rambo returns to asia

LatinoReview.com posted a fairly detailed script review of Rambo 4: Pearl of the Cobra. That's right, baby. Stallone ain't satisfied with returning to just one of his iconic roles (what's next—Cobra?)... he's doing a new Rambo movie too, and it brings the character back to Asia:
The next chapter finds Rambo recruited by a group of Christian human rights missionaries to protect them against pirates, during a humanitarian aid deliver to the persecuted Karen people of Burma. After some of the missionaries are taken prisoner by sadistic Burmese soldiers, Rambo gets a second impossible job: to assemble a team of mercenaries to rescue the surviving relief workers.
Rambo must face off against the movie's main guy Pa Tee Tint, the evil, sadistic Burmese major. Ah yes, another villainous Asian military figure. I'd raise a bigger stink about the stereotype, but unfortunately, the character is probably a close approximation of some of the real-life figures from the region. Also in the movie, according to the casting call, is a guy named "En Joo," one of the mercenaries on Rambo's team. Neither his description, nor his fate in the story (spoilers!), is very encouraging:
En-joo: The fifth member of the quintet of mercenaries. En-joo is a barrel-chested former South Korean trooper, an expert in explosives who barely speaks during the mission to rescue the missionaries. Expert at assassination by garotte, En-Joo flees the compound after Lewis and Reese wrongly declare the missionaries to be dead, and winds up dying in battle when the three mercenaries are cornered and shot to pieces. Lead;
No word yet on who will play either character. Keep an eye on this one... How many faceless, machine-gun toting Asians will Rambo The One-Man Army kill in this movie? Can't wait to find out. You know, it just occurred to me that I was way too young to be watching Rambo II when I saw it with my friend, back circa 1985. Edward, what were your parents thinking?


naveen andrews in grindhouse

That's Naveen Andrews, looking rather badass (and still sporting the Sayid hair) in this scene from "Planet Terror," part of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's double feature collaboration Grindhouse. Judging from the trailer, one can probably expect the usual kind of madness from the minds of these filmmakers.

Speaking of Naveen Andrews, here's a brief story from the Honolulu Advertiser a few weeks back on the Lost actor: 'Lost' actor notes lack of screen time.

He talks about his sorely noticeable lack of screen time in the first part of this season. If you've noticed, the first six episodes focused primarily on Jack, Sawyer and Kate, leaving you to wonder what's going on with everyone else over on the beach. I hope they're not planning on writing off Sayid this season...

the return of haiku jones

Who is Haiku Jones? One short I remember and really enjoyed from the film festival circuit a few years back was Kevin Inouye's unlikely audience favorite The Tale of Haiku Jones. Very low-tech, and unabashedly low-budget, but surprisingly charming and funny.

I wasn't a big fan of Inouye's follow-up film, Wake, but it looks like he's revisiting the character of the titular master poet with a sequel, Epic. The 50-minute short film will premiere at a free screening, along with Haiku Jones and Wake this Saturday, December 30th, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. More information on the screening over at the Hawaii Film Blog: Whatever Happened to Haiku Jones?

controversy continues over north's "chinaman" remark

Didn't know that this incident was still making headlines... You may remember back in the spring when Chicago sports radio personality Mike North asked on his show "Who was the 'Chinaman' on the mound the other day?" referring to South Korean-born Cubs pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu. The incident caused a bit of a stir, which resulted in North giving an on-air apology.

It turns out that a local high school had plans to dedicate its refurbished baseball and softball field to North, but has since decided to revisit its decision after Asian American activists raised concerns about the WSCR incident: Score's North could lose honor over racial quip.

Local school council members hope to discuss the matter and reach a decision at a meeting on January 10th. North is an ass for his "Chinaman" remark, and ever more so for his prolonged refusal to admit any wrongdoing on his part after the fact... but all this fuss over naming a freaking high school baseball field? Frankly, I don't really care...

the next canadian astronaut

The Toronto Star has a profile on Captain Terry Wong, a armed forces helicopter pilot who is slated to be the next Canadian astronaut: Not your typical astronaut. Cool for him, though the guy says he regards the movie Top Gun as "kinda crap." Blasphemy.


asian american films added to national film registry

Among the twenty-five films selected this year for the Library of Congress' National Film Registry are The Curse of Quon Gwon (1916-17), the earliest known Chinese-American feature; and Daughter of Shanghai (1937), starring Asian American movie star Anna May Wong. A place on the annual list—always made up of 25 films—guarantees the film will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act: 'Fargo,' 'Rocky' make film history

the amazing life of peter chang sr.

