End Credits: Mary Poppins Returns

Plus: Bumblebee; Holmes & Watson; Welcome to Marwen

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There doesn’t seem to be the usual sack full of big budget releases this festive period, but there are still few big names making an appearance.

First up, Mary Poppins Returns, set 20 years after the original as the nanny returns to look after the Banks children. Being made 54 years after the first film, the longest gap for a sequel ever, Poppins is now portrayed by Emily Blunt and the Banks children are grown up with kids of their own, but some of the original cast do return for cameos or other roles.

As expected, it turns into a family-friendly magical adventure and while it uses slick CG to make some scenes state of the art, it does retain some classic 2D animation to match the charm of the original.

From sequels to prequels, Bumblebee takes the Transformers franchise to the late 1980s, just a couple of years after the toys debuted – so plenty of nostalgia for 1980s kids, including the appearance of the original toys. Apparently this movie has more heart and story and a lot less “Bayhem”, some even saying it will restore your faith in the franchise – which is a bold statement. Still, it’s not hard to beat the last couple of movies to come out of the series.

Will Farrell and John C Reilly come together again. This time they take on the Victorian master detective in Holmes & Watson. Forgiving the cringeworthy stiff upper lip English accents, which do partly add to comedy value, this is pretty much a straight-up Farrell-Reilly comedy, like Step Brothers or Talladega Nights, just with a period murder mystery skin. If you like their movies, it’s for you. If not, then probably not.

Steve Carell can usually be seen along side Farrell and Reilly but in Welcome to Marwen he stars in something serious and powerful. Based on a true story, Mark Hogancamp (Carell) is kicked to near death by a group of neo-Nazis for being a cross dresser. After an unexpected awakening from a coma he is left with no memory. Unable to afford therapy to deal with the trauma of the attack he creates his own miniature Second World War era Belgian town, populating it with dolls of powerful female friends and himself, who do battle with his Nazi tormentors. Mixing the real world with charmingly animated dolls playing out Hogancamp’s fantasies Welcome to Marwen looks like a stylish and powerful movie from Robert Zemeckis.

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