“Mary Poppins Returns” Meets Poster Posse

Check out these fantastic poster designs for Mary Poppins Returns from the cool folks at PosterPosse.com. The film opens in theaters on Wednesday, December 19.

All Images ©️ Poster Posse, Disney

Adam Stothard
Kaz Oomori
Orlando Arocena
Doaly
SG Posters
Mike Mahle
17th and Oak
The Dark Inker
Chris Malbon

December 13, 2018 Podcast

Here’s the podcast as well as the notes for the December 13, 2018 podcast. Thanks for tuning in!

New in Theaters

Reviews

It’s another film in this month’s Christmas series–one of my personal holiday favorites, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (1954, Paramount).

Classic Cinema Corner

The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

Recommendations

Go see Ralph Breaks the Internet if you haven’t already! Good stuff.

Review: “Mary Poppins Returns”

The magical and mysterious Mary Poppins is back again in London to help out the Banks family in Mary Poppins Returns, a new sequel from Walt Disney Pictures.

Yes, this film is a sequel to, not a remake of, the classic 1964 film which starred Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, et al. Author P.L. Travers wrote eight Mary Poppins books, so it’s not like it’s a totally out-there idea to do a sequel, even if it’s been over 50 years since the first film was released. However, with the current remake-happy management team running the Walt Disney Studios, a sequel originally sounded like a creatively bereft idea, at least to me. The 1964 film is such an iconic work that I felt this possibly could be a very misguided, reductive, and disastrous project.

However, now that I’ve seen the film, I have put those worrisome thoughts to rest because this sequel is pure delight. It’s definitely an homage to the 1964 original (I believe the filmmakers have been referring to this new film as a “love letter” to the original), but it also stands on its own as a high quality, highly entertaining, and highly emotional (in a good way) classic Hollywood musical. 

Here’s a fun little featurette about the film:

The story picks up 25 years after the original. Jane and Michael Banks have grown up. Michael (played by Ben Whishaw) is, sadly, a widower who is raising his three children on his own and has also fallen on hard financial times. Jane (played by Emily Mortimer) is an activist (taking after her mother) and a devoted sister and aunt, but the family is still in a bit of a crisis.

Enter Mary Poppins (wonderfully played by Emily Blunt), who flies back in to 17 Cherry Tree Lane to get the Banks family back on track in her own unique and enchanting way. Also along for the ride is Jack the lamplighter (or “leery”; expertly played by Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda) in the sidekick role similar to Dick Van Dyke’s Bert in the original. 

The entire cast is stellar. It also includes Julie Waters as the Banks’ family maid, Colin Firth as president of the bank where Mr. Banks used to work and where Michael Banks is currently employed, Meryl Streep as Mary Poppins’ cousin Topsy, Angela Lansbury as the balloon lady, and even Dick Van Dyke himself shows up in a brief but meaningful cameo.

Along with the great cast, the film’s creative team are the ones who really brought this positive and whimsical film to life. Director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) along with the terrific songwriting team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman (Hairspray) have been able to create a new film in which everything old is new again and which, like the original, doesn’t have a snarky or cynical bone in it. 

Take your family and friends over the Christmas holiday to experience this charming, cathartic, and optimistic film together.

Mary Poppins Returns is rated PG by the MPAA for “some mild thematic elements and brief action.”

My score: 5 out of 5 stars

And as an added bonus, here are a couple of fantastic posters for the film.

All images ©️ Disney

2019 TCM Big Screen Classics Films Announced

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced the 14 films that will be included in their 2019 Big Screen Classics series. TCM screens these films in movie theaters across the U.S.A., giving film lovers the chance to see classic films on the big screen as they were intended to be seen. Also included with each screening is commentary before and after the film from Ben Mankiewicz and other TCM hosts that provides context, insights, and other pertinent details about the film. All in all, it’s always a great time at the movie theater.

Here’s the lineup for 2019.

