By David Yeh
After a quest for White Castle burgers and a trip to Guantanamo Bay, the comedy duo of Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) return for a third go around to celebrate (or ruin) the holiest of holidays: Christmas. This isn’t as strong of a film as the first ‘Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle’ nor is it as smart, but it certainly is entertaining through its chaos as the events encountered become even more offensive (in a good way) than the one before.
The Academy Awards aren't generally a big night for Asian Americans -- after all, there haven't been many noteworthy Asian American wins, and little recognition given overall within the community. This year, with the dominance of Slumdog Millionaire, it was exciting to see Asian faces light up the screen. Despite the fact that the movie can hardly be considered "Asian American," given its British crew and Indian locale, we're crossing our fingers that its impact will nevertheless be felt throughout the Asian American entertainment world.
Fans of Clint Eastwood will probably head to Gran Torino because the previews promised a growling Dirty Harry wielding a firearm. As an avowed Eastwood skeptic, I came to the theater curious about the first mainstream American film to represent the Hmong. I think the film had plenty to offer both of us—as Walt Kowalski, Eastwood spends nearly half the movie with his lips pulled back in a snarl and emerges from the movie a wizened hero, and the actual Hmong who are cast in the roles of Kowalski’s new neighbors are an endearing, charming lot.