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  1. #1

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    Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Yesterday I went to see Saving Mr. Banks with my family. Without a doubt, this film has made it on my list of favorite films.

    First off the performances are top notch. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giomatti, Colon Ferrel, Jason Swartzman, all wonderful!! The parallel story's:better than Godfather Part II's parallel plots (personally). Everything about this film was a dream come true and then some.

    This film is also a landmark in that in a scene near the end, while Travers was on the red carpet, I had to remove my glasses and wipe my eyes due to the tears welling up in them. That has only happens once before.

    By far the best thing about this film was the chemistry between Walt and P.L Travers. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are going to win many awards this season. Thompson portrays Travers with such dry wit (her little jab at Winnie the Pooh was great) and an unloveable personality that you side with Hank's Walt Disney for most of the film.

    Let's talk about Tom Hanks for a moment. At first, I was skeptical, I saw Hanks with a mustache. As the film progressed however, I said to myself "Welcome back Walt". The scene that cemented his performance for me was when he was telling Travers about his own "Mr. Banks" Elias Disney, and his childhood in Kansas City. I was mesmerized.

    Not only was the time with Walt wonderful, but the scenes of PL's childhood had me hooked, Colin Ferrel put on such a great performance.

    If you are skeptical in seeing this movie, or you think you already know how it happens (slight spoiler: you won't know Travers thoughts) leave those thoughts at your doorstep and see this beautiful picture. Preferably by yourself, or with a loved one. Not with a family. This is a film that will be seen as personal to many people, and is better watched alone, or with your significant other.

    Saving Mr. Banks gets the LordVader Seal of Approval!!

    Good Day, and Merry Christmas.


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  2. #2

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Just got home from seeing this myself - I had a choice between this or Frozen for my seasonal movie visit, and am very pleased I went with Saving Mr. Banks.

    There were little touches that amused me to no end - Walt STILL not smoking when "on screen" even in a fictionalized version of actual historically verifiable events... except when he's walked in on without warning. The continual warring of formality vs. familiarity in names between two people VERY versed in the power of those names. The little mini trove of Disneyana relating to the production throughout the credits. I could go on...

    There wasn't much that I *didn't* like. Sure, Tom Hanks wasn't THE Walt Disney, but last time I checked THE Walt Disney was rather unavailable. He did well enough, though - this wasn't meant to be a historic reenactment, but a lightly fictionalized retelling of the story from a not particularly objective point of view. A perfect recreation of Walt likely would have been more jarring than a catchphrase spouting Love Monkey.

    All in all, I had a choice between a hyperactive '1600 Penn' Dreamworks Snowman and this - and I am deeply grateful that this movie is where we went.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  3. #3

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    Just got home from seeing this myself - I had a choice between this or Frozen for my seasonal movie visit, and am very pleased I went with Saving Mr. Banks.

    There were little touches that amused me to no end - Walt STILL not smoking when "on screen" even in a fictionalized version of actual historically verifiable events... except when he's walked in on without warning. The continual warring of formality vs. familiarity in names between two people VERY versed in the power of those names. The little mini trove of Disneyana relating to the production throughout the credits. I could go on...

    There wasn't much that I *didn't* like. Sure, Tom Hanks wasn't THE Walt Disney, but last time I checked THE Walt Disney was rather unavailable. He did well enough, though - this wasn't meant to be a historic reenactment, but a lightly fictionalized retelling of the story from a not particularly objective point of view. A perfect recreation of Walt likely would have been more jarring than a catchphrase spouting Love Monkey.

    All in all, I had a choice between a hyperactive '1600 Penn' Dreamworks Snowman and this - and I am deeply grateful that this movie is where we went.
    I agree with everything you said except for that last part about Olaf. He was not annoying as I thought he was going to be, and I dare to say a few of his jokes made me chuckle. Even though the previews made Frozen seem like a DreamWorks film, it did not really come across that way when I saw the final product. I usually have a lot of negative things to say about movies, but Saving Mr. Banks and Frozen were both excellent films imo. There were too many good things that outweighed the nitcpicks I have with every film.




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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    I had the privilege of seeing two great films this weekend, Saving Mr. banks and surprisingly the life of Walter Mitty.

    saving Mr. banks was more than I expected with such an incredible story that mist are unaware of and a superb cast of actors that had me crying and laughing. This is truly a movie that must be seen and it saddens me that such a wonderful movie is not being embraced by the overall audience above and beyond junk like anchorman 2.

  5. #5

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    this wasn't meant to be a historic reenactment, but a lightly fictionalized retelling of the story from a not particularly objective point of view.
    Lightly?! The movie's positive qualities aside, everything that is most fundamental about the history involved is a fabrication from a completely one-sided point of view--biased to the point of pure fantasy. This doesn't mean it isn't a great movie that brings joy to people's hearts and tears to their eyes, but let's be frank about its fictional nature, being inspired by relatively trivial details while brazenly turning the truth on its head.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    All in all, I had a choice between a hyperactive '1600 Penn' Dreamworks Snowman and this - and I am deeply grateful that this movie is where we went.
    Frozen does not in any way resemble an animated feature from DreamWorks, Blue Sky, or any other studio--it is pure Disney, much more so than any other Disney animated feature released during the past decade. It is also a great movie, in my opinion--an "instant classic" if I ever saw one.

