A Christmas of Many Colors Christmas Movie Review 2016

Dolly Parton's A Christmas of Many Colors Circle of Love Christmas Movie ReviewI think that Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors Circle of Love is an excellent movie. It comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me if you are in search of a family friendly movie with a heartwarming story of hard work and sacrifice.

Set in 1955 in Tennessee's Great Smokey Mountains where Dolly Parton was raised, it continues Parton's story and follows on another successful made-for-television movie that I have not seen yet called A Coat of Many Colors.

In this film, we meet a struggling family with eight children and some members of the rest of their community, including my favorite, a very supportive and well established 26-year old 'old maid' school teacher and the preacher grandfather.

The family lives in a small rudimentary cabin and the school teacher in a cute little 1950s home with all the luxuries of middle class including indoor plumbing and the electronics of the time. All are fascinating for Dolly and quite a contrast with her family's home.

The family and members of the community work together in various ways in order to allow the father to gift the mother with the only thing that she wants.

The real Dolly Parton makes cameo appearances as a woman of possibly questionable morals. Since our moments with her are very brief, her profession is never truly established.

Watch this brief YouTube video to get a better understanding and feel for this movie:



Alyvia Alyn Lind takes on the role of  Dolly. You might recognize this young actress for her recurring role in the program Young and the Restless. Other actors I recognized include Ricky Schroder, Jennifer Nettles (actually a country music singer) and Gerald McRaney.

The New York Post calls the movie cliche and "contrived, especially as it leads to a series of near-disasters that can only be erased by another series of convenient miracles." I will agree with that statement but add that I do not think that it matters. 

USA Today says, "enjoy this movie for the message, the music and Parton's benevolent spirit." . 

A Christmas of Many Colors is a beautiful faith-based film that is full of hope and joy and peril and yes, humor, too. It is perfect for Christmas viewing by all, and it is an emotional roller coaster that will have you laughing and crying. It is predictable at points but it is perfectly enjoyable and very entertaining. As I said earlier, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. It is the best Christmas movie I have seen in awhile.

At the real Dolly Parton says at the end of the movie, "Hold your families close at Christmas. Love and accept each other. And always be kind." Thanks, Dolly.

Have you seen A Christmas of Many Colors? Will you be adding it to your holiday viewing list?

Merry Christmas!
Brenda

Quick Links:




Dolly Parton's A Christmas of Many Colors

Dolly Parton's A Coat of Many Colors and  A Christmas of Many Colors



Oreo Limited Edition Music Box (Turntable) Cookie Tin

Oreo Music Box

As one who has just pulled out her vinyl records again after many years of them never seeing the light of day, Oreo's Limited Edition Music Box made me smile. As a novelty gift for someone with a turntable, I think it is brilliant though it will probably also make someone who does NOT own a turntable smile.

Oreo Music Box Gift Set
Place any Oreo cookie on the plastic turntable and it plays one of four songs from previous Oreo advertising campaigns. The manufacturer says that any Oreo brand cookie can be used and I assume that other brands that are the same size might work, too. The song changes each time you take a bite of the cookie. You can even record your own song or personal message.   I like the handsome tin advertising container that it comes in, too. It will allow you to safely pack the turntable away until next year. Add some new cookies and the fun will begin again.

The set includes the record player, collectible holiday tin, white fudge Oreos, double stuff Oreos and Oreo thin cookies. It requires 3AAA batteries. See how it works in this short video from Oreo:


Oreo Cookies TurntableUnfortunately, this item is a hot seller for Christmas 2018 and it is sold out at the moment. I put my name on the waiting list at Amazon but I have no idea if one will become available or at what price. I believe that it originally sold for $19.99 but what would you be willing to pay for a novelty gift item like this once it is sold out?

Meanwhile, I know of two places to check on line if you are trying to buy one of these Oreo cookie tins. Try Amazon by clicking right here and, as I did, you can sign up to be notified when one becomes available. Or maybe you will be lucky and find one available on the day you visit this page and click through. Next, you can try eBay by clicking right here. I do see some available there right now but they are out of my price range. However, you never know what might be in store for you visit the site.



Oreo Music Box collector's advertising tin


What do you think? Isn't this a cute item? Do you have someone you would like to buy it for? I am thinking it would make a great gift for my sister, my grown sons or my sister-in-law and it would also be a lot of fun as a hostess gift for the annual ugly Christmas sweater party, the office party and the bring-a-consumable-item gift exchange, too. With the resurgence of interest in vinyl, Oreo's timing could not be better. As Oreo says, "It's a sweet holiday treat!"

"Play that cookie music!"

See you
at the record store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Check Amazon for the Oreo Music Box turntable gift set.
Check eBay for the Oreo Music Box record player.



Oreo Music Box




The Muppets Exclusive Deluxe Plush Toys

The Muppets Deluxe Plush Toys

Love The Muppets? Check Out These Amazing Muppet Plush Figures


In 2011 Disney brought The Muppets back in a very successful way with The Muppets Movie and The Muppets achieved their goal of TOTAL DOMINATION. Because of this comeback, characters from The Muppet gang have been seen here, there and everywhere and they have been welcomed back with open arms.

I particularly enjoyed the new character, Walter, since he pulled off his role of a quiet, kind, twenty-something young man so well and had us all rooting for him. He turned out to be a very nice young man in real life interviews with the media.

To celebrate the return of The Muppets, I created this page with as beautiful assortment of official Disney Store Muppets plush figures. I love them all and, as a matter of fact, I had a very hard time deciding who to feature here at the top of the page. In the end, I created a collage with them all. They all deserve equal billing.

If you love the Muppets as much as I do, you will also love this collection of brand-new plush figures starring The Muppets. They are all available online on sale from Amazon. Picking just one of them might prove to be very difficult.

Kermit The Frog 

Kermit the Frog Plush Toy

Kermit measures in at 16 inches. He is the star of The Muppets and of the 2011 Muppets movie, although I would say in the 2011 Muppet movie, he really shared the limelight with Walter, Amy Adams and Jason Segal. He certainly could not have pulled off this story without them.

If it is just Kermit the Frog plush that you are after, you might also enjoy my page entitled The Best Collectible Kermit The Frog Puppets and Plush Toys upon which you will find a large number of poseable and puppet Kermit the Frog options, both new and vintage. Meanwhile, you can find this Kermit plush toy here on Amazon.

Fozzie 


Fozzie Plush Toy

What's not to love about this wise-cracking, furry bear? This plush toy version of Fozzie is slightly shorter (and rounder) than Kermit at 15 inches. Find Fozzie on Amazon here.

Animal 





Some will relate to this crazy fun-loving, drum playing Muppet character. Disney's Animal plush toy measures in just slightly taller than Kermit, at 17 inches.  Find Animal on Amazon here.

Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy measures in at 19 inches. However, please note that she's offended at the thought of sharing any more personal statistics.

Miss Piggy is a high maintenance, self pronounced Diva. In this authentic Disney plush figure, she is ready for a night on the town. Who knows, maybe even a night at the Academy Awards picking up an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress?  Find Miss Piggy on Amazon by clicking here.

Walter

At 12 inches, Walter shares the title of shortest Muppet figure on this page with Rizzo. Walter is the newest Muppet. Disney introduced us to this quiet, sweet young man in the new Muppets movie in 2011. Walter struggled for his whole life to be happy in the human world. It is nice that in the new movie, he finally comes to the conclusion that he is a MUPPET not a MAN. If you want to learn more about Walter, you can visit my page about Walter by clicking here and you can find Walter on Amazon here.

Gonzo, Rizzo, Beaker and Pepe

Gizmo Plush Toy


Rizzo Plush Toy

Beaker Plush Toy
Pepe Plush Toy

Rizzo is 12 inches tall. making him, quite appropriately, one of the shortest of The Muppet gang featured on this page. He's adorable as a plush and one of my favourites. Unfortunately, he is a bit rare, which translates directly into a bit expensive. Find Rizzo on Amazon.

Beaker is the same height as Animal, measuring 17 inches tall. Find Beaker here.


