“Trailer Talk” rounds up recently released trailers for upcoming and anticipated movies.
The stunning trailer for Disney’s live-action adaptation of its 1998 animated classic “Mulan” aims to draw a hard distinction between the original film and this new take.
Based on the Chinese narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan,” “Mulan” tells the story of the brave female warrior who disguised herself as a man and took the place of her father during a Hun invasion. Starring Chinese actress Yifei Liu as Hua Mulan, the trailer shows the determined Mulan pledging to bring honor to her family as she practices fighting with her sword and shoots her bow and arrow. The trailer’s cinematography is gorgeous as Mulan encounters a variety of landscapes and enters battle alongside the Imperial Army.
While the 1998 version was a musical, the new “Mulan” embraces a grounded interpretation of the story, leaving the singing behind. Where some of Disney’s latest live-action adaptations have done little to expand upon the original animated classics – for instance, the upcoming “The Lion King” promises to be a shot-for-shot remake – the new “Mulan” looks refreshing because it offers something different. The trailer stresses Mulan’s epic and empowering journey to find herself and unlock her potential on the battlefield.
By offering more realism, the film must leave behind some of the more fantastical elements from the cartoon. This is why fan favorite character Mushu, the dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 version, does not appear to be a part of the live-action adaptation. As this “Mulan” seems to be more faithful to the Chinese legend, the comical dragon just doesn’t fit into the real-world take.
The film boasts a stellar cast that includes Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Gong Li and Jet Li.
“Mulan” will uncover her destiny in theaters March 27.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
Disney is on a roll this week, releasing not one but two trailers for its upcoming female-centric films. In addition to “Mulan,” the studio released a new trailer for “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the sequel to the 2014 hit “Maleficent,” a re-imagining of “Sleeping Beauty” told from the famed villain’s point of view. Angelina Jolie’s compassionate take on the wronged fairy struck a chord with female audiences, and the story continues in this fantasy adventure.
After Maleficent learned to love and care for Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) in the first film, the women’s strong bond is tested as Aurora seeks to marry Prince Phillip. “Love doesn’t always end well,” Maleficent says knowingly. Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), threatens to drive a wedge between the two women, which puts the safety of all magical creatures in the cross-hairs. As new alliances are formed, a mysterious being (Chiwetel Ejiofor) enters the fray.
The colorful moors and mystical creatures in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” look just as detailed and beautiful as in the first film. It’ll be fun to see two powerhouse actresses in Jolie and Pfeiffer play off each other.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” casts its spell Oct. 18 in theaters.
“Jumanji: The Next Level”
The sequel to 2017’s surprise smash “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and the third film in the franchise adds a new twist to the magical game in this laugh-out-loud trailer.
The comedy adventure reunites the “Welcome to the Jungle” cast, led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black as the avatars of a group of teenagers – respectively, Spencer (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany (Madeline Iseman) – swept into the game in the previous film. But when Martha, Bethany and Fridge go back in to find a missing Spencer, it’s not what they expect: the teens aren’t playing the avatars they are used to. Upsetting the balance are two new players: Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his friend, Milo (Danny Glover). The group must work together to find Spencer if they have any chance of making it out of the game alive.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” isn’t afraid to mix it up and add new possibilities for the franchise by switching around its characters’ avatars. Instead of the Rock playing a teen boy, Johnson does his best impersonation of DeVito as Eddie, and it’s hilarious. Hart also gets to imitate Glover, showing audiences he can stretch as an actor. Johnson and Hart get a lot of laughs in the trailer, and I can’t wait to see what else they get to do in the film.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” flips the game upside down Dec. 13.
The action comedy directed and written by Elizabeth Banks serves as a sequel to the 1970s crime-fighting TV show and the two previous feature films. The action-packed trailer looks like a lot of fun as it seeks to reinvigorate the franchise.
A trio of new faces – Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott – work as spies for the Townsend Agency as it goes international. Banks, Djimon Hounsou and Patrick Stewart appear as many Bosleys helping the women to infiltrate a secret technology program that could threaten the world.
Fresh off the success of this summer’s “Aladdin” remake, Scott has a plum role as the agency’s freshest face. Stewart, known for her role in the “Twilight” franchise and edgier independent flicks, looks like she’s having a blast in her first foray into action.
“Charlie’s Angels” infiltrates theaters Nov. 15.
Rebecca Kivak and Joe Baress write about movies for Take 2 blog. Together, they review current flicks and offer their insights into the latest movie news. Rebecca is a copy editor and page designer at The Times-Tribune. She started her career with Times-Shamrock Newspapers in 2005 and has won several professional journalism awards for page design and headline writing. She also covers NASCAR races from Pocono Raceway. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5126; @TTRebeccaKivak