"The entertainment industry is vast and is a reflection of the society we live in."

- Karrine Steffans -

Is Disney’s “Mulan” Jinxed for Theater Showing?

While Disney’s Mulan suffered from lack of traditional theaters, many who have seen the livestreamed remake are glad their disappointment did not cost them much. Although Disney was able to get theater bookings in other countries like China and South Korea, it seems there is some kind of jinx attached to the movies as far as theater release is concerned.

 

Mulan Theater Release in China and South Korea Suffers from Calls for Boycott

 

In China, where Mulan was shown in theaters, the release only heightened the negative reviews about the Disney movie. Not only was the live action remake criticized for not delivering quality actions scenes, amusing dialogues and funny antics that fans have grown to love about Disney films.

Where Mulan’s Chinese audience outside of China cited general lack of authenticity on how China’s history was depicted, the cause of uproar against Disney in China went beyond technicalities.

Many of China’s pro-democracy activists were indignant over Disney’s expression of special appreciation to Xinjiang state’s government organizations. Mainly because they made it possible for Disney to partly shoot some scenes in the region.

However, Chinese moviegoers are indignant over Disney’s disregard for the human rights issues hurled against the Xinjiang provincial government. As China has imposed a ban on other forms of religion, the Xinjiang government prosecuted millions of Uighur Muslims; notwithstanding that the Ulghurs are natives of the Xinjiang region.

 

Actually, the calls for Mulan’s boycott in China is on top of an earlier call by South Korean citizens to spurn the movie, just a month ahead of the theater screening. Mulan actress, Liu Yifei, created social media controversy when she made it known through her comment that she supports the Hong Kong police. To any reader, her post means she agrees with the violent manner by which HK police cracked down on HK protesters.

“Just Mercy” – The 2019 Movie that Depicts the Black Lives Matter Narrative

“Just Mercy” is a compelling true-to-life film written by civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson that could explain why millions support the ongoing protest rallies.

 

Since this Warner Bros. movie was released only in December 2019, the story and its message about systemic injustices against black Americans is still fresh in the minds of those who have seen the movie.

So much so that when videos went viral, showing how a white police officer killed George Floyd in broad daylight and in plain view of the public in downtown Minneapolis, the uproar came not only from black Americans but from all races and colors, including white Americans.

To date the cries for injustice over George Floyd’s death has turned into a global protest of how America’s justice system has very little regard for the lives of black citizens. Although many contend that not only Black Lives Matter (BLM), but All Lives Matter, the story of how Walter McMillan was unjustly arrested, tried, prosecuted and sentenced to death, explains the difference.

Jamie Foxx who portrayed Walter McMillan and Michael B Jordan who reprised Bryan Stevenson’s role, were immediately seen in Minneapolis during the early days of the now 3-week long BLM protest rallies.

Who is Walter McMillan and How Did He Suffer from America’s Systemic Injustices

Walter McMillan, was an African-American from Monroeville, Alabama, who was falsely accused of murdering a young woman, but was saved from a death sentence by civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

Stevenson together with his Equal Justice Initiative staff, led by Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), were able to gather evidence that the Monroe police force, under Monroe County Sheriff Tom Tate had arrested and incarcerated McMillan based on trumped-up charges.

It turned out that the main witness who testified that McMillan was the killer, was under investigation for crimes committed in another county, but was coerced by the Monroe police to falsely testify against McMillan. The trial lasted only a day and aa half, with the jury putting more weight on the suspected felon’s false testimony, over the statements of other black citizens who testified that at the time of the murder, McMillan was with them during a church fish-fry gathering.

The all-white jury pronounced Walter McMillan guilty and had sentenced him to life imprisonment. However, presiding Judge Robert E. Lee Key, decided to override the jury’s life sentence, which he commuted to death by electrocution.

Civil Rights Lawyer Stevenson Succeeded in Appealing for the Release of MacMillan

The crime and McMillan’s sentencing took place in 1986, while it was only in 1988 that civil rights attorney Stevenson and the EIJ had the opportunity to undertake legal actions in appealing McMillan’s case.

