Eugene Cho

the movie that influenced you – the sequel

Yesterday, I asked this blog community to post some of their most influential films.  Reading people’s contributions got me thinking all day about some of those films.  I shared four on my entry yesterday and am adding a few more to comprise my Top 10 ‘most influential films’ today for the heck of it. 

One of the films is JoyLuck Club because it hits home in many ways. I just couldn’t measure up to my older brothers.  I’m embarrassed to say that I cried like a baby when I saw this film since this hurts my street cred as an ultimate fighter angry asian man.  But oh well.  Here’s the ‘Best Quality Heart’ scene from YouTube.  Anyone else?

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll have to share our lists of all time favorite films and ‘favorite chick flicks.’ Anyway, here’s my Ten Most Influential Films in no particular order.  Feel free to add a few more on yesterday’s entry or here.

Shawshank Redemption:  I love this film.  I love Morgan Freeman and his voice.  And this is one of the movies I can see again and again.  The reason why this film influences me:  HOPE.

Do the Right Thing: First of many Spike Lee films I love.  This film kept the entire theater audience absolutely silent when the film ended.  It’s the only time I’ve ever seen that happen.

Matrix:  I don’t think I’ve ever been so mesmerized by a film.  Amongst the current 20-30 year olds, this is probably the referred film.  Right?

Clockwork Orange:  This and Oldboy is up there amongst the most disturbing films I have ever seen.  The * with this film is that my 7th grade teacher [in public school] showed our class this film.  If you’ve ever seen this, you’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck?!” 

Exactly.  I have only seen that film once in 7th grade but it still – to this day – haunts me.

The Passion of Christ:  Not an enjoyable film.  Have only seen it twice but one of the most influential for simple reason that it doesn’t hold back in the depiction of the suffering of Christ.  In my opinion, this film is a gift to the community of faith and should be seen by all.  When people complain that it’s too violent…exactly.

Enter the Dragon:  Two words: Bruce Lee.  Another two words:  Kicks Ass.  He’s the first Asian person I ever saw on the big screen.  Just seeing that was empowerment.

Joyluck Club:  see above.

Field of Dreams:  I don’t know why I liked this film so much.  But maybe it’s because it draws many parallels in my life.  For that matter, I love most sports films such as The Natural, Chariots of Fire, and Hoosiers.

The Mission:  Robert de Niro and the music.  Inspiring.  And perhaps one of the most amazing scenes of grace when Robert de Niro carries his burden up the mountain…

Taekukgi:  [otherwise called, ‘The Brotherhood of War’] For the simple reason that it’s the Korean version of Saving Private Ryan but more personal since my parents are from the land now called North Korea.   Cried quietly with my wife after this film.  This is my #1 film on my Top 10 Korean film list.  Other great war films like Blackhawk Down, Full Metal Jacket, and SP Ryan have been memorable for the simple reason that they make me yearn and pray for peace.

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25 Responses

  1. oh I loved The Joy Luck Club, but I have to say I liked the book better than the movie. But Rosalind Chao is always great to watch…

  2. Phyllis says:

    joy luck club is the best!
    other great “chick flicks”: steel magnolias, fried green tomatoes – these all deal with those complicated relationships between women…
    i also really liked serendipty – that love conquers in the end
    dead poets’ society: even though it’s all about guys, there is something there that resonates, esp with the asian girl growing up with all those expectations…
    pride & prejudice: not the keira knightly version… bc who doesn’t want to be in love with mr. darcy?
    love actually: bc who does not want mr. darcy to learn porteguese and propose to her in front of her whole village???
    finally, anne of green gables – the all time favorite movie for all girls of all ages! she’s something fierce yet is still all woman. and she’s imperfect, which makes her so perfect! a definite must see if you are a girl/woman!

