Tag Archives: Jessica Alba

Chromatic Casting: The All-Female Expendables

By Arturo R. García

Film bloggers got a bit abuzz last week at reports that an all-female spinoff of the Expendables franchise was being developed, with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” being contacted.

This being Hollywood, of course, don’t expect too much on the diversity front–heck, even seeing Jet Li as part of the crew in Sylvester Stallone’s original ensemble and Yu Nan and Terry Crews in the sequel–is about as good as we’re probably going to get in that series.

But here at Chromatic Casting, we know we can do better. And so we’ll give it a shot under the cut.

Keeping in mind that this series basically involves anthropomorphic tropes as characters, we won’t get too deep with the descriptions, but we’ll slot folks into some archetypal roles for the protagonist team, with the villains being a bit more fluid.
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Revisiting The Most Colorful Part Of The Academy Awards – And The Razzies

By Arturo R. García

Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast didn’t do much to challenge Idris Elba’s recent assertion that the Oscars “aren’t designed for us.” But there were a couple of bright spots for PoCs during the show, and one in particular had a massive award haul – but probably not the kind he was looking for. Details, and some feel-good music, are under the cut.

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Table For Two: The Racialicious Review of Machete

By Arturo R. García and Thea Lim

Arturo: I’ll be the first to admit it: it’s easier to talk about Machete than it is to review it. On one level, this is a “critic-proof” movie, because it was ostensibly made by Robert Rodríguez as a no-brainer successor to Planet Terror, with Danny Trejo taking his archetypal (and stereotypical?) Tough Guy character into leading-man status. And, as a guy who whooped it up along with everybody else when the original faux trailer screened after Planet Terror in theatres, I really wanted to like this flick.

But I didn’t, and was having a hard time talking about it. Enter my illustrious colleague Thea.

Thea: I was all ready to waltz around the digital Racialicious office singing the praises of Machete, when it was brought to my attention that Arturo gave the film two really big thumbs down. So I suggested we have a pop culture critics’ FACEOFF!!! Or rather, ahem, a friendly chat.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Thea: So, I thought Machete was a lot of fun.

Arturo: I thought it was a dull rehash of Planet Terror and Once Upon A Time In Mexico.

Thea: I have seen a bunch of Robert Rodriguez’s movies, but I don’t think I’m as learned in his oeuvre as you.

Arturo: R. Rodriguez seemingly couldn’t decide whether he wanted to go full-on over-the-top or craft an “epic.”

Thea: How do you think that your disappointment with the overall quality of the film connects to the race/gender stuff in the film? I was interested in the question that you posed — let me just directly quote you: “If you put a progressive message in an “intentionally bad” film, do you reduce it to a punchline?” Continue reading

Machete and Memes: Race and Articulations of Rage on the Internet

by Latoya Peterson

Some interesting intersections between pop culture, visual culture, and race surfaced in the last week.

The first was a tip sent directing me to Ain’t It Cool News which brought me to the first Mexploitation film “Machete“- by none other than Robert Rodriguez:

Machete, one of the joke trailers featured in Grindhouse is actually becoming a full movie – and the cast of Machete decided to send “a special message to Arizona” post SB 1070. Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, and Danny Trejo all recorded some new scenes directly speaking to the tension over immigration. While most of the embeddable trailers have been removed due to copyright claims, Ain’t It Cool News still has a video, so go check it out.

My favorite scene so far was Jessica Alba’s Malcolm X moment (“We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!”) but it all looks full of win.

Reader Kristi sent in a disturbing restaurant promotion, originally called out by Jezebel:

me luv u

A California sushi restaurant has been offering free edamame — as long as you’re willing to say “Me love you long time” to the waitstaff. And apparently the idea worked so wonderfully that it’s spreading!

The Huntington Beach branch of chain RA Sushi seems to have launched the promotion in early April, according to a Facebook post. The company’s Facebook wall also included the lovely image above. Of course, saying “Me love you long time” (a line originally uttered by a Vietnamese prostitute in Full Metal Jacket) requires patrons to a) copy a racist caricature, b) copy a racist caricature of a person from Vietnam, a country not necessarily known for its sushi, and c) totally humiliate themselves.

I was just going to put this Blacklava tee up as a response:

But then, while hanging over at Resist Racism, spoken word duo Yellow Rage attacks both the action and the underlying issues with perpetuating these types of phrases: