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‘Asian August’ comes to Hollywood, but will it last?

2 min read

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Phil Yu is excited. The Los Angeles-based blogger saw an advance screening months ago of “Crazy Rich Asians” and now the first Hollywood movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast is about to arrive in theaters along with two other predominantly Asian films.

'Asian August' comes to Hollywood, but will it last?

FILE PHOTO: Author Kevin Kwan (R) and cast members Henry Golding and Constance Wu pose at the premiere for “Crazy Rich Asians” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

“I’ve been driving around town seeing posters for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and it gives me a real thrill. It’s like, Wow! Do white people feel like this all the time?” said Yu, who has been writing his Angry Asian Man blog since 2001.

The romantic comedy, based on the best-selling book by Singapore-American Kevin Kwan and opening on Wednesday, is the first all-Asian Hollywood studio movie since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993.

“Crazy Rich Asians,” which stars Michelle Yeoh, will be joined by two others this month in a breakout moment for Asian filmmaking that will test whether U.S. audiences will turn out en masse to watch.

Sony Pictures indie thriller “Searching,” featuring an Asian-American family and directed by an Indian-American newcomer, opens in U.S. theaters on Aug. 24, while the Netflix adaptation of young-adult novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” starring an Asian teen, will be released next week.

“I hope it’s Asian August. I think this is the start of a new movement,” said Jon M. Chu, director of Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians.”

'Asian August' comes to Hollywood, but will it last?
FILE PHOTO: Cast member Ken Jeong poses at the premiere for “Crazy Rich Asians” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

“The audience needs to decide. If they show up on opening weekend, that sends a very clear message to the studios that more will be made. They are sitting at their desks right now with movies that have not been greenlit,” Chu said.

PRESSURE IS HIGH

Asians make up 5.8 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2017 census, but a University of Southern California study showed that 37 of the top 100 grossing films in 2017 had no Asian characters.

When they do appear on screen, Asian actors are often cast in martial arts sequences, or as the token ethnic best friend or other stereotypical roles.

Worse still, Hollywood has a history of whitewashing. Emma Stone was cast as a Hawaiian-Chinese character in the 2015 film “Aloha” and Scarlett Johansson played a role meant for a Japanese woman in last year’s “Ghost in the Shell.”

Amid the anticipation among the American-Asian community at the sudden spotlight, the pressure is on.

“There is a lot riding on this,” said Guy Aoki, founding president of the Los Angeles-based Asian American Media Action Network. “On one hand you are excited and on the other you go ‘Oh God, I hope this does well’ because if it doesn’t, we are screwed.”

'Asian August' comes to Hollywood, but will it last?
FILE PHOTO: Cast member Constance Wu poses at the premiere for “Crazy Rich Asians” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

While “Crazy Rich Asians” is set in the world of the super wealthy in Singapore’s ethnic Chinese community, “Searching,” starring John Cho, could have featured any ethnicity.

“We’re the first contemporary mainstream thriller to ever have an Asian-American lead. That is crazy because it’s 2018,” said director Aneesh Chaganty.

WIDER THEMES

Author Jenny Han insisted on casting an Asian as the lead in the adaptation of her novel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

“It wasn’t that she needed to be Asian; it’s just that she was. Never in my life have I seen an Asian-American girl star in a teen movie before,” Han said.

The makers of “Crazy Rich Asians” are stressing the movie’s wider themes, aware that the estimated $20 million budget film must succeed outside the Asian-American community.

Yet Aoki and Yu say it is unfair to place the future of Asian filmmaking in Hollywood on one or two films.

“One romantic comedy with two Asian faces on the poster having to hold up the dreams and hopes of an entire community is just not fair,” Yu said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Bill Tarrant and Richard Chang

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Gaming

FIFA 19 The Journey: Champions Trailer, Screenshots and Details

1 min read

In FIFA 19, fans can jump into the distinctive stories of all three heroes in The Journey: Champions, the story driven mode that comes to a finale in this year’s game. Take Alex Hunter, Danny Williams, and Kim Hunter through their respective journeys as they reach some of the most significant moments of their careers. Additionally, as their stories intertwine and play out simultaneously, switch between all three characters at any time to change up your experience. Fans can also cross paths with some of the world’s most famous footballers, including Neymar Jr., Alex Morgan, Paulo Dybala, Kevin De Bruyne, and more.

All three heroes have already seen successes across their careers, with new challenges arising as they play at the highest levels in football:

  • As the original star of The Journey, Alex Hunter has already had a rollercoaster of a career in the first two instalments of The Journey. After signing for the Premier League club of his choice, Alex has gone on loan to the English Championship, spent half a season in Major League Soccer, and moved back to Europe to play for one of the continent’s biggest clubs. But in The Journey: Champions, Alex has finally secured his dream move: to Spanish footballing giants Real Madrid.
  • Alex first met Danny Williams during the National Football Academy exit trials, where they didn’t really get along. The former rivals bonded as teammates while plying their trade in the second division and eventually become close friends. When Alex leaves for L.A., Danny joins his old club to pick up the slack in Alex’s absence. After a brief scare midway through The Journey: Hunter Returns, Danny fights for his place at the club after a string of solid performances.
  • Kim Hunter is a young American soccer player with dreams of playing at the highest level of the women’s game—and she’s also Alex’s half-sister. Alex and Kim meet for the first time after Alex joins the LA Galaxy at his father’s suggestion. Not long after, Kim gets her first cap for the United States Women’s National Team. Now she’s ready to take her career to the next level in The Journey: Champions with a call-up for the Women’s World Cup.

To learn more about The Journey: Champions, you can check out an interview with Matt Prior, Creative Director on FIFA 19 here. Also, watch the trailer and view the new FIFA 19 The Journey: Champions screenshots below.

FIFA 19 The Journey: Champions Trailer, Screenshots and Details

FIFA 19 The Journey: Champions Trailer, Screenshots and DetailsFIFA 19 The Journey: Champions Trailer, Screenshots and Details FIFA 19 The Journey: Champions Trailer, Screenshots and Details

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Steam gets built-in tools to let you run Windows games on Linux – now available in beta

1 min read

August 22, 2018 Steam’s Linux compatibility tools are confirmed – and now in beta.

Steam Play – Valve’s name for its cross-platform initiative – is getting a major update, with built-in tools allowing you to run Windows games on Linux. We saw the first hints of the feature last week, and today Valve has confirmed it. It’s available right now in beta, so if you want to test the compatibility features on your own Linux install you don’t have to wait.

The new tools run on Proton, which is custom distribution of the widely-used Wine compatibility tool. In the most practical terms, this means you can now download and install Windows games directly from the Steam client without any further fuss. Valve is currently checking “the entire Steam catalog” and whitelisting games that run without issue, but you can turn off those guidelines and install whatever you want, too.

Proton should provide enhanced performance over Wine in many cases, according to Valve. DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, and performance in multi-threaded games “has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.” You’ll also see better fullscreen and controller support with Proton. It’s also fully open source, and available on GitHub.

You can opt-in to the beta under the account tab in your Steam settings menu. Hit ‘change’ and jump into the Steam Beta Update, then restart the client and you’re golden. If you want to go beyond the official list of supported games – visible in the full announcement – you can do so via your Steam Play options. This is a Linux-only option for the foreseeable future, as Valve says there are no current plans to support the feature on Mac.

In theory, this should eventually allow nearly the entire Steam catalogue to run on Linux, though it’s possible certain types of DRM and anti-cheat measures could keep that compatibility from happening. To that end, Valve says it’s “a good idea to avoid any invasive third-party DRM middleware.” For developers wanting to make extra certain they’re Steam Play compliant, Valve recommends targeting the Vulkan API natively in those games.

Valve’s own SteamOS is built on Linux, and as we speculated when hints of this update surface last week, this could be part of a renewed push for the platform. There are rumblings around the internet about SteamOS 3.0 being on the way, even after Valve removed Steam Machines from the Steam store. At the same time, Valve reiterated its support of Linux and Vulkan for PC gaming – and this update marks a major confirmation of that support.

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Plane with rapper Post Malone lands safely after blown tires

1 min read

(Reuters) – A private jet carrying rapper Post Malone landed safely at a New York airport after two of its tires blew out during takeoff on Tuesday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and media reports.

Plane with rapper Post Malone lands safely after blown tires

FILE PHOTO: 2018 Billboard Music Awards – Photo Room – Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., 20/05/2018 – Post Malone holds his Top Rap Song award for “Rockstar”. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

There were 16 people aboard the Gulfstream plane, which took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and was headed to London before it was diverted to Stewart Airport, about 70 miles (113 km) north of New York City, the FAA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

Rapper Post Malone was among the passengers, New York ABC affiliate WABC reported, citing a spokesperson. His representative in New York declined to comment, and other representatives did not respond to questions.

“I landed guys. Thank you for your prayers. Can’t believe how many people wished death on me on this website,” the rapper wrote in a post on Twitter.

Andrew Watt, a musician who collaborated with Post Malone on the song “Burning Man,” was also aboard, CNN reported, citing a source with knowledge of the flight.

It was not clear what caused the tires to blow out.

The FAA initially said the plane was diverted to Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Massachusetts, about 100 miles (161 km) southwest of Boston, but later said the plane landed at Stewart Airport because of a crew decision.

Officials with the airport were not available to comment.

Post Malone, whose real name is Austin Richard Post, was in New York on Monday, where he performed and received an award at the MTV Video Music Awards. He is scheduled to perform at the opening night of the Reading Festival in England on Friday.

The rapper has had the No. 1 hits “Rockstar” and “Psycho” this year and in 2017. In May, streaming service Spotify said his sophomore album “beerbongs & bentleys” had broken the first-week streaming record, with more than 236 million streams in the United States and more than 411 million worldwide.

Reporting by Makini Brice in Washington,D.C.; Editing by Frank McGurty

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