Hard NOC Life 226: Why are Critics Dunking on ‘Space Jam’

Keith, Britney, and Dominic welcome back Jamal to figure out why everyone else is hating on LeBron James’ Space Jam reboot — a film the whole crew loved. Jamal is also here to plug our Twitch channel and Gaming Newsletter so be sure to subscribe to both! Later, Keith, Dom, and Britney break down the Loki finale and what it all means for the future of the MCU.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Kevin Kwan Doesn’t Want to Talk About a Sequel… Yet

With the successful weekend box office of Crazy Rich Asians, it’s safe to assume there might be a sequel in the works. Within five days of its opening, the film earned an estimated $35 million, making it number one at the box office and the best debut for a comedy this year. With the success so far, many have been predicting a sequel may be in the works.

Of course, Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan is very superstitious about the idea of sequels and told me days before the release that he hasn’t thought about it.

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Hollywood Reflecting a Trump World

Like many others in this nation, I am still processing the results of election night and coming to acceptance [denial] that we will have Donald Trump as our Commander in Chief starting January 2017.

But what does this mean for the Hollywood entertainment industry, which is known to be overwhelmingly liberal? It is too early to exactly tell what the ramifications are but according to this Hollywood Reporter article, we may have rather troubling times ahead.

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The Nerds of ‘Hamilton’

For this week’s edition of Hard NOC Life, we’re changing it up and focusing our attention on a genre that doesn’t get much attention on the site: musical theater! At a time when Hollywood still thinks it’s risky business to put people of color in their movies, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is literally poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not. With its company of African American, Latinx, and Asian American actors playing the men (and women) who founded our country, Hamilton is proof that diversity equals box office. Joining Keith to talk all things Ham, are super-fan Constance Gibbs, Hollywood Reporter Rebecca Sun, and #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign.

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N.O.C. One-Shot: Whitewashing in Black and Yellow

As reported by The Hollywood ReporterFresh Off the Boat star recently caused controversy after likening studio attempts to make Scarlett Johansson seem “more Asian” to the practice of blackface. In this One-Shot, the author of that article, Rebecca Sun, and #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign join Keith to discuss the problematic nature of that analogy and why it’s important for non-black people of color communities to reach out rather than co-opt.

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Finding the Right (White) Actor to Cast in that Non-White Role

Over the past weekend, The Hollywood Reporter released an article about the heightened alert placed on ethnic casting. The article starts off with the controversial choice to cast Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in the upcoming Warner Brothers picture Pan, which will be a re-imagined take on Peter Pan lore. Throughout the article, unnamed producers and studio execs justify their casting decisions with the “tried and true” reasoning that it’s always the best actor being cast for the job, regardless of race, even if that means casting white people to play non-white folks. Ideally, I would be in full support of this idea as I think it really should be about choosing the best actor for the job, regardless of race and nationality. Ideally, casting should be “colorblind” because as actors, we are trained to bring a character to life as far removed from us as possible.

And that’s as far as I can go. No really, that’s it. This is where that dreamy ideal world I’d like to be in is instantly crushed by the not-so-sugary reality that “choosing the best actor for the job” and all that hippy dippy freedom-of-the-arts talk is usually reserved only for the status quo. Or in blunt politically incorrect terms: white people.

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The Third Season of The Legend of Korra Delivers

by Marc Bernardin | Originally posted at The Hollywood Reporter

If your only exposure to the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender came by way of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 feature film adaptation, then I am truly sorry. I can see how that limp, bland take on creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko’s blisteringly entertaining animated series would steer you away from ever checking out the source material. And that’s a shame, because Avatar — a story about a world where certain people can “bend” the four elements to their will and a young Airbender named Aang who is destined to be the Avatar, who alone can restore balance to a pre-industrial civilization that’s out of whack — is everything an animated series can be. Avatar: The Last Airbender is like a cross between Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Stand By Me if it was animated by Hayao Miyazaki.

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