There’s something about Mary

14 Jan

Saving Mr. Banks

A film by John Lee Hancock


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 “Winds in the east, theres a mist comin’ in, 
Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store,
 But I feel what’s to happen all happened before”

We all know the infamous prologue to the beginning of the beloved story of Mary Poppins

After I heard that there was a film being made about how Mary Poppins became a Disney classic I was excited for the release.

I could think of no two people better to play Mr. Walt Disney himself and PL Travers the author of the Mary Poppins storybook, than Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.  These actors are by far some of my favorite, and some of the best actors in Hollywood.  They nailed it!

The supporting actors were well cast too! B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman who played the songwriting Sherman brothers. Bradley Whitford who played the writer Don DaGradi, Paul Giamatti as the driver, and Colin Farrell as Mr. Travers.

I really found it enjoyable that Disney made a movie about how one of their classics came to be. As a lover of the backstory within filmmaking and character development, I found the idea for the film something new and refreshing in the film world.  My only one tiny criticism but not even a real one, is that I wanted to know more of how they ended up with Dick Van Dyke and some of the other points that Mrs. Travers was so adamant about not having.

I loved all of the subtle tributes to the film Mary Poppins with hints of character names like Uncle Albert, and the nod to the carousel, to more upfront acknowledgments like the songs and the sketches of the characters.

One of my favorite executed sequences was the “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” song scene.  I like how the montage was edited cutting between the studio and presenting the song to Mr. Travers giving his bank speech at the fair. More than that I liked how you could see the hurt and possibly one of the low points in Mrs. Travers childhood. Though it is a sad scene, it is a scene that humanizes Mrs. Travers, seeing her at a very vulnerable moment, you can see the love she had of her father and perhaps some loose ends that she never tied up from her past.

True to Disney form, this movie has its sad moments but as always has a redeeming quality at the end that leave you feeling happy and filled with the magic of Disney.

————————————————

After watching the film, I later read an article in The Richmond Times, written by Rebecca Keegan.  One note that I found interesting in the article was that critics found that the film was “…too hard on Travers and too easy on the company’s founder.”  My point is that yes, though Travers does seem to be a bit harsh and difficult, having a past and a childhood like that I can see why she would be that way. However, the article also mentions that the film is more about her and how her story became to be a film and not so much on Walt Disney.  The article goes on to point out that, “A lot of children’s authors create these characters from places of tragedy and darkness,” a statement of which I would agree.  Furthermore, I found it interesting that when presenting the script to Disney, the fear was that the Walt Disney character would be changed to be presented in “Disney light” as I will call it and that there would be so many rules to follow—Similar to a P.L. Travers you might say.  Just goes to show that everyone is a critic in their own peculiar way.

And The Winner Is…

9 Jan

The glitz, the glam, the fashion, the live TV! With the awards season upon us, I can look forward to sunday nights spent watching The Golden Globes, The OSCARS, The Grammy’s, and The Critic’s Choice just to mention a few of many more award shows.

Starting tonight the first award show to kick off 2014 is the People’s Choice Awards! Celebrating success and achievements in Movies, TV and music, this is one of the only shows where the people vote for the winners.

This is one of my favorite award shows to watch because of some of the interesting nomination categories like:

  •  Favorite TV Bromance/Favorite TV Gal Pals
  • Favorite Streaming Series
  • Favorite Series We Miss Most
  • Favorite Movie Duo

So far tonight’s show has been entertaining but has still had share of awkward moments and forced jokes.  Even still, I have enjoyed Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as hosts, they have great on-screen chemistry and it is like watching a longer, live episode of 2 Broke Girls.

Anyway, looking forward to all of the memorable moments to come with the other award shows !

Everyday I’m Hustling

30 Dec

American Hustle
a film by David O. Russell

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Over holiday break, my family and I decided to go see American Hustle. After seeing all of the previews and trailers, I was very excited to see this 1970s comedy/ crime drama. Leaving the theater 2.5 hours later I was still deciding whether or not I thoroughly enjoyed the film or not. For me, the trailer made the film look exciting, like the con pulled off in Oceans Eleven. I found the movie to be rather enjoyable in the beginning and end of the film but in the middle there were definitely some lags and some slow pacing which were probably due to the length of the movie.

