Thursday, March 15, 2012
A Fistful of Ethnic Confusion! (Matt’s Picks)
With the release of Will Ferrell’s Casa de mi Padre, Brad and I got to thinking about the many times folks of one ethnic persuasion played folks of another, frequently in the most awkward ways. And for the sake of fairness, I’m just gonna leave Cliff Curtis off the list, otherwise he’d take every spot. Nor will I mention the horror of Memoirs of a Geisha.
5. Of course, everyone’s favorite Korean, Chiun, played by Joel Grey is a classic example. I hear that in Korea, door handles do not break.
4. The consummate Brit, and go-to touch of boisterous class for low budget film makers, John Rhys-Davies plays the awesome fixer and good buddy of Prof. Indiana Jones. If only I could have such a local guide when I go overseas.
3. Yul Brynner as Chief Black Eagle in Kings of the Sun is one super-tough badass. The way he saunters up to the invading army of Mayans, all alone and half naked, like he ain’t got a no worries…That’s hardcore.
2. David Carradine is so woefully not Chinese (or part Chinese) in the awesome show Kung Fu as to be laughable. It made his brief cameo in Crank 2 that much more wacky.
1. Charlton Heston’s portrayal of Mike Vargas was shockingly respectful for the time (1958). Heston plays it totally straight, not trying to put on some silly accent or affectation. Having seen similar roles from the same era, that kind of respect and dignity was fairly rare.