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)
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)
Looking for some holiday entertainment but don’t want to leave the couch? The following are all out (or almost out) on DVD. Continue reading Short ‘n’ Sweet Reviews: Bridget Jones’s Baby, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children & Sully
Kingsman: The Secret Service (Matthew Vaughn, 2014)
Some might meet the news of yet another comic book adaptation with an exasperated sigh, but there’s not a superhero in sight this time around. Following on from the subversive Kick-Ass, director Matthew Vaughn teams up once more with screenwriter Jane Goldman to bring another Mark Millar work to the big screen. Kingsman: The Secret Service may best be described as a mash-up of James Bond and The Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/At the World’s End). The best of both worlds, it is espionage in the most hilariously violent fashion imaginable. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Paddington (Paul King, 2014)
After more than fifty years, Michael Bond’s beloved children’s book character comes to life, and he is one adorable bear. Seemingly sticking quite close to the original story – though not quite enough according to the diehards – Paddington ventures from darkest Peru to the hustle and bustle of London town.
Before I Go to Sleep (Rowan Joffe, 2014)
Every morning Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up with no memory of the past twenty-odd years, as a result of an attack ten years earlier. We’ve seen anterograde amnesia used as a plot device before, in Christopher Nolan’s superb Memento, and in the lighter 50 First Dates. Despite having seen it before, it is still an alluring premise, and one which offers plenty of room for a good twist.
Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen, 2014)
To see a Woody Allen film, or not to see a Woody Allen film? That is the question. His films tend to be hit and miss, and then there’s the question marks around his character following accusations of child abuse. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Magic in the Moonlight