Mini Reviews #15: Mary Poppins Returns (2019) and Robin Hood (2018)

Hello, hello! Well, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? The reason being is that I went on a trip to the other side of the world see my seester. And I also kinda went nutso with anticipation (not the good kind), days before said trip. Also laziness. Yep, these are my excuses. And oh, we may or may not be adopting a stray kitty. I mean, we named it. And other seester just sent me a photo of the cat food she brought whilst grocery shopping yesterday…..We are adopting it aren’t we?

Anyhuuu, I saw movies on a plane! Not snakes. Sorry! I couldn’t resist.

Mary Poppins Returns (2019)

Mary Poppins Returns (2019), sadly, is not quite practically perfect in every way. It tries hard but does not quite have the same magic as the original. The story feels rote and is a tad spiritless. I appreciate the fact that they were trying to go big by tackling heavy stuff like loss and grief, and shelter security. But I don’t think they were able to do these themes justice. Much like how people would oftentimes tell me to just stop worrying, and yes a majority of which are well-intentioned, but there are moments when I just want to yell at them. And yes, I was this close to yelling at my screen. There is a light treatment to an otherwise heavy topic. Look I don’t mean for this to go all Les Miserables, but there is a disconnect between the persistent cheerfulness of a Mary Poppins movie. with the sad narrative they chose for this adaptation.

Speaking of persistent cheerfulness, the musical numbers are well done. “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” & “A Cover Is Not The Book” are gorgeous eye-catching numbers. But to be honest, I do not think the songs are as ear wormy as I’d want it to be. Emily Blunt makes for a great new Mary Poppins, a more British one, if that makes sense, and I enjoyed her performance. And although Lin-Manuel Miranda aces the musical numbers, he does not quite disappear into his character. I hardly see Jack the lamplighter but more THE Lin-Manuel Miranda doing a cockney British accent.

And I cannot end this review without saying something about THE Dick Can Dyke dancing at ninety effing three. I mean, holy smokes, he still got it!

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Robin Hood (2018)

Yeeesh. I could stop at that. But yeeeesh. I did not count how many times I cringed while watching Robin Hood (2018), but I cringed and cringed good. I haven’t been to the medieval times but I’m pretty sure contractions weren’t a thing yet. Back then they liked their words long and formal. So when Robin Hood be like: “What else you got?” I’m outta there.  It’s not just that, the story is also a jumble of tired, old slog. It’s not that they do not follow the Robin Hood folklore, which is actually kind of the problem. I don’t think they took to the lore for guidance, but rather used a combination of dumb action movies and cheesy romance films as inspiration. Action sequences are similarly generic, speeding things up and then slowing things down is their poison of choice. I mean sure, had this been a new thing, but we’ve seen this a thousand times over. Am I being mean? Perhaps. Cranky old lady is cranky.

They did right by casting Ben Mendelsohn as Sheriff of Nottingham. He can do this role in his sleep, but hey, he is always a delight to watch in my book.

Rating: 1/5 Stars   

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