A Grrreat Time with The Tiger Hunter

I’ve been waiting for over a year to say this since I first saw it at the LA Asian Film Festival last May:

The Tiger Hunter is one of the most delightful comedies I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s also one of the best films about the Asian immigrant experience, one that doesn’t mock or ridicule the immigrants but rather honors them for the sacrifices they made to achieve the American dream. These are some mighty high praises and now expectations but I’ll go into detail why this charming indie film starring Danny Pudi and Karen David deserves your attention after a brief synopsis of what this film is all about:

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A Tale of Two Daves, Past and Present

When Chappelle’s Show dropped in 2003, never in my history of comedic television viewing had a first episode been so explosive. Clayton Bigsby was the most audacious thing I’ve ever seen. A black white supremacist? I, along with millions of others, was hooked. Until then, Dave Chappelle was a marginal comic presence. He had bit roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Blue Streak, Undercover Brother, and other films. Then he became a star with the stoners for the cult classic, 1998’s Half Baked. He was a stand-up whose career consisted of mostly juvenile and scatological humor with flashes of the socially and culturally relevant comedy displayed on the first two seasons of Chappelle’s Show. He was a hard worker. Dude toured and gave it his all. It was fascinating to see him mature from confident performer to a master of crowd control. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Daves, Past and Present”

Dwayne Perkins and Lynn Chen are Dying to Kill

The new horror film Dying to Kill, starring stand-up comedian Dwayne Perkins, will make its debut this Tuesday, December 13 on Hulu. On this week’s Hard NOC Life, Dwayne — who also co-wrote the film — is joined by his co-star Lynn Chen, as well as the film’s writer/producer Koji Steven Sakai, and writer/director Raymond C. Lai to talk about the process that went into making the film.

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How to Break Into TV Comedy Writing with Grace Nkenge Edwards

Grace Nkenge Edwards is a writer, actor, and producer who has both written for and performed on MTV’s Decoded, Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, and is currently a writer on MTV’s Untitled Nicole Byer Project. She co-writes and performs in a monthly show with her sketch team The Heavenly Creatures. She has an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University, a BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan, and has taught television writing at NYU.

I had the pleasure of meeting Grace at Columbia where I was acting in her screenwriting class taught by one of my favorite playwrights, Israel Horowitz. Since then, Grace has created a TV writing career that many creatives only dream about. How did she do it? With perseverance, preparation, and well… grace. Check out my interview with her below.

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Interview with Ryan Nagata, Director of Amigo Undead

Ryan Nagata has worked in Hollywood as a prop builder and model maker as well as a director for television and web series. His latest project, which he co-wrote and directed, is a feature length film that pairs up the unlikely duo of stars, Randall Park and Steve Agee, for a horror-comedy set in a desert called Amigo Undead. I had the opportunity to interview Nagata about Amigo Undead, his film background, and his thoughts on CGI vs. practical effects.

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Black Captain America vs. Black Jesus

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

Once again, I find myself on the slippery slope of pop culture commentary, in a position that requires full disclosure. Recently, I wrote a piece about Marvel’s announcement that Sam Wilson, a black man better known as Falcon, will be taking over as the new Captain America. I also admitted that I know writer Rick Remender, who will be chronicling the adventures of Black Captain America. With that in mind, it is only fair that I admit to knowing Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks, as well as a new television series that is about to debut, Black Jesus.

My relationship with McGruder is far more complex than my relationship with Remender, to the extent that I’d say at one point Aaron and I could’ve been considered friends. We haven’t spoken in a long time, and based on his work as of late, I’d say that we exist in differing ideological universes. If that’s not the case, he is more than welcome to get in touch with me, as I’m sure he still has my number, and we can talk about how his work often makes me want to vomit in the corner.

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Star Wars the Musical Parody Short Debuts

In late 2013, I heard that director Jeffrey Gee Chin (Lil Tokyo Reporter) and composer George Shaw (TableTop, Keye Luke, Hang Loose) were making a Star Wars musical fan film set in style to Disney musicals.

After many months of production, the short film Star Wars the Musical (Disney Parody) has now been released on YouTube and is sure to garner many views. In fact, our very own Junko was a production assistant for the film too!

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Ghostbusters II Turns 25, Still Too Hot to Handle (Too Cold to Hold)

Oh yeah, and the original Ghostbusters is having an anniversary, too.

Yes, this weekend marks 30 years since that groundbreaking film Ghostbusters was first released. Trust me, I am more than excited for this fact; other than how old that makes me feel, that is. Sony is going all out for this anniversary too. Not only will the film be re-released in theaters this August, but they’re giving us a fully-loaded anniversary edition of the blu-ray in September!

As great as all of this is, I am here to talk about the thing I am actually even more jazzed about. You see, while 2014 is indeed the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, it’s also the 25th anniversary of Ghostbusters II, aka the greatest sequel in film history. Yeah, that’s right. Sorry Godfather 2 or Empire Strikes Back or The Dark Knight.

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Winston Zeddemore and the Importance of Ghostbusters

Originally posted at BadAzz Mofo

It’s Black History Month. That means it is the one month out of year that everyone is posting the sort stuff I post all the time. And that means that I need to step up my game. For my first (and possibly only) entry for Black History Month 2014, I’ve decided to write about one of the most important African American characters in the history of cinema — Winston Zeddemore. Before any of you roll your eyes and stop reading, hang with me for just a little longer while I explain why a character from the movie Ghostbusters is so important.

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