Showing posts with label family movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family movies. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lark Rise To Candleford Review


Lark Rise to Candleford
Take a trip into 19th century Oxfordshire, England as its' residents battle the economics, challenges, changes and the rural landscape in this pivotal time in rural England.The Lark Rise to Candleford series is based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Flora Thompson and reminds us how difficult daily life can be in that era, but as always the human spirit prevails through challenges, heartbreaks and triumphs.

This series is uplifting, realistic, charming, entertaining, visually stunning. You will care about the characters and rejoice with their successes and tear with the heartbreaks. Some of the best shows on television have been momentarily forgotten and archived. This television series deserves a search through the television archives with the reward of an endearing series families can watch together and thoroughly enjoy.


Fans Of The BBC

If you are a fan of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) historical drama then Lark Rise to Candleford is for you. This is a character driven series in which the characters are fully developed along with the depiction of Oxfordshire and its' surrounding communities.

Long before Downton Abbey captured a new generation of BBC fans the BBC has offered quality television dramas along with the classic Masterpiece Series. It is definitely worth a look through the archives of  BBC series and you will find many hidden treasures perfect to stream or purchase for todays' binge viewers. 

Lark Rise to Candleford Book

Many fans of the Lark Rise to Candleford television series found themselves so enthralled they were propelled to seek out the original book by Flora Thompson. Lark Rise To Candleford is a trilogy published in 1945 comprised of the books: "Lark Rise", "Over To Candleford" and "Candleford Green."

The trilogy offers 556 pages of richly described landscape, English villages and countryside. The book is a wonderful way to envelope yourself into the 19th century English countryside which is so integral to the television series. 

I highly recommend the Lark Rise To Candleford: Complete Collection and here are a few of my BBC hidden treasures perfect to curl up on the couch and enjoy!




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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Miracle on 34th Street Movie Review

I've never doubted that Santa Claus is real, possibly because when I was a little girl I watched the movie Miracle on 34th Street. Here's my movie review.

Classic Movie Proves Santa Claus is Real


I've never doubted that Santa Claus is real, possibly because many years ago when I was little I watched the movie Miracle on 34th Street. In the movie, proof is offered - and upheld in a court of law - that indeed, Kris Kringle does exist and he is Santa Claus!

Oh, I get excited writing those words and just thinking of the movie that I watch at least once a year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this movie and absolutely adore the characters. And of course the outcome, while maybe somewhat predictable, is exactly the way I would have written it.




In case you're not familiar with the story, Miracle on 34th Street stars a very young Natalie Wood as Susan, a little girl who believes that Santa Claus isn't real because her very well-meaning but pragmatic mother told her so. The movie opens as Susan's mother (played by Maureen O'Hara), who works at Macy's, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances must enlist the help of a very Santa-looking gentleman to portray Santa Claus on the store's float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. This last-minute Santa, who goes by the name of Kris Kringle, does such a perfect job and goes over so well with the crowd that Macy's hires him to work as Santa during the Christmas shopping season.

As more circumstances unfold (I don't want to reveal too much information) Kris Kringle's true identity is questioned. Susan's new friends, Kris and an attorney neighbor (John Payne), give the little girl reason to question her mother's claim that there's no such thing as Santa Claus. In the end, the truth is played out in an unforgettable courtroom scene and Kris Kringle's true identity is confirmed.

While the movie credits claim that Edmund Gwenn plays Santa aka Kris in the movie, I have to believe that the real Santa Claus was certainly on the scene as coach and wardrobe consultant as no one could have done a better job in that role.

Black and White or Colorized Miracle on 34th Street? Old Version or New?


Personally, I prefer the original black and white version of the movie. Happily, the DVD package linked above includes one disc with B&W, another with color along with other special features.

I also absolutely recommend the original 1947 version with Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn. I've watched the 1994 version and was very disappointed in the changes, particularly omissions, made from the original. The original movie is upbeat and magical; the new one is totally uninspired and uninspiring.

Watch this trailer (the short version) to get a good flavor for the classic (colorized) Miracle on 34th Street.




