BCB Movie Review: Revenge of the Green Dragons

Over the weekend I finally convinced myself to fork out $9.99 (highway robbery!) to watch Revenge of the Green Dragons on DirectTV, to follow-up on our Trailer Parkin’ post, and also because: AZNs. With mullets.

While the trailer looked promising, especially since it’s directed by Andrew Lau of the glorious Infernal Affairs… I found Revenge of the Green Dragons kinda meh…mixed with a little huh? and a healthy dose of blue balls (on my part).

Ergo, to this last point, the ROTGD trailer promised some steamy AZN-on-AZN rooftop sex scenes. Behold:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.25.04 PMHowever, these scenes were absent in the actual film; instead we got some tepid, PG-rated fully-clothed kiddie smooches:

kissBOO I say, BOO! For WHY were the smex scenes taken out, leaving us with CRUMBS? Do they think AMERICA CAN’T HANDLE IT?!? Again, since every single ad for 21 & Over schticked up Justin Chon in a brassiere and teddy bear merkin, than I better damn well see him get it in in ROTGfrigginD. False advertising! Injustice!

ROTGD was also kind of a mess, messaging-wise. It seemed to attempt several bold statements on “illegal immigration”, racism, and the promise and hypocrisy of the American Dream, but I couldn’t quite figure out what those statements were. It was incoherent at best, and came off borderline anti-immigrant at worst: fear the invading, violent, money-crazed yellow hordes!

Madame snake head, who makes her riches off trafficking and exploiting Chinese immigrants, dramatically pronounces “It’s what this country’s built on…the American Dream!” A Chinese cop (played by MC Jin. Hell YAS) admonishes a white colleague for the fuzz’s disregard for brown lives (gee, so much has changed). “Also — fun fact! — did you know there are lots of Chinese languages, officer? Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fukienese…Hello? Are you listening to meeee…….” Jin should have just launched into “Learn Chinese” and then peeled off on the back of DMX’s bike screaming the Ruff Ryders Anthem (seriously, somebody hire me as a screenwriter). Similarly, the Green Dragons make a point to only kill each other — never Gwai-los — in order to fly under the enforcement radar (except the one time they smoke a white guy bitching out a restaurant owner about MSG in his food. Very satisfying).

At times, ROTGD came off as an exploitation flick, what with the slow-mo rape scene and beating the shit out of little kids in cringe-inducingly creative ways. It doesn’t leave much sympathy for any of the characters and makes every single Asian dude except the protagonist look like scum of the earth. But, I’m willing to overlook alla that cuz, matching  jackets!

There’s also some magnificently cornball lines like, “There’s a storm coming detective, I don’t know of any umbrella that’s gonna keep this city dry. Umbrella-ella-ella.” (Sike. But I wish).

However, there were some bright spots — Kevin Wu aka KevJumba of YouTube fame — surprisingly gave the strongest performance — with a close runner up to his perm-mullet, which deserves its own Oscar nom:

kevhairThe classic ‘do, seen on such folks as Tuan Anh, my uncle, and probably your uncle too. This hairstyle is a national treasure and should be counted amongst the greatest contributions immigrants have made to this country.

Other hair wins go to Leonard Wu as Chen I Chung, who is obviously a dead ringer for Down-Lo Mein from Notorious MSG. Yo D-Lo, bitch stole your look! Also, why aren’t you returning my DMs?!

Don't ask how long it took me to make this.

                                      Don’t even ask how much time I spent making this.

Finally, and most importantly, Harry Shum Jr. didn’t take his shirt off. Even once. I am VERY disappoint. I had to console myself by googling Tony Leung pics.

So, I don’t think ROTGD is a serious contender to dethrone Better Luck Tomorrow by any stretch, but it’s still pretty remarkable in terms of a plot that centers around an Asian American narrative and it’s all-Asian lead cast. Worth checking out for the tats n gats alone.

Trailer Parkin': Revenge of the Green Dragons

Sometimes AzN and CBruhs spend a whole day’s worth at work emailing each other back and forth about something random until we both realize we should probably just copy/paste and make it into a blog post. This, as you may have guessed, is one of those times. 

AZN: Did you see this? It looks awesome, but just like Revenge of the Nerds, I was wondering where the original film, The Green Dragons is? Never mind, that kinda sounds like a Chinese fast food chain.

CBRUHS: Wow, that movie could be huge; in terms of Asian repping. Like the next Better Luck Tomorrow. Or it could be really bad, but the fact the director is actually Asian gives me hope that the characters will be portrayed with humanity. Like Justin Chon won’t be wearing a bra and a teddy bear glued to his wiener. Or that kid from Glee will take off his shirt.

AZN: It’s gonna take a lot for me to hop back on the HK cinema train. To keep the analogy going, I’ve long since gotten on the plane and landed in Korea and am now firmly affixed at Seoul Station never to set foot back in HK. Was that clear enough?

CBRUHS: Maybe Scorcese exec producing this movie is his way of paying back the favor of ripping off Infernal Affairs? I hope he pays viewers the favor of making Harry Shum Jr. git nekkid.

1360749946_infernal-affairs-2002-33-gAZN: If I was Wai-Keung Lau and Martin Scorsese wins a GD oscar for MY movie idea and forgot to thank the Infernal Affairs team for sourcing him the original material, then the least he can do is EXECUTIVE produce my movie. Executive producing a movie is the equivalent of a “digital introduction” which is right up there with forwarding a PDF to someone in the work world. And did I say “source”? I meant stole cause every Bostonian I know thinks this was a homegrown Boston crime story and no one knows who Wai-Keung Lau is and what Infernal Affairs 1, 2, and definitely 3 are.

