Moana Movie Review (2016)

Moana Movie Review (2016)

Moana was the movie of choice, my choice that is, on our recent Friday Movie Night. My husband traveled with me to Polynesia willingly I must say. Armchair travel. Who would have thought there would be a day when this was the only way to travel?

Anyway, Moana was a movie that I wanted to see when it came out because it felt Hawaiian and I love everything about Hawaii. However, being empty nesters with no little people around, we tend now to miss animated movies when they arrive at the movie theatre and then, well, there are just so many great movies and programs to watch that Moana slipped out of sight for awhile. I am happy to say that I have finally seen it and that I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. It was a great escape from the virus and pandemic that is gripping the world as I write this post on March 23, 2020.  


A fictional mythological story done with computer-generated animation, Moana tells the tale of a teenage princess who stands up to protect her people when a fiery demon threatens them. She loves the ocean and sets out upon it learning navigational skills as she goes. Helping here is the demi-god Maui who was the original creator of the Pacific Islands. Together they sail onward, fighting difficulties as they look for the particular island she will conclude her mission.

Moana is a princess, the daughter of a Chieftain. However, she does not think of herself as a princess. She certainly does not fit the stereotype and definitely does not need rescuing. She is a strong, curvy girl with a mission. The Guardian aptly puts it when they say that "Moana is the story of a female leader-in-waiting who is independent and progressive, who cares about the environment and who looks beyond the borders of her homeland to face the challenges of the future." I say don't get in Moana's way!


Here's a peek into the movie via the official movie trailer:


Moana's OceanThis princess movie does not feature a love interest. The New York Times says, the Disney princess tradition continues to be charming (in this movie) but also widens "its cultural frame of reference and allows heroines to travel down paths other than the one leading straight to matrimony." There are important men in Moana's story but they are family and friend and one of the strongest characters is most fittingly, the ocean.


Another, ah, interesting character is the ridiculous chicken sidekick named Hei Hei. He stuck out to me in the beginning as totally over the top but, in the end, he was definitely part of the fun.  (Find your plush Hei Hei on Amazon by clicking right here.)
Moana's Hei Hei Chicken


As Roger Ebert says, this Disney movie has "dazzling visuals, catchy tunes, enjoyable performances, clever running gags and overall sense of fun." I agree. If you did not already want to go to Polynesia or Hawaii, this movie will make you want to go. It was beautifully done and a lot of fun. As always, I particularly loved the humorous moments.

The Verge says, "After 80 years of experiments, Disney has made the perfect Disney movie." That will give you a pretty good idea of the reception that this movie had. Moana follows the Disney formula but it is brilliantly executed.


Moana is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by all of the reviewers on this page and by me.

Have you seen Moana? What did you think? Will you be adding it to your movie list? You can buy your copy of Moana on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Find your copy of Moana on Amazon.
Check out all the fabulous Moana merchandise on eBay!

Moana Blu-ray and 3D Movie

Moana DVD

Nothing Like a Dame / Tea with the Dames Review

Nothing Like a Dame Documentary Review

It was with great interest that I sat down to watch the feature length 2018 British film Nothing Like a Dame or Tea with the Dames as it is called in the United States. Not a movie but rather a simply presented, often times funny, documentary-style visit with four legendary stage and film actresses: Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright.

Interwoven with scenes from their careers current and past, it finds the four talking casually and sometimes candidly about their lives. We had an interesting visit and I gained insight into the lives they have lived, the work they have done and even into aging, something that is coming to get all of us. Because of this film, more details about the experiences of these four very talented individuals has been recorded for posterity.

The Guardian gives the film five stars and leads with the title, "Judi Dench and Maggie Smith trade brutal banter." Yes, there were serious parts about the relationship of these two women who must, at times I expect, have been rivals. However, I think that there was more humor than bad banter. I loved some of the stories that Dame Dench related. They ranged from being stung in the bum by a bee to being offered the role of Cleopatra when she was 53. I won't elaborate to avoid spoiling her stories for you. Finally, of course, there was discussion of lost loves and lives.

