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‘Mulan’ draws praise after premiere while actors Yifei Liu and Donnie Yen get slammed for pro-Beijing stance

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Disney’s new live-action remake of the 1998 classic ‘Mulan’, premiered on Monday, March 9, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. 

Although rumors of cancelation surrounded the premiere amid fears of the new coronavirus, it went ahead as planned. While it was organized in all its extravagance as a regular movie premiere or opening night would be, the staff at Dolby Theatre took extra precautions to assure a successful evening.

After the film’s first public screening, plenty of reactions poured in. Besides the stars of the movie, the premiere hosted critics, movie buffs and journalists, many of which gave it positive reactions and critical reception on social media. 

‘Mulan’ is the story of a valiant young Chinese woman, Hua Mulan, who makes a warrior out of herself. When trouble beckons and puts her kingdom at stake, the king summons a man from every household for compulsory military service. Mulan takes her father’s place in the army by disguising herself as a man and seeks to win the war waged against her kingdom.

The film stars Yifei Liu as the protagonist Mulan. Directed by Niki Caro, the film also features Donnie Yen (Commander Tung), Jason Scott Lee (Bori Khan), Yoson An (Chen Honghui), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Skatch), Ron Yuan (Sergeant Qiang), Rosalind Chao (Hua Li), Tzi Ma (Hua Zhou), Nelson Lee (The Chancellor), Chum Ehelepola (The Matchmaker), Gong Li (Xian Lang), Jet Li (The Emperor), and Cheng Pei-Pei (Ramtish).

Crystal Rao, Chen Tang, Nelson Lee, Jimmy Wong, Rosalind Chao, Yoson An, Jet Li, Yifei Liu, Director Niki Caro, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Ron Yuan, Jun Yu, Doua Moua, and Xana Tang speak onstage during the World Premiere of Disney’s ‘MULAN’ at the Dolby Theatre on March 09, 2020, in Hollywood, California (Getty Images)

Reviews from critics sing praises of the live-action movie. Michael Lee, a member of the Hollywood Critics Association said “#Mulan is one of the best live-action adaptation of a Disney animated classic. It honors the 1998 film and the ballad by modernizing themes of female empowerment and iconic scenes, while also standing out w/ great cinematography & battle sequences are reminiscent of Wuxia epics.”

“I’m very surprised at how much I liked the live-action #Mulan movie. It’s so majestic, the action is thrilling, it aims for a level of sophistication and beauty you don’t expect. (I was never a huge fan of the animated film, I think I’ve only seen it once. So no attachments)”, tweeted Peter Sciretta of Slash Film.

“I’ve seen MULAN twice now and I must say it is great. Easily Disney’s best live-action reboot. I think it’s also Disney’s first battle epic? It is beautiful & absorbing & rich & empowering. The cast is excellent and Niki Caro’s direction is just breathtaking,” Kevin Polowy, a Yahoo Entertainment host, commented.

Amid the appreciation and applause came the backlash, mostly targeted towards the film’s cast. Social media slammed Yifei Liu and Donnie Yen for being public supporters of the police brutality in Hong Kong and the totalitarian regime, refuting democracy and freedom.

In August 2019, Liu shared a Weibo post from a Beijing-based government news publication and captioned it in Chinese, saying “I also support Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.”

Similarly, Donnie Yen has also publically expressed his political leaning with a pro-Beijing stance. Clearly, what they stand for goes against the substance that ‘Mulan’ is built upon.

Sub-quoting a video that shows the violence meted against the public in Hong Kong, China, by the police, a user addressed Liu in a tweet: “@crystaliuyifei this evil thing is what you supporting. You are not a good role model for acting as ‘Mulan’. Shame on @DisneysMulan for casting this actress, who supported violence and abusive. #BoycottMulan #DisneyMulan #LiuYifei #coronavirus #WuhanVirus #hongkongpolicebrutality”

A still from the film (IMDb)

“#Disney, this is the red carpet in #HongKong citizen #LiuYifei is an advocate of #HKPoliceBrutality, is the red carpet you should NOT forget if you are planning to watch #Mulan #BoycottMulan”, tweets a user with an attached picture of a floor streaked with blood.

