The University of Hawai’i was my first choice school. It was the only college outside of the Marianas that had Chamorro language courses, it offered multiple majors I was interested, and with the Western Undergraduate Exchange at the time, I wouldn’t cost as much as some other “out of state” schools might have. I have family members that live on Oahu and really, who wouldn’t want to go to school in paradise if they could?
Directed by Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips”, “United 93”), “22 July” recounts the 2011 terror attacks in Norway which left 77 dead, hundreds injured, and an entire nation devastated.
I have watched it half a dozen times.
Let’s get this straight: this film is by no means easy to watch. It is heartbreaking, to say the least, and will undoubtedly anger a number of viewers given the true story subject matter and the current political climate of the world. But that’s exactly why you should watch it.
I was slightly aback was a question asked by a friend of mine asked me over the phone: “Did you like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ because it was a good movie, or did you like it because you’re Asian?” Wait. What?
What does being Asian have to do with whether I enjoyed watching the film?
About a week ago, I asked in a poll on my Instagram whether or not my followers would like to read sample chapters of a work in progress in the same way George R.R. Martin teases all of us with spinets from his latest volume of A Song of Ice and Fire. (Still waiting on Winds of Winter, George. Still waiting.) Everyone who voted said, "Yes." So, here we are.
To say I was excited about “Crazy Rich Asians” would be putting it mildly. For evidence, see my Twitter feed. However, it is in instances such as these when great anticipation risks being met with greater dissatisfaction. Especially when you consider enough time has passed for an entire generation to be born and raised for an entirely Asian cast after "Joy Luck Club" in 1993. Talk about pressure. But after catching an early screening this week, I am happy to say that this is not one of those times.
When “Black Panther” was released into theaters earlier this year and a significant amount of my money released from my wallet as a result of my frequent trips to the multiplex to see it, there was also a considerable – albeit slightly unexpected – level of backlash regarding the cast. At least it was unexpected to me. The questions that were raised: Why is the cast all black? Where are the Latino superheroes? Where are the Asian superheroes? Oh, boy. Let’s get into this, shall we?