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Thread: Crazy Rich Asians

  1. #1
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    Crazy Rich Asians

    Jon M. Chu in Talks to Direct 'Crazy Rich Asians' (Exclusive)
    8:19 AM PDT 5/4/2016 by Rebecca Ford and Borys Kit


    Jon M Chu
    Getty Images

    The adaptation of Kevin Kwan's 2013 book centers on a group of Chinese families preparing for a large wedding in Singapore.

    Ahead of the release of his latest film Now You See Me 2, Jon M. Chu is in talks to direct Crazy Rich Asians.

    Color Force and Ivanhoe Pictures are developing the adaptation of Kevin Kwan's 2013 book, which centers on a group of wealthy Chinese families. When the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings his American-born Chinese girlfriend to Singapore for a wedding, the gossip, backstabbing and scheming reaches a fever pitch among the three super-rich families.

    Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and John Penotti are producing while Kwan will executive produce. Pete Chiarelli (The Proposal) wrote the script.

    Color Force nabbed the film rights to Kwan's debut novel in 2013. The project will feature a predominantly Asian and Asian-American cast, and comes at a time when there's been uproar over some recent adaptations that have recast Asian roles with Caucasian actors (such as Scarlett Johansson in The Ghost in the Shell.)

    Crazy Rich Asians, a personal, character-driven story about family and culture, is an interesting next step for Chu who has built up a successful career with several big spectacle films, like his latest, the magic-heist sequel Now You See Me 2, which hits theaters June 10.

    The helmer, who is Asian-American, has bounced between music-inspired projects and big actions films, previously directing 2015’s Jem and the Holograms, Justin Bieber’s Believe and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Repped by WME and Principato Young, Chu is also attached to direct and produce Paramount's action-adventure project Escape.
    That would be really funny if this was re-cast with Scar-Jo and Tilda.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Crazy Rich Asians

    Wonder if they will whitewash this. Cuz I don't think I'll understand it unless there is a white character to 'xplain it to me.

    ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Adaptation Lands at Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)
    Brent Lang
    Senior Film and Media Reporter
    @BrentALang


    ANDREW H. WALKER/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
    OCTOBER 20, 2016 | 11:26AM PT

    Warner Bros. has acquired “Crazy Rich Asians” and has fast-tracked the romantic-comedy for production. It will be one of the only major studio movies to feature an exclusively Asian cast. Rights for the project attracted a heated bidding war.

    “Crazy Rich Asians” unfolds in a world of opulence, as new and old money collide among a set of Chinese families living in Singapore. It’s being pitched as a combination of “Devil Wears Prada” and “Pride & Prejudice,” and follows Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American economics professor and her boyfriend, Nick Young. When Nick invites Rachel to attend his best friend’s wedding in his home town of Singapore, he fails to mention that as the heir to a massive fortune, he is viewed as the country’s most eligible bachelor.

    Color Force’s Nina Jacobson her partner Brad Simpson came on board two years ago when Kevin Kwan’s book of the same name was still in the manuscript stage.

    “It was just a page turner in and of itself,” said Jacobson. “It was a delight to be taken into this world that as a Westerner I didn’t know. It felt so new and fresh and gave you so much insight.”

    Color Force, which produced “The Hunger Games” series, brought in Ivanhoe Pictures, the maker of “In the Bedroom,” and developed the project and packaged the film with Jon M. Chu directing from a screenplay by Adele Lim (Fox’s “Lethal Weapon”) and Pete Chiarelli (“The Proposal”). To get the gig, Chu, a first-generation Asian-American, put together a visual presentation that included family photos to show his deeply personal connection to the material.

    Jacobson and Simpson knew that finding the right studio home would take a lot of time and effort. Aside from “The Joy Luck Club,” which was a hit when it came out in 1993, and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” which was not when it bowed 12 years later, there have been very few U.S.-backed films centered around Asian characters and experiences. It also comes at a time when the romantic-comedy genre is struggling. It’s been a long time since “Pretty Woman” and “Notting Hill” filled theaters, and with a few exceptions, such as “Trainwreck,” most studios have largely stopped making meet-cute films. The “Crazy Rich Asians” producers think that there story and setting is a novel way to revive the genre.

    “At a time where we keep asking how we can compete with TV and other offerings, it’s important to give people something different,” said Simpson. “We’re taking them to a world that hasn’t been shown much on film.”

    The story may be a rarity for Hollywood, but it hits at a time when the issue of diversity is being hotly debated across the entertainment industry. The Chinese film market is second only to the U.S., but despite its box office contribution, very few films feature Asian characters. Only 5% of speaking parts in film, television, and digital programming were played by Asian actors in all of 2014, according to a study by USC. Indeed, there have been several instances of white actors playing roles that were originally designated for Asians, including Emma Stone in “Aloha” and Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming “Ghost in the Shell.”

    “Inclusion is good business,” said Jacobson. “Inclusion is a way of reaching new and broader audiences and keeping material fresh.”

    Production may begin as early as this spring in Singapore. The producers are embarking on a worldwide search for the cast. “Crazy Rich Asians” was a bestseller upon release, with nearly one million copies in print worldwide. Kwan saw the novel as the first in a trilogy. His follow-up, “China Rich Girlfriend,” was a commercial success, and the last installment in the series, “Rich People Problems,” debuts next summer. Kwan felt so strongly that Color Force and Ivanhoe were the right companies to produce the film that he optioned the novel for a dollar.

    “I am beyond thrilled that the amazing film my fans around the world have been waiting for is finally happening,” said Kwan in a statement. “I have such tremendous respect and trust in Nina, Brad, Jon, and Warner Bros, and I know they are going to create an incredible, history-making movie.”

    Simpson and Jacobson will produce along with Ivanhoe President John Penotti. Kwan will serve as executive producer along with Ivanhoe’s Chairman Robert Friedland. Courtenay Valenti and Jon Gonda will oversee the project for Warner Bros. The studio has been trying to increase diversity both in front of and behind the camera — it lined up a female director in Patty Jenkins to oversee “Wonder Woman,” and enlisted African-American filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa to oversee “The Flash.”

    The deal for “Crazy Rich Asians” was negotiated by Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Kwan is represented by Alexandra Machinist at ICM and Chu by WME and Principato Young.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    sequel...

    I copied the posts above from our Chinese Tycoons, CEOs & Tuhao. I don't think there's any martial arts in this film (it would actually detract if there was). But it's got Michelle Yeoh, and that's enough for me. Anyone see it yet?

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequel Moves Forward With Director Jon M. Chu (Exclusive)
    6:30 AM PDT 8/22/2018 by Rebecca Sun , Rebecca Ford


    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
    Jon M. Chu at the premiere of 'Crazy Rich Asians'

    The creative team behind Warner Bros.' breakout romantic comedy is planning to reunite for the sequel, based on Kevin Kwan's second book, 'China Rich Girlfriend.'
    [This post contains spoilers for Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians.]

    The Crazy Rich Asians gang is getting back together. Jon M. Chu, who helmed the groundbreaking film that ruled the box office with a $35.3 million five-day opening, is planning to return for the sequel. Warner Bros.' is moving forward with development on the follow-up, with plans to reunite the first movie's original team, including producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force and John Penotti of Ivanhoe.

    Chu, whose past credits include 2016's Now You See Me 2 and 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, does have a packed schedule, but sources say he'd likely helm the follow-up to Crazy Rich Asians after shooting the long-awaited adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, In the Heights, which Warners has scheduled for a June 26, 2020, release.

    The plan is to also bring back screenwriters Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim (who penned Crazy Rich Asians), although the deals have not yet been set.

    Warner Bros. has not yet officially greenlighted the sequel (it's standard practice for a studio to take a wait-and-see approach with a new potential franchise) but is moving forward on development. The studio and its CEO and chairman Kevin Tsujihara took a risk by greenlighting a comp-less film starring an all-Asian cast and a very specific story set in Singapore, but with the massive opening weekend results, a strong performance in weeks to come will all but guarantee the sequel is a go. The $30 million production, the first Hollywood studio movie since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Westernized Asian ensemble, has opened better than any other comedy this year and any rom-com since 2015’s Trainwreck.

    Warner Bros. has the option for Kevin Kwan’s entire trilogy, which includes 2015’s China Rich Girlfriend and 2017’s Rich People Problems. “We have a plan with Kevin for the next two films,” says producer Simpson.

    Chu smartly teased the possible sequel in the final moments of the first film. Like any classic romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians wraps up happily ever after, with the entire ensemble gathered on the rooftop of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands resort to celebrate the engagement of Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu). But unlike most romantic comedies, the Warner Bros. hit actually ends with a mid-credits scene more commonly seen nowadays in Marvel movies, teasing the subject of the next installment.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    #摘金奇缘

    gold-picking unexpected romance


    Cast member Constance Wu poses at the premiere for "Crazy Rich Asians" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RC194553C530 Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
    Not Asian enough?
    TOO ABC
    CHINESE MOVIEGOERS THINK “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” IS REALLY NOT THAT ASIAN

    By Echo Huang 7 hours ago

    Crazy Rich Asians doesn’t even have a scheduled release in China, but more than a thousand Chinese moviegoers who have purportedly seen the movie are already chiming in—and many of them are not impressed.

    Already, the film is stirring up plenty of attention in the country. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque social network, posts with the hashtag #摘金奇缘 (the film’s Chinese title, which literally translates to “gold-picking unexpected romance”) have more than 8 million views (link in Chinese).

    The film, which is set in Singapore and features an all-Asian cast, is undoubtedly a resounding victory for Asian representation in Hollywood, but some Chinese viewers feel it’s not all that representative—and are instead criticizing the movie for its stereotypes and for being more reflective of Asian-American culture.

    As of today (Aug. 24), Douban, the Chinese version of IMDb, has amassed more than 1,600 reviews (link in Chinese) for Crazy Rich Asians—a relatively small number compared with blockbusters that have had official Chinese releases, like Dangal and Black Panther. The reviews are written in Chinese, likely by Chinese people who have watched the movie while traveling or living abroad, or by those who’ve obtained a pirated version.

    Currently, Crazy Rich Asians has a rating of 7.7 out of 10—almost half of romantic and comedy movies rated by Douban users have a better score. Outside of China, it has a 93% review from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

    “Crazy stereotypical,” wrote the user Drown (link in Chinese), whose Douban profile says she’s from Jiangsu province.

    “My ABC friends all love it while my Chinese friends hate it,” wrote the reviewer Mr.Charles (link in Chinese), who lives in Washington DC. His shorthand “ABC” refers to American-born Chinese, who are culturally different from Chinese people. “What the film offers is only a glimpse of [Asian] culture,” he added.

    One user criticized the film for its lack of authenticity, comparing it to Americanized Chinese food. “As a native Asian, I feel it’s like eating General Tso’s chicken in a Chinese restaurant” in a foreign country, chimed in someone in Los Angeles who goes by the moniker Durian Cake Brother (link in Chinese). “It looks like a film about Asians, but the spirit of it is American. The leading actress is an ABC. The story is about how Asians look in the eyes of the Americans.”

    One major exception to the criticisms is the deftly choreographed and symbol-laden mahjong scene between the protagonist, Chinese-American economist Rachel Chu, and her boyfriend’s disapproving Singaporean mother, Eleanor Young. Many users (link in Chinese) appreciated the layers of meaning behind their seated positions, strategies, and tiles, incorporating Chinese numerology and association with compass directions. ”Lots of good details in the mahjong scene that show the battle between the mother-in-law and [prospective] daughter-in-law,” wrote Miss Music (link in Chinese) from Shanghai.

    It remains unclear if the film will come to Chinese theaters. China has a quota of 34 Hollywood films most years, though it allowed 39 releases (link in Chinese) in 2017. Already, 30 Hollywood movies have made it to China, the world’s second-largest film market, this year.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    Still on top

    Anyone see this yet? I almost went last weekend. I kinda feel obligated...

    Weekend Box Office: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Earns Crazy $25M; 'Happytime Murders' Bombs With $10M
    7:38 AM PDT 8/26/2018 by Pamela McClintock


    Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
    'Crazy Rich Asians'

    'The Happytime Murders' marks a career low for Melissa McCarthy in a lead role; Global Road's 'A.X.L' fared even worse as the mini-film studio teeters on bankruptcy.

    Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians soared to $25 million in its second outing — almost as much as the rom-com earned in its first weekend and representing one of the best holds in modern history for a wide release summer title.

    Not everyone escaped the dog days of August unscathed. Melissa McCarthy's latest R-rated comedy, The Happytime Murders, opened to a dismal $10 million domestically from 3,526 theaters in a career low for the actress for a movie in which she has top billing. The new family adventure A.X.L. fared even worse, launching to $2.9 million in another blow for Global Road as the mini-film studio teeters on the edge of bankruptcy.

    The big headline overseas was Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp, which topped the foreign chart with $71.2 million, fueled by a stellar debut in China of $68 million. That's the fourth-best showing of any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War.

    China and Japan (where the pic is set to bow Aug. 31) are Ant-Man's final foreign markets. The sequel has now overtaken the first Ant-Man ($519 million) to finish Sunday with a global total of $544 million.

    Happytime Murders landed at No. 3 in North America behind Crazy Rich Asians and The Meg, both from Warner Bros., which is dominating the final weeks of the summer season. All told, summer revenue is running ahead of the same corridor in 2017 by nearly 14 percent, according to comScore.

    Crazy Rich Asians — groundbreaking for featuring an all-Westernized Asian cast — fell a scant six percent domestically from the $25.6 million it earned last weekend as part of its five-day debut of $35.3 million. Playing in 3,526 locations, the movie's 12-day domestic total through Sunday is $76.8 million, an impressive number considering the overall comedy slump at the box office and the fact that the rom-com cost a modest $30 million to produce. Moreover, Crazy Rich Asians is already the top-grossing comedy of the year so far domestically after quickly besting Game Night ($69 million).

    Crazy Rich Asians continues to broaden out beyond the Asian-American demographic, which made up 27 percent of this weekend's audience, compared to 38 percent last weekend (and 44 percent on opening day). The Caucasian demo grew from 41 percent to 48 percent, while Hispanic ticket buyers increased from 11 percent to 13 percent, and African-Americans, 6 percent to 9 percent ("other" made up 3 percent).

    Crazy Rich Asians also picked up strength in the South and Midwest, according to Warners president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein. "It's significant that the film made just as much this Saturday as it did the Saturday before," he says.

    Internationally, Crazy Rich Asians grossed $6 million from its first 10 markets, including several countries in Asia. Singapore, one of the film's locales, turned in $1.8 million, the best opening of all time for a rom-com, according to Warners. The pic's foreign tally currently stands at $7.1 million for a global total of $83.9 million.

    In its third weekend, The Meg swam past the $100 million mark domestically upon earning another $13 million from 4,031 theaters. Globally, the big-budget pic has cleared $400 million, but it will need to continue to do big business considering it cost at least $150 million to produce (Warners puts the net budget at $130 million).

