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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Rob Marshall
Cast:
Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw
Writing Credits:
David Magee

Synopsis:
Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.

Box Office:
Budget:
$130 million.
Opening Weekend
$23,523,121 on 4090 screens.
Domestic Gross
$171,958,438. MPAA:
Rated PG

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 130 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 3/19/2019

Bonus:
• Sing-Along Mode
• “Back to Cherry Tree Lane” Featurette
• “Practically Perfect Bloopers” Featurette
• “Seeing Things From a Different Point of View” Featurette
• “The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes and Deleted Song
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Mary Poppins Returns [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 9, 2019)

In recent years, we’ve seen Disney embrace remakes of their classics, a push that goes a little crazy in 2019. This year sees three re-workings of that sort: Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Rather than follow that path with 1964’s beloved Mary Poppins, Disney chose a different route for 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns. 54 years after the original, it gives us a formal sequel.

Set in the 1930s, Returns re-introduces the original film’s children. However, now Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw) are adults, and the widowed Michael even has three young kids of his own.

Due to the global depression and other factors, Jane and Michael struggle with their lives. This brings back a magical figure from their past, as their childhood nanny Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives again to help them set things straight.

On one hand, I applaud Disney’s decision not to simply remake Mary Poppins. While I never felt wild about the 1964 original, I also don’t much care for the studio’s decision to rework so many of their classics, as these new films lack much creative inspiration that I can see.

On the other hand, 54 years really does seem like a long time to go between chapters in the Poppins world. Sure, Returns doesn’t take place 54 years after the original, but it still feels odd to get an actual sequel so long after the first film’s time in theaters.

Granted, Disney’s cultural dominance allows their classics to endure in the public consciousness more than most, so the original Poppins stayed known to family audiences to a reasonable degree. Nonetheless, 54 years is an awfully long time – the kids who saw Poppins in 1964 would be grandparents now.

All of this led me into Returns with pretty low expectations. My general lack of enthusiasm for the original coupled with the sheer oddness of the film’s existence didn’t do much to entice me.

My instincts proved correct. While not a terrible adventure, Returns feels uninspired and generally redundant.

That’s because Returns straddles the line between sequel and remake. While it doesn’t offer a literal retelling of the 1964 film, it comes with more than a few similarities.

Because of this, Returns takes virtually no chances. It feels like a sequel crafted by a committee, and a committee ordered to create as safe a final product as they can.

A sequel to Poppins could go down numerous creative paths, but Returns steadfastly avoids these. The decision to focus once again on the Banks family ensures that the new movie adheres as closely to the original as possible, and any new twists feel minor and insubstantial.

Even the premise that Mary comes back to tend to the adult Banks children she knew years earlier fails to develop in a meaningful manner. While the needs of Jane and Michael motivate the plot as a whole, those character get surprisingly little to do, so we mostly focus on Mary’s time with Michael’s offspring.

If Disney wanted to remake Poppins, why not simply remake it? Why create the impression of a sequel when the new film just retreads the same territory?

I don’t know, but the enormous similarities between the 1964 movie and Returns cause frustrations. I’d like to see something new and fresh, but the sequel largely rehashes the old scenarios and concepts – right down to another American (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who plays a working-class Brit and boasts a terrible accent.

Returns comes with a pretty terrific cast, at least. In addition to those already named, the film features Meryl Streep, Colin First, Julie Walters, Dick Van Dyke, and Angela Lansbury, among others.

That’s a wholly overqualified group for such a thin tale, and most tend to blend into the scenery. Blunt does offer a pretty good new take on Mary, at least, one that manages to echo Julie Andrews without imitation.

As much as I like Blunt, Returns can’t succeed based on her performance alone. A general reworking of the original film minus much sense of magic, the sequel disappoints.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Mary Poppins Returns appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.

Overall sharpness worked well. A smidgen of softness impacted the occasional wider shot, but the majority of the film brought positive delineation.

I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.

The colors of Returns tended toward a laid-back mix of orange/amber and teal, without much to call vivid. Even the handful of fantasy scenes leaned in the teal-oriented direction, though they boasted a little more life, mainly via some purples and pinks. Still, the tones were fine given the stylistic choices.

Blacks seemed dark and right, and shadows demonstrated fairly good clarity, though interiors were slightly dense at times. Across the board, this became a nice image.

Despite the fantasy elements, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix stayed fairly subdued. This was a chatty flick, though it occasionally displayed lively elements.

A few action-ish moments showed movement and range. These were pretty infrequent, though, so good stereo music and general ambience ruled the day. This meant we got a nice sense of place but rarely much more.

Audio quality satisfied. Music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy, with strong low-end during those occasional “action” moments.

Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed positive.

A smattering of extras fill out the disc, and The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns goes for 23 minutes, 38 seconds. It includes notes from director Rob Marshall, producers Marc Platt and John DeLuca, production designer John Myhre, composer Marc Shaiman, music consultant Richard Sherman, lyricist Scott Wittman, and actors Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, Emily Mortimer, Dick Van Dyke, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and Angela Lansbury.

“Making” examines choreography, sets and production design, cast and performances, Marshall’s impact on the production, stunts, and music. Some good notes emerge but much of “Making” remains self-congratulatory, so don’t expect much substance.

If desired, one can view the film via a Sing-Along Mode. This simply pastes lyrics on-screen during the musical numbers. Yawn.

With Back to Cherry Tree Lane, we find a five-minute, 22-second piece with Firth, Blunt, Whishaw, Davies, Saleh, Van Dyke, Miranda, and Myhre.

“Back” discusses Van Dyke’s return to the franchise and echoes of the original film. Largely the piece praises Van Dyke and the new movie’s obligation to accuracy, so it becomes another fluffy reel.

Seeing Things from a Different Point of View offers four featurettes that look at the movie’s musical numbers. We find “Trip A Little Light Fantastic” (3:56), “The Royal Doulton Music Hall/A Cover Is Not the Book” (7:05), “Turning Turtle” (3:01) and “Can You Imagine That?” (4:03).

Across these, we hear from Marshall, Miranda, Blunt, DeLuca, Davies, Myhre, Streep, Wittman, Shaiman, Saleh, Platt, animation sequence supervisor Jim Capobianco, costume designer Sandy Powell, stunt coordinator Matt Mottram, set decorator Gordon Sim, and actor Joel Dawson.

“View” covers aspects of the movie’s musical production numbers. Once again, we get mix of production notes and praise, with too much emphasis on the latter for my liking.

In addition to a Deleted Song called “The Anthropomorphic Zoo” (5:04), we locate two Deleted Scenes: “Leaving Topsy’s” (0:55) and “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (0:48). The cut song offers something mildly interesting, but the deleted scenes seem totally forgettable.

Practically Perfect Bloopers spans one minute, 57 seconds and delivers a pretty typical collection of goofs and giggles. Nothing special emerges.

The disc opens with ads for Toy Story 4 - twice! – and Aladdin (2019). Sneak Peeks presents a promo for The Little Mermaid as well. No trailer for Returns appears here.

After 54 years, Mary Poppins Returns - and inspires yawns. More remake than sequel, the new film lacks creativity and inspiration. The Blu-ray brings generally strong picture and audio as well as a decent selection of supplements. Mary Poppins returns with a fizzle.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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