Jeff Yang does it again, proving without a shadow of a doubt that he’s a better (and wittier) writer than most of us. His latest column of Asian Pop effortlessly wraps up all of this year’s summer blockbusters. It includes quotes from notable Asian American bloggers and writers, including a couple from me (although I’m hardly “notable”).
Here’s a (self-promoting) excerpt:
Fortunately, even if you hated on “Karate Kid,” the blogger hive mind noted that there are plenty of other Asian Pop pleasures to look forward to this summer.
For instance, the over-the-hill action-hero boondoggle “The Expendables”: “Yeah, I’ll say it, I’m not ashamed: ‘The Expendables‘ is going to be the best of the summer blockbusters this year,” says Reappropriate’s Jenn Fang. “Not because the story will be compelling — it won’t be. Not because the acting will be Oscar-calibre — not a chance. No, this movie is going to rock because of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li. It’s like every campy action flick from the ’80s you ever loved just threw up, creating an adrenaline-fueled hot mess of a guilty pleasure. How could that possibly suck?” (Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man agrees: “Can’t resist this crazy gathering of aging action stars — glad Jet Li was invited to the party, also glad Steven Seagal was not.”)
There’s Robert Rodriguez’s “Predators,” the latest hunter-killer alienfest, starring Louis Ozawa Changchien, and Chris Nolan’s “Inception,” featuring Ken Watanabe as Leo DiCaprio’s prime nemesis. There’s Edgar Wright’s adaptation of hapa Korean Canadian Bryan Lee O’Malley’s awesome graphic novel series, “Scott Pilgrim,” featuring Ellen Wong, Satya Bhabha and Shota and Keita Saito.
And then there’s the third in Jon Chu’s series of dance-off flicks, “Step Up 3D.” “It’ll be the biggest surprise hit of the summer,” asserts Kevin Hsieh, who runs the videoblog ChannelAPA. “Jon Chu knows how to market dancing; just look back at the online dance battle he staged, the biggest in YouTube history: ACDC versus M&M Cru with Miley Cyrus. With his new Web series, ‘LXD‘ — ‘Legion of Xtraordinary Dancers’ — starting up on Hulu in July, all the dance hype will lead directly into the ‘Step Up 3D’ release in August. And hey, both feature Harry Shum Jr. — think of ’em as the only ‘Glee‘ action you’ll get this summer!”
Finally, there’s Paramount’s tent-pole release for the Independence Day weekend, M. Night Shyamalan’s $150 million adaptation of the hit animated series “Avatar” — “The Last Airbender.” “Airbender” has been hitting the martial arts classes too: Yesterday, Hudson came home with a set of lick-and-stick tattoos and requested that I shave his head, so he could apply them to his naked scalp.
That wasn’t happening, not just because I wasn’t enthused about walking around with a bald, arrow-headed kid in tow, but also because of my disinterest in supporting the film, which has drawn widespread protest from both Asian Americans and hardcore fans due to Shyamalan’s decision to cast the heroic protagonists as Caucasians — despite the obviously Asian-influenced culture and aesthetics of the original source material.
You can read the full column here: Hot summer fights.