‘Aquaman’ Makes Another Splash on FandangoNow Chart

Aquaman emerged at No. 1 on FandangoNow’s chart of top movies for digital rental and purchase for another week.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Warner’s DC Comics superhero feature held off the studio’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which levitated to No. 2 (from No. 8) on the chart for the week ended March 17. “Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling’s followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $160 million in theaters, while the swimming superhero vehicle earned $334 million at the box office.

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Warner also took the third spot on the FandangoNow chart with the Oscar-launded A Star Is Born, which earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song and eight nominations. The music drama starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga slipped just one spot from No. 2 the previous week.

Best Picture Academy Award winner Green Book landed at No. 4, rising from No. 10 the previous week. The film also picked up Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.

Newly arriving on the chart were Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which took the fifth spot, and Universal’s Mortal Engines, which came in at No. 10. Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, earned $171 million at the box office, while Mortal Engines, a post-apocalyptic actioner backed by Peter Jackson, made just $16 million theatrically.

The top films to purchase and/or rent on FandangoNow for the week ended March 17 were:

  1. Aquaman — Warner
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  3. A Star is Born(2018) — Warner
  4. Green Book— Universal
  5. Mary Poppins Returns — Disney
  6. Instant Family — Paramount
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  8. Creed II — Warner
  9. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  10. Mortal Engines— Universal

Mary Poppins Returns

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 3/19/19;
Disney;
Musical;
Box Office $171.69 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘
PG’ for some mild thematic elements and brief action.
Stars Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Julie Walters, David Warner, Jim Norton, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Dick Van Dyke.

There’s a lyric at the beginning of the original 1964 Mary Poppins in which Dick Van Dyke sings “what’s to happen all happened before.” It’s a line that hints at the mysterious nature of the magical nanny but seems a bit curious in the context at the beginning of a story in which we as an audience have yet to witness any of Mary Poppins’ adventures.

Rather, that prophetically tinged turn of phrase would seem to have more meaning when applied to this new installment, which bears fruit for the notion that Mary Poppins’ adventures are somehow cyclical.

The sequel that has been 54 years in the making has been carefully crafted for each story beat to resonate with an equivalent scene from the first film. Indeed, such echoes of the original are even reflected in the musical score, which always seems to play a few nostalgic notes when appropriate.

In the new story based on author P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins novels, the nanny returns some two decades later when the now grown Banks children, Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (Ben Whishaw) find themselves in a bit of a financial crisis. Michael’s life is in disarray a year after the tragic death of his wife, and the financial toll exacted by her loss have put their famous house at 17 Cherry Tree Lane in danger of being seized by the bank. As Michael seems ready to given in to cynicism and despair, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) reappears to ostensibly take care of Michael’s three children while infusing a new sense of joy and imagination into everyone’s day.

Mary Poppins Returns is an effective follow-up to the original classic, capturing its spirit of whimsy with a slate of catchy tunes, even if its story could use some fine-tuning at points. While every sequence more or less serves a central premise of approaching life with a variety of perspectives, some moments seem less relevant to the primary narrative than others. Colin Firth’s bank executive, for example, seems to want the house just for the sake of typical movie villain greed, where the plot could have given him a more personal stake in the Banks family story by, say, establishing he had a grudge against their father, George, who was a senior partner at the bank.

Likewise, the film’s most eccentric musical number, “Turning Turtle,” seems to exist only to provide an outlet for interesting ideas from the books the filmmakers wanted to use couldn’t infuse elsewhere in the story, resulting in a superfluous guest appearance by Meryl Streep. ‘

Much more effective is a practically perfect appearance by the iconic Angela Lansbury as the magical balloon lady, whose perfectly “Nowhere to Go but Up” number is the most memorable of film while most effectively reminding young and old alike to never lose sight of their childlike sense of wonder.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray are mostly focused on the creation of the various musical numbers, from the 23-minute “The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns” to the 18-minute “Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns.” And the five-and-a-half-minute “Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns” delves into the now 93-year-old actor’s cameo in the new film.

The disc also includes a deleted song sequence that was replaced by another piece early enough so that the version presented here is a scratch track set to animated storyboards. The total sequence, called “The Anthropomorphic Zoo,” runs about five minutes.

There are also two true deleted scenes that run about a minute each that are extensions of musical sequences that are in the final film, as well as a two-minute blooper reel.

The disc also offers the movie in a sing-along mode that shows the lyrics during the various song sequences (as opposed to closed captioning showing all the dialogue).

The digital edition, which can be accessed using the Movies Anywhere redemption code included with the Blu-ray combo pack, offers an informative commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

Movies Anywhere also has two more vignettes, each running more than a minute. “Different Worlds: Creating Mary Poppins Returns is a shorter clip from the longer making-of featurette about the making of an animated sequence. And “What Is Your Favorite Disney Musical?” is a promotional video in which the title question is asked to various cast members.

Finally, the digital version on Vudu offers a three-minute featurette about the cameo of actress Karen Dotrice, who played young Jane in the original film.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ to Home Video in March

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release Mary Poppins Returns digitally March 12, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 19.

The long-awaited sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic, Mary Poppins Returns stars Emily Blunt as the practically perfect nanny, who returns to Cherry Tree Lane to help the troubled now-adult Banks children.

The cast also includes Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke.

The film earned $170.6 million at the domestic box office and received Oscar nominations for Best Original Song for “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

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Blu-ray and UHD BD extras include deleted scenes, including the song “The Anthropomorphic Zoo”; the multi-part behind-the-scenes featurette “The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns”; “Seeing Things From a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns,” a look at several of the film’s musical scenes; “Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns”; “Practically Perfect Bloopers”; and a sing-along mode.

The digital version, available separately or with a redemption code included with the Blu-ray combo packs, will have an exclusive audio commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

Musical Films ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Mama Mia’ Top Fandango Fan Picks of Films That Should Get Golden Globes Noms

Musical performances were the top picks of Fandango fans in a survey if they were to choose the Golden Globe nominations, to be announced Dec. 6.

In a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 film fans, who chose their top choices for the actors and films to be nominated, respondents picked A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and other musically focused films for their favorite Globe noms.

The actual nominations, picked by the roughly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be announced at 5 a.m. PST Dec. 6.  The Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC on Jan. 6.

“Based on these results, it’s clear that moviegoers are loving those films fueled by their music, which is why we’re seeing a spike in popularity for titles like A Star Is Born, Crazy Rich Asians, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Poppins Returns and Mama Mia: Here We Go Again,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Additionally, films like Black Panther and A Quiet Place were huge unexpected hits with general audiences, and are among those movies fans are hoping to see honored at one of Hollywood’s most engaging awards shows.”

The top fan picks for actors in a drama were the musical performances of Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), while the top fan picks for actors in a comedy or musical were Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool 2).

FandangoNow, Fandango’s streaming service, will have all the nominated films available in the home entertainment window the morning of Dec. 6 at www.fandangonow.com. Fandango is offering its Awards Season gift cards for film fans to help them catch up with films they may have missed on the big screen, via the Fandango theatrical ticketing service, or at home, via Fandango’s digital delivery service, FandangoNow. Also, fans can stream the top nominees available on FandangoNOW for 50% off this weekend only using the promo code GLOBES19.

