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*** Official "BETTER LUCK TOMORROW" Discussion Thread (1 Viewer)

Peter Kim

Screenwriter
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Jun 18, 2001
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1,577
Anyone hear anything about this film? I just heard about this for the first time when reading this weekend's box office report from CNN:

In limited release, the low-budget "Better Luck Tomorrow" had a huge first weekend, grossing $398,489 in just 13 theaters for an average of $30,653. Directed by Justin Lin, the film features a cast of unknowns in the story of straight-A, Asian-American teens who, bored with their suburban lives, slide into petty crimes that lead to violence.

MTV Films acquired the movie at last year's Sundance Film Festival, feeling its fresh faces, dark humor, eclectic music and ambivalent ending would appeal to the network's youthful audience.
The per theater average is in contrast to this weekend's monster hit, Anger Management, which pulled in $12,532 a cinema.

So, my interest is piqued.
 

LennyP

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
587
This is definetly in my taste and I'll be getting a DVD sight-unseen, unless there's only crap in theaters for the next 2 weeks and I'll have nothing else to do. 70% of theatrical releases are "straight-to-dvd" for me, cheaper, and I own the thing forever. :D
 

ThomasC

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I saw the trailer a few weeks ago, I'd really like to see it.
 

Joe Hsu

Supporting Actor
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Jul 2, 2001
Messages
812
My school, the University of Michigan, had an advanced screening (although other schools had the same thing a while ago) March 22nd for our first ever APA Film Festival. Unfortunately, my a cappella group's concert was the same day, so I had to miss the movie. It also isn't showing anywhere in Michigan yet, so I really hope it gets picked up nation-wide so I can support Justin Lin...I was able to meet one of the actors and the documentary director in a meet and greet.

Good reviews by many, ontop of the importance to the APA community...got a lot riding on this. :)

Glad to see the numbers are so great, thanks Peter.
 

Michael Reuben

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Ebert and Roeper reviewed it (favorably) last week. The reviews are available at their website. I'd planned to see it today, but I spent the entire afternoon rewiring parts of my HT.

M.
 

Henry C

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 1999
Messages
154
I saw this movie on Friday since LA is one of the few markets where this movie is playing. It's a pretty dark tale which challenges some of the myths about Asians being the "model minority". I really liked the cast and the story. It's worth it to check it out in the theaters.

Henry
 

Nick C.

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 27, 2001
Messages
251
I was pleasantly surprised to see the movie showing at the local 25 screen googleplex

there's a neat article on the film's ending being changed over at the Movie Poop Shoot. apparently after it was shown at the 2002 Sundance festival the ending was too depressing and open-ended, so when MTV picked it up for distribution, they told production to lighten it up, but Lin, who had final cut rights in his contract, maintained his integrity and barely touched it

I was piqued by the beginning of the trailer (which was attached to City of God in my local independent cinema), but towards the end of it, the hard rock music and souped-up Civics made it seem like another variant of the "Fast and the Furious" franchise.
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
when did Oriental become politically incorrect
During the mid to late 70s, there was a birth of what some academics have deemed the "Yellow Power" movement in which youth, mostly American born college students from the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly from SF State, took much inspiration from the Black Power movement and started advocating for the rights of Asian Americans. Amongst the tennets of their beliefs was that as a community, the APA community had long been fractured along ethnic lines and as such had no true sense of community.

Given the political context of the US at the time, the sentiments took root and soon political advocacy for the APA community became increasingly significant. Somewhere in the backdrop of this, the term "Oriental" joined with phrases like chink, gook, slant eye of being inappropriate for use.

Haven't seen "Luck" yet but am greatly looking forward to it. Was absolutely swamped at work this weekend and wasn't able to make it to the theater out here in Houston that has it playing during its limited release. The movie carries with it a fairly strong anti-model minority message with it that greatly intrigues me.

(Keep in mind that something like 55% of Asian Americans live in a state of poverty, so the notion of us as a model minority infuriates me at times--sorry for the political rant).
 

StephenK

Stunt Coordinator
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Jun 1, 1999
Messages
226
James

Not to hijack this thread, But I have to disagree re: your comparison of Oriental to the other terms you listed. Having lived here all my life (35+ years), I've never encountered the term Oriental used as a pejorative, merely a description of origin (race). Oriental became Asian same as the use of colored became negro became black became African-american. In their time, all of the above terms were always considered the "polite" way of describing a black person.

