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neumu
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Better Luck Tomorrow cinematronic
  director

Justin Lin

cast

Parry Shen, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan, John Cho, Karin Anna Cheung, Jerry Mathers

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  The key individuals in "Better Luck Tomorrow," writer/director Justin Lin's precocious, accomplished debut film, are privileged Asian-American high-schoolers living comfortably in a Southern California suburb. Their shared racial identity is addressed in their mockery of stereotypes and in the fact that they hang together in a clique, but they could easily be white, black or Hispanic kids. They're bright, they get good grades and have every advantage. They're also bored and think that their lofty status at school gives them the right to ignore every rule and foster a criminal mini-empire. But their ambitions get the better of them, and, their innocence lost, they face dire consequences. Lin's cast of young unknowns — Parry Shen, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan and Karin Anna Cheung — leaves an indelible impression. The film's especially likable hero/narrator Ben (Shen) wants to win the heart of cheerleader Stephanie (Cheung), who's dating smug rich kid Steve (John Cho of "American Pie"). You may root for Ben to do the right thing and triumph, but "Better Luck Tomorrow" is so acute and cliché-free that it will challenge your expectations.  
cinematronic
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