I am DONE With Nostalgia Culture

I was originally planning to come on here and do a post about the new Ghostbusters film trailer that just dropped and how fucking terrible that looks, but as I looked at the ratings of that video and the comments, I realized something – I am in some kind of minority here and it boggles my mind as to why.  A few months back, I was invited to a birthday party for a dear Navy friend.  The event was being hosted on base, so we had to carpool because I don’t have a pass to get on base.  It was a great time, but on the way there I remember talking about the trailer for Disney’s latest soulless “live-action” cash-grab Lion King remake.  The person in the car was so excited to see it.  That was when I said this line – I am so done with nostalgia culture!  At the time, that was just me registering my thoughts, but the longer this goes on, the more I am really feeling like there is something worth talking about in respect to this.

Do you like Stranger Things?  Well, yeah.  At least the first season.  Before its head went up its own navel with awful meta humor that leaned SO heavily on the nostalgia for the 80’s.  There was a great review by Red Letter Media for some film that was big on the nostalgia, and they said it best – this was cool for a while, but now it’s played out.  For a bit the nostalgia was a good angle, but now they’ve driven it into the ground.  For the latest Ghostbusters film, it seems like they decided to just riff on nostalgia, and who better to cast for such a thing than one of the Stranger Things actors?  Ugh.

Why is that trailer so liked?  Is it because the 2016 Ghostbusters film was so terrible that they are trying to latch on to something?  Speaking of that terrible movie, it seems that Hollywood didn’t learn the right lesson from that movie, and instead of making an actually funny comedy, they decided that they are going to take this film entirely seriously and make it all dark.  Instead of it being a deadpan comedy about shlubby exterminators who catch ghosts, it’s a story about a kid moving to small town America.  What…?  But it has the Ecto-1!  Doesn’t that get you going?!

Why am I the only one who sees how played out nostalgia is?!  I can’t be.  There must be others out there who are as sick of watching Hollywood desperately trot out every single franchise that they can find, no matter how much it’s faded into obscurity and make a worse version of it.  They just did that with Predator, and it won’t die there.  They are remaking the original Alien, and since 20th Century Fox is owned by Disney now, not only will the film not have ANY of the trademark visceral violence of the original, but it also will have a female lead who is faux-strong, played by a woman who is expressionless and cannot act her way out of a paper bag.  The tragic irony is that the original portrayal of Ripley was genuinely strong, without the need to pat themselves on the back for it.  They just wrote a good character.  No mainstream film company knows how to do that anymore.  After all, can’t be too “woke.”  Then the film might not play in China.

Bob Iger recently said something that confirms my suspicions.  He said that if you don’t keep a franchise going, no matter how bad it is, it will disappear from the public consciousness.  Meaning that you can’t make money off it.  That’s why they are ending everything to do with the original Star Wars films with this next one.  No matter how bad the ending is, they already know they are alienating the fanbase and they want to try and find a new one.  For the first time in forever, Disney isn’t feeding us shtick.  That was a genuine thing.  Run a fanbase into the ground, then dump them and try to find a new one.  I’d call it ambitious, but in reality, it’s because Disney realizes that Star Wars isn’t connecting with kids they way Marvel did, so they want to make something new with none of the original fanbase connected.  Red Letter Media did a great breakdown of this too in a video where Scientist Man explains how to save the franchise.  Except, instead of trying to appeal to the die-hard fans, Disney now wants to completely divorce them and try and get the average moviegoer back.  That’s kind of impressive in how stupid it is.

Which means that mainstream Hollywood, which is pretty much just Disney at this point, is just gonna take every old franchise that they have in their license and stuff it down the dumb-shit public’s throat until they won’t go see it anymore.  Which, given how people keep shelling out money for this crap, will never happen.  After all, parents with their stupid kids will never not exist, and as such there will be some other fanbase that they can shit on with them being thankful for it.  The trailer for the new Ghostbusters film is proof.  It looks like shit.  That looks like a bland, mediocre sequel riffing on nostalgia.

Does it end?  That’s my question.  What has to be done for it to end?  I suppose the simplest solution would be for people to stop seeing this crap.  But that won’t happen.  Even if the ENTIRE American theater-going audience fell out, Disney and the other companies will still have China, who is arguably a bigger market because they pack cinemas for mediocre action films.  When you see the later Transformers sequels, you realize that Michael Bay wasn’t making those films for us.  They were made for Chinese audiences.  That’s why they all have a huge part of the plot take place in China.  It’s so blatant that it’s kind of funny.

