IMDb > Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Better Luck Tomorrow
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Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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Better Luck Tomorrow -- A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities.
Better Luck Tomorrow -- A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities.
Better Luck Tomorrow -- A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   7,546 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ernesto Foronda (written by) &
Justin Lin (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Better Luck Tomorrow on IMDbPro.
Genre:
Tagline:
Never underestimate an overachiever. See more »
Plot:
A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(109 articles)
15 MTV Films Every Millennial Should Watch
 (From VH1.com. 5 August 2014, 9:34 AM, PDT)

Life Itself – The Review
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 10 July 2014, 2:24 PM, PDT)

The Wolf of Mean Streets; Focus Features Taps Justin Lin for Times Square
 (From ioncinema. 20 March 2014, 8:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
What About the Girls? See more (139 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Parry Shen ... Ben Manibag
Jason Tobin ... Virgil Hu
Shirley Anderson ... Hot Dog Planet Customer
Nanette Matoba ... Housewife
Kenji Matoba ... Toddler

Sung Kang ... Han
Ashley Arai ... Cheerleader
Danielle Conner ... Cheerleader
Karen DiTota ... Cheerleader
Smita Satiani ... Cheerleader
Kristen Stinson ... Cheerleader
Jeff DeJohn ... Ryan
Robert Zepeda ... Jock

Collin Kahey ... Jock
Christopher J. Francis ... Jock
Jimmy Lin ... Jock
Ryan Cadiz ... Jesus Navarro

Karin Anna Cheung ... Stephanie Vandergosh

Roger Fan ... Daric Loo

Jerry Mathers ... Biology Teacher
Jessie S. Marion ... Gina Nabham
A.J. Green ... Mr. Farmer
Jaime Serene Kelly ... Nurse (as Jaime S. Kelly)
Esther Mercado ... Hospital Patient (as Esther 'Tita' Mercado)
Octavia Osby ... Doctor
Beverly Sotelo ... Cashier
Scott McShane ... Cashier
Brandon Bain ... Basketball Player
Jesse Bustos ... Basketball Player
Troy Cartwright ... Basketball Player
Brandon Dennis ... Basketball Player
Ronald Dross ... Basketball Player
Christopher R. Edmonds ... Basketball Player
Jon Paul Lourenco ... Basketball Player
Anthony Moore ... Basketball Player
Jason Reyes ... Basketball Player
Dominique Ricks ... Basketball Player
Khalil Semaan ... Basketball Player
Jonathan Uyloan ... Basketball Player
Terry White ... Basketball Player
Chad Young ... Basketball Player
Kenwood Jung ... Basketball Coach
Jeff Russell ... Assistant Basketball Coach

John Cho ... Steve Choe

Aaron Takahashi ... Takashi

Darian Weiss ... Kenny Vandergosh

Alden Ray ... Ulden (as Alden Villaverde)
Emmie Hsu ... Miriam
Lily Hu ... Tina
Donna Tina Charles ... Waitress
Crystal Keith ... Karen
Laura Esposito ... Camille
Juliet Wong ... Mary
Justin Murphy ... Adam / New Year's Party Band

James Isaac Barry ... Porn Jock
Wayne Ford ... Student Buying Cheat Stamp
Kevin Alfoldy ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Daniel R. Bonneau ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Lisa Grant ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
David Laurence ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member

Nate Petre ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Ramona T. Ramirez ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member

Stephanie Little ... Steve's Barbie (as Stephanie Noel Little)
Tom Chalmers ... Liquor Store Clerk
Bryan Baluyot ... Gangster
Mark Baluyot ... Gangster
Joseph Jaldon ... Gangster
Marc Montecillo ... Gangster

Joe Hernandez-Kolski ... Scared Student
Jay Green ... Assistant Vice Principal
Denise Barnard ... Assistant Vice Principal

Bruno Oliver ... History Teacher
Fabian Marquez ... Security Guard
Walter Butler ... Peter
Christopher Monjoy ... Student Buying Drugs
Ina Burke ... Tracy
Jennifer Wu ... Ben's Admirer (as Jennifer Avelyn Wu)
Pauline Kanako Kamiyama ... Party Girl

Lela Lee ... Slapper
Evan Leong ... Slapper's Boyfriend

Suzanne Keilly ... Salesgirl
Shane Kualapai ... Casino Security Guard

Ariadne Shaffer ... Rachel
Sean Alexander ... New Year's Party Band
Joey Barro ... New Year's Party Band
Ben Donaldson ... New Year's Party Band
Walker Edmondson ... New Year's Party Band
Chris Good ... New Year's Party Band
Diana Bonilla ... New Year's Party Flirt
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Skinhead (uncredited)
Patrick Chavis ... Student (uncredited)
Rick Cortes ... Extra (uncredited)
Louie Giangrande ... Photographed Student (uncredited)

Justin Lin ... Jock (uncredited)
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Directed by
Justin Lin 
 
Writing credits
Ernesto Foronda (written by) &
Justin Lin (written by) &
Fabian Marquez (written by)

Produced by
Julie Asato .... producer
Michael Cole .... executive producer
Troy Craig Poon .... executive producer
Ernesto Foronda .... producer
Steve Herr .... associate producer
Joan Huang .... co-producer
Sung Kang .... associate producer
Justin Lin .... producer
Michael Manshel .... executive producer
Gustavo Spoliansky .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Gonzales 
Tobin Mori 
 
