Friday, January 11, 2019

Mary Poppins Returns Review + Fantastic Making of : 'Making the Impossible"

So, i’ve been in theatre to watch Mary Poppins Returns and here is my review about it. I have a mixed feeling about this movie but let’s start by the good things: first, i’ve rarely seen the old Victorian London filmed as beautifully than in this movie. All the filming by the way is in general very good, much better than how Robert Stevenson filmed the first Mary Poppins in the 60’s but Stevenson was filming as classically as possible and without any genius - or may be it’s the studio who didn’t gave him a full freedom but i doubt about it. Anyway, so excellent filming in Mary Poppins Returns and the Big Ben sequence near the end is an excellent idea which makes a truly memorable scene. Excellent opening scene too ( both filming and music ) with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Visually, Mary Poppins is a treat and if you need one good reason to see it, thats a good one. The music and songs are quite good but in my opinion not as memorable as the ones in the first Mary Poppins, written by the Scherman brothers. Nothing as emotional as “Feed the Birds”, for instance, or songs that you can remember instantly. Actually if you listen well, the songs are exactly the kind of songs written for a Broadway musical, it gives the feeling like if the score has been written for a musical first and from which a movie would have been done after, and not the contrary, it's very strange.

Actors are good ( at the exception of one, more about this in a second ) and especially the children who play MUCH better than in the first Mary Poppins, which is not difficult. All the scenes with animation are perfectly executed, both technically and the synchro by the actors but i think i still prefer the animated scenes in the first Mary Poppins even if they can do, technically speaking, much better in our days. But there is a BIG “but”, and it’s Emily Blunt who play Mary Poppins. I already feel it in the trailer and unfortunately it’s confirmed in the full movie: in Mary Poppins Returns she plays a very different Mary Poppins than Julie Andrews which is not only perfectly her right and also could have been welcome, but the problem is that she’s playing a posh, narcissistic and even a bit crabby Mary Poppins and she never - and i mean NEVER - have the fragility and innocence that we could find in Julie Andrews. And this creates a true problem because her character is never endearing all along the movie. And when you have a main character in which you can’t find anything appealing, sweet, all along the movie, you know that there is a real problem, and a major one. I’ve been told that the way she plays Mary Poppins is closer to the original book of P.L Travers but in a movie the spectator needs to identify with the main character, and here you don’t really want to… And it’s a pity because all the others actors are perfectly enjoyable.

There is still something which is missing here and that the first Mary Poppins movie had, but here i think it has to see with the era as the 1960’s still had some innocence that Mary Poppins Returns, as perfect technically as it can be don’t succeed to find back totally. Now they can do movies incredibly technically perfect, no comparison with 50 years ago, but unfortunately they often lack the most important, which is real emotion - and, yes, also that innocence that i was talking about - and not a fabricated one. The movie is not making that much money at the box office and i’m not surprised. Disney said that Mary Poppins Returns had cost $100M and Disney probably won’t lose money but i’m not sure they will make a lot out of it either. This week Director Rob Marshall revealed that a possible sequel is in "early stages”, but i wouldn’t bet that Disney will give its green light for it...

That said, i have a real treat for you and it's a great making of of the movie, and a different one than the one you can currently find on Youtube. Titled "Making the Impossible" this half hour documentary shows the love and care that went into Mary Poppins Returns and why it comes the closest to being a true "Walt" Disney Movie.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

First Pictures of Ant-Man and the Wasp Nano Battle Opening at HKDL Tomorrowland March 31 !

Ant-Man and the Wasp Nano Battle will probably be the first Disney Parks attraction to open this year and the opening date was announced, it will be March 31st at HKDL Tomorrowland!

The new attraction will send guests on a critical mission with Ant-Man and The Wasp who have answered Iron Man’s call for support in defending Hong Kong against Hydra’s attack.

This high-tech, high-energy interactive adventure will begin with a visit to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion, a newly opened facility at Stark Expo in Tomorrowland set up to showcase S.H.I.E.L.D.’s latest technological developments.

