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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asian americans in hollywood

In 1993, The Joy Luck Club hit theaters, presenting a nuanced, never-before-seen look at the lives of Chinese-American women and their immigrant mothers. It was supposed to be a watershed moment for Asian-Americans in Hollywood, one that would harken a slew of Asian-led projects and finally defeat that pesky use of yellowface that had dogged Asians in Western movies for decades. We anxiously awaited the announcement for more Asian-led projects to follow. And waited. And waited.

It took 25 years for that watershed moment to finally come, with the arrival of Crazy Rich Asians this August. But astonishingly, it wasn’t alone.

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Crazy Rich Asians Box Office

After topping the box office last weekend, Crazy Rich Asians has achieved quite the feat in its sophomore run in theaters.

Box office reports coming in have Crazy Rich Asians dropping a mere 5.7% this past weekend with another $25 million coming in for the romantic comedy from director Jon M. Chu. Meanwhile, the raunchy wide release of The Happytime Murders is a bit of a dud. Get more on the latest box office receipts below. Read More »

crazy rich asians sequel

Crazy Rich Asians is getting a crazy fast sequel. Just a week after the groundbreaking Asian-led romantic-comedy opened in theaters, Warner Bros. is moving forward with a Crazy Rich Asians sequel with director Jon M. Chu and the first film’s writers on board to return.

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/Filmcast Ep. 481 – Crazy Rich Asians

David, Devindra, Jeff, and Hoai-Tran Bui discuss The Meg’s PG-13 rating, the pleasures of Castle Rock, and the brilliance of HBO’s Succession. Be sure to read Hoai-Tran’s pieces about what Crazy Rich Asians gets right about Asian-American identity, and why it’s good that the film doesn’t try to break stereotypes. Also, check out Jason Concepcion’s piece on the anti-capitalist message of Succession.
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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 yellow

The word “yellow” has tons of negative connotations for Asians, but Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu was determined to reclaim it. And he did it in the most emotional, and slightly tongue-in-cheek way, possible: he included a Mandarin cover of Coldplay’s hit song “Yellow.”

But it took more than a few phone calls to get permission to use the song. Warner Bros. executives were squeamish and Coldplay was reluctant — for good reason. So Chu penned a beautiful, moving letter to Coldplay to convince them to give Crazy Rich Asians the song. And you can now read the lovely letter in full.

Spoilers for Crazy Rich Asians ahead.

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Women of Crazy Rich Asians

One of the most profound things about Crazy Rich Asians is how it shows Asian and Asian-American people simply living. It sounds basic, but when you consider Hollywood history, much of which erases Asian characters and Asian culture altogether, you know that this is major.  As nearly every advertisement has read: “it’s not a movie; it’s a movement.” But beyond its breezy, romantic, and genuine laugh-out-loud moments, it also shows the power of single women — particularly single women of color. And even more significantly, it highlights the grace, strength, and sheer self-efficacy that embolden so many single mothers and their daughters.

Spoilers for Crazy Rich Asians lie ahead.

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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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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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 »