Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Bee Poppins 2

Happy nostalgia! During the holidays, I managed to see four movies in the theater. First it was all about the superheros (see my review of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and Aquaman), and then came two films that went straight to my childhood.

Let’s break it down.

Bumblebee

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I went into Bumblebee with a lot of trepidation. I’ve had very mixed reactions to the Transformers movies, and actually never got around to seeing the last two. However, Bumblebee has always been my favorite Transformer (I think his 1980s action figure might still be somewhere in my parents’ basement), and this looked like it might be a departure from some of the things that annoyed me about the other films. Plus, my parents wanted to see it.

At any rate, I’m glad we went, because the movie is a lot of fun. Bumblebee is delightful as he stumbles through adjusting to Earth (a problem complicated by damage to his memory cells) and forms a bond with Charlie, his new human friend. (I definitely preferred Charlie and her family to the Witwicky clan of the first three movies. Did anyone else groan when Sam’s parents came to visit in Dark of the Moon?) The action beats are appropriately paced, and very well done. The scope of the fights fits the scale of the movie, and are exciting without being overwhelming.

The movie is set in the 1980s, and this affects more than just the props and scenery. The soundtrack is filled with period favorites, there are several fun references to The Breakfast Club, and we even get over the top rich kid bullies. The film is firmly grounded in its era, and I really appreciated that.

The storyline is fairly predictable, and at times goes a little cheesy, but that’s really a minor quibble. In my opinion, Bumblebee is definitely worth it. And robot fights are cool. I just needed to say that.

Mary Poppins Returns

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Does Mary Poppins Returns measure up to Mary Poppins? That’s the question everyone seems to be asking, and I honestly think it’s the wrong question. The first movie has over fifty years of memories, cultural relevance, and resonance. It’s a cherished childhood experience and a true classic. I’m not sure it’s even possible to find the level of objectivity necessary to answer that question.

So instead, I pose this one: Is Mary Poppins Returns a worthwhile sequel to the beloved film?

I say yes. It takes us back to the setting, atmosphere, and magic of the original. It pays homage to many of the touchstones of Mary Poppins, including the critical live action/animated musical number. The grown up incarnations of Jane and Michael Banks are completely believable based on their characterizations as children. Emily Blunt had some very big shoes to fill, but she pulls it off, with a portrayal of Mary that feels very close to Julie Andrews’ interpretation of the role.

Critical reception has been mixed, with the average trending toward “meh”, but personally, I think that if you liked Mary Poppins, you should give Mary Poppins Returns a try.

popcorn 2

Have you seen Bumblebee or Mary Poppins Returns? Do you want to see them? Any other good movies in theaters right now? Let’s discuss!

32 thoughts on “Worth Watching: Bumblebee and Mary Poppins

  1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Cars, robots, action… bumblebee sounds pretty good. 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      We really enjoyed it. Dad only made one snarky comment and I didn’t look at my watch at all…which are a few of our family’s metrics. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hannie says:

    You point on Mary Poppins is spot on! People keep putting the movie down for not being the original, but it was never going to live up to decades of hype and childhood nostalgia! Letting it stand on its own merits is far more fair to this movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I think it’s always important to manage your own expectations. I enjoy things a lot more when I’m careful not to expect too much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice reviews, Amanda. My grandson is 5 so these are on my radar. He gets a little scared of any movie with violence, so we’ll probably start with Mary Poppins. That movie is the epitome of childhood and I remember the original well. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m sure he’ll enjoy Mary Poppins. I’d like to see it again with my nieces (ages 9, 8, and 4).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw this twice as I took my developmentally disabled clients to see it. I loved it as much the 2nd time as I did the first!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Good movies are always worth seeing twice!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I saw these were out and was hesitant but now I’ll have to give them a try because of your suggestion! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been wanting to see the new Mary Poppins but I’ve been somewhat skeptical. I might have to reconsider!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It wasn’t the original, of course, but I really liked it and was glad I went.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly wasn’t expecting to see either or these two films, because I was rather underwhelmed by their previews. I’m also quite tired of all the Transformers movies, although I was a huge fan of the animated series when I was a kid. But if you say that Bumblebee had some serious merits, then perhaps I’ll consider going to see it. As for Mary Poppins, I don’t know. I wasn’t a big fan of the first one, probably because there weren’t enough fight scenes, but I shouldn’t just write the film off without giving it a fair shake. If they slip Deadpool into the Mary Poppins sequel somehow I’ll definitely go see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      If you didn’t care for Mary Poppins, you probably won’t particularly like the sequel. Lol.
      I was also a fan of the animated series back in the day, and Bumblebee felt like it drew from the spirit of the source material a lot more than the previous films.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If Bumblebee draws from the spirit of the animated series, then I might just like the film! Thanks for these helpful reviews 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m still waiting to see Mary Popping Returns, my Dad really wants to see it. So this is definitely a plus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I hope you both enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ckennedyhola says:

    Great post! I didn’t see Bumblebee, but now I want to–thanks for the review! I did see Mary Poppins and I loved it!! I also saw Aquaman because my son is a swimmer and I thought we’d see some good swimming–but no swimming. Lots of great underwater fighting scenes, but not a whole lot of swimming:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I wasn’t a huge fan of Aquaman (see previous review), but three out of four works for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. posrightnow says:

    Hi Amanda, I see you around Insta thumbing my photos so I thought I’d come over to your space and say hello.

    Gosh it’s been years since I’ve seen Mary Poppins. A very young Julie Andrews I picture as opposed to her later work.

    I’m never one to see sequels or remakes because I’m always left disappointed and a bit “scarred” by the often lesser experience.

    Glad you wrote about and stirred up some real nostalgia. Might have to get it on Amazon and relive it.

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thanks for visiting! Sequels and remakes are always a risk, but I almost always give them a try. Happy New Year to you as well.

      Like

  11. katie holman says:

    Loved Mary Poppins so so much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shell Vera says:

    I’ve been wanting to go to Mary Poppins! Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  13. Paul says:

    We saw Mary Poppins last weekend. I wasn’t too sure initially, but once the double-act between Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda I loved every minute of it. At one point near the end (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here) all three of my sons were literally on the edge of their seats — there are not many films that can do that.

    Coincidentally, We are intending to see Bumblebee during the upcoming weekend, cinema schedules permitting. Now that Michael Bay is no longer directing, I am quite hopeful for this film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I think I know which part near the end you’re talking about. 🙂 I hope you enjoy Bumblebee as much as I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Tom Burton says:

    Great reviews of both! Lovely read – thanks for sharing! 😀
    If you like, I was going to link to your blog for my next Sunshine Blogger Award as a way of connecting new readers. No need to do the personal quiz if you prefer, but would you like your blog signposted for new readers to check out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Would you mind if I combined my response with an earlier nomination?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom Burton says:

        That’s fine! 🙂 Which page would you like me to link to; your ‘About’ page so readers can learn more about you personally, or the ‘Home’ page so they can read your new stuff?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        Home would be great. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Tom Burton says:

        Good stuff. 🙂 I’ll be publishing it next Monday since I’m still searching for new bloggers who’d like to do the Awards.

        Liked by 1 person

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