It was 1964 when the world was introduced to a practically-perfect British nanny in Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins. Back then, Julie Andrews starred as the eponymous character alongside Dick van Dyke and David Tomlinson. It was an instant hit and became one of Disney’s most-loved feature films.
That is, by everyone apart from the author of Mary Poppins, PL Travers. So incensed by what she felt was Disney’s misunderstanding of her source material, she banned all future work with the studio.
So, 54 years later and with Travers’ estate finally agreeing to a sequel (I wonder how much Disney executives had to pay for that), we get a sequel that no-one was really asking for. Mary Poppins Returns brings the titular character back into the hearts of newcomers and fans alike, but is the film as practically-perfect in every way like its lead? Or is it a bit of a dud? Continue reading
The 80s. An era of big hair, big shoulders, and big movies. This decade produced many of the classics we know and love today: The Goonies, Footloose and Die Hard, just to name a few. However, one of the most famous movies of the time is also my bête noire.
Yes, I am talking about Dirty Dancing. One of the most famous romantic comedies of all time, Dirty Dancing took audiences by storm in the autumn of 1987. The tale of the innocent holidayer having a summer romance with the mysteriously sexy dance teacher sounds alright on paper, yet it somehow riles me to the point of no return. Continue reading
Grease is not a good movie. Grease is not a particularly good musical either. By any ostensible measure of quality Grease is average at best, and that’s being generous. It is poorly structured, poorly plotted, and poorly made… and yet there is something undeniably infectious about it.
Just look at the showstopping “Greased Lightning” to see what I mean. I use the word showstopping because it’s a wonderfully cheesy musical set-piece, akin to Gene Kelly singing in the rain in Singin’ in the Rain. I also use the word showstopping because it literally stops the movie dead in its tracks. There’s no reason for “Greased Lightning” to exist in the context of the movie. The song doesn’t progress the plot in any meaningful way and we don’t learn anything new about the characters either. Continue reading
INTO THE WOODS (UK CERT: PG)
Director: Rob Marshall
Music: Nathaniel Mechaly
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden
Wolves, witches and giants all appear in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s popular musical which takes all the best bits of our favourite fairytales and mashes them together in one engaging, song-filled rollercoaster.
However, musical movie adaptations are notoriously difficult to get right, from casting restraints to the inclusion of all the songs, transferring them to the silver screen is not something to be entered into lightly. So does director Rob Marhsall’s effort elevate itself above its peers? Continue reading