Why Asian Americans Feel Compelled to Defend ‘Shang-Chi’

Recently and on their own initiative, my 11-year old child became interested in Greek mythology. As a single co-parent father continually desperate for reasons to relate to and bond with my child, this delighted me, because by coincidence I became infatuated with Greek myths when I was young. As a broke Vietnamese refugee nerd kid, I’d go to the Franklin library and read up about the messed up Gods, the flawed heroes, the fantastic creatures.

Continue reading “Why Asian Americans Feel Compelled to Defend ‘Shang-Chi’”

Number One Son: Tarantino’s Bruce Lee Disrespect is Not New in Hollywood

In a survey conducted by The Asian American Man Study that asked “Who is the Asian American man you most admire and why,” the person with the second most votes was Bruce Lee.

The most votes went to “I don’t know/can’t think of one.”

Continue reading “Number One Son: Tarantino’s Bruce Lee Disrespect is Not New in Hollywood”

The ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Teaser Explained

It’s about damn time the Shang-Chi teaser trailer has been revealed and it’s worth the wait. In the video, we finally get a glimpse of Simu Liu as the title character, and of all days, on Liu’s birthday. 

Continue reading “The ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Teaser Explained”

Q&A with the ‘Kung Fu’ Cast and Showrunner

Presented by CAPE and The CW, join the cast of Kung Fu — Olivia Liang, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Kheng Hua Tan, Tzi Ma, and showrunner Christina M. Kim — and The Nerds of Color Editor-in-Chief Keith Chow for a conversation on reclaiming martial arts, shattering stereotypes, and being an Asian American family on primetime TV.

Continue reading “Q&A with the ‘Kung Fu’ Cast and Showrunner”

Action-Filled ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot is Relatable for Asian Americans

It has been almost 50 years since the premiere of 1972’s western martial arts series Kung Fu, which starred white actor David Carradine yellowfacing as a mixed Asian Shaolin monk. Back then, that was the norm for Asian character roles. But now, Kung Fu is getting a complete reboot/retelling of the story and righting the wrongs that were made from the original. Developed by Greg Berlanti and Wendy Mericle, the new series centers around a Chinese American woman, Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), who returns home to San Francisco, after spending three years at a Shaolin Monastery in China to escape the familial pressure to be successful and marry into a nice Chinese family. Her time at the Monastery is cut short when her mentor/teacher, Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai)  is murdered by a mysterious assassin. With nowhere else to turn to, Nicky returns home to face the family she abandoned and somehow find Pei-Ling’s killer. 

Continue reading “Action-Filled ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot is Relatable for Asian Americans”

Hard NOC Life: Once Upon a Racist Hollywood

Before news broke about Shannon Lee’s issues with the way Quentin Tarantino depicts her father in his latest film, Dominic and Keith recorded this episode in which they reexamine the auteur’s less than ideal treatment of race in his films.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: Once Upon a Racist Hollywood”

Quentin Tarantino’s Bruce Lee Problem

Back in March, when the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest — and allegedly penultimate — movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, hit the internet, there was one scene that concerned anyone who wasn’t already a die hard Tarantino stan. In it, Brad Pitt’s character seemingly fights Mike Moh’s Bruce Lee to a standstill. Needless to say, I wasn’t encouraged.

Continue reading “Quentin Tarantino’s Bruce Lee Problem”

Toy Fair 2019: When the World is Falling Down, You Go Look at Awesome Action Figures

Here’s roughly 0.008% of the neat stuff I saw at Toy Fair New York 2019, which wrapped up yesterday in Manhattan. Note, some pictured items are still in prototype stage or are works-in-progress… usually indicated by a “PENDING APPROVAL” sign. Much love and appreciation to all the toymakers, their booth representatives, and the Javits Center staff who all contributed to making the convention a huge success.

Continue reading “Toy Fair 2019: When the World is Falling Down, You Go Look at Awesome Action Figures”

Japanese Twitter Account Displays Bruce Lee and Freddie Mercury as the Best of Friends

Bruce Lee was a cultural icon who revolutionized martial arts films. Freddie Mercury was the front man for the legendary rock group Queen and considered one of rock’s greatest all-time entertainers. Both of these artists sadly left the world too soon. But, thanks to a Japanese Twitter account, their memory lives on through a pair of action figures.

Continue reading “Japanese Twitter Account Displays Bruce Lee and Freddie Mercury as the Best of Friends”

Bruce Lee Movie Stars a White Guy Because Of Course it Does

This morning, Deadline unveiled the first trailer for Birth of the Dragon, which recently made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ostensibly, the film depicts the legendary fight between Bruce Lee (played by Philip Ng) and Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia). But because this is Hollywood, the movie is going to be told from the perspective of a white dude.

