asian stories opening in los angeles

For those of you in Southern California looking for something to do this weekend, check out Ron Oda and Kris Chin's Asian Stories, opening this Friday, July 25 for a one-week run at the ImaginAsian Center.

It's this fun, quirky indie feature that manages to get a lot of laughs out of a very simple production. Which is nice way of saying it looks like they had a low-ass budget, and it ain't bad for what it is. The movie was a surprise hit on the Asian American film festival circuit a couple of years back, and it's finally getting a brief theatrical release, followed by a DVD. Here's the story:
Asian Stories is an amazing feature length film that tells a story unlike any other. Jim is a young closefisted Chinese American living in LA who desperately finds himself with a stack of white flower themed disposable cameras, fleur-de-lis invitations, a number of champagne bottles, and a ten-thousand dollar engagement ring bill. The only thing missing is a bride. In financial debt and miserable for having his fiancé leave two weeks prior to Valentine's day, Jim tries to resurface his dignity and wash away his wretchedness by asking his best friend, a Japanese hitman whose passion for cooking fancy entrees extends far beyond his kitchen, to kill him just in time to miss the Hallmark holiday. With less than four days to live, Jim, while wearing his wedding tuxedo the entire time, treks to the mountains to find his fate, meet a pizza delivery boy with lucky charms, the funeral spot of his choice, and a girl.
I'll admit, when Asian Stories first started popping up at film festivals, I was a little apprehensive. I hadn't heard anything about it, and to be honest, the story didn't sound all that appealing. And of course, there's the title. Asian Stories is bad enough, but throughout the film's festival run it was called Asian Stories (Book 3). Even worse. It was a hard sell.

But I ended up checking it out, and had surprisingly a really great time. It's far from perfect, but it's a silly movie, with some really funny jokes and a likeable, engaging cast that includes James Kyson Lee (Heroes) and Kathy Uyen. It's a pretty good movie to watch with a big, enthusiastic crowd. Not so fun to watch in an empty theater. So check it out...

On Friday, stars James Kyson Lee, Kathy Uyen, Kirt Kishita, director Ron Oda, and other cast and crew members will attend opening night and will be on hand for a Q & A after the 7:15pm screening. For more information about the theatrical run, visit the ImaginAsian website here For more information about Asian Stories, including the trailer, go here.

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