This post is a Bit later than planned but I went with the missus to see Mary Poppins Returns recently.
Ordinarily not something that I would rush to see but given that anyone with an ounce of compassion loves the original and Emily Blunt (hubba hubba) I was keen to give it a whirl.
I’m generally not a fan of remakes/reboots or apparently unnecessary sequels I tried to have as open a mind as possible. It also helped that BBC2 had helpfully had Saving Mr Banks on a couple of days before which gave some interesting context of what PL Travers thought the story was really about.
MPR has a difficult act to follow and a difficult path to walk. I thought it did all of that well. Emily Blunt does a good turn, Jack the lamp lighter has a dubious accent, the kids are not too annoying. MPR strikes the balance perfectly of respecting the original without losing anything due to that reverence. The animated scenes are as pleasant as the original and the song and dance bits are every bit as competent as the first time around (but we’ll come back to this).
Interestingly, the core of the story – the Saving of Mr Banks Jr is slightly more overt (albeit still superbly done) than the original and it is clear throughout the adventures, that the losses within his life are the ones to be resolved.
As I came away, as good as it was, I couldn’t help thinking that something was missing from making the film a ‘modern classic’. The songs.
Whether it is through years of rewatching or because I’m old and cynical now but the songs in MPR just didn’t stick in my mind or feel like instant singalongs for me. They were ok but there was no ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ or ‘Supercali-etc etc’ that had you humming along. Given the impact of the music from The Greatest Showman that I hear every bloody where, it just feels like it’s a missed opportunity to take it to the next level of fan adoration.
Enjoyed it though.
I followed up over the last week by catching up on a trio of older movies that I missed the first time around all of which starred Dwayne Johnson. It was a Rockfest.
I watched Jumanji 2, Rampage, and Baywatch.
Jumanji 2 (yeah I know it wasn’t actually called that but f##k off) – enjoyable enough. Some funny bits, borrowed some body swap tropes from elsewhere. Jack Black played Jack Black in a hat. Not awful but only a 6/10.
Rampage – more enjoyable in a ridiculous B movie-sequel plot free action flick style. Jeffery Dean Morgan seems to be a new Billy Bob Thornton. Naomi Harris dials in a performance. CGI is good. Stupid but fun. Sammy (my 8yo boy) lived it and I guess that’s the target audience.
Baywatch – in order to contradict what I said above, I enjoyed the Jump St remakes and tolerated The A team, so really had no expectations of Baywatch. I never really watched the TV series, although was aware of its popularity and why. The movie acknowledges the ridiculousness of the pretty people playing at lifeguard/detective while still giving plenty of eye candy to look at. It was an opportunity for DJ to play a more comedic role (there is action in slo mo – of course) but actually, there is some really snappy and funny dialogue in there too. Made me laugh lots, made me look at boobs lots. 8/10.
More stuff soon,