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.**

Blood Bath! Steven Ho Gets Gruesome on Conan

stevenbloodbath

Happy World Goth Day to all us dark-souled, black-hearted ghouls & gremlins! FOREVER ALLOOOOONNNE!!!

Keeping WGD in mind, it was good timing and tangentially relevant that BCB’s ol’ pally Steven Ho — despite having his arms full with real Asian baby twins (alas, Conan’s fake Asian Baby got raffled off on YouTube)  — walloped Conan with another action-packed plus BLOOD-DRENCHED appearance a couple days ago….and it literally GUSHED with gory goodness (sorry)!

If I had a quarter for every time someone said to me, “So, I’m gonna stick my sword inside you”….. I would have 50 cents. ANYHOO I learned a lot about how Hollywood works from watching these segments, including THIS awesome “dummy-soft-shoe-hand-punch-kick-to-the-face” trick (just watch, it will all make sense) and how they will serve you fake movie blood in a nice shot glass (FYI don’t swallow). Classy shit! Side note: WHO is that hawt stunt piece with the axe & the earring?? (good band name). Yowza. Talk about gettin that blood pumping.

As always, Steven Ho kills it…and You Will Know Him By the Trail of Dead left in his grisly wake…Good Stuff! Great Fun! Uh, I mean….the victims have been bled…strewn with time’s dead flowers…bereft in deathly bloom

Thanks Steven!

 

BCB Hoebags: Amy Chua & Jeb Rubenfeld

Welcome to the first inductees of 2014 into the BCB Hoebag* Hall of Shame: Amy Chua & hubby Jeb Rubenfeld!!

Shudder.

Shudder.

In all honesty, Amy Chua should have joined these hallowed ranks in 2011, when that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother aka Chinese-moms-are-better-because-they (ALL OF THEM)-brutalize-their-kids-emotionally-physically-and-spirituality-WHAT-COME-AT-ME-AMERICA sensationalist mess that spawned a household meme no one in their right Asian American mind could stomach.

Well, fetch me a switchin’ stick, Fame Whore Mom Tiger Mom and her husband are back and classy as ever. With an (if you can believe it) even more trollish, race-baity, and offensively ridiculous message: Some races oh I mean ethnicities oh wait cultural groups yes that’s the ticket…are better than others! Because of three “unlikely traits”: Superiority Complex. Insecurity. Impulse Control. Yep.

And these successful, uh- risen groups? Cuban exiles, Nigerians, Mormons, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian…..and Chinese and Jewish (oh looky there! Obviously explains how these two were able to write such a magnum opus).

No better way to cash that publicity check ring in the new year than pseudo-scientifically exploiting stereotypes, ignoring virtually everything about American history and context, and hawking a 300+ page cunt punt to race relations with their new book: The Triple Package: How Three Random BS Traits Explain Why Some Groups are Rule the Skool and Why Other Groups Suck at Life and Deserve What They Get (I’m paraphrasing, but basically). Eugenics always got a bad rap, am I right guys!? Model Minority, woof woof raise the roof!

Sure, Chua will backpedal and qualify, dodge and charm all throughout her high profile book tour, just like her last go-round. Semantics-shimmy all you want, the racial shit is implied; the damage is done. Book sales, speaking fees, and media hits, however, are over the moooon! LOL XOXO suckers!

Please Amy Chua. Just take a seat. You don’t speak for Asian Moms (#NotYourAsianTigerMom) and your bootstraps crap sure as hell doesn’t speak for the rest of us. Let’s retire this nonsense…to the BCB HOEBAG HALL OF SHAME!!

Check out some great takes on this horseshit at Changelab’s Race Files (YAASS), YOMYOMF and NY Post (really).

*We at BCB consider Hoebaggishness to be an equal opportunity quality across sex and gender(s).

Steven Ho + Conan = One Huge TMNT

So our buddy Steven Ho has been crazy busy raising twins (Congrats!) and apparently ignoring his OG Asian Baby — but he’s BACK on Conan this Thursday and ready to bring the pain….and maybe transform Conan into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle**.

CONAN-VS-HO

Man vs. Man-sized Turtle….whas gonna happen?!?

This is gonna sound fucked up, but when I was a kid I totally liked TMNT.  Not only “liked” in the sense of being a rabid fan of the cartoon, but like, LIKE liked. I wanted to skip through the sewer together shouting COWABUNGA and fight Krang side-by-shell (my signature weapon would be PoGo Ball) and have dishy, heart-to-heart convos about Shredder’s emotional problems or whatever an 8-year-old thinks love is. I had the hots for Leonardo specifically. He was the leader but not in an overly alpha, douchey way. As for April…I wasn’t sure if I hated her or wanted to be her (that dayglo yellow jumpsuit, pow!).

Soooooo that right there is the special place that TMNT has in my heart — and I am releasing that creepy anecdote out into the universe so it doesn’t hold power over me anymore. YOU DON’T HAVE TURTLE POWER OVER ME ANYMORE, LEO!

Don’t you dare miss Steven Ho and a very special 6’4” red pompadour-ed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this Thursday night!

Hawt.

**For which Steven is especially qualified: he played Donatello in both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, son!!

Okay, Chris Brown: “Fine China”

So “Fine China” — the new single by Chris “Forever (Flared Nostrils)” Brown — dropped last week. Which apparently, involves him stealing off with a triad boss’s daughter and gallivanting through the underworlds of Chinatown — rather than delicately sipping Lipton while getting hollered at by Mo’Nique on VH1′s Charm School, as I had hoped.

Because being romantically involved with an Asian girl always entails breaking her shackles of Asian male oppression, Chris the Fist also beats up an entire tong of Asian dudes. Just watch:

Uh, okay gurl. And what in Mongolian Izaac Mizrahi for Target hell is Ling (?!?) wearing? Is she really getting in the car with him? Best wear some shoes you can run in, girl.

The Difficult Brown can dress like a twink ventriloquist newsie all he wants, but “it’s alright, I’m not dangerous” is just not convincing me. And I’m normally a big fan of dance-fighting, but we’re supposed to believe a gold bowtie-wearing agitated beaver can whoop a whole Chinatown gang without even using his teeth?

The only redeeming quality about this video is Ling’s poopface at the 0:32 mark. That really says it all.

UPDATE: OK, I lied. The other redeeming quality about this video is the Octopus move at the 3:47 mark. I’m obsessed with it and have been consistently practicing in front of the mirror and loved ones since this posting, so I can bust it out at the club this weekend with my cousins (see you at Tia Lou’s!).

ALSO, the song has annoyingly been stuck in my head for days, and I’m gonna blame that on the blatant MJ rip-offs. It’s like they just took ‘Billie Jean’, threw it into a derivative remix app for iPhone — and donezo.

 

Conan O’Brien Gets Drunk at Holiday Party, Steven Ho Kicks His Ass

BCB buddy the indomitable Steven Ho sent us this gem from last night’s Conan. As usual, it involves plenty o’ spin kicks to the gut, glass breaking o’er heads, and a jolly assortment of beat downs (courtesy of Steven, of course).

And since this is a Holiday Party, it also involves heartwarming festivities like candy cane jousting(!), ugly Xmas sweaters, and the requisite over-aggressive drunkenness. This video should set the bar for all office holiday parties to come.

 

Thanks Steven!