Meanwhile, Disney has a new streaming service, so they can market their cheap crap to people with a format that they can pay money for every month.  A simple scam to get people who eat this crap up to give them a non-stop drip feed of money.  Sure, there’s The Mandalorian, which is now the most meme-d series ever, but meanwhile you have a terrible “live-action” Lady and the Tramp series.  What’s more, Disney is aware of the scam, because they aren’t releasing these series as a season that people can digest.  Because they know what would happen – people would just do a trial for their service and then discontinue it once they had binged the entire season.

I can’t do it.  I’m so disenfrachised with pretty much everything that comes out of Hollywood.  Gaming has had this problem for a while, but then you see companies like Sony take some huge risks and make back massive profits from people who wanted something new.  Why do people want more of the same nostalgia-pandering shit?!  Does their life suck so much that they would rather cloak themselves in the happy childhood feels until they can’t hide behind it anymore?  Until they are forced out from their pillow fort to face reality?  I guess I shouldn’t be so down on people who want to do that.  Life does suck, after all.  But to me, I see the great screenplays for interesting concepts that are not being made.  There could be another greatest science fiction film that was never made, like Jodorowsky’s Dune.  Great documentary, which makes me hate the studios more than I already do.

Until next time, a quote,

“Fact: Wearily on I go, pain and misery my only companions. And vast intelligence, of course. And infinite sorrow. I despise you all.” – HK-47, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: Star Wars Stars Leaving the Franchise, and the Death of Film as a Medium

Because I have absolutely no life, and spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, I have been seeing some really interesting stories lately making the rounds.  For starters, did you know that none of the major stars in Disney’s new Star Wars films are ever coming back for any sequels or spin-offs or anything else?  I saw that article, and here was my thought – don’t let the door hit you on the way out!  Good fucking riddance!  Your movies were either bland or terrible.  I’m more than happy to see you go away.

I did a First Take of the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker.  It’s resoundingly clear that Abrams is just trying to pump in as much nostalgia as possible to try and break even with the franchise now that the fan base is pretty much incensed.  Or at least that’s what I would think, if there wasn’t another article I read where someone interviewed the head of Disney, Bob Iger.  Iger outright said that the goal of this film is to completely lay to rest the entire concept of the original trilogy so they can basically divorce themselves from the expectations they can have with it.  The goal being with a new trilogy to find some new audience to ensnare into this franchise which should have been led out to pasture 30 fucking years ago.

Speaking of the final nail in the coffin for a once great franchise, did you hear that the next film is gonna have LGBTQ representation!  Wow!  J.J. Abrams said so.  Except, people like me with any kind of perspective on all this realize what kind of “representation” we are talking about – the kind that you can easily edit out.  The kind that isn’t plot-significant.  The kind where it’s tacked-on, just so they can get them some of those sweet brownie points.  Because they still want to market this film in China, after all.  And China has themselves a big rule – no ghosts, no gays.  You wanna put that gay shit in a movie you are going to market overseas, it’s going to be something that can be easily edited out because the last thing you want is to offend the precious Chinese censors who might not let you get that sweet China cheddar.  Just like Blizzard, they care so much about the precious LGBTQ community, except where it could actually dip into their profits.  These companies are so full of shit, and yet people think Disney is “progressive.”  What a fucking joke.

But back to what Iger said, that really got me to thinking.  He went on in the article to talk about how what they are doing with Star Wars ties into what they are doing with 20th Century Fox, and how they basically want to not make anything new, but instead just take old concepts and remake them.  Dude actually said that it should be expected that if you don’t do that regularly with every franchise you can, the concept will just die.  You know, like that’s a bad thing.  When I read shit like that, it really does make me fear for the medium of film.

After all, how many great films could be made right now if it wasn’t for studios deciding that instead of taking actual risks, it’s better to just feed people more of the same shit?  Which in turn does mean I have to look down my nose at the dumb fuck public who pays money for this stuff.  After all, it’s not like great films are never made.  They happen all the time.  It’s just that they go onto a list I keep that I call – great movies that no one has ever seen.  Because why pay money for something that might not be your cup of tea, when you can pay money to see the latest Marvel film.  Did you see the new Black Widow trailer?  Yeah, that looked like shit.  If only it was made before Kevin Feige had left the MCU.  Then maybe it would have actually had a chance to be good.  A film about a good character, that came out too late to be interesting.