After six years of looking for evidence that supported McMillan’s innocence, the wrongfully convicted African American was set free in 1993. Based on the pieces of evidence that the EIJ had gathered, Atty. Stevenson was able to convince the Alabama Court of Appeals that McMillian was imprisoned and sentenced to death for a crime that he did not commit. .

After his release, Mcmillan actively participated in movements that aimed to educate African Americans about legal systems. His public appearances drew attention to other wrongful convictions, which resulted to the exoneration of more than a hundred fifty wrongfully accused black Americans.

Sadly, the trauma suffered by McMillan while in death row led to the development of dementia in the last two years of his life. In 2013, Walter Mcmillan passed away at age 71 years old. Sheriff Tate on the other hand, remained with the Monroe Police Force, up to his retirement in 2019.

“Just Mercy” is highly recommended to those who would like to have a clear understanding of the reforms being sought by the Black Lives Matter protesters throughout the country and in other parts of the globe.

“Contagion” Depicts Threats of Covid-19

“Contagion,” is a must watch 2011 movie in order to get a clear picture of the Covid-19 threats the world is currently facing. The medical action thriller shows how virus pandemic puts the entire world on edge. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie describes conditions that could trigger and worsen the effects of a fast-acting virus, which could lead to the loss of millions of lives.

Health Science Experts Laud Contagion’s Realistic Plot

Health science experts who have seen the movie laud it for its realistic plot. Rebecca Katz, Georgetown University’s Director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security, commented that

”The movie shows the interconnectedness between the environment, the animals and humans” … “showing how virus transfers and combines between animals and of how an emerging infectious disease can jump to humans.”

Later, with a mere handshake between the chef who prepared the infected pig and an American female guest, the latter becomes a new carrier of the virus. She spreads the undetected virulent organism everywhere she goes; whilst infecting everyone with whom she comes in contact.

Relevance of Other “Contagion” Narratives to What is Currently Happening

U.S. president Donald Trump tries to suppress panic felt not by the general public, but of the stock market investors who have been continuously selling off their stocks. Anxious that the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting weakening of the financial markets will hurt his chances of being re-elected, Trump tries to convince the American people that the coronavirus is under control and that a vaccine is underway.

In “Contagion” this was portrayed by local government officials who did not heed the warnings of the scientist sent out to investigate the mysterious virus. Their refusal to acknowledge the presence of a highly infectious virus in their midst, was tied to their reluctance to use resources in carrying out an emergency public health response.

The movie also explains why it takes a long time before a vaccine can be developed and tested as effective. The scientist who was able to identify a potential vaccine took the risk of inoculating herself, in order to reduce the time it takes to test the vaccine on consenting infected patients.

Fortunately, the scientist’s vaccine worked; but production time and methods of dispensing are also matters to consider.

Certain rules of order on who should first receive the treatment had to be observed. In the meantime, even as production of the vaccine was underway, the narratives indicated that the worldwide death toll continued to rise Since the outbreak was pandemic, the vaccine and its production cannot immediately reach all the millions infected by the virulent virus.

A New Universal Pictures Monster “The Invisible Man” is Coming to Scare You in 2020

Universal Pictures is forging on with its Dark Universe movies; this time pitching “The Invisible Man” as its next monster feature. Yet unlike the first Dark Universe offering two years ago, the action-adventure film “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise, the 2020 “The Invisible Man” is more of a horror sci-fi thriller.

In this upcoming Dark Universe entertainment, the titular character is obsessed with a woman named Cecilia Kass. As a backgrounder, Cecilia was able to wrangle out of a violent relationship from a wealthy and at the same brilliant scientist. However she later became the target of some unseen force that seemed to be stalking and constantly watching her, right after her former partner and tormentor had committed suicide.

Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss is Cecilia Kass, while her brilliant but oppressive scientist husband is played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. The revealing part is that Oliver Jackson-Cohen also plays the title role as the malevolent invisible man. Obviously, this explains why Cecilia Kass is in his radar. The plot thickens, though, once his invisible-stalking and tormenting of Cecilia makes the latter look mentally unstable.