L.A. Chung has a nice piece in the San Jose Mercury News about Peter Chang Sr., who sounds like he led an amazing life. He died last month at the incredible, wise age of 103-years-old: Chung: Victories mark veteran's life.

the weird, random stuff on youtube

So many, many treasures found on the wonderful world of YouTube... like this BLEEPin' weird-ass commercial for Virgin Mobile, featuring an Asian family wrestling a pig in their living room, officiated by a midget referee. I know—what? It makes very little sense... I'd be offended, but I'm not even sure what to make of it. What the hell am I watching here?

Then there's the music video for 30 Seconds To Mars' "From Yesterday." Again, this one isn't quite as weird as the Virgin Mobile commercial, but it still pretty freaky, and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. All I know is, someone watched a few too many Zhang Yimou movies. Maybe Jared Leto. There's a whole lotta random swords and fighting and armor and stuff. Weird.

And here's something completely different... While poking around YouTube (don't ask me what I was looking for), I randomly came across Gene Rhee's short film The Quest For Length, which made the festival rounds (including Sundance) about five years ago. It stars Roger Fan as a guy exploring the fascinating world of penis enlargement. Yeah, you read that right. I believe this is a shortened version of the film, but it's pretty entertaining.

mugging victim in critical condition

An unidentified man was brutally assaulted and robbed earlier this week in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, part of a violent string of at least eight other similar attacks: Police: Queens Park Mugging May Be Part Of Pattern.

The victim, who is in critical condition, could not be identified by police due to the severity of his injuries, but he appears to be Asian and about 30-years-old. More info here: Latest Victim Of Queens Muggers Beat Into Coma.


new programming for azn, imaginasian

Some news about our favorite Asian American television networks... okay, so they're not exactly our favorites, but they're trying.

For all you anime fans out there, you'll be pleased to know that ImaginAsian has announced that it's launching a new two-hour prime time anime block called "Anime EnerG," featuring popular anime series from animation distribution company Geneon Entertainment: ImaginAsian TV Launches New Anime Block.

As for AZN, it's still hanging in there with a few new programs on its schedule for the new year: AZN Adds To Slate for 2007. That said, it's still a terrible name for a network.

8-year-old needs a bone marrow donor

Over the weekend I saw a news item about this kid, 8-year-old Dale Inouye of Torrance, CA, who has leukemia and needs a bone marrow donor: 8-Year-Old Dale Inouye in Urgent Need of a Bone Marrow Donor.

I did a Google search and also came across this blog with more details: Please help Dale. For folks in Southern California, they're setting up bone marrow drives to find donors. Learn more about Dale and others who are in need of bone marrow at A3M: Asians For Miracle Marrow Matches.

sikh teen lied about hair attack

Here's a follow-up on last month's news out of the UK, about an alleged hate crime against a Sikh schoolboy who said racist thugs assaulted him and chopped off his hair... Turns out, the boy made the whole thing up: Sikh boy admits his attack lie.

The kid cut off his own hair, punched himself in the face and concocted the story. The kid definitely has some problems, including cultural identity issues. More here: Sikh teen lied about hair attack

asians on your tube

Asians on TV! Couple of really random TV appearance here and there...

Remember, My Life Disoriented makes its national premiere tonight on PBS' Independent Lens. Check your local listings for exact dates and times.

Greg Watanabe (last seen sporting leopard-spotted bikini briefs in TeleMongol) tells me he can be seen as a recurring character on the MyNetworkTV primetime soap Watch Over Me. Though he plays a hitman, he says he doesn't come off too bad (since half the people on the show are evil anyway). He's in 24 of the 66 episodes. Good for you, Greg... but I'm sorry, nothing could compel me to watch this show...

Micah Karns and Eunice Cho both appear in the Cartoon Network original movie Re-Animated, which combines live-action with animation. It apparently premiered earlier this month as the top-rated original movie in the network's history.