I’ve reached the point that I don’t go see films in theaters anymore.  After all, the only stuff that gets released there anymore is just the big budget shit that we’ve all seen before.  Meanwhile, I stick at home and get Netflix DVD and Blu-rays that come to my place, with me able to watch on my nice TV where it’s quiet and I don’t have to bother with annoying people.  Where I can eat pizza and pause to use the john.  It’s 1000X better than going to the theaters will ever be.  So Disney will keep buying studios and reprocessing great films into shit ones, all so they don’t have to worry about a franchise heading into obscurity and actually do something different.  Because that’s scary!  It might not make back a ton of money!  What if it doesn’t sell in China?!  Holy shit!

Film as a medium and the potential it had is dying, and the public has NO ONE to blame but themselves.

Until next time, a quote,

“Conjecture: why should I make anything up? Life is bad enough without trying to make more of it.” – HK-47, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Retro Review: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Let me tell about two things.  First, about what I would argue is the greatest heist movie ever made.  This film is just fantastic.  It had a massive all-star cast, some at the height of their popularity like George Clooney, and some who were just breaking into the arena in the A-grade status, like Matt Damon.  Everyone had a ton of personality and their performances were just the best.  Second, I want to tell about about one of the greatest remakes ever made.  Not all remakes are shit.  It’s just that in the modern era (and I am glad to see this is something that Hollywood has moved away from), they are all shit because they are made for different reasons.

See, a great remake can be done, if the goal is to bring something new to the table.  You don’t want to make a film that is just another retelling of a different story.  You want to take your own angle with it and make it something that people will remember.  So you look at films like The Birdcage or Scarface or The Thing.  You see movies that were taking their own spin on the source material and doing something truly unique with it.  Not doing like a modern shitty Disney film (is there any other kind at this point?) and just cashing in on people’s nostalgia.  And let me tell you, Ocean’s Eleven hits the nail on the head with this.  Taking an old heist movie from the UK and making it American and giving it a modern flair.

The story goes that Danny Ocean is released from prison after he got busted doing what he does – stealing things.  Now, he’s a free man and is already looking to get back into it, with a heist of three Las Vegas casinos.  A man with a plan, he assembles a team of the absolute best in the world of crime, for a score that is unlike anything that had happened before.

What makes this film work is two-fold.  First, you have the acting.  Every single role in this film is perfect.  Every actor is just phenomenal, bringing their A-game.  Clooney definitely steals the show.  That guy is one of those actors who has fallen off the grid, but films like this remind me why he used to be on top of it.  Brad Pitt is pretty great too.  One of the things about this film is how they used subtle ways to characterize each role.  With so many characters in the movie, sometimes you had to have little cues who is being interacted with.  For Pitt’s character, it was food.  You often see him eating things when you first see him in a scene.  That’s fantastic.  He brings this great charisma to the role.

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the late Bernie Mac.  RIP, Bernie.  Sad thought that eventually I will be saying the same thing about Bernie Sanders, but I digress.  He was pretty fantastic in this as well.  The scene with the van salesman is just hilarious.

The second thing that makes the film work is the writing.  I cannot tell you how much I love films where it is almost entirely told in truly perfect dialogue.  This film had dialogue so snappy that it made me think of something by Aaron Sorkin or even Tarantino at points.  Ocean had the best of it.  The way he could move through scenes by talking to people is the best.  Clooney really deserved props for it.  Not sure if he got any.  My memory that far back isn’t great.  It was now over almost a third of my life ago.  I feel so fucking old.

This movie isn’t especially complicated.  The heist itself is, but through the use of fantastic dialogue writing and some great performance regarding the heist itself, we got a film that oozes style and charm.  For some of these actors, it was roles that helped make their careers.  For others, it was films made at the height of theirs.  And for characters like Saul, it was roles at the twilight of their careers.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you really owe it to yourself to take the time to watch it.  I really do believe it’s the greatest heist movie ever made.

