12 Mighty Orphans – Movie Review

movie review

12 Mighty Orphans is based on a true story set in 1930’s depression era Texas. It stars Luke Wilson as Rusty Russell, an orphan himself, who moves his wife and daughter to an orphanage to teach and coach football. His wife, Juanita (played by Vinessa Shaw), while not excited at first, quickly adapts to her new family of orphans.

Of course, things are far from perfect at the orphanage. The boys are all in fear of the print shop teacher, Frank Wynn (played by Wayne Knight, best known as Newman of Seinfeld) and for good reason. Mr. Wynn likes to use a wooden paddle on the boys any time he feels the urge.

Russell wants to get the boys out on the field from day one. The big obstacle of getting the team in the league however, is that the boys must be able to pass a written academic test. Russell and Juanita spend time getting the boys prepped to take the test. Only 12 boys pass the test and are allowed to form the team.

Despite all the struggles of forming the team and getting the league to allow them to join, the orphan team still has to overcome their own struggles with themselves and each other. In the end, the boys succeed despite their smaller size and learn to work together and become a family, the only one they have.

I very much enjoyed 12 Mighty Orphans. It is a period piece, which I love. It has the underdog that can be embraced and a heart warming story of courage, determination, hope, and positivity.

As always, Enjoy Movie Night!


Movie Review: Shirley Valentine

movie review

Shirley is an English housewife in her forties. She has started talking to the wall in her kitchen. Oh, she’s not crazy, just board with her life.

Shirley’s adult children have moved out and it is just her and her husband. Her husband only seems interested in what is for dinner. Steak on Thursday, every Thursday, rain or shine.

A flashback to when Shirley was a girl, long before married life and children, introduces us to Shirley Valentine. Shirley Valentine was a girl with guts, not afraid to say or do what was on her mind. Whatever happened to this Shirley Valentine?

Knowing Shirley has always wanted to travel, her friend, Jane, who has won two tickets to Greece, invites her to accompany her on the trip. Shirley doesn’t think she could possibly get away. After all, who would cook her husband’s steak on Thursday?

Greece ends up being just what Shirley needs to stop talking to the wall. She finds her old self, Shirley Valentine, again. She is now enjoying life and feeling useful and happy. But what of her life in England?

Shirley Valentine was a delightful, light, and amusing movie. It makes one think of not just living one’s life, but really living life to the fullest, not loosing one’s self along the way. I would recommend watching Shirley Valentine for a nice getaway.

(Picture from: Rotton Tomatoes site)

Gaza Mon Amour…A Valentine’s Day Movie Review

movie review

It’s February and love is in the air. Wanting my movie pick to reflect on the holiday, I chose the movie Gaza Mon Amour. A drama with a touch of romance.

Gaza Mon Amour debuted at the Venice Film Festival, September 5, 2020. It is in Arabic with subtitles in English. It is a drama with political messages as well as a romance and a touch of good humor throughout.

The movie takes place in Gaza where the main character, Issa, a 60 year old fisherman, is highlighted. He goes out on his boat, hauls in his load and goes back through a check point each day on his motorcycle/truck. ( I mention the vehicle because I thought it most interesting. ) On one such occassion, Issa hauls a Greek statue out of the water instead of fish. He decides to keep this treasure, which proves later, not such a wise decision. Issa decides it is time for him to find a wife. He has a woman in mind. As he tries to charm her, he is constantly interupted by one thing or another. Will he ever get married and what about the statue? Watch Gaza Mon Amour to find out.

I really liked this movie. The main character was very easy to like and to sympathize with him. The movie was done very well and I thought about it afterwards, which is not always the case with movies. It gave a perspective on a different culture from my own. It was serious, romantic, and funny all wrapped in one package. I highly recommend Gaza Mon Amour.

(Image from: cinema.de)

In Her Shoes – Movie Review

movie review

Last night we watched In Her Shoes, a movie based on the novel written by Jennifer Weiner. I am a fan of Jennifer Weiners novels and the movie did not disappoint.

Cameron Diaz (Maggie) and Toni Collette (Rose) play two sisters who have a falling out over a man. This being the final straw in a recently rocky relationship. Shirley MacClaine (Grandma), the long lost grandma, and her friends at a senior assisted living center in Florida step up to help turn around the lives of both the sisters. Francine Beers (Mrs. Lefkowitz) absolutely stole the show for me. She is the good friend of the grandmother and has some of the funniest lines. I was laughing aloud at her comments throughout the movie.

