More Work to Do
Sung Kang, who co-stars with Sylvester Stallone in the action flick Bullet to the Head, reflects on his own Rocky Balboa-esque story.
by ADA TSENG
Sung Kang can check one more thing off of his bucket list: co-starring in a Sylvester Stallone movie.
“I was a big fan of Rocky,” says Kang, referencing the famous rags-to-riches boxer film from the 1970s. His dad collected all the early Stallone films, and their family would often watch action movies together when Kang was growing up in Georgia. “Whenever I felt like the chips were down or if anybody was picking on me, I’d put on Rocky, and it’d always cheer me up. Rocky is all about a nobody having a chance, and I feel like that’s the story of my life.”
This “nobody” didn’t even have to audition for the role of Taylor Kwon, “a young NYPD detective who needs the help of abrasive hitman Jimmy Bobo (played by Stallone) in order to catch the bad guys who killed both their respective partners.
Inspired by Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete, the film adaptation Bullet to the Head, which opened Feb. 1, was relocated to New Orleans, and Thomas Jane had originally been cast for the role of Stallone’s sidekick. Later, when the filmmakers decided they wanted to switch up the typical (read: traditionally Caucasian) cop action genre by casting a minority actor to go up against Stallone, they called up Kang on Memorial Day weekend of 2011. Continue Reading »
China’s patience with North Korea wearing thin
Associated Press via Google News
China’s patience with North Korea is wearing thin, and a widely-expected nuclear test by the latter could bring that frustration to a head.
Beijing signaled its growing unhappiness by agreeing to tightened U.N. sanctions after North Korea launched a rocket in December, surprising China watchers with its unusually tough line, which prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang.
And while China isn’t expected to abandon its communist neighbor, it appears to be reassessing ties a year after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took office. The question is for how long China, itself under new leader Xi Jinping, will continue to back North Korea’s nettlesome policies.
South Korea’s path to internet mastery
The National (United Arab Emirates)
Less than two decades ago, just a small number of South Koreans had access to the internet, in stark contrast to the current situation where almost all of them enjoy the fruits of the Web.
Even in 1998, the number of internet users was only seven per 100 people. South Korea lagged behind other countries in ratings by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of computer ownership and internet usage, implying Koreans had low levels of information utilisation skills.
The government recognised this as a major modernisation challenge as the world leading economies, such as the United States and Japan, were in the forefront of developing their information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. Numerous reports pointed to ICT as a crucial driving force for economic growth.
Brazil Carnival honors South Korea, Korean immigrants
AFP via Global Post
With samba music and allegorical pageantry, the Brazilian Carnival pays glowing tribute this year to South Korea’s ancient culture and technological prowess, and to 50 years of Korean immigration.
Friday, South Korean popstar Psy was a star guest at Carnival celebrations in the northeastern city of Salvador, wowing the crowd with his “Gangnam Style” hit that made Internet history last December by clocking more than one billion views on YouTube.
Book review: ‘Radical: Fighting to Put Students First’ by Michelle Rhee
Jennifer Howard, a former contributing editor of Book World, is a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
If you are, have been or might soon be the parent of a school-age child in Washington,you have an opinion about Michelle Rhee, who ran the city’s public schools from 2007 to 2010. In a town full of divisive personalities, Rhee polarized opinion more than any other public figure I can remember, with the exception of a handful of officials. (Here’s looking at you, Marion Barry.) Either you admire her do-whatever-it-takes attempts to overhaul a system that had become a national embarrassment, or you loathe her as a power-mad, union-busting, school-closing dictator who trampled over teachers, parents and public servants.
I’m a Washingtonian with school-age children who are not currently enrolled in D.C. Public Schools. I watched, closely but from the sidelines, as Rhee set about the overhaul she describes in “Radical.” Her supporters and detractors could probably agree on one word to describe her: formidable. There’s no whiff of regret in “Radical.” By her reckoning, Rhee came in to do a difficult and politically dangerous job, and she did it the way she thought it needed to be done. Once she couldn’t do it effectively anymore, she moved on to bring her message of “radical improvement” to the national stage.
‘Walking Dead’: Steven Yeun’s Glenn is beating heart of AMC series
Los Angeles Times
Yeun’s amiable nature is familiar to fans of AMC’s hit zombie series. As Glenn Rhee, he functions as a likable everyman, the closest thing to a romantic hero in an unrelentingly brutal apocalyptic world.
“Steven is the heart of the show,” said Glen Mazzara, the “Walking Dead” executive producer who’s set to leave the series at the end of this season. “Everybody loves that character; everybody’s rooting for that character. He may be tortured and sensitive, but he’s always a hero.”
Chan-wook Park has a lot riding on blood-filled ‘Stoker’
Los Angeles Times
In a high-tech bungalow on a back corner of the 20th Century Fox lot, the South Korean auteur Chan-wook Park is chiseling his opus as the clock ticks toward 9 p.m.
Park, the toast of Asian cinema and hero to hordes of genre-film enthusiasts, is editing “Stoker,” a coming-of-age Gothic thriller starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. It’s his first film in the U.S. and first in English. For hard-core fans of the director’s blood-spattered Korean work — including “Oldboy,” the 2004 Cannes Grand Prix winner being remade by Spike Lee — his arrival on the shores might be compared, with less exaggeration than you may think, to the landing of the Beatles.
Shin-Soo Choo on center field: I’ll try
Shin-Soo Choo admits moving to center field is a process.
“I’m not comfortable there yet,” he said. “At the major league level, I played 99 percent of my games in right field. I’ll try. I’ll work on it this spring training. We’ll see how they’re thinking. If they’re not (happy), somebody else will be playing in center field.
“I’ll try the best I can.”
Wie, Webb and Ko headline class field
Canberra Times (Australia)
Fading star Michelle Wie will become a “wasted talent” if she can’t succeed this year, New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko has the all-round game to avoid the same pitfalls and become a future champion, while legend Karrie Webb is the woman to beat.
That’s the opinion of former Australian Open champion and ABC commentator Jane Crafter ahead of the Australian Women’s Golf Open, at Royal Canberra from February 14-17.
Think Young, Play Hard: Lydia Ko
ON WINNING THE LPGA TOUR’S CN CANADIAN WOMEN’S OPEN AT AGE 15
I’m not sure it has sunk in–even now. In the moment I didn’t think it was that amazing. The experience to me was just putting together one good round after another. But when I saw it on paper, my name as the champion, I thought Wow, this is really what I’ve done.
ON BEING A TEENAGER
My three best friends don’t really know what I’ve done on the course. It doesn’t matter to them. Two of them live in Korea, so we stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. We talk about Korean TV and hip-hop music. My favorite right now is the group BigBang. It has good-looking guys.
K.J. Choi wins award for charitable service
K.J. Choi, who has supported relief efforts worldwide as well as programs to help Korean communities, was named recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America’s (GWAA) Charlie Bartlett Award on Wednesday.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for contributions to the betterment of society.
“Although I feel that I haven’t done that much, I am honored to be recognized for my actions,” Choi, who will be honored at an awards dinner in Augusta, Georgia, the week of the Masters, said in a statement.
Why Do Koreans Eat So Much Kimchi?
Kimchi is Korea’s representative food. It’s delicious, healthy and it goes good with everything. And Koreans eat it pretty much everyday, for pretty much every meal. It can’t be THAT good can it?! Find out why Koreans eat so much kimchi!
In addition to being super healthy and uber delicious, kimchi goes perfect with all Korean food. And pretty much 99% of the Korean population eats it pretty much everyday at every meal. That’s because Koreans need that fresh feeling in their mouth. No joking… they NEED it! So even if they’re not eating Korean food, non-Korean restaurants in Korea will serve SOMETHING that will give that fresh feeling (i.e. pickles, pickled radish, etc.).
South Korea’s Air Force has a lot of time on their hands, apparently.
The airman of the Republic of Korea recently dropped an elaborate 14-minute parody of Hollywood’s recent remake of the insanely popular musical Les Miserables.
And you know what? It’s actually pretty good. Pretty damn good. The production values are excellent, the singing is superb and did I mention they include subtitles in the video? Not only that, but the melodramatic nature of Korean people and their ever-present han makes it a perfect fit for Les Mis. Continue Reading »
KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine hosted an advanced preview screening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Sylvester Stallone action flick, Bullet to the Head, at CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles’ Koreatown on Jan. 31. The honorary guest of the night was Stallone’s co-star, Korean American actor Sung Kang, who plays Detective Taylor Kwon, a New Orleans cop who enlists hitman Jimmy Bobo (Stallone) to help him track down the bad guys that killed both their respective partners.
At the event, Kang told KoreAm about the lessons that Stallone and director Walter Hill taught him about being the quintessential “alpha male,” both onscreen and off. It’s about exuding confidence; even when an alpha male doesn’t know what’s going on, he acts like he does.
“I’m always running around, feeling like I have to explain myself to everybody,” said Kang. “But alpha males tend to be very quiet. They just stand there, and everyone else gravitates toward them. At the same time, there’s a sense of respect, because the alpha male has earned it.” Continue Reading »
Here’s your chance to go to the theatrical premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING to be attended by actor Daniel Henney on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6. Enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to this screening. Just follow the three easy steps below to enter.