The clip below is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, one that brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. In it, Santa's interaction with a little Dutch girl causes Susan to start questioning her belief that Santa isn't real.




Is Santa Claus real? You know what I believe. How about you? If you're not sure, then you probably should watch the movie and review the legal facts for yourself. The link takes you to the DVD version as well as a rental option so you can stream and watch the movie right this minute!


~ Susan

P.S. This ornament features a Kris Kringle Quote from Miracle on 34th Street.
You might have heard it in the trailer above.







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Friday, July 22, 2016

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile ~ Review of the Book & Musical Video for Kids

Lyle is Like a Family Member

I would highly recommend Lyle, Lyle Crocodile to anyone!  You can read my review of the book and video here
When my children were preschool age and learning to read, I was always searching for good books for them.  Lyle, Lyle Crocodile was a favorite with both of my children.  We also purchased the video, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: The House on East 88th Street, which quickly became a family favorite.  Even now when my children visit they will drag out Lyle and watch it again.  Sometimes they even sing along, which really entertains me.

It is also interesting to note that our entire family uses the name "Hector P. Valenti" as an expletive.   Hector is Lyle's original owner who returns to reclaim Lyle once he realizes he could make money by exploiting Lyle's talents.   Around our house it is not unusual to hear "Oh, Hector P. Valenti! "

When I was a young adult watching a musical like the Sound of Music, I used to say "That's so stupid!  People don't just break into song like that!"  Well, I am here to tell you, I have had to eat those words many times because we frequently break into song if someone is leaving with one of the songs from the video.  "Don't leave me now, I'll just die if you do. I'm trying to smile, but darn you Lyle, I would never leave you."

Because Lyles appeal has lasted over 20 years in our household, I would highly recommend the book and the video to anyone with or without a child.


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile ~ The Book

Written by Sylvestermouse


http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile
When the Primms move into their new home on East 88th Street in New York City, they are shocked to discover a crocodile living in their bathtub.  At first, they are not too thrilled to have this interloper, but it certainly doesn't take Lyle the Crocodile long to find his place in their hearts, their home and in their lives.

Lyle becomes young Joshua's best friend and even helps Joshua with is homework.  During the day, while Joshua is in school, Lyle browses through antique shops with Mrs. Primm.  This fun loving crocodile even dons an apron to help with the cooking and the house cleaning!

This book easily charms young readers with simple, comical illustrations.  After all, who wouldn't love a pet crocodile who cooks, sings and dances?

(Ages 4 to 8)


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile:  The House on East 88th Street Video

Written by Sylvestermouse


http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/
In the video, we see a beautifully animated, musical version of Lyle come to life on the screen.  He sings, dances, cooks, and jumps rope with the neighborhood children.  All of his playful antics are true entertainment.

The children laugh and sing along with Lyle and the Primm's when they regale them with fun songs, crazy crocodile antics and a very heart warming story of love, friendship and true happiness.

Sadly, the video is much harder to find these days since it was released on VHS.  This is a scanned photo of our video cover so you know what to look for.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Musical Video is a fantastic & fun children's video!
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Musical Video Photo

However, if you can find a copy, you really should get it immediately.  Lyle really comes to life on the screen!  The animated characters and the music is truly outstanding.  This is probably the best children's video I have ever seen. 

Occasionally, you may find a copy of the video on Amazon.com.  You can click here to see if one is available now


You may also check on Ebay below.

 


Lyle Photos Used in this Review: Scanned from Book and Video Box Covers



Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Book & Musical Video Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The 1989 Movie 'Always' - A Must See!

Always
Have you ever seen the 1989 movie “Always” written by Steven Spielberg starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Audrey Hepburn?

It’s one of my all-time favorites! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more and in the end you'll be left with a feeling of hopefulness.

Richard Dreyfuss plays a risk taking Aerial Firefighter named Pete while Holly Hunter plays his love interest, also a pilot and dispatcher, named Durinda. They’re very much in love. John Goodman, also an Aerial Firefighter, plays the part of the best friend.