The movie therefore will likely be scaring moviegoers out of their wits once jackson-Cohen’s character transforms from a vicious controlling figure into a sinister invisible being; more capable of committing horrific acts under the cloak of his invisibility. One noteworthy scary scene shows Cecilia looking vulnerably naked in the shower, while a handprint on the glass partition will indicate that something invisible is watching her.

About the Original Invisible Man and How He Came to Be So

The idea of an invisible character was first conceptualized by H.G. Wells in a science fiction novel with the same title. Wells narrated a creepy story about a scientist who immersed himself in the study of optics so he could devise a way to change the refractive index of a body to that of air; preventing light absorption and reflection is said to be a way of making a particular body invisible.

“The Invisible Man” of the Dark Universe is an adaptation of this H.G. Wells character, and a reboot of a 1933 movie with the same title. Universal Pictures will release the new monster film for screening in U.S. theaters on February 28, 2020.

Migrant Children Gets Financial Support from Hollywood A-List Couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for its Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Right through its Defense and Education Fund (LDF), has received a $2 million pledge of financial support from Hollywood A-List couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The entertainment couple’s donation will help the LDF in providing the much needed legal support for children of immigrants, as part of the social justice initiatives of the non-profit NAACP.

According to a press release statement given by the couple last Wednesday (September. 4, 2019), the celebrity couple explained that they want to help non-profit organizations in “defending the rights and best interests of immigrant children.”

 

The heartfelt reading of the statement mirrored Ryan and Blake’s desire to do everything possible in fostering more empathy and compassion throughout the world. The statement also explained why the Reynolds couple chose NAACP, reading

“We are blown away by the commitment of NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Young Center, not only in fighting for democracy and justice, but also humanity”

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Ryan Reynolds, Well-Known for Philanthropic Deeds

Ryan and Blake concluded the statement by saying that they are grateful in giving back, through organizations that give voice to many. Actually, the NAACP is not the first non-profit organization that received financial support from the celebrity couple.

Even before the “Deadpool” movie cemented Ryan Reynolds’ A-list status in Hollywood, the actor has been a constant supporter of non-profit organizations, such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation.and the F–k Cancer Foundation.

 

 

He currently sits on the board of directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, continuing to advocate and support research work into Parkinson’s disease, as a way of honoring his father’s (James Reynolds’) long battle with the illness.

Spider-Man: Far from Home – Literally a Breathtaking Movie; Both Thumbs Up!

Spider-Man: Far from Home officially hit the silver screens for general viewing last July 02, 2019, and it appears not a single viewer went home disappointed. So far, everybody seems to agree that by far, it is the best Spider-Man movie ever. Its performance at the tills during the first week is proof enough that it is a superhero movie worth watching. Many are predicting it will outperform 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, and even the highest-grossing Spider-Man franchise, the 2007’s Spider-Man 3.

Never mind if the prediction does not come true. What is important for moviegoers, particularly those not really into superhero flicks, is that word-of-mouth about the movie being good, is for real. Here are some of the reasons why:

Lots of Breathtaking Action Scenes Made to Look so Convincingly Real

The action scenes are so intense that those viewing the movie in 3D, will almost have the urge to get up and go; lest they get caught up in all the mayhem and destruction. Well, that is actually the problem when superheroes and supervillains meet because the innocents and incidentals are the ones who get hurt. Oops, getting carried away,.. Nearly forgot, they were all special effects and CGI .

Lots of Humor and Amusing Scenes

The humor factor is one trait that fans love about Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) superhero entertainment. No need to get into details here, because it will only spoil the fun; but expect a lot from the supporting cast especially among those included in Peter Parker’s Europe field trip. Some nice surprises will definitely lighten and brighten up the mood, after going through Spider-Man’s brooding scenes over the death of Tony Stark.

Superb Acting Skills from Both Main and Supporting Actors

Spider-Man: Far from Home is Tom Holland’s fifth vehicle as MCU’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker, for which he has consistently demonstrated being the best actor to play the dual roles. Considering that he is already in his 20s, Holland can still get away with his projections of a high school youth, who experiences difficulty in combining moral and social obligations with the responsibilities of a superhero. Holland looks so natural and normal with his acting, he does not make grief and emotional struggles too agonizing to watch.

