REVIEW: Mary Poppins [1964]

A wooden leg named Smith. I never had a great affinity for Mary Poppins as a child. It could have been that I didn’t connect to the subject matter or more likely it was because my sister did. I gravitated towards Bedknobs and Broomsticks instead as a point of conflict—a film (unbeknownst to me at the time) with the same director (Robert Stevenson) and screenwriting duo (Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi). I had therefore let everything slip away from memory as far as plotting and characterizations go due to my…

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REVIEW: Despicable Me 3 [2017]

“I love the combination of Gummy Bears and meat” You have to give Illumination credit because they chose to cultivate an animated niche able to set them apart from Pixar rather than simply seek to copy their blueprint. Their path brings them closer to Dreamworks and yet we can still pick out the difference because Christopher Meledandri‘s style strips things even further down to a level of pure entertainment. So it’s no coincidence that his flagship property Despicable Me has now spawned two sequels to go along with a spinoff,…

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The 87th Oscars recap through tweets …

I’m not sure why I keep filling myself with false hope that the Oscars will one day be an entertaining show to watch. The optimism is almost completely unfounded by this point. Whether they go weird (Anne Hathaway and James Franco), safe (Billy Crystal), hip (Seth MacFarlane), or try and steal another show’s success (Neil Patrick Harris), the result is the same. NPH should have been the shot of adrenaline the 87th Annual Academy Awards needed—a song and dance guy who’s young, fun, and funny. Sadly—and I do blame the…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #13: The Sound of Music [1965]

“They were strawberries! It’s been so cold lately they turned blue!” My enjoyment of Oscar-winning musical The Sound of Music can best be described as the product of subjective expectation. I finally saw it around the age of twelve or thirteen after hearing of its greatness for years only to be left staring at the television with a quizzical look that said, “That’s it?” Despite the music’s appeal—Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II‘s final collaboration with the latter passing away nine months following its Broadway debut—it seemed to add up…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #11: Victor Victoria [1982]

“I’d sleep with you for a meatball” You’re down on your luck, famished, and unable to get a job despite having a voice like no other. What do you do? Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews) is asking herself that very question when we see her auditioning for Chez Lui—a dump populated by gangsters and hotheads that’s closed almost ever other night due to brawls. This soprano can shatter glass with a high B-flat at whim but her empty stomach barely allows her to walk home. And then, of course, once she’s…

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FILM MARATHON #3: Movie Musicals (Broadway & Original)

The reason I started doing my marathon series was to finally start seeing films I’ve neglected and needed to see. Doing the filmography of Terrence Malick couldn’t have turned out better with some of the greatest works of cinema I’ve ever seen. Days of Heaven easily vaulted itself into my top 10 of all-time and The Thin Red Line wasn’t too far behind. Checking out Julia Roberts films might have made me realize I’ve been wrongly ignoring her abilities as an actor, but Malick has given me a new auteur…

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REVIEW: Despicable Me [2010]

“Oh yes, I have pins and needles I’m sitting on” Yet another hat is thrown into the ring. Illumination Entertainment joins the stiff competition of Hollywood animators, bringing along with it a stellar voice cast and the ever-present 3D format. Christopher Meledandri—the man behind Fox’s steady rise into becoming one of the top three studios of the medium alongside Pixar and DreamWorks—left his executive job to head up this new company, pilfering artist Chris Renaud to co-direct the firm’s debut Despicable Me with Pierre Coffin. Let’s just say that it’s…

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