Pete (Dreyfuss) takes one risk too many while trying to put out a forest fire and Durinda is completely devastated and cannot get past losing the love of her life.

Although Pete dies, he suddenly finds himself in a field getting his hair cut by a spiritual guide played by Audrey Hepburn, named ‘Hap’. She explains to Pete (after he realizes he’s died) that it’s his job to provide “Spirit” or some call it the divine breath, also referred to as Intuition, to a living soul, since his time is done.

Hap explains to Pete that “they'll hear you inside their own minds as if it were their own thoughts.”

His tough assignment is to inspire a young handsome, almost incompetent, Aerial Firefighter. However, this young man finds his path crossing with Durinda (Pete’s love), and Pete has difficulty letting go enough to aid this new relationship along.

Even though it was made in 1989, it still has a current feel to it. By the way, the theme song for this movie is the beautiful “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.


Here's a trailer for the movie, rent this one, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


There's a line from the movie I'll frequently quote around the house (I'm sure most of you have movie lines you toss about): John Goodman is trying to convince Holly Hunter to date the new tall good looking hot trainee and with typical sass, Holly Hunter states:
'He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle' - LOL!  



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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Moonstruck Love in a Classic, Funny Nicolas Cage & Cher Movie

Moonstruck on Amazon
Snap Out of It! It's a Moonstruck Movie Review!

That's what Cher says to Nicolas Cage when he tells her he's in love with her, "Snap out of it!", then she slaps his face! It's a famous, classic scene in the 1987 movie Moonstruck starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.

A Movie about Love Centered Around 'Cosmo's Moon'

Moonstruck ranks as one of my personal all time favorite romantic comedies. If you haven't seen it, and you're a fan of funny romantic movies, then you're sure to enjoy this one! You know a movie ranks high on your radar when you start quoting lines from it all your life! Well, that's what this movie did to me!

Some of the famous movie quote lines from Moonstruck:
  • When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can (A quote by Olympia Dukukas who plays Rose Castorini, Cher's (Loretta Castorini) mother in the movie
  • Rose Castorini asks, 'Do you love him Loretta? Loretta says, 'Yah Ma I love him awful', 'Awe gee that's too bad', says her mother
  • It's Johnny Cammareri <---It's the way Julie Bovasso who plays 'Rita Cappomaggi' says this - She plays Cher's Aunt in the movie
  • La Bella Luna!
  • Alla famigilia, Salut!
What is Moonstruck About?

The movie is about a thirty something woman, Loretta Castorini, played by Cher, whose boyfriend, Johnny Cammareri, played by Danny Aiello, finally proposes to her. She accepts because she feels it's time to be married.

Her mother Rose asks her, 'Do you love him Loretta', she says no Ma..she responds saying she only likes him and that he's a good man. Her mother is relieved to hear that, because as pointed out in the above famous quote, Rose tells her daughter, 'when you love them, they can drive you crazy'. Rose's husband Cosmo (Loretta's father in the movie, played by Vincent Gardenia), drives Rose crazy; she loves him, and suspects he's having an affair.

After their engagement, Johnny has to fly to Palermo, Italy to be with his dying mother, and he asks Loretta to go visit his brother Ronny (a brother she had no idea he had!) Johnny wants to resolve his differences with his brother, and asks Loretta/Cher to invite him to the wedding.

Loretta goes to see Ronny (played by Nicolas Cage). He's a funny dramatic caricature of a scorned man. Ronny blames his brother for the lose of his fiance five years previous. Loretta ends up going upstairs to his apartment to talk sense into him, and one thing leads to another and they sleep together, but even worse, they fall in love!

At the end, her mother asks her, about Ronny, 'Do you love him Loretta?' ...Loretta says, 'Yah, Ma I love him awful'...her mother says, 'ah gees, that's too bad'.

There are a lot of other 'love mix-ups' taking place, which make this movie pure entertainment to watch!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

What is Cosmo's Moon?

