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IMPORTANT & NOTEWORTHY FILMS
FEATURING ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS

Films in 2000 (Part 2)
Click HERE for Part 1 and HERE for Part 3


ROMEO MUST DIE Jet Li in Romeo Must die  
(2000)

Executive Producer: Joel Silver, Jim Van Wyck
Producer: Joel Silver, Jim Van Wyck
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Action Director: Corey Yuen Kwai
Scriptwriter: Mitchell Kapner, Jerrold E. Brown and John Jarrell
Director of Photography: Glen MacPherson
Production Manager: Warren Carr
Production Coordinator: Kathleen Nurit
Location Manager: Bev White
Assistant Location Manager: Darcy Wilde
Casting: Lynne Carrow
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Cast: Jet Li, Aaliyah Haughton, Russell Wong, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Taayla Markell, DMX, Francoise Yip, TLC, Anthony Anderson, Edoardo Ballerini, Jon Kit Lee, D.B. Woodside, Tong Lung, Bryan Lawson, Terry Chen, Henry O


"Romeo Must Die" establishes (hopefully) some needed elements - love story, however ill-fated, between an Asian (not an Asian Pacific American) male and a non-Asian (in this case, Black). It will be interesting to see how this film comes off, considering that Jet Li doesn't speak much English. We do get to see Russell Wong in action, after a long absence from his last appearances on film. If you have some comments on this film, feel free to visit this movie's MESSAGE BOARDS.

This remake of the classic Shakespearean drama is being portrayed in this movie as follows: As a truce between African-American and Asian gangs in Oakland falls apart, two people (Li, Aaliyah) from opposite sides of the war find themselves falling in love even as they try to bring peace and resolution to their families and their neighborhood.

An interesting note: (4/14/99) It has been reported that this script was originally be about Italian and Japanese mobs, (hmm - "Rising Sun" meets "The Godfather") but with the recent casting of Aaliyah, and Li's own casting, it appears more likely that the mobs will instead be Chinese and African-American. You can follow the development of this story pretty well at various Jet Li sites listed. (4/23/99) With the casting of Washington and Lindo, this was confirmed.

Trailer Thoughts: The first half sets you up with the whole "plague on both your houses" thing, and then, slowly we see some Jet Li kung-fu action until the end when they sort of throw it at you. What I got from this was a reminder that this is the first U.S. film that showcases Jet Li's style, and that more than anything sells this movie. Black Mask came close, but its direction prevented us from really seeing the action in a way that did it justice; but what see here seems to be more fluid.

Special Note on the Special Effects: The producers allowed Jet to have a fair amount of creative input in the film; it was Jet who dreamt up the film's tkiller CG trick, X-ray views of some of the fight sequences. (You've gotta see the movie to understand.) In addition, he conceived of an unusual combat scene where he fights an opponent using an atypical weapon - co-star Aaliyah's body! (Jet must have had a lot of fun "using" this FINE-LOOKING LADY as a weapon!?!?!?) They rehearsed for a month for that, Aaliyah says. She stated that she had to get in a harness and get used to the wirework. BTW: It took 3 days to shoot that scene! Check out some of the trailers!

Check out the great film soundtrack that features DMX, Aaliyah, Timbaland, Magoo, Destiny's Child, Ginuwine, NY Confidential, Mack 10, Dave Bing, Blade and Stanley Clarke (movie's music producer).

Special Note: On June 22, 2000 - Aaliyah made music history when ''Try Again'' -- from the film soundtrack to her acting debutbecame the first song ever to hit No. 1 on Billboard's pop chart without being sold as a single. (Billboard uses a combo of radio airplay and singles sales to determine chart position.)