  6. #6

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    I absolutely loved the little shout-outs to Mary Poppins. The Book Ends with the shifting weather vane in particular.

    I absolutely loved the musical theme during Walt's introduction. It created a sense of anticipation both in-story and out. In-story, it's Walt's first meeting with Mrs. Travers, and she's anticipating their meeting about the rights and legalities and making of the movie.

    Not only are we, the viewers, anticipating this meeting because we're on this journey with Mrs. Travers, but because we've always wondered what Walt would be like. It's the first time us fans get to see the off-screen side of Walt's personality (meaning the not promotional documentary side), and it's also the first time we truly get to judge Tom Hanks as Walt.

    And again how Walt's theme was reprised during the visit to Disneyland... It captured Disneyland perfectly, and I only hope Disney adds it to the Esplanade medley or the music Downtown Disney plays in the morning.

    At first I didn't know what to make of Tom Hanks being cast as Walt, but then I heard the filmmakers' logic of "an icon playing an icon."

    And something I truly admired: the little details you could catch if you freeze-framed the film. The map of Florida, the "it's a small world" songbook on the windowsill, the "STR" on the tie. None of it's ever explained or pointed at, but it makes the film feel authentic.

  7. #7

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post
    Lightly?! The movie's positive qualities aside, everything that is most fundamental about the history involved is a fabrication from a completely one-sided point of view--biased to the point of pure fantasy. This doesn't mean it isn't a great movie that brings joy to people's hearts and tears to their eyes, but let's be frank about its fictional nature, being inspired by relatively trivial details while brazenly turning the truth on its head.



    Frozen does not in any way resemble an animated feature from DreamWorks, Blue Sky, or any other studio--it is pure Disney, much more so than any other Disney animated feature released during the past decade. It is also a great movie, in my opinion--an "instant classic" if I ever saw one.

    I'm going to stick by "lightly". The people involved existed, the situation existed, the songs existed, the buildings existed and so forth. Heavily would have involved more invention than on display here - more characters invented solely for the film, more situations invented completely from whole cloth, less context from the actual course of events that sort of thing. It certainly wasn't a documentary, but it never claimed to be or even to aspire towards that general direction.

    And I'm glad you enjoyed Frozen. I do about one movie in a theatre every six months, whether Frozen's advertising was accurate to the film's spirit or not it definitely accomplished my seeing Banks instead. *shrug*
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  8. #8

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    I'm going to stick by "lightly". The people involved existed, the situation existed, the songs existed, the buildings existed and so forth.
    Well, Disney's Pocahontas had Pocahontas herself and John Smith, who both really existed, but this doesn't change the fact that the characters in the movie have practically nothing to do with their historical counterparts. And that's OK as long as it is acknowledged that the movie is a work of fiction that is very loosely inspired by history. I'd hardly call this movie "lightly fictionalized," and the same goes for Saving Mr. Banks.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    Heavily would have involved more invention than on display here - more characters invented solely for the film,
    The crucial character "P.L. Travers" has little more than her name in common with the real person--she is a work of fiction. If this is less important to you than how many things were made up, then fine, but this is what I meant by the fundamental truth being turned on its head, just like it was with Pocahontas. Never mind all of the other details--these characters are at the heart of these movies just like they are of real-life history, and these characters are completely different from the real persons, which makes these movies fundamentally fictional, as I see it, not just lightly so. We can agree to disagree on perspective and semantics here, but this is the point I'm trying to make.

    Saving Mr. Banks would not be anything close to the movie it is without replacing the real P.L. Travers with an almost totally different fictional character who happens to have the same name. The only positive things to come out of the history are the movie Mary Poppins and everything it did for Disney, while everything that audiences love about Saving Mr. Banks is the result of a complete fabrication. And that's OK, as far as I'm concerned. The only issue I have is with calling it "lightly fictionalized" but you're free to call it whatever you want (just wanted to elaborate here).

  9. #9

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post
    Well, Disney's Pocahontas had Pocahontas herself and John Smith, who both really existed, but this doesn't change the fact that the characters in the movie have practically nothing to do with their historical counterparts. And that's OK as long as it is acknowledged that the movie is a work of fiction that is very loosely inspired by history. I'd hardly call this movie "lightly fictionalized," and the same goes for Saving Mr. Banks.



    The crucial character "P.L. Travers" has little more than her name in common with the real person--she is a work of fiction. If this is less important to you than how many things were made up, then fine, but this is what I meant by the fundamental truth being turned on its head, just like it was with Pocahontas. Never mind all of the other details--these characters are at the heart of these movies just like they are of real-life history, and these characters are completely different from the real persons, which makes these movies fundamentally fictional, as I see it, not just lightly so. We can agree to disagree on perspective and semantics here, but this is the point I'm trying to make.