CBRUHS: The trailer kinda made me homesick for my old Chinatown neighborhood (altho this took place in Queens) and is serving up a touch of Notorious MSG realness. I’m a sucker for matching jackets, wifebeaters, and manperms. I once asked an ex-banger friend of mine if they were accepting interns. Wish I was playin’ but I’m not.

AZN: If this movie were made in the ’80s I might be a gangster right now. Instead, I had Dustin Nguyen playing a “Japanese” undercover cop. Worst case scenario this might make Asian American gangsters more known in the mainstream which means breaking down Asian American stereotypes right? Hello? Right? Don’t make me come in there looking for your Bank of A-Mattress.

CBRUHS: Affirmative. Here’s where I say something about throwing off the yoke of the Model Minority Myth and the imperative of broadening AAPI media representation. And Harry Shum Jr.’s chesticles.

revenge-of-the-green-dragons-slice-560x186AZN: I’m just super glad Justin Chon is surviving the Twilight series. If he gets an Oscar nom from this he would be getting rewarded, like Anna Kendrick, for recovering from their “Bella’s BFF crew” role for all three (or was it four?) Twilight films. A feat in itself.

CBRUHS: You know what’s also a feat? Mike Chang’s physique. Is his 12-pack — uh, I mean Revenge of the Green Dragons gonna be screening in 4D??

AZN: **ERROR* Undeliverable mail: Your message did not reach some or all of intended recipients and is being returned to sender.**

Arthur Chu: Social Justice Champion?

Did I really type that? I did indeed. Before I read a lil ole article in the Daily Beast that Arthur Chu penned, I just thought of him as the nerdy Chinese guy that everyone hated on Jeopardy cause he was winning a lot using Game Theory just chasing down Double Jeopardys. And cause he apparently isn’t good in the ‘outdoors’ and doesn’t watch ‘sports’, I assumed he knew nothing more than a little bit about everything a nerd would know: Game of Thrones, Presidents who fought in wars, mid-19th century poets, and Potpourri.

Teen-Jeopardy

But then the backlash got heated and the race card started coming up. Was it racism that made him an easy target? Even all-time Jeopardy great Ken Jennings thinks so. Did I expect Chu’s response would turn everything around and that he’d start dropping some politicized knowledge in response to all the negativity and the recent shootings in Ferguson and Florida? No I did not, and shit did I misjudge this guy. Forgive my initial ignorance, because he looked like every guy I went to Cal with (at Soda Hall) even though he writes like every grad student I saw with a clipboard on Sproul (that’s a compliment if you need to ask).

So do I want to know more about this guy? Hell yea. Did I jump at the chance when the producers of his new documentary wanted us to reach out to our folks to let them know about their kickstarter? Are you not reading this right now? You only have two weeks to contribute, so act fast. <Queue Jeopardy jingle here>.

There’s No Racism in the Future, or in Space.

ZOEI, like the thousands of Americans this month, watched Guardians of the Galaxy. And it was lovely. Halfway through the movie while I was figuring out why Zoe Saldana in green skin gave me a funny inside… a thought popped up entered my mind. Is there a movie Zoe Saldana’s been in that’s NOT set in space or in the future? Obviously, the first thought was, DUH! DRUMLINE. Still one of the best movies ever and easily some PEAK Nick Cannon. After that, nothing. Seriously, look at her IMDB and tell me you’ve seen anything NOT called Avatar, Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy or Drumline. I’m gonna go out on a limb right now and assume its because she’s “too ethnic” for a lot of Hollywood roles. But the craziest thing is all these movies set in the future just assumes racism will be WIPED OUT. And of course, in space, all current races are all over the universe (plus all the alien species the special effects folks can come up with). So what I’m asking you now is, if we expect the FUTURE to be all accepting of races and SPACE to be filled with EVERY race ever PLUS every species in the universe, can we just start being a little less racist RIGHT NOW and give Zoe Saldana some more non-alien roles set in present day Earth? Please? Sadly, I have a feeling that’s gonna be rough, cause every fanboy from San Diego to Spartax wants her to do the next 10 Star Treks, 5 Avatars, and 20 Guardians of the Galaxies.

 

The Most Baddest US Senator Gets His Due

Forgive me if I didn’t catch the Daniel Inouye storyline in Ken Burn’s The War. I only heard of the badassness of Inouye via Comedy Central’s all-too-good Drunk History series (have you read how the man lost his arm? I could never have imagined it was like THIS). Between marrying a Ford Foundation board chair and serving Hawaii for 58 years as an elected official, I can see no better way of having his legacy honored than being portrayed by the illustrious Steven Yuen of killing-zombies and dating-farmers-daughters fame. Enjoy, and we’ll surely be posting the other parts when they’re released:

Here’s One Way to Win Ben Stein’s Money

bensteinWell, this be bizarre. And random. Also, ick nast. Who knew Ben Stein had such a thing for goldiggin’ “Eurasian” pregnant performance artists? Who wanted to know? Who wants to un-know it? *raises both hands*

Apparently Ben Stein first met 24yo former escort Tanya Ma at SFO, and they struck up a borderline (for those with zero boundaries) creepo relationship that started with texts, then some Snapchat-type content (y’all know what I’m talking about), progressed to Tonya asking for some monies to support her baby-to-be…and then quickly went south (shocker) after they agreed to meet in a hotel *but* Stein revealed he wanted to do gross old man stuff to her like hug and kiss her preggo body-ody-ody. LINE. CROSSED. In his defense, quoth Ben: “When is it wrong to hug people?” …..?…??…..

If you are a dirty masochist or a goldigger-in-training or now an even bigger Ben Stein fan (for shame), you can read more sordid details here.

I just know I’ll never be able to hear the words “Bueller….Bueller?” in the same way again…

Via Page Six & Dlisted