I highly rocommend In Her Shoes for a relaxing night at home. While the movie is full of humor, there are plenty of life lessons to take away from it as well. So pop some corn and enjoy the show.

As always, Happy Watching!

(Photo of Francine Beers (Mrs. Lefkowitz) and Cameron Diaz (Maggie) from cinema.de)

My Take on… Gosford Park

movie review

I do love a good period piece with a bit of drama thrown in. Gosford Park does not disappoint. Gosford Park is a drama/mystery/suspense film set in early 30’s England. Think Downton Abbey with a little murder thrown in the picture.

The story takes place at the huge English estate of Sir William McCordle and his wife Lady Sylvia. It is there that they host a weekend of hunting and socializing for their guests. The story takes us into the runnings downstairs with the house staff and guest staff being thrown together, as well as the affairs upstairs.

An American film director is among the guests and his Charlie Chan movie, set at an English manor, is being researched on this weekend retreat. As he shares the plot of his movie with the other guests, one begins to see similarites with that of the house, and one can only wonder if the movie’s plot of murder will come true here as well.

A scream changes the course of the evening. Someone is found dead. Now it is up to us to put the pieces of gossip together to find out who done it.

Gosford Park has a lot of well known actors in it’s credits. Here are a few cast members that I was excited to see: Stephen John Fry, Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey). Of course, these are just a few of the talents on board.

I highly recommend Gosford Park for a good period mystery. The wardrobes are magnificent, the cast superb, and the story is interesting. So pop some corn and enjoy the show.

As always, Happy Viewing!

My Take on Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

movie review

Frank Capra’s 1936 movie Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, featuring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur is quite the hit. It has it all, drama, comedy and romance. An oldie but a goodie.

Longfellow Deeds (played by Gary Cooper) lives a simple life in Mandrake Falls until he is informed by attorney John Cedar that he has inherited 20 million dollars from his late uncle, Martin Semple. Cedar brings Deeds back to New York and tries to get him to sign over his power of attorney to him. Deeds is quite the news in New York. In order to gain a paid vacation from the newspaper by landing the story on Deeds, reporter Louise Bennett (played by Jean Arthur) pretends to faint in front of Deeds in order to get aquainted with him. She has photographers from the newspaper follow them around town. She is posing as Mary Dawson, a poor working girl. Deeds falls for Mary not knowing she is writing about him. When Deeds starts giving away his money to the unemployed, (there is a depression after all) Cedar tries to have him committed. To find out what happens, watch the movie.

I loved Gary Cooper in this picture. Jean Arthur was the perfect leading lady as well. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town had me interested from start to finish. Enough drama to keep me guessing, enough comedy to keep me laughing, and just the right amount of romance. I also really liked the message that the film told. So pop some corn and enjoy the movie!

My Take on Swing Shift

movie review

My husband and I recently watched the movie Swing Shift starring a young Goldie Hawn (Kay) and Kurt Russell (Lucky). It is a period movie about women taking on factory jobs during WWII. This movie focused on the airplane industry in Santa Monica, California. It also hit on the comaraderie between the workers and how important that was to the women in getting on with life while a war was taking place and lives were being taken.

In the movie, Kay’s husband Jack sets out to join the Navy and Kay (against her husband’s wishes) sets out to build airplanes. She meets Lucky who is a line foreman and he has his sights on her. Will the husband or the foreman get the girl? Watch the movie to find out…

I love period films. This film was of interest to catch a glimpse of what it was like for women entering the workforce during the war. Try to picture your grandmother or great-grandmother helping the war effort. Although it is Hollywood, it is interesting all the same.

I enjoyed Swing Shift, as I do most of the film that feature Hawn. It was interesting to see Hawn and Russell work together as well, being they are a couple in real life. As always, Happy Viewing!

My Take on Ford vs. Ferrari

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Run don’t walk to your nearest theater before Ford vs. Ferrari departs. This is a movie full of excitement, suspense, and emotion. Not a race car fan? No need to worry! This is a movie to please everyone.

While I like cars and know different models, I do not follow the racing scene. However, this movie is not just about racing, it is a movie based on the true story of the Ford motor company trying to design a race car to beat the best, Ferrari.

