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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
88





Studio and Year: Disney - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 125 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Music by: Thomas Newman
Written by: Kelly Marcel & Sue Smith
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 18, 2014
"Where her book ended, their story began"


Film Synopsis:


Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson bring to life the untold true story about the origins of one of the most treasured Disney classics of all time. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) directs this acclaimed film, which reveals the surprising backstory behind the making of Mary Poppins. Determined to fulfill a promise to his daughters, Walt Disney (Hanks) tries for twenty years to obtain the rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Thompson) beloved book. Armed with his iconic creative vision, Walt pulls out all the stops, but the uncompromising Travers won’t budge. Only when he reaches into his own complicated childhood does Walt discover the truth about the ghosts that haunt Travers, and together, the set Mary Poppins free.


My Take:


When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' "Mary Poppins," he made them a promise-one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge.


He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. Inspired by true events, "Saving Mr. Banks" is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney's classic "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen-and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.


As a long time fan of Mary Poppins (the film) I was very interested to see what this story was about and how it would be translated to film. I found the concept to be novel and thoroughly enjoyed its implementation. What we see here is author P.L. Travers inspiration for Mary Poppins as seen through a series of flashbacks that hearken back to her childhood. The narrative shifts back and forth in an unveiling fashion the reveals details not only about who inspired her but why it is so important to her that the essence of the story/character be preserved. Along the way we get to see lots of background on how the project came to fruition as well as those involved in the process. Additionally there is an emotive and heartwarming thematic undertone found on both sides of the story that truly enriches the proceedings.


The depiction of the relationship between fussbudget P.L. Travers and the staff at Disney, especially Ralph the employee assigned to chauffer her, is charmingly engaging. Emma Thompson is at her best as the wryly brusque Travers while solid supporting turns by Hanks, Colin Farrell and Paul Giamatti credibly underscore their respective portrayals. Saving Mr. Banks is a tributary exploration with a sentimentality that reaches you without feeling unnecessarily overt. I found it to be funny, moving and authentic in its recreation. All in all it’s an entertaining and delightful film that strikes all the right chords.


Parental Guide:


The rating is for thematic elements, including some unsettling images.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency effects:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


Saving Mr. Banks comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.


This high definition video presentation from Disney is consistent with most newer release films coming to Blu-ray and looks great. Colors are bright, with vivid primaries, and deep saturation which makes them visually pleasing. Contrast and brightness are nicely balanced which adds punch to colors and brightly lit scenes while keeping darker elements dynamic and gradational. Complexions appear tonally rich with a sun splashed emphasis that doesn’t appear overtly unnatural. Images are crisp with stable sharpness and appreciable definition that renders plenty of subtle texture within the objects and people onscreen.


The lossless audio presentation is quite good and delivers the source elements with high level detail and punchy dynamics. Dialogue is appropriately prioritized and is reproduced with excellent tonal variation and clarity through the center channel. The surrounds are active at times and used for venue replicating atmosphere and musical ambience. The mix isn’t active by design but proves engaging nonetheless while complimenting the source material quite nicely.


Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 3 deleted scenes

  • (HD) The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to present – 14 minute documentary

  • (HD) “Let’s go fly a kite” – 2 minute short feature

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Saving Mr. Banks reveals the surprising backstory behind the making of “Mary Poppins” and is a charming, funny and moving film that makes for excellent family entertainment. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring sparkling high definition video and crystal clear lossless surround sound mated with a mediocre supplemental package that is highlights by a retrospective documentary. I thoroughly enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks and highly recommend it to Disney fans.









Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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This was another movie that I loved, I dont know how much replay value there is in such a movie but it still was an excellent and well done movie and being able to listen to the actual audio sessions at the end during the credit was wonderful.
 

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Great Blu-Ray! Got it early cause we have stores in low places in NYC. The movie does a great job in selectively showing Disneyland and Los Angeles to make the early 60's setting work. Your comments on the acting are spot on. Emma Thompson has never been better. I wish the real Disney was more like Hanks. The real Walt only smiled on TV. Colin Farrell has his best role in an American film and handles it beautifully. Assault on the tear ducts and a Blu-Ray to keep!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24501252


Great Blu-Ray! Got it early cause we have stores in low places in NYC. The movie does a great job in selectively showing Disneyland and Los Angeles to make the early 60's setting work. Your comments on the acting are spot on. Emma Thompson has never been better. I wish the real Disney was more like Hanks. The real Walt only smiled on TV. Colin Farrell has his best role in an American film and handles it beautifully. Assault on the tear ducts and a Blu-Ray to keep!

Thanks for the interesting take on this film. I admit I was put off by the idea of Hanks playing W. Disney. Hanks in my estimates, no matter how well he may act, is no Walt Disney. After your comments, I've put this in my rent-a-disc from Netflix list.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_50#post_24501252


Great Blu-Ray! Got it early cause we have stores in low places in NYC. The movie does a great job in selectively showing Disneyland and Los Angeles to make the early 60's setting work. Your comments on the acting are spot on. Emma Thompson has never been better. I wish the real Disney was more like Hanks. The real Walt only smiled on TV. Colin Farrell has his best role in an American film and handles it beautifully. Assault on the tear ducts and a Blu-Ray to keep!

Right there with you on this one capnvid. Easily one of my favorite movies of the year, my wife and I both were in emotional shambles by the end. Hanks was Hanks, supremely likable again and Thompson and Farrell showed just how good they really are. The movie was beautifully shot and sounded great as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24498787


This was another movie that I loved, I dont know how much replay value there is in such a movie but it still was an excellent and well done movie and being able to listen to the actual audio sessions at the end during the credit was wonderful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24501252


Great Blu-Ray! Got it early cause we have stores in low places in NYC. The movie does a great job in selectively showing Disneyland and Los Angeles to make the early 60's setting work. Your comments on the acting are spot on. Emma Thompson has never been better. I wish the real Disney was more like Hanks. The real Walt only smiled on TV. Colin Farrell has his best role in an American film and handles it beautifully. Assault on the tear ducts and a Blu-Ray to keep!
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_24603910


Right there with you on this one capnvid. Easily one of my favorite movies of the year, my wife and I both were in emotional shambles by the end. Hanks was Hanks, supremely likable again and Thompson and Farrell showed just how good they really are. The movie was beautifully shot and sounded great as well.

I had no interest in seeing this, but picked it up on Blu-Ray after reading Ralph's review and the comments above. Even at home I couldn't get my GF to watch it with me: she said it sounded boring.


So, without a better sales pitch, I ended up watching it alone, with a sort of "let's get this over" attitude.


Boy oh boy, was I surprised! I agree with all the positives above and especially about Emma Thompson's and Colin Farrell's performances. Their performances tortured me in a most delicious way, and while I'm not too surprised about Thompson, I'm completely surprised by Farrell.


Thanks everyone for getting me into this movie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greetings,


Awesome. I am glad to hear the positive comments about this wonderful and surprisingly entertaining film.




Regards,
 

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This was my favorite movie from last year, a close second is The Wolf of Wall Street--could they be ANY different?
 

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Greetings Ralph



This could be the perfect movie to sit back and lose oneself in, whilst both engaging the child and adult (if your old enough now to have seen Mary Poppins's as a child of course) The unfolding story portrayed by Thompson Hanks & the rest of the supporting cast are simply incredible and more than once did they tug on my emotions a bit. The video was rich and had a good deep black level that's missed by a large amount of movies and made me feel I was viewing good old CRT
Now the audio mix here shows indeed why there's more to a mix than room shuttering LFE, here is a fine example of dialog, surround integration and beautiful detailing that just sucks you further into the movie and gets an outstanding nod for sure!


Once again Disney pulls off movie magic !


Bravo
 

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Audiofan,


Were you as surprised as I was that this didn't get a Best Picture nomination? I thought it was WAAAAY better than American Hustle.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_40#post_24624860


Audiofan,


Were you as surprised as I was that this didn't get a Best Picture nomination? I thought it was WAAAAY better than American Hustle.

Dave I'll have to get back to you for sure on this
as I'm a little behind on the award winners "Saving Mr. Banks" will be tough indeed to beat as its simply an all around well done film with perfect performances from the leads and supports ( I found them all endearing) that will be a classic in years to come for sure, but only having "The Wolf of Wall Street" as my only viewing of the top contenders with "Dallas buyers Club" up next to be followed by "American Hustle"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_50#post_24624860


Audiofan,


Were you as surprised as I was that this didn't get a Best Picture nomination? I thought it was WAAAAY better than American Hustle.

I thought it was better than both The Wolf of Wall Street and Captain Hanks. However the bigger travesty than the lack of a best picture nomination is that neither Thompson or Farrel were nominated for their roles.


This was the year that I finally gave up on the Oscars, Saving Mr Banks and Rush being shut out of the awards was simply a travesty.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn  /t/1523130/saving-mr-banks-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_40#post_24624860


Audiofan,


Were you as surprised as I was that this didn't get a Best Picture nomination? I thought it was WAAAAY better than American Hustle.

Dave I got a chance to view "American Hustle" last night and I see why you were surprised, I'm not sure how this got by them but I for one demand a recount .


Not even close
 
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