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!

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Okay, so… apparently this movie is just coming out today (22/02/19) in the US, but it’s been around since January in other parts of the world. I myself just saw it today, in fact, I am fresh from the cinema and it felt like the perfect time to express my opinion 🙂 … I will keep it SPOILER FREE!

One thing you should keep in mind is that this – third instalment of the franchise is in fact considered to be the last one … I did not really know that when I walked into the cinema … but I am me and I don’t regret it, just thought others should be prepared mentally.

 

 

Right then, in regards to the movie itself:

I read a few reviews, both critics’ and audiences’ and here’s where that got me…

Compared to the first two movies of the franchise, the third one has both its merits and downfalls. Starting with a lack of humour comparatively and little relationship development/story. But all that really means is that creating a finale to a franchise is by far THE HARDEST MOVIE TO MAKE!

Yes, there was less humour (but I did laugh out loud on a couple occasions), yes, there was less relationship development between the human characters of the movie but there was a very strong focus on the relationship between the humans and the dragons! I would say it is almost impossible to hit all the departments when creating a movie and score 10/10… very few movies ever have (if they have). Therefore, I would say a movie always has an orientation, a focus in one direction more than another. For How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden world this department is the special effects and animation!

I can say it is worth seeing just for that! I watched in awe at the colours, shapes, shadows, texture and depth of the picture. A friend of mine described it as ‘Gorgeous!’ and I agree.. fully!

The animators haven’t spared any resources be it time, money or sleep 😉

I want to see the movie again just to please my eyes and escape into the Hidden world! God, I wish it existed… I would move in tomorrow, no questions asked.

Anyway, one can tell the team struggled to figure out how to tell this story in a better way than many others have been told. I would never say they failed. It is indeed a heartfelt story and a heartfelt ending. I tried so hard not to cry considering the number of children around me, but I failed, and at that point, I wished I could let all the emotions out just because the scene deserved it. The bittersweet ending is a hit or miss when it comes to animations, but here it is right where it should be!

Sure, the villain sucks, but he is more a catalyst for the story development than a centre-figure like Drago was in the second movie. 

I must also say just how strong, important and positive the message of the movie is! 

As hard as it is to say this, I am glad that the creators decided to conclude the franchise. It is good to see they are learning from their mistakes (the likes of Shrek should have taught a lesson or two). I am going to miss these characters and their compelling stories, but our part in those stories should have a boundary … it is how we keep our love for them alive and burning!

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And just because we are so close to the Oscars I must say … DONT FORGET THIS MOVIE until February 2020! It deserves to be nominated for Animated Feature Film !!!

 

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.