Mary Poppins Returns

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How do you make a remake/sequel of a highly beloved movie? Mary Poppins Returns is the answer. 

Let’s start with that – it is set as a sequel, yet it is definitely a remake of the original for the new generation of children. This is probably one of the few remakes I am glad they made because it has been 54 years since the original. Quite a few generations haven’t seen the 1964 Mary Poppins. And she is a character worth introducing to children (even though there are drawbacks I can spot as well, but hey, it’s an entertainment industry, not educational).

So, yes – it is very entertaining! Slightly shorter than the original yet I would say still quite long if you’re going to the cinema with children. They barely sit through an hour and a half, let along 2 hours. But I also agree that there is no other way to do it proper justice, considering that it is also a musical. 

Either way though is it very pleasant to watch. It is bright, it is colourful, it is fun. Sequences and musical numbers are well-thought through, I mean they had Rob Marshall as a director. This guy has won and been nominated for many awards for his musicals (Chicago, Into the Woods). Good choice.

441fff7e-4a2e-4a10-9d07-14f5392b2aee-mary_poppins_thumb_2I liked the fact that practically all of the original songs and numbers have been both recreated and reinvented. That’s Disney for you. I think they cracked the code for making successful sequels (don’t make sequels; make sequels=remakes). It was probably also very nice for parents in the audience to notice all the references to the original movie. They brought Dick Van Dyke back to sing and dance again. That was something.

Overall, a nice movie, what can I say. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of music and dancing. That is pretty much the key thing about it. the good thing is that they managed to make them all different, entertaining and unique in their own way and style.

Costumes I want to mention are amazing. They received an Oscar nomination too 😊.

screenshot_20181206_152523Personally, and this might as well be just me, but Emily Blunt was very entertaining to watch as Mary Poppins. I definitely felt a difference from Julie Andrews’ Mary, but that wasn’t bad in any way I think. Considering children nowadays are probably never going to meet the old Mary. I loved her Britishness, in fact, I loved the Britishness of the entire movie. I literally kept thinking to myself: ‘what’s the next cute British phrase that she’s going to say?’. That was probably a great part of the comedy on its own.

_104847906_familydisneyAnd overall, there’s only one thing that made me so very sad – NO ONE said ‘Goodbye’ to her! I was quite shocked really. I mean yes, the Banks’ family didn’t say ‘Goodbye’ to Mary in the original as well, but Bert did and he even said ‘Don’t stay away too long’. That made for such a bright and hopeful ending against the grey gloomy background of 1910 London. And here, she just left… that was painful. Wonder what children thought of that.

When all is said and done, consider that its simply put – another well-told story for the family. Great scenes, vivid colours, a very talented cast and one unforgettable nanny!

Mad Max: Fury Road

I love spontaneous movie nights! This is the best experience ever mainly because when you choose something on a whim you don’t really have time to create any expectations. And that, my friends, is the GREATEST lesson life can offer 😊   … expectations can be radioactive!

Meanwhile, back to our beloved movies. Today’s topic: Mad Max: Fury Road!

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I had heard a little bit about this film and it was part of the First Oscars I ever saw – 2015. Yet I never really got around to watching it. At first, I thought that it’s not my kind of movie, but then my perspective on movies changes so I should have seen it… anyway, the point is, it as a spontaneous decision. Boy, was that a win!!!

Let me tell you something, there’s going to be an initial ‘Whaa? What is this?’, and then your world view is going to get upside down and you will want to watch every second! Absolutely amazing movie!

I didn’t remember this when I started watching but it has won quite a few Oscars. 6 to be exact (about 2 more than the most won Oscar by a film this year – Bohemian Rhapsody got away with 4). I heard someone say that the marketing for this movie was done well because the trailer only kind of fully talks about the first 15 minutes of the movie plot and then from there on its kind of blank. And once again, lets stress out the point that sometimes it’s not about the story you tell but about HOW you tell it! think about every bad joke you ever heard; the problem was probably not the joke itself, but the person who told it.

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So, yeah. I am in full agreement that the best of trailers out there are the ones who DO NOT tell you the story in short flashy images. I mean what would be the point of actually seeing the movie! Well done to those who can entice the audience with so little that they would be begging to go into the theatre.

It’s an art on its own to share the movie vibe in 2.5 minutes. Well done!

Back to the movie. No joke, those 6 Oscars are well deserved!

Best Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. That sentence can literally summarise the movie… no, I’m kidding! So much more to be said 😊

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Where to start though? Okay, well, I was stunned by the Production design, Costume design and Makeup and Hairstyling. That’s probably what I will remember most of this movie, brilliant! All the winners have established names and I would say there’s a reason for that. The world this movie takes you into is indescribable. The size, scope, colours and the depth of it are all amazing. I was in love after the first 10 minutes. The costumes make you wish you had one, as funny as that may sound once you have seen the movie. They are well made and perfectly matched. And the makeup and hairstyling – creates visions you will not soon forget! I was hypnotised and couldn’t stop watching! 2 hours was not enough.

