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HTF REIVEW: Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary SE - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! (1 Viewer)

Doug Bull

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May 7, 2001
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When I did my side by side comparisons between the Laserdisc and the new DVD, AR aside, the non Anamorphic Laserdisc looked really crappy compared to the much improved 16:9 Enhanced DVD.

Other than having the Music only track on the Laser it's a no contest.
 

Brian L

Premium
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Jul 8, 1998
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Well, sometimes it does work out well...

While some may consider it a blaspheme, The Haunted Mansion's Nightmare Before Christmas overlay is very, very cool, IMHO, and we look forward to seeing it every year. Then again, I love the Nightmare film, so I guess I am pre-disposed to liking the ride.

OK, back on topic, I will now let you pros resume the AR discussion!

BGL
 

Jaime_Weinman

Supporting Actor
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Mar 19, 2001
Messages
786
Some thoughts on having watched some of the special features:

- A thing I like about the commentary is that the participants -- especially the Shermans, but all the participants to some extent -- talk not only about the making of the movie, but the themes of the movie as well. At several points you'll hear people talking about the themes the movie's conveying, how it conveys those themes, important symbols and how they're used (e.g. the tuppence). It's great to hear people who worked on a movie talking, without ever sounding pretentious, about the themes and symbols we're unconsciously responding to.

- I thought it was great to hear Dick Van Dyke (in the documentary) cheerfully acknowledge his bad accent and even point with pride to the fact that a magazine picked it as one of the top twenty bad accents in movie history. And yet, really, IMO it's not really one of the worst accents ever. It's bad, but the really horrible accents are the ones that are supposed to be serious or realistic, like a lot of Marlon Brando or Laurence Olivier's bad accents.
 

Bryan Tuck

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I think I remember reading somewhere around the time of the Superman DVD release that the original sound effects master track for the film was badly damaged, and that's why they had to create the new foley effects. With Superman, I actually don't mind, because I think most of the new effects (not all) work pretty well. Some of the ones in Jaws, on the other hand, are pretty distracting.

David--Thanks for such a thorough and detailed review! :D :emoji_thumbsup:
 

RobertSiegel

Reviewer
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Mar 10, 2004
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I don't know if anyone else agrees, and I appreciate those with advance copies letting us know what the disc is like (I really love reading about that) but I wonder how much information I want before I even have the disc available to me? If we find out too much about the commentaries and extras and other things, doesn't that ruin a little of our surprise? For me some of the fun is discovering, on release date, for myself some of the things on the disc, and if I already know some of the content of, say the commentary for example, that takes a little of my excitement away.

I am certainly not complaining, but just hope that those with advance copies leave some surprises for us as well. Perhaps some of that can be saved for after release date? I may be alone on this one.
 

Ernest Rister

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Oct 26, 2001
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Well...spekaing personally -- there are certain discs I know I'm going to buy even if the a/v is horrible, just for the bonus features, and this disc is definitely one of them. If this sounds like you, then perhaps you should avoid review threads and discussion threads to avoid being spoiled. Like the ROTK EE threads - all the bonus footage has already been listed, and even clips from the scenes have been posted on the net. I'd avoid those like the plague if I didn't want to be spoiled. Perhaps the same tactic should be extended towards any disc you didn't want to be spoiled on.
 

perrin

Stunt Coordinator
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Sep 15, 2001
Messages
106
DaViD,

Does this new release still have the video imprefection when Julie Andrews is reading Jane's advertisement for a nanny? In the previous releases, the white gloves look black instead of white because of a lighting problem. I was wondering if Lowrey Labs was able to fix that scene.


perrin
 

RobertSiegel

Reviewer
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Mar 10, 2004
Messages
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Ernest, funny you should mention that, because I decided yesterday that if there's a disc like Mary Poppins I know I am going to buy no matter what the review says, I will not read the review or posts until after my home theatre Tuesday premeire night, when I get the chance to open the disc and spend a few hours with it and make those discoveries of the new special features for myself. For me, to know every detail of the special features and what's there ruins some of the rush for me, the excitement I used to get with laserdiscs, when there wasn't a web and many times we never knew until we got home what was on the disc. For me, there's a level of excitement to that, so I'll have to pass on pre-release date reviews for those titles that I will buy regardless. I don't mind knowing what the quality will be, but for me, it ruins some of the rush knowing every detail of every special feature before I even own it.

Of course, for those people who are unsure if the disc will be worth it, it's a most valuable thing to be able to research here, so I definately see both sides of the issue.

Julie Andrews being my idol most of my life, any movie of hers will no doubt be in my collection. I've already spent money on about 8 versions of Mary Poppins, and all trhe soundtrack issues as well (the original LP album being the best because it has the extended overture, and of course that great original Vista label on the album itself.

I still want to give credit for the review on this title. I've never read such a thorough review and it's obvious he spent alot of time on this, and we all appeciate that I am sure.

I havn't heard any comments on the cover art. I know the disc isn't out yet but photos are on the net of the cover...what do you all think? As a graphic artist and memorabilia, pressbook and poster collector, personally I wish they would use the original poster art for classic releases on these covers. For Mary Poppins it was very cool with the heads of Mary and Bert, and the letters made out of what seemed to be theatrical lights, and the chimneys of London in the background. Now that was classic movie art. I have the original 3 sheet hanging in my home theatre I love it so. Why would anyone try to improve on the art of Walt's great advertising people and artists to create different covers? Just my opinion, of course.
 

Joe Caps

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Dec 10, 2000
Messages
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Robert, I agree with you about the art. With all the Mary Poppins lasers, dvds, and two remastered cds over the years, no one has ever used the famous original art. The new cd has a tiny reproduction of the art in the booklet.
 

Drew Salzan

Second Unit
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Apr 22, 2004
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406
Phenomenal review. I was wavering as to whether I would dip for the SIXTH time on this title (2VHS, Fullscreen LD, Archive LD and Gold Collection DVD). Based on the news regarding the audio mixes and the logo issue, I think I'll pass on this one and wait for the HD version. I was more than satisfied with the DVD.
 

Steve Christou

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So y'all still going to buy this remasterised copy of Mary Poppins or keeping your old grotty grainy copies of it for nostalgic reasons? I'm still waiting for mine to arrive, but I'm not sure which region I'm getting though, region 2, region 4? First time this has happened to me, all I know is it's not region 1, and I just hope the cover and menus are in English.:)
 

Drew Salzan

Second Unit
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Apr 22, 2004
Messages
406
The CD is culled from the session prerecordings and NOT from the movie soundtrack. The fidelity, therefor, is amazing and the tracks pure- no foley or sound effects. Another great plus is that it includes music cues and underscoring not previously available on the former soundtrack CD issues.
 

Erik_H

Stunt Coordinator
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Apr 11, 2004
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201
I watched "Mary Poppins" over the weekend and agree with David's most impressive review. "Poppins" was the first film I saw and remains a treasured memory---and unlike some childhood favorites, it has held up wonderfully well.

I have one comment to add---in the previous laser and DVD versions, the wires in the flying sequences were always visible (e.g., the shots of Mary Poppins' arrival and departure from Cherry Tree Lane, the line of nannies swept away by the wind, and when Mary, Bert and the children travel up the chimney and land on the rooftop of the Banks' house at the beginning of the "Step In Time" number). I couldn't see the wires in the 40th anniversary edition; perhaps another example of Disney's "refurbished philosophy"?
 

Erik_H

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Apr 11, 2004
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The wires were particularly noticeable during two sequences: (a) when the nannies are swept away by the wind and (b) when Andrews and Van Dyke land on the rooftop at the beginning of the "Step In Time" sequence (two wires attached to each actor can be seen). I guess that the greater detail revealed via progressive scan can be a curse as well as a blessing. :)
 

BBbrowd

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Mar 22, 2003
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Well, finally having this new DVD set has brought me both smiles and cringes. The extras are truly amazing. Just incredible! But, I must agree with David when he says that the audio for the Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix is a real mess. The newly added sound effects are interesting and fun, but the orchestra and musical numbers sound truly *awful*.

David mentioned that it sounds like someone wrapped a towel around your speakers, but it actually sounds like you are on the 8th floor of a hotel watching Mary Poppins with the sound effects in the same room with you, but the orchestra is on the 2nd floor and you can hear it through some pipe in the bathroom down the hallway. It's really disappointing. It's worse in some songs than others. "Step In Time" is one of the worst. It's really a shame that this new audio mix is so bad because the dialog in it and other adjustments are quite nice. Why couldn't they have made sure that the music ( the heart of this film) was done properly? It not only sounds bad, it literally sounds like something is *wrong*. It makes me want to write Buena Vista to find out what the heck happened. It sounds like some kind of error. It's hard to imagine that this was what the new mix was intended to sound like.

The original Theatrical Mix ( audio option #3) is the same audio track that was on the previous Gold DVD release and sounds the best. The music shines and is showcased the way it should be.

The look of the film was somewhat of a disappointment as well. While it certainly has been cleaned up to perfection, wires removed, and some botched scenes fixed, the colors look more off to me than the previous DVD was. It's just amazing how everything including the faces look too orange. Mary's outfit for the rooftop number looks more orange than ever, even though it was actually more red. For those of you who have the previous DVD, check it out for yourself. The scene where she walks into the parlor while Dick and the children are looking up into the fireplace is a good example. On the previous DVD the colors are lovely. Her outfit is red, her skin tone is nice rosy pink, and her bow is pink. In this new print it looks like someone decided to put on orange light on her.

When viewing the raw live action footage in the extras, it's a good example of what the colors should be. They are night and day when compared to the actual feature film. The pinks are PINK. The reds are RED. The faces have a pure, accurate look. You can see colors in the wardrobes that never reveal themselves in the feature itself. The footage and outtakes in the bonus features are so gorgeous and amazing that they are truly worth the price of this new DVD release. Makes one think that someone should try to re-assemble the entire film from the raw elements. It would look truly astounding.

The documentary and other features are exceptional. Just wonderful. It's what makes this new 40th Anniversary Edition a must own. Here's hoping that one day Mary Poppins gets the restoration she deserves in both sound and picture.
 

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