Mulan Live Action Film Rant

I recently got Dinsey+ and I decided to watch Mulan today. The live action remake, that is, and it was so bad. The best thing I can say about it is that it was very visually beautiful. There will be spoilers ahead.

Okay, so they turned this funny animated film about a girl who goes to war disguised as a boy in her father’s place. Took 98% of the comedic value of that story and replaced with some weird, pseudo-Chinese magic plot line. Where instead of having a girl who overcomes the challenges  of being physically smaller and weaker than the other soldiers through cunning and hard work, you have a girl whose “chi” is strong. Except apparently girls can’t have chi (even though the film also defines it as something that everyone has but I mean okay) because… it gives them magic powers?? I’m really confused about this bit cause we have another woman with “strong chi” who’s been exiled as a witch? And she can turn into a hawk? Or a flock of birds. Yeah… anyway. Mulan is magic now. 

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And that’s honestly all there is to the film. That, and a phoenix metaphor. It was boring, man. It was boring and it made no sense. They got rid of Mushu, first and biggest mistake they made. Then there was a bunch of talk about honor this and honor that and then she decides it’s not honourable to lie so she lets her hair loose (literally) and gets rid of her armour (because I guess armour is not feminine enough and was restraining her chi???) which are the two least logical things to do when you’re about to head into battle but girl power amirite? 

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Anyway, then she saves the day and goes back to her family to make amends and then the emperor gives her a sword and she becomes a legend. The end. It was just such a disappointment. It didn’t do anything right except cinematography. It was pretty. I’m not Chinese, so I’m only saying what I think, I may be wrong, but I thought even the rep was awful even though the cast was all Asian. And I’ve read some own-voices reviews that concurred. So, in the words of the great Mushu himself…

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X-Men Dark Phoenix – A Rant

I have just been to see Dark Phoenix and it was trash. There’s just no nice way of saying it. It was without question the worst X-Men film I’ve ever seen and one of the worst overall films I’ve seen in a while. It was just pure cancer. So I need to just rant about it because I’m mad. Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

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Somehow, this movie managed to be both mind-numbingly slow and completely without any kind of depth or dimension at all. It was just two hours of… pure cancer. The story was so cliche… and like yeah, X-Men stories usually are, but this one was so bad, you can’t even call it a story. It was more a collection of jumbled mess.

So, we start with the story of Jean causing her parent’s death as a little girl, then Charles adopts her, then we fast forward to her being an adult and going on a mission with the X-Men. And they tried to set up this tension between Raven and Charles from the start, but it was so artificial, it didn’t come across at all. Anyway, they go to space to save some astronauts and they manage to do that, but Jean gets blasted with this super duper energy thing. She somehow survives and when they get back, Raven and Charles argue and Raven accuses him of being arrogant and whatever. Hank scans Jean and finds out her powers are on steroids. Later that day, Jean gets wasted and freaks out when she sees fire and blasts people away. While unconscious she finds out that Charles lied to her and her dad’s still alive and runs off to find him. So far it was fine, but from here on, it’s just… awful.

So she goes to her dad’s house and he invites her in, she sees that there are no pictures of her, but only of her mother in the house and freaks the fuck out. Like I get being upset about that. She figures out that her dad didn’t want her when she was a kid and also that she was the cause of her mother’s death. So yeah, I’d be upset too, but she FREAKS out. And when Charles comes to talk to her, she just goes crazy, flips some cop cars (Idk why the cops were there??? Who called them? Why would Charles call them? Her dad wouldn’t have had time? Idk) then Raven tries to talk her down and she kills her and then flies off. Like… you just killed one of your friends… and you fly off?? Also, why did she kill the cops? Why didn’t she just stop to listen. She keeps saying that when ‘it’ comes, she can’t stop, but the way it was filmed… I don’t know, it wasn’t believable. The acting was so bad. Which is shocking, because all of those people CAN act. James McAvoy was terrible. So was Sophie. It’s like they all knew what trash this was and couldn’t be fucked.

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So then she goes to find Magneto to ask how he stopped being evil basically. And he sees Raven’s blood on her shirt and asks her whose blood it is, but Jean doesn’t reply. He keeps prodding until she’s pissed and then some military people show up. Magneto goes to talk to them and tells Jean to stay hidden. And he tries to protect her and send the military guy away but Jean still freaks out, comes out of the house and destroys a helicopter saying “I thought you were gonna help me” and I’m like… he was????? He was literally telling them to fuck off? And you could hear it because you can freaking read minds. So then she tries to destroy the other helicopter, but Magneto fights her for it and eventually the soldiers get in the helicopter and Magneto flings them away saving them. He then instead of trying to help her sends her away. Which I kinda get, but was also an overreaction. At this point I was just like… what even is this?

Meanwhile, we also follow these aliens???? I don’t really know. They’re just aliens that can shapeshift and want to destroy the earth. Why? I don’t know. Apparently the energy in Jean destroyed their planet so now they wanted to harness that power to destroy earth??? Cause that makes sense? Literally there was almost 0 explanation of who these were and why they wanted to kill everyone and/or get Jean’s power.

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After Magneto tells her to fuck off, the boss alien finds Jean and tells her to embrace her power and that no one understand her and Jean has apparently decided that she’s evil now. So the alien lady shows her a picture of the universe and tells her how the energy thing destroyed her planet and how it destroys everything it touches but that she wanted to use it to create a new world??? And Jean was just kinda like… okay, makes sense.

