Mary Poppins Returns and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Rob Marshall
Well this one has certainly been a long time coming, hasn’t it? I mean with the pace at which Disney is cannibalizing its older properties to make billions at the box office, it was only a matter of time before one of their most iconic features gets a shiny coat of HD paint! Just over the horizon, we still have The Lion King, Dumbo, Mulan, Aladdin, and the list will certainly keep growing from there. Still, this isn’t quite a Beauty and the Beast shameless shot for shot retelling of an animated feature since this is an ACTUAL sequel that continues from the original film! It’s been so long since I’ve seen the first Mary Poppins that I’m not sure what to expect here, but the cast is strong and Rob Marshall is made for this kind of material. Will it be a fun and engaging experience for audiences of all ages who need a little bit of nonsense and silliness in their lives, or has modern Disney failed to understand what made that classic film so memorable for so many people? Let’s find out!!
The movie picks up about twenty years after the first one where the Banks Children are now the Banks Adults. Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) has had a particularly rough go of it as his wife had just died a year ago and he had to give up his dreams of being an artist to get a job at the bank, but he’s still go the house he grew up in and three perfect children (Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson); not to mention his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) who helps around the house between labor protests, and their housekeeper Ellen (Julie Walters) who’s still cleaning up after them all these years later. They’ve weathered a storm so things can only be looking up, right? Well as it turns out, Michael took out a big loan at the bank to cover expenses this last year and now they’re gonna repossess the house unless he can pay the loan back in full within five days. Well shoot! If only they had a magical nanny who could make all this better with songs and animation! Well it turns out that the Banks family is in luck because whatever mystical force is watching over them has sent Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) to once again fix their problems and watch the kids while Michael and Jane try to scramble to find their father’s old bank stock they could use to possibly pay off the loan. With the help of a friendly lamplighter named Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and various colorful characters including her cousin Topsy (Meryl Streep), Mary Poppins is on a divine mission to introduce a bit of whimsy and discipline into these children’s lives, and maybe help Michael and Jane rediscover their childhoods along the way! Will Michael and Jane find what they need to save their childhood home? What can the kids do to help the situation, and can Mary Poppins be the key to it all? Why the heck didn’t I get a flying magical nanny when I was a kid? I don’t even think they had to pay her!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Tim Burton
I mean… if we’re still gonna get YA films THIS late into the game; at least we’ve got an ACTUAL director behind it unlike say… The 5th Wave which, as far as I can tell, was directed by the Film-O-Tron 9000. Still, the real life director they got here happens to be one that’s been on a downward slide for quite some time now, so while this looks like the perfect film for him to make, the circumstances don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Does Burton manage to shake off his slump with this adaptation of a book that apparently a lot of people have read, or will this come and go like so many other films in this over saturated genre? Let’s find out!!
The movie is all about Jake (Asa Butterfield) who’s living his boring everyday life in boring everyday Florida where things that are boring happen every day. That is… until the incident! One day he arrives at his Grandpa’s place and finds that he’s been dragged out into the woods and had his eyes gouged out by something. The police think it was dogs, but Jake saw something out there in those woods, and it wasn’t a dog! Not even Cujo is THAT precise with his killings! Anyway, Jake finds some information in a book his grandfather gave him that points to a bunch of stories he was told as a kid about peculiar children living in a home in some English village, and he feels that he should go there to see if the stories were true. If nothing else, it might give a bit of closure for him which convinces his dad to begrudgingly take him, out there. Naturally his dad is a bit of dip shit and loses track of Jake almost immediately. Well… it’s not ENTIRELY his fault considering the island has some sort of dimensional time portal or something… I don’t know. Just think of it like that scene in James and the Giant Peach where he crawls into the peach and turns into a stop motion character. On the other side of this portal thingy, he finds the children from his grandfather’s stories as well as Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) who watches over them and is chock full of information that she’ll doll out to Jake throughout the course of the film involving his grandfather, their time portal thingy, and the bad guys chasing them led by Mr. Barron (Samuel L Jackson). Will Jake find a new lease on life and be able to work through the grief of his grandfather’s death by spending time with these Peculiar kids? What does Mr. Barron plan to do if he ever finds out where Miss Peregrine is hiding all these kids? What the heck do they do all day in this little pocket dimension anyway?