I can’t review an action movie and not say anything about the action scenes – someone’s mind exploded into this movie. Kudos to the director George Miller (who was nominated for best director btw). He was the obvious choice, considering he has directed all the previous ‘Mad Max’ movies from the franchise. The interesting fact is that he’s also directed ‘Babe 2’ and ‘Happy Feet’, wow! 😊

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People say this movie is amongst the best action movies of all time. Make your own mind whether you agree or not after you watch it. the scenes are amazing. They are well thought through and the cinematography is great. It all makes sense, it’s all captivating and makes you say ‘Wow!’ every 30 seconds. When all is said and done, that is its core! And what a fascinating core it is.

You won’t regret it. If you want some entertainment and stunning visuals (ones that you can’t take your eyes of of) this is the movie! The world and characters, and the interactions of these characters that this movie had has left me so jealous and I am not exactly sure of what! Have an enjoyable screening!

Gone Girl review

Next up on the list: Gone Girl! No spoilers 

This one is going to be a hard one, but we’ll tackle it … and I don’t just mean the post 🙂

Gone Girl is an American psychological thriller. It was released in 2014 and received numerous awards and nominations for the lead actress’ performance and adapted screenplay. It was directed by David Fincher, who is by far a veteran of the thriller genre having directed movies such as ‘The curious case of Benjamin Button’, ‘Fight Club’, ‘The girl with the dragon tattoo’ and many others and received numerous awards and nominations as well. Therefore, you can already get a sense that the movie is well thought through and well developed.

Main concept: The film starts as a mystery that follows the events surrounding Nick Dunne, who becomes the primary suspect in the sudden disappearance of his wife – Amy. Sounds like a cliche if you ask me, however, this is just about the first hour of the movie … and there are 2 and a half of them 🙂
Let me tell you, almost nothing in this movie is what it seems and there’s no telling what comes in the next scene. If you are an avid movie watcher you may think/feel you can predict what’s going to happen, but that will only be true as far as the first hour.

The lead actors Ben Affleck ( known for”Argo”, ‘Good Will Hunting’, Ärmageddon”) and Rosamund Pike (‘Pride and Prejudice’) as established actors, do a fantastic job. I got lost thinking everything is a true story. It felt real. I bet it has happened somewhere in the world even if what happens is quite astonishing.

The movie follows a very dynamic story, however, the pace changes several times throughout it. It almost felt like two separate stories merged into one (done very well by the way; you won’t feel lost or confused at any point) … until of course that theory goes to hell. Every quiet moment eventually starts to feel like that calm moment before a massive storm. My sympathies changed several times during the 2-hour period. By the end, I felt utterly shocked and in total disbelief of the events that occurred. So yeah, get ready to feel every scene in this movie as if you are part of it.

This movie also sends a very important message about the difference between right and wrong. Whether there is a line between them and whether the concepts exist at all or not.


The cinematography is in my opinion quite good. Shots and scenes are very well managed and have a specific tone consistent throughout the movie. Settings include a few American homes and a few other spots (which I am not naming to avoid spoilers).

Overall the film is very realistic in terms of characters, story, actions and reactions. The ending will throw you in a bit of a debate and raise controversial feelings… be ready for that (I wasn’t and was left quite shaken afterwards). You cannot watch this one half-eyed, so I’d suggest picking a free timeslot in your diary when you can spare the 2,5 hours. It is worth it if you like being shocked and like to tickle your mind with a good mystery.

Happy watching!

Green Book review – Oscar nominee

I figured I should do some reviews on the newest pictures, especially the ones that have attracted some attention recently. I see this a chance to spread a little word about them as I understand some people can be indecisive when it comes to seeing 2-hour long films. Maybe this will help you decide whether it’s worth watching (in terms of, have a little idea to see if it fits your taste). NO SPOILERS

So, Green book. I’ll be honest, I started watching it without any expectations and without knowing what it’s about. I actually prefer it so, as this way the movie has a clear chance to impress me (I tend to get stuck on prejudice sometimes). Well, let us see what happened.

Main concept: we are looking at the 1960s, when segregation was still at its peak. Yes, this movie looks at the division of white people from people of color in America. All 2 hours of it. But don’t in the slightest let that put you off. It is done brilliantly! I don’t know exactly how, but 2 hours wasn’t long at all. The film challenges assumptions of whether class, dignity and honour is in any way relevant to the color of our skin. Watch the movie to find out 🙂

The movie as of now has 5 Oscar nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor; Best supporting actor; Best original screenplay and Best Editing. All major categories which emphasises the quality of this film. It deals with heartfelt emotions which the audience can feel vividly thanks to the amazing cast performances. The actors do indeed deserve their nominations especially considering that the lead and supporting actors are the main focus of the movie and carry it on together for most of the scenes.