There is great chemistry between Holland and Zendaya, so it is okay for the movie to play up their romance a little bit. The nice thing about the romantic angle is that gives Zendaya better purpose for being in the movie. Her MJ is gutsy, not the usual “damsel-in-distress” who Spidey agonizes over, while locked in the heat of a battle with the more important super villains.

Jake Gyllenhaal,is definitely the right actor to play Mysterio as he looks every inch a superhero. He does justice to his Quentin Beck role by fooling not just S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury; but also most of the audience who did not hear through the grapevine that Gyllenhall is set to play an anti-hero role. After all, it is part of Gyllenhaal’s acting prowess, combining intensity in his hero role-play with a pathetic underdog aura, leaving it to viewers to decide whether to side with him or not.

The movie ends leaving everyone satisfied but should be reminded not to get up from their seat just yet. There are must-see middle and end credits to watch, just so they know MCU has more plans in store.

Game of Thrones Final Characters Got What They Wished For, Except Daenerys

Game of Thrones (GoT) finally came to a conclusion, leaving fans with mixed reactions on whether they should be entertained or not with the outcome. Every remaining lead and supporting character ended up lucky, getting their heart’s desire in the aftermath of the King;s Landing siege. Except for Daenerys, whose character was bound to end as a Mad Queen.

Clarke’s Daenerys Character Got the Bad End of the Deal

Unfortunately for fans of Daenerys, their beloved Silver Queen experienced the worst kind of betrayal; at the hands of Jon, for whom she sacrificed 2 of her dragons, thousands of her Dothraki warriors and her ever faithful companion and protector, Ser Joras.

Most of all, Emilia Clarke’s character suffered betrayal at the hands of GoT writers.

Although the original storyline had her transforming from a fair and just ruler, into becoming a vengeful Mad Queen, not enough scenes transpired during the last few episodes to suggest just that. It’s as if writers presumed every GoT viewer knew that Daenerys was to become a Mad Queen, excusing them from the task of having to build up that aspect before sending her Mad Queen character out on a killing rampage.In fact at the very end, she appeared sane.

Dany. as Jon lovingly called his queen, carried on with grace; thanking the Unsullied and the Dothraki warriors for their bravery and loyalty. She even tried to convince Jon to see things her way. As it was, it appeared that she was manipulated into helping other characters get what they wanted.

How Characters Fared After Cersei’s Fall

Brandon Stark a.k.a. Bram the Broken

The Game of Thrones and all that happened was apparently orchestrated by Bram the Broken, or the 3-Eyed Raven persona who took over Bram’s being. When asked by Tyrion if he was willing to wear the crown by becoming the ruler of the Six Kingdoms, Bram replied, “Why do you think I came all this way?” Since the 3-Eyed Raven knew everything, past, present and future, it appeared he planned everything all along.

Later, Bram even told Jon that Jon, was “exactly where he was supposed to be.”

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion also landed a good deal, as Bram appointed him to be the King’s Right Hand. It has always been Tyrion’s frustration that his words and wisdom were ignored by the Lannister family, but not under Daenarys rule. Since Tyrion made it possible for Bram to become the King, Bram in return, made Tyrion the Right Hand of the King.

Jon Snow

Jon did not become king; but still got most of what he wanted. He was banished and sent to the Night Watch, yet this gave him a chance to live freely with the free folk. In a way, Jon had always wanted to live a life that was not complicated by the whims of rulers, while interacting with people willing to listen to reason.

Other Characters

Sansa, got her lifelong wish and became Queen of the North. Arya got to travel to wherever she wanted aboard her own ship. Bronn of the Blackwater became a wealthy man and was designated as Master of Coin. Sam Turley became Grandmaester despite his previous troubles with the Citadel. Sir Davos landed an important job as Master of Ships, which is the same with Ser Brienne who assumed post as Master of Guards.

Entertainment – Official Trailer

An aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement and the possibility of rekindling a relationship with his daughter, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters.