Summer Movie Awards

Film festival season is officially underway, and while movies that emerge from fests like Venice, Toronto, and Telluride often become Oscar contenders, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society isn’t ready to look that far ahead just yet. Instead, they’ve looked back at the films of the past few months and issued their Summer Movie Awards, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout and performers like John Cho (Searching), Toni Collette (Hereditary), and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) winning big.

Take a look at the full list of winners below.
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crazy rich asians spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Crazy Rich Asians.)

“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” That is the rather grandiose Napoleon Bonaparte proverb that Crazy Rich Asians opens with, setting the stage for a wild, escapist fantasy of a film that is both keenly aware and uncaring of the burden it carries. Crazy Rich Asians knows it presents a landmark moment for Asian-Americans in film, and right off the bat, it declares its intentions. It’s a weighty promise for Jon M. Chu’s romantic-comedy to live up to — but does it live up to it? Yes, and no.

On a barebones level, Crazy Rich Asians doesn’t quite shake the world. It’s a romantic-comedy that follows a standard meet-the-parents set-up, with an outrageously wealthy twist. But add in the all-Asian cast and Asian-American heroine, and you’ve got something revolutionary.

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crazy rich asians stereotypes

Crazy. Rich. Asians. Every adjective in the title of Crazy Rich Asians sounds loaded at best, distasteful at worst. When trailers for Jon Chu’s movie started hitting the web, cries of racism inevitably began to surface. Why did it have to be Asians? Doesn’t that generalize an entire population of people? And does this mean that they’re crazy? Or crazy rich? What about poor Asians?

Asian-led projects are so rare in Hollywood that it becomes unavoidable that every movie, TV show, or media property will undergo intense scrutiny for how well it represents a minority group that makes up 5.6% of the U.S. population. Sure, every now and then a blockbuster will feature an Asian character (cue grumbles that it’s to appease the growing Chinese movie market), but they rarely appear as more than a supporting character or gasp, a token.

So immediately, Crazy Rich Asians is in a lot of hot water. While its protagonist is an Asian-American NYU professor, it mostly centers on the privileged Singaporean elite whose wealth and jet-setting lifestyle couldn’t feasibly represent every single Asian and Asian-American. And it doesn’t help that its tawdry title immediately calls to mind the abundance of stereotypes associated with Asians. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Crazy Rich Asians Scene Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, director Jon M. Chu breaks down a scene from the box office topping Crazy Rich Asians. Plus, watch a discussion with the filmmaker and cast members Constance Wu and Henry Golding following a screening at the Academy, and find out the answers to the web’s most searched questions about Ken Jeong. Read More »

crazy rich asians asian-american

When American-born Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) meets her boyfriend Nick’s mother Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) for the first time at their lush Singaporean mansion in Crazy Rich Asians, she enthusiastically lists off her accomplishments: lauded economics professor at NYU, talented, brilliant, probably played piano since elementary school. It’s a check list that any Asian-American parent would beam at, but to which Eleanor only coolly responds, “Pursuing one’s passion…how American.”

This fleeting confrontation toward the beginning of the film perfectly illustrates the divide between Asians and Asian-Americans that both communities still try to navigate today. And surprisingly, Crazy Rich Asians’ conflict between filial piety and passion gets to the heart of the muddled, ill-defined Asian-American identity.

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Jon M. Chu interview

Crazy Rich Asians is helping to bring a so-so summer moviegoing season to an end with a bang. Director Jon M. Chu has not only made a romantic comedy that’s the sort of charming, character-driven studio spectacle we want but rarely see this time of year, but also a movie that’s touching a lot of audiences. For Chu, who previously directed two of the finest Step Up films and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the incredible response to his adaptation of  Kevin Kwan‘s bestselling novel has been emotional and surprising.

Chu has made a romantic comedy oozing with charm, genuine romance, and visual splendor. With star-driven romantic comedies seemingly dying out, the electric chemistry between Candace Wu and Henry Golding is a breath of fresh air and makes for some exceptional escapism. It’s a complete and utter joy. Recently, Chu spoke with us about the romance at the center of the story, the response to the film so far, his collaborations with Kevin Kwan and the cast, and some of the movie’s standout scenes.

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next gen trailer

Take a dash of WALL-E, a smidgen of Big Hero Six, and a pinch of The Iron Giant, and you get Next Gen. The new animated film from Netflix looks to be borrowing heavily from those titles, and more, but the audience it’s marketed towards probably won’t care, so that’s fine. Watch the Next Gen trailer below.

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crazy rich asians tracking

Crazy Rich Asians is looking at a crazy solid opening weekend at the box office. Early tracking numbers estimate that the Jon M. Chu romantic-comedy based on the Kevin Kwan novel of the same name will open to a respectable $18 million. Not crazy rich, but not crazy terrible either.

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Crazy Rich Asians trailer

This is it. This is the Asian-led romantic comedy that we’ve been waiting for. And it looks fabulous.

The Crazy Rich Asians trailer is wealthy in both opulence and in talent, with Fresh Off the Boat‘s Constance Wu leading an ensemble cast that includes the legendary Michelle Yeoh, comedian Awkwafina, and more.

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