• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “The Devil All the Time, Antebellum, Mandalorian, and Pushbacks”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Bob Chipman for the fourth episode, primarily discussing The Devil All the Time, Antebellum, the trailer for the second season of The Mandalorian, and the changes to the release schedule after the releases of TENET and Mulan.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Video! On Disney’s Chinese Gambit with “Mulan”…

So, as I have mentioned before, I am launching a new video series as a companion piece to In the Frame at The Escapist. The video will typically launch with the Monday article, and be released on the magazine’s YouTube channel the following week.

With that in mind, here is last week’s episode, covering Disney’s ambitions to bring Mulan to China and the story of how Hollywood became so fascinated with that market. You can watch the pilot video here, and read the companion article here.

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – ” Mulan, Dune and The Academy”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Bob Chipman for the third episode, primarily discussing Disney’s release of Mulan, the first trailer for Dune and the new changes to eligibility for the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Column! On Disney’s Chinese Gambit with “Mulan”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Mulan as a premium video on demand this weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a look at what the film represents in terms of Disney (and larger Hollywood’s) relationship with China.

The streaming release of Mulan is just one prong of Disney’s rollout strategy for a film that reportedly has a larger budget than The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast. The company has an eye on the Chinese box office, which makes sense given that China has become a global powerhouse in terms of box office. Mulan has been consciously tailored to appeal to Chinese audiences, but this is really just the culmination of Hollywood’s long-running courtship of Chinese censors and audiences, a trend that has been in motion for over a quarter of a century.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non-Review Review: Mulan (2020)

Niki Caro’s Mulan is an interesting beast.

As a piece of production, it’s impressive. It lands neatly among the best of Disney’s live action adaptations of its classic animated films, simply by virtue of its willingness to offer something new. It avoids the limp and slavish devotion of films like The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, even if it never quite transcends its origins like Pete’s Dragon. It is vibrant and dynamic film, one that leans into what is possible in live action rather than animation, with cinematographer Mandy Walker ensuring that colours really pop off the screen.

Claws for concern

However, there’s also something slightly frustrating about Mulan. It often feels like the changes from the animated film were not made with the intention of improving the film or finding a new angle, but instead to render Mulan more palatable to a targetted Chinese audience. After all, for all the attention paid to the film’s video-on-demand release, its box office prospects have always had one eye on China. The result is a film that feels more cautious and more conservative than an animated film produced over two decades ago.

Mulan is clean and stylish, but feels a little too calculated and sterile to be its best self.

A prime cut?

Continue reading

New Escapist Column! On How “Mulan” is Coming to Disney+, and Studios Are Leaving America Behind…

I published a new piece at The Escapist earlier today. With the news that Mulan will be streaming on Disney+ – for a hefty $30 fee – it seemed worth discussing the real story.

A lot of the discussion around Mulan releasing on Disney+ has revolved around the studio’s plan to charge an additional fee, on top of the subscription, for it. This is reasonable. It is a big shift in the American cinematic market. However, it is only part of the story. The video-on-demand release of Mulan will not be enough to turn a significant profit of itself, and it’s clear that the decision to release Mulan at all is rooted in the fact that the international theatrical market is coming back to life. Disney are banking big on Chinese box office.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.