The movie centers around the moon, referred to in the movie as Cosmo's moon. Rita's brother, Raymond Cappommagi played by Louis Guss tells the story of when he was a young boy who saw this huge moon in the sky, so he proceeded to his bedroom window to look at it and he swears he saw Cosmo standing outside his sister's window. Apparently the 'ole wise tale is that the moon brings the woman to the man.

Here's the Movie Trailer:

Article by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Friday, January 2, 2015

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie Review

Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb Movie Review
If you are looking for a lighthearted, fun-filled entertainment, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is the perfect movie for you!  

This is the 3rd Night at the Museum movie starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams.  A terrific series!

It is a great family movie that, in my personal opinion, is appropriate for any age, young or old.  Rarely do we see movies that are purely original these days.  This is definitely unique in plot and fun.

It is rated PG, but I am not quite sure why.  I actually had to go in search of parental concerns to be able to address them in this movie review.  You can read the few statements submitted in the Parents Guide linked here.


Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie Plot Summary

If you have seen the original movie, Night at the Museum, than you are already going to know what to expect.  There is magic in the museum at night as the exhibits come to life.  

In the opening scenes of "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie" we are given a brief look at the discovery of the Tablet of Ahkmenrah, which is responsible for the current day "magic" at the museum.  

The movie quickly moves to current day and to the Museum of Natural History in New York City which is hosting a evening dinner when it all goes horribly wrong.  It seems the Tablet of Ahkmenrah is corroding and the cast has to go to London to visit the Pharaoh himself since he is the only person who knows the secret of the tablet.  Of course, they must take the tablet to London and bring the exhibits in the British Museum to life in order to talk to the Pharaoh.  



I have heard laughter is the best medicine and I completely agree.  This movie is quite entertaining.  I found myself laughing out loud often with the rest of the audience in the packed theater the weekend after Christmas.  I suspect we all needed a bit of a break and an opportunity to unwind.  This movie was the perfect solution.



A Remarkable Cast of Actors in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb


"Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" has so many great actors that it is actually difficult to know which actor is favored.  From admiring the still amazing dance steps of Dick Van Dyke, to battling a multi-headed snake with Dan Stevens (Sir Lancelot), Ben Stiller shares the screen with a cast of truly great actors. 

The movie is a tad bittersweet as we view a short scene that includes Micky Rooney, and we can't help but be reminded of our tremendous loss when we see Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt.  As always, Robin Williams makes us laugh along with him in spite of our grief.  Two great actors who will long be remembered for their decades of influence and entertainment.  They were both like old friends who we thought would always be with us.





Conclusion


If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend venturing out today to sit back, relax and enjoy "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb".

In my opinion, "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" is a 5 star, must see movie! 

5 out of 5 stars









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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Good Romantic Comedy for the Whole Family

Available on Amazon
If you're looking for a good romantic comedy movie, look no further! While You Were Sleeping is a flirty, fun, cheerful film that the whole family can watch.

What's the Movie About?

Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Moderatz, a Chicago Transit Token Collector who's in love with a handsome man she's never met, but sees everyday taking the train. That man is played by Peter Gallagher; his character's name is Peter Callaghan.

On one particular day, a mugger pushes Peter onto the tracks, and Lucy, without thought for her own safety jumps into action and saves Peter from an oncoming train. When he's brought to the hospital, unconscious and in a coma (where he stays for most of the movie), they won't let Lucy see Peter because she's not family...at which point she quietly says under her breath, 'oh that's alright I was just going to marry the guy'. One of the nurses hears what she says, misunderstands it, and lets her see Peter, explaining to the hospital staff that she's 'Peter's fiance'. His family show up and are told by a nurse that Lucy is Peter's fiance - they're rather shocked! It seems she's not really Peter's type as Peter is a high powered lawyer, where Lucy is a down to earth loving, single, non-manipulative women...the type Peter doesn't usually attract.

Lucy Falls in Love with Peter's Whole Family

The story centers around Lucy being unable to tell Peter's family that she's not really his fiance because for the first time in a long time she feels like she's part of a family again. You see, Lucy lost both her mother and father, was an only child, and doesn't have family.

