Category Archives: Family

CHRISTMAS WITH YOU (2022): The Things I Liked…

’Tis the season for Christmas movies, isn’t it? Even though I’ve been known to watch a Christmas film in March, July, or August, there is just something extra special about seeing one at this time of year, when the Christmas lights are up.

Christmas With You is the first Christmas film I’ve seen of the 2022 season, and I’m not mad at it. Today the mood was right. Plus, I hadn’t seen Freddie Prinze Jr. in a movie for quite some time. I reasoned that if the star of She’s All That (1999) – a fun film I enjoyed as a teenager is involved, there has to be something a little extra special about this story. Not always a fail-safe plan, of course. But luckily for me, I was right about director Gabriela Tagliavini’s story about a pop star who escapes to a small town to find inspiration after experiencing burnout in the city.

Christmas With You may not be my favourite seasonal movie of the year once the season ends. However, the acting is decent, the Christmasy atmosphere is ever-present, and, perhaps equally importantly, I enjoyed the Christmas song composed and performed towards the end of the story. 

Give Christmas With You a chance if you’re curious. That mood for an easy-viewing Christmas film may hit you in the coming days and weeks. That’s if it hasn’t already.

Happy Film Loving


WEDNESDAY (2022): New Trailer Starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán…

Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán are the stars of the new The Addams Family spin-off series, Wednesday.

Focused on Wednesday Addams, we get to watch the mischievous Addams daughter as a high school student. She’ll be getting up to her usual fun to watch shenanigans, as well as attempting to master her emerging psychic ability and solve the mystery that’s embroiled her parents.

I must admit that this delightful little trailer has made me so very happy indeed. And what a wonderful young talent Ortega is.

The fact that Wednesday is a series and has input from Tim Burton is the reason this looks like so much fun.

Bring on all that promising humour, beautiful set and costume design. I’m ready!

Emma Myers, Jamie McShane, Joy Sunday, Riki Lindhome, Thora Birch and Hunter Doohan also star.

Wednesday Release Dates

Happy Film Loving


LUCA (2021): New Official Trailer From Jacob Tremblay, Marco Barricelli, Jim Gaffigan, Maya Rudolph…

Luca (2021), Disney Pixar
Luca (2021), Disney Pixar

Disney Pixar’s Italian Riviera-set animated adventure, Luca has a new and very promising full trailer.

Starring Jacob Tremblay, Marco Barricelli, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan, and directed by Enrico Casarosa, it’s nearly time to learn about the beautiful friendship between a human being and a sea monster disguised as human.

The colours, location, the story, the can sporting a moustache and most definitely the music have me looking forward to this movie so much.

Come June i8th, we’ll all get to be in beautiful Italia, the place where words sound like music.

Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, Emma Berman, Giacomo Gianniotti. and Marco Barricelli and Jack Dylan Grazer also star

Luca Release Dates: June 18th, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving


LUCA (2021): New Trailer From Disney Pixar, Starring Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan…

Luca (2021), Pixar
Luca (2021), Disney Pixar

Luca, Disney Pixar’s latest animated adventure is set on the Italian Riviera. A place where an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Directed by Enrico Casarosa; Luca stars Jacob Tremblay, Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan.

I’m curious about this ‘fish boy’ story and how much it will have in common with The Little Mermaid (1989). There’s also the intrigue that stems from the gorgeous Italian Riviera setting, of course.

Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman and Marco Barricelli also star

Luca Release Dates: June 18th, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving


THE LION KING (2019): The Thing I Liked…

The Lion King (2019), Walt Disney Studios
The Lion King (2019), Walt Disney Studios

It has taken much longer than planned for me to finally watch the recent live-action remake of The Lion King (2019). Like many fans, I loved the 1994 original. I enjoyed it for reasons including the brilliant soundtrack, the story and beautiful animation style.

The main reason I couldn’t get beyond the first 15 minutes of director Jon Favreau’s live-action version has something to do with the animation.

There’s no denying that the film is quite the achievement in terms of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Nevertheless, I prefer the 2D animated film; firstly because of the cuteness of the characters. CGI Simba is cute too but different. Also, I prefer the voice work in the first movie. Second, and this one took me by surprise; but, I’d much rather watch the real creatures of the jungle/the African savanna in a well written David Attenborough documentary; than sit through ‘very close but not quite there’ computer-generated images.

Unsurprisingly, for me, The Lion King remake has proven to be largely unnecessary. Mainly because it’s essentially the very same story and seemingly shot for shot. This sameness and the weird space the movie occupies between real and not real is what led me to abort my viewing session. And instead, think about rewatching The Lion King (1994) instead.

Furthermore, I have an irrational fear of rodents. As such, I should have known that all wasn’t going to be well when, at the start, the camera spent what felt like an eternity, following a rodent-like creature around. 

Considering this review is very late, you’ve probably already watched or at least tried to watch The Lion King; in which case I sure hope you had a much better time than I did.

Happy Film Loving


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


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 


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