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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2014

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"Saving Mr. Banks" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-mar-2014-Banks

Synopsis

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson bring to life the untold true story about the origins of one of the most treasured Disney classics of all time. Determined to fulfill a promise to his daughters, Walt Disney (Hanks) tries for 20 years to obtain the rights to author P. L. Travers’ (Thompson) beloved book. Armed with his iconic creative vision, Walt pulls out all the stops, but the uncompromising Travers won’t budge. Only when he reaches into his own complicated childhood does Walt discover the truth about the ghosts that haunt Travers, and together, they set “Mary Poppins” free.

Specifications

  • Disney Home Entertainment
  • 2014, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 00 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • English, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman
  • Directed by J.L. Hancock
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Even though this story is “cleaned up” a bit, I found it quite entertaining. I also recently reviewed Mary Poppins several weeks back, so the story was fresh in my mind. It is my understanding that Travers was actually much more cantankerous than Thompson’s portrayal in this film. She could have used a "spoonful of sugar", no doubt. Even though it is true that this project took 20 years to make, Walt never went to England to twist Travers arm, but the Disney Studio has the right to sanitize the truth a bit if they want. I felt that a bit too much of the film dealt with Travers as a little girl and dragged out the alcoholism of her father (Mr. Banks) a bit too long. Besides, does the audience ever once think that the movie of Mary Poppins is never going to be made? It was said that Travers grabbed Walt after the premier of Mary Poppins and insisted that more changes be made, to which Walt replied, “Mrs. Travers, that boat has sailed.” And so it had. Much to the enjoyment of millions of movie goers around the globe.

Technical

Shot on 35mm stock, the film looks warm and beautiful. Colors pop and the details and contrasts are spot on. The sound is exemplary as well, with clear dialog and wonder musical scores boldly emanating from all of the speakers. The scenes of Australia look an awful lot like southern California, but I will not fault them for that.

Extras

Included are: Deleted scenes, “From Poppins to Present” and a fun “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”.