Now if only the TERRIBLE sequels and the even worse all-female remake hadn’t been made, this film’s legacy would be cemented in heist movie history.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

RIP, MCU (and Spider-Man)

For those who didn’t know, the MCU is quietly going to die.  Disney will keep pumping money into it for as long as they possibly can, on their new Disney streaming service that I have zero intention of paying money to.  The actually good Disney films are ones I can buy, and already have.  The best days of this absolute whore of a company are behind them.  Good riddance, if you ask me.  Naturally, their latest live-action remake abortions Aladdin and The Lion King made a shitload of money, because the dumb-shit audiences who just want their nostalgia boners stroked will flock to theaters to watch these movies with their dumb-ass kids that they couldn’t just show the originals to.  Because why show them timeless films when you can show them ones that will be dated in a couple years?  Lots of questions.  Man was this a digression.

It seems that the door to Spider-Man continuing to be part of the MCU moving forward has officially closed.  Initially, everyone blamed Sony, when it turns out it was Disney getting greedy and demanding more money from the proceeds, when Sony has to foot the bill for the production costs.  Essentially making these movies a financial black hole for them.  I guess the long term goal was to get Sony to just sell the rights to Disney and be done with it, but they stuck to their guns.  What a horrible mistake that was.

So now we can say goodbye to this franchise having any potential whatsoever.  Sony has already announced that they have six Spider-Man TV shows in the works.  Let me repeat that – six!  Six television shows for one character.  Groj-dammit.  I guess Sony’s latest plan is to just drive this IP into the ground.  After all, they want to make movies for all of Spider-Man’s villains.  Because that worked so well with Venom, right?  A movie so poorly reviewed that even Tom Hardy hated it.  You know, because Sony slashed all the stuff that was actually violent.  Guess he won’t be back for a sequel, which you know they will make because the film made enough money for it to break even, which means – gotta make a sequel!  I feel so bad for Tom Holland.  All of that notoriety, which will go to waste on progressively-worse movies, because it’s abundantly clear that Sony can’t manage this franchise for shit.  Sony Pictures is the bastard stepchild of the film industry.

Back to Disney, did you know they plan to have over 20 MCU productions in just two years?  There will be the big blockbusters, like Chick Thor and Doctor Strange Lovecraftian Nightmare (that one might be interesting) and Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Where The Last Remnants of the Good MCU Go to Die.  Oh yeah, and a Black Widow film.  Which I guess will take place sometime before she died.  Meanwhile, they plan to have a TON of shows on their Disney streaming service.  Like Captain Falcon and Woefully Poorly Used Winter Soldier, Hawkeye: The Lost MCU Veteran, and New Blade.  And that isn’t even close to the end of it.  Thing after thing after thing, each more creatively bankrupt than the last.

See, Disney didn’t do the smart thing after the end of the Avengers saga.  Instead of taking a break from the MCU, getting some creative ideas going and flushing out a new saga to go with, they instead decided to just shove as much MCU trash at you as they possibly could.  Just drown the audience in MCU.  Pimp out Disney’s new streaming service, that is just gonna have a bunch of corporate filtered crap.  And probably not the films for the best days in Disney’s tragic history.  The complete cynic inside me thinks that what’s going on with the MCU is that Disney is trying to make as much bank as they possibly can before this franchise goes under.  They can see the financial numbers about to go down since everyone’s favorite characters are gone.  Robert Downy Jr. is out.  Samuel L. Jackson is out.  The cast of Guardians is gonna be out soon.  Tom Holland is out.  So now they have to just capitalize on the nostalgia for something that’s not even old enough to be nostalgic.  Because that’s what Disney does now.  They are nothing but a complete whore who is so desperate for your dollar that they will shove whatever they think will get you into the theaters or onto their crap streaming service out the door.  Who cares if it’s creatively bankrupt.  The brain-dead American audiences will go see it, so fuck the haters, am I right?

Part of me wonders if things wouldn’t have gone a different way if Captain Marvel had been more of a success.  But since they hired a woman who couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag and gave writers that couldn’t write a “strong” female character to save their lives, she ended up being despised.  It’s why they wisely chose to limit her role in Endgame.  Thing is, it was pretty clear they wanted her character to head up a new Avengers style saga.  With her film being a bomb, though, they had to go back to the drawing board.  The corporate boardroom one, not the kind where actual creative people do great things.  I wonder if Disney has vague memories of what that is like.