All images ©️ Turner Classic Movies.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 80th Anniversary – January 27, 29, and 30, 2019

My Fair Lady (1964) – February 17 and 20, 2019

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – March 24 and 27, 2019

Ben-Hur (1959) 60th Anniversary – April 14 and 17, 2019

True Grit (1969) 50th Anniversary – May 5 and 8, 2019

Steel Magnolias (1989) 30th Anniversary – May 19, 21, and 22, 2019

Field of Dreams (1989) 30th Anniversary – June 16 and 18, 2019

Glory (1989) 30th Anniversary – July 21 and 24, 2019

Hello, Dolly! (1969) 50th Anniversary – August 11 and 14, 2019

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – September 1 and 4, 2019

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 25th Anniversary – September 22, 24, and 25, 2019

Alien (1979) 40th Anniversary – October 13, 15, and 16, 2019

The Godfather Part II (1974)- November 10, 12, and 13, 2019

When Harry Met Sally (1989) 30th Anniversary – December 1 and 3, 2019

For the latest scheduling information and to find a theater near you where these films are playing, visit the Fathom Events website.

December 6, 2018 Podcast

Welcome to this week’s podcast!

New in Theaters

Reviews

It’s all about Christmas movies this month. In the podcast, I give a review of the musical Scrooge (1970), one of my favorite film retellings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The film is available on Amazon.

Classic Cinema

Podcast is below. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, too. Thanks for listening!

More Films Announced for the 10th TCM Classic Film Festival

We’ve snagged our pass, made our hotel reservations, and already can’t wait for the 10th annual Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival happening April 11-14 in Hollywood, California. Now comes the fun part—waiting to see what films are going to be screened during the festival.

Nine films were previously announced for the festival. Now today, TCM has announced five more films, including the opening night film, When Harry Met Sally with director Rob Reiner and actors Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in attendance.

Image ©️ TCM

With the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the festival lineup is starting to take shape. The other four films announced today fall right into the festival’s theme:

  • The Clock (1945), romantic drama starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker; directed by Vincente Minnelli
  • Indiscreet (1958), romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman; directed by Stanley Donen
  • Love in the Afternoon (1957), romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn; written and directed by Billy Wilder
  • Mad Love (1935), the horror/obsession film starring Peter Lorre and Frances Drake; directed by Karl Freund

Also, the TCM network will celebrate its 25th anniversary on closing night of the festival. It’s all exciting stuff for classic film lovers! We hope to see you in Hollywood in April!

November 29, 2018 Podcast

The November 29, 2018 podcast is now live!

New in Theaters

Reviews

Classic Cinema

And the podcast is now on iTunes! Link is here. New episodes every Thursday. Thanks for listening!

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and the Hope of America

Last month’s Turner Classic MoviesBig Screen Classics film was Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). I can’t stop thinking about it, particularly given the current mood in the United States of America. 

Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

As you know, the film is about an idealistic man named Jefferson Smith (played by James Stewart) who is appointed as United States senator by the governor of an unnamed state after one of the state’s senators dies while in office. The state’s governor along with the state’s other U.S. senator, Joseph Harrison “Joe” Paine (played by the great Claude Rains), are actually both rather corrupt and are puppets to business interests in the state, and, with Smith being rather naive, they feel like they can preoccupy his time so he’ll stay out of their way. 

After Smith becomes savvy about what’s really going on, he gets framed and is about to get kicked out of the senate. He decides to return home, but his secretary (played by Jean Arthur), who sees him for the decent and honest man that he is, finds him on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and helps him see a different path (see clip below).

She reminds him that Abraham Lincoln also had his own political foes and vicissitudes. She reminds him about the importance of having faith in “something bigger.” And she reminds him that he has “plain, decent, everyday, common rightness” and that the country “could use some of that.”

I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln on the walls of his memorial: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…”

I hope I can remember these words of goodness and truth, even in dark and challenging times. The hope of America lives on—in the memorable character of Jefferson Smith, in the words of Abraham Lincoln which we can read and ponder today, and in all of us, if we so choose. 

Images ©️ Columbia Pictures, Turner Classic Movies

November 20, 2018 Podcast

It’s our Thanksgiving 2018 podcast! Five new films are opening this week:

And the 1978 Superman is back in theaters for a special 40th anniversary engagement.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!