Australia Will Now Get its Own ‘Fresh off the Boat’

guest_offendersERIN

Erin Chew is a dreamer. She has shined in the spotlight at her high school plays, always clinching the role as the tree or the pot plant. No matter how much she tried out for the roles of the heroine in Romeo and Juliet, Desdemona in Othello, and vie for the role of Anna in The King and I, she just never made the cut. Seventeen years later, this same girl though much more matured, has used this disappointment to give back to the community. In 2013, Erin co – founded the Asian Australian Alliance (AAA), a grassroots advocacy network with the aim to empower the entire Asian Australian community and raise concerns and projects over common issues. Over the years, AAA has grown to have a women’s forum, young leaders program, and a LGBTIQ network. In 2016, AAA launched a new academics alliance with the purpose of linking academia with social activism. Erin has run many national campaigns which have attracted mainstream media attention. She is also a free-lance writer, focusing on racism, diversity and social activism. Here, Erin reflects on the history of Asian Australian media and the importance of the breakthrough show, The Family Law, which is being hailed as the start of a revolution against stereotyped Australian media.

The cast of the revolutionary new Australian TV show 'The Family Law'

The cast of the revolutionary new Australian TV show ‘The Family Law’

In Australia, it is common to see Asian Australians on television, so really what are we complaining about? Just switch on the TV on any given night and you will find unsuspecting Asians being caught at airport customs for bringing in fresh, unpackaged food from Asia on Border Security, being breath tested on Highway Patrol, or being arrested for a huge drug bust and/or being caught as illegal migrant workers on AFP (Australian Federal Police). And to turn up the notch just a little bit more and highlight our positive roles, we are always in the final ten of every MasterChef Australia series. Of course, we are also portrayed as nasty, gossiping women in My Restaurant Rules, and as backward, traditional people on soapies such as Neighbours, where an Indian Australian brother and sister from the Kapoor family were sent to India after the character Priya Kapoor was portrayed as a conniving seductress and husband stealer. And this is just TV shows. In the area of journalism, unless you watch the government funded ABC and SBS, you will never see Asian Australians as news anchors or weather report readers, and you seldom see any as reporters on the ground.

But these are just the disaster stories, which interestingly enough take up most of the Asian Australian television airtime. Like anything else, it is not all doom and gloom, and there have been small strides in the fight for better diversity in Australia’s media industry. Among the growing number of Asian Australian cooking shows, singing and performing reality television shows, and playing the role of an immigrant, there really has not been a show until now which talks about the lives of Asian Australians, not as a documentary, but in a digestible and light-hearted way.

YOMYOMF Blockbuster Showdown with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Spoilers)

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Warning! This special edition of the YOMYOMF Blockbuster Showdown is very heavy on the spoilers for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Do not read, if you have not seen the film and don’t want to know any major plot points….
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OK, FINAL WARNING! SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP:

A 5-year-old reviews the original STAR WARS

guest_offendersBrian Watanabe is an advertising creative, blogger, screenwriter and Star Wars nerd. His screenplay THE ROGUES GALLERY was turned into the film OPERATION: ENDGAME starring Rob Corddry, Maggie Q, Ellen Barkin and Zach Galifianakis. This blog entry was originally posted on Frolic Hawaii and is posted here with permission. 
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“This is the best night ever!”

The movie hadn’t even started yet, but for my daughter, the night was off to a good start. That was a relief for me because tonight was a big deal.

A Death Star-sized big deal.

Tonight was the first time I was showing my 5-year-old the original, 1977 STAR WARS.

No pressure.

Watch the STAR WARS Saga in this order before seeing THE FORCE AWAKENS

guest_offendersFirst up, you can read our past STAR WARS blogs here

All this week, we’ll be posting STAR WARS blogs leading up to the release of STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS. We’ll be posting new musings, as well as re-posting past blogs about the venerable space opera that shaped many of our childhoods. This leads to an epic BLOCKBUSTER SHOWDOWN blog at the end of the week, where a bunch of Offenders go into congress together and riff on how THE FORCE AWAKENS holds up. Is it the STAR WARS film we’ve been waiting for after the blandness of the Prequel Trilogy? Or is it a postmodern piece of fan service dreck that should whither away in some fan fiction message board? We’ll find out soon!