So the MCU is going to pump out as much crap as they can, making as much bank as they possible can, before superhero fatigue finally goes full burn and the audience dies just like they did for Pixar.  At which point Disney is going to move on to whatever else they can.  Like how they have gutted 20th Century Fox’s original ideas and are only pumping out movies that are nostalgic.  Like did you know they are rebooting the Alien franchise?  You know, the one where it had two of the best science fiction films of all time with a female character who was actually strong and memorable?  Yup, Disney wants to capitalize on that drama, by giving us a bland cookie-cutter remake that will basically do nothing but suck nostalgia’s cock so the brain-dead morons who give this company their money will go see it.  Fuck modern Disney.  I hate these people so much.

All of this while they are going to be running Star Wars into the ground.  Disney seems to have taken a new tack with this franchise in how they run it into the ground.  Instead of a bunch of films that could be financial black holes like Solo, or absolute dumpster fires like The Last Jedi, they are making their non-numbered films into TV shows for their streaming service.  Which are going to mostly suck, but because they are on a streaming service, the reviews won’t crucify them.  Because that stuff never gets a lot of press, unless it’s the first season of Stranger Things.

What was all this about again?  Oh yeah, how the MCU is going to die.  In conclusion, the MCU is going to die the slow, painful death of a thousand cuts.  If my audience is smart (which I assume you are), don’t contribute to the financial “success” of these movies.  Don’t give Disney your money.  Deny them that bank.  Vote with your wallet.  Tell them we don’t want processed crap and want actual creativity.  You know what, never mind.  Nobody listens to me, and if people didn’t want this trash, they wouldn’t go see it.  So I’m just wasting my time.

Until next time, a quote,

“Sometimes, the American news is like a tired old whore who only tells you what you wanna hear.” – Doug Stanhope

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Avengers: Endgame

The end of an era.  The final film in a saga that spans twenty-two movies.  Everything led up to this.  And I gotta say – it ends on a high note.  It’s hard to push the envelope after the last film.  Infinity War set the bar so high that this film could never surpass it.  That being said, the film does live up to it.  The highest compliment one can give a movie like this is that it lives up to the expectations that we all had.  Bringing the end to a film saga the likes of which we have never seen before, and for my money will never see again.  I said a while back that when this film came out and I saw it, that was it for me and Marvel.  Meant it.  The only thing I want to see now is Guardians 3.  After that, I have no desire to see what’s next from Marvel.  It’s sink or swim for this franchise now that the Avengers saga is done.  And if the end of this movie is any indication, it can only go somewhere stupid.  Let’s talk about it.

You all know the plot.  After Thanos snapped his fingers, he destroyed half of all life in universe.  Now it’s up to what’s left of the Avengers to find a way to make things right.  What follows is a pretty fantastic bookend to all the build-up we had.

My favorite parts of this movie were early on.  It opened with a truly fantastic scene with Hawkeye’s family disappearing.  It sets the stage for his personal drama really well.  Seeing what happens to every character when they are at their lowest point is just exceptional.  The reunion between Stark and Rogers was everything I hoped it would be, and more.  Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the movie was pretty fantastic, but that stuff early on was gripping.  It’s great to see all these heroes who we’ve seen be powerful as fuck up until now pushed to their breaking point.

It’s hard to talk about this movie, honestly.  See, you already know that the acting is pretty phenomenal across the board.  Visuals are incredible.  Soundtrack is really great.  So I decided that I’m going to preface my next point that I really liked this movie.  It closes things out on this storyline in a way that no other film could.  And with that said, I’m going to talk about some stuff that bugged me.  Because there’s an angle where I have lots to talk about.

First, I’m genuinely glad they kept Captain Marvel out of this film for most of it.  Because the comparisons between her and Superman are apt.  She’s OP as fuck.  Like, to the point that it’s genuinely boring when she enters the fray because you know that she’s going to win.  Watching Thanos kick her ass was actually kinda fun.  I bring this up because there was one scene in this movie that made me visibly cringe – the chick squad charge.  That was awful!  I swear, they might as well have had “GIRL POWER!” on the screen the whole time.  It was just as subtle.  I don’t blame the directors for this.  I get it – Disney wants to promote diversity.  But that didn’t stop it from being one of the cringiest things I’ve see on screen in a VERY long time.

