Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

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25 years after a nanny made their lives whimsical, the Banks family has, once again, fallen on hard times. Michael, a widowed father of three, is struggling to keep the bank from repossessing his house, while his sister Jane, a labor organizer, is doing all she can to keep Michael from breaking down. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, Mary Poppins, the very same nanny who filled their lives with magic and musical numbers, descends from the heavens, intent on saving the family from despair with the power of song and dance. What else? Continue reading

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Sicario

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Someone once said that Sicario was a beautifully crafted movie with little to no replay value. Having seen it for myself, I can understand why they’d think that. The film’s brilliant acting, gorgeous cinematography, and eerie soundtrack all work together to make it a truly suspenseful thriller. And at the same time, the painfully slow pacing, simultaneously bleak and conventional storyline, and odd sound design make it a slog to get through, and leaves you feeling kind of empty inside.

The story of an FBI hostage retriever, Emily Blunt, getting called on board a joint DOD-CIA task force to bring down a drug cartel responsible for a horrific bombing, the film offers very little in the way of hope or redemption. Child murder, torture, opening fire in crowds filled with civilians, these are but a sampling of the horrific things that happen in this movie. Now I suppose that the film’s bleaker tone and lurid subject matter make it a more realistic look at the drug war, but still. The last 20 minutes are guaranteed to leave you feeling completely hollow. On top of that, the picture moves at a snails pace, with there being several long, unbroken shots of landscapes and cars, which, honestly, just feel like filler. Now I recognize that in a suspense film, you need to build up the tension, to make the audience wait for the bomb to go off, but I honestly lost interest in this film after a while because of how slow everything was moving. In addition to this, the sound design is really weird. In most films, they use special microphones to blot out background noises so that all you can hear are the actors. But in this film, you can often hear background noises, like people talking, phones ringing, radio static, or the echoes from the walls. I suppose this was done to make the story feel more grounded and real , but it was honestly kind of distracting for me.

As you can probably tell, I didn’t care for this movie, but I do recognize the skill and precision with which it was made. And I know that some people will admire the story for its darker tone and bleaker ending. So for that reason, I do think people should watch it. I just don’t think I will ever again.