Category Archives: Family

THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 (2020): New Trailer From Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Julian Dennison, Tyrese Gibson…

The Christmas Chronicles (2020), Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Netflix
The Christmas Chronicles (2020), Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Netflix

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn are back for The Christmas Chronicles 2.

Directed/co-written by  Chris Columbus and also starring Julian Dennison plus Tyrese Gibson; this time Kate Pierce is now a cynical teenager. One who finds herself unexpectedly reunited with Santa Clause when a mysterious troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas forever.

Russell’s beautiful beard and gorgeous Santa coat are two things that stood out in a good way in the first The Christmas Chronicles movie.

I also recall a big brother character who seemed too old to be as ‘into Santa’ as he was. He doesn’t appear to be n this movie, and it’s great to see that Santa’s beard and coat haven’t changed one bit.

As for how much fun I’m likely to have with this sequel, let’s just say that based on this trailer, I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Judah Lewis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Patrick Gallagher, Darby Camp, Michel Issa Rubio, Teya Wild, Amanda Cleghorn, Christy St. John, Jahzir Bruno, Megan Serena Trainer and Romy Sanchez also star.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 Release Dates: November 25th, 2020 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE WITCHES (2020): New Trailer From Robert Zemeckis, Starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock…

The Witches (2020), Anne Hathaway, Warner Bros. Pictures
The Witches (2020), Anne Hathaway, Warner Bros. Pictures

Forrest Gump (1994) director Robert Zemeckis has a new film starring Anne Hathaway, Chris Rock, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci.

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book of the same name, The Witches, this one promises to be a scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches.

‘Festive fun’ is the vibe I get from this one. I love the cast and I’m excited about the special effects. Naturally, I’m not a fan of mice in real life, but when they’re not real, even I can find a way to appreciate them.

Codie-Lei Eastick, Charles Edwards, Morgana Robinson, Jahzir Bruno, Eugenia Caruso, Simon Manyonda, Jonathan Livingstone, Philippe Spall, Zeke Taylor, Eurydice El-Etr and Anna Devlin also star.

The Witches Release Dates: October 22nd, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MULAN (2020): The Things I Liked…

Mulan (2020), Yifei Liu, Walt Disney Studios
Mulan (2020), Yifei Liu, Walt Disney Studios

Even though I’m aware of the legend of Mulan, I’m not a hundred percent sure I’ve seen the classic animated version, before watching the new live-action film. What I’ve always been aware of however is how popular the story is – and that, combined with the stunning trailer visuals of the Niki Caro directed remake are the reasons I was always going to watch it.

As a fan of stories about underestimated characters who end up going far beyond all expectations, I enjoyed this element of the Mulan story. The tale of a young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a male warrior to save her father.

The stunning visuals, vibrant colours and Yifei Liu’s physical performance as Mulan are the things that stood out most about Caro’s movie. There’s also the well-scored scene where the triumphant stair climb takes place.

The things I wish were different about Mulan include some of the editing, which didn’t quite flow as seamlessly in parts as I expected. For example, the transition from Mulan thinking about taking her father’s place, to the moment she’s in his armour felt oddly abrupt.

My main issue with Mulan is how oddly soulless it felt. For me, Caro’s film didn’t dive deeply into anything. I say this of course, as someone who hasn’t seen the animated Mulan movie. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel as emotionally captured by the story. At least not in any way close to how Cinderella (2015), my favourite Disney live-action movie made me feel. I still cheered for Mulan, yes. I only wish the story didn’t feel as surface-level as it did.

Watch Mulan if you’re curious and certainly for the visuals and gorgeous rich colours.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SECRET GARDEN (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Secret Garden (2020), Julie Walters, Studio Canal

I had hoped that watching The Secret Garden would take me back to the pre-teen phase of my life. A period when I loved to read.

Having now seen this remake of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel about an orphaned girl who discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle’s estate, director Marc Munden’s movie did take me back. It also reminded me that The Secret Garden was a book I recall having to read for school. However, even though it featured a magical garden, which I imagine young me would have loved. I don’t remember particularly loving the book – and this is why I shouldn’t be surprised to realise that I don’t love Munden’s movie.