    STXfilms had high hopes for Happytime Murders, which came in behind expectations after getting slapped with a C- CinemaScore and poor reviews. McCarthy's last comedy, Life of the Party, opened to a disappointing $17.9 million domestically in May.

    Set in a world where humans and (raunchy) puppets coexist, the $40 million film was directed by Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. The story follows a private puppet detective (Bill Barretta) who reteams with his human former partner (McCarthy) to solve the murder of his brother by a serial killer who is now targeting the castmembers of a former TV show.

    Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale and Elizabeth Banks co-star in Happytime Murders, produced by The Henson Co.'s Henson Alternative alongside McCarthy and Ben Falcone's On the Day Productions.

    Holdovers Mission: Impossible — Fallout and Christopher Robin likewise stayed high on the North American chart, at Nos. 4 and No. 5 with $8 million and $6.3 million, respectively. Globally, Fallout finished Sunday with $538.7 million in ticket sales; Christopher Robin's worldwide tally is $112.7 million.

    A.X.L., which earned a B+ CinemaScore, tells the story of a military robotic dog who, after an experiment gone wrong, is found hiding in the desert by a civilian (Alex Neustaedter), who activates its owner-pairing technology and must protect the robot from the scientists who created him. Becky G., Alex MacNicoll, Dominc Rains and Thomas Jane also star in the pic, which was directed by Oliver Daly. The film wasn't screened in advance for reviewers.

    Among more limited offerings, Michael Noer's remake Papillon debuted in 544 theaters, grossing $1.2 million. The prison epic, starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek, made its world premiere almost a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival. Bleecker Street is handing the film in the U.S.

    Christopher Nolan's "unrestored" 70mm version of Stanley Kubrick's cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey began its one-week exclusive run in four Imax theaters, while more than 300 Imax theaters are playing a new 4K restoration of the film. The rerelease, timed to the film's 50th anniversary, grossed roughly $800,000 for the weekend.

    Screen Gems' Searching, a missing-child thriller about a Korean-American family living in the San Francisco Bay Area, launched in its first nine theaters. The film posted a screen average north of $42,000, the best of the weekend. Searching is set to expand nationwide next weekend.

    'Searching': Film Review | Sundance 2018
    Weekend Box Office 8/26/18
    3-Day Weekend Box Office Actuals - Source: comScore
    WEEKEND CUME THEATERS WEEK
    1. Crazy Rich Asians $25.0M $76.8M 3,526 2
    2. The Meg $13.0M $105.3M 4,031 3
    3. The Happytime Murders $10.0M $10.0M 3,256 1
    4. Mission: Impossible — Fallout $8.0M $193.9M 3,052 4
    5. Christopher Robin $6.3M $77.6M 3,394 4
    6. Mile 22 $6.0M $25.1M 3,520 2
    7. Alpha $5.6M $20.2M 2,719 2
    8. BlacKkKlansman $5.3M $32.0M 1,914 3
    9. A.X.L. $2.9M $2.9M 1,710 1
    10. Slender Man $2.8M $25.4M 2,065 3
    Gene Ching
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  6. #6
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    James Hong's take

    James Hong, 89-Year-Old Chinese American Actor: “I Never Thought It Would Take This Long”
    by Anita Busch
    August 17, 2018 9:25am


    James Hong Collection

    EXCLUSIVE: James Hong who has been acting since the 1950s has been fighting for parity for Asian actors for decades. With the success of Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians this weekend employing an Asian cast in all leading roles, the 89 year-old Hong said, “I never thought it would take this long.”
    .
    It is, indeed, a watershed moment for Hollywood as this now becomes only one of the few films ever released by a major studio that heralds a full Asian cast. Hong, who has around 500 credits (not counting voiceovers like the character of Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda film franchise) has, through impossible odds, racked up the most credits of any actor — living or dead — on film, TV and stage.

    He also soon became a role model to the next generation of Asian actors, as Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Hawaii Five-0, Mulan) told Deadline three years ago.

    Hong’s heroic path through Hollywood included fighting racism, relentlessly advocating for non-stereotypical Asian roles and encouraging others to take up the fight and push through to make necessary change in the entertainment industry.



    He has worked on films with Clark Gable (Soldier of Fortune) and in TV with Jane Wyman in one of the only TV episodes John Ford ever helmed (The Bamboo Cross) and many, many others, but it was Groucho Marx who gave Hong his start in the most unusual way. Marx had been alerted to a Chinese man out of Minnesota who was an impressionist. Marx booked Hong on his show You Bet Your Life, and Hong — doing spot on impressions of Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stewart, James Cagney and Groucho himself — was a huge hit with television audiences. So much so that Hong landed an agent — with Bessie Loo (the only agent for Asians at that time).

    In 1953, Hong left Minnesota where he was born, grew up and was studying engineering, and drove cross country with a friend on Route 66. He transferred his school credits to USC and after graduating worked as an engineer for the Los Angeles County Roads Dept.

    He wanted to act, but it was a rude awakening on the West Coast. “When I first came here in 1953, basically, there were no Asian roles that were not cliche … all stereotypes … no real drama classes or clubs, only one Asian casting director and East/West players was non existent. There was no advocacy for Asians actors. There were no leading men roles. I became an actor, but then I had to fight for a very long time for Asian Americans.”



    As is characteristic for engineers, if there is a problem, you apply what you know and work to resolve it. “That quality locked together with my acting. I wanted to be able to do something for Asian Americans in this business,” said Hong. “To see so many stereotypical roles … and then to see what was offered us: Confessions of an Opium Eater directed by Albert Zugsmith. I said to a group of us — all Chinese, Asians — we cannot do this film because every role in it is a bad role for the Chinese. I took us all up to the director’s office and several of us Chinese sat around with Zugmsith and said this is not a good image for the Chinese because they are all prostitutes and opium eaters.

    “He listened and then said he didn’t care and was going to make the film anyway. He went on to make the film with Linda Ho (released in 1962). I was very perturbed that we couldn’t do anything. Around that time, there was a group called the Asian American Pacific Artists … so I became one of the presidents. We had meetings and wrote some letters to the producers’ and directors’ associations and said there should be better images and better castings. It didn’t do much good because, who ever heard of us? To them, we were just a bunch of *****s and Japs.”

    Hong served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, and was part of the melting pot that is America, but it didn’t matter.

    “I am a Chinese American actor and there was nothing for me, and how can you take that slap in the face back and forth each year?” he said. “Being from Minnesota, I’m a fighter, you know. I was an artist and wanted something more because it’s a lifetime of work. You just don’t want to get a paycheck to become a cliché person. In the beginning, I played all those roles, but they were all houseboys, laundry men, railroad workers and villains, always the bad guy or always the persecuted Chinaman, always being saved by a white person. There were no roles as a principle person in American society.”


    Mako in 1966’s “The Sand Pebbles”
    20th Century Fox/Shutterstock

    Because the Asian creative community was so small, Hong knew a Japanese actor named Mako, who would much later be Oscar-nominated for his supporting role in Robert Wise’s The Sand Pebbles in 1966, which starred Steve McQueen.

    “Mako and (another actor) Al Huang came to my apartment and I said, ‘Let’s do something. We’re not getting anywhere!’ Everything was a step backwards. I said, ‘Let’s form some kind of group here, and do a play.” They decided on Ras****n, which legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa had already made into an award-winning film.