NickNC:

My personal opinion was that the source of the term Oriental (literally from the east) as opposed to Occidental indicated a "Western" point of view and also smacked a little of a perception that the "Orient" was somehow, mysterious, exotic, and of course, ultimately "foreign" . Asian or Asian American at least indicates a geographical origin that isn't from one nation's point of view. Personally, I couldn't give a crap and always rely on the speaker's intent as opposed to language.
 

Yoshi Sugawara

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Nov 13, 2000
Messages
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I saw this film at the Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco last year, and got to see the cast and the director and a "making of" film afterwards.

I was pleasantly surprised at the film - most Asian American films I've seen "try too hard" to make their point, or try too hard at dispelling stereotypes and such.

The characters in this film seem very real, and never draw attention to the fact that they're Asian American - the film deftly uses race for the sake of humor and it worked well, I thought. It's a dark film that sort of had the feel of "Goodfellas" in a high school atmosphere, and pulled it off pretty well.
 

James Nguyen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
295
It's interesting to note that Justin Lin grew up in suburban Orange County--and that at one point, in 1992 roughly while Lin would have been a college student / young adult, there was an incident in which four Asian highschoolers, mostly all honors students, turned on a fifth and bludgeoned him to death.

The similarities between the case and the film are quite startling as I'd almost completely blocked the case from memory.

(see "Stuart Tay" and "Sunny Hills" on Google or your search engine of choice)
 

Zen Butler

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It's interesting to note that Justin Lin grew up in suburban Orange County--and that at one point, in 1992 roughly while Lin would have been a college student / young adult, there was an incident in which four Asian highschoolers, mostly all honors students, turned on a fifth and bludgeoned him to death.
This is true. I have worked next door to Justin's family for over 13 years. Everyone around here is very happy for him and his family. See the film, he is truly something special. Awesome family.
 

Joe Hsu

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 2, 2001
Messages
812
If you guys are really that interested, I could ask someone or drag up an email that explains where the term "oriental" really became a no-no...this came to pass late last year, and it's not just an "accepted" thing, I believe there was more behind it then just "I don't like that word".

And I'm glad more people are talking about it here...hopefully it'll hit somewhere in SE Michigan on the 25th...
 

ThomasC

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Yay! It's hitting Ohio next week! See if your city will be getting it as well:

http://www.comingsoon.net/cgi-bin/ar...0617228,36676,

Theatrical engagements for the film include the following major markets, beginning Friday, April 25:

Albany, NY
Albuquerque, NM
Ann Arbor, MI
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Baton Rouge, LA
Birmingham, AL
Boise, ID
Boston, MA
Boulder, CO
Buffalo, NY
Calgary
Charleston, SC
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Colorado Springs, CO
Columbus, OH
Dallas/ Ft. Worth, TX
Dayton, OH
Denver, CO
Des Moines, IA
Detroit, MI
Edmonton
El Paso, TX
Fresno, CA
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Greensboro, NC
Hartford, CT
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, KS
Knoxville, TN
Las Vegas, NV
Lincoln, NE
Little Rock, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Madison, WI
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Nashville, TN
New Orleans, LA
Oahu, HI
Oklahoma City, OK
Omaha, NE
Orange County, CA
Orlando, FL
Palm Springs, CA
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh
Portland, OR
Providence, RI
Raleigh/ Durham, NC
Reno, NV
Rochester, NY
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Sarasota, FL
Seattle, WA
Spokane, WA
St. Louis, MO
St. Paul, MN
St. Petersburg, FL
Syracuse, NY
Tampa, FL
Toronto
Tulsa, OK
Tuscon, AZ
Vancouver
Washington, DC
West Palm Beach, FL
Winnipeg

For the upcoming weekend beginning April 18th, the movie will expand from its current run in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco to theaters in eighteen markets. These markets include: Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Baltimore, West Palm Beach, Toronto and Vancouver along with in-market expansion in San Francisco and New York.
 

Damin J Toell

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Damin J. Toell
I believe the term "Oriental" was hastened into political incorrectness with the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1979. Orientalism harshly dealt with the Western world's approach towards Eastern culture. Since "Orientalism" (the concept) is the West's false constructruction of what true Eastern cultures and people are, "Orientals" are therefore representations of that false and oppresive stereotype. I don't believe the word was considered troublesome prior to Said's influential (if not flawed) book.

DJ
 

Dome Vongvises

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 13, 2001
Messages
8,172
Well, at least I have some desire to see this film. A movie with a bunch of Asians, and they're not kung fu fighting. :)

Finally, I can tell my friends, "Not all of us know how to do karate." Or in my case, it's Muay Thai. :)

I saw the commercial for this movie a few hours ago, and if it makes it anywher near me (Louisville I think) I'm going to watch it.
 

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