Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Links to our threads on Enchanted (2007), Enchanted 2 (in development), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010), Maleficent (2014), Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Cruella (in development) and Dumbo (in development). We don't seem to have any threads on 101 Dalmatians (1996) or 102 Dalmatians (2000). Has Disney made any *other* live-action films based on their cartoons?

 

- - -

 

De Bont to direct Zhang in ‘Mulan’
BEIJING – Hollywood hitmaker Jan de Bont has signed up to direct Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi in an independently-produced, English-language co-production of the classic tale of Hua Mulan, the legendary young heroine soldier who joins an all-male army.
“Mulan” is set to start shooting this fall outside Shanghai, where de Bont, the director of “Speed,” “Twister” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” will attempt to bring romance, action and drama to screenwriter John Blickstead’s re-creation of the Chinese Joan of Arc story that was first described in a 6th century poem. . . .
Hollywood Reporter, September 4

Jan de Bont to direct 'Mulan'
BEIJING -- Action helmer Jan de Bont has signed up to direct Chinese thesp Zhang Ziyi in a new English-language, $35 million live-action version of the folk story "Mulan," which its makers hope will wow auds both in China and beyond.
Zhang will also co-produce the indie project, alongside Beaver Kwei and Ling Lucas, who collaborated with her on her successful romantic comedy "Sophie's Revenge" last year. Also involved are Movie Plus Prods. of Canada, Blighty's Global Film Finance, Beijing-based Bona Intl. Film Group and Salon Intl. Media Fund Pictures. . . .
"Mulan," which is a bit like "Robin Hood" crossed with "Maid of Orleans," was made famous worldwide by the 1998 Disney animation, and there was another live-action version by Hong Kong helmer Jingle Ma last year. The 6th century text is a key element of Chinese folklore. . . .
Variety, September 8

- - -

Coincidentally (or not?), the Guardian's 'Reel history' series just posted an item on the Disney film, giving it a B+ for entertainment value but an E for history.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...

Different version, but I assume the above film never got made (though there was a 2009 movie starring Zhao Wei and directed by Jingle Ma; Zhang Ziyi, according to Wikipedia, was passed over for the role of Mulan in that film)

 

The Hollywood Reporter: Disney Developing Live-Action 'Mulan' (Exclusive)

 

On the heels of the magical success of Disney's live-action Cinderella, the studio is eyeing another live-action retelling: Mulan.
 
Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney's 1998 animated film.
 
Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We're the Millers) are producing the new project.
 
I said it on Facebook a month or so back and I'll say it more strongly here: while it seriously looks like this is a new level of creative bankruptcy on Disney's part, this trend of adapting popular animated movies as live-action films is simply an extension of their previous habit of making everything into a Broadway musical.
Edited by NBooth
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
On 3/30/2015 at 2:24 PM, NBooth said:

I said it on Facebook a month or so back and I'll say it more strongly here: while it seriously looks like this is a new level of creative bankruptcy on Disney's part, this trend of adapting popular animated movies as live-action films is simply an extension of their previous habit of making everything into a Broadway musical.

Also: Disney has very rarely worked with original source material in the first place. Disney filmmakers in the 1930s and Disney filmmakers in the 2010s are more or less doing the same thing: Adapted stories they grew up with for new audiences.

"Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen."
Robert Bresson

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Various sites are reporting that this film has been given a November 2018 release date. 

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

I have a really basic question that I've been burning to get a satisfactory answer from movie critics for the last couple years now:

Why are certain Disney mega movies seemingly the most divisive when it comes to audience and critics?

I personally didn't care much for Mulan (2020) or Last Jedi, but that's less because there was anything I actively disliked about those films and more because I just didn't find anything of depth or interest (Mulan put me to sleep, and I don't really remember a single thing from Last Jedi with the exception of Laura Dern killing it). So while I don't relate to audience disdain / bandwagon backlash, I also find myself repeatedly puzzled when these uninteresting mega movies earn the "Certified Fresh" from critics seemingly without even trying, almost as if to spite the haters.

What's happening here?

Edited by Jeremy Ratzlaff
Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, as a way to fill a little downtime this past week or two, I watched a handful of videos by various YouTubers discussing the Disney Star Wars sequels, Mulan, etc., and while I don't think of their content as necessarily solid criticism, I noticed a pattern in their concerns: for the most part, they're very loyal to the original films (particularly the original Star Wars trilogy, not so much the prequels), they feel that Disney doesn't make enough effort to listen to the fans, and that Disney seems to make films by "committee", instead of allowing directors and writers more autonomy. So, to take The Last Jedi as example, a common complaint is that producer Kathleen Kennedy dictated too much, while Kennedy and Rian Johnson disregarded everything that Lucas had done, especially with their characterization of Luke Skywalker as a cynical, disgruntled, hopeless, old man. By contrast, I suspect that professional film critics saw The Last Jedi as a more daring and original film than The Force Awakens and weren't as concerned about consistences with the original trilogy. While I can't recall any specific arguments from specific reviews, I do recall that The Last Jedi was rated much more highly in general by critics than by fans. Recently, Daisy Ridley revealed in an interview that, from the get go, Disney had no plan whatsoever for her parentage, so JJ Abrams made her the child of scavengers, then Johnson made her parents "nobodies," then Abrams made her a Palpatine, but Abrams hadn't decided until after shooting of the last sequel had begun. And so fans were even more upset, and again I suspect that film critics were less worried about these issues. Anyway, that's my sense of the reaction to Disney Star Wars; Mulan I'm not sure about, although at least one YouTuber fan said that the original film was fine and there was no need for a live-action reboot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jeremy Ratzlaff said:

I have a really basic question that I've been burning to get a satisfactory answer from movie critics for the last couple years now:

Why are certain Disney mega movies seemingly the most divisive when it comes to audience and critics?

