Category Archives: Family

SOUL (2020): The Things I Liked…

Soul, the story of Joe Gardner, a musician who ends up transported out of his body, and has to find his way back is both what I expected it to be and not, simultaneously.

Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Daveed Diggs; what stood out most about Soul is how visually well-imagined it is. The look and feel had me fully engaged. Whether it was the barber’s fantastic beard, or what the surroundings and occupants of ‘the place in between alive and dead,’ looks and feels like.

Generally, all of Soul is good. However, I enjoyed it most during the scenes when Joe was in the ‘in-between place.’ It’s the conversations and the general cleverness of the details of those moments that impressed me most. I liked these scenes so much that I found I missed the setting when the story was elsewhere.

My main issue with Soul is how unclear the messaging seemed to be at a point or two towards the end. I don’t mean the messaging at the heart of the film; the one about Joe’s evolution/emotional journey. I’m referring to some moments of dialogue that weren’t as clear or easily understood as I’d come to expect from a Disney Pixar film.

Watch Soul for the highly intriguing concept. I wouldn’t say that I found it quite as clever, satisfying or comforting as Inside Out (2015). But it is worth watching. It also helps a little if you like Jazz.

Lastly, there’s beautiful piano music that happens after Joe’s all-important gig that you probably don’t want to miss.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE WITCHES (2020), The Things I Liked…

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

Director Robert Zemeckis’s remake of Roald Dahl’s adventure/comedy classic The Witches promised a scary, funny and imaginative tale. One about a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches.

Instead, ‘OK’ is the best I can say about the film. Anne Hathaway’s performance as the main witch wasn’t bad and I liked some of the special effects. Nevertheless, there’s a certain simplicity in the story execution that left me uninspired and dissatisfied.

In fairness, The Witches is based on a famous children’s book. So, naturally, I wasn’t expecting a sophisticated adult tale. Yet, I still hoped to feel more pleased to have watched it than I did.

Luckily, I managed to find parts of the movie that stood out to me in a good way. For example, the above perfectly infectious smile on Anne Hathaway’s face, Chris Rock’s fun voice/narration, the ‘comforted’ feeling I experienced once Octavia Spencer’s loving grandma character showed up. I also enjoyed the musical score and the wonderfully suspenseful scene that involves the task of getting the potion into the pea soup. A moment that took me right back to my favourite Disney Pixar movie, Ratatouille (2007). Lastly, there’s the very pleasantly dramatic dining scene that follows the pea soup ‘flavouring’ incident.

Overall, it’s ultimately the relationship between grandma and grandson that I loved most about The Witches. It’s just a shame that I didn’t find the film as a whole to be as satisfying as my favourite scenes in it.

Give The Witches a chance if you’re especially curious. Undoubtedly, it’s young children who will enjoy it most.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Christmas Chronicles (2020), Kurt Russell, Netflix

Thoughts that entered my mind while watching The Christmas Chronicles 2:

Yeah! Kurt Russell delivers another fun musical performance, a key highlight.’


My, my; that Santa coat is still as beautiful as the first time I laid eyes on it.’


I’m so glad this movie is better than the first one. Thanks to the story and a good performance by young Darby Camp.’

I’d love that star as my own personal light. Also looks like a perfect ornament.’

Considering the year that 2020 has been, The Christmas Chronicles 2, along with a few other good seasonal movies this year are precisely what my festive season mise en scène obsessed self have been needing.

It’s a fun adventure for Christmas fans of all ages. Especially, thanks to how positive it is and the way it fully embraces the Christmas spirit. From the engaging adventure story about saving Christmas to the stunning decorations and fun special effects.

Watch The Christmas Chronicles 2. Particularly if, like me, you’re into how beautiful the festive season makes everything look, and all else I’ve mentioned.

The only things I liked a little less than would have been ideal are the performances by the big brother character and the naughty elf. Both were okay. However, just not as fully believable at times as young Camp the others.

Happy Film Loving

G

HOLIDAY HOME MAKEOVER WITH MR. CHRISTMAS (2020): The Things I Liked…

Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas (2020), Netflix
Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas (2020), Netflix

I watched Netflix’s Holiday Home Makeover with Mr Christmas to do one of my favourite things this time of year; feast my eyes on other people’s Christmas decorations.

