Spirited Away is undoubtedly one of — if not the most — well-known film from director Hayao Miyazaki. The Academy Award-winning fantasy-adventure of a young girl having to navigate the spirit world she’s trapped in is a story that has captivated and inspired audiences all over the world.
It’s no secret that Disney has found some critical but much commercial success with their live-action adaptations of animated classics. But these film adaptations help introduce a new telling of an old story to a young generation. And in a way, it is a great way to introduce the animated original to them as well.
Disney remaking its classics has been a completely mixed bag thus far. Sure they make billions. But they’re incredibly hit and miss. And it’s so appropriate that I’m kicking off the review for the latest Disney remake, Pinocchio (2022), with such a statement, because it is a completely mixed bag. And a weird one at that.
The first trailer for Netflix’s new Resident Evil trailer released this morning. Although it did give us our first glimpse at the story, characters, and settings of this new take on the canon, it didn’t reveal much else. At least, not directly. Like the games that inspired it, Resident Evil hid quite a few details in the background of its teaser. Details that could lead to the mystery behind this new iteration’s virus outbreak. And wouldn’t ya know it, the Umbrella Corporation is most definitely involved.
The world of Resident Evil has grown exponentially, hasn’t it? The games have gone from zombies to mutated tentacle monsters to immortal sludge monsters masquerading as a serial killer family. The most recent entry in the main game line introduced actual werewolves and vampire queens into the mix!
It’s time to jam Bebop fans! Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop debuts today! And while it isn’t perfect, it’s still pretty fun in a pretty campy way. However, the one thing the show gets right is the music! And heavily inspired by the terrific music of the original anime, the music in the new adaptation pays homage, while managing to carve out its own identity for itself (much like the show as a whole). And someone who knows all about that is iconic DJ Steve Aoki!
So much like my review for Snake Eyes, I will set a disclaimer about the fact that I’m by no means a hardcore Cowboy Bebop fan. I’ve seen the full series once through in my life, and I do like it. And I’ve rewatched some of my favorite episodes numerous times, particularly in preparation for the release of this series. But I’m not as emotionally attached or invested in the series as many out there are.
In the upcoming retelling of the 101 Dalmatians villainess Cruella de Vil, Disney’s Cruella tells the story of a young Cruella (Emma Stone) and her rise as a famous (or infamous) fashion designer and future dog-killer. The film follows Cruella’s upbringing and the friends (or minions) she makes along the way. One of those friends is queer vintage shop owner, Artie or Art “as in work of art,” played by British actor/singer John McCrea.
Today, the RE: Anime YouTube channel released their trailer for the new live action short, One Punch Man vs. Genos. The film features the epic fight scene between One Punch Man and Genos based on the original anime and features Alfred Hsing and official Friend of the NOC, Yoshi Sudarso in the titular roles. Check it out below:
Jason Scott Lee has been part of Hollywood for a long time breaking many barriers than Asian Americans had sought for so long. In 1993, Lee played the iconic role of Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, one of the only Bruce Lee biopics approved by the Lee Family. The following year, he went on to star in the first live-action Disney film, The Jungle Book, as Mowgli, marking the first time an Asian American took on a lead role in a Disney film.
Noted for playing the good guy in his films like The Jungle Book and Lilo & Stitch, Lee was ready to take on a different role — Disney villain. In the new Disney live-action film Mulan, Lee plays Bori Khan aka “Shan Yu” of the Rouran tribes. As the main antagonist to Yifei Liu’s Mulan, Bori Khan is determined to overpower the Emperor (Jet Li) and the people of China.
Over a year ago, in October 2018, I was fortunate the attend the set visit to the live-action version of Disney’s Mulan. Many fans, including myself, have waited over 22 years for the animated version to come to life. It was really surreal to see it play out in person on the set in New Zealand.
When plans of the live-action film were announced in 2015, fans immediately were excited with the idea of seeing their favorite characters come to life — from the Hua family guardian, Mushu, to Mulan’s good luck charm, Cri-Kee, and the bisexual icon, Li Shang.
I used to write English-language screenplays for a feature animation studio in China. They hired me to write sequels to Snow White and Cinderella, asking me to infuse Western humor so that it would appeal to an international audience. The experience was difficult because nobody could agree on what the story and message had to be. I was told, “It’s a movie for children, so don’t take the themes too far or too serious. It doesn’t have to be logical or make sense. It just has to be fun and pretty.” I left the projects amicably, because I didn’t want to write a generic story that didn’t resonate with the current human condition.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil reunites Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and Aurora (Elle Fanning) as they face their biggest challenge: growing up.
Sure, there are the fey people wanting to come from behind the shadows and a potential battle between them and humans, especially with an evil queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) pulling the strings from behind the throne. But the main story is really the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.
“I feel the huge part of the success from the first film is that it had a strong emotional core,” said director Joachim Rønning during the global press conference in Beverly Hills. “I think that was the most important to me to continue telling that story. The story about Maleficent and Aurora. That’s what I can relate with as a parent, myself.”
The long anticipated, photo-realistic animated version of The Lion King comes out this week, but the soundtrack was released last Friday. Most of the songs from the original 1994 film are on the list, with the exception of a few additions; one of them being, arguably, one of the most underrated songs to come out of Disney: “He Lives In You.” Continue reading “The Circle of Life of “He Lives in You” from ‘The Lion King’”
The Lion King roars back into cinemas on July 19th–this time painstakingly brought to life by Iron Man, Chef, and Jungle Book maestro, Jon Favreau. Are we feeling the love tonight? Or is this one stuck in the elephant graveyard?
Find out by watching our NOC’s review of the movie here:
Disney’s live action film The Lion King‘s press conference kicked off on Wednesday afternoon in Beverly Hills with a live performance of ‘The Circle of Life’ by original 1994 singer Lebo M and Clydene Jackson (who replaces Carmen Twillie for the new soundtrack). They were accompanied by the choir who were also part of the film’s soundtrack.
The “Disney Princess” mythos is a genre as restrictive as it is globally-superpowered, but in terms of the Official Princess Movie with the most patriarchy-subverting politics, I think it’s no contest: Mulan is by far the most progressive-minded cel-animated Disney Princess film, while also performing its essential sedative-hypnotic function on your child’s developing emotional vocabulary. (Pocahontas has an argument too, but for my taste, the underlying colonization-conquest story is so far outside of Classic Disney’s natural lane, you kinda wonder what they’re even trying to say, and also the songs in Pocahontas are not my jam.)