    “So we took the play, studied it and called whomever wanted to do a role and we ended up with an initial cluster of people who wanted to do something. We put up our own money and opened at the Warner Playhouse on La Cienega. Then we went to the University of Judaism on Sunset and performed there and also at USC, wherever we had the chance, we performed,” said Hong. The play ran for about two years. “Everyone just pitched in, and the play got good reviews. I was the producer and played the gatekeeper. Mako played the bandit. June Kim was also in the play.”



    After that, the theater troupe had momentum and they were encouraged. The Asian actress Beulah Quo then got her Church in Griffith Park to give the thespians the basement to perform in. “That became the first home of East/West players,” remembers Hong. The East/West Players was founded in 1965, and was the first all-Asian American theater troupe in America.

    “Mako was responsible for really building that theater up,” noted Hong. “He was really a theater man. He got his whole family involved in it.” Later, East/West Players moved to Santa Monica Blvd. and then into a Buddhist Church. The now legendary theater troupe continues to this day.

    “I look back, now I’m almost 90 years old, and think is that what I started?” said Hong. “There were so many good students, teachers and actors flowing through those doors. But, I just did what I had to do.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Continued from previous post



    And it came from wisdom born from pain as he battled racism constantly. When he was around 28 years old, Hong landed a role playing Number One Son in Charlie Chan opposite J. Carrol Naisch. “It was 1958. I went to England to do that role. I was in almost every episode,” Hong remembers. “Then one time, I missed my offstage cue role and missed a line and J. Carrol Naisch took out his anger in whatever state of mind he was in and said, ‘What do you think this is? A school for Chinese actors?’ He was just a mean guy, and had me fired. I had to come back, and it was very devastating. That was the state of mind of the industry at that time. It hurt a lot.”

    On another series, he said he was in his dressing room when he heard an assistant director say, ‘Where is that Chinese actor? Get him down here!’ He also noted that when he first came to town, his father arrived from Minnesota and drove them around looking for a house. “We started to knock on the door to negotiate a little bit on a house on Beverly Blvd. in a nice area, and they said they didn’t want Chinese around here.”

    “That was the attitude. Now things are just starting to change,” said Hong. “After 50 to 60 years, things are starting to look better. I never thought it would take this long. At least I’m alive to see it, but it took this long to get this far.”



    What helped Hong in Hollywood was his versatility as an actor, whether it is playing the villain in Big Trouble in Little China or in a comedic role in Seinfeld, Wayne’s World 2 or dramatic roles in Hawaii Five-O, Blade Runner or Chinatown. In fact, he played eight different roles in the 1970s TV series Kung Fu. “Yes, each time a different character, never the same one,” he laughed. “One day, the producer and I were walking through the cafeteria, and he said to me, ‘You are really a lifesaver. I can call you and you can fill in for any role.’ So yes, that did help.”

    Deadline wondered who Hong’s role model could have possibly been back in the 1950s and 1960s. Hong thought for awhile before answering that it was actually a cinematographer — James Wong Howe, who was nominated for 10 Oscars and won for The Rose Tattoo in 1955 and for Hud in 1963.


    James Wong Howe, 1927
    MGM/Shutterstock

    “I would have to say I looked up to him,” said Hong. “He was a great cameraman. He was a janitor at the studios and when everyone left, he would roll the camera with his hand and one day, the camera man was not on set, and he said, ‘Well, I can do it!’ And everyone laughed and smirked, and they said, ‘Yeah, sure go ahead.’ He rolled the camera so steadily, that they were all surprised. You know, he invented the eye-light on the cameras … he was very in demand after that. He knew what to do to make an actress look beautiful. So he went from janitor to Academy Award winner,” said Hong, who noted that they had many very memorable conversations.

    “He was a very short man, looked down upon, but he was so tough. He was the Yellow man who did something great. And they were all tyrants. I remember on Blood Alley, with (director) William Wellman and Lauren Bacall, Wellman was sitting on his directing chair ordering all these Chinese actors around and shouting out orders, and then all of a sudden he was hit on the back of the head with a stickball. It was Lauren Bacall, in her chair behind him, who said, ‘Oh, sit down Bill.’ “



    He said the role of Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda film franchise where he does voice over, “was a wonderful peak in my career” because even though it was animated, he was “sort of a leading character. I did the voice as a cross between a Jewish mother and a Chinese waiter.”

    Asked what advice he would give to others coming up the ranks, he was adamant: “The young people have to fight and gain more ground. They have to continue to fight for better images and more roles. There are a few roles, but they are still not casting Asians in leading roles like businessmen,” he said, before adding with a laugh, “And I’m sure it will get better because China has all the money.”


    Warner Bros Pictures

    As for what is next for him, Hong said that he is still acting and doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon as he is looking to produce his own, yet untitled, feature screenplay about a grandfather and his estranged granddaughter who realize, through an unexpected adventure that pushes them into another world, that family relationships are the key to survival.

    He said that there are a number of young filmmakers who have come forth that want to help him realize this film, which will be heavily cast with Asian actors. “Everything is about timing,” he said. “And it seems like the time is right.”
    I really hope Hong gets cast in the Big Trouble in Little China remake sequel.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #8
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    Because all minorities are the same?

    Still haven't seen this. Anyone?

    Crazy Rich Asians comparisons to Black Panther not quite fair
    Commentary: The stakes are high in making sure Crazy Rich Asians isn’t just a blip.

    BY ROGER CHENG
    AUGUST 22, 2018 9:30 AM PDT


    Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, an Asian American NYU professor who discovers her boyfriend is part of one of the richest families in Asia.
    Warner Bros Entertainment

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout gave us Tom Cruise hanging from a helicopter. Avengers: Infinity War gave us an unprecedented collection of superheroes battling a purple god (and that snap!). But the most exciting thing I've seen on screen this summer? A cast of fully developed characters played by Asian actors.

    After watching Crazy Rich Asians, I walked out of the theater with extra pep in my step.

    With Asian actors so often forced into roles where they either serve as the butt of a joke or a sexualized object of desire, seeing a more glamorous, sophisticated take on Asians was nothing short of groundbreaking.

    How long has it been since a film like this hit a movie theater with mainstream American audiences? The last contemporary Hollywood studio film with an Asian cast, the Joy Luck Club, premiered 25 years ago.

    So it's no surprise that the Asian-American community is rallying behind this film, which reportedly is getting a sequel directed by Jon M. Chu. Asian representation in American pop culture has been, well, terrible, and we understand the stakes of this film -- its success could open the door to a demographic that hasn't always gotten a fair shake in media. That includes the whitewashing of Asian characters like Ghost in the Shell's Major Motoko Kusanagi, played by Scarlett Johansson.


    View image on Twitter

    AWKWAFINA

    @awkwafina
    You guys showed up and made history. When I am my grandmas age, I will tell the kids the story about Crazy Rich Asians. Hopefully by then, they’ll find it hard to believe.

    11:56 AM - Aug 20, 2018
    18.5K
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    Just as the black community supported Black Panther by renting out entire theaters to broaden the film's reach, prominent Asians did the same with Crazy Rich Asians. I talked with friends and families about our commitment to watching the film and contributing to its success, a broad push encapsulated by the Twitter hashtag #GoldOpen. My cousins made it a big family outing with children and grandparents alike. My wife and I couldn't get a babysitter, so we took turns with the kid while the other watched the film.

    Fortunately, while Crazy Rich Asians marks a cultural touchstone, it's also a fantastic film.

    The movie stars Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, an Asian-American professor at New York University who visits Singapore to meet her boyfriend's relatives, only to realize they make up one of the wealthiest families in Asia. The movie follows her struggles to win the approval of the family's matriarch and fit in with the crazy rich folk.


