Desmond Nakano

Desmond Nakano

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American Pastime Review


OK
Stumbling upon American Pastime soon after watching Ken Burns' epic World War II documentary The War was a happy coincidence. Burns does a great job telling the relatively unknown story of the Japanese-American internment camps, and this movie is a nicely detailed, albeit hokey, fictionalization of one family's experience in such a camp. Burns, who also produced a massive documentary on baseball, would certainly appreciate the film's pivotal baseball subplot.

When war breaks out, the Nomura family is enjoying a happy middle-class life in 1940s L.A. All that changes when the internment order arrives, and soon Mom (Judi Ongg), Dad (Masatoshi Nakamura), older brother Lane (Leonardo Nam), and younger brother Lyle (Aaron Yoo) find themselves in a drafty barracks in the middle of a desert somewhere in the American west. While most everyone tries to adapt with dignity, the volatile Lyle, who has been robbed not only of his baseball scholarship but also his beloved jazz music, simmers with rage. He's even more outraged when he learns that Lane has volunteered to fight with the 442nd division, the famous all Japanese-American unit that went on to glory in European fighting. Why would Lane want to fight for the same army that has machine guns trained on him day and night in the camp?

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Last Exit to Brooklyn Review


OK
A little meandering, a little lost, and a lot grim, Uli Edel's cult classic tells a handful of stories against the backdrop of World War II and massive corruption in New York City. The centerpiece of the story is a hooker/conwoman (Jennifer Jason Leigh in an infamous role) who falls in love with one of her customers, an army guy who's about to ship out. Her personal struggle with detachment and her horrific past (and inevitable future) make the rest of the film -- which features rioting and a somewhat out of place vignette about one character's hidden homosexuality -- fade away.

White Man's Burden Review


Excellent
What would happen if race roles in America were reversed? What if blacks had all the power, and whites had to fight prejudice and racism at every turn? Such is the setting of writer/director Desmond Nakano's brilliant new film, White Man's Burden.

The movie is a tightly constructed drama about Louis Pinnock (John Travolta), a reliable blue collar man who works in a factory owned by high-society elitist Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). At home, Louis has to deal with a rough neighborhood, gang violence, and trying to provide for his wife (Kelly Lynch) and two kids.

Continue reading: White Man's Burden Review

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