Variety sums it up nicely when they say, "the conversation romps jovially across subjects ranging from stage fright to late-blooming screen stardom, and from early-career body-image concerns to the wearily accumulating indignities of old age, their combined good humor and catty irony rarely flags." Take a peek into at the film for yourself in this official movie trailer:

The Telegraph says, "…(the Dames) are funny and witty and sharp. They are in their eighties, very lively women, and this film is a celebration of friendship."  I agree and Nothing Like a Dame is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. If you are a fan of these amazing ladies, you should check out Nothing Like a Dame. You can find your copy on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Order your copy of Nothing Like A Dame / Tea with the Dames on Amazon.

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Book

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Book

Looking for a simple, but heart felt Valentine's Day present for a Peanuts fan? Don't miss this cute little Charles M Schulz book called Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

Packed between the covers are 128 pages of Valentine's Day themed comic strips. Love is in the air for the beloved Peanuts characters and it could be for you, too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown from Amazon.

Yesterday Movie Review (2019)

Yesterday Movie Review (2019)

Yesterday is totally enjoyable, funny, charming and sweet romantic comedy. At least that is what I thought about it.


The premise of the film is odd but simple. A blip to the world's power supply wipes the earth of any sign of the existence of the Beatles. It turns out that Jack, a struggling musician in England, is the only one who remembers the Fab Four and their music. Being the only one with the knowledge of some of the best-ever created songs puts him in a unique position to better his career and allows us to reminisce with some fabulous Beatles tunes. Jack is and has always been supported in his quest for musical success by Ellie, who acts as friend, manager and roadie driving him around to gigs when she is not in the schoolroom teaching math. The rest of the story follows Jack's rise to fame and stardom and how that impacts on his friendship with Ellie.


It stars Himesh Patel and Lily James and the music of The Beatles. You might know Patel from the EastEnders or The Aeronauts and you might know James from Cinderella, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again or Downton Abbey, where she played Lady Rose MacClare.  The cast is rounded out with Joel Fry playing the oddball character Rocky, who steps in as manager when Ellie is not available and Kate McKinnon playing Debra, the Hollywood mogul determined to profit from Jack's newfound music writing talent.  I have deliberately chosen to leave off this cast list the special guest since we did not know that he was going to appear in the film when we watched it and not knowing added to the fun.


Here's a peek through the official movie trailer, which reveals the special guest so if you'd like to keep that part a secret, don't watch the trailer.


Apparently, not everyone appreciates a charming and sweet movie as much as I do.

Reviewers on Amazon give Yesterday 4.4 stars out of five.

On Rotten Tomatoes, audience viewers gave the film a solid 89 percent while their approved critics gave it a lesser score of 63 percent.

Roger Ebert's website gave it a 2.5 of 3 stars though I found author Sheila O'Malley's words less enthusiastic than her score. She said, "The film gets caught up in the relationship between Jack and Ellie," which is true and that "much of it did make her feel good" though she found it underdeveloped and that she was "conflicted about a choice made late in the film."

The New York Times said, "Yesterday is more of a novelty earworm than a classic. It’s appealing and accessible in a way that the Beatles never really were. If it took itself — and them — a bit more seriously, it would be a lot more fun." Yes, of course, this film could have been a lot deeper but that did not detract from my enjoyment.

Rolling Stone magazine says, "Yesterday has its heart firmly in the right place. It’s the challenge to take it to the next level that’s missing."

Obviously, I took this film in a much less critical way than those officials who review movies.  I know that certain issues were not fully fleshed out and that explanations were not given for some of the things that happened in the movie. Yes, the movie could have been more but what instead it is is as I said in the beginning, is a totally enjoyable, funny, charming and sweet romantic comedy.

Watch it for yourself and let us know what you think. Buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here where you will find the Prime, Blu-ray, DVD and 4K versions. If you buy one of the discs, be sure to watch the extra scenes, alternate ending, etc. We enjoyed them, too.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy Yesterday from Amazon.
Love the Beatles music? Check out The Beatles Anthology.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine Lego Set.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie Review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie Review


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Walt Disney's first animated feature. In 1937 it was considered extremely unlikely that people would want to sit through a full-length animated movie. However, Disney spared no expense putting this movie together and it went on to great success and has stood the test of time extremely well. I am sure that Snow White is still hugely popular because of the wonderful music, which includes the highly unusual voice of Adriana Caselotti and the lovable characters and creatures.

