Franchise Weekend – Mulan 2 (2004)

Director: Darrell Rooney, Lynne Southerland

Writer: Michael Lucker, Chris Parker, Roger S.H Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, Mark Moseley, Lucy Liu, Harvey Fierstein, Sandra Oh

 

Plot: While preparing for their wedding, Shang and Mulan are suddenly sent off on a secret mission. Mushu starts to meddle, and a surprise attack by Mongolians doesn’t help either.


Tagline – Saving China was just The Beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Warrior to Wedding Disappoints

 

Story: Mulan 2 starts as Mulan and Shang are planning to wed, but before they go through with the wedding the Emperor sends them on a mission to escort his daughters to Mongolia to marry to help keep the peace between the countries. Mushu on the other hand learns that he will lose his place as a guardian of Mulan if she marries, leading him to try and sabotage their engagement.

When Mulan’s previous experiences inspire one of the princess’ to follow her own heart, everything plays into Mushu plans to break the couple up, but this could bring war back to China.

 

Thoughts on Mulan 2

 

Characters – Mulan has gone from fearless warrior to bride in waiting, she does continue to show that women in Ancient China need to learn to be independent but is a shell of the person we met in the first movie. Shang is the warrior due to marry Mulan, their latest assignment causes a rift between them as he must learn that not all missions are important to complete. Mushu is the guardian about to lose his position if Mulan gets married, he sets out to sabotage their relationship.

StoryThe story here follows Mulan and Shang as they are planning for their wedding while going on a mission, if I am honest I just don’t want to talk about this story because it took a fearless warrior in Mulan into a character that just wants to prepare for her wedding. We have lost all the adventure that was in the first one to what is just a relationship drama.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThis is branded as an action movie and has one weak action scene to come, the comedy is mostly a miss but this is more family friendly over the first film.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings as well, but still has good visual temples included.

AnimationThe animation look is good and is the only redeeming good part of this film.


Scene of the Movie –
Nothing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me ruining what Mulan created.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak Disney sequel in the darker days of Disney where they just make rubbish sequels to loved games.

 

Overall: Poor sequel.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Franchise Weekend – Mulan (1998)

Director: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Writer: Rite Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZbnik, Raymond Singer, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer (Screenplay) Robert D San Souci (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Pat Morita, Miguel Ferrer, BD Wong

 

Plot: To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process.


Tagline – This time, the princess saves the prince.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Dark Adventure Film

 

Story: Mulan starts in ancient China with Shan-Yu and the invading Hun attack. Mulan is a young woman that hasn’t been following the traditions on the family, she isn’t ready to just be a bride, when her father is summoned to serve in the impending war, she wants to help, running away to fight in her father’s place. Spirit dragon Mushu is sent to be her guardian on this adventure, to return her safely, but Mulan has other plans.

Mulan sets out to join the army in her father’s place under the leadership on Captain Shang, in a hope to rebuild her family honour that she has disrespected.

 

Thoughts on Mulan

 

Characters – Mulan is a young woman, she has been raised to follow tradition, something she wants to break and taking her father’s place in the army shows the independence she wants to achieve. This is a strong anti-princess role which is something Disney broke the mould with. Mushu is the guardian dragon that needs to rescue and watch over Mulan, though he mostly just causes trouble for her. This character is here for all the laughs in the movie. Shan-Yu is the leader of the Hun that are attacking China, his armies are ruthless when it comes to battle, with him being a great and powerful warrior.

StoryThe story follows one young woman that wants to make a difference in a world where only men can become the leaders of the armies, she breaks tradition to make a difference and become great. This brings us the idea of breaking away from the tradition just because the people tell you follow that path. For Disney this movie broke their own traditions of have a princess in distress needing rescuing and now feels like the trailblazer it wanted to be.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure side of the film does give us real peril because it takes Mulan into a war battle which has taken lives of many, this could be slightly too dark for the whole family to enjoy too.

SettingsThe film brings us to Ancient China which brings us a new animated setting for an American movie, we have the mountain range which looks beautiful and the towers that show the empires built.

AnimationThe animation is the usual top notch from Disney never looking out of place for their level of excellency


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain range attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me For me Mushu got annoying after a while.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful animated movie that does show us the courage one woman showed to save her country against tradition.

 

Overall: Disney’s last good movie of the late 90s.

Rating

 

 

The Darkness (2016)

darknessDirector: Greg McLean

Writer: Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Lucy Fry, Kevin Bason, Ming-Na Wen, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Matt Walsh, Tara Lynne Barr

 

Plot: A family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation, haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and engages them in a fight for their survival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: The Darkness starts as we meet two families, the Taylor’s Peter (Bacon), Bronny (Mitchell), Michael (Mazouz) and Stephanie (Fry) as well as the Carter’s Joy (Morrison), Gary (Walsh) and Andrew (Mack) who are enjoying a barbeque in the desert by the Grand Canyon which has an ancient Native American city underneath.

Michael the youngster member of the family is different to most other children being autistic finds himself falling into the city but unaware to anybody else knowledge, when the Taylor family return home strange things start happening and Michael has a new imaginary friend Jennifer. Peter and Bronny have to figure out whether Michael is getting sicker and becoming dangerous or whether there is something outside their power going on within the house.

The Darkness is a horror movie that I can’t help but think feels like a re-immigration of Poltergeist mainly because it is about a house being haunted by Native American spirits which does include a portal. I do think this story does enough to make this stand out unique enough but sadly the part of the film that disappoints the most is that we do see a serious side of the story not tackled long enough. As for a horror story this is enjoyable enough for the horror fans and does try to escape the cliché moments we could have seen happen.

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Bacon: Peter Taylor is a well-respected architect and loving father who is going through a few marriage issues even though he wants to work through them. When the family are find strange things happening around the house he wants a doctor but his wife wants a supernatural investigator leading to a clash between the two other what they want to believe. Peter is also being sent temptation from his boss to cheat on his wife which seems pointlessly added to the story we are watching unfold. Kevin does a good job but this could have been pulled off by anyone strong leading man.

Radha Mitchell: Bronny Taylor is the wife and mother of the family who has to stay at home to care for Michael while balancing her own job. She is an alcoholic but has been clean for years. She fills the studying what could be happening role needed in this film having to go through her fair share of hauntings. Radha is solid in this role but like Kevin we could have almost anyone in this role.

David Mazouz: Michael Taylor is the autistic son of the family who finds a strange collection of stones in an ancient Native American city. He starts communicating with these spirits becoming increasingly involved with the strange goes on inside the house. David is good for the young star of the film.

Lucy Fry: Stephanie Taylor is the daughter in the family, she comes off as your everyday high school student but we do see a darker side of her suffering from bulimia. She doesn’t get the attention that Michael does until this is discovered while be one of the more focal points of the attacks on the family. Lucy is good in this role where she is dealing with a serious condition.

Support Cast: The Darkness has a supporting cast you would expect to see in horror, we have the paranormal helpers, the friends and the previously dealt with the situation characters. They all do the job you expect from them without being too involved in the final outcome.

Director Review: Greg McLeanGreg brings us a ghost filled horror that all works very well to step away from horror clichés.

 

Horror: The Darkness has good horror elements happening throughout which mix up the suspense and up scares nicely.

Settings: The Darkness keeps nearly all of the films horror elements inside the house showing it is the house that is the cause to the problem.
Special Effects
: The Darkness uses the effects really well through to create the horror elements happening through the film.

Suggestion: The Darkness is one I do think all the horror fans will enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Hand Prints

Worst Part: Not tackling the serious side of the story away from the horror enough.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Evil comes home

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror that works for the genre.

Ratingcard