And it looks like ABC has canceled the drama Day Break (with Moon Bloodgood and Ian Anthony Dale) and the comedy Help Me Help You (with Suzy Nakamura). Bye bye, Asians on TV.

a culturally confused christmas

Nitya Venkataraman has a nice (but rather culturally confused) piece in the Washington Post about her Indian American childhood, wanting so badly to take part in Christmas festivities, despite growing up in a Hindu home: Longing to Join in Christmas.

seattle times profiles pastor eugene cho

The Seattle Times has a brief but interesting profile on Eugene Cho, Korean American pastor of progressive, multi-cultural church in the area: Eugene Cho / Found faith, and wisdom, in 'the least of thy brethren'.

disparities in apa healthcare

Here's a good perspective piece that was recently published in the Journal of Minority Medical Students, about disparities in healthcare facing API populations, and the misconception that we're a homogeneous model minority: Over-Underserved: Asian American As An Invisible Minority. (Thanks, Steven.)


the turtles are back

That's Karai, leader of the evil Foot Ninja, in the upcoming CGI-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Yeah, they're back: Slow to return, teen Turtles are back! Carrying on the legacy of the Shredder... please tell me she won't be a dragon lady stereotype, even in animated form. If this was a live action movie, she'd probably be played by Lucy Liu or Kelly Hu.... or Zhang Ziyi, who provides the voice for the character.

the curse of the golden flower is a crazy big mess

What's up, gangstas? Here's an interview with Zhang Yimou, director of the super-sized historic martial arts epic Curse of the Golden Flower: Zhang Yimou Wraps-Up His Kung Fu Trilogy. And here's an interview with star Gong Li: Gong Li on Curse of the Golden Flower.

The movie opens in New York and Los Angeles this week. I recently had the chance to check it out, and I gotta say... it's kind of a mess. I'd characterize it as excessive. It has all the stuff audiences seem to really like about these big-ass martial arts spectacles—colors, costumes, swords, fighting—and lots of it. And lots of people walking up and down hallways.

Oh, there's also one crazy huge battle scene. Remember Lord of the Rings? Think Helm's Deep, but with kung fu and swords and spears and wire work and all that. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the peculiarly abundant amount of cleavage that is displayed in the film. Yes, as in breasts. (Gong Li looks pretty freaking gorgeous throughout.)

Put it all together, and you get crazy Chinese madness—Crouching Tiger, Hero, Flying Daggers, all rolled up and taken to eleven. In the end, what's it all for? The display just seems really excessive. But hey, maybe you'll like this kind of thing. Me, I'm putting my foot down. I've grown impatient with this genre...

my life... disoriented premiering on pbs

Just another reminder... the new Asian American family drama, My Life... Disoriented, premieres on PBS with national broadcasts starting December 26th. Go here to find out when the show airs in your area.

It's about a Chinese American family whose lives get turned upside down when they move from San Francisco to Bakersfield. The pilot is directed by Eric Byler, and the cast includes Karin Anna Cheung, Tamlyn Tomita, Dennis Dun, Autumn Reeser, and Di Quon.

The show's producers are asking people across the country to e-mail PBS or your local affiliate to request more air dates (with better air times—some PBS stations are showing it at 3 AM!) and to express interest in seeing the show become a series. View clips from the show here and here. Learn more about My Life...Disoriented here. And tune in or set your TiVos on December 26th.

grant program to preserve internment camps

This week, the President signed into law a $38 million grant program to be administered by the National Park Service to preserve, restore and pay for research at the sites of ten internment camps where Japanese Americans were kept behind barbed wire during World War II: Bush signs bill to preserve WWII camps.

The law is intended to help preserve the camps as reminders of how the United States turned on some of its citizens in a time of fear. I hope the current administration would similarly heed this advice.

rosie vs. trump

I've sort of decided to basically not care about all things Rosie O'Donnell-related from here on out, but the loudmouthed, chingchonging host of The View is unavoidable these days. She seems to have opened her mouth and rolled from once controversy to another—her latest, a feud with Donald Trump. Details here on their war of words. Trump pulls no punches, calling O'Donnell "a loser." And that is the last I will speak of this nonsense.

call for entries: disorient asian american film festival

Attention filmmakers! The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon is returning for a second year, and they've put out their Call for Entries seeking works from Asian American artists. The early submission deadline is January 19th, and the late deadline is February 2nd. So get your stuff together and enter. Learn more about the festival here. The festival will run next spring, April 27th - 29th.

shady landlord get criminal charges

This week, the Los Angeles city attorney's office filed 34 criminal charges against a landlord, Joon Lee, who allegedly removed pipes, tore out windows and cut off power to his building as part of an illegal campaign to drive tenants out of the building to replace them with higher-paying residents in a gentrifying area: Charges are filed against landlord. Lee, however, says that he's the victim in all this. Yeaaaah.