Gonzo is another hugely popular Muppet character. This plus version stands at 17 Inches tall. Find Gonzo here.

Finally, Pepe is 15 inches tall. Find Pepe here.

-------------------------------------------------------

How is that for a wonderful collection of plush Muppets? Which of The Muppets Plush is your favorite?

See you
at the movies!

Brenda



The Muppets Plush Toys




This page originally published by me elsewhere.




Anne of Green Gables Gift Ideas

Anne of Green Gables Gift Ideas

Anne with an E Amybeth McNulty Art PrintI have been watching and thoroughly enjoying season two of the CBC mini-series, Anne with an E. It is remarkably cast and really, really good but I digress. My enjoyment of that series and my enduring love for Anne of Green Gables, sent me looking on Etsy for some great gift ideas. If you are a fan, prepare to enjoy my little gift shop, which highlights a few of the very best Anne items on Etsy.

Anne of Green Gables WrapThe image shown to the left is a picture of Amybeth McNulty, the actress currently portraying Anne in Anne with an E. It is a digital drawing printed on high quality paper that is suitable for framing. Alternatively, the artist, evehartmanart, has a postcard with the same image on it, either of which would be a great surprise for a fan of the series.  You can find either item on Etsy by clicking right here.

The literature-themed shawl or wrap shown to the right is totally unlike anything I have ever seen. If you love Anne, you are likely to appreciate this item, which shares an image of a book cover and a page from Chapter One in the book. It is available in two colors but I chose this one because I think it is likely to be the most neutral and go with more items in your wardrobe. You can find it on Etsy by clicking right here.

Next up and shown below is a small and affordable wee gift or even stocking stuffer for an Anne fan. It is an enameled pin with Anne Shirley's image. I think that it is too cute representing the image of Anne Shirley that so many of us carry around in our heads. You can find it here on Etsy.

Anne of Green Gables Enameled Pin

Another piece suitable for framing and hanging is the Anne of Green Gables original water color painting shown below. I love how it highlights many things from Anne Shirley's world and Prince Edward Island. It would do double duty as both a gift for someone who loves Anne and a souvenir of a summer vacation spent on the island. You can find it on Etsy by clicking right here.
Anne of Green Gables Prince Edward Island Watercolour Painting

Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery Quote Coffee Mug

A mug is always a great gift idea especially because it can be chosen with your recipient in mind. What Anne fan would not like this one, with the quote from L.M. Montgomery that reads, "Dear old world, you are very lovely and I am glad to be alive in you." I love the orange or carrot coloring and I would definitely use this mug every day.  Note that the mug design is also available on a t-shirt and you can find both of them on Etsy by clicking right here.

Anne of Green Gables T-Shirt
I do think that another practical and fun gift idea is a t-shirt and I did find a few lovely ones including the one with the text from the mug shown above on it (t-shirt not shown) and the t-shirt that is shown here to the right that features a romantic image of Anne Shirley and the house called Green Gables that she went grew to call home in in Prince Edward Island. It is a high-quality reproduction from an original illustration that was hand painted and hand lettered by the Etsy seller By Ky Studios. Find it on Etsy by clicking right here.

I love antique L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables books and, if you can afford one, I believe every fan should have one. A one hundred year old book just feels so much closer to Montgomery. You will have to work to find one. They come and they go on Etsy but there are lots of other book options. You can wait for a really old one or you can choose instead one that is the actual version you read as a girl or you can simply pick one that takes your fancy. There are so many beautiful versions, the choice is up to you.  To see all of the L.M. Montgomery books available right now on Etsy click here.  Be warned that genuine antique books are expensive.

Anne of Green Gables Book Safe
Another book-themed gift idea is a book safe. I love how Etsy seller Folio has carefully handcrafted this book out of a fairly recent version of our beloved story.  You or your Anne fan will be able to tuck treasures safely away within the 'pages' of this book.  Find it here on Etsy. If you are shopping for more than one reader, you will also enjoy the wide variety of book safes with different titles that include additional classics and even current day books like the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.