ROMEO MUST DIE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON VIDEO!
Click
HERE to purchase a copy of this movie on DVD! It includes three great "behind-the-scenes" segments such as the following:

As of May 23, 2000, Romeo Must Die had 7th largest opening figures! Not bad. Listed below are the statistics.
#1: DINOSAUR (BUENA VISTA)
Screens: 3257 - Weekend: $38,854,851 - Average: $11,930
#2: GLADIATOR (DREAMWORKS)
Screens: 2938 - Weekend: $34,819,017 - Average: $11,851
#3 SCREAM 3 (DIMENSION)
Screens: 3467 - Weekend: $34,713,342 - Average: $10,013
#4 ERIN BROCKOVICH (UNIVERSAL)
Screens: 2848 - Weekend: $28,138,465 - Average: $9,880
#5 MISSION TO MARS (BUENA VISTA)
Screens: 3054 - Weekend: $22,855,247 - Average: $7,484
#6 U-571 (UNIVERSAL)
Screens: 2583 - Weekend: $19,553,310 - Average: $7,570
#7 ROMEO MUST DIE (WARNER BROS.)
Screens: 2641 - Weekend: $18,014,503 - Average: $6,821
#8 ROAD TRIP (DREAMWORKS)
Screens: 2530 - Weekend: $15,484,004 - Average: $6,120
#9 BEACH, THE (20TH CENTURY FOX)
Screens: 2547 - Weekend: $15,277,921 - Average: $5,998
#10 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (PARAMOUNT)
Screens: 3155 - Weekend: $15,011,181 - Average: $4,758

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TV GUIDE


John Woo's movie with Tom  Cruise

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: 2
(2000)

Executive Producer: Terence Chang and Paul Hitchcock
Producer: Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner
Screenwriter: Robert Towne
Director: John Woo
Distributed by Paramount
Cast: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott, Rade Serbedzija, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Roxburgh & John Polson.


Tom Cruise returns to his role as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of "Mission: Impossible" which is based upon the popular 60's TV series starring Martin Landau, Peter Graves and others. This time around, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) leads a mission to stop the release of a German virus by terrorists.

In the film's preview trailers, you'll get a sample of the John Woo magic that will be seen throughout this action-packed movie. It appears that the theme music will be done by Metalica!

Paramount's Mission: Impossible 2 led the Memorial Day weekend box office to a record gross of $183.7 million. It was the biggest holiday haul in history, surpassing last year's July 4th weekend take of $165.7 and leaving the previous Memorial Day weekend gross of $147.9 million, set in 1997, in the dust. M:I-2, which earned $70.8 million, shattered all previous opening records for a new film save for one: 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which earned $90.2 million. During the same weekend, Jackie Chan's Shanghai Noon grossed $19.6 million.

Note: Tom Cruise is likely to earn a record amount personally if Mission: Impossible 2 continues to demonstrate the formidable box-office attraction it displayed in the opening weekend. Tom Cruise will $20 million (as actor & producer), % of the film's worldwide gross, plus an additional $30 million from his share of merchandising and video sales.

Good Vibes Between John Woo and Tom Cruise!
In June 2000, Tom Cruise and John Woo were in Hong Kong promoting MI-2 and attending the movie's Asian premiere. As "the extremely nice guy" described by HK media, Tom Cruise showed great interest to work with John Woo again, and surprisingly, also mentioned that he originally wanted to match Chow Yun-Fat in MI-2, but failed due to Chow's schedule for Anna and the King. In most of the interviews, Tom said that if there was a MI-3, it would be a great chance that Chan Yun-Fat is one of the cast members. On the other hand, Chow said that he is waiting for the script.

Besides MI-3, another project involving Tom and Woo also came up last week, which was once mentioned before MI-2. The project is a Chinese historical war drama set in the 19th century, a true story about the Chinese kingdom clamping-down a civil war with British government's help.

MI2 IS NOW AVAILABLE ON VIDEO!
Click
HERE to purchase a copy of this movie on DVD! It includes three great "behind-the-scenes" segments such as the following:

  • "Behind the Mission" section has interviews with John Woo (director, Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner (executive producer), Thandie Newton, John Polson, Ving Rhames and Dougray Scott.
  • "Mission Incredible" section shows how some of the action scenes (i.e. opening shots of Cruise climbing the steep mountain).
  • "Impossible Shots" section shows how 11 of the amazing stunts were done that includes the car chase, Woo's story boards, Woo/Cruise interviews and a conversation with the stunt coordinator (Brian Smrz).
  • Additional surprises include an alternative title sequence, the viewing of Metallica's music video ("I Disappear) and "Mission Improbable" (6 minute parody from 1999 MTV Movie Awards with Ben Stiller featured as "Tom Crooze.")
  • To top it off, included is an audio commentary from John Woo who shares how his goal for MI2 to be more romantic and humanistic than the original. Overall, a great dvd package to have!!



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