If you are in the market for a copy of this legendary animated movie, you should definitely be considering one of the Blu-ray disc versions as that will present the movie in the best possible quality for home viewing and you will be happy to know that the Blu-ray release ranked very well for quality of picture, sound and extras.

On this page, you will find all of the Blu-ray choices that are available. You can choose from the more affordable, simple Blu-ray disc package like the Diamond edition (shown above) right up to the amazing gift sets, which include but are not limited to, the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Plush Gift Set and the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Limited Edition Collector's Set. You will also find the Blu-ray movie trailer, reviews from amateur and expert movie reviewers and much more.

Disney called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a 'limited time release' and put it back in the vault in 2011. However, if you are looking for a copy of Snow White on blu-ray or DVD it is still available on Amazon.

You can click here to see Amazon's collection of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movies on blu-ray and DVD.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray


We all know that Snow White is the earliest of Disney's princess who escaped from a jealous stepmother and took up house with a group of seven dwarfs. However, she eventually ate a poisoned apple from which she can only be revived from the spell by love's true kiss.


ACTORS: Adriana Caselotti, Roy Atwell, Lucille LaVerne
DIRECTOR: David Hand
RATED: G (General Audience)
STUDIO: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
RUN TIME: 84 minutes


Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is definitely a movie classic. However, that does not make it suitable for all children. It is, as Commonsense Media says, enchanting but scary. They recommend Snow White for children aged five years old and up. The Movie Mom, in her book The Movie Mom's Guide to Family Movies, also recommends this movie for children aged five and up.

In case you do not remember, the frightening parts include many with the wicked queen, when Snow White is in the enchanted forest, when she eats the apple and when the Queen transforms into a hag. Don't forget, the Queen actually orders the huntsman to kill Snow White and return with her heart. Take this information in before you show it to your very young children.

Some might even dislike the basic approach of Snow White, that of young lady content to stay home and clean house until her prince comes for her.

Finally, the movie does not have narrative and relies on the use of pages from the storybook to share details of the story. Non-readers will require someone to read for them.This film is a marvel, however, and boasts a beautifully remastered video and some of the most famous Walt Disney music of all time.

REVIEWS FROM THE EXPERTS says, "The 3-disc Blu-ray edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a near-definitive release of the animated film that started it all. Its gorgeous restoration is simply the beginning. What follows is a glorious video transfer, a fit and faithful...

High-Def Digest says, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' is a lovely film that captures the heart and imagination of Walt Disney and what he was trying to achieve in the world of animation. It's a beautifully animated film that has been given new life with a fantastic...


The Amazon customer reviews of Amazon include comments like the Blu-ray being simply brilliant. Dennis A. Amath was amazed that a 1937 class movie could look so vibrant and spectacular and said that Disney did a brilliant job of restoring and remastering the film. He found the picture "pristine." In more technical terms he called the "new lossless 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio" magnificent. Justice4all72 call the quality unbelievably good.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Limited Edition Collector's Set


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Collector's Book Set


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie & Blush Toys Gift Set
I LOVE, love, Love this set. Imagine receiving the Snow White movie and all of the dwarfs in plush toy form! Find this set here on Amazon.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Steelbook


Ever wondered what a SteelBook is? I did and recently learned that a SteelBook Case is one that is similar to an ordinary disc case but which is made out of metal making it much more durable and more attractive as well. Some collectors even prefer the more substantial feel of a SteelBook case in their hand. Often the SteelBook version of the movie features different artwork (as this from Snow White does) and sometimes that artwork is even embossed or dressed up in some way. This SteelBook set includes both Blu-ray and DVD discs. Find the Snow White SteelBook set on Amazon here.

Have you seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs recently? If so, what format did you watch it in?

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Buy your copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie Review