Mar 302019
 

Mary Poppins Returns by all accounts did service as a sequel in both style and tone but for myself, nothing really stands out other than some respectable set design and a few of the performances, otherwise the music itself was bland and it did feel a tad long.

 

 

Mary Poppins Returns
(2018)

Genre(s): Family, Fantasy, Drama
Disney | PG – 130 min. – $39.99 | March 19, 2019

Date Published: 03/30/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Writer(s): PL Travers (‘Mary Poppins’ stories); David MaGee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca (screen story), David MaGee (screenplay)
Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Mantel Miranda, Ben Wishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K): English (Dolby Atmos), French (DTS-HD MA 7.1), Spanish (DTS-HD MA 7.1)
Audio (BD): English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Disney provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 2.5/5


First and foremost, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of musicals but on occasion will enjoy them, though don’t generally seek them out. Second, it has been eons since I watched the 1964 classic Mary Poppins but it isn’t a favorite of mine with no desire to revisit it. So, with that said, my opinions on Mary Poppins Returns come from that point-of-view. As such, I really didn’t care much for this sequel, though certainly has that old-timey charm to it.

The plot finds Michael Banks (BEN WISHAW) all grown up with three children — Annabel (PIXIE DAVIES), John (NATHANAEL SALEH) and Georgie (JOEL DAWSON) — and a year removed following the passing of his wife. The family, already financially strapped, are about to lose their home to the bank after being unable to pay back a loan. While out flying a kite, the Banks’ children meet the majestic and delightful Mary Poppins (EMILY BLUNT) as she comes down from the skies with her umbrella. She comes to the home, much to the joy of Michael and his sister Jane (EMILY MORTIMER), where Mary offers her services to take care of the children.

From there, in between the main plotline of trying to save their home – as they search for lost bank shares – Mary and the Banks’ kids go on adventures from a bubble world inside the bathtub to a stomp on a ceramic bowl where the film integrates live action with animation, and we get to see the adorable penguins so prominent in the Dick Van Dyke dance sequence in the original. Among the adventures are musical numbers which were fine, though none were especially memorable.

Performances wise, everybody served well in their roles, though as someone who doesn’t care much for the precocious children in movies, there were times I was on the annoyed side, but I suppose in terms of the acting, the three child actors weren’t too bad. In terms Mary Poppins herself, considering there’s really not very much depth to the character, Emily Blunt was decent and she did convey the whimsy nicely enough. Meanwhile, Lin-Mantel Miranda, Ben Wishaw and Emily Mortimer had some solid scenes themselves while Colin Firth plays your one-dimensional clichéd banker villain, which is okay for a film geared towards families..

Given the musical numbers, it was probably a no-brainer why Rob Marshall was hired considering his work on Chicago, one of the few musicals I truly loved (and his directorial debut) as well as Nine (which I didn’t care much for) as well as other Disney modern day classics Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Into the Woods, a movie one only remembers when somebody actually brings it up… In any case, the musical sequences were well directed, if not a bit overly long in the case of ‘Turning Turtle’, and had some admittedly great choreography, particularly ‘Trip a Little Light Fantastic’.

In the end, I didn’t hate or despise Mary Poppins Returns unlike other family-oriented films like Beauty and the Beast or The Emoji Movie, but as someone who doesn’t hold the original in some special place, I had a difficult time caring about the story or characters and even the songs were a bit bland. Still, if the 1964 original is a favorite of yours or you enjoy musicals, Mary Poppins Returns is probably at least worthy of a Red Box rental.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5


This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover and inside is a code for the Digital HD copy.

Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns (5:22) is a featurette on Van Dyke’s cameo appearance. Um, spoiler alert? Anyway, the cast and crew gush over the veteran actor and the man himself talks about the joy of his role.

Practically Perfect Bloopers (1:57) finds the cast having a good old time with line flubs and on-set goofery.

“Seeing Things from a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns (18:05) are a series of featurettes breaking down the different music pieces.

Deleted Song – “The Anthropomorphic Zoo” (5:04) is a demo recording set against rough sketches.

The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns (23:38) takes us behind-the-scenes on how the project came about and delves into dance rehearsals, set designs and more.

Last up are two Deleted Scenes (1:43) that did not make the cut.

 


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Mary Poppins Returns glides down onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it’s presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p and 1080p (respectively) high-definition transfers. No big surprise, but on both formats this is brilliant looking. The 4K in particular is incredibly sharp in its detail and the colors, especially present during the live action/animated sequences, do have a nice pop to them, aided by the HDR. The Blu-ray is no slouch either and while there is a bit of a difference, you won’t be disappointed.

4K AUDIO – 4.5/5, BD AUDIO – 4.5/5


The 4K UHD comes with a Dolby Atmos track while the Blu-ray has a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, either one does sound nearly spectacular though also was a bit on the disappointing side. While dialogue came through quite well, the musical numbers weren’t as impressive, even so, still made good usage of the available channels in both cases.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Mary Poppins Returns by all accounts did service as a sequel in both style and tone but for myself, nothing really stands out other than some respectable set design and a few of the performances, otherwise the music itself was bland and it did feel a tad long in some parts. That said, if you enjoyed or loved the original and do like classically styled musicals, this might be a rental. As for the 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack, the video and audio transfers were both great and there was a fair amount of bonus material.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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