Continue reading “Bruce Lee Movie Stars a White Guy Because Of Course it Does”

Enter the GTFOH

On March 21, 2015 Ain’t it Cool dropped the mother, father, cousin, and incarcerated uncle of all bombshells: Brett Ratner wants to remake one of the most iconic films in cinema history, which starred one of the most iconic leading mean in the history of film. To even have the gauldacity to fix your imagination to entertain the idea is Greek tragedy level hubris. How could he even think that he has the talent, vision, heart, and narrative ability to remake Enter the Dragon? Who in our modern cinematic landscape has the charisma, charm, physique, sex appeal, and martial talent to even mimic Bruce Lee? I assure you neither Scott Adkins nor Ronda Rousey have it. No diss to them, but, no.

Continue reading “Enter the GTFOH”

Enter the White Privilege

Over the weekend Ain’t It Cool News revealed that the internet’s favorite hack director Brett Ratner is interested in remaking Enter the Dragon. At a screening of Rush Hour in Los Angeles, Ratner told the audience — almost in passing — that he is in the early stages of developing the movie and is looking for a martial artist to star. Now, before you start foaming at the mouth and cursing your keyboard, rest assured that this isn’t an official announcement that the movie is happening. For all we know, Ratner is just putting it out there with the hopes that Warner Brothers would give him the opportunity to do it — as blasphemous as it may be.

Of course, the internet is beside itself that a hack like Ratner would dare remake a classic like Enter the Dragon and is appropriately showing its disgust at the idea. Here’s the thing that no one’s seeming to be complaining about, though. Both of the names for the prospective lead that got tossed around in the original post are white. Buckle up, because some “reverse racism” is about to go down after the jump.

Continue reading “Enter the White Privilege”

NOCs of the Roundtable: Best Fight Scenes Ever

As our friend Angry Asian Man broke the nerdtastic news this week that some fine fighters from The Raid would be joining the cast of Star Wars, it seemed as good a time as any to convene a roundtable of some of us martial arts film enthusiasts here at the NOC to talk about our favorite martial arts fight scenes.

Before we shared our favorite scenes with one another, we guessed there would be significant overlap, especially concerning the great Bruce Lee. Sure enough, each of us had picked at least one Bruce Lee scene on our individual lists. To avoid repetition, we decided not to double up, so as you can see some folks wrote about legendary Bruce scenes and the rest of us wrote about alternates — but please trust, we keep Bruce at the front of our fighting hearts.

Who’s not on the list, though? Uma Thurman. Just… no.

Continue reading “NOCs of the Roundtable: Best Fight Scenes Ever”

Return of the Dragon Tides Starring Bruce and Brandon Lee

In this week’s episode, guest host Nelson sits down with Artistic Justice Games’ Alex Lim to talk about the company’s latest project, Dragon Tides, and officially licensed tabletop game featuring the likenesses of Bruce and Brandon Lee. The project is only a few thousand dollars away from its goal on Kickstarter.

Continue reading “Return of the Dragon Tides Starring Bruce and Brandon Lee”

Epic Props at New York Comic-Con Booth 2010 with Bernard Chang

by Jerry Ma | Originally posted at Epic Proportions

Its that time of year again! One of my favorite times of the year!

Once again I’ll be at New York Comic-Con at the Javits Center at Booth 2010. The same location as last year and the same size booth! Meaning, its another 10×20 corner booth. Which might not mean a lot to most people, but this is a BIG deal for me.

And I have some really cool news too!

My good friend Bernard Chang will be joining me at the booth the entire con!

Continue reading “Epic Props at New York Comic-Con Booth 2010 with Bernard Chang”

The Way of the Dragon: The Career of Cung Le

Just to get the obvious out of the way: Cung Le is no Bruce Lee. Nobody ever will be. That said, I don’t think anyone else currently walks in the shadow of The Dragon quite like Dragon Eyes. As he trains for his next UFC headlining Fight Night in Macau on August 23 against Michael Bisping, I thought it would be fun to point out some similarities between Lee and Le and why, whether you’re into Mixed Martials Arts (MMA) or not, it will be worth getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch the fight.

Continue reading “The Way of the Dragon: The Career of Cung Le”

Enter the Soya: A Nerd Origin

Two mysterious lands far away from one another — yet linked by seas of soybeans — birthed a child born of melody, harmony, rhythm, and the smell of soy sauce. The child was destined to become a musician… and a tofu-loving pescetarian. But first, between musical gifts, came dreams of Jedi knighthood, ninjas, and flying with a cape.

My dad says he took me to Return of the Jedi when I was 3. I don’t remember it, but judging from the reaction my mom gives when this is mentioned, it happened. What I do remember very well from childhood is becoming obsessed with Superman in the early 80s. It seemed about right being surrounded by farms in a Nebraska town 60 miles from Smallville (okay, the Kansas border). Superman links farmland Nebraska with farmland Goiás (Brazil). My dad and my tio Laurinho took me to Superman III a year later. Remember, it took a bit more time for movies to travel back then. After that, it was capes and the same tio, or anyone else I could get, making me fly in both Brazil and the U.S. while trying not to break stuff.

Continue reading “Enter the Soya: A Nerd Origin”