What I did find enjoyable, and perhaps a redeeming quality of the film was the music and the actors/acting and what looked like an ever so subtle nod to Saturday Night Fever. The crazy, at times ditzy, and unpredictability of Irving’s wife (Jennifer Lawrence), The wild yet still naïve at times, FBI agent Richie (Bradley Cooper) the seductive and cunning Edith/Sydney (Amy Adams) and finally the brilliant but at times acted like a pushover, Irving (Christian Bale). Bale’s character was a success to the storyline and the onscreen dynamic between his character and Cooper’s character was funny and entertaining.

Though Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite O. Russell film, I would still give this movie a go-see, even if you go just for the music.

Hello Again

29 Dec

Hello all,

Just thought that I should explain my lack of posting lately.  So I’m sorry that I haven’t been as consistent with my posts, I got caught up in graduations, holidays, work, travels.etc. But I figure with the start of the New Year, one of my resolutions will be to be more consistent with my posts.  So with that here is the start of my new series of blog posts. Enjoy!

Commercial Break 5

17 Jun

Well done! great pacing and flow.  Love the song with it and the feel of “cool” that comes across.

Commercial Break 4

6 Jun

Lol this is cute.  I had missed the part about passing down something he will be grateful for , but after watching it again now its pretty funny.

The Great Gatsby-Part 2

29 May

great_gatsby_ver7_xlgFinally! I have seen the new, remade Gatsby.  I know it has been a while but it was worth the wait.  I really, really found this remake to be well done and I am a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s style.  I loved the raw, grittiness and the intensity his style brought to the film.  Luhrmann’s unique film style played really well in setting the scenes and portraying the dirty, and urban feel of the “Valley” of the city.

Another element that I loved was the soundtrack! It fit so well with the updated telling of the story and had the perfect mix of new contemporary music with the jazzy feel of the era.

Though most people who are fans of the original film will say that no one was a Greater Gatsby than Robert Redford, I found Leonardo DiCaprio was well suited to play Mr. Gatsby.  In fact I found the whole cast to be rather a perfect fit for their roles.

While I did not find the original unenjoyable, (I actually liked how it followed the book and was narrated by Sam Waterston) I preferred this Gatsby much more than the original for the pacing of the story.  The remake was much better paced as the quickness of the film mimicked the moving and changing the beat of the city and also mimicked the story itself, spiraling out of control.

I also enjoyed how in this Gatsby film the viewer was able to see more into Jay Gatsby’s past, as well as in to Nick Carraway’s memories,  and really see character backgrounds and character development, creating a stronger bond between the audience and the characters unlike the original where I just felt like someone viewing a movie.

The only real negative that I had with this remake was the overuse of the phrase “Old Sport.”  I definitely do not remember Robert Redford saying “Old Sport” so many times.

Overall I think that this Gatsby film was successful and was able to modernize Fitzgerald’s story in a way that did not lose the identity of the original story.

The Great Gatsby

17 Apr

 

As a follow up post to upcoming films I want to see, I forgot to include The Great Gatsby.  This adaptation from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, this is actually a remake of the film “The Great Gatsby” Starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan.

 

Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the same director of Moulin Rouge and Romeo+Juliet, I now see the similarities of cinematographic style between the three films.  As a big fan of his adaptation of Romeo+Juliet, I am very excited to see how he takes on the Gatsby film.

 

Though it has been a while since I have seen the first Gatsby moive, I remember the pacing of it being rather slow and dragging along.  Just from the preview of this movie, it seems like pacing has picked up and the drama, sex, love, violence, and scandal have been amped up as well.

 

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Toby McGuire as Nick Carraway, and Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan.  I think that DiCaprio and Mulligan are excellent choices to take on these roles.

Also the sound track to this film seems great, very modern but fitting to the time/setting of the movie.

I cannot wait to see this in theaters May 10, 2013!

Commercial Break 3

17 Apr

Though March Madness is over, I feel like this commercial sills deserves some airtime.  It gets funnier with each watch. “Can you get me Mr. Baldwin’s autograph?”

Commercial Break 2

11 Apr

This commercial makes me laugh but I’m not too sure of the message…I’m not really sure what one is supposed to last 25 years and what one isn’t. hmm?

I wish I'd thought of that

Big ideas in Graphic Design (from a student's perspective)

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