Brandon Lee biopic needs your help raising money with just 3 days to go

Bruce_Lee_-_sonBrandon Lee was a handsome actor on the rise in Hollywood, continuing the legacy of his father, Bruce Lee, as an action star.

But in 1993, during the filming of the movie “The Crow,” he suffered a tragic accident — a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks in a scene shot a live bullet that killed him. Lee was just 28 years old.

His mythic death, which bookended the sudden and unexpected death of his father, is what people know and remember about him today. But a new movie being planned, “Brandon,” hopes to bring Brandon Lee’s life, not his death, into the spotlight.

The producers are trying to crowdfund the project on IndieGoGo, but so far, with less than three days left, they’re far short of the $25,000 they need to start the production phase of the film.

brandonleeI’ll support the film. Just seeing the promo for the project produced for IndieGoGo, above, is inspiring because it makes the case that Asian Americans just haven’t been featured in Hollywood, and “Brandon” is a chance to shine a light on one AAPI star whose light was dimmed too early.

Check it out. Open your wallet and pull out a credit card. But do it soon, over the weekend, because time is running out.

Asian Americans are making progress in mainstream American pop culture

I Am Bruce Lee

I happened to catch a terrific documentary the other night, “I Am Bruce Lee,” which combines a well-researched biography of the late great martial arts star Bruce Lee with interviews with everyone from his wife Linda Lee Caldwell, to LA Lakers star (and martial artist) Kobe Bryant who discuss Lee’s legacy and enormous influence on American pop culture.

Much of the documentary focuses on Lee’s efforts to overcome racial stereotypes of Asians that were prevalent in the 1960s and ’70s (many are still with us), and his struggles against a system that was stacked against featuring a male Asian in a leading role.

One segment got me thinking, where the film asserts that the system is still stacked against Asians – even today, there has been no major Asian male star who has the draw of, say, a Brad Pitt.

Sure, Jet Li for a time took up the martial arts mantle, and so did Jackie Chan. But Li’s talent never transcended his action roles, and Chan’s brand in Hollywood is as a comedic lightweight even though he can act in dramatic parts. Plus, once niched into martial arts, you’re always a martial artist. Even Bruce Lee might not have overcome that hurdle, had he lived.

There are some potential future contenders, though: John Cho can hopefully rise above the youth market appeal of the “Harold and Kumar” films and build on his butt-kicking role as Sulu in the new “Star Trek” movies, and it’s possible to imagine Tim Kang (TV’s “The Mentalist”) and Sung Kang (the “Fast and Furious” movies) cast as big-budget leads someday.

But I can’t monku (complain) too much about the lack of Asian men in star positions. The fact is, we’re doing so much better than just a few years ago in Hollywood, that we should be celebrating.

Less than a decade ago, I was giving speeches on the lack of Asian faces on TV and in movies.
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“Green Hornet” trailer shows Kato’s role as much more than just a butt-kicking sidekick & valet

First of all, I can now see that there’s some comedic logic to casting Seth Rogan as the Green Hornet (and his alter-ego Britt Reid), and that he may be able to pull off a superhero vibe after all.

Second, I can hardly wait to see the movie to enjoy Jay Chou as Kato, and the fact that he’s really the superhero of the story, building the “Black Beauty” limo and kicking serious butt with his martial arts skills. Oh yeah, he’s the valet/chauffeur, all right… but so much more.

It’ll be interesting to see if the movie explores Kato’s ethnicity.
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