A seemingly ordinary visit will soon be interrupted by Hydra attempting to steal the Arc Reactor atop Stark Tower in Kowloon, Hong Kong, while its artificial intelligence Arnim Zola sends an army of Swarmbots to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Pavilion to steal a Data Core with highly confidential information.

As he battles Swarmbots in Kowloon, Iron Man calls in Ant-Man and The Wasp to defend the pavilion, because only they can shrink down to get between the bots’ armor to destroy them from the inside. With thousands of bots and only two of them, Ant-Man and The Wasp call on guests at the pavilion for help.

Aboard one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest combat vehicles, D/AGR – the Defense/Assault Ground Rover (aka “the Dagger”) – guests are issued an EMP Blaster and engage in a heroic battle alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp to defeat Zola and his Swarmbots.

The attraction features “Ant-Man and The Wasp” stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprising their roles, as well as scoring by Christophe Beck, composer for the Ant-Man movies.  Take a look at the video below for a sneak peek!

A special media presentation happened this week-end with WDI Imagineers and HKDL Main Street Gazette had the good idea to filmed in 4K all of it!

Here is a series of screen capture pictures and renderings for you showing what guests will see in the SHIELD attraction building. The former Buzz Lightyear Omnimover and laser guns have been re-themed for the ride and guests are expected to be reduced at the size of Ant-Man and the Wasp during the second part of the ride. The attraction poster was also displayed during the event ( picture on top )!

Official concept-arts:

Digital renderings for the D/AGR – the Defense/Assault Ground Rover and  the EMP Blaster.

Artefacts and research items from more than a dozen Marvel movies, TV show episodes and comics will also be on display.

And-Man and the Wasp actors will be present during the pre-show movie.

Actual decor installed inside the Ant-Man ride by HKDL Imagineers.

Here come the bots!

The merchandise shop at the exit of the ride will have soem exclusive products starting March 31!

Created with classic Disney storytelling enhanced by cutting-edge scenic illusion technology and a state-of-the-art gaming system, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! will be an exhilarating and interactive can’t-miss experience at Hong Kong Disneyland when it opens March 31!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Beautiful "Dolby Cinemas" Poster for Captain Marvel

Tonight "one more thing" is this beautiful "Dolby Cinemas" poster for Captain Marvel with an art-deco style. Which proves that when they want to do nice movie posters, they can do it.

Talking about movies i've watched tonight "Mary Poppins Returns" and you'll have my review about it anytime soon!

Picture: copyright Disney - Marvel

Sunday, January 6, 2019

DLP Update: Goodbye Hotel New York, Hello Art of Marvel, All About Disneyland Paris Hotel New York Which Will Re-Open in Summer 2020 !

On January 6, 2019, Disneyland Paris unveiled the logo of the new Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel, during an epic celebration - picture below - as it prepares to enter the most ambitious renovation in its history. Scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2020, the new hotel will infuse the inspiring and dynamic art of the Super Heroes, from Iron Man to Avengers via Spider-Man, to the elegant and vibrant atmosphere of the Big Apple.

Since 1992, Disney's Hotel New York has welcomed millions of visitors and immersed them in New York culture, the design of architect Michael Graves and the atmosphere of the Big Apple, and we will today say both "goodbye" to the Hotel New York as we know it since 1992 and "hello" to the upcoming Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel, thanks to great pictures from Max, D&M contributor and DLP Welcome webmaster, and new concept-arts released by Disneyland Paris, and more. But first a bit more with today's DLP press release about the Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel:

"As it prepares for the most dramatic transformation in its history - the hotel will reopen in 2020 with the new name Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel - Disneyland Paris celebrated the Cast Members of the hotel and its heritage while unveiling exciting new details on the new chapter in the institution's history.

