Mary Poppins Returns
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Quite a bit of fun, though I wouldn't care to predict how it would play to a viewer whose tolerance for whimsical idiocy is on the low side.
The legendary director Ishiro Honda brings Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, The Third Man) with um...Cesar Romero (best known as The Joker from the very kitschy 60's Batman) and Richard Jaeckle (fill in the blank) along with top Japanese special effects man Eiji Tsuburaya together for one of the most high-budgeted, unusual, science fiction/fantasy films ever. The story is sort of a 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (or Meters in this case) meets The Island of Dr. Moreau. The miniature models and special effects are on par with some of the best Godzilla films, but the monster costumes really leave a lot to be desired.
Cesar Romero plays the evil Dr. Malic who, in his leather knee-high boots and cape, is in a constant battle to the death with the flamboyant Captain McKenzie, played by Joseph Cotten who looks as if he just stepped off the set of a Swedish Erotica film. A brilliant scientist, a leather-clad asian henchwoman, gold bikinis and go-go boots, a lion with a human brain and surgically attached vulture wings, man-bats, and so on. The film itself is incredibly juvenile, but the awesome sets are done in a flashy 1960's psychedelic style. The costume designs are also out-of-this-world. A feature thrown off balance by budget cuts during filming and effects man Tsuburaya's failing health during the filming process. Still fun if Toho productions are your thing. They are mine.
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