Also, Bree Larson can’t act.  Her face has zero emotion.  She’s almost as bad as Daisy Ridley or Hunger Games chick in being a stoic, bland, unemoting female character.  I’ve figured something out.  See, a lot of people in Hollywood think that the strong male hero was a bland, boring character who just kicks ass.  When that wasn’t the case.  Sure, we’ve had a lot of stoic male characters in 80’s action movies, but here’s the thing – they had personality.  Watch old Ah-nold movies.  He was a stoic badass, but he had personality to make up for that, and cheesy one-liners.  Bree Larson had…um…something?  I’m drawing a blank.  Describe Captain Marvel’s personality in this film in a way that doesn’t require you describe what she looks like, what she does, or her role in the film.  The Red Letter Media Test.  You can’t do it.  This character is the most boring thing ever.  And given how I’ve seen Bree Larson act about all this off-screen, it’s clear that this woman needs to get her head out of her ass.  She’s clearly enjoying the smell of her own farts way too much.

Lastly – why was Falcon made into the new Captain America?  Yeah, I know – diversity.  I get it.  This is not rocket science.  Disney is all about this shit now, so of course their next Captain America has to be a diversity thing.  Here’s the problem – Falcon isn’t a super-soldier.  He’s some guy.  Just some random guy with no superpowers of any kind.  I think back to that fantastic scene in Winter Soldier, where Bucky and Cap are fighting, and he takes his shield.  The scene was a FANTASTIC set-up for him becoming the next Captain America.  And that makes sense, because he went through the super soldier project with Hydra.  I guess we can chalk that up to another fantastic scene from Winter Soldier ruined by Disney down the road.  Like the line about Nick Fury and his eye with that fucking cat in Captain Marvel.

Those are just nit-picks though.  Overall, this was a great film.  A perfect way to bookend the franchise, and that’s it for me.  The next thing I do will be to make a Top 10 of my favorite MCU characters, and then check out.  Disney has taken this franchise as far as it can possibly go.  The only place now is somewhere stupid.  Jay on Half in the Bag made a great point about this franchise in their video about Comicon 2019.  Marvel should have taken a break for a while.  But Disney couldn’t do that. Then they’d miss out on that sweet Marvel movie cheddar.  And if Disney doesn’t get their money, the whole company will collapse.  Or the studio execs there might not be able to get another yacht.  The poor dears.  As for me, nope.  This franchise cannot go higher than this point.  We’ve reached the high-water mark for the MCU.  It’s all gonna be downhill from here.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Mulan Official Trailer (2020)

I’ve made very, very clear how much I despise modern Disney.  I’ve described the media as a tired old whore telling you whatever they think will get your click fingers going, but Disney sure isn’t far behind them.  Doing whatever they can to get the maximum amount of money in with the minimum amount of effort.  We’ve seen that with TERRIBLE live-action version of films, each worse than the last.  But it seems that Disney is keen to one-up their shitty movies, and we get to see the dim-witted, dumb-shit millennial audiences who will shell out money to see it because they are nostalgia junkies who need their next fix.  The first trailer dropped, and it pissed me off.  Let’s watch it together, then we’ll talk about it.

 

Oh fucking boy.  Why do people keep seeing this crap?!  Can SOMEONE please tell me what it is that draws you fuckers in to watch this garbage?  That’s not rhetorical.  Someone explain this to me in a way that a pretentious pseudo-intellectual can understand.  All ears.  Lots to talk about.

For starters, we have this scene where Mulan is on a horse, in what is a nice setting of the Chinese countryside.  Okay.  Then we cut to her at home, and it seems the match-maker has already got her hitched.  So the scene where she fucks up the appointment with the match-maker and gets yelled at, only for her father to say that he cares for her for the person she is?  Yeah, guess they cut that out.  Now the dad just says this is for the best and we leave it at that.  What a great way to avoid having a family dynamic and getting to know the characters.  Not to mentions one of the big song numbers.  Given what we see in the rest of the trailer, I have a sneaking feeling there won’t be any actual music in this movie.  Call it a hunch.

