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Films of 1993

Directed by Rob Cohen
Buy this autobiographical film on Bruce Lee by CLICKING HERE Cast: Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner, Michael Learned, Nancy Kwan, Kay Tong Lim, Ric Young, Luoyong Wang, Sterling Macer Jr., Sven-Ole Thorsen, John Cheung, Ong Soo Han, Eric Bruskotter, Aki Aleong, Chao Li Chi, Iain M. Parker, Sam Hau, Michelle Tennant, Clyde Kusatsu, Alicia Tao, Kong Kwok Keung, Johnny Cheung, Anthony Carpio, Chan Tat Kwong, John Lacy, Harry Stanback, Michael Cudlitz, Forry Smith, Van Williams, Sean Faro, Alan Eugster, Paul Raci, Ed Parker Jr., Shannon Lee, Robert Garrett, Lala Sloatman, Fu Suk Han, Nick Brandon, Louis Turenne, Paul Mantee, Jonathan Penner, Calvin Bartlett, Jan Solomita, Shannon Uno, Rob Cohen, Lau Pak Lam

More of a highly stylized kung fu flick (that has been seen in Jackie Chan movies and more recently in Jet Li's 2000 film entitled "Romeo Must Die") than a realistic biopic; this is one of those rare Hollywood movies to examine the immigrant experience from the perspective of a strong, resourceful Asian man.

A box-office hit, this film also affirmed Bruce Lee's importance to American popular culture. Cohen made a point to include several scenes depicting the discrimination that Bruce (played by Jason Scott Lee) endured in the U.S. Particularly notable is the scene where he sits stone-faced through a screening of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" while his fellow movie-goers laugh hysterically at Mickey Rooney's insulting, stereotypical performance as an Asian. Another shows Bruce's pain and frustration when the lead role in "Kung Fu" is taken away from him and given to David Carradine. The movie is also uncommon for its positive portrayal of an interracial romance between an Asian man and a white woman. But then again, that's how it really happened!

(1993) Directed by Bob Radler
Cast: Eric Roberts, Phillip Rhee, Chris Penn, Edan Gross, Ralph Moeller, Meg Foster, Sonny Landham, Wayne Newton, Betty Carvalho, Simon Rhee, Claire Stansfield, Hayward Nishioka, Ken Nagayama, Frank Salsedo, Stefanos Miltsakakis, Myung Kue Kim, Patrick Kilpatrick, Mike Genovese, Nicholas Worth, Matt Thomas, Edward Bunker, David Rody, John Charles Sheeham, Robert Radler, Harry Hauss, Buckley Norris, Rain Ivana, Cliff Emmich

Two former members of the U.S. national karate team join forces to avenge the death of their friend, who was brutally slain in competition at an underground Las Vegas fighting club. An initial confrontation between the revenge-minded pair and the murderer leaves the evildoer with a horrible facial scar, and he vows to bury the two interlopers. After he makes a few attempts to gun the duo down, they finally settle the score in a bloody grudge match at the club.

Directed by Neal Isreal
Cast: Ernie Reyes Sr., Ernie Reyes Jr., Nicolas Cowan, Rob Schneider, Oliver Mills, Jonathan Schmock, Neal Israel, Brandon Karrer, Dathan Aragon, Phillip Bayless, Philip Tan, Keone Young, Sritao Thepchasoon, Leslie Nielsen, Nathan Jung, Thep Thien-Chai, Sa-Ngud, Sheng Meng, Tanin Tapmongkol, Montatip Kaewprasert, Tone Loc, Desi Singh, Young Jue,
Kelly Hu, Marisa Theodore, Robert Terry Lee, Bowman Chung

Buy this film for your kids into martial arts by CLICKING HERE

This is an enjoyable action-adventure yarn for younger viewers (the rating is PG). The sight of Filipino American teen heart-throb Ernie Reyes Jr. defeating the bad guys and winning the admiration of the love interest (a young Kelly Hu) can provide a much-needed role model for Asian American boys. Intriguingly, Rob Schneider, who is actually half-Filipino, plays Ernie's "white" sidekick!

Directed by Ang Lee
Cast: Dion Birney, Jeanne Kuo Chang, Winston Chao, Paul Chen, May Chin, Chung-Wei Chou, Yun Chung, Ho-Mean Fu, Michael Gaston, Ah Lei Gua, Jeffrey Howard, Theresa Hou, Yung-Teh Hsu, Jean Hu, Albert Huang, Neal Huff, Anthony 'Iggy' Ingoglia, Eddie Johns, Thomas Koo, Chih Juan, Robert Larenquent, Neal Lee, Mason C. Lee, Dean Li, Mitchell Lichtenstein, Jennifer Lin, Sihung Lung, John Nathan, Francis Pan, Neal Peng, Tien Pien, Marny Pocato, Tonia Rowe, Chung-Hsien Su, Patricia Sullivan, Elizabeth Yang, Vanessa Yang, Wei-Huang Ying, Peide Yao

CLICK HERE to discover this film about a gay Asian male trying to meet his parent's request to be married!

At the urging of his white lover, a gay Taiwanese immigrant marries an undocumented Chinese woman to keep her in the U.S. Then, the Taiwanese man's parents--who don't know he's gay--pay a visit. This sitcommish plot could have easily degenerated into a feeble farce. Instead, it poignantly contemplates the meaning of love, family, and commitment--all in the context of Asian America. This U.S.- Taiwan co-production is one of the most richly human comedies of the decade.


Directed by Roger Michell
Cast: Roshan Seth, Naveen Andrews, Susan Fleetwood, Steven Mackintosh, Brenda Blethyn, John McEnery, Janet Dale, Nisha K. Nayar, Badi Uzzaman, David Bamber, Geoffrey Beevers, David Bradley, Tom Gregory, Shirley King, Surendra Kochar, Assam Mamodeally, Vicy Murdock, Harish Patel, Jemma Redgrave, Donald Sumpter

"My Beautiful Laundrette's" Hanif Kureishi (with director Michell) adapts his own novel into this compelling four-hour BBC mini-series. The show is at once a moving drama of a South Asian family in 1970s England and a hilarious send-up of how the West "exoticizes" Asian people. When the young lead character, Karim (superbly played by Andrews), becomes an actor, he finds himself face to face with the demands of stereotyping--even from the "progressive" theatre. And when Karim is cast as the lead in a film, "The Buddha of Suburbia" even mocks itself for appearing to be the "definitive" look at South Asian life in Britain. A rich and rewarding work (but definitely not for kids).

Directed by David Cronenberg
Cast: Jeremy Irons, John Lone, Barbara Sukowa, Ian Richardson, Annabel Leventon, Shizuko Hoshi, Richard McMillan, Vernon Dobtcheff, David Hemblen, Damir Andrei, Antony Parr, Margaret Ma, Tristram Jellinek, Philip McGough, David Neal, Sean Hewitt, Peter Messaline, Michael Mehlmann, Barbara Chilcott, George Jonas, Carl Zvonkin, Viktor Fülöp, Cadman Chui, María Teresa Uribe, Harriet Chung, Monica Gan, Ayumi Komoda, Tammy Lok, Tracey Oh, Carly Wong

CLICK HERE to purchase the film - M.Butterfly

David Henry Hwang's 1988 Broadway play about European misrecognition of Asia was justly rewarded with several Tony Awards. A French diplomat falls in love with a Chinese opera star, whom he believes to be the "lotus blossom" of his dreams--only to learn that "she" is a man. However, when the time came to turn the play into a film, the material was handed over to a director with no appreciation for the playwright's critique of East-West relations.

Horror-movie maestro Cronenberg ("The Fly," "Naked Lunch") miscast the part of Chinese transvestite Song Liling with the masculine John Lone, who (unlike B.D. Wong, who won a Tony for the role on stage) could never convince an audience that he was a woman. Then, the director took out Song's defiant speech to the French court ("And being an Oriental, I could never be completely a man") and made him a passive whimp. This film does a severe injustice to the play. Rather than renting the movie, try to catch a stage production. Or else rent "Golden Gate" (see below). (Warner Home Video)

A must for those who are fans of Wayne Wang and for those that want evidence that an all-Asian Pacific American cast can be part of a successful film.  CLICK HERE to purchase

Directed by Wayne Wang
Cast: Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, Ming-Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, Rosalind Chao, Melanie Chang, Victor Wong, Lisa Connolly, Vu Mai, Ying Wu, Mei Juan Xi, Guo-Rong Chin, Hsu Ying Li, Irene Ng, Qugen Cao, Anie Wang, Yan Lu, Boffeng Liang, William Gong, Diana C. Weng, Yuan-Ho C. Koo, Zhi Xiang Xia, Dan Yi, Christopher Rich, Nicholas Guest, Kim Chew, Jason Yee, Ya Shan Wu, Samantha Haw, Feihong Yu, Russell Wong, Grace Chang, Michael Paul Chan, Philip Moon, Melissa Tan, Yi Ding, Emmy Yu, Vivian Wu, Lucille Soong, You Ming Chong, Fen Tian, Lena Zhou, Jeanie Lee Wu, Andrew McCarthy, Jack Ford, Diane Baker, Tian-Ming Wu, Elizabeth Sung, Eva Shen, Sheng Yu Ma, Sheng Wei Ma, Chao Li Chi

Lo and Behold - Wayne Wang's work when he has a Hollywood-size budget and two continents to work with. This movie, just as the Amy Tan novel that the movie is based on slowly won over the literary world, this deeply moving story of eight Asian American women was the surprise sleeper hit of the year. Janet Yang produced this film--arguably the first Asian American Hollywood movie of the sound era. Though the portrayals of the Asian men are not displayed in the same positive light as the women (a "typical" Amy Tan trait?), it is film that deserves to be seen again to have knowledge and appreciation of the culture and customs that exists within the Asian / Asian Pacific American communities.


Directed by Oliver Stone
CLICK HERE to purchase this typical Oliver Stone depiction of his past experiences in Vietnam! Cast: Haing S. Ngor, Bussaro Sanruck, Supak Pititam, Joan Chen, Thuan K. Nguyen, Hiep Thi Le, Lan Nguyen Calderon, Thuan Le, Dustin Nguyen, Khiem Thai, Liem Whatley, Michelle Vynh Le, Tuan Tran, Aron Starrat, Peter Duong, Michael Lee, Thanh Vo, George Roarke, Michael Paul Chan, Dave Cooper, Irene Ng, Thuc-Hanh Tran, Vu Anh Phan, Vivian Wu, Stephen Polk, Tran Huy, Timothy Carhart, Catherine Ai, Tommy Lee Jones, Somsak Hormsombat, Le Ly Hayslip, Huynh Cao Nguyen, Andy Reeder, Mai Le Ho, Mai Le, Long Nguyen, Mai Nguyen, Term Saefam, Hieu Van Vu

Not exactly known for his light touch, Stone beats his audience over the head with this bombastic true story of war and exile. What makes the movie worth watching is the chance of seeing the Vietnam War through the eyes CLICK HERE to purchase the second edition of seeing the gorgeous Tia Carriere rock and roll with the GUYS! of a Vietnamese woman. Instead of viewing the jungle--as usual--from the helicopters, we're looking up at the war machines. This simple change in perspective tells us more than a whole slew of Rambo movies ever could. Joan Chen's self-effacing performance is a standout.

Directed by Stephen Surjik
Cast: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Lee Tergesen, Dan Bell,
Tia Carrere, Richard Epper, Jennifer Miller, Duke Valenti, Benny Graham, Christopher Walken, Gavin Grazer, Googy Gress, Heather Locklear, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel, Larry Sellers, Michael A. Nickles, Joe Liss, Bobby Slayton, George Foster, Paul Raczkowski, Rip Taylor, Ralph Brown, Frank DiLeo, Sydney Coberly, Kevin Pollak, Olivia d'Abo, Kim Basinger, James Hong, Chris Farley, Ron Litman, Matt Kenna, Sean Michael Guess, Drew Barrymore, Harry Shearer, Ted McGinley, Tim Meadows, Sammy Davis, Jr, Scott Coffey, Lance Edwards, Jay Leno, Al Hansen, Charlton Heston, Bob Larkin, Ed O'Neill, Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford

They're back! Those they're-so-goofy-you-have-to-love-'em cable television stars of America's most wanted pop rock-talk show: Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar! Wayne and Garth are finished with high school. But Wayne's struggling to find his place in the real world of full-fledged adults. In a way-cool dream, Wayne's escorted by a Native American to a meet the late, great Jim Morrison, who advises the troubled teen to put on an outdoor concert: "If you book them, they will come." So Wayne heeds the word and stages his very own Waynestock. If he can pull off the concert while protecting Cassandra, his super-babe-of-a-girlfriend, from evil record producer Bobby Cahn, he can prove, once and for all... he's worthy!

This film brings back the delicious Tia as the fabulous "Cassandra" and we see her father, the ever and always working Mr. James Hong. This is just part two of the testerone shots that we first saw in the first film. In this film, we get to see a scene between Mike Myers and James Hong that is a parady of a stereotypical fight in a Chinese movie (ala something from the film " Big Trouble in Little China!" (note: That film was so over the top in regards to "spoofing" Chinese martial art film that it actually was very funny and worthy to be seen!

Click HERE to see if the film, Rising Sun, is accurate?  Send us your comments.  Please be aware that many in the APA communities feel that this film is very derogatory!

Directed by Phillip Kaufman
Executive Producer: ean Connery
Cast: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Kevin Anderson, Mako, Ray Wise, Stan Egi, Stan Shaw, Tia Carrere, Lauren Robinson, Amy Hill, Clyde Kusatsu, Michael Chapman, Joey Miyashima, Nelson Mashita, Tamara Tunie, Toshirô Obata, Tylyn John, Michele Ruiz, Patricia Ayame Thomson, Jeff Imada Max Kirishima, Larry O. Williams Jr., Scot Anthony Robinson, Meagen Fay, Max Grodénchik, Jessica Tuck, Masa Watanabe, Paul Fujimoto, Kenji, Tak Kubota, Tadashi Yamashita, Dennis Ota, Raymond Kitamura, Rita Weibel, Susan Iida, Seiichi Tanaka

This movie is "noteworthy" for the strong opinions, both pro and con, it has solicited on the merits of this movie! Many Asian American organizations strongly disapprove of the movie, while the response in Asia was vastly different. The reason why this movie is included is because a major movie took a chance with a plot with an Asian-theme, though misguided in many areas.

"Rising Son" displays the more steamy and secret side of life within the Japanese community that gets the typical movie treatment where they accent the bad (as the pattern of Hollywood and Michael Crichton for a long time) The story is about L.A. cop (Wesley Snipes) and Japan expert (Sean Connery) investigating a homicide case that implicates a powerful Japanese corporation and a U. S. senator. Stripped-down version of Michael Crichton's detailed and controversial novel (adapted by Crichton and director Kaufman) is alternately compelling, confusing, obvious, and silly, with credibility strained to the breaking point toward the end of the picture. The picture displays the talents of many talented Asian / Asian Pacific Americans that included Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tia Carriere, Mako, Jeff Imada and many others.

It is hard to imagine Sean Connery, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Stan Egi, Jeff Imada and others involve in a film that deserves at least a little credit - albeit not much, but at least a little credit. It is more disappointing because the opportunity to have a great movie existed. But hey, it was written from a white guy's (Crichton) perspective with a white director with white stars!

Listed below are some issues and complaints to think about:

  • Many people complain that "Rising Sun" fits firmly into the tradition of the "yellow peril" potboiler: It assumes that anyone Asian is "foreign" and suspicious - hey, from a white guy's perspective, this is the sad truth. One problem is that there are so few films regarding Asian / Asian Pacific Americans that there is a very limited chance of displaying more than one side of a community. This is the same problem occurred within the Italian community (i.e. all Italians are part of the Mafia), Black community (i.e. all Blacks are part of a gang), etc.

  • Another complaint is that all of the bad guys and murder suspects in "Rising Sun" fall into these categories: (1) Japanese (Eddie Sakamura, Ishihara, the gangsters, etc.), (2) Working for the Japanese (Richmond, The Weasel, Eddie's bodyguards, the L.A.P.D.) or (3) Blackmailed by the Japanese (Tom Graham, Senator Morton).

  • People have complained about Tia Carrere's character only talking how unjust and oppressive the Japanese are without putting up any fight. She doesn't have a love interest in anybody Asian.

  • The movie illustrated the white community's greatest fear - a Japanese company engaging in murder, spying, and coercion. People complain that they don't see any MicroCon personnel engaging in such practices - though a white senator was identified.

  • People have complain that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's character was the typical self-sacrificial Asian sidekick who sacrifices his life so that the non-Asian hero(es) can live.

  • People have complained that though the two lead characters have personal imperfections, this has been seen as part of their "humanity" which many complained didn't happened with the Japanese villains.

  • Many people ask why is it that Hollywood always insists on making White people (in this case, Sean Connery) its "experts" on Asian cultures? Don't Asian people know anything about themselves? One sad conclusion is that why would the white community ask somebody from the community that they fear for advice? The other, sad but true, financial reason is that who from the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities could play that part that is a draw? Just as the Black and Italian communities developed their stars, the situation started to change - slowly but surely.

Directed by Tony Chan
Cast: Lester Chit-Man Chan, James DuMont, Thomas K. Hsiung, Jeffrey Lau, Kenneth Lu, Colin Mitchell, Coleen O'Brien, Susan Sterman

A young illegal immigrant from Hong Kong (Lau) toils in a Queens, N. Y. , Chinese restaurant, and covets U. S. citizenship--but learns that this may mean having to marry an American, the thought of which staggers him. Hong Kong-born director-cowriter Chan, himself an immigrant, knowingly captures the experience of the foreigner in America. This marks the 23-year-old's directing debut.

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