  3. gracerules says:

    Here are some chick flicks to think about:

    Love Actually – So many stories – so many happy endings!!!
    You’ve Got Mail – Finding true love where you least expect it.
    The Holiday – Kate Winslet’s monologues are great and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law sizzle together.
    My Best Friends Wedding – Lots of laughs and the restaurant scene where they all sing “I Say A Little Prayer” is a classic.
    Sleepless In Seattle – Meg Ryan at her best!
    Step Mom – A real tear jerker.
    Dirty Dancing – We still use the line “nobody puts baby in a corner” and laugh about getting even by dancing:>)
    An Officer and A Gentleman – This is the movie that made so many women fall in love with Richard Gere.
    When Harry Met Sally – Funny and sweet. The restaurant scene where Meg demonstrates how women can fake it is hilarious.
    Father Of The Bride – Funny and sentimental. Steve Martin and Diane Keaton are hilarious…oh, and I love the wedding planner character!
    Top Gun – A chick flick that my husband actually likes! Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis have great chemistry.
    Jerry MacQuire – It catches you from the first scene and has some great one liners: “Show Me The Money” and “You had me at hello”
    Titanic – True romance!
    City Of Angels – Love and tragedy!
    What Women Want – Mel Gibson is fantastic – especially love the singing and dancing scene he does.
    The Notebook – You need a box of Kleenex but it is worth it.

  4. Jenny says:

    Roy and I watched Tae Guk Gi last night. I also cried at the end. It was more graphic war scenes than I usually watch (I listened to a lot with my eyes closed) but the story of the two brothers and all that they go through is amazing. Hard to watch, but so glad I did.

  5. eugenecho says:

    send me your chick flicks for a future entry. i think my post was confusing…

  6. Randall says:

    News flash, guys like “chick flicks” as well…at least I do.

    Some of my favorites:
    (I don’t know if they all qualify as chick flicks but they’re movies that make me sad to be single…which is getting rarer and rarer the older I get)
    Say Anything – I want to be Lloyd Dobler when I grow up
    Before Sunrise – the “sequel” was okay, but Sunrise is luminous and amazing. If you haven’t seen this, stop reading this blog and find yourself a copy NOW!
    As Good As It Gets
    and finally, the guy version of the chick flick: Swingers – I remember watching this with a bunch of my guy friends on Valentine’s day along with an abundance of pizza and beer.

    Oh, and Joy Luck Club (the book and the movie) makes me cry like a hungry baby everytime.

  7. Jin says:

    Return of Dragon: Two words: Chuck Norris

  8. Capt Ralph says:

    Ohhh, Eugene, this is NOT what you asked for but, here goes………………………I am NOT totally anti-movie. I see about one a year. Karl-Peter and Rachel treated their parents to “Quantum Of Solace” last weekend. I liked it; good for the comparison with past 007 flicks. Haven’t seen them all but familiar with the genre. I also enjoyed the last “Indiana Jones” episode, just for nostalgia.

    However, I believe the movie has replace the “Preacher” for many. Just my own philosophy, that Hollywood is now teaching by parable. Not necessarily that the increase in movie attendance is directly related to the downturn in church attendance. Whether the message is subltle on not, too many get their life guideposts from the movies they watch.

    Sorry that the “old man” has to throw cold water on an otherwise pleasurable activity. Just a caution!

    Thanks for listening,

  9. Daniel Azuma says:

    Today, somewhere, a seventh grade teacher is getting fired. “What the heck?!?!”

  10. billy says:

    i don’t mean to be mean but could it be that some blogger/ministers are a little narcissistic?

  11. Dadofiandi says:

    Thanks for trying to make me cry at work.

  12. eugenecho says:

    @capt ralph: exactly. i agree with you. hollywood has become the new preacher. however, i think there’s also some needed self-examination by the preachers of the Church. why? because we’ve become mediocre communicators…

    @billy: umm, i have a picture of myself on my blog banner. of course i’m a little narcissistic. hope all is well as SPU.

  13. Daniel says:

    This post reminds us all that sequels just aren’t as good as the original. 🙂

  14. Randall says:

    @Pastor Eugene: sorry about that…didn’t see your entry until after I posted mine.

    @Capt Ralph: I think you hit the nail on the head. People are getting their world view from what they see in theaters (and on the television). Personally, I think this is the fault of churches not telling the compelling story of the Gospel in a compelling way. We have a story that needs to be heard but we need to tell it in a fresh, new way.

    I’ve been reading Andy Crouch’s new book Culture Making and he makes the case that we need to go beyond just critiquing culture or consuming culture or creating a sub-culture (like the Christian Entertainment Industry). We need to be creators of culture. As to how this works or looks, well I haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet but I’m really looking forward to it!

  15. hamster says:

    Two movies that are towards the top of my list for being memorable that I haven’t seen mentioned:

    Crash — redemption in so many forms
    The Last Emperor — overwhelming

  16. gracerules says:

    Eugene – so sorry about jumping the gun on the chick flick list – please feel free to go ahead and delete my comment since it doesn’t fit in with the discussion (how embarrassing!)

