Ghost In The Shell: Worse Than We Thought

On February 28, I saw a 15-minute sneak peek of the Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. From the announcement of the project, this has always been a bad idea. But the announcement of the cast and story has made things much worse. Most noticeably, Hollywood adaptations of Japanese anime have yet to be successful. Either their stories veer too far from the source material, the director isn’t a good fit or the casting makes no sense. You would think Hollywood would learn, yet here we are, on the precipice of another anime-adapted flop.

Here are the takeaways from what I have seen of Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell so far.

Continue reading Ghost In The Shell: Worse Than We Thought”

BuzzFeed’s Susan Cheng on the State of AAPI Pop Culture

It’s been nearly a year since we were hit with the double whammy of Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johannson. Now with Iron Fist and Ghost in the Shell just around the corner, we’re joined by BuzzFeed News’ entertainment reporter Susan Cheng to let us know where Asian Americans currently stand in the greater pop cultural landscape.

Continue reading “BuzzFeed’s Susan Cheng on the State of AAPI Pop Culture”

Ghost in the Shell Trailer is Just as Racist as Everything Else This Week

by Dominic Mah | Originally posted on YOMYOMF

Wow, where to start with this trailer. It OPENS on a person in stylized Japanese esoteric garb to tell us how much we’re in that place Japan where things are weird. Who is this person? Don’t know, don’t care at all.

Then we get a pretty faithful live-action recreation of the original Ghost in the Shell’s elegant opening action sequence, pretty much nailing the point home that the only reason you aren’t aware of this seminal science-fiction already is because it didn’t have Scarlett Johannson in it, and now we fixed that for you.

Continue reading Ghost in the Shell Trailer is Just as Racist as Everything Else This Week”

Reviewing the Reviews of Marvel’s Doctor Strange

Six months and change after the release of its first trailer — and therefore about the same amount of time since co-writer C. Robert Cargill’s infamous “[t]he social justice warriors were going to get mad at us for something this week” rebuttal to Asian American critics of the film’s whitewashing — the initial reviews are in for Doctor Strange, and they’re not encouraging.

Oh, the movie? Actually, the critics seem to like it just fine. Being The Nerds of Color, however, we’re interested in looking at a different metric. Doctor Strange’s whitewashing of primary character The Ancient One was, after all, one of the driving forces behind the hashtag and rallying cry #whitewashedOUT in May.

So no, this isn’t a review of Doctor Strange the film, but a review of the reviews of the film, using a simple standard: how accurately and humanely did each review portray Asian American dissent over the whitewashing of The Ancient One?

Continue reading “Reviewing the Reviews of Marvel’s Doctor Strange

Epic Props Kickstarts New York Comic-Con Week!

If you haven’t heard, this Thursday is the kickoff to another New York Comic-Con. In addition to hosting the very first East Coast BGNOC, I’ll be on a few panels and hanging out at the Epic Proportions booth (#2010) all weekend! Speaking of Epic Props, my boy Jerry Ma just Kickstarted his own martial arts comic, so see below for how to contribute and where to find me at NYCC.

Continue reading “Epic Props Kickstarts New York Comic-Con Week!”

The Great Wall, Matt Damon, and the Thing About Chinese Money

The trailer for The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon and directed by Zhang Yimou, dropped yesterday and my first reaction to seeing it:

What. The. Frack?

Why is a white dude in a film about the construction of the Great Wall? And there’s dragons? One of them is voiced by Willem Dafoe? HUH??

Continue reading The Great Wall, Matt Damon, and the Thing About Chinese Money”

Hollywood’s Dream of a Faceless Rumi

Earlier this month we learned that David Franzoni, the Oscar-nominated writer and Oscar-winning producer of Gladiator, is working on a new screenplay based on the life of Persian poet and scholar Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī.

We also learned, in an interview with The Guardian, that the writer would like Rumi to be played in this film by a white man.

Continue reading “Hollywood’s Dream of a Faceless Rumi”

Netflix’s Altered Carbon and Asian Consciousness in White Bodies

A few weeks ago it was announced that Netflix is adapting Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 sci-fi novel Altered Carbon, and that the main character, Takeshi Kovacs, will be played by Joel Kinnaman.

© Brian To/WENN.com

This guy. Playing somebody named Takeshi, who is specifically described in the articles as being at least biracial Japanese.

Continue reading “Netflix’s Altered Carbon and Asian Consciousness in White Bodies”

CCTV America News on Whitewashing in Hollywood

Over the weekend, I was invited to join a CCTV America newscast — the Stateside arm of China Central Television — to discuss Hollywood’s continuing habit of erasing Asians and Asian Americans from the movies. It was my first time as an in-studio guest, but I was able to join anchorwoman Susan Roberts live from Washington, DC. Check out the video of the segment after the jump.

Continue reading “CCTV America News on Whitewashing in Hollywood”