Criticizing Mr Banks

People can enjoy films like Mary Poppins without pointing out that umbrellas tend not to make conversation. Audiences will appreciate the film on its own terms; a fantasy musical with an uplifting end. Recent criticism of “Saving Mr Banks”, a film about the author of Mary Poppins reluctance to allow Disney to make the aforementioned film, suggests that if a film draws from real life events; it must hew with precise accuracy to the past and the participants.

Much has been made that that in the ongoing conflict at the heart of the film, between Walt Disney and Mrs Travers, Disney is portrayed in too positive light and Travers comes across as unreasonable in all aspects. For the confines of the film, that simplification of the characters makes that conflict carry the dramatic weight of the story – it is needed for the film. Yes, there are meetings in the film that did not occur, but again they help drive the story forward or show PL Travers deep skepticism on the whole Disney approach.

If you want to understand PL Travers and the details of her negotiations with Disney over the rights to Mary Poppins; this film will not give you that. If you want to watch a well crafted movie that balances joy and sorrow, with great central performances, that enhances your appreciation for one the greatest film musicals of all time, then “Saving Mr Banks” is highly recommended.

Published in: on 28 December, 2013 at 8:31  Leave a Comment  

Wrong Times

We were in a diner on Saturday. On the wall behind our table was a black and white poster of Times Square in New York. There was an error on it. I took a photograph of the corner with the mistake.

IMG 1654The date in the bottom right corner of the picture states that the picture is from 1942. The cinema billboard advertises the 3rd Man. Even without checking online for the date of release, I knew that it was well after 1942. The movie’s plot revolves around events in post war Vienna. Even allowing for American ambiguity over the start of the conflict, 1941 and Pearl Harbor is not when World War 2 began, it was definitely not over in 1942.

Checking on my phone, IDMB informed me that the film was released in August of 1949, so the picture is at least seven years later than the tagline.

Published in: on 15 December, 2013 at 14:50  Comments (2)  

A Rose by Any Other Name

There has been a recent spate of stories from the UK about football players being involved in match fixing at the behest of betting syndicates. One such story from the BBC is about two English players prosecuted in Australia. What caught my eye was the name of the prosecutor.


Peter Rose is a name indelibly linked with sports betting in the US, but on the other side of the debate.

Original BBC article

Published in: on 12 December, 2013 at 21:01  Leave a Comment  

Power of Cinema

We went to the cinema in Pleasant Hill on Sunday. We parked in the multi-storey (US: Parking Garage) across the road from the cinema. We had a prime spot right by the exit, which in addition to its location, had a vehicle charger. We returned to a fully charged car after the film; a definite perk of having an electric vehicle.

Published in: on 8 December, 2013 at 18:16  Leave a Comment