The story is indeed a true one! The screenplay was developed by the director – Peter Farrelly,  Brian Currie and the Nick Vallelonga – the son of the main character – Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga. It is safe to say they wanted to be as close as possible to the original story. And with good reason. A very powerful story conveying and very important and equally strong message. Surprising to see a film of such depth from the director – Peter Farrelly, as he is famous for his collaboration with his brother – ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘Me, myself and Irene’, both quirky comedies. However, you can tell that he put a lot of hard work and thought into creating this movie and it has definitely paid off.

The pace of the film is overall very well balanced. There was never a moment when I thought it was too slow or too fast. It was just right. And by all means, the ending is brilliant! Keep in mind though, that the best way of watching this movie is by giving it your full attention. You won’t regret the 2 hours, but you will regret them if you don’t give it the just 2 hours fully. A lot in this movie is being said without words, much more than verbally actually. That’s one of it’s key and most important features. If you want a good quality movie, with good actor performances, beautiful shots and scenes and some very pleasant dialogue, this is the right one. It fits a nice homey weekend evening.

Lord of the Rings review

I’ll start with one of my all-time favourites and quite honestly the love of my life – The Lord of the Rings trilogy (LOTRT). No SPOILERS in this review!

I won’t let my personal feelings cloud my judgement, however, I am sure that the fact that I love these movies has made me watch them literally over a hundred times, which means I am well informed when it comes to an in-depth analysis of this picture. 
Where to start… the films were released right at the beginning of the 21st century:
The Fellowship of the Ring in December 2001
The Two Towers in December 2002
The Return of the King in December 2003
The director – Peter Jackson, as well as the majority of the crew that worked on these movies, are from New Zealand. The movies were filmed back to back and edited in New Zealand as well.
All three movies were critically acclaimed and received numerous Oscar nominations of which ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ won 4 and the ‘The Return of the King’ won 11 (for which it was nominated, therefore, not losing one nomination throughout). Oscars before the LOTRT were not given to ‘fantasy’ movies, considering them to not be of considerable substance and added value. The LOTRT broke this barrier and opened the possibility for fantasy movies to prove their worth.
Left to right: Barrie M. Osborne (producer); Peter Jackson (Director, producer, screenwriter); Fran Walsh (Producer and screenwriter).
I want to praise the cast and crew for their astounding work. There are a few things that make these movies stand out from others at the time (which is probably one of the reasons they were so successful). The first one on my list is definitely cinematography by Andrew Lesnie. The camera work for the trilogy is very well done. Movement is both natural and at moments extraordinary but consistent throughout nonetheless. The camera delivers many feelings to the audience such as the feelings of size and scale, fear and wonder, epicness and fighting spirit and overall – grandeur!
Another fantastic feature is the score by Howard Shore. Each movie has original scores and songs which not only enrich the story and the power of the movies but actually take audiences through and within the world of Middle Earth created by J.R.R.Tolkien. The music has everything from the slow and calming melodies of the Shire to the majestic score of the fellowship, the battles and triumphs. Not too surprising an Oscar for Best Original Score was won for both the first and the third movie. 
Moving on to the amazing settings, locations, costumes and special effects. Considering the timing of the movies, I only want to say one thing and I believe all LOTR fans will agree with me – Middle Earth is REAL! The crew created this world from scratch and to this day it still feels more real than many other fantasy worlds. I will just make a quick comparison with The Hobbit trilogy which by far had much more opportunities in terms of technology development. However surprising it may sound, the LOTRT movies are less fantastic and more raw than the Hobbit trilogy, but that is exactly what makes them feel so realistic and relatable. When watching these movies you can be transformed into another realm and fully believe in the story, invest in it. I highly praise the artwork of Alan Lee and John Howe who first envisioned this world and then to Weta digital and the Weta workshop who made it real for the audience. 
The story is consistent and moving. The film’s editors have done well. The crew definitely struggled with keeping the story together with each next film as the storylines branched out, developed and twisted, but they managed as far as I can see. I remember when I was little, watching ‘The Two Towers’ and being a bit bored whenever the scene shifted towards Frodo and Sam, who are supposed to be the main characters and the main focus of the journey, but as a kid I suppose I preferred watching more of the action and battles the other heroes faced. There is a contrast between scenes in the manner of speed and action, yes. Keep that in mind. 
I could definitely talk for hours about these movies, however, I believe I have highlighted the key points of the massive work that is this trilogy. Overall, if you enjoy fantasy, are looking for something thorough yet entertaining, then you will never make a mistake choosing to watch these movies. Keep in mind that they are relatively long though, so if you decide to do a marathon, I’d suggest going for the weekend :).