Daily Archives: July 7, 2019

Thoughts On the Mulan Teaser Trailer

In 1998, Disney broke ground with the release of Mulan. Based on the myth of Hua Mulan, the movie told the story of the eponymous character who dresses as a boy and takes her elderly father’s place during wartime.

The teaser trailer for the live action reboot was released today.

Back then, Mulan (Ming Na-Wen) was a revolutionary character, especially among the Disney Princesses. Unlike other Disney Princesses, her main goal was not men, marriage and eventual children, in spite of the message that was shoved at her in every form possible. Her journey was that of a warrior who was defending her country while trying to figure out who she was.

It is that message, that I think, then and now still resonates with audiences.

This new live adaptation is directed by Niki Caro, whose previous films have featured strong women making tough decisions. Three of the four screenwriters are female. The cast is made up of Asian actors, properly reflecting the world that the characters live in. And yes, there will be some musical elements, but those details are being kept under wrap for now.

As expected, Disney is keeping certain information under wraps until the film is released in March of next year. These live action adaptations straddle a fine line. They have to honor their animated predecessor (and the original fairy tale, if there is one), while reflecting the cultural changes that have occurred since the original film was released.

We can only wait and see when the film is released next year.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Feminism, Movies, Thoughts On....

Yesterday Movie Review

Many movies start off with the premise of “what if” and go on from there. It is up to the screenwriter(s) to make the “what if” narrative feel new and alive instead of boring and predictable.

In the new film, Yesterday, Jack (Himesh Patel) is a singer-songwriter who just can’t get a break. One of his only fans is his long time bestie and manager Ellie (Lily James). Though he yearns to be a professional musician, he earns his bread by working at a local big box store. Then there is blackout all over the world and Jack is hit by a bus.

When he wakes up, he discovers that The Beatles have been erased from music history. Taking advantage of his knowledge, Jack starts to see his music career become a reality. But at what cost to his conscious and his relationship with Ellie?

Yesterday is charming, engaging and insightful. The music is obviously catchy. Jack’s arc over the course of the film is both cinematic and down to earth. I also appreciated the color blind casting of Patel in the lead role. As both actor and singer, Patel brings a level of reality to this performance in this otherwise out there world that his character inhabits.

I absolutely recommend it.

Yesterday is presently in theaters.

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Coming From a Good Family Does Not Excuse Rape

Rape is an unfortunate part of human history and the human experience.

Recently, a young man was brought to trial, accused of raping a young lady. The judge overseeing the case, Judge James Troiano, initially denied the prosecutors case and released the boy. The judge stated the following as his reason for his ruling.

“This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well…He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college.”

Thankfully, an appeals court overturned Judge Troiano’s ruling and denounced the judge for his decision.

This boy may come from a good family and may have a bright future, but it does not excuse his actions. If the accusations are in fact correct, he is a predator and a criminal and should be treated as such.

In ruling in the boy’s favor because he came from a “good family”, the judge also ruled against the girl and her family. She may also come from a “good family”, but we don’t know that. For all we know, according to Judge Troiano, her family is not worth the same time and effort as the boy’s family.

It’s time to stop the excuses for rape and call them what they are: a crime to prosecuted to the fullest extend that the law can provide. Until that day, we will continue to disbelieve and devalue victim and let criminals get away with murder because they come from a “good family”.

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It Does Not Say “Tell Them Not To Come” on the Statue of Liberty

For generations, millions of new immigrants passed by the State of Liberty as the United States came into view. Carved into the statue are the words of Emma Lazarus‘s immortal poem, The New Colossus.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It does not say anywhere within the poem, “tell them not to come”.

Those are the words of the man who Americans elected to lead us in 2016.

What are these migrants supposed to do? Stay in a country in which violence, destruction and hunger is the norm? Watch as their children starve or die from gang violence? Just hand over their sons to the gangs to fill their ranks? Give their daughters to the gangs to become sexual playthings?

What would you do if you were in their shoes? Would you just stay or make the dangerous trek to America, hoping that the United States provides the safety and freedom that does not exist in your home country?

Past generations have left their homelands for America for the same reason that these people are leaving for America. It’s time to tell the administration to stop this persecution of Central American immigrants and treat them as human beings.

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