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The upcoming release of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS appears to have rekindled the near obsessive excitement of a somewhat pessimistic fan base, given the prior creative direction of the franchise. While anxiously awaiting the arrival of the latest film, it’s a virtual certainty that the fan base is wont to recapture the intoxicating exuberance provided by the customary marathon viewing of the previous films. Thus follows the ubiquitous discussion of what is the appropriate viewing order of the films, narrative order (Episodes I-VI in sequence) or production order (Episodes IV-VI, then I-III).

Something School Never Taught Me (In Memory of Grace Lee Boggs)

guest_offenderEWAN

Ewan Chung is primarily an actor based in Los Angeles. He also produces, writes, sings, and is currently performing in Offender David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish” at East West Players. Jack of all trades (actors say yes to EVERYTHING), master of some (eating and cooking fancy food, foreign languages, classic Shanghai-era pop music). Instead of talking about himself, he’d rather be travelling, seeing movies at a festival, or making you yammer. You can follow him here, here and/or here. Ewan writes about the influence of activist Grace Lee Boggs who passed away yesterday at the age of 100.

Ewan with Grace Lee Boggs.

Ewan with Grace Lee Boggs.

I can safely say that I had a pretty solid education growing up in the Washington, DC area as the son of Chinese immigrants who worked hard and insisted that I do everything I can to make a good life for myself.

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Over a decade later after graduating from the University of Virginia and fully entrenched in Hollywood, working gigs before and behind the camera.

One of the many freelance jobs I had at the time was transcribing documentaries (for closed captioning and archival purposes). This led me to meet filmmaker Grace Lee, whose name I remembered from “The Grace Lee Project.” The new film was a spin-off inspired by one of the Grace Lees profiled in her previous documentary. This project’s title was “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.”

YOMYOMF Summer Blockbuster Showdown: FANTASTIC FOUR

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1. Remake, Reboot, or Recycled? — Is it a remake or reboot or a “based on…” and how does it compare to the previous version, or the source material?

Dom: A reboot of FANTASTIC FOUR based on the Marvel comic. There were 2 previous FF films that stunk, 3 if you count the unreleased Roger Corman version. This FANTASTIC FOUR is……85% of a very good movie.

Liz: So, I wasn’t able to see what sounds like an AMAZING movie experience aka the new FANTASTIC BORE. I mean FANTASTIC FOUR! In the spirit of the films, I shall be adding my two cents as the invisible woman to this showdown.

YOMYOMF Summer Blockbuster Showdown: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION

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1. Remake, Reboot, or Recycled? — Is it a remake or reboot or a “based on…” and how does it compare to the previous version, or the source material?

DOM: The 5th film in the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series. Do we realize that the 6th one would be MI6? Does that beg for crossover with James Bond or what?

Anderson: Aside from this being an obvious remake of the ‘70s TV show, I really liked ROGUE NATION because it’s actually setting up more of a continuity and world building than the previous editions. There’s actually references to previous films and how the “rogue actions” of the IMF have resonated with consequences for the entire team.

YOMYOMF Summer Blockbuster Showdown: MINIONS

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1. Remake, Reboot, or Recycled? — Is it a remake or reboot or a “based on…” and how does it compare to the previous version, or the source material?

Liz: MINIONS is a spinoff series of the popular little twinkie/tatertot characters from the DESPICABLE ME movie franchise. They speak gibberish that oddly sounds a lot like Spanish and their goal is to work for the most evil boss they can find.

SIDE NOTE: You should know, that I have a very particular sense of “cute.” I love Hello Kitty. If something is round and organic in shape, fluffy, cutely colored, and funny looking, I will probably like it and want to squeeze it to death (like my dogs). Technically, I should love the Minions! They’re roundish, funny, and have personalities. However, even in DESPICABLE ME, I just could not get behind them. I know that I should think they’re cute, and yet something about the combination of their primary colors (Hello Kitty is made of primary colors and I love her), their weird language (Stitch has an alien language and I love him), and their slapstick humor (I’m a sucker for any physical comedy) makes me just cringe when thinking about them. I just wanted to bring all of this up so that you are aware that I was not the happiest camper going to see this movie. However, I was pumped to see it theater filled with kids, so I could tell what made the kids laugh even if I didn’t find things particularly funny.

YOMYOMF Summer Blockbuster Showdown: SAN ANDREAS

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1. Remake, Reboot, or Recycled? — Is it a remake or reboot and how does it compare to the previous version?
Dominic: This is unfortunately not a film version of the Grand Theft Auto video game. I first became aware of SAN ANDREAS from a TV ad the day after the Nepal earthquake, which, whether by design or not, felt really appalling. Also, it’s an awful movie.

Liz: Dom. Seriously? You thought it was going to be a film version of GTA: San Andreas? And man, that was terrible timing that you heard about SAN ANDREAS after the Nepal earthquake (Click here to donate to the relief efforts in Nepal). I was SUPER PUMPED to see SAN ANDREAS (aka “The Movie Where The Rock Steals A Bunch Of Stuff”). I am such a sucker for disaster movies like DANTE’S PEAK, VOLCANO, DAY AFTER TOMORROW. I also love bad action movies that are not part of any existing properties. So, you bet I was excited to watch this movie. See California get destroyed? See the Rock do cool stunts? uh.. F*CK YES. I was so excited that I pre-bought tickets to see it opening on Thursday night with my fellow lover of terrible action movies, Mr. Aaron Takahashi.

YOMYOMF Summer Blockbuster Showdown is back with AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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The summer movie season is upon us as we return with another edition of the YOMYOMF SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER SHOWDOWN, where a bunch of Offenders pontificate about this year’s tentpoles. The first 2015 showdown out of the gate — Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON!

1. Remake, Reboot, or Recycled? — Is it a remake or reboot and how does it compare to the previous version?

Dom: The sequel to THE AVENGERS is as fun and pseudo-stupid as its predecessor, but not in exactly the same ways. The main improvement is that Captain America has learned a lot about fighting for film since the first AVENGERS, owing to the excellent WINTER SOLDIER, which, thus far, has gotta be the best Marvel movie for normal people.

Silence of THE FLASH / Hunt the Dark ARROW

guest_offendersDOMINIC

Dominic Mah is a writer, director, erratic blogger at dommah.com, and rock musical enthusiast. He recently co-wrote a feature film about superheroes and sidekicks. He is working on a startup comic book. He is often found in karaoke bars being @dommah and @thorhulkcritic.

Screen shot 2015-04-02 at 9.15.07 AMMark Hamill guest-stars as the Trickster in this week’s THE FLASH. Yes, he also voices the Joker in the Batman animated series and videogames, and he also played the Trickster in the old-school FLASH series of the 90s, so basically Mark Hamill owns the Jokey DC Villains Who Cackle. Barry and Joe consult Mark in his prison cell when a new Trickster threatens Central City. The setup is very much Silence of the Lambs, down to Mr. Hamill’s terrifyingly-accurate sense of smell. Also, he eats a Red Vine in a way that is just wrong.

In possibly the most meta-humorous moment in THE FLASH thus far, Mark Hamill delivers this surprising line to the new Trickster: “I AM YOUR FATHER.” Yessir, Mark Hamill says that. **

Flash & Arrow: Big Boss Battles

guest_offendersDOMINIC

Dominic Mah is a writer, director, erratic blogger at dommah.com, and rock musical enthusiast. He recently co-wrote a feature film about superheroes and sidekicks. He is working on a startup comic book. He is often found in karaoke bars being @dommah and @thorhulkcritic.

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(Spoilers ahead)

This week’s FLASH and ARROW were mainly about leveling up the difficulty of the heroes’ showdowns with their foes, by addition of dramatic weight, new weapons, and an Iron Man suit.

FIGHT #1 Flash vs. The Rogues Gallery

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