  17. Dadofiandi says:

    @Capt Ralph, @Randall Our world view is made of up so many things, our upbringing, our experiences, our culture etc. Often times a point will be made in a medium that reinforces a Biblical principal that I may already know, but either have forgotten or gives a new perspective. Similarly some sermons affect me less than other people and visa versa.
    As far as a downturn in church attendance I can only speak for myself and some of my friends why I/we don’t attend “church” with regularity or at all, it has little to do with tv or movies, in fact some don’t own tv’s. But that is a discussion for a different post.
    @eugenecho I have never been to your church, so I hope you don’t feel disparaged by my remarks, but in fact from what I know of it represents more of what I believe a church should be.

  18. daphne says:

    I don’t know how much it has influenced my life, but Pieces of April is an awesome movie about Family, trust, & love.

  19. mary says:

    For me, reading The Joy Luck Club (and subsequently seeing the movie) was like encountering a kindred spirit. I still remember reading the book for the first time as a teenager and realizing that much of it seemed extracted from my own thoughts or dialog with my Chinese father. I was so excited I even underlined these passages in the book! I think the book and the movie also helped me understand my father in a different way, and for that reason I am grateful.

  20. […] may have missed in the past or remind me of something I haven’t seen in a while.  Because of Eugene’s list I have already decided that I am going to watch The Joy Luck Club this […]

  21. Carol says:

    I’m probably the only one that hasn’t seen “The Joy Luck Club” so perhaps my comments are out of context. But after watching the film clip I was struck by how this scene fit so well with my seminary class on “Spirituality, Shame and Grace” (going to GFES). So after watching the clip I’ve been reflecting on how we can misunderstand (and therefore “mis-receive”) intent and motive. I was reminded that we often have not understood God’s intent, His love for us and for others because it is received through the filter of not measuring up (trust me I know what I’m talking about), not being good enough. I could go on, but won’t! Thanks for sharing it with us… Yes I’m going to watch the movie (after Dec. 12 — when the semester is done! 🙂

  22. Ben C says:

    how can you cry watching that?

  23. amanda says:

    Chick flicks:

    The Notebook: My fiance made fun of this movie prior to seeing it. When I finally sat him down to watch it, he was crying by the end, holding me, and saying, “I will love you forever.”

    When Harry Met Sally: The diner scene is classic! And the scene where he finally says, “When you know who you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” And all the cute little couples spread throughout the movie!

    Sleepless in Seattle: Another Meg Ryan classic!

    Enchanted: For the Disney princess in all of us!

    Titanic: I saw this the week it came out (in 8th grade) and cried during the *previews* because I knew Leo DiCaprio died. I saw this again a few months ago and was pleasantly reminded what a wonderful movie it is.

    Amelie: I said this in a previous post, but I watch this movie to remind myself there is still magic in this world.

    City of Angels: I cry like a baby every time!

  24. amanda says:

    @eugenecho: oh yeah! i saw A Clockwork Orange in a 10th grade film class. It haunts me too!!

  25. Scooter says:

    Forgive me, I’m new here…first time offender if you will:)

    Movies…Currently Americas foremost form of “entertainment”.

    It’s been a long week and I just don’t have the energy or time to do the is it Good vs Evil thing.

    In the spirit of “Lighten UP!” :)….

    Dear host,
    I like what I’ve seen so far, thank you!

    Movies that have influenced me…

    “The Deer Hunter”…the Russian roulette scenes really messed with me for a long time. No other cinematic experience I’ve had has come close to touching me on that level…it really disturbed me! (Dear host I realize you might take exception with portrayals in this film and I mean no disrespect)

    “Brave Heart”…freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedoooooooooom!!! I think that says it all.

    Bruce Lee. He hit the American culture when I was in high school. I was mesmerized…we did multiple “Bruce Lee maratons” as drive in theaters would show groups of his films at a time. It’s been fun to see his appeal to live on as my sons brought home a boxed set of his films when they were in high school. They watched it repeatedly He has a special talent and athleticism that many have tried to emulate. In my opinion nobody has come close though. Did you ever see him in any of the cheesy “Green Lantern” episodes?

    There, another “old man” has spoken. Old like I remember when “Everybody was Kung Fu fighting! Them cats were fast as lightening…”

    love to all

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One Day’s Wages

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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. -

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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