Tag Archives: Jim Norton

Cinema Dispatch: Mary Poppins Returns

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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!

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“The price for my services is either two hundred dollars a week or you can just hand over your soul to empower the dark forces tucked away within me.”     “Well I’m already paying my student loans each month…”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Boy

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The Boy and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by William Brent Bell

Today is a day of celebration!  As hard as it is to believe, there is a movie released in January that is actually worth seeing.  It’s not just good; it’s GREAT and honestly hasn’t been selling itself as anything other than a low budget gimmicky horror cash grab which oddly enough ISN’T a Blumhouse joint.  Hell, maybe that’s the key difference here.  Blumhouse releases so many films a year (some good, some bad) that it took a fresh studio to get this right!  Oh wait.  This is STX Entertainment, and their only other releases were Secret in the Eyes which is one of the most poorly executed drama’s I’ve ever seen, and The Gift which is supposed to be really good but is also a Blumhouse collaboration.   Eh, they’re still a pretty new studio and this defiantly a great film to have as your third outing!  Just how good is it?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Greta (Lauren Cohan) who has recently been hired by the Heelshire family (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle) to be the nanny for their son Brahms for a few weeks as they go out on holiday. For some reason, this family living in a preeminent estate in the British countryside (where there obvious is no wi-fi or cell reception) hired a nanny ALL the way from freaking Montana but Greta is more than happy to get away from her old life and hopes to get a fresh start or at least some time to get herself together.  Seems perfect, right?  Well what they failed to mention in their want ad is that the boy in question is actually a porcelain doll with the perfectly parted hair of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and eyes that stare into the darkest depths of your soul.  Clearly the two owners of this house have… issues that need to be resolved but they certainly aren’t taking this holiday to see a therapist, so Greta is all alone in the house with the doll and the only company she has is the weekly visit from the grocery delivery guy Malcolm (Rupert Evans) and the occasional phone call from her sister.  Now the couple has entrusted her with their son and have given her a list of rules and daily activities that she needs to follow in order to keep him happy, but Greta reasonably (though obviously wrongly) ignores these as the doll is… well a doll.  Strange things begin to happen however and with no rational explanation for these events, she begins to turn to the irrational which could mean that the doll is actually alive.  Will she be able to survive in this house with the doll constantly creeping on her?  Has she simply lost her mind due to the isolation of this estate and the over looming threat of her past coming back to find her?  WHY IS IT STILL LOOKING AT ME!?!?

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“Turn around, or I SWEAR I’ll start drawing dicks on your face!!”

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