Survey results for potential Golden Globe nominations are:

Fan picks for Best Picture/Drama:

  1. A Star is Born
  2. Black Panther
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
  4. A Quiet Place
  5. First Man

 

Fan picks for Best Actress/Drama:

  1. Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
  2. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place)
  3. Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  4. Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give)
  5. Glenn Close (The Wife)

 

Fan picks for Best Actor/Drama:

  1. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
  2. Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  3. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
  4. Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner)
  5. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

 

Fan picks for Best Picture/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. Mary Poppins Returns
  3. Green Book
  4. Mama Mia! Here We Go Again
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Fan picks for Best Actress/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)
  2. Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians)
  3. Lily James (Mama Mia! Here We Go Again)
  4. Charlize Theron (Tully)
  5. Olivia Colman (The Favourite)

 

Fan picks for Best Actor/Musical or Comedy:

  1. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool 2)
  2. Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
  3. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns)
  4. Steve Carell (Welcome to Marwen)
  5. Christian Bale (Vice)

 

Fan picks for Best Director:

  1. Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
  2. John Krasinski (A Quiet Place)
  3. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
  4. Peter Farrelly (Green Book)
  5. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)

 

Fan picks for Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
  2. Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
  3. Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
  4. Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
  5. Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)

 

Fan picks for Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians)
  2. Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased)
  3. Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  4. Claire Foy (First Man)
  5. Sissy Spacek (The Old Man and the Gun)

 

Fan picks for Best Animated Feature:

  1. Incredibles 2
  2. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Isle of Dogs
  4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  5. Seuss’ The Grinch

 

Fan picks for Best Original Song:

  1. “Shallow”(A Star Is Born)
  2. “All the Stars”(Black Panther)
  3. “I’ll Never Love Again” (A Star Is Born)
  4. “Always Remember Us This Way” (A Star Is Born)
  5. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns)

A Quiet Place

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 7/10/18;
Paramount;
Horror;
Box Office $187.28 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for terror and some bloody images.
Stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe.

Sometimes the simplest concepts, when engineered properly, can produce the most effective films.

A Quiet Place is based on the basic idea of a family that can’t make a sound as they try to survive isolated from the rest of the world. A cataclysmic event has resulted in the planet being roamed by fierce creatures that hunt by sound, so any noise will attract them.

This sets the stage for a visceral viewing experience, with minimal dialogue and even the slightest noise proving to be a source of great tension.

The final form of the story was developed and directed by John Krasinski, who also stars as the father alongside his real-life wife, Emily Blunt. The film begins as they and their three children are rummaging for supplies in a local abandoned town. But their youngest son isn’t quite aware of the danger of playing with a loud, flashy toy out in the open, and he gets snatched by a creature.

Cut to a year later, and the mother is pregnant again as the family still struggles to cope with the child’s death. The natural tendency upon hearing the film’s premise is to wonder how they can possibly avoid making any sounds, given the potential for noise in so many mundane activities, not to mention bodily processes — for example, how can someone give birth without so much as a peep?

Well, the beauty of the film is the way it sidesteps some logistical issues by addressing others, and the potential dangers of childbirth, not to mention the potential for a crying newborn, are at the forefront of the family’s lifestyle. The film is rather clever in showing how the family has adapted everyday tasks to minimize the noise output involved. And yet, sounds remain unavoidable. That the judicious use of sound in the film so effectively contributes to an overwhelming sense of fear is due in no small part to the film’s brilliant sound design and editing.

A Quiet Place is something of a throwback to the silent film era in that regard, though it’s not being presented as some grand experiment in the genre.

The minimal dialogue also sets the stage for some terrific visual performances by the entire cast. The family primarily communicates through sign language, which comes in handy given their circumstances but is also a necessity given the daughter is deaf — which ironically becomes a major challenge in a world where sound invites death, since it helps to know when sounds are being made. The actress who plays the daughter, Millicent Simmonds, is deaf in real life, which adds to the film’s sense of realism.

Krasinski has crafted a beautiful-looking film as well, with lush farmlands that appear inviting in daytime turning to foreboding landscapes hiding all sorts of dangers at night. Not that it matters with these creatures, who will attack whenever.

The Blu-ray includes three short but effective behind-the-scenes featurettes that run a bit more than a half-hour in total. One is a general making-of piece running about 15 minutes, the others focus on sound design and visual effects, respectively.