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)
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)
Back in 2000, the film gods gave us Billy Elliot, a story about a boy who wanted to break gender stereotypes and be a ballet dancer. In a supporting role, Billy’s friend Michael is revealed to enjoy cross-dressing, with this scene celebrated in one of the best numbers in the stage musical adaptation (which premiered on the West End in 2005), ‘Expressing Yourself’. Elton John’s lyrics include “What the hell’s wrong with wearing a dress, being who you want to be… What the hell is wrong with expressing yourself? For trying to be free”. It’s a beautiful moment but its place in the show is mostly as a comical reprieve from the drama of the main character. Continue reading THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)
Following the 1937 original, and two further remakes starring Judy Garland in 1954 and Barbra Streisand in 1976, the current version of A Star is Born has been in the pipeline for some time. With Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood expressing interest in directing, and Beyoncé attached as the lead for some time, the final product is brought to the screen by Bradley Cooper, with Lady Gaga as its star. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)
Bust out the champers. It’s time to party because Mamma Mia is back. With the stage musical returning to Melbourne just last week, it’s a busy time for Bjorn and Benny with the sequel now hitting screens. But with Meryl dead and almost all of the big ABBA hits already done in the original, what exactly does Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again have in store for us ten years later? Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
“Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for”.
And so begins this year’s second lavish musical extravaganza, The Greatest Showman. But have we been eagerly awaiting this one? The trailers were promising, but with an unfamiliar score and a first time director it seemed a risk. Would this just be another Hugh Jackman letdown in the vein of Pan? Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Greatest Showman (2017)