It all starts with a trip by Lee Iacocca to Italy to purchase Ferrari for Ford. When Ferrari refuses to sell to Ford and insults him, Ford decides to hire Carroll Shelby to help build a race car to beat Ferrari at the famous Le Mans race in France.

Of course there is always a bad guy and in this movie it is the head marketing man at Ford who is against Ken Miles being the driver of the Ford car. Shelby insists that Miles is the only choice if Ford wants to win the Le Mans. This creates tension throughout the movie.

I did not think I would have been so excited about this movie. However, I enjoyed it very much and think it was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I do recommend bringing a hankie or a few tissues, as the ending will start the tears a flowing. Also, be careful on the drive home. After seeing this movie it may be hard to drive in the slow lane.

My Take on The Addams Family Movie 2019


The Addams Family is back on the big screen and the catchy lyrics will have you snapping your fingers all the way home. “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They’re all together ooky, The Addams Family. Their house is a museum Where people come to see ’em They really are a scream The Addams Family. (Neat) (Sweet) (Petite) So get a witches shawl on A broomstick you can crawl on We’re gonna pay a call on The Addams Family.”

What’s not to love about the Addams Family movie! The characters are as great as ever and I loved how the movie started at the beginning of Gomez and Morticia’s marriage and showed how they acquired Lurch, their butler, and their wonderfully creepy house and fast forwarded to life with their children, Wednesday and Pugsley. My favorite character in the movie was their teenage daughter, Wednesday. She was the perfect dark, moody teen. She played with electric chairs and guillotines, buried her brother alive, and threw knives at her uncle Fester. Of course, this is all perfectly normal for the Addams Family. They, after all, delight in the morbid, grim, and ghastly.

Wednesday Addams

As is typical with the Addams Family, they are unaware why people are put off by them and frightened by them and the way they live. After all, they are perfectly normal. When a new town is being formed below their house on the hill and they do not fit in with the cookie cutter way of life, plots start to turn against the Addams family.

The movie does have a good message, which is that it is ok to be different and we should appreciate people for who they are. It is boring for everyone to be the same. This of course applies to the Addams Family, who could not be more different than most typical families.

The Addams Family movie took the good parts of the past black and white era and blended it with the modern age. It worked. It was entertaining and the characters were as charmingly interesting as always. I would recommend the Addams Family movie. It is a good way to spend an afternoon with the family. Thanks Honey for taking us!

Downton Abbey Returns to the Big Screen


The Crawleys are back! This time the Crawleys are bigger than ever as they return to the big screen. Downton Abbey the Movie has made it’s way to movie theaters this September.

If a fan of the Downton Abbey series, head to the local movie theater for a treat by seeing the Crawley family on the big screen. It will not disappoint. The original cast, plus or minus a few, are back as if they have never left. The film takes place in 1927 England. We are drawn in by a steam engine and the following of an important letter that finally makes it’s way via vintage mail truck and then pedaled by bicycle to Downton. Once there, it is delivered and placed on a serving tray and carried by Mr. Barrow to The Earl of Grantham. This important letter announcing the upcoming stay of King George V and Queen Mary at none other than Downton Abbey sets the theme for the movie.

The period piece is full of fascinating old cars including a vintage mail truck that I thought wonderful. The women have bobbed their hair and put on long necklaces over gorgeous dresses. The staff are as feisty as ever and as always full of their own schemes. Of course the interior of Downton Abbey is as splendid as ever. All the scenery and costumes take one back to the twenties and able to imagine life as it was at the time. Even a movie goer who has not seen the series is sure to enjoy the movie.

Will there be another movie? Let’s hope so. But if there is still a desire for more Downton Abbey, maybe a trip to the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is in order. Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England has been the setting for the series and movie. While the castle is still lived in by the Count and Countess of Carnarvon, tours are given of Highclere Castle on certain dates throughout the year. ( https://www.highclerecastle.co.uk ) The Countess of Carnarvon’s new book, Christmas at Highclere Recipes and traditions from The Real Downton Abbey, might be a perfect holiday gift for a Downton fan.

So whether a fan of the series, a fan of period pieces, or just a loving spouse taking their beloved (who is a fan of the series) on a date night (THANKS HONEY!), head on out to see Downton Abbey and escape to another time for just one night. Enjoy the show!