Memorial Day marks the beginning of the big summer movie season, though in recent years, it seems as it’s been expanded to the beginning of May. (I’m looking forward to when Hollywood defines summer as starting in February.) I was reading the comments in one of our Social News thread and saw this insightful comment by Jekki, our resident insightful-ist,
It’s like a new Asian movie every week here! Before I would hardly ever hear about new Asian movies.
Then Phil, who’s easily our best Asian movie guru said,
There are tons of Asian movies being made…China and India are the two largest producers of feature-length films in the world (US is number 1). Hope that the ones that make it to US theaters get great audience turnouts. The more successful they are, the better chances are that more get distributed…
As you can plainly see, we have quite the intellectual stimulating conversation within the comments on this site. My curiosity was stimulated enough to make me want to go and figure out how many Asian or Asian related movie there are this summer. Below is the list that I found with my comments about the movie which you should probably ignore. It’s sorted by release date so for those that think there’s deeper meaning to my blog posts, don’t dwell too much on the order.
5/9 - Speed Racer
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Matthew Fox, Rain.
Directors: Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski
Plot: The story begins with Speed Racer who is a young man with natural racing instincts whose goal is to win The Crucible…
My Take: While the Wachowski brothers experiment into hyper-reality movie making advance American cinema nearly two centuries forward, I predict it will bomb in the box offices on how many seizure related deaths it caused. (Note: I actually wrote this three weeks ago, so the prediction is still valid.)
5/23 - Children of Huang Shi
Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh
Directors: Roger Spottiswoode
Plot: About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937.
My Take: While the title suggest otherwise, this is not a children’s flick. I’m down for any movie that has the legendary actors Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh.
6/6 - Kung Fu Panda
Stars: Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu
Directors: Marke Osborne, John Stevenson
Plot: Po the Panda is the laziest animals in all of the Valley of Peace, but unwittingly becomes the chosen one when enemies threaten their way of life.
My Take: I’m almost positive there will be some sort of racist caricature against Pandas. Since this is a movie about bears, I’m sure Stephen Colbert will have something to say as well.
6/13 The Happening
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel
Directors: M. Night Shyamalan
Plot: A paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity.
My Take: There’s an easy pun here that I trying hard not to use. Well, after Lady in the Water and the The Village, M. Night is bound for a good movie!
6/20 The Love Guru
Stars: Jessica Alba, Mike Myers, Verne Troyer
Directors: Marco Schnabel
Plot: Pitka an American raised outside of his country by gurus, returns to the States in order to break into the self-help business. His first challenge: To settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player whose wife left him for a rival athlete.
My Take: Not your traditional Asian remake. It’s a remake of an Indian film instead of a Japanese/Hong Kong horror. Well Jessica Alba is in it and that’s your determining factor for watching this movie.
7/? No Regret
Stars: Lee Han, Lee Yong Hoon, Hyeon Cheol Jo
Directors: Lee Song Hee Il
Plot: This is a film of bold sexuality, where unexpected passion, desire and misunderstandings wreak havoc of an operatic intensity.
My Take: I think this is technically an independent film. But my information says it’ll appear in limited screenings this summer. It’s against my nature to comment on romantic films.
8/1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Stars: Jet Li, Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong
Directors: Rob Cohen
Plot: In the Far East, trouble-seeking father-and-son duo Rick and Alex O’Connell unearth the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin—a shape-shifting entity who was cursed by a wizard centuries ago.
My Take: Definitely no stereotypes in this movie. This is easily the biggest budget, most Asian-packed movie of the summer. If you were to go see just one Asian movie this year, this is the one!!
8/22 Bangkok Dangerous
Stars: Nicholas Cage, James With, Charlie Yeung
Directors: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
Plot: A hitman (Cage) in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs falls for a local woman and bonds with his errand boy.
My Take: Another non-typical remake. This one from a Thai film. Remakes have kind of fair poorly, so I don’t expect this one to be different. If you don’t expect a good movie, perhaps you’ll get one.
Description and release dates from IMDB.
There’s probably more in which case I’ll update this list, but I had no idea there was this many to begin with.
Lastly, I want to apologize for not updating our blog as frequently lately. A lot of the staff here at Ningin are busy with disaster relief stuff.