Tag Archives: Michelle Rodriguez

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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Chromatic Shortlist: Three Actors Of Color We’d Rather See In The Crow Remake

By Arturo R. García

Not that remaking a cult classic like The Crow isn’t already a bad idea, but casting Bradley Cooper as the lead? That wouldn’t help, to say the least.

The fan attachment behind the film has endured because of both Brandon Lee’s performance as resurrected rocker Eric Draven and his accidental death during filming, which eerily echoed the demise of his father, martial-arts and film icon Bruce Lee.

And make no mistake: Lee owned this role, and not just because of action sequences that took full advantage of his martial-arts skills. In his final on-camera interview, Lee understood the challenge ahead of him, describing the Draven character as “a role that you have to take risks with. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to take those risks and stretch, because, you tell me how somebody who comes back from the dead is gonna behave.”

Familiarity seems to be behind both Cooper’s rumored casting – he starred in Limitless for Relativity Media, the company behind the upcoming reboot – and the retelling of Draven’s story. The character is the most enduring avatar of The Crow in pop-culture: he was brought back for the short-lived syndicated tv show Stairway To Heaven, where he was played by Mark Dacascos; and in 1999, Draven’s story was revisited by Image Comics.

But it’s important to remember, as Lee did, that Eric Draven is just one person. In both the comic-book world and a series of novels, many others were chosen for their own missions of vengeance. There’s other stories Relativity could have gone to for inspiration, and possibly garnered a new star for its’ stable, rather than relying on Cooper. But the actors chosen below work well either as Draven or some of the other characters featured over the years.
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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: