I saw Oliver! during my Christmas break in 1968. I was 10 years old, but I remember loving the energy, the baddies, and that gal's chest. It's funny, I remember thinking that I had been stupid, that cleavage was to be looked at, not looked away from.
Was I gone long?
Anyway, a couple years later I saw Scrooge! I knew the story because I had grown up with Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Scrooge! had some of the same depth and breadth as Oliver!, but it seemed forced, cheap.
Years later, I realized that Scrooge! was designed to capitalize on the good feelings from Oliver! It was big and fun, and "Thank ya very much!" is going through my head right now, but it was formulaic, a pumpkin pie in an 8" tin at WinCo.
I have never, ever liked Mary Poppins. It's a long, boring, overblown mess of a musical. Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews went hand-in-hand. No heart, no soul, just a big pile of special effects, dancing penguins, and the Mary and Bert (Burt?) oozing anti-chemistry.
Come to think of it, at just over nine hours of running time, I hate Mary Poppins.
And yet, it's a cinematic triumph compared to a cheap knock-off called "Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang." Not only is that movie a pale, bloodless, and cheap-looking follow-on to Mary Poppins, you get Dick Van Dyke again, a man who looks more like an angry drunk than a happy-go-lucky inventor.
I saw the first half of CCBB three times in my life. Each time I got so bored, I bailed on it. Finally, I watched it all the way through with wife and kinder-aged daughter, maybe 18 years ago, and the ladies fell asleep.
Two decades later, and I still remember being chained to the screen in our living room, grimly determined to ride out this crap to the end.
So, you ask, what's the point of this review. It's simple, really.
See a big, gassy, fluffnfeathers musical, and you walk out of the theatre--or you walk into your kitchen--feeling full. Wait a year or four, and suck up some more feathers and bilge gas, and leave the same outside or inside with a headache, a distended gut, and a feeling that the follow-up, exploitative nonsense you just watched will be farting its way into your life for years to come.
Because most people love these big ol' musical crapstorms, and they'll keep getting made until our Sun goes kerflooey.
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