“That’s the bloody red ‘carpet’ in Hong Kong. Remember watching #Mulan is sponsoring more brutality by #HKPolice and #CCP on people under their assaults and murders” says another user in response to the gory picture.

Replying to a supportive comment tweeted by singer, Hayley Kiyoko, a user commented “Wish I can be so openly excited for this. ‘Mulan’ is my favorite animated Disney film as a kid. Hard to be excited when the actress openly supports the HK police. I live in a country that’s experienced how China bullies smaller countries. I don’t have the luxury of separating the 2.”

“How can you support #HKPoliceBrutality? ‘Nothing is impossible’. Before you buy that ticket to see #Mulan, remember that lead actress #Liuyifei publicly supports police brutality, a #HumanRightsViolation Stand with human rights, #BoycottMulan!” quipped another.

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‘World of Dance’ recap: ‘The Semi-Finals 1’ final brought the contestants to the bright lights of the main stage [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

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After weeks in the scaled-down warehouse set, “World of Dance” finally advanced to its main stage on Tuesday night, August 4. Six Upper Division acts and six Junior Division acts advanced to the Semi-Finals as we inch closer to the million-dollar finale. So who was up to this latest challenge? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

The previous three seasons of “World of Dance” took place entirely on the main stage, from the Qualifiers to the World Final. This season’s format gives us — and of course the judges — an opportunity to consider each act in different contexts. How good are they on a spare stage with no bells and whistles and no audience, as they were in this year’s Qualifiers? And then how well are they able to scale up their routines to fit the heightened energy and intensity of the studio space? That should show us who has the raw talent and the showmanship to win the whole season.

Five Upper Division acts won in the Duels round to earn their spots in the Semi-Finals: the Filipino hip-hop crew UPeepz, contemporary soloist Kurtis Sprung, contemporary duo Jake and Chau, tutting trio Geometrie Variable and Emmy nominated salsa couple Jefferson y Adrianita. The last spot went to fusion team Oxygen, who lost their duel, but won the redemption round to advance to the Semi-Finals.

In the Junior Division, the winning acts coming from the Duels are contemporary trio MDC 3, Canadian hip-hop crew GRVMNT, hip-hop duo Bailey and Kida, nine-year-old jazz dancer Savannah Manzel and super-flexible contemporary dancer Keagan Capps. The redemption winner for this under-18 set of competitors was the hip-hop team The Young Cast. So how did they all do during the Semi-Finals? Follow along below starting at 10:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

10:00 p.m. — Tonight will feature six of the remaining 12 acts competing to reach the Finals. Two of the acts dancing tonight will advance and the other four will be eliminated. Let’s go!

10:10 p.m. — First up tonight is The Young Cast. Ne-Yo describes them as “warriors” who have “fought tooth and nail to be here.” They’re the only team to compete in every phase of the competition: Qualifiers, Callbacks, Duels and Redemption. The Young Cast is determined to prove they deserve a spot in the Finals. Dressed in matching blue suits, this group kicks things off with an acrobatic hip-hop routine to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s not a song choice I saw coming from this group and I applaud them for thinking outside the box. Derek calls them a perfect example of perseverance. J-Lo said there were so many things going on that she didn’t always know where to look. Other than that, she felt it was perfect. Ne-Yo said their musicality missed the mark sometimes, but it was otherwise flawless. The final score for The Young Cast is 90.7. We’ll see it holds up!

10:15 p.m. — Next to take the stage is Savannah Manzel, a nine year old J-Lo describes as a “child prodigy.” Her confidence has grown with each round and Savannah is starting to think she can win this thing! As she walks on stage the judges seem surprised to see her hop on an aerialist hoop. She doesn’t spend too much time there before wowing the panel with her dynamic movement and flexibility to the song “Dreamweaver.” J-Lo calls her a “marvel” and said Savannah puts a new spin on every move she does. Ne-Yo is excited for the next generation of dance because of girls like Savannah. The final score for Savannah is 90.3, putting her in second place. Despite being on the brink of elimination, Savannah is nothing but smiles!

