Disney’s live-action Mulan released the first trailer, poster, and stills from the film today. The female costumes and make-up still look like bad 80’s movies, but OMG Liu Yifei is perfect!!!!! She’s so beautiful and so fierce in the trailer it made me tear up. I feel like the tone of the trailer was spot on in terms of what I was hoping for in a film about Mulan. What do you think?
The film stars Liu Yifei as the titular heroine and features Gong Li, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Jet Li, and Cheng Pei-pei. It’s set for a worldwide release on March 27, 2020.
Millions of years ago, aliens, now known as yaoguai or demons, landed on Earth. To blend in, they hide their animal forms by shapeshifting into humans. To make sure their secrets are hidden from the humans, the Bureau of Transformers was formed to monitor yaoguai actions in our world. When young arctic fox demon Bai Qianchu (Liu Yifei) comes to the human world to repay an act of kindness and accidentally exposes her true form, she’s being chased after by the bureau’s agents.
Her object of interest is zookeeper and swindler Yuan Shuai (Feng Shaofeng), who saved her when he was a child. When Bai Qianchu falls for Yuan Shuai, the two become caught at the center of a power struggle in the demon world between those who want to live apart from humans and those who want to cohabit the world with humans.
Urban fantasy film Hanson and the Beast takes the exciting concept of an alien registration agency and made a rom-com whose main feature is Liu Yifei being charming and beautiful. Luckily, it does that well enough if you like Liu Yifei. Plus, unlike her last blockbuster, the rest of the cast can actually act and the set-up is refreshing enough that you sit through it and enjoy Liu Yifei. A drama spinoff of the series starring Wang Ziwen and Chen He was released last week.
Someone recently uploaded the DVD behind the scenes for the Zhang Jizhong version of The Return of the Condor Heroes here and people are once more struck by how well the choreography and its execution by Liu Yifei fit the character of its lead Xiaolongnv. XiaoLongNv’s sashes are probably right up there with Yang Liping’s ““Nine Yin Skeleton Claw 九阴白骨爪“ as my top two Jin Yong choreographies that are both beautiful and perfectly reflect their characters.
In the book, Xiaolongnv’s fighting style is described as “a fairy or angel dancing”. Action directors Zhao Jian and Lin Feng worked to achieve this by combining elements of dance with martial arts. In designing her signature white sashes, the choreographers borrowed heavily from water sleeves of Chinese dance. While she only used white sashes a few times in the novel, her sashes become prominent here to emphasize her etherealness.
Actress Liu Yifei reminds you why no matter how many bad movies she makes, she is still the prototype for like half of all Chinese romance novels. Here are two sets of photos for a series of Tissot events. Images from her weibo and 壁纸控ins @Weibo.