    Saving Mr. Banks would not be anything close to the movie it is without replacing the real P.L. Travers with an almost totally different fictional character who happens to have the same name. The only positive things to come out of the history are the movie Mary Poppins and everything it did for Disney, while everything that audiences love about Saving Mr. Banks is the result of a complete fabrication. And that's OK, as far as I'm concerned. The only issue I have is with calling it "lightly fictionalized" but you're free to call it whatever you want (just wanted to elaborate here).
    My apologies - I was not aware you were personally well acquainted with Ms. Travers and the entire workshopping process for the movie. Your personal experience definitely trumps here.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    My apologies - I was not aware you were personally well acquainted with Ms. Travers and the entire workshopping process for the movie. Your personal experience definitely trumps here.
    There is no need to resort to sarcasm of this nature. It is well known that she was hardly even close to being won over in any way by Walt, and held onto her bitterness over how he treated her until the day she died (not that I'm taking her side, but I can understand her point of view). Our views on what constitutes "lightly fictionalized" obviously differ.

    Well, at least you admit that it's fictionalized to some degree, because it absolutely is. Whether this reflects poorly on the movie itself is up to the individual to decide, but I don't think that it necessarily does--a great movie is still a great movie whether it sticks to its source material or not. Others do feel differently about this, though, including Robert Sherman's son, for example.

  11. #11

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    I didn't mean for it to come across as sarcasm - you're claiming some very definitive knowledge of a process that still is represented by at least two or three different versions and their interpretations. It was logical to assume that definitive knowledge had a definitive source, unless Disney Co and the Travers estate have finally acknowledged a single source and version as definitive.

    My apologies.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    It was logical to assume that definitive knowledge had a definitive source, unless Disney Co and the Travers estate have finally acknowledged a single source and version as definitive.

    My apologies.
    Well, you have my apologies if I came across as a know-it-all. The reason I took what you said as sarcasm was because I do not have firsthand or special knowledge of what happened, and did not try to pretend to, but nevertheless certain aspects of the history have been well established and documented for many years--things that the movie sure seems to turn completely around into a feel-good story that seems unbelievable to many who are even slightly familiar with the history. In analogy, similarly nobody knows the whole story of what happened between Pocahontas and John Smith, definitively, but from what little we know we can be darn sure that it wasn't what Disney put in their version!

    Saving Mr. Banks doesn't even get Walt right, let alone Travers. That's from my perspective based on what history I've been able to gather, not special knowledge. Enjoy it for what it is: a well made, touching movie that makes audiences cry happy tears while not completely glossing over some of the darker aspects. People like The Little Mermaid, too, because of its tacked-on happy ending that didn't happen in the original fairy tale--they probably would have hated the original story (at least as a Disney animated feature). None of this bothers me, but it is what it is, regardless. You seem to think that Saving Mr. Banks may not be so far from the truth, while I find it unbelievable in terms of history and therefore primarily a work of fiction (not that there is anything wrong with that--I'm not strict that way).

  13. #13

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    "Lightly fictionalized" to me is the same level of what Disney did to stories such as Little Mermaid... taking the original story, trimming what they feel doesn't fit the "Disney" image off of it, further reducing things a little to simplify any difficult points into easily expressed conflicts or developments, and filming. In my opinion, what it looks like Banks does is take the basic story from Disney's point of view and then further 'Disneyfy' the entire process.

    My takeaway from the movie is that there was a softening of position - which, frankly, there would have had to have been both in reality (otherwise she would have continued decades worth of obstruction) and in the story (otherwise she would have come across as a comic monster. OK, more of a comic monster). They left out some of the pricklier stories, moved others around, but overall I feel that this was - again, from Disney Corporation's point of view - a softened version of their *version* of the story.

    What I can find of the Travers' side of the story fills in a lot of blanks as to why she felt the way she did, and I think that the closest to a major flaw I can find in the movie is the simplification of the entire family and life experience of the author down to what more or less became "daddy issues". Well, that and having said father die of Cinematic Consumption - but expecting most modern audiences to respect, understand or even be aware of the death toll of pre-WWII flu epidemics is unfortunately probably expecting too much.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    My wife and I saw Saving Mr. Banks last night and very much enjoyed it. I was skeptical of Tom Hanks, but was quickly won over. The only nagging thing is that he could have been a bit thinner.

    Some small details that I enjoyed....the ring worn on Walt's right hand and the map of Florida in Walt's office. I'll have to watch the movie two or three more times to really absorb all the little details. I may even go see it one more time in the theater and that would be a first for me.

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    Re: Saving Mr. Banks-Reviews and Opinions.

    I loved the movie! I sobbed through it. Not only because I love Mary Poppins and this story was very moving and hit close to home for me, but also because we saw it the day before leaving for Disneyland.

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