This morning, Entertainment Weekly unveiled Shirley Li’s cover story featuring the highly anticipated romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians — which is set to hit cinemas on August 17, 2018. Seeing Constance Wu and Henry Golding looking fab on the cover got us thinking, how many EW covers* have featured Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders? So we dug into the EW archives and unearthed the following.
This week, Boom! Studios has finally released the first issue of Mech Cadet Yu, the most recent collaboration between comic book stalwarts Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa. To celebrate the book’s release, Greg returns to Hard NOC Life to explain the book’s creation, including its origins in the Secret Identities follow-up anthology, Shattered.
On Friday news broke that after a year of struggling in the ratings, NBC is canceling its freshman comic book series, Constantine. While others took the interwebs and expressed their disappointment, I celebrated in style. Continue reading “Hey Hollywood, How’s That Bigotry Paying Off For You?”
So a few days ago, I wrote a thing. Maybe you’ve seen it. Ever since that post has been passed around, I’ve been taken to task about the stars I included (or didn’t include) on the list and whether or not I was basically proving Sorkin’s point by coming up with only three names.
On the first point, the names I included were not meant to be my casting suggestions for the role of Brad Katsuyama in a hypothetical Flash Boys movie. Instead, I was more concerned with Sorkin’s assertion that Asian movie stars didn’t exist. So I went to Box Office Mojo, and scanned their list of actors’ all-time domestic grosses and looked for the ones who were (North) American of Asian descent — whether or not you think hapas or Pacific Islanders should’ve been appropriately considered criteria is another matter1.
Last week, North Korean hackers allegedly broke into the personal files of Sony Pictures execs as retaliation for the studio producing the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, which is about a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un. Normally, we’d be all over the nerd-friendly news about, say, Spider-Man coming home to Marvel Studios, but that’s been covered plenty of times on the web. Besides, we already told the world the best way to mashup Spidey and the MCU.
The thing to emerge out of the Sony leak that really bugged me was the assertion by Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin that “there aren’t any Asian movie stars.”
I’m not going to pretend I’m a huge Constantine fanboy. I do remember hearing about the character as a teen. I saw the Keanu Reeves movie version and thought, “So Neo takes out demons too? Whoa. Bogus.” Ah method acting by Professor Reeves. Somebody that knows the comics and is really into it would call me out quickly if I tried to get into it all. I just wanted to briefly mention why the new NBC series starring Matt Ryan is working for me.
Many years ago, I watched a bonus feature on a Matrix DVD in which Keanu Reeves seemed to have a bromance with a stuntman and martial arts trainer named Tiger Chen. Slim, petite, and diminutive looking, it was obvious the guy had serious skills. But seeing him next to Reeves, a mixed race, tall and lanky Western movie star, it became apparent that, at least in the West, he’d never be a leading man type. Hollywood likes to train stars and actors in martial arts, not give opportunities to martial artists and stuntmen that don’t fit the Western standard of attractive leading man. Trained martial artists and stuntmen in Hollywood movies, especially the Asian ones, usually get the thankless job of making the lead white actor look really good by acrobatically acting like they’re getting their asses kicked. Tiger looked like the dude who’d be destined to be “Triad Hitman #2” at best. He was, in fact, one of the “vampire” baddies in The Matrix Reloaded.
Fast forward almost a decade, and I see on Facebook that my fellow Nerd of Color Keith posted a trailer for a Keanu Reeves directed(!) martial arts film showcasing his homie Tiger. Yes, directed. And he also stars in the film as the lead antagonist, Donaka Mark. These facts alone will probably scare off the majority of people from seeing the film. Which is too bad, because I finally got to see it this weekend, and there is some enjoyment to be had here.