Then there is a montage with who I presume to be the match-maker, listing off qualities that a wife should have.  During this montage we see Mulan doing martial arts and practicing with a sword.  Wait, what?  Why is she this really competent warrior already?  In the original film, she wasn’t.  There was no indication she could fight.  Her taking her father’s blade and going to serve in his place was done because she was more scared of him dying than how little she knew.  Part of what made the original film great was how she had to grow.  There was the best song number in that film where we see this fantastic musical and visual montage showing Mulan’s growth for a weak, unskilled newbie and her journey to become a skilled fighter and able to keep up with all the guys.  It’s so weird to me that in a movie that is marketing on girl power, they’re stripping an element from the film that helps show Mulan grow as a character.

The montage continues showing Mulan as she is with the troops and heading into battle.  Um, am I the only one who thinks that she looks feminine was fuck as a guy?  This is why animation works and live-action doesn’t.  Her features betray that she is a woman.  This film is gonna totally lack all suspension of disbelief when she tries to pretend to be a man and nobody notices that she looks like a bad tomboy.  The least they could have done as butch her up a little.  But then you can’t sell girl-power, because then she looks masculine, and that can’t work.

It ends with her whipping her sword around all cool and I guess she ditches the male persona pretty quick in this movie.  Because throughout the whole last bit, she’s looking like a woman again.  As memory serves, that was after she was wounded and her cover got blown.  Guess that scene doesn’t happen in this movie.  Not to mention, where’s the bit with the Imperial City and catching the Mongolians in their plan to ambush the Emperor?  Where’s the scene with her and her chums using skills they honed before to sneak in?  Where’s the scene of the chums in drag?  That shit was hilarious.  I don’t see any chums in this movie.  Guess that would take too many actors, you know, acting.  That’s too much work.

Also, where the fuck is Mushu?  Are they just ditching that?  Did they learn from Aladdin and realize that all these CG side-kicks just look fake as fuck?  Oh wait, I know why he’s not in this.  See, China has this rule about movies that are shown there – no ghosts, no gays.  Mushu ends up with her because the spirits of the family elders try to send one of the guardians to watch over her, and he ends up fucking that up so he goes to make things work with her so he doesn’t lose his ability to go home.  But all that stuff with ghosts is no-go in China, and Disney won’t do anything to disrupt that sweet China cheddar.

Can’t help but notice that since she’s supposed to be in a big battle, her outfit is very nice and not dirty or cut or anything.  Her face is very nice too.  So’s the makeup on it.  Guess they don’t want to worry about that little detail. If she wasn’t cute, then little girls couldn’t put themselves inside her like a skin to vicarious experience the movie through her.

It’s so weird to me that the film that CLEARLY is marketing itself on girl power is so much less of a female strength metaphor than the film it a remake of.  The original film told the story of a woman who didn’t let herself get held back.  She stood tall with the men, and earned their respect.  She went from an inexperienced woman pretending to be a man, to being the savior of China.  This film clearly decided that that was too much work.  Instead, just make it a Lord of the Rings knock-off in terms of battles, and make her super strong and super awesome without having to work at it.  Oh, and ditch the songs because then the characters would have personality.  That’s too much work for modern Disney.

Initial Verdict
You people who see this are the reason this shit gets made

Peace out,

Maverick

Rational Man in Disney Movies

I got to talking to a now former coworker of mine about how there are so many things that I would do if you put me in any random film.  And I still feel that way.  So I gots me an idea for a post series that I could do – putting a rational man inside of films, books, what-have-you.  These are just going to be little things that I have noticed in little blurbs.  Let me know if you have ones that come to you.

Rational Man in Snow White
To the Evil Queen: “So, you go through all the effort of making a poison that seeps into an apple when you are the queen of a kingdom?  Why not just send your army to kill that chick?  It seems like you went out of your way to make killing her a thousand times harder than it needed to be.”

To Snow White: “Why is it you felt that it was a good idea to just set up shop in the home of seven dwarfs?  I mean, they probably haven’t seen a woman in years.  The fact that they didn’t turn you into a living sex toy is insane.”

Rational Man in Sleeping Beauty
To Maleficient: “Look, I think you’re awesome.  But why is it you decided to become the dragon?  I mean, as a witch you have nigh-unlimited power.  It seems like you were REALLY handicapping yourself by taking them away and turning yourself into a giant fire-breathing monster when he was clearly geared up for that.

Rational Man in Cinderella
To Aurora: how is it, if that glass shoe fits you just right that it fell off your foot?  I mean, that seems to signify that it is too big for your foot.  Which means that the Prince could easily have found a woman whose foot fit it more snugly and lived happily ever after with her.

