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The Bootleg Files: The Calgon ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ Commercial

BOOTLEG FILES 769: “Calgon ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ Commercial” (1970s commercial that made an extraordinary impression).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No commercial reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Maybe in an anthology of vintage commercials, but that’s unlikely.

During the 1970s, Asian Americans received minimal screen time on television. The series “Hawaii Five-O.” “Kung Fu” and M*A*S*H* kept its Asian American actors in supporting roles while giving the leads to White actors, while comic actors Pat Morita and Jack Soo were also stuck in supporting parts in “Happy Days” and “Barney Miller,” respectively. (Morita scored the lead in a sitcom called “Mr. T and Tina,” but that effort was so atrocious that it was canceled after five episodes.) There was an animated Hanna-Barbera series “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan” based on the Charlie Chan mysteries, but a mix of White and Asian American actors did the voice performances (including a young Jodie Foster).
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In the Heights (2021)

The COVID Pandemic has changed a lot about what we love about New York City; over the years it’s become something of an environment where opportunities have dwindled and the sense of community has been lost. From Gentrification and the Exodus of its residents, the city just isn’t familiar anymore. “In the Heights” is that reminder that once upon a time New York was about tight knit communities sticking together and beating the odds. And it’s a call to the idea that maybe it all can be reclaimed.

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

“The Conjuring” is a series I hope studios keep re-visiting (with some caveats—ahem—“Annabelle”), since there’s so much they can do with the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren. At this point the movie has taken many of their actual cases and expanded them in to wonderful horror films and “The Devil Made Me Do It” is no exception. True it’s not as good as the first two films, but the third part in the core movie series really does help to emphasize the heroism of Ed and Lorraine.

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You Have to See This! Midsommar (2019)

I’m not too sure why I didn’t review “Midsommar” back in 2019. Maybe I was just too busy, but suffice to say it made my top ten of 2019, easily. Ari Aster is a man who has managed to really delve deep in to some truly bizarre horror, and “Midsommar” is a pitch perfect example. Aster’s film is always placed in the same vein as “The Wicker Man,” but while it certainly can be appreciated with the aforementioned, “Midsommar” is its own twisted animal.

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An Unknown Compelling Force (2021)

There’s a good movie to be made about the Dyatlov Pass Incident. It is one of the most compelling and eerie mysteries of all time; despite all the hypothesizing and debunking we might never truly know what happened on that mountain. There’s been a ton of claims about an alleged avalanche while interested parties have stuck to their theories about chemical warfare, military testing, or even yetis. In either case, this is a truly scary mystery that deserves a much better movie than “An Unknown Compelling Force.”

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The 10 Worst Kennedy Center Honors Snubs Of All Time

On Saturday, June 5, the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. This annual event follows a tradition of honoring five individuals or entities within the performing arts, with commendations given to icons from the worlds of film and television, theater, popular music, classical music and opera, and dance

Traditionally, the Kennedy Center Honors have focused on lifetime achievements – an exception was made in 2018 when the award went to the creators of the Broadway show “Hamilton.” Also, for years it was an unspoken tradition to present four of the awards to white artists and one to a token minority – it wasn’t until 2013 that the majority of honorees were nonwhites. And while the Kennedy Center Honors was initially designed to celebrate American talent, over the years the prize has gone to British and Japanese artists.

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