Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

TL;DR – This is a film with two halves, the beautiful story of a family coming together in the face of a crisis with the help of Mary Poppins, but also a story about how it is individuals and not big corporations that are bad … from Disney … umm  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Mary Poppins Returns . Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Mary Poppins is a movie that is quite dear to me. When I was a child it was one of those films that we would watch as a family on a Saturday night. I honestly I was not really all that on board with the remake/sequel hybrid film all the trailers seemed to imply that we were about to get. As well as this, I am starting to get a little tired of Disney’s ‘Weaponised Nostalgia Era’.  Well, that is what I thought walking in, but then a wave of joy enveloped my life leaving a smile on my face and tears rolling down my face.  

So to set the scene, it has been a number of years since the first film and the Banks’ children have grown up. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is, well was, a painter, who married and had three lovely children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) before his wife tragically died. This has understandably sent ripples through the family, made all the worse when there is a knock on the door and we discover that the bank is foreclosing on the house because Michael has fallen behind paying back a loan, the same bank his father helped run, and the same bank he currently works for. Well, the whole family, including his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps to look for their father’s shares in the bank in the last ditch effort in saving the house, when who should appear at the end of a kite, none other than Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) herself.

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Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

TL;DR – At the heart is the powerful story of Freddie Mercury, but you can see the difficulties of adapting a life as grand as his into a standard film runtime.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There footage during the credits that you want to stay back for.

Bohemian Rhapsody. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

There have been a lot of productions that have been stuck in ‘production hell’ for years before they get made (and some never exit it) and one of the big casualties of this was the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic. It had gone through multiple directors and leading cast before finally going into production, only to find out that the difficulties were not done there. With clashes on set and the inevitable replacement of the director befalling production. When this has happened in the past, it has led to at best an uneven film, but often times the final product is a complete mess. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody avoids the latter but you can still see the problems under the hood.

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Movie Review – Pitch Perfect 3

TL;DR – To be honest this film feels like some fan fiction that came to life, good fan fiction, silly but in a fun kind of way.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a sort of mid-credit sequence

Pitch Perfect 3

Review

As a series I’ve really liked each of the Pitch Perfect films, they blend humour with fun characters, and great musical performances. So walking into the third and potentially final film, if its promotion can be believed, there was a bit of trepidation on my part. Cinema is full of movies that can’t stick the landing on the trilogy, and have instead gone out on a fizzle rather than a bang. Well, I am happy to say that Pitch Perfect 3 is not one of those films and hell you even get the bang in the first five minutes. So let’s dive in and look at our first film review of 2018.

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Movie Review – The Greatest Showman

TL;DR – They are clearly going for heart-warming, and they mostly succeed, however, the predictable story and character arcs leave a lot to be desired.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

The Greatest Showman

Review

So this one sort of snuck up on me at the end of the year. I didn’t really have much of an intention to go see it, but it was cheap Tuesday and I was there, so what the hell, and I am mostly glad I did … maybe. For one, this is a musical, a genre that you don’t see on the big screen that often anymore, so that’s refreshing. It also has a cast that is giving their all to this movie and it shows, but you can’t help having some issues with it as you walked out of the cinemas.

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Article – 2017: When the Defining Symphonic Sound was John Denver 

TL;DR – Five movies and counting

KM 1

Article

So That is quite a bold statement in the title, however, as the year has gone on there seems to have been a number of independent decisions in Hollywood that has led to five different films using John Denver as part of their soundtracks. However, these are not just songs on the soundtracks, each film has incorporated them into their plots in unique and interesting ways. So today we are going to look at the films and how they used their songs. Now because we are talking about films released this year there will be [SPOILERS] for Kingsman, Logan Lucky, Aliens: Covenant, Okja & Free Fire. Before we dive in let’s take a look at the man who you may not know, but you have more than likely heard in your lives.

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Movie Review – Beauty and the Beast (2017)

TL;DR – It is a beautiful recreation of the original film with a great cast and music, but while it is good, it does not do enough to separate itself from its animated inspiration.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Beauty and the Beast

Review

Beauty and the Beast was the crown jewel of the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s and were one of the few animated films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As a film, it is as majestic today as it was when it was released, and that’s a testament to the original songs and animation. So for any movie that adapts the classic La Belle et la Bête is going to have the issue of being compared to one of the greatest films that have been made, so how do you compete with such a legacy, how do you set your work apart from that classic film … well, how about you do a mostly shot by shot remake of the original. So not only is this the 3rd remake we have had in the row (see Power Rangers & Ghost in the Shell), it is also the next in this long line of live-action remakes of classic Disney films (see The Jungle Book) which only Pete’s Dragon has really worked for me. So with all these remakes floating around how does Beauty and the Beast compare with its past as well as the current cinematic landscape, well that is the question that we will be exploring today. Now since this is a movie based off a 1991 movie based on a story written in 1740 there may be some spoilers here, but the movie has been out for quite a while.

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Movie Review – La La Land

TL;DR – La La Land has its issues, but it was such a joy to watch and I walked out of the cinema with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and I can’t remember the last movie to do that to me.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Review

La La Land is a rare movie for these days, not only is it a live-action musical in an age where musicals are mostly restricted to animated children’s movies (with the odd Les Misérables to change things up), but it is also is an unapologetic homage to the films of the classical era, your Singin’ in the Rain and such like. However on top of all this, La La Land is also a very modern movie set in modern times, so at its core is this juxtaposition of old and new. Now this is a very difficult tightrope to manage, if you go too old the film will feel dated rather than the homage it is, and indeed if you go too new, then all those call-backs start to feel gimmicky and forced. Luckily for La La Land, it turns out to be the goldilocks of filmmaking, and a case study in getting that balance right, look there is a reason it is an Oscar favourite for many.
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