Category Archives: fantasy

FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Few can deny the timeless appeal of the original Mary Poppins. Led by the legendary Julie Andrews in her feature debut, the 1964 classic boasted a much-loved soundtrack by the Sherman brothers, some of the most memorable dance sequences ever seen on screen, and of course, animated dancing penguins. As portrayed in 2013’s Saving Mr Banks, Poppins’ creator, P.L. Travers, was pursued by Walt Disney for the rights to the film for over twenty years, and was not at all happy with the end product when it did eventually come to fruition. Travers rejected the concept for a film sequel in the 1980s, and acquiesced to the stage musical adaptation (which premiered in 2004, eight years after her death) on the grounds that no one from the original film – the Sherman Brothers in particular – be involved. Fast forward to 2018, a whopping fifty-four years since the original magic, and Poppins is back on screen. The sequel was approved by Travers’ estate but one can only assume she would not be thrilled; the penguins are back and they’re dancing on her grave. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Following the success of his short film Zombie Musical in 2011, the late Ryan McHenry(responsible for the ‘Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal’ vines) began developing a feature length version for his debut. He sadly passed away in 2015 while the film, co-written with Alan McDonald, was still under development. John McPhail was brought in as director and Anna and the Apocalypse was completed. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker ballet has long been a staple of children’s Christmas entertainment, offering a world of dolls, mice, and best of all, dancing sweets. With E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, acting as the original source material, the ballet is based on Alexander Dumas’ adaptation, The Story of the Nutcracker. With numerous ballet productions performed over the years, it’s a story that often differs in its retelling, with the Disney live action film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms the latest take on the classic. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)

It’s a common complaint that cinema has nothing new to offer these days. And that’s wrong, because if you care to expand your viewing horizons there are plenty of fantastic films out there. Still, there is a lazy kind of cinema that offers reboot after reboot in the quest of the big bucks, and it can be quite tiresome. Many argue that some original films should never be touched again for fear their nostalgia will be thwarted by a less than stellar reimagining with a subpar cast. Sometimes these complaints are just fanboys crying salty man tears – particularly with any reboot that recasts male roles with women. But sometimes the concern is real. Case in point: remaking a Robin Williams film without Robin Williams. And recasting it with The Rock and Kevin Hart. Many groaned at the prospect, this reviewer included. Nevertheless, films are (sometimes) remade for a reason other than money, and sometimes it’s fun to see what 20+ years does to a concept. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)