"This is a new chapter that opens with unforgettable memories, both for our visitors and for all of our Cast Members who have worked there." Said Martina Sardelli, Vice President, Hotel Operations and Disney Village, "Disneyland Paris continues to move forward, to be on the cutting edge to exceed expectations. It is precisely this taste for innovation and this avant-garde spirit that we celebrate today. "

An epic transformation

The renovation of the hotel will provide an environment reminiscent of a luxurious and contemporary Manhattan. Its interior design will be elegant and cosmopolitan, recalling the style and tastes of Tony Stark and the Avengers' headquarters, and will present Marvel's art to reinvent the idea of ​​an "art hotel". Limited editions will adorn the walls of the rooms and suites. Beyond the rooms, vibrant works displayed in public spaces will present the artistic richness of the Marvel universe: comics, films, drawings, sculptures, costumes ... all in the style of a contemporary art gallery in New York . The works will include comic book covers, posters, movie illustrations, storyboards, production sets, accessories, original sketches, media and more!

The hotel will offer 476 standard rooms, 65 executive rooms and 8 standard suites. The interiors of the bedroom reflect Tony Stark's sophisticated urban style, with a palette of colors reminiscent of his Iron Man armor and works featuring the Marvel Super Heroes.

Unique suites will be designed around the Marvel Super Heroes and New York. For these suites, a Marvel artist will be responsible for creating superb works featuring Super Heroes.

New York and the Marvel universe meet in a sophisticated and fun environment, presenting Marvel's art in a new and exciting way. Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel will reopen in the summer of 2020.

An increased presence of Marvel at Disneyland Paris

In February, The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year development plan of 2 billion euros for Disneyland Paris. This new expansion plan includes a transformation of the Walt Disney Studios Park, including three new themed areas dedicated to Marvel, The Frozen and Star Wars, as well as several new attractions and shows. This new space will allow visitors to meet their favorite heroes, from Doctor Strange's mystical arts to Spider-Man's dizzying feats. They will also be able to discover the latest experiences created by Pym Technology with Ant-Man and Wasp and will be able to team up with Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Captain America and many others.

But visitors will not have to wait for the opening of the new zone to live the Marvel experience at Disneyland Paris! After the first season of the Marvel Superheroes last summer, Captain America, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Widow will be back in a second edition full of epic adventures in 2019. This time new heroes, like Captain Marvel and Groot, our favorite Guardian, will join them."

Okay, now let's have a look at the real thing would we? Here are pictures of the Hotel New York as it was before its closure recently. First the outside of it which shouldn't change that much, except for the new logo of course, unveiled today and that you can see above at the top.

Let's move inside now as things will become interesting. First, here is the current hotel lobby...


And how it will look once the Disney's Hotel New York - Art of Marvel Hotel will reopen in 2020.

Nearby there is a first restaurant...

And here is how it will look in 2020.

The pictures below shows some hallwaays as designed b Michael Graves in tribute to Manhattan when the New York Hotel opened in 1992, no doubt that the giant visuals on the floor and the walls will be changed... well as the New York pictures around the elevators...

Moving up to the rooms here is the current hallway...

...which should look like this once redesigned. This is actually a picture of a "hallway test" found on Google.

Right now the Hotel New York rooms look like this:

And here is how they will look in the future Disney's Hotel New York - Art of Marvel Hotel. First, the official picture released by DLP.

And below, pictures of the test room created inside the hotel, pictures found on Google or DLPBP.

I've been told that an encrusted TV will be as large as the mirror below. Please note that these are pictures of a test room and that decor elements can - and most probably will - be changed in the final room version.

The next picture shows the current bathroom...

...and below the future bathroom, and i've been told that 20% of the rooms will have shower only, and the others rooms bathtub + shower.

Now, why is Disney completely renovating the hotel, did he really needed it? Hell, yes! As you will see  on the pictures below, considering that the Hotel New York is supposed to be a 4 star hotel DLP should be ashamed to offer rooms that are far from the standing and expected quality for the room price. Torn tapestry, stained and marked wood, delaminated wooden plinths and studs, fittings worn for years, mould stains on joints…. It’s quite an adventure! This being for the visible part, the thermal and acoustic insulation of the Windows is also deplorable.

As you've seen, no doubt that the hotel definitely needed an urgent renovation and considering the works the 18 months announced won't be too much. So, let's meet again in 2020 for the reopening og the New York Hotel with its new Art of Marvel theming!

Pictures: copyright DLP Welcome, Disney, DR