Guangxi: It’s amazing what you hear when you’re not asking a million questions throughout a movie. “Looper” opened this month and took in $21.2 million in North America but China out-grossed the US at $24 million showing the entertainment power of a growing China market. Endgame Entertainment, an independent production and finance company based in Los Angeles fully financed “Looper” and brought in DMG as a co-producer to expand the audience reach for the film. For starters, part of the movie was rewritten to take place in China (versus France) (I loved the reference to “learn Mandarin” as a prediction for the future) and some of the filming was done in Shanghai. And secondly, the undeniable chemistry between Bruce Willis and his beautiful love interest, actress Summer Qing, who rose to prominence playing Madame Soong Ching-Ling in the #1 Chinese blockbuster “The Founding of a Republic” (2009) which was also produced by DMG (formerly Dynamic Marketing Group). New Yorker Dan Mintz founded DMG in Beijing in 1993 as an international advertising agency. Today, the company has expanded into real estate, retail, media and entertainment where he and his two local Chinese partners, Peter Xia (son of a prominent military figure) and Ms. Wu Bing (former gymnastics champion) are pushing the envelope and making “global films with Chinese relevancy.” Look for Chinese elements and appeal in their next collaboration project: “Iron Man 3” with Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Company China, set to release on May 3, 2013 with the returning cast of Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.
Zombie Apocalypse: This month ends with the much anticipated Halloween (my hubby’s favorite holiday of the year which he prepares for months ahead) and it seems ghouls, goblins and vampires are all the rage in Hollywood especially one addicting show called “The Walking Dead” based on the comic book series of the same name. Korean American Actor Steven Yeun stars as “Glenn.” The pilot received 5.3 million viewers, breaking all previous records and the show/actors were nominated for all sorts of prestigious awards. Yeun was born in South Korea and raised in Michigan where his parents owned beauty supply stores. Growing up, he read but never collected comic books because they were “too expensive” but after he graduated from college, he became obsessed with comic books and started buying all sorts, including the Walking Dead series. Yuen is living his dream, humbly thankful for the all the hype and is comfortable with being “that familiar Asian guy” who incidentally gets the hot girl (Maggie) in Season Two. Catch up on Seasons One and Two on Netflix before the third season premiere on Sunday, October 14th. And if zombies nibble your fancy: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=DuMt-N0bnww&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DDuMt-N0bnww.
By the way, don’t you think Halloween should always fall on the last Saturday in October? Since we’re California, who wants to start a Petition Drive?
The Asian Duo: The Bay Area is proud of seeing our Asian brothers and sisters on the news as anchors and reporters and doubly proud when we have two Asians who co-anchor as a team. NBC Bay Area weeknight news at 5 p.m. has the only all-Asian main anchor team on the mainland US featuring Janelle Wang and Raj Mathai. Janelle and Raj never knew each other before working together but soon found out that they went to the same elementary school, grew up just down the street from one another, went to rival high schools and went to college in the same city. Small world. In 1995, Raj became the country’s first sportscaster of Indian descent to work at a network affiliate. Janelle began her professional career in Oregon, where she worked as a reporter, anchor, editor, photographer, and briefly as a weather forecaster. Since then, she has advanced her career around the states, most notably as a talk show host on “The View from the Bay” during its 4-year run on KGO ABC7. She is an avid “Tweeter” (@janellewang) and scrolls through her Twitter feeds regularly to make sure she’s not missing any hot news. Her signature cause is encouraging people to join the National Marrow Donor Registry and the Asian American Donor Program. Her mom was a donor and Janelle also held a drive for one of her dearest friends. Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life threatening diseases need a “good match” usually from someone of the same race or ethnicity. You have the power to help…www.AADP.org.
Cool, Fresh, Deep: It’s no secret that Filipinos are great singers/ musicians and throw great parties. According to Richie Quirino’s award winning book Pinoy Jazz Traditions, Filipinos were first exposed to music performed by African-American soldiers dating back to 1898 and have since matured into today’s talented Filipino jazz artists. This year’s 5th Annual Filipino Jazz Festival will take place on October 12th and 13th at Yoshi’s JazzClub/Sushi Restaurant (celebrating 40 years) in Oakland and October 14th at Yoshi’s in San Francisco and will feature Jo Canion, aka “Josie” a pioneer in the jazz world since the early 1950’s and Mon David, an award-winning United States-based Filipino-American artist/musician. Visit www.sfpinoyjazzfest.com for more information and join the party!
Don’t Gamble With Your Liver: This year’s Hep B Free Gala (www.sfhepbfree.org) was a huge success and honored U.S. Representative Mike Honda for his dedication to Hepatitis B awareness. In 2006, Congressman Honda helped launch the Hep B Free movement when he was publicly tested at the largest ever one-day Hep B screening event. Just this past May, Congressmen Honda set another milestone, co-founding the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus, a bi-partisan effort to reduce the growing viral hepatitis epidemic. He’s also working on his international ambassador skills and learning to say just one word in every language as an icebreaker. You’ll have to ask him what that one word is!
Don’t Forget to Vote: Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day. My motto: You can’t complain if you don’t vote. People always ask me what it takes to win an election. Today, I have a short concise answer: Be a Honey Badger and you’ll win! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg
Got Buzz? Email me at Fiona@FionaMa.com.