The actors including Colin Firth, Julia Walters’s and Dixie Egerrickx performed well enough. I just found this version of the story to be quite simplistic and lacking in depth. In fairness, it is based on a Children’s story. Yet I had hoped to find it more than watchable at best.

My favourite thing about The Secret Garden is the actual garden itself. I mean, who wouldn’t want their own lush, colourful secret garden with magical properties?

Besides my issues with the story, my only other complaint is about the moments the musical score seemed to be unnecessarily loud and overbearing.

Watch The Secret Garden if you’re especially curious. Or, you could watch the 1993 film adaptation of The Secret Garden instead. I hear it’s much better.

Happy Film Loving

G

DADS (2020): New Trailer From Bryce Dallas Howard For Documentary About Contemporary Fatherhood…

Dads (2020), Apple TV+
Dads (2020), Apple TV+

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Dads (2020).


Directed by  Bryce Dallas Howard; Dads is a new Apple TV+ documentary aimed at exploring contemporary fatherhood through anecdotes and wisdom.

Also featuring Dallas Howard’s own father, director Ron Howard, additional features include famous funnymen including Jimmy Kimmel, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris…

I get the feeling I’m going to be happy to spend some time simply watching fathers putting smiles on their children’s faces, and vice versa. Anything else will very likely just be a bonus.

Other featured fathers include Patton Oswalt, Judd Apatow, Hasan Minhaj, Ron Howard, Ken Jeong, Thiago Queiroz, Andy Griffith and Kenan Thompson.

Dads Release Dates: June 19th, 2020, Apple TV+

Happy Film Loving

G

THE WILLOUGHBYS (2020): New Trailer From Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, Maya Rudolph, Ricky Gervais…

The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix
The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix

Read my spoiler-free movie review of The Willoughbys (2020).


New animated comedy The Willoughbys is all about four children who are dissatisfied with their parents.

Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. And so begins their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.

Directed by Kris Pearn, Cory Evans and Rob Lodermeier; The Willoughbys stars Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, Ricky Gervais…

Considering that I’ve never read the books on which The Willoughbys is based, I kind of want to know in which way the children get a happy ending.

The only thing is, I wonder how long it’ll take for me to get comfortable with the severe pointedness of all their seriously sharp noses.

Jane Krakowski, Terry Crews, Seán Cullen, Shannon Chan-Kent, Rebecca Husain, Robyn Ross and Cristina Rosato also star.

The Willoughbys Release Dates: April 22nd, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SOUL (2020): New Trailer Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, John Ratzenberger, Daveed Diggs…

Soul (2020), Disney Pixar
Soul (2020), Disney Pixar

The latest trailer for Disney Pixar’s Soul, just arrived.

Starring Tina Fey, Jamie Foxx, Daveed Diggs and John Ratzenberger, it’s the story of Joe Gardner, a musician who is transported out of his body and must find his way back, with the help of an infant soul.

I’m really looking forward to this one. Looks just about as comforting as one would want it to be. The premise also has me thinking about Netflix’s hit show The Good Place.

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad also star.

Soul Release Dates: November 20th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JUNGLE CRUISE (2020): New Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, Edgar Ramírez…

Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios
Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios

A fun new trailer for Disney’s Jungle Cruise just landed.

A fantasy / adventure based on Disneyland’s theme park ride, where a small riverboat takes a group of travellers through a jungle where everything wants to kill you, and there’s a the promise of the supernatural…

Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, Edgar Ramirez and Jesse Plemons star while Jaume Collet-Serra directs.

I like that Jungle Cruise kind of reminds me of Jumanji – and not just because of Johnson and the jungle setting.

The Johnson / Blunt dynamic looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to hear more from the villains. For example, who is Ramirez playing because the snake through the face moment in this trailer is quite something.

Veronica Falcón, Andy Nyman, Paul Giamatti, Quim Gutiérrez, Raphael Alejandro and Mark Ashworth also star.

Jungle Cruise Release Dates: July 30th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G