    Michelle Yeoh (center) plays the matriarch of the crazy rich Young family. She's more than just a "tiger mom."
    Warner Bros. Entertainment

    While the film offers a glimpse into the world of the super rich, it never forgets to ground itself with relatable, likable characters. Wu offers a strong, sympathetic portrayal of an outsider trying to fit in, while newcomer Henry Golding's Nick Young exudes charisma. Michelle Yeoh plays the matriarch of the Young family as less of an archetypal "tiger mom," and more a woman with a history and understandable motivations. Its humor comes in some of the weird antics rich people get up to. (Firing a rocket launcher at a party?)

    And with food playing such an important role in Asian culture, it's no surprise you'll leave the theater hankering for some Singaporean cuisine.

    Crazy Rich Asians depicts its share of familiar rom-com tropes, from a quirky sidekick to a fashion montage to the leading man's climactic grand gesture. Chinese takes on popular, recognizable songs like Madonna's Material Girl drive the narrative with an appropriate pop, although it's Katherine Ho's Mandarin take on Coldplay's Yellow, an appropriation of a term with racist connotations for Asians, that leaves you tingling during the big finale.


    Kimberly Yam

    @kimmythepooh
    · Aug 17, 2018
    Replying to @kimmythepooh
    You’re 20 years old.
    You’ve spent the past several years repatriating yourself. You get your family’s name inked into your skin. That character is there forever. You won’t let anyone make you feel the way you did all those years ago. You love being Chinese.

    Kimberly Yam

    @kimmythepooh
    You’re 25 years old.
    You see a movie with an all-asian cast at a screening and for some reason you’re crying and you can’t stop. You’ve never seen a cast like this in Hollywood. Everyone is beautiful.
    You’re so happy you’re Chinese. #CrazyRichAsians #RepresentationMatters

    5:04 PM - Aug 17, 2018
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    It's that explicit intent to apply an Asian lens to a genre so familiar to mainstream audiences that makes Crazy Rich Asians so culturally significant. It's also why the comparisons to Black Panther are so easy to make.

    The comic book epic, which starred a predominantly black cast and featured a black director, sparked a wave of black pride. For months after the film premiered, you saw fans performing the Wakanda Forever salute.

    But some of the comparisons aren't fair. For instance, Black Panther was the latest in a long-standing series of hit Marvel movies using a winning formula of action, comedy and wit that's been there since the original Iron Man.

    Crazy Rich Asians is based on a best-selling novel published in 2013 by Kevin Kwan. While it was a hit by literary standards, it doesn't have the benefit of a legacy of 17 hit movies preceding it.


    Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians show diversity pays off.
    Marvel Studios

    Rom-coms, meanwhile, aren't exactly raking it in. Crazy Rich Asians is the first film in this genre to top the weekend domestic box office in more than three years.

    That's why its box office take -- $34 million since it opened on Wednesday -- may be more significant than the $192 million Black Panther collected over its debut weekend. It also helps that Crazy Rich Asians scored a 74 on Metacritic and a 93 on Rotten Tomatoes.

    I'm not taking away anything from the success of Black Panther, which both entertained the masses and energized the black community. Both films are proof that diversity isn't only good socially, but good from a business perspective too.

    But my hope is Crazy Rich Asians' success sparks a new level of acceptance for Asians in Hollywood. Searching, the first thriller starring an Asian-American actor (John Cho), debuts this week. Netflix's To All the Boys I've Loved Before stars Lana Condor, who was born in Vietnam, and hit the service earlier this month. (You may have recognized her as Jubilee from X-Men: Apocalypse.) And Crazy Rich Asians star Wu is best known for the ABC comedy Fresh off the Boat, which features an Asian-American family.

    But keep in mind that a year after The Joy Luck Club premiered to much acclaim, there was a similar wave of optimism for Asian-Americans. A prime-time network sitcom, All-American Girl, starring Margaret Cho, aired a year later. Action series Vanishing Son arrived the same year, while Jackie Chan's Rush Hour and Sammo Hung's Martial Law arrived a few years later.

    And just like that, it all faded away. All-American Girl, Martial Law and Vanishing Son swiftly got the ax, and Hollywood never capitalized on Joy Luck Club's box office win, with only Rush Hour proving to be a bonafide franchise.

    So will Crazy Rich Asians mark the beginning of a trend, or turn into another blip in the history of pop culture? Watching smart, beautiful Asians in a movie theater made for a nice novelty. I'm hoping it won't take another 25 years for the next film to get made.
    THREADS:
    Crazy Rich Asians
    Black Panther
    Gene Ching
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    I plan to see the movie at some point, but I've been quite busy. I also don't care much for movie theaters anymore, so I might have to catch it after its theatrical run.

    It's completely inappropriate to compare Crazy Rich Asians (CRA) to Black Panther. There is no comparison at all. Hollywood movies starring and featuring primarily African-Americans have been made for decades, and if one falls flat or fails, there are always more being green-lighted. Not so with movies featuring primarily Asian-Americans. They have to point to The Joy Luck Club as the last Asian-American movie, and IMO it was terrible; it featured Asian females as in need of rescuing, and presented the few Asian male characters as abusive, weak or hopelessly bland. No surprise, since it's an Amy Tan story. Even with CRA's success so far, and a sequel in the works, there is no guarantee this will lead to Hollywood's (or people in general's) acceptance of more movies featuring Asian-American actors cast in important, meaningful, non-stereotypical roles, much less more 'Asian-American-themed movies'. CRA is only a hopeful but uncertain start.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 08-31-2018 at 11:25 AM.

  10. #10
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    Seen!

    I'll post a review later on...

    Meanwhile, some nitpickers...
    How do Asians react to ‘Crazy Rich Asians’? We take a look at audience responses from China, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines
    While some think the movie fails to give an accurate portrayal of Asians, others are just happy that Asians are in the spotlight
    BY ADA JIANG
    17 SEP 2018



    This summer, the romantic comedy-drama Crazy Rich Asians has been a major box-office hit around the world.

    Claiming to tell Asian stories with Asian actors, the movie triggered huge discussions among Asian audiences. Compared to non-Asian audiences who are more focused on the story and the impression of the film, Asian audiences are more concerned about the movie’s cultural representations and future influence.

    Here is what audiences from China, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines think of the movie which markets itself as an “Asian story”.

    China

    The comments from Chinese audiences are mainly positive or mild, and primarily focus on the significance of the film in giving Asians a voice. Although many think the movie is more about the rich than about Asians, Chinese audiences take pride in having their voice and culture seen and heard.

    There are many traditional Chinese elements in the movie, such as the mahjong scene, although some consider the elements too old-schooled and conventional. For many Chinese, the storyline is a bit of a cliché but the comic moments appeal to them.


    ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has generated a lot of buzz among film-goers. It is not the only book by and about Asians that deserves the big-screen treatment. Photo: Warner Bros.

    Although China is supposed to be a big market for Crazy Rich Asians, this movie is not out yet. The Chinese audiences mentioned above mainly live outside China or live in Hong Kong or Macau.

    Here are comments from a movie-goer in China:

    People only require Caucasian films to tell one good story each, so why are we so demanding of this movie to represent the cultural diversity in Asia? Indeed, the love line is a bit cliché and somehow [the film] caricatures Asian culture to meet the needs of the American audience. However, this is the phenomenal full-Asian cast major studio movie after “The Joy Luck Club” 25 years ago. There are many puns that only Asians can understand. It was good to see our people on the big screen, the attempt of the production team to represent multicultures, and the strong female leads. So we should stop the “pet peeves” and support the box office so that we can see more Asian stories in the future. (Jus on Douban)


    Singapore

    As the movie is set in Singapore, Singaporean audiences pay more attention to how it represents the cultural diversity and social reality in the city state. General feedback has not been positive. Many think that the movie does not represent the real situation in Singapore but gives a biased perspective of rich Chinese-Singaporeans.

