho

Korean American Actor Will Yun Lee Wins Best Ensemble Acting Award

Being an Asian American in Hollywood is challenging, says Will Yun Lee who recently shared in the award for Best Ensemble Acting at this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for the film Where the Road Meets the Sun. But it is getting better, Lee adds, and more opportunities are opening up every day.

Crystal Kay aims for spring break vibe in Zushi
The Japan Times

The Japan Times published a Q&A with Crystal Kay, the biracial Korean American who just so happens to be a Japanese pop superstar.

Crystal Kay has been an exciting singer to watch mature in the music industry. Since her debut at 13 years old, this Yokohama native has wowed fans with her powerful vocals and a compelling personal story of being a mixed-race singer (Korean-American) in Japan.

Film Review: ‘Wedding Palace’

On a completely different note is the AAIFF closing night feature Wedding Palace by Christine Yoo. This is the fictional story of Jason Kim (Brian Tee, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), a Korean American in L.A. whose family is cursed (the origins of which are shown in an imaginative hand-drawn/CGI animation blend), meaning that the 29-year-old must marry by his 30th birthday. A relationship with a long-term girlfriend doesn’t work out; neither do set-ups orchestrated by his meddling parents (in one fun scene, Jason and his parents are in a Dating Game-style show to assess potential brides). Eventually, a business trip to Seoul leads Jason to the seemingly perfect Na Young (Hye-jung Kang, Oldboy), but of course several wrenches are thrown in along the way to their budding relationship.

North Korea mocks South over artillery fire claims
Stars & Stripes

North and South Korea traded insults Thursday, a day after South Korea responded to what it determined was artillery fire from the North – the latest chapter in the tense relationship between the two countries.

Once again, experts are left scrambling for explanations of what it all means.

‘X-Men’ miniseries coming from Frank Cho

Frank Cho has announced that he is writing and illustrating an X-Men miniseries.

The Liberty Meadows creator listed his upcoming projects for the next 12 months on his website Apes and Babes.

“I can’t say too much right now, but this miniseries will have three of the hottest women in the Marvel Universe,” said Cho of the title.

Lydia Ko advances; Jihee Kim ousted at Women’s Am
Los Angeles Times

Korean Kiwi Lydia Ko, 14, advanced on Wednesday in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship with a win over Lauren Dobashi. Meanwhile, defending champion Danielle Kang of Southern California remained alive in her repeat bid.

Returning to help Korean kids through KKOOM
Korea Herald

It all started when Aimee Jachym returned to South Korea for a year-long volunteer program, having left her country of birth at just four months old.

Her year out soon turned into a vocation as the Korean-American adoptee founded the Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission to help orphans still living here to a better life.

Souvenirs from the World’s Most Dangerous Border
Der Spiegel (Germany)

Given that North and South Korea are still technically at war, the wall between them is officially a cease-fire line. With its watchtowers and guns, the demilitarized zone is the world’s most dangerous border, no matter how popular it may be with tourists.

Koreans Overcome Differences By Way of Cuisine
Voice of America

There is an increasing number of North Korean defectors who are opening North Korean restaurants and even a cooking school in their new home in South Korea. Check out our May 2011 story on a North Korean restaurant in Northern Virginia.

Teaching Korean students to dream big
Korea Herald

Korean students from top U.S. and Canadian universities have helped less fortunate young people here reach for their dreams this summer.

The newly established Teach for Korea has offered free tutoring and mentoring to economically disadvantaged students from four Seoul schools. Graduates and students from world-renowned U.S. institutions including Cornell, Columbia and Pennsylvania Universities are helping with the non-profit project.

The Frontline: Film Review
Hollywood Reporter

The Frontline, one of Korea’s biggest blockbusters this year, depicts the bitter struggle between North and South to gain foothold of a hill at the tail-end of the 1950s civil war. Jang Hun’s (Rough Cut, Secret Reunion) even-handed direction and Park Sang-yeon’s traditional but finely-tuned screenplay instills the right measure of humanist anti-war sentiment and personal heroism, turning the fates of a small company of men confined to one hellish location into an expose of how impersonal military operations literally makes mountains out of molehills.

50 must-visit traditional markets in Korea

With all the online shopping in Korea these days, sometimes you miss some good old-fashioned haggling. That, and actually seeing what you’re buying.

The Small and Medium Business Administration and the Agency for Traditional Market Administration (ATMA) recently selected 50 must-visit traditional markets in Korea, based on criteria such as memorable food, colorful attractions and entertainment.

Surprisingly, only two on the list — Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market — are located in Seoul.

China’s New Wealth Spurs a Market for Mistresses
New York Times

Jian, a 42-year-old property developer in the booming southern metropolis of Shenzhen, had acquired just about everything men of his socioeconomic ilk covet: a Mercedes-Benz, a sprawling antique jade collection and a lavishly appointed duplex for his wife and daughter.

It was only natural then, he said, that two years ago he took up another costly pastime: a beguiling 20-year-old art major whose affections run him about $6,100 a month.


South Korean Actress Joins Cast of Big-Budget 'Cloud Atlas'

South Korean actress Bae Doona has been tapped to star in the big-budget film adaptation of “Cloud Atlas,” joining a cast which includes Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, according to movie blog Filmonic.

The 31-year-old actress, best known for roles in “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and “The Host,” will play the role of Sonmi-451, a rebellious genetically-engineered waitress in a dystopian version of Korea.

The movie is based on a complex sci-fi novel by British author David Mitchell which follows six different storylines. In addition to Hanks and Berry, “Cloud Atlas” will also feature Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent.

The film was originally budgeted at $100 million but a recent influx of money has upped the budget to $150 million, according to IndieWire.

July Issue: Gianna Jun And The Power Of Sisterhood

In Bloom

South Korean superstar GIANNA JUN, starring in this month’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, hopes to bring her special brand of sassy to American audiences

by Jaeki Cho
photographs by Peter Ash Lee

IF YOU WERE AMONG THE millions who saw My Sassy Girl (2001), the highest-grossing romantic comedy in South Korean box office history, or have been exposed to the TV commercials selling cell phones, fried chicken, jeans and cosmetics during a trip to the motherland, you’ve likely been enchanted by the addictive—and highly marketable— charm of superstar Jun Ji-hyun.

At 29, and a decade following the film that propelled her to stardom, the actress/model continues to top the Korean celebrity hierarchy. Adopting the Western name Gianna in recent years, she’s also trying to work that same magic in Hollywood with her second full-length feature film in English, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, released this month.


The film, adapted from the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Lisa See, has no shortage of star power, with Wayne Wang of The Joy Luck Club fame directing, popular Chinese actress Li Bing Bing co-starring, and Asian American media mogul spouses Wendi Deng Murdoch and Florence Sloan producing. (Murdoch is married to Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., and Sloan to Harry Sloan, former CEO of MGM, who now heads Global Eagle Acquisition Corp.) Continue reading