Starring Benjamin Bradley (Mr Christmas), and the decorated premises of four families, watching the four-episodes will likely show you a few new tips and tricks for decorating your home during the holiday season. However, when it comes to the final results, decoration-wise, I found myself less wowed than I expected to be.

In fairness, there’s no doubt that Christmas decor tastes can be very personal. Nevertheless, for me, I enjoyed the first and last episodes most because of the decor and the personalities involved. It’s during these episodes that the show about a decor expert helping four families decorate their homes came close to being the best it could have been. For the two middle episodes, I, unfortunately, could not stop the urge to fast forward to the finished decor instead of sitting the stories and steps it took to get there.

Perhaps season 2, assuming it’s coming will have a bigger production budget, more engaging stories and a touch more elaborate and awe-inspiring decor.

In the meantime, should you find yourself super curious, give Holiday Home Makeover with Mr Christmas a chance. At the very least, you’ll learn a few DIY decorating tips.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE BOSS BABY – FAMILY BUSINESS (2021): New Trailer Starring James Marsden, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Jimmy Kimmel…

The Boss Baby – Family Business (2021), Alec Baldwin, James Marsden

The sequel to The Boss Baby (2017) is here, meaning the smart/adult-like, briefcase carrying baby who’s voiced by Alec Baldwin is back.

Also starring James Marsden, Jimmy Kimmel and Jeff Goldblum; in The Boss Baby – Family Business, the Templeton brothers are now grown up and have drifted apart. However, not if a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach has anything to do with it.

Directed by Tom McGrath; additional key cast includes Amy Sedaris, Lisa Kudrow and Eva Longoria.

I’m so glad to see Alec Baldwin back for this sequel. I’ve just recently finished re-watching his great work in 30 Rock. So I’m definitely in for this one. And it helps that the first Boss Baby movie was so imaginative and fun.

Ariana Greenblatt and James McGrath also star.

The Boss Baby – Family Business  Release Dates: September 17th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE PRINCESS SWITCH 2 – SWITCHED AGAIN (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again (2020), Vanessa Hudgens, Netflix
The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again (2020), Vanessa Hudgens, Netflix

When I decided to watch The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again, I wasn’t expecting great things. I was hoping for a sort of watchable Christmas movie experience that I’d be able to get through with a smile on my face, in part thanks to the Christmas filled mise en scene.

Instead, what happened within 10 minutes of the viewing experience gave me a strong urge to reach for my phone and do other things while it played. I definitely could have aborted the whole experience, but something told me to leave it playing. Nothing improved with time, of course. But at least it made the room look extra ‘Christmassy’.

What exactly is wrong with The Princes Switch 2 – Switched Again? Let’s just say that it’s the kind of story and execution that’s really best enjoyed by preteen girls/children. I should have known.


Nevertheless, in the event that, like myself, you often leave less than great Christmas movies playing in the background because you like the ambience they help create, maybe, for that reason alone, hit play on The Princes Switch 2 – Switched Again. You could even leave it playing with the volume down while you pick a Christmas soundtrack to blast through your home. Now that’s an idea.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE PRINCESS SWITCH 2 – SWITCHED AGAIN (2020): New Trailer From Vanessa Hudgens, Nick Sagar, Suanne Braun…

The Princess Switch 2 - Switched Again (2020), Vanessa Hudgens, Netflix
The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again (2020), Vanessa Hudgens, Netflix

Read my spoiler-free movie review of  The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again (2020).


In 2018’s The Princess Switch, while competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia, a Chicago baker bumps into a prince’s fiancée who happens to look just like her. Some things happen and soon enough, the baker and the princess switched lives.

In the sequel The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again, Vanessa Hudgens and Nick Sagar return and this time, something happens that requires the doubles to switch again, particularly before a new lookalike, party girl Fiona foils their plans.

 Directed by Mike Rohl; additional key cast includes Suanne Braun and Lachlan Nieboer.

I’m watching for two reasons; to help get myself in the mood for Christmas, thanks to all those gorgeous decorations and attire. And to enjoy Hudgens’s rather pleasant accent.

It was likely quite the challenge to play three characters. But I imagine, probably also fun.

Mark Fleischmann, Grant Fergusson, Adele Lupton, Grant Crookes, Ricky Norwood and Jess Fergusson also star.

The Princess Switch 2 – Switched Again Release Dates: November 19th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

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

Read my spoiler-free movie review of  The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020).


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