Movie Afternoon

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/25 sec, ISO800
“Hua Mulan” Cedar Park, 2020

Watching 2009’s Mulan: Rise of a Warrior today… pretty good version of the classic story! If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my movie review. Sitting at the kotatsu with a beer and a ukulele, watching a movie, is a great way to spend the afternoon. 😊

Speaking of Mulan, I’m still slowly working my way through the television drama. It’s turning out to be a multi-year project.

7 thoughts on “Movie Afternoon

  1. I’ve heard good things about this version of Mulan. Haven’t seen it yet, but I can imagine it’s infinite times better than the Disney’s 2020 version, which I’ve watched (and detested). Enjoy!

    1. I actually enjoyed the Disney version. I thought it was beautiful and the action was decent. The pacing was really rushed (like all of a sudden she’s dying of thirst) and it felt like they tried to cram too much into it. A big missed opportunity on Disney’s part, but I didn’t think it was awful. I also liked seeing a lot of my favorite actors all contributing their skills in one movie.

      1. I agree with you that the cinematography and A-list Chinese actors were phenomenal. But I could not get on board with the storyline and directing, as it felt very fake and untrue to the original Mulan story, especially since I am Chinese. There were good parts of it, but mostly, I didn’t enjoy the rest.

        1. When you say original Mulan story, do you mean the animated Disney movie, or the traditional Ballad of Mulan story? I’ve seen a few Mulan movies and tv shows now, and although they share similar plots and themes, they are all a bit different from each other so I try to appreciate them as stand-alone as best as I can. I found it interesting that the 2020 version showed the villains as the Rouran and not the Huns, as similar to the 2009 Chinese movie and the CCTV television series I am watching, and also referred to her as Hua Mulan instead of Fa Mulan, which is also a break from the animated Disney versions. Perhaps just small details, but I wonder what the reason was to change it. BTW I’m mostly Chinese ancestry (my mom is Chinese), although I am 2nd generation and so further removed from China. It’s interesting to me how the generations have different outlooks or relationships to their ancestral homes based on so many factors. It’s fascinating and complicated to ponder, that’s for sure.

          1. I was referring to the Ballad of Mulan story, but I’m with you on the 1998 Disney animated film and the 2009 live-action version, as they might not necessarily align with the ballad to a T, but more-or-less keep to the core of it all the same. The problem I had with the 2020 Disney film was that, besides taking huge liberties with the themes and motifs (e.g. chi was used as “magic,” which is not the intent at all in Chinese culture), the screenplay/dialogue was so trite and stilted that it felt like a caricature, rather than authentic. I think it was meant to be taken seriously, but the awkwardness of it all made it very choppy and unnatural to watch.

            You make an interesting point on being 2nd generation. I also am 2nd generation and only have been to China to visit, not to live there. While I’m rather disconnected from my ancestor’s country in terms of culture (and at times language), I still feel proud to be of Chinese descent, and I honor the traditions, history, and arts that arose from China. My comments weren’t meant to be disparaging towards your opinions, and I’m glad we can have a conversation about our views on Mulan, even if we disagree!

          2. I agree with you about chi as well. It made it seem like Mulan was a “chosen one”. Not sure why they felt the need to resort to that when it really doesn’t add anything, but rather detracts from the character.

            I didn’t mean to be disparaging either. I’m sorry if my comment came across that way.

            I just watched Painted Skin, which stars the same actors as the 2009 Mulan movie, and also Donnie Yen… neat to see the actors from both Mulan movies at the same time. Let me know if you are able to watch the 2009 Mulan. I’d love to hear your opinion of that version!

          3. I don’t think you were being disparaging at all. It’s good we were able to have a solid discussion with differing opinions, added with facts to strengthen our points. I’m going to find the 2009 Mulan and give it a watch, hopefully during this long weekend!

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