    Although the film is supposed to promote racial diversity in Hollywood, some Singaporeans think it actually ignores the racial diversity in Singapore and Asia. The main characters in the movie are all Chinese-Singaporeans, which make up about 77 per cent of population in Singapore. The film fails to acknowledge the racial minority in Singapore. For instance, despite the all-Asian cast, the movie seldom features Malay- or Indian-Singaporeans and other racial minorities in the city state.


    Some audiences in Singapore feel that the film gives a biased perspective of the rich Chinese-Singaporeans. Photo: Warner Bros

    Here are some comments from movie-goers in Singapore:

    The book is not about race. It is about the impenetrability of class. Like ‘Pride And Prejudice’, it is about an intelligent, ambivalent young woman landing the most eligible bachelor and being initiated into high society. Only this time, it’s Singapore’s high society. (Judith Huang)

    The movie is [supposed to be] a stepping stone for more representation of Asians in Hollywood ... However, neither the movie, nor the novel it is based on, is representative of Singapore. (Sangeetha Thanapal)

    Malaysia

    The movie about Chinese-Singaporeans actually has strong connections with Malaysia. Although Henry Golding portraits a rich Singaporean in the movie, the actor is actually from Malaysia. Many Malaysians watch the movie to support him. Also, Malaysians are proud to see some of the scenes that were shot in Malaysia.

    However, a small number of audiences think it’s improper that the movie used Malaysian scenes to promote Singapore. Some feel that the movie is too much like a “Singapore Tourism Ad”, with Marina Bay Sands appearing several times.


    Goh Peik Lin’s mansion in Singapore. She is Rachel’s bubbly, generous, outspoken and shopaholic old friend from Stanford. Photo: Warner Bros

    Despite comments about the film not representing Singapore and Asia, many Malaysians think it should be considered a commercial comedy instead of a serious documentary about Asian culture. The film certainly helps to promote Asian Hollywood films. It also helps break the stereotype of Asian actors playing kung fu or action roles.

    Here are some comments from movie-goers in Malaysia:

    Speaking of stereotype, in the first half of the movie, the Singaporeans keep stereotyping themselves in front of Asian-Americans. It becomes worse when you realise that this movie was [in fact] made by Asian-Americans. So all those jokes are basically about how they see Singaporeans. (****phobiaftw, Reddit)

    People keep [complaining that] this movie is not representative because it does not show enough diversity. I can’t stress enough that this movie is about rich Asians and not poor average Joes. it is also not a documentary about Asians. (Angelix, Reddit)

    Philippines

    Crazy Rich Asians had the biggest opening for a foreign romcom in the Philippines. Filipino talk show host and actress Kris Aquino plays Princess Intan in the wedding. Many Filipinos were excited about this, but were disappointed because it was only a cameo appearance. The movie also features Filipino actor Nico Santos, who plays a fashion designer.


    Kris Aquino stars as Princess Intan in the movie. Photo: Kevin Kwan's Instagram

    Filipino audiences enjoyed the movie a lot and are happy that it has Asian actors and it tells an Asian story. More Asian stories are expected to be told by Asian actors, audiences think.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Why Chinese Audiences May Not Go Crazy for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

    ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a hit, but its portrayal of Chinese culture may not resonate with audiences from the Chinese mainland.
    Sep 25, 2018 6-min read
    Han Li
    Associate professor
    Han Li is an associate professor of Chinese in the department of modern languages and literatures at Rhodes College in the United States.

    After topping the U.S. box office for three consecutive weeks — including an eye-popping $35 million in its first five days in theaters — “Crazy Rich Asians” has become one of 2018’s breakout hits.

    Adapted from Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel of the same name, the movie — the first Hollywood studio production to feature an English-language, predominantly Asian cast since the immigrant-focused “The Joy Luck Club” a full 25 years ago — was praised in the U.S. for its stereotype-shattering depictions of Asians and Asian Americans. The movie centers around a young couple, Rachel Chu and Nick Young — played by Constance Wu and Henry Golding, respectively — who take a trip to Singapore to meet Nick’s family. Not long after they land, Rachel realizes that her boyfriend is the heir to an immense fortune and one of the most eligible bachelors on the island, but that his fiercely protective, imperious mother Eleanor — played by Michelle Yeoh — isn’t exactly thrilled with the woman her son is dating.

    Yet despite its eccentric, mold-breaking characters and great on-location shots of Singapore, the movie still trades in some well-worn tropes. As I watched, I found myself wondering whether Asia had really escaped Hollywood’s exoticizing gaze, or if the filmmakers had just slapped a fresh cover onto the same old book.

    My unease set in as Rachel and Nick arrive in Singapore. The dizzying scenes that follow — full of dazzling skyscrapers, delicious-looking street food, and ostentatious displays of extreme wealth — resemble a tourism commercial more than a real city. Although more flattering than the usual tired shots of a backward Orient frozen in time or of grungy cityscapes full of third-world sweatshops, the Singapore we get in “Crazy Rich Asians” is no more balanced or representative of life in modern Asia.

    Instead, the movie revels in the city’s opulence: It’s the kind of place where outrageously rich people drop $1.2 million on a pair of earrings and hold bachelor parties on rented freighters. It’s a tall order to expect a single movie to fully capture the diversity found in a place like Singapore — and not really fair to demand “Crazy Rich Asians” to make up for decades of underrepresentation in Hollywood cinema — but it was nevertheless jarring to see. In particular, as other commentators have noted, for a movie entitled “Crazy Rich Asians” and set in Southeast Asia, it’s odd that almost every character who appears onscreen is ethnically Chinese.

    Nick’s family may seem like members of the modern, globe-trotting elite, but their outlooks and prejudices are portrayed to fit in what Hollywood understands as inextricably Chinese.
    - Han Li, associate professor
    Still, the movie does raise some interesting questions. The Young family, for example, is split between two competing, contradictory identities. On the surface, they are all elegant, Christian, globally-minded postcolonial elites with Western degrees and posh accents. Take a deeper look, however, and it becomes clear that the film treats most of Nick’s family and friends as stand-ins for Chinese orthodoxy and xenophobia. Although it is repeatedly emphasized that they are “old money” Singaporean Chinese, having arrived there in the 19th century, their real issue with Rachel isn’t her lack of wealth — many of them can’t even envision her not being rich — but her status as an outsider and not a true Chinese.

    Yet for all their focus on Rachel’s “foreignness,” the movie takes the opportunity to remind audiences that it’s Nick’s relatives who are the truly foreign ones. They are depicted not as a family, at least in the Western sense, but as a highly hierarchical clan ruled, stereotypically, by a dowager empress — Nick’s grandmother — who is responsible for ensuring that the family upholds traditional clan values. It is a common trope, even within Chinese culture, and readers familiar with the Chinese literary canon can hardly fail to notice the parallels between Nick’s family and the central characters of the classic novel “Dream of the Red Chamber.”

    In other words, although Nick’s family may seem like members of the modern, globe-trotting elite, the movie takes pains to remind audiences that their outlooks and prejudices remain inextricably Chinese — and that it’s these outdated values that pose the biggest obstacle to Nick and Rachel’s more modern, “American” conception of family and happiness. Given how widespread this kind of split identity is among the postcolonial Asian elite, it’s a shame the movie chooses to raise this subject not as a way to engage with it, but primarily to score cheap emotional points with its largely Western audience.

