Tag Archives: Emily Blunt

Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Review

A MOSTLY “PRACTICAL

PERFECT” SEQUEL


 

Winds in the east, mist coming 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”. Such is one of the first lines uttered in Disney’s 1964 live-action film Mary Poppins. Based on the children’s novels by English author P.L. Travers, the movie, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred actor Dick Van Dyke and actress Julie Andrews, tells the story of a magical nanny (named Marry Poppins) who visits a dysfunctional family (the Banks family) in London and employs her unique and whimsical brand of lifestyle to improve the family’s dynamics through a series of events. The film was met with critical acclaim, with many praising the feature for its narrative heart and imaginative nuances throughout the feature (the combination of live-action and animation) as well as the acting talents from Andrews and Dyke in the movie. Mary Poppins also received 13 Academy Awards nomination (setting a record for any other film released by the Walt Disney studios) and won five of those wards, including Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. Since it’s theatrical release back in 1964, Mary Poppins continues to enchant viewers new and old on various home video releases, receiving many prestigious awards throughout the years, including being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Now, almost 54 years since Mary Poppins graced the silver screen, it’s time to everyone’s favorite nanny to return as Walt Disney Studios and director Rob Marshall presents Mary Poppins Returns. Is this log belated sequel from the “house of mouse” worth a glance or is it a far cry from the beloved classic? Read more

A Quiet Place (2018) Review

WITHIN THE SOUND OF SILENCE


 

Since the days of filmmaking began many, many years ago, motion pictures have flourished into a wide array of genres that tackle many moods, tone, and emotions to give its viewers an entertaining experience. Some makes us laugh, some make us, cry, some make us fascinated, and some, most notably within the horror genre, make us scared. The film genre of horror has been around for quite some time, creating a plenitude of feature films that scary, creep, and sometimes downright horrify its viewers, drawing up on the fears and dark imaginations that go “bump” in the night. Like many genres out there, horror movies have slightly different variations in their narrative and context, expanding upon many things from monster creature features like 1935’s Frankenstein, 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1984’s Gremlins, to the teen slashers like 1978’s Halloween, 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, and 1996’s Scream, to paranormal flicks like 1982’s Poltergeist, 2002’s The Ring, and 2013’s The Conjuring, and to even supernatural nightmarish tales like 1973’s The Exorcist, 1976’s Carrie, and 1980’s The Shining, Nowadays, the horror genre, much like a lot things, has to evolve, producing more features that had the heavy usage of “jump scare tactics” as well as bountiful disturbing sequences of bloody / gory within its cinematic context, trying to appease and cater to its more “modern” demographic of horror viewers. Still, the genre continues to grow and expand, creating some memorable recent hits like 2016’s The Witch and Spilt, and 2017’s IT being some of the prime examples. Now, Paramount Pictures and actor / director John Krasinki present the next intriguing tale from the horror genre with the film A Quiet Place. Does this movie truly find its “scares” in its suspenseful tale or does it fail to impress, relying too much on its “gimmicky” premise?  Read more

Sherlock Gnomes (2018) Review

THE GNOMES ARE BACK (AGAIN)?


 

At the beginning of 2014, Gnomeo & Juliet, a relatively unknown animated feature, made a soft impact during its initial release. Released (nationally) alongside the romance comedy Just Go with It, the historical war drama The Eagle, and musical concert of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Gnomeo & Juliet, which was directed by Kelly Asbury and starred the voice talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, and Michael Caine, told colorful animated tale of star-crossed garden gnome lovers (Gnomeo and Juliet) and how there love for one another was strong, despite them being part of different gnome clans (i.e. the red-hate gnomes and the blue-hate gnomes). The film itself (by design) was an animated retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (told through the eyes and lives of backyard garden gnomes) and was infused with an English sense of humor as well music from legendary British musician Elton John, who also produced the film. Despite the mixed reviews from what critics might’ve initial thought of this movie, Gnomeo & Juliet, which was released on January 23rd, 2011 but didn’t go nationwide until February 11th, 2011, did make a surprising splash with moviegoers, collecting roughly $194 million at the box office against its $36 million production budget. Of course, that number didn’t break any type of box office records, but it still made over five times its creation budget, which is a really good thing and down during a January theatrical release (a time when movie usually don’t earn the big bucks). Now, almost seven years later since it’s release, Paramount Pictures (Paramount Animation) and director John Stevenson finally unveil the sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet with the film Sherlock Gnomes? Does this second garden gnome adventure surpass it predecessor or has the magic gone out in this whimsical animated retelling of classic literature? Read more

