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Mike Lee’s Top 10 Movies Of 2018
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Mike Lee's Top Ten Movies Of 2018

It’s that time of year again when critics release their top ten movies of the year. No list is really the same, but each is a glimpse of a critic’s tastes in movies. Some have a mix of blockbusters and indie films, others lean heavily towards the former or the latter. Whatever the case may be, we can all come to the conclusion that films are a means of an escape or to be entertained by. They help us grieve or express joy and love. Each year gives us such a variety of films that allows us to express those emotions.

But what makes this year extraordinary special is that it took a giant step forward for representation. Some of the best films showed us that anyone can wear the mask. Another celebrates a culture that has gone under-represented for far too long by using a familiar yet effective rom-com formula. Other films spoke out to send a clear message about injustice. Then there are the sequels that thoroughly entertained us after 10 years of franchise storytelling.

So while the best films of the year are a matter of opinion, below are my top ten favorite films of the year. Some of these films won’t appear on anybody’s list. Some won’t even be ranked the same. But these are the films that meant the most to me, and if you haven’t seen them, I hope my choices encourage you to do so. See below for my top 10 movies of 2018.

...continue reading »
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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sequels To Shoot Back-To-Back
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Crazy Rich Asians Header

It was a crazy rich year for everyone involved with Crazy Rich Asians. Not only did it make truckloads of money, it’s also a turning point in the representation movement, particularly for Asian representation.

So after the film earned itself two Golden Globe nominations, plans for the sequels are coming to light. According to new reports, the plan now is to shoot the two sequels to Kevin Kwan‘s novels back-to-back. More on the report below.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sequel In Development With Jon M. Chu and Creative Team Returning
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Crazy Rich Asians starring Gemma Chan

Crazy Rich Asians made a very impressive debut last weekend, opening to $25 million and finishing with a grand total of $36 million if you count the five-day total after it officially opened on Wednesday. The rom-com captivated the world with its fantastic performances from Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh. And now it looks like a sequel is in order.

According to new reports, the creative forces that helped put the first movie together are getting back together for a sequel titled China Rich Girlfriend — both of which are adaptations of author Kevin Kwan‘s books of the same name. More on the story below. Minor spoilers will follow.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Read Jon M. Chu’s Letter To Coldplay Asking For Permission To Use “Yellow”; How Katherine Ho Was Chosen To Sing It
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Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians is truly one of the best films of the year. But you don’t need my review to convince you. The film blew past its box office expectations earning itself a $26.5 million dollar opening weekend, and $35 million dollars overall when it opened last Wednesday. It may have been 25 years since we’ve seen an Asian ensemble of this size in a mainstream rom-com, but it does prove that Asians can lead a film and subvert some of those Hollywood clichés. But that wasn’t the only thing that brought me to tears. Aside from Kina Grannis‘ cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” The Voice season 10 contestant Katherine Ho‘s cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow” left me a sobbing mess. And I don’t even like Coldplay.

So how did director Jon M. Chu get permission to use that song – a song with a title that’s also a derogatory term towards the Asian culture – and how did Ho become the voice of a song that is considered to be an anthem? Check out the full story, Chu’s letter, and the song if you haven’t heard it below. Minor spoilers follow.

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Movie Review: Crazy Rich Asians
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Crazy Rich Asians header

Crazy Rich Asians
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Adele Lim, Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Kris Aquino, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Rated PG-13 | Minutes: 121
Release Date: August 15, 2018

Romantic comedies may be a dime a dozen, but every once in a while there comes one that can change the course of cinema. And in the age of having more representation on the big screen, no film is more important than Crazy Rich Asians. Director Jon M. Chu‘s adaptation of the Kevin Kwan novel of the same name represents that shift. It’s a film that changes the genre by looking at it from a different perspective, one that has been largely ignored for almost an entire generation.

And because of that, Crazy Rich Asians is not only a special film but one that is also highly entertaining and enlightening. Check out my full review below.

...continue reading »
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