    Nick’s mother Eleanor, the primary antagonist of the movie, is a cautionary tale of what happens to women within this traditional, patriarchal values system — and also its avatar. After she meets Nick’s future father, she gives up on her law studies to devote herself to her family. Disliked by her mother-in-law from the outset, she lets the older woman raise Nick after giving birth to him, so he has a better chance of winning his grandmother’s favor and securing the family fortune. For her, family is and always has been about sacrifice, something which holds especially true for women. And she believes Rachel is too self-centered — too “American” — for this level of commitment.

    Eleanor's close-minded, superficial read of American values makes it easy for the movie to position Rachel — and the audience that’s meant to side with her — on the moral high ground. Eleanor’s fatal flaw is that she fails to see Rachel — and more broadly, immigrants — as the movie does: hybrids possessing the best qualities from both the old world and the new.

    Rachel may have grown up with values the movie identifies as American — such as the importance of taking care of yourself and pursuing your own goals and dreams — but “Crazy Rich Asians” wants audiences to know that this does not make her any less Chinese. In fact, it gives her a breadth of perspective Eleanor could never hope to match. Despite her American upbringing, Rachel is still capable of beating Eleanor at her own game — quite literally, in the case of the movie’s climactic mahjong scene. Her willingness and ability to sacrifice her own happiness by ultimately turning down Nick’s proposal and not coming between him and his family proves she’s still “Chinese” at heart. But she does it on her own terms, showing what she thinks of Eleanor’s hidebound traditionalism in the process.


    Two women show off their tickets after a screening of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ in Daly City, U.S., Aug. 23, 2018. Jeff Chiu/IC

    Of course, the movie is a Hollywood rom-com rather than a tragedy, and a beaten Eleanor quickly — and silently — gives her blessing to Nick and Rachel’s marriage. Afterward, as everyone celebrates the couple’s engagement, Eleanor and Rachel spy each other from across the room. They share a look before Eleanor disappears into the crowd. It is a final reminder that, in the world of “Crazy Rich Asians,” Eleanor and her values cannot truly coexist with Rachel’s more modern outlook — one side must cede ground. As it’s a Hollywood production, it’s of course Eleanor who ultimately exits, stage left.

    Despite my reservations about the movie’s portrayal of Chinese culture, there’s no doubt it struck a chord with Asian American audiences. It’s less clear, however, whether it would be met with the same reception in China, should it open here. The character of Rachel, in particular, might not be quite as popular. While some viewers may appreciate her depiction as a young, independent professional and be impressed with the way she has realized the American dream as a second-generation Chinese immigrant, others might see her not as the movie wants them to, but as Eleanor does — Chinese on the outside, American on the inside.

    Despite the continued uncertainty over whether “Crazy Rich Asians” will be released in the Chinese mainland, the film’s Chinese backers have already begun pushing for the inevitable sequel — which, if they follow the books, will largely be set in Shanghai — to spend more time depicting the lives and concerns of young and rich people from the Chinese mainland. Those curious about whether the film’s values will resonate with mainland audiences — and whether the sequel will make any concessions to sensibilities found in the Chinese mainland — shouldn't have to wait too long to find out.

    Editors: Zhang Bo and Kilian O’Donnell.

    (Header image: The cast of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ takes a group photo in New York, Aug. 14, 2018. Griffin Lipson/BFA/IC)
    This article made me completely rethink this film. I still enjoyed it but now with more transpacific reservation. And I completely missed the Dream of Red Chamber analogy.
    Last edited by GeneChing; 09-27-2018 at 10:07 AM. Reason: WARNING - SPOILERS
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    First forum review

    Man, do any of you do reviews here anymore? So lonely...

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I don't think there's any martial arts in this film (it would actually detract if there was).
    Well, I was wrong about that. There is some martial arts, just a short scene, and it's amusing. This is a delightful rom-com Cinderella tale set in opulent Singapore, which has blossomed to become even more spectacular since I was there 2 decades ago. Luved it. I laughed and got misty on cue. Michelle was pitch perfect for this, a role seemingly written for her to play now, and Constance & Ken, both of whom I don’t really care for, completely won me over. Harry gets the best ‘you got a lead credit for that?’ since Hamill in Force Awakens. A few good Asian in-jokes but most were fairly obvious. You don’t need to understand mahjong to get the poker play. This is a GREAT DATE film.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    It's completely inappropriate to compare Crazy Rich Asians (CRA) to Black Panther. There is no comparison at all. Hollywood movies starring and featuring primarily African-Americans have been made for decades, and if one falls flat or fails, there are always more being green-lighted. Not so with movies featuring primarily Asian-Americans. They have to point to The Joy Luck Club as the last Asian-American movie, and IMO it was terrible; it featured Asian females as in need of rescuing, and presented the few Asian male characters as abusive, weak or hopelessly bland. No surprise, since it's an Amy Tan story. Even with CRA's success so far, and a sequel in the works, there is no guarantee this will lead to Hollywood's (or people in general's) acceptance of more movies featuring Asian-American actors cast in important, meaningful, non-stereotypical roles, much less more 'Asian-American-themed movies'. CRA is only a hopeful but uncertain start.
    I feel ya on this Jimbo, but I also can see that reviewer's point given the racial divisions that have emerged in the U.S. in the last few years, and how Hollywood has become politicized and attacked. At this point, any positive spotlight on minorities in Hollywood is something. But overall, I concur with your opinion here.

    I'll add that there is some big screen spectacle in Crazy Rich Asians - specifically the opulence of Singapore for the Crazy Rich, and that's a worth the price of a ticket price in my book. Plus I like what theaters have been doing with the luxury recliner seats - sure, it's a lot pricey than home, but I still enjoy the experience of going to the movies.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Honors at Asia Society U.S.-China Summit

    OCTOBER 4, 2018 7:08PM PT
    Michelle Yeoh, Kevin Tsujihara to Be Honored at Asia Society U.S.-China Summit

    By PATRICK FRATER
    Asia Bureau Chief


    CREDIT: SANJA BUCKO

    Iconic actress Michelle Yeoh (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) is to be honored alongside Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles later this month. Elizabeth Daley and Steven J. Ross, dean and Time Warner professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, respectively, will also be honored.

    Held at the Skirball Cultural Center on Oct. 30, the summit conference comes at a time of ratcheted-up tensions between China and the U.S. and at a moment of profound change in the two countries’ entertainment industry relations.

    Other prominent speakers include Legendary East CEO Wayne Jiang, “The Meg” director Jon Turteltaub, “Crazy Rich Asians” producer John Penotti, former Wanda executive Jack Gao, and Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television, Amazon Studios.

    Chinese actress and director Eva Jin, producer Ben Ji, ICM partner Spencer Baumgarten, Warner Bros. executive Chantal Nong, Artist International Group CEO David Unger, super-agent Christina Chou, MPA Asia Pacific president Mike Ellis, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin also join the line-up.

    Yeoh is being honored for her achievements as an actress, producer and writer. Tsujihara will be honored for his vision and leadership. Warner Bros. was recently involved in two Asia-significant movies “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “The Meg.” Daley is to be honored as an education pioneer.

    “Michelle (Yeoh) outdid herself with her Oscar-worthy performance in ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’ We will undoubtedly look back on 2018 as a game-changing year for Asians and Asian-Americans because of Kevin Tsujihara and Warner Bros.,” said Janet Yang, chair of the Entertainment Summit. “Elizabeth Daley has steadily and brilliantly built a robust people-to-people relationship between China and the USC Cinema community that transcends anything Washington can do.”

