MOVIE REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks

SavingMrBanks The Wife and I saw Saving Mr. Banks a few weeks ago at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany, and it was well-crafted, with Emma Thompson quite good as P. L. Travers, creator of Mary Poppins. Even more impressive was Annie Rose Buckley, in her first film, as the writer as a child. I immediately “recognized” the composing Sherman brothers (played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak), and other performers, including Bradley Whitford as a Disney creator and Collin Farrell in the flashbacks as the future writer’s father.

So why has it taken me so long to write about this film? Was it about Meryl Streep lashing out at the memory of the real Walt Disney over his purported sexism, at an event honoring Thompson? Continue reading

Living on Anbesol and Advil

As mentioned, I had a root canal a couple weeks ago, and the pain was far less than the last one I had some 15 years ago. But then I had to have some work done on another tooth, and the mouth discomfort after that one was mighty steady; not a sharp pain, but a constant ache, for which I was surviving on certain medicines.

And it was not great timing. Last weekend, the daughter didn’t have soccer, but the Wife and I did have a wedding to go to, a co-worker of hers who I didn’t know to a guy I knew just as well. The service was at 2 pm in Niskayuna, in neighboring Schenectady County, and it was lovely. The reception wasn’t until 5 pm, in Altamont, in Albany County, a 30-minute drive, so we did what we needed to do Continue reading

MOVIE REVIEW: Mary Poppins

The day after Christmas, the Palace Theatre, a once-and-again-classic Albany movie theater from the 1930s with a fascinating past, was showing the 1964 movie Mary Poppins at 3 p.m., preceded by activities for children. We pretty much missed the activities, such as posing with a young woman dressed as Ms. Poppins, because I was still moving slowly from whatever bug was paining me.

My wife decided that we should go up to the balcony, which I thought was an intriguing idea; it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a film from there. At some point, Ms. Poppins Continue reading