Cinematography by
Patrice Lucien Cochet 
 
Film Editing by
Justin Lin 
 
Casting by
Donna Tina Charles 
 
Production Design by
Yoo Jung Han 
 
Art Direction by
Yoo Jung Han 
 
Costume Design by
Sandi Lieu 
 
Makeup Department
Robin Felix .... hair stylist: Ms. Cheung
Jaime Serene Kelly .... key makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Josh Diamond .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Joseph Fedo .... lead man
Lorri Jakubuv .... prop master
 
Sound Department
Tim Bindel .... adr supervisor
Tim Bindel .... sound supervisor
Curtis Choy .... sound
Paul Davidson .... foley artist
Aleksandr Gruzdev .... sound re-recording mixer
Cindy Jo Hinkleman .... dialog editor
James P. Lay .... sound re-recording mixer
James P. Lay .... supervising sound editor
Michael J. McDonald .... sound re-recording mixer (as Michael McDonald)
John Sanacore .... sound foley adr mixer
Scott M. Silvey .... sound
William Tabanou .... sound effects editor
Kelly Vandever .... sound re-recording mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Patrice Lucien Cochet .... camera operator
Bryan Hayes .... electrician
Bryan Hayes .... grip
Guy Livneh .... chief lighting technician
Paul Maletich .... first assistant camera: second camera
BJ McDonnell .... dolly grip
BJ McDonnell .... key grip
Bill Otto .... second assistant camera
Michael Tiratira .... best boy grip
Remi Tournois .... first assistant camera
Bryan Hayes .... dolly grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Joel Juarez .... casting associate
 
Editorial Department
Ben Boodman .... assistant editor
Greg Le Duc .... avid post-production system supervisor
Mato .... color timer
Fred Raskin .... additional editor
Steve Barnett .... post-production consultant (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sheri Ozeki .... composer: additional music
Tamala Poljak .... composer: additional music
 
Other crew
Keith E. Cooper .... legal services
Winston Emano .... publicist
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
David Magdael .... publicist
Annalee Paulo .... publicist
Damon Isiah Turner .... assistant: Mr. Poon
 
Thanks
Kayo Hatta .... special thanks
Dawn Suggs .... thanks
Billy Woodberry .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

MPAA:
Rated R for violence, drug use, language and sexuality
Runtime:
101 min | USA:98 min (2003 version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to an April 2003 NPR radio interview with Elvis Mitchell, Justin Lin's production company was on the verge of folding unless he could secure a certain amount of funding. Lin had essentially resigned himself to failure; but on a whim called a celebrity he had met once in Las Vegas. Lin got a call the day before the deadline from the celeb saying that he had read the script and wanted to provide some backing. Two hours later, the new investor had wired Lin the money and saved the production. The celebrity: MC Hammer.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the camera rotates around Ben at the free-throw line, he casts different shadows from each new camera angle.See more »
Quotes:
Ben Manibag:Virgil called Han over to watch some new porn, I guess Virgil just didn't have the balls to do it all alone.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
WhistleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
What About the Girls?, 12 April 2003
Author: J L from New York City

Just came back from a screening of this movie in NYC. Being Chinese American, I felt I could vicariously live through the characters' mishaps and adventures. I think this film is a manifestation of some unconscious fantasies I had during high school. Unfortunately, during high school I was too busy trying to land a spot in the incoming class of an Ivy League to think about power trips from petty crimes or even relieving the stress of perfectionism. Being female also dramatically reduced my access to the possibility for petty crimes and other risky experimentation. Chinese girls are raise to be good, dutiful daughters, who in turn become their own slave drivers feeding off of their need for perfectionism. Thanks to the oppressive histories of East Asian cultures, Asian parents brook no rebellion from girls. Girls are constantly taught that the slightest transgression will bring harsh criticism. And, having already fallen out of favor for not being born male, girls are dealt much harsher punishments than boys for rebellious behavior. The patriarchal adage "boys will be boys" resonates through Asian cultures with the accompanying implication that "girls must also be girls". Unfortunately, "Better Luck Tomorrow" makes no mention of the double standards imposed on Asian-American girls. It was disappointing to see the sole female actress become a pawn in the brokering of power between two high school boys.

The Asian girls in my high school who exhibited risky behavior were always sidelined by more daring male exploits. Essentially, female risky behavior amounted to wanton sex with men and occasional petty thievery. How little it differs from our non-Asian counterparts!

But if anything, at least this movie is not about kung fu fighting Chinese actors coupled with black or white male leads in movies like "Bulletproof Monk". Justin Lin's "Better Luck Tomorrow" aptly reminds the audience that Chow Young Fat, Jet Li, and Jacky Chan are not Asian-American men!

Criticisms aside, "Better Luck Tomorrow" is a clever film featuring some fine acting. The strengths and vulnerabilities of the Asian American boys are explored in a hitherto unprecedented way. Kudos to Jason Tobin for some fine acting!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (139 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
So Does Han Here become FAST AND FURIOUS HAN? dutchlevin69
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this movie sucked, nothing to do with stereotypes doodwithbooks
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