    The summit is organized in conjunction with the Beijing Film Academy and the China Onscreen Biennial and with the support of organizations including the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival and the Asian World Film Festival.
    THREADS
    Michelle Yeoh
    Crazy Rich Asians
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    CRA in PRC

    I'll be really curious to see how this does there.

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Scores Surprise Release in China
    2:05 AM PDT 10/15/2018 by Patrick Brzeski


    Courtesy of Warner Bros.
    'Crazy Rich Asians'

    After Warner Bros. failed to hear back from China's film bureau over the summer, some analysts had begun to speculate that Beijing regulators might block the film due to its celebration of decadence.

    Warner Bros. summer hit Crazy Rich Asians has landed a lucrative release date in China, Asia's richest box-office territory, after all.

    After weeks of doubt, Chinese regulators revealed Monday that the film would open in the massive market Nov. 30.

    When Warner Bros. failed to hear back from Beijing about the film's fate over the summer, some analysts began to speculate that the rom-com had been rejected by the country's censors over its very un-socialist celebration of decadence and ostentatious wealth.

    Others closer to the market argued that the film might be caught up in a regulatory backlog caused by recent structural changes at China's Film Bureau, the result of which was a more cautious and slower-moving approvals process.

    Warner Bros., meanwhile, maintained that it had heard no final ruling and remained optimistic. The latter theory now appears to more closely fit the case.

    In addition to Crazy Rich Asians, a slew of high-profile Hollywood studio titles learned of their China release dates Monday.

    They include: Universal's The House With a Clock in Its Walls opening Nov. 1; Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms bowing Nov. 2; Sony's Venom on Nov. 9; Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on Nov. 16; Disney animation Ralph Breaks the Internet on Nov. 23; and Warner Bros.' much-anticipated DC superhero title Aquaman on Dec. 7.

    Analysts will be watching to see whether the surge of Hollywood outings throughout November helps the U.S. studios overcome what has otherwise been a surprisingly downbeat year in China. As of the end of September, ticket revenue for studio imports was down 24 percent compared with the same period in 2017. The local box-office overall, however, has remained up a healthy 13.7 percent for the year to date, with Chinese blockbusters riding high.

    Hollywood's mysterious China downturn was also notable given that the North American box office has been enjoying a banner year, with ticket sales up 14 percent during the summer. The divergence suggests a possible change in Chinese tastes — a growing preference for local movies over imported foreign fare, is the fear — rather than an off-year in product quality.

    China's film market is in near constant flux and regulatory response, however. The gush of Hollywood content in the market in November could be a regulatory response to the even more recent slip of local titles during China's National Day holiday period in October, which is usually one of the country's most lucrative moviegoing seasons. Ticket sales during the weeklong holiday fell 22 percent this year from 2017, as a raft of Chinese new releases fell mostly flat.

    The hardworking state employees at China's film bureau are forever manning various regulatory levers — including which imported films they allow into the market, on what release date and against which competition — to ensure that Chinese films outperform the Hollywood interlopers overall, but also that top-line market growth for the year remains robust.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
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    If this hits it big in China, there will be no stopping it.

    There's an embedded vid that I couldn't cut&paste here.

    NOVEMBER 29, 2018 3:00AM PT
    Can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Strike It Rich at the China Box Office?
    By BECKY DAVIS

    Three and a half months after its U.S. release, “Crazy Rich Asians” finally hits the ground in China on Friday. But it’s up in the air whether the movie can enjoy the same kind of success in the world’s second-biggest movie market.

    On the face of it, the Cinderella story of a Chinese-American academic who unwittingly falls for one of Asia’s wealthiest and most eligible bachelors might seem a natural hit in the Middle Kingdom, with its all-Asian cast, Asian setting, some dialogue in Chinese and a happy ending.

    But what made the film so groundbreaking and distinctive in Hollywood – its lineup of Asian actors – is nothing new in China, where nearly every theatrical release features primarily Asian talent. The depiction of opulence and wealth also sits uneasily at a time when the Communist government is cracking down on both real and fictional excess.

    And the China release comes well after the buzz around the film in the rest of the world has already died down. On major Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan, thousands more users have indicated that they want to see Bollywood dramedy “102 Not Out” and mainland teen romance “Twenty” than “Crazy Rich Asians,” all three of which open Friday.

    “I don’t quite think this one will do well in terms of box office here,” said one Chinese exhibitor, who nevertheless plans to allocate about 10% to 20% of the company’s screens to the film. “I don’t think the subject is that relatable to young audiences in China. I’m not quite sure how they will find that story interesting.”

    Many of those keen to see the film would have already watched it online by now, she added.

    Those close to the production team say they have no way to predict the film’s performance, as no directly comparable titles have been released recently in China. The country sets a quota on the number of foreign films it allows in and rarely imports romantic comedies. “We’re just very, very happy it got in,” a source close to the production told Variety.

    The closest comparisons might be with “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” which launched in China in August, or Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty,” which was released in September. Both performed abysmally, bringing in just $602,000 and $206,000, respectively. Another point of comparison might be action-comedy caper “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” which still took in only $8.9 million.

    Kevin Kwan’s original “Crazy Rich Asians” novel was never a phenomenon in China, where it can’t even be purchased in Mandarin, and the cast of the film is little-known to Chinese audiences except for Michelle Yeoh, who has a loyal fan base. In the Chinese marketing poster, Yeoh is placed close to the center.

    While the film may vividly showcase extravagant wealth, its marketing in China has sought to emphasize aspects more in line with the Communist regime’s “core socialist values” — a potentially smart move as authorities crack down hard on luxury spending by officials and issue new restrictions on content deemed “overly entertaining” or focused on wealth accumulation.

    Last week in Beijing, director Jon M. Chu essentially disavowed every word in the film’s title. “The film is a satire,” Chu told the state-affiliated Global Times. “It’s not about ‘crazy rich’ or ‘Asians’ actually – it’s about the opposite of that. It’s about how all those things mean nothing and it comes down to our own relationships and finding love and our own families.”

    Although the title “Crazy Rich Asians” (in Chinese) was used for the film in Taiwan and Hong Kong, in mainland China it’s been changed to what translates roughly into English as “An Unexpected Gold-Digging Romance,” casting a certain aspersion on the characters.

    Warner Bros. has even been using Communist Party-approved terminology to describe the movie. “American humor is perfectly combined with Chinese style, and the independence and ‘positive energy’ of the female characters is especially touching,” the studio wrote on its official Weibo social media account, using a phrase that refers to the sunny, inspirational material preferred by Chinese authorities.

    Reactions from Chinese viewers who’ve already seen the film has been mixed, with users on key platform Douban giving it a middling aggregate rating of 6.2 out of 10. Though the film opens with a quote by Napoleon that sets its sights on the Middle Kingdom (“Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will wake the world”), many mainlanders felt they saw little to do with themselves onscreen.

    “The opening quote is extremely misleading: China’s rise has no connection to this deceitful film full of stereotypes,” wrote one user, adding that the emphasis on popular U.S. topics of ethnicity and identity made it feel that the film had “built a church, hung up a few red lanterns and sang a few songs about Asia’s glory to promote the American spirit.” Another review summarized the film this way: “A bunch of aliens with Asian faces fall into a pile of money.”

    But others remained excited to see an Asian breakthrough in Hollywood. Whatever the gripes, one user wrote, “let’s first celebrate and support the box office, I guess, so that we have a chance to see more Asian stories.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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