TL;DR – A film that is desperately trying to differentiate itself from the past while still hitting all the same story points.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Mulan Review –
When I was growing up, I was at the perfect age for the original animated Mulan. It was this joyous riot of humour with music that I can still repeat verbatim today. However, it is also one of those films that as you grow up and the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia start to fade you begin to see it is not a film without its issues. With that in mind, this was one of the only Disney remakes that I was interested to see remade in live-action, but I am not sure it got to where it wanted to go.
So to set the scene, along the Northern Silk Road, a witch Xianniang (Gong Li) is helping a Rouran warlord Böri Khan (Jason Scott Lee) attack garrisons of the Imperial Chinese Empire. To respond to this threat, the Emperor (Jet Li) signs an edict that one man from each household must be conscripted into the army to fight the menace. This is a dilemma for one family because the only man is Hua Zhou (Tzi Ma) who badly injured his leg in the last war and has only daughters. Being called up to the army would be a death sentence for him, something his wife Hua Li (Rosalind Chao) sees. Seeing the inevitable outcome, Zhou’s daughter Mulan (Yifei Liu) takes his place even though it would mean her death if she is found out.
TL;DR – Donnie Yen and Andy Lau are both amazing actors, and I just wish they had been given a better movie to show their talents in.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene
I knew nothing about Chasing the Dragon before going to see it other than it was set in 1960s Hong Kong. This was a really interesting time for Hong Kong, and so I thought it would be a great setting for a film. However, to be honest right from the start I did not enjoy Chasing the Dragon at all, I mean it is not that all films have to be enjoyable, but they should at least be captivating. Now I don’t like ragging on something that people have clearly put a lot of work into, but it is a film that has a lot of flaws, unfortunately. So today we’ll look at what went wrong, but also the highpoints as there are some throughout the film.
TL;DR – This is a perfect popcorn flick, as long as you don’t try to think through the plot, which you can’t help but do in the 2nd act.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a film of many things, interesting set pieces, an incredibly diverse cast, a title that you really need to be careful with when searching on the internet for researching the movie, but also some missed opportunities. So it should come as no surprise that everyone is trying to create the next Bond, and why wouldn’t you? if you could swing 25 feature films out of a single premise. There have been multiple attempts over the years to create the new spy king, a fresh new face. Now for me, the best attempt has to be Kingsman (Click here to see Review), but many people have tried and one direction they went in was recasting the Bond-type with an extreme sports star, and well I have heard worse premises. However, after twelve years, and fifteen since Vin Diesel has been the lead, did we really need another crack at this formula to see if it works, well if this is anything to go by then … maybe?
TL;DR – A bit of a mess at times, but any complaints I have are overridden by the strongest ending in the franchise’s history.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So here we are with Star War’s first attempt at a standalone film (a film set in the Star Wars universe, but not one of the main numbered entries) and a prequel no less, by any measure this was a risky gambit for the Mouse House, because the last thing you want to do to your $4 Billion investment is damaging the brand with a bad movie. Now this coupled with extensive reshoots in a year where extensive reshoots have led to mediocre films like Suicide Squad and outright failures like Fantastic Four had a lot of people concerned, is the prequel curse going to continue? Well, I am happy to say those reshoots must have only improved the movie because Rogue One is a blast. Now is it a perfect film, oh no, it has some real problems, but any issue I could have with it is blasted away by some quality filmmaking. Now we will be discussing the story later in the review, so I’ll put a Spoiler Warning out before that, but I feel with a property like this, it is important to say, I will be discussing aspects of the film and the characters and you may find that to be spoilery, so you have been warned to continue with caution.