10:25 p.m. — The third act tonight is Jefferson y Adrianita, a Latin dance duo that named their child after Derek. They have prepared their whole lives for this moment and are ready to make their son proud. They start out with Adrianita standing on Jefferson’s shoulders before doing a drop move to the floor. They quickly deliver their signature spins and lifts with an energy that’s hard to match. I love Adrianita’s facial expressions and she definitely draws the attention to herself. Derek was on his feet after the performance and Ne-Yo said, “You can’t deny the energy flowing through this room right now!” Derek called Jefferson a great partner for framing Adrianita and letting her be the star. J-Lo called the footwork “top notch.” The final score for Jefferson y Adrianita is 94.3, putting them into first place with three acts to go. Savannah Manzel has been eliminated.

10:35 p.m. — Next up is GRVMNT, a junior hip-hop group with great chemistry. This could be their last performance together since a few of the older members are heading off to college soon. They look dressed like they’re ready for war are delivering a dirty performance filled with attitude and grit. It seemed a bit short which makes me think part of the performance may have been cut. Derek loved the concept and energy, but thinks they stayed in the V formation too long. J-Lo thinks their steps lack originality and Ne-Yo agrees. The final score for GRVMNT is 89.7, which is the worst score so far tonight. They have been eliminated.

10:45 p.m.Kurtis Sprung is up next. This Upper Division soloist has choreographed a dance about the complicated relationship he had with his father. Kurtis has come to understand why his father was tough on him as a kid, and now he credits his dad for giving him his work ethic. Kurtis is putting a ton of emotion into this performance, but the first half moves a little slow for me. It feels like moves I’ve seen in hundreds of contemporary pieces before this. The second half of the performance is much more exciting, with Kurtis delivering some innovative movements and high-flying tricks. Ne-Yo felt like all the moves flowed together too fast. J-Lo disagreed with Ne-Yo and found a lot of impact in Kurtis’ artistry. The final score for Kurtis Sprung is 90.3, which leaves him just shy of the Top 2. With that, Kurtis is eliminated and Jefferson y Adrianita have guaranteed a spot in the final.

10:58 p.m. — The last act performing tonight is Geometrie Variable. They’re excited to present their unique style to the world and if they win a million dollars along the way, they won’t complain! Ne-Yo fears their style may be too specific to keep fresh, but this crew is confident they will impress the judges once again. The trio is sharply dressed in shirts and ties tonight and walk on stage full of swag. They have such cool movements and what is especially impressive about this group is their innovation. J-Lo is overcome by their sexiness and lets out a laugh. She calls them “oddly satisfying, amazing and exciting.” Ne-Yo said they dance with one brain and he loves their clean, tight moves. Derek calls them “surgical” and applauds the “chill, swag” performance. The final score for Geometrie Variable is 94, which puts them in second place and guarantees them a spot in the Finals! They knocked out The Young Cast who came up just short. That’s a wrap for tonight!

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before each episode airs. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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125 Laundry Fails That Most People Can Relate To

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There’s virtually no household that hasn’t experienced laundry gone wrong. In a classic scenario, a family member puts your beloved cashmere jumper from a fancy Parisian boutique you could never afford on your own on a spin of death and it shrinks just like your dreams of putting it on ever again. You try to stretch the fabric until it tears away and this is a farewell you knew was comin’.

In reality, laundry fails are so common, I am wondering how come they’re still not included in the Olympic games… right next to the wine glass breaking race.

Bored Panda has compiled a list full of hand-selected (you bet!) laundry fails that is basically a low-key guide on how not to murder your clothes in what seems like a hundred different ways.

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MadFit’s 15-Minute One Direction Dance Party Workout | Video

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I’m a firm believer that every workout playlist needs at least a couple One Direction songs on it. In fact, I hope Harry Styles keeps a few old tracks on hand during his jogs through Italy. When I was training for a half-marathon, I found that nothing kept me motivated like the British boy band from the mid-2000s. That’s why I’m so psyched that fitness YouTuber Maddie Lymburner (aka MadFit) created an energetic dance workout set to a few of 1D’s greatest hits.

These songs were made for moving, so we might as well get some cardio in. The full-body workout features tracks like “Live While We’re Young,” “C’mon, C’mon,” and “One Thing.” Oh, and did I mention there’s no equipment necessary? Lymburner focuses on bodyweight movements like squats and lunges to start that burn. Watch her full One Direction routine above, and don’t be afraid to incorporate specific moves the next time you’re on the dance floor.

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