 

Perhaps one or more of the following?

1) Rotten Tomatoes has been really expanded. There are a *lot* more critics on it. That tends to reduce things to a more populist vote.

2) Pandemic makes people starved for content... (doesn't explain Star Wars). 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael S said:

...while I don't think of their content as necessarily solid criticism, I noticed a pattern in their concerns: for the most part, they're very loyal to the original films (particularly the original Star Wars trilogy, not so much the prequels), they feel that Disney doesn't make enough effort to listen to the fans, and that Disney seems to make films by "committee", instead of allowing directors and writers more autonomy.

Oh, I've viewed my own fair share of YouTube video essay criticism. There's no shortage of mystery as to where some of the more aggressive populist viewpoints get their steam from. :P

Perhaps drawing a comparison between Last Jedi and Mulan doesn't make the most sense. I just don't currently know a single person in my day to day life who has had anything good to say about the new Mulan movie, which presents a strong dissonance from what I'd be expecting if I were to look at the critical consensus. I just don't remember that dissonance seeming so strong since Last Jedi. 

1 hour ago, kenmorefield said:

1) Rotten Tomatoes has been really expanded. There are a *lot* more critics on it. That tends to reduce things to a more populist vote.

Ah, I didn't realize that. Interesting. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2020 at 5:27 PM, Jeremy Ratzlaff said:

Oh, I've viewed my own fair share of YouTube video essay criticism. There's no shortage of mystery as to where some of the more aggressive populist viewpoints get their steam from. :P

And I found that it's all one endless wormhole, with my YouTube feed suggesting one video, then another, then another, and of course I couldn't stop myself from basically watching all of them. :blink: The funny thing is that I don't really even like the Star Wars sequels and only watched them because of the nostalgia I have for a childhood spent with the original trilogy (my parents took me to see A New Hope in a theater when I was but a very wee lad, and I walked out saying that it was the greatest movie ever made :)).

On 9/12/2020 at 5:27 PM, Jeremy Ratzlaff said:

I just don't currently know a single person in my day to day life who has had anything good to say about the new Mulan movie, which presents a strong dissonance from what I'd be expecting if I were to look at the critical consensus.

I usually trust film critics, but -- and I'm just speculating here and thinking off the top of my head -- I wonder if there are critics who won't write negative reviews of films out of fear of, say, losing access to screenings or press junkets. Not that film studios do this as far as I know, but it happened to come to mind. I've not seen the Mulan remake (or the original one for that matter), so I can't speak to the film itself, but I agree that a very wide discrepancy among fan and critics' responses can be odd.

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Michael S said:

I usually trust film critics, but -- and I'm just speculating here and thinking off the top of my head -- I wonder if there are critics who won't write negative reviews of films out of fear of, say, losing access to screenings or press junkets. Not that film studios do this as far as I know, but it happened to come to mind. I've not seen the Mulan remake (or the original one for that matter), so I can't speak to the film itself, but I agree that a very wide discrepancy among fan and critics' responses can be odd.

I suppose some exist, but I haven't met too many. If it is a studio film, they usually don't care about the individual critic...they just want word of mouth. If it is a smaller film, I'll sometimes give a publicist a head's up and ask if they prefer I don't review the film at all (as opposed to a negative review). That's not to lose a junket or anything but just because I sometimes want the smaller films to have an opportunity to find their market, even if it isn't me.

Conversely, though, (this doesn't speak to Jeremy's question) I've known more than one critic who will be more inclined to write a negative review to "punish" the studio for not having a critic's screening or not sending an FYC screener or something like that. That's one reason (among several) that i'm not a big fan of critics' "boycotts." 

I haven't seen Mulan yet though I think Disney did offer screenings (or links) to *some* critics. In this particular case I wonder if the politics of China and the lead actresses comments are more of a factor in terms of people not wanting to write a positive/negative review. The more a film gets politicized in *any* way, the more I find some critics wanting to review the issue rather than the film. (I am far from being a Michael Medved fan, but I think, for example, of his claim that he heard a well-known critic [that he refused to name] trashing The Last Temptation of Christ only to give it a glowing review in print. Medved claims when he confronted the critic that critic said everyone knew the film was a dog but that he (the critic) didn't want to be associated with the Christian fundamentalists. A lot of people dismissed that story precisely because Medved wouldn't out the critic, but I've seen enough of that sort of mindset to make me believe it happens from time to time.)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

Conversely, though, (this doesn't speak to Jeremy's question) I've known more than one critic who will be more inclined to write a negative review to "punish" the studio for not having a critic's screening or not sending an FYC screener or something like that. That's one reason (among several) that i'm not a big fan of critics' "boycotts."

This seems strange to me -- I believe it happens, but "strange" in the sense that any critic's responsibility is to the film/art/book/whatever and to its creators, and so I wouldn't really understand critics who write negatively about a film or work of art to spite someone else. That's too bad. Having said that, studios sometimes won't have screenings for critics because they already know the film is terrible!

 

23 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I am far from being a Michael Medved fan, but I think, for example, of his claim that he heard a well-known critic [that he refused to name] trashing The Last Temptation of Christ only to give it a glowing review in print. Medved claims when he confronted the critic that critic said everyone knew the film was a dog but that he (the critic) didn't want to be associated with the Christian fundamentalists.

If the story is true (or even if it isn't, actually), it's a reminder that genuine intellectual honesty is something that can't be overrated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...