To the Prince: why is it, precisely, that you needed to have a shoe fit to prove that someone is the person you danced with the night before?  I get that her attire would be different, but it would still have her same facial features and eye color.  Is your memory that bad that you couldn’t remember those details about her?

Rational Man in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (the Fantasia one, not that shit-tastic live action abortion)
To the Sorcerer: this kid nearly destroyed your entire home, ruined your spell-book, destroyed Groj-knows how much priceless artifacts of your trade, and could have potentially made a nigh-unstoppable army of broomsticks and all he gets is a whack on the butt with your broom?  I would kick the shit out of that little snot.  At this period in history, that wouldn’t even be frowned upon.

Rational Man in Robin Hood
To Prince John: Why is it you never hired an assassin to kill Robin Hood?  I mean, it can’t have escaped your notice that your own men can’t hit the broadside of a barn.  So why not hire a professional to deal with the problem?  A man with your power and connections, I refuse to believe you didn’t have that ability.  Hell, I bet there are people within your own country who could have got the job done.

To Robin Hood: So wait a minute, you’re telling me that you’ve been in a place where you could easily have dispatched the Prince and you never did?  Why?  It would have saved the kingdom a ton of grief, and you were already a wanted criminal.  It’s not like you would be losing anything by killing him.

Rational Man in Aladdin (the good version, not the live-action abortion)
To Jafar: Why is it that you decided to kill Aladdin in a way where he falls into the Cave of Wonders?  Seriously, you could easily have helped him out of that pit, gotten the lamp from him, and then killed him right there.  You were in the middle of the desert.  The only ones who would know is the sands and the vultures that would eat his body.  Hell, you were in disguise anyway, so yeah.  It just sounds like a needless risk.  And since his clever monkey friend got the better of you, it sounds like you lost out anyway.

To Aladdin: How is it that a guy with your level of cunning wasn’t able to find easy ways around the Genie’s rules?  I mean, you should have been able to see this right in front of you.  For starters, wish that the no wishing for more wishes rule was gone.  Boom, problem solved.  Or, failing that, wish for more genies.  Again, problem solved.  You show early on that you are capable of outsmarting the Genie and getting him to have his ego make the best of him, so why was this beyond you?

Rational Man in The Little Mermaid
To King Triton: How come you didn’t let Ariel absolutely have it after everything she did?  That girl not only disobeyed you, but she fucked up your kingdom, betrayed you and everything you stand for to an evil witch, and all for a boy that she likes.  In the end she gets everything she wants and doesn’t have to answer for anything.  I mean, how is that fair?  That girl should at least get locked in her room for a year or two until she gets why what she did was unfathomably stupid.

Rational Man in Atlantis: The Lost Empire
To Rourke: Why exactly is it you felt the need to try and steal Atlantis’ power source to get rich?  Do you not realize that your discovery is going to make you and everyone else in that crew rich beyond their wildest dreams?  They are a lost civilization, with untold treasures.  I mean, in the end they sent everyone back to the surface with a mountain of gold and jewels.  Who knows how much more they would have parted with if you left on good terms.

Rational Man in Jungle Book (the animated version, not the live-action abortion)
To Shere Khan: Why didn’t you just kill Mogli and be done with it?  You are too good to die this way.  Your pride is the thing that killed you.  You should have been picking your teeth with that upstart’s bones.  Seriously, fuck that smug kid.

Rational Man in Frozen
To Elsa: Why is it exactly you had to flee from the kingdom?  You’re a princess, eventually to be a queen.  Why do you care if the peasants label you a witch?  You can freeze their asses when they rebel and then sit on your throne with absolute power and a sister who is pretty much your bitch.

To Kristoff: So…what’s the deal with you and the reindeer?  I mean, the level of closeness you exhibit makes me REALLY think there’s something going on here.  I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this.

Rational Man in A Night on Bald Mountain
To Chernabog: How do I land an invite to the next party you have?  This looks to be a pretty awesome time.  You have sexy fire women, all these crazy demons and ghosts, and you’re fucking with everyone.  I bet this party is off the chain.

Let me know if there are other works you want to see done.  This is just testing the waters on my concept.

Until next time, a quote,

“Provoking people is extremely important because it gets people to think.” – Lawrence Krauss

Peace out,

Maverick