The story centers around Christmas time as well, so being invited over for Christmas and being around all the fuss of the season in a family home gives Lucy a sense of connection she's long needed.

Things Get Complicated When Lucy Meets Peter's Brother Jack

Lucy ends up spending the night on the couch at Peter's parents home after dinner and late that night Jack, played by Bill Pullman, comes home..Lucy hears him speaking to his sister Mary, pretends to be sleeping and tries to slip out quickly in the morning to avoid speaking with Jack. Unfortunately that plan doesn't work; Jack is waiting on the staircase to speak to Lucy before she leaves. You can see that despite that fact that he doesn't believe she's Peter's fiance, he's very attracted to her. Thus, things begin to get emotionally complicated when neither Lucy or Jack can tell each other their true feelings about each other..since, after all, Lucy is engaged to his brother (but not really!).

The Movie is Filled with Numerous Funny Characters

One of the funniest characters is Joe Fusco Jr., played by Michael Rispoli! He's the son of the landlord in the building Lucy lives in. He has a 'thing' for Lucy, but of course, she's sweet to him, but doesn't have 'those feelings' for him. He flirts with her in comical ways..one day he's standing at the bottom of the staircase as Lucy's unlocking her apartment door, flashing some tickets, he shouts up to her.."Tomorrow night, eight o-'clock... I got ice capades...I know I guy" - This movie line gets tossed around in our house all time!
Peter Boyle plays Ox Callaghan, the father and his dry sense of humor adds dimension to the film as well as Jack Warden who plays 'Saul', the family friend.

How does it End?

I won't be spoiling the ending on this one, so if you haven't seen it, you'll have to watch to see how it all turns out. It's a wonderful feel good movie to watch on girls night or with the family. It usually comes on TV during the holiday season. I watch it every year!

My Personal Sense when I Watch the Movie

I'm not sure if this happens to you; but some movies bring me back to a point in my own life and leave me almost missing that time gone by. My early 20's remind me of Lucy's life: I moved to Toronto, had finished school, was working and loved being a city girl. The 'city setting' makes me think of my young days of living on my own, in my own apartment in Downtown Toronto...a time I loved. Watching the characters walk through the city, and laugh together...the cold winter days and nights...all of it brings a familiar smile to my face. Her fun loving relationship with Jack also reminds me of another time in my own life: Love how this movie makes me feel!

Here's a teaser with the movie trailer!



By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Family Man, A Christmas Movie Tradition

The Family Man DVD
Have you ever wondered how different your life would have been had you made another choice, and taken another road at a key time?

Well, that's the premise of The Family Man; except the successful Wall Street President Jack Campbell, played by Nicolas Cage, seemed perfectly content with his apparent rise to the top until an Angel, played by Don Cheadle, brings upon 'a glimpse' of what Jack's life would have been like had he married his college sweetheart, Kate Reynolds, played by the beautiful Tea Leoni.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately (depending on how you view life), unmarried Jack goes to bed in his very expensive Penthouse condo perfectly content on Christmas Eve, and without notice or warning, wakes up on Christmas morning living in 'the burbs' married to Kate for the past thirteen years. They have two little kids named Josh and Annie. Of course, the look on Jack's face at that moment in the movie is what draws you completely into the story.

Jack's mission, although never clearly stated, is to learn about love, and probably the most profound lesson that Jack learns is the love he has for his family, a family he didn't have or think he needed, much less wanted. He also finds that his love for Kate never ended; a testament to the definition of true love.

Jack finds his way, and finds happiness in his new family life, however he knows he'll be taken from it as quickly as it was thrust upon him. The sense of losing the family he now has and loves becomes a much larger loss than the loss of his money and status was.

Once back into his very wealthy, successful existence, Jack takes steps to contact Kate and reaches out to her in a way that he never did thirteen years previous.

Here's a scene from the movie, nearing the end of his 'glimpse' - Jack had found a way back into the corporate world he was aces at, and was surprised when Kate was less than thrilled about moving into a new up-scaled life:


Have you seen the Family Man? - I've watched it twice so far this Christmas Season :)

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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