"macaca" tops politically incorrect word list

Check it out... Global Language Monitor has a compiled a list of the "Top Politically inCorrect Words for 2006." Topping the list at number one is... wait for it... "Macaca," the word quite possibly responsible for changing the political balance of the U.S. Senate.

Funny, also making the list is "Oriental." It seems that some folks have not yet received the memo (somebody actually called me this last week). When I attempted to correct them, they responded with, "I can call you anything I want." Ah, you gotta love this great country we live in.


new ocean's thirteen trailer

I guess Soderbergh, Clooney and Co. couldn't resist... Here's the trailer for Ocean's 13. Maybe they wanted to make amends for the disappointment of Ocean's 12 (personally, I didn't think it was as bad as everyone said). Whatever the case, the gang returns next summer.

The trailer makes it clear that everyone is back, including to Amazing Yen himself, Shaobo Qin (who looks like he'll be out of a job when they stop making Ocean's... movies). Hopefully he'll have a little more to do than just sit around this time... View the trailer here.

asian pop's year-in-review

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column for SF Gate is the first part of his annual year-in-review, highlighting some of the reasons why 2006 was worth celebrating—from Heroes' Masi Oka to Survivor's Yul Kwon: Holiday Cheers

idiots with racist disguises get drivers licenses

All right, prepare yourself for some racist video. I heard about this last week, but I just didn't feel like posting something that would give these punk-ass dudes any more attention than they deserved—because that's exactly what they wanted. But I guess it's unavoidable: Va. Men Get Licenses Wearing Outlandish Disguises.

Basically, these two guys in Virginia dressed up in racist caricature (one guy in a spray-on hair and fake buck teeth) and went to the DMV to get their license photos retaken... and came out with new licenses, complete with their disguises. Freaking idiots. The video in question can be seen here: DMV Drivers License Prank. That's racist!

the office celebrates "a benihana christmas"

Anybody catch The Office last week? I was embroiled in the whole Rosie thing, so I neglected to mention it. Normally, I really enjoy The Office. Great show, but this episode had me cringing. In "A Benihana Christmas," Michael and Co. go to Benihana's, pick up a few Asian ladies, and bring them back to the office party.

Red flags! Red flags all around. But wait. On the surface, it looks like the episode goes for the cheap laugh, playing up the "all Asians look alike" stereotype. However, it's actually supposed to show how ignorant and shallow (and drunk) Michael is. Indeed, he can't tell the ladies apart, and doesn't know which one is "his," going so far as marking one of the girls with a magic marker.

But here's the kicker... these Asian girls aren't even the same Asian girls they met in the previous scene! I wonder how many people watching the show actually noticed. The joke's on us!

authorities identify body of missing woman

Authorities have identified the body of Jane M. Park, 24, found in a Boston-area park. She had been missing since May: Officials identify body found in Hingham park. No details on the cause of death, but police have said that they don't suspect foul play. It's pretty tragic. She was a Wellesley College graduate and Fulbright scholar, with a good a future ahead of her. My heart goes out to her family.

china restricts foreign adoption standards

I know adopting kids from foriegn countries is, like, totally cool these days, but adopting from China just got a little harder... The country plans to bar people who are single, obese, older than 50 or who fail to meet certain standards in financial, physical or psychological health from adopting Chinese children: China Tightens Adoption Rules for Foreigners.

Another recent trend... teaching your kids Chinese! Here's another article on an elementary school adopting Mandararin-language learning into its curriculum: Kindergartners tune in to Chinese. That's right, baby. Kolter Elementary School in Houston is teaching Mandarin to kindergartners. These kids are the future asskickers of the world.


first japanese-born player suits up for nhl

Last week, professional hockey saw the first Japanese-born player to dress for an NHL game, when the Los Angeles Kings recalled goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League: Kings Recall Yutaka Fukufuji From Manchester.

It was history in the making... sort of. The Kings played the Dallas Stars, but alas, Fukufuji didn't see any playing time. He has gone back to the Monarchs: Fukufuji Returns To Manchester

angry archive