Welcome! This is a blog for movie reviews. I have no qualifications, but I love to write and I chose reviews as they are quite fascinating to me. I also cook, take pictures, direct and have a couple of works I would like to share with you - so look around and let me know what you think!
(Pictures featured in the header are courtesy of www.sxc.hu)
Been making a lot of presents and decorations around the house and I thought I would share some of them. You will need either a circular base or a square for these. Have fun crafting and Happy Holidays!
If you live in the United States I am sure that you get more Christmas movies in December than you can count, however, for people in Europe it might be hard to distinguish between the three hundred movies that have either "mistletoe" or "miracle" in their title. I had the misfortune of seeing some really bad Christmas movies, you can't even imagine how bad! But did see some good and original movies and here are three in particular I want to let you know about, because they have quickly become my favorites!
Zachary (Brandon Routh), the fireman and bachelor rescues a cat who adopts him as an owner and he encounters Marilee (Kimberly Sustad) while shopping for cat food. He is too dreamy for her, but their paths keep crossing and the two become friends. Zachary realizes that the life of a bachelor is not as fun as he previously thought and he falls in love with Marilee, not realizing that she loves him too. Zachary finds her at a rescue program on Christmas Eve and makes sure she doesn't leave him again.
I really liked this movie because it avoided the general cliches. The characters were likable and the story is believable. I do think that some people are touched by the holidays and this is a great example of how there is no need for a 'miracle', just some people opening their hearts to the warmth of the holiday. Also the two cats in it are extra cute! I'm a dog person, but boy, do I want one of those cats for Christmas! That being sad, it is not the conventional love story and you have two characters who are very lovable and no stupid comic relief best friends who you simply hate... they both have touching stories and they have traits you yourself are probably looking for in your partner! It is smart and lovely story.
Ally and Will are being ignored by their parents who run a Christmas themed shop. They ask for help from Santa who sends them one of his elves, Christine (Summer Glau). However, there are rules she mustn't break and one of those is not to get emotionally attached. She gets to know the children's uncle, Dave (John Brotherton), and they get involved and for the first time she feels that her Christmas spirit is fueled by something more than just magic. It seems that her mission is not working, as the parents aren't getting closer to the children and she has broken the rules. She gets to choose, however, if she would like to live in the human world or back at the North Pole, and after she sees that Ally and Will's parents do realize how much they missed out on, Christine wishes to go back to Dave.
The magical side of Christmas for me is always a bit weird... most movies just go "Hey, Christmas, miracle and stuff! Happy Holidays everything is fixed!", and I hate that. The other thing they like to do is make the elves retards and I just cannot stand that... it is not cute and not sweet but obnoxious. I really loved that the elves are smart and human-like an they help people! Santa listens to everyone and he sends elves to help them. And what is great that most elves choose to stay in the human world, and isn't that great? We would all love to find the North Pole and taste the magic and these elves managed to find something beautiful in our world, something they wished to have more than their magical world and to me that says: hope. Hope for the holidays and more importantly the little things around us. This is a very festive story with very sweet children. Delightful Christmas story of a family who doesn't realize how being caught up in Christmas makes them miss out on it completely.
Krissy Kringle (Hilarie Burton) has been ridiculed for her name all her life, but her parents just love the holidays too much! After getting snubbed of her promotion, she goes home to Candy Cane lane and gets a special box in her mail - among every child's letter addressed to Kriss Kringle - that was sent to the wrong address: the Naughty or Nice list. She gets a job as Santa's elf at the mall and she gets a bit in over her head reading the list and using everyone's naughty side to her advantage... but when it results in her becoming bitter and getting hurt she realizes that there are two sides to every story. She opens the book from the other side and sees the nice side of people. She learns that indeed sometimes good people don't get what they deserve, but as long as you don't give up on being a nice person, sooner or later you'll be rewarded.
I really enjoyed this movie, it was fun, original and the decorations? Oh my god: I want to live on Candy Cane lane! It is so beautiful and I always hate Christmas movies that are set in California (and almost all Hallmark movies are), because there is barely any snow in them! But this movie makes up for it big time! Let alone the fact that I adore Burton, I was so touched as her parents are played by Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross - my favorite parents from Family Ties! This movie really surprised me as I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did but it was jolly and sweet and I recommend it to everyone who wants to see an original Christmas tale!
Do you have a favorite Hallmark movie? I'm not being paid for talking about them, in case you are wondering, I have three favorites from ABC's original movies as well that I hope to cover this season! If you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below!
So it is Christmas season, well, it is for me, and I want to talk about a couple of movies that have for some reason gone under the radar, despite the fact that I deem them very good! So what better to talk about then a classical tale?
Mary receives a Nutcracker doll from her godfather Uncle Albert for Christmas. That very night, the previously inanimate doll comes to life and takes Mary on a journey into his world. The Nutcracker is the Prince of the dolls, but the Rats want to take over his land and destroy all the toys. Mary wakes up the next morning knowing that the Rat King has attacked her home, but nobody seems to believe her. That night she travels back with the Nutcracker, now joined by her brother Max, to stop the Rat King for good. It seems that it is all in vain, as they are outmatched, but the people would much rather see their Prince instead of a dictator and they help little Mary in stopping the evil tyrant. After Mary has to return home, the Prince promises her that they will see each other soon, as that is not the end of their tale!
I really loved this movie, the rating on imdb totally missed the mark. The idea was to turn the movie into a musical, and for me it had too few songs, but those that it has were really good! And think about it: most people remember the ballet and not the children's story behind it. What made this story famous was the music! It is only logical that is should be a musical! And aside from that I just loved the children in it! Elle Fanning is such a sweet Mary! She had a couple of scenes where I was crying with her and for the first time I fell in love with this story more than I ever could have before! My other favorite was the Prince, Charlie Rowe, who starts to sob when he is turned back into a real boy - he had forgotten he was more than just wood and it is just a beautiful scene!
I also loved Mary's little brother, Max, played by Aaron Michael Drozin: he was basically the comic relief character, but after siding with the Rat King, he realizes the error of his ways and even though he was a side character, there is an arc to his story as well and it is really magical.
I do, however, have two things that I have to complain about: we know that it is all just a dream, actually a coming of age story. Now, in real life Mary's father refuses to believe her story, and in the dream even her mother appears as this fairy, clearly portraying how Mary sees her in real life. I believe that it would've been far more better to have her father be the Rat King, the one who destroys all the toys and the one who denies the existence of a magical land beyond our imagination. But I could live with that, because in my opinion the Rat King was a very smart character who too had his reasons to be evil, and not just be it for the sake of having a villain.
My second criticism is the one thing that made the movie almost unbearable to watch: The Nutcracker's voice. OH MY GOD, who the hell was it, who during the casting said: "I want the voice of the Nutcracker to be a 40 year old woman. ... - But he is a boy-- NOPE, 40 year old woman! And make her do a silly little boy's voice. - But we already cast a boy to play the Prince, couldn't he be the voice? - NO, 40 year old woman! It is the next logical step!" And I know we have that many times with cartoon voices, you don't have to debate me, what I don't get is that they had actually cast a real boy to play him, so why the need to change its voice??!
When I am sitting through a movie where I can't stand the voice of the main character - that character being a doll - and praying for him to turn human to make the scenes bearable, than you have clearly gone wrong somewhere... And you know what is hilarious? I looked at comments online and nobody complained about that! The movie had great featurs: there is a CGI monkey that looks better than the Dawn of Planet of The Apes movies, and such magical sets and the make-up? Oh my, really, really beautiful! And I don't get the rating when nobody complained about the one thing that really really was very very annoying!
To enjoy this movie, let go of every comment you heard and every previous adaptation. Trust me! Let Mary take you onto a journey with her and you won't be disappointed!
Watch it? I'm sure you'll like it, I wouldn't consider taking into consideration the rating on this one because it is a great Christmas story. I've have seen dumber and dumber Christmas specials that got better ratings, and more horrible renditions of this very story, so really, check it out and judge for yourself!
I told you that I will write a review of Paul Walker movies every year on his birthday. The first of the kind was Eight Below (click here to read!), and I plan to continue that list, but I wanted to make one exception. Paul Walker had one Christmas themed movie, and I thought I would talk about it on the anniversary of his death, which coincides with the last day of this month. So I wanted to pay homage to him by starting the holiday reviews with this movie and to remember him at the same time.
It is Christmas Eve, and the tale of five New Yorkers cross path on this one night when everyone just needs a little break from their every days. First we have Rose, who spends her Christmas alone, as her husband has moved on and her mom is sick in the hospital. She crosses path with Nina, who fights with her jealous fiancee Mike.
Nina is upset as she fears that he doesn't trust her, and at the same time she finds out that she is pregnant. She goes back to her family and in the meanwhile gets to know Rose. Mike, on the other hand, is followed by a strange man who seems to know him. The latter is Artie. Artie believes that the ghost of his deceased wife lives in Mike and he seeks forgiveness for the mistakes he made during his marriage. Artie, unfortunately gets a heart-attack and Mike takes him to the hospital where they encounter Jules. Jules has had a horrible childhood and once he spent Christmas in the hospital and there was a party and the nurses dressed up and it was the best time he ever knew. Now, his life is still in a bad place and he thought that being at a party in the hospital would light up his Christmas. Although the night doesn't seem to end, morning does come around and they all got something they were looking for: bit of hope, some closure or a little miracle.
This is not the happiest Christmas movie you see, I can tell you that in advance. However, it is one of the sweetest ones. I am in a period in my life when I feel a bit lost. And Christmas is a magical time that can sometimes either amplify those feelings, or truly save you from your own nightmarish thoughts. I don't want to go into what it represents for me, especially because it changes from year to year. And getting back, what makes this movie exceptional is that I find these stories really original. It is not the same cliches over and over. In the end you have people who simply want to find a way to get over it, and others who just want to enjoy it and make the best of it. That's the interesting part, Jules is the only one who wants to enjoy every second of it, while it is the others who simply wish to wake up from the nightmare that their everyday life has turned into.
But what really helped to overcome their demons was the fact that their paths crossed. Although it is a Christmas story, and that there is a bit of miracle in it, the movie's moral lesson is not that the holidays solve everything and let the magic in! No, it simply reminds them of the most important things in life and that there is still time to change what doesn't work. It is never too late. From that point of view, I would say that the moral is quite similar to Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Each of them learns a bit from the other and it is great to see that the most little of gestures can make the biggest changes in one's life. And to me personally, that is what the holidays are really all about!
Watch this movie? You should, but make sure you have in stock some funny holiday special to watch afterwards, as it is a bit heavy.
A very sad news has reached me after the Mockingjay premiere. Director/producer Mike Nichols has passed away at the age of 83 on 19th November 2014. He was responsible for some of my favorites, I even talked about most of them on my blog already. So, because of that I wanted to take a second and remember him properly. Thank you for all your work, and rest in peace!