Meanwhile, Hank argues with Charles and goes to find Magneto, tells her Jean killed Raven and then they both decide they want to kill Jean and anyone who gets in their way. At the drop of a hat (in what was possibly the worst acting Michael Fassbender has ever done). So they track her down, Charles and the X-Men also show up trying to prevent them from killing Jean and the most pathetic fight ensues where Charles, who could literally have frozen everyone but Magneto and then let the others fight Magneto, does almost fuck all. So, so far, they’ve killed one of the best characters they had (Raven), neutered another (Charles) and almost completely ignored the best one (Quick Silver, who showed up in the first 15 minutes and that’s it). Great job. Instead, we got a whole lot of Scott and his inability to keep his mouth shut. Literally.

The stupid, forced, completely devoid of any chemistry, romance between him and Jean.

And a lot of Jessica Chastain staring creepily at things.

Anyway, moving on, she then almost kills Magneto, almost kills Nightcrawler and almost kills Charles until Charles says something touching and she’s suddenly not evil anymore. Alien lady steals some of Jean’s power before being stopped. All the mutants are incapacitated by the military and taken to detention facilities presumably. The train they’re on is attacked by aliens, the mutants are obviously released and a fight ensues, but the aliens are apparently completely immune to bullet wounds… or any kind of wounds. Like, not impervious, but they just have super healing I guess. Jean wakes up and kills all of them except boss lady who she then flies to space and kills there to spare her friends from being disintegrated. And then she… turns into a phoenix???? I don’t know if that’s actually a thing or it’s like a metaphor or…. what the hell is going on??? I am confusion.

So yeah… this movie was painful to watch. I can’t believe they actually released this trash. It was so without any substance. I feel like my plot summary gives the story more substance than it actually had. It’s so bad that anything improves on it. The mere act of summarising the plot adds something to it. Just don’t waste your money and time on this garbage.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – RANT

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK AND DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, CHECK OUT MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

This is my second one star review in as many months. To be fair, I started reading this book AGES ago. Like, 6 months ago. Yes. I hated it that much! I actually have the perfect gif to sum up my feelings about this book.

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I was promised a Snow Queen retelling. This wasn’t no snow queen retelling. I mean, it had some elements, but it had elements of so many different things that it’s irrelevant. It was all over the place. What’s more, to me the Snow Queen was always quite dark and the magic in it was really dark. Especially the mirror. That is the best pat in the story and it was completely ruined in this book. Instead of being a mirror that reflected only ugliness and its shards taking away love and joy from people and all that, it was some weird weapony thing that wasn’t really explained, but everyone wanted it. I just… ugh, I hated it.

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When I first started the book and saw it was set in a mental asylum I was so excited. I thought it was going to be this dark, psychological type of story. And then a pretty boy came to our heroine in a dream and convinced her to go through a magical tree by promising to help her find another pretty boy who had been kidnapped and dragged through said magical tree. Or through a mirror? I think it was a mirror? (Yeah, I’m confused too)

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And that is when I knew there was going to be a love triangle. But I was wrong. Oh, I was so wrong. No, this wasn’t a love triangle. This was nymphomania. Our dear Snow was attracted to every. single. male. she. met. I wanted them all to die, just so I would not have to read one more agonizing second of her basically being like “Oh, Kai is so hot. But no! Bale, what about Bale?! But he’s so hot. I’ll kiss him, Bale won’t mind.” and then while kissing him “Oh, but Jagger had much softer looking lips.” UGHHHHHHH!

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This book made no sense. At all. So, you’re telling me that doctors with a medical license and like… any common sense… lock up a child in an asylum for over 10 years and put her on full blown medication BECAUSE SHE CRASHED INTO A MIRROR ONE TIME WHEN SHE WAS 6? Because fuck logic, right?

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And I’m not even going to go into the topic of how mental illness was treated in this book because… let’s just not go there. I will say only this… it was a disgrace. A fucking disgrace. All the patients in that hospital were basically a cardboard cutout of their illness. As if the only relevant thing about them was their illness, and to add grievance to injury, it wasn’t even a particularly accurate portrayal. I mean, I have very little experience with most of those conditions, but even I could tell they were inaccurately portrayed. Just… a disgrace.

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But the asylum thing wasn’t the only thing that made no sense. Just the whole book felt so discordant. I have so many questions. It was like Paige wasn’t really sure what she was trying to write. Like she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to do like a magical coming of age, training thing or a heist thing or what? Was her dad evil or not? I guess her mum was evil for sure? Bale was… I don’t know who Bale was, really? He ended up being the Enforcer, but what  does that have to do with him liking to set things on fire? And was he evil or being controlled? Greta was a werewolf? I guess? Why? Don’t know. Who exactly was Jagger? What about the witches? If hr mum was a witch, did the other witches know she was evil? What exactly was that prophecy thing? What exactly is it with the tree? I don’t know, it was just all over the place.

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There was no world building. I can sum up the whole world into one word: snow. There was a lot of snow. And the world building wasn’t the only lazy piece of writing in this book. Everything was. There is nothing in this book that is in any way original or interesting, or not a copy paste cliche. Lost princess? Check? Special, special, special snowflake? Check. Convenient family members? Check. Incredibly convoluted, but utterly predictable ‘plot twists’? Check. Insta-love? Check. I feel exhausted just writing this review. It drains me of life and joy.

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I hated Snow. Snow was such an entitled, special little snowflake, I could not even. She was supposed to be badass, but she was just a whiny, horny teenage girl who did nothing but throw temper tantrums and think about boys. Also, how exactly she went from having zero knowledge or control over her magic, to conjuring a pack of snow wolves in like a week?

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The writing was clumsy and bland and just… bad. It was bad. It felt like a first draft, rather than a finished novel. I don’t understand how this book got published. Honestly, what publisher bought this? What editor let this go through? It had no substance whatsoever. It was just an all around awful book. I was so disappointed. I’d heard only amazing things about Dorothy Must Die. And I have read so many reviews from fans of that series who were just shocked at how appallingly bad this book was. I still might give Dorothy Must Die a shot, but this was a hot mess of a book.