My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Review

FOR BRONIES ONLY


 

During the 80s, several comics and / or popular toy-based products evolved from their physical form and became cartoon television series, including Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universes, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. One such byproduct soon emerged from this era, with the creation of My Little Pony. Created by Hasbro, My Little Pony was a toy line for girls, which became popular and eventually spawned a cartoon series titled My Little Pony. In a nutshell, the show followed adventures of the “Little Ponies” in Ponyland, a mystical land that plays home to all kinds of magical creatures. My Little Pony, which originally ran from 1984 to 1987, lasted for two seasons (65 episodes) and was even popular enough for a movie titled My Little Pony: The Movie to be theatrical released in 1986. Several years later, My Little Pony returned to the animated small screen with My Little Pony Tales, a new iteration of the popular toy horse-based brand. Originally airing on Disney Channel in 1992, the show, which lasted one season (26 episodes), showed its various cast of ponies in a more contemporary environment, seeing the pones characters (more anthropomorphized than the previous series) live in a town and doing daily things (i.e. going to school, run businesses, taking vacations, etc.). After that, while there were a few more animated installments (most of which were direct-to-video releases between 2003 to 2009), a new My Little Pony cartoon iteration eventually formed in 2010 with the series titled My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The show, which is set in the fictional land of Equestria, follows the adventures of the unicorn pony Twilight Sparkle and her friends (Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy) as the help others around Equestria while working out problems that arise within their own friendship. Surprisingly, the show was a massive success, with the show currently (as of 2017) in its seventh season (166 episodes) and cultivating a large fanbase, with some being adult fans of the show who have been officially dubbed as “Bronies”.  Now, Lionsgate films (as well as Allspark Pictures and DHX Media) and director Jayson Thiessen present the theatrical movie to the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series, which is simply titled My Little Pony: The Movie (not to be confused with 1986 movie of the same name). Does this full length animated feature find its “friendship is magic” on the big screen or is it only for its “Bronies” fan base? Read more

The Girl on the Train Review

THE TIES THAT BEHIND US


 

Back on February 2015, the literary world was introduced to The Girl on the Train. This debut novel by author Paula Hawkins, was presented as a psychological thriller of which many called it the next Gone Girl (a similar novel written by  Gillian Flynn). The success of The Girl on the Train was well-met, receiving praise for Hawkins’s work, securing a #1 position on The New York Fiction Best Sellers list for 13 consecutive weeks. With the book selling millions of copies, it was basically inevitable that a film adaptation was soon to be developed, lockdown by Universal Pictures and DreamWorks. Now, the film is read to debut as director Tate Taylor presents the cinematic version of The Girl on the Train. Does the movie make the jump from page to screen or does its shrouded psychological mystery get bogged down in superfluous theatrics? Read more

The Wind Rises Review

MIYAZAKI’S FAREWELL MASTERPIECE


Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has made an illustrious career of animated films that are truly one-of-kind and forever timeless. From Howl’s Moving Castle, to Ponyo, to Princess Mononoke, and to the academy award winning Spirited Away, Miyazaki’s films have gained great affirmation and critical acclaim from critics and viewers alike. Now, with his journey in the cinematic world nearing its end, Miyazaki graciously bows out with his final masterpiece titled The Wind Rises. Does Miyazaki’s swansong film join the rest of his celebrated work or is it a black mark upon a successful career of storytelling? Read more

The Huntsman: Winter’s War Review

BEWARE THE FROZEN HEART


 

After the success of Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland, the movie studios of Hollywood started to revive and reimaging famous fairy tale stories through a new cinematic lens. In the 2012, two films offered two very distinct takes on the story of Snow White. While Mirror, Mirror (directed by Tarsem Singh) was a lighter and whimsical family affair approach to the classic fairy tale, director Rupert Sanders took a more epic and darker tone with Snow White and the Huntsman. While the film, which starred Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth, had its fair share of being criticized (it might vary from person to person on what that is), Snow White and the Huntsman did make a favorable return on its production investment at the box office, paving the way for a potential follow-up feature. Unfortunately, do to some behind-the-scenes controversies between Sanders and Stewart, both director and actress left the future sequel project, leaving the production at a standstill. The state of the sequel was in limbo for quite a while until director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan took up the mantle with the film The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Is this quasi prequel / sequel worth a look or is an underwhelming fairy tale spinoff? Read more

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