Each summer, moviegoers form lines at the theaters to be the first to see the newest crop of action-packed-hilarity-inducing flicks. For many it’s just something to do; for others it’s an addiction. And Hollywood doesn’t exactly make it easy for them to break the habit. Since the first summer blockbuster hit of yesteryear (thanks to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws), the movies have gotten bigger and better throughout the years (e.g., Independence Day, Iron Man, The Dark Night, Inception). But films with smaller budgets have also found their way into the spotlight (think Knocked Up and (500) Days of Summer).
This summer, the storylines of your favorite movies will continue, while new ones will be introduced hoping the marquee names catch your eyes. (Pick up our Summer 2011 issue, out in early June, for a full list of all the must-see summer movies!) Meanwhile, here’s a list of some pre-summer releases starring your favorite AA celebs (and some newcomers) — from Ken Jeong to Maggie Q – to whet your appetite.
PROM, April 29
Yin Chang, the Taiwanese-Chinese-Malaysian New York native actress, stars in the upcoming Disney film, Prom. Chang plays the role of Mei, a high school senior who is a part of the prom committee, whose storyline revolves around a seemingly “perfect” relationship with her boyfriend (played by Jared Kusnitz). Prom is a collective story of the senior prom experience as told by many different characters in the film. Each character is different than the next, and offers the viewers a chance to familiarize their own past experiences with the experiences of the characters.
Chang is most recognized for her role on the CW smash hit, Gossip Girl, as the nerd-outcast-turned-Blair-Waldorf-minion, Nelly Yuki. According to her website, Chang was raised as a Buddhist, and is the eldest of three daughters. Not only does Chang act, but in her free time she writes in hopes that one day her vision can be shared with others through the big screen. Chang’s creativity and need for expression comes with much influence from her grandfather, world-renowed artist Dr. Teng Beng. She describes her closeness with her family as being like “the Asian version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” — Soohee
Fast Five, April 29
Korean American Sung Kang returns as the street racer Han Lue in Chinese American director Justin Lin‘s Fast Five, making it his third appearance in Lin’s high-speed movie franchise. His first two were Fast & Furious and The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. In Fast Five, Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) go for one final job in exchange for their freedom, and they’ve round up their fast-driving crew for help, including Han.
Priest, May 13
With her previous butt-kicking movie roles and the success of her CW show Nikita, Maggie Q is poised to become the next action heroine. Her new film, Priest, makes her case even stronger. Q, of Irish, Polish and Vietnamese descent, plays a priestess who helps a priest (Paul Bettany) hunt down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.
The Hangover Part II, May 26
Two Korean American actors appears in the much-anticipated The Hangover Part II: Jamie Chung and Ken Jeong. Chung already played a fighter pilot in Sucker Punch and next month you’ll see her as Stu’s fiancée in the Hangover sequel. It’s a new wedding with new shenanigans in a new city for Stu and his buddies, and Ken Jeong reprises his role as Leslie Chow, ensuring that the laugh-o-meter stays dangerously on high.
Kung Fu Panda 2, May 26
The lovable Master Po and the Furious Five are back in the animated film Kung Fu Panda 2, directed by Asian American Jennifer Yuh Nelson. An evil emperor wants to take over China with a deadly weapon, but Po and his friends plans to stop him. Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Randall Duk Kim, Michelle Yeoh and James Hong lend their voices to the animal characters.
Which summer flick are you itching to see?