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FEATURING ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS
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Directed by Stanley Tong
Cast: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Françoise Yip, Bill Tung, Marc Akerstream, Garvin Cross, Morgan Lam, Ailen Sit, Chan Man Ching, Fred Andrucci, Mark Antoniuk, Lauro Chartrand, Chris Franco, Lance Gibson, Kathy Hubble, Terrance Leigh, Dean McKenzie, Kimani Ray Smith, Lisa Stevens, Kris Lord, Richard Faraci, Mark Fielding, Terry Howsen, Jordan Lennox, Gabriel Ostevic, John Sampson, Owen Walstrom, Carrie Cain-Sparks, Guyle Frazier, David Fredericks, Harold Gillespie, Alfred Humphries, Elly Leung, Rainbow Ching, Jamie Luk, Richard O'Sullivan, Alecia Paget, John McGrath, Adrian Parkinson, Rick Burgess, Eddy Ko, Annabelle Louie, Emil Chau, Alex To, Harley Martin
Okay, we're bending the rules a bit here. This is actually a Hong Kong production, originally shot in Cantonese and then dubbed into English for its American release (in 1996). However, this very entertaining chop-socky comedy scored Jackie Chan's first box-office success in the U.S.A. Jackie's first two attempts to break into the American market, "The Big Brawl" (1981) and "The Protector" (1986), didn't live up to expectations. But as the old saying goes, the third time's the charm. The movie is also a positive look at the Asian immigrant experience. Its success encouraged New Line Cinema to release more of Jackie's films, culminating in his first full-fledged Hollywood star vehicle, "Rush Hour" (1998) and his Western/Comedy film - "Shanghai Noon."
Directed by Phillip Rhee
Cast: Phillip Rhee, Christopher McDonald, Gina Gershon, Mark Rolston, Peter Simmons, Cristina Anzu Lawson, Dee Wallace-Stone, Michael Bailey Smith, Justin Brentley, Andra R. Ward, Barbara Boyd, Kitao Sakurai, Cole S. McKay, Steve Hulin, Jack C. Thomas, Jerra Nicol Thompson, John Robert Thompson, Jonathan McCurdy, Dylan Howard Young, C. David Earle, George Wilson, Dean Nelson, Kenny Elliott, David Rody, Anntoinette Hendrix, Stephany Anderson, Kevin Asbell, Mark Chemeleski, Jeffrey Haris, Tee
In small-town America, the battle between good vs. evil rages on as a martial arts expert goes up against a gang of vicious skinheads. This action-packed sequel to the first two "Best of the Best" films climaxes with the hero fighting the group's cruel leader one-on-one. And the future of the town's innocent citizens depends upon the defeat of the murderous racists.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
Cast: Kim Vithana, Jimmi Harkishin, Sarita Khajuria, Mo Sesay, Lalita Ahmed, Shaheen Khan, Zohra Segal, Amer Chadha-Patel, Nisha K. Nayar, Renu Kochar, Surendra Kochar, Souad Faress, Tanveer Ghani, Akbar Kurtha, Peter Cellier, Rudolph Walker, Fraser James, Dean Gatiss, Martin Greenwood, Shireen Shah, Gurdial Sira, Badi Uzzaman, Bharti Patel, Hugo Speer, Judith David, Karen Montero, Ash Verez, Shad Ali, N.J. Willow, Neera Sharma, David Tse, Phil Croft, Raymond Wallbank, Jonathan Cohen, Steve Burgland, Mark Mayhem, Chila Burman, Matt Young, Becky Marling
A group of South Asian women in England--of various ages, nationalities, and emotional attachments--take off together for a day at the beach (Blackpool, to be exact). This small British film exquisitely balances comedy and drama to create a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be an Asian woman in a man's world. Click HERE to order the film from Amazon.Com!
Directed by Paul Anderson
Cast: Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Robin Shou
A fairly enjoyable action movie--if you don't take it too seriously. But then again, how seriously should anybody take a film based on a video game? As the story gets going, it looks like yet another entry in the "white martial artist beats up the Asians" sweepstakes: with good-guy Johnny Cage (Ashby) pitted against the evil Shang Tsung (Tagawa). But seeming to borrow a page from "Best of the Best" (see above), Robin Shou's limber Liu Kang seizes the spotlight, and he becomes the hero who dukes it out with the arch-villain in the rousing climax. This could mark a new trend: the Asian as stealth hero. Followed by a sequel, "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation."
Directed by Mina Shum (Donald Cammell).
Cast: Claudette Carracedo, Greg Chen, Stephen Chang, Estelle Coppens, Lesley Ewen, Donald Fong, Nathan Fong, Dennis Foon, Kevin Kelly, Gene Kiniski, Tosca Chin Wah Leong, Johnny Mah, Mimi Mok, Sandra Oh, Alannah Ong, Laara Ong, Callum Keith Rennie, Tony Seaver, Wong Shuck, Mina Shum, So Yee Shum, May Tam, Rose Lam Waddell, Frances You
OK - this is not exactly an American film, but a Canadian film. It is however done very well and is very noteworthy for that reason. The plot is as follows. Jade (played by Sandra Oh) is a twenty-something Chinese-Canadian struggling actress. But she is caught between two worlds -- traditional and modern -- and this is affecting important aspects of her life, from the men she dates to how she fares at auditions. In terms of men, Jade reluctantly satisfies her parents' old world standards by letting them choose her dates, and even letting them decide how she'll look when she goes out. But on the sly, Jade's modern attitudes are reflected in the motorcycle jackets she wears, and her involvement in an interracial relationship. Meanwhile, on auditions, Jade would prefer to play non-"Asian" characters, but nonetheless finds herself being typecast at every turn. How will Jade rectify the dichotomies that are affecting her life -- without losing her family? The film has touches of comedy and doesn't have the parents or the Sandra Oh character play stereotypical people. It also provides a fine opportunity for many Asian Pacific American actors to be seen. Click HERE to read an interview with Sandra Oh and Mina Shum!
Directed by Steven E. de Souza
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Simon Callow, Wes Studi, Byron Mann, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, Andrew Bryniarski, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Kenya Sawada, Kenzo Tsujimoto, Joe Bugner Kamilyn Kaneko, David De Souza, Scott Rosen, Renzo Colla, Ric Curnow, Efthymios Kallos, Alex Ivacheff, Maow Krungvong, Françoise Le Cosset, Saleh Saqoaf, Rosanna Wong, Christine M. Walton, Darcy LaPier, Jeri Barchilon
Ryu, Chun-Li, Sagat, and other combatants from the popular video game "Street Fighter II" come to life in all their kickboxing glory. Gen. M. Bison, the villainous ruler of Shadaloo, is holding over 60 relief workers hostage. When the Allied Nations forces, led by handsome redhead Col. Guile, decide to pay Bison a ransom instead of overthrowing him, Guile objects, and is fired. Never one to take things lightly, Guile rounds up a multi-cultural band of expert "street fighters", and sets out to defeat the nefarious Bison.
The best thing in this film, besides Jean-Claude Van Damme's fighting, is Ming Na Wen's participation in the film. She gets to do her martial arts thang! Check out the pictures and witness her fighting.
This film is "sort-of" a transition from her success from the Joy Luck Club" and her future work in ER, The Single Guy, One Night Stand and finally with the Disney film Mulan.
During this time, she also got married. Creating much havoc among the male population with her husband (Eric) stealing this gorgeous female from her many male fans! Showing her support for her husband, she has produced her husband's play "Exit the Dragon" which describes the many tales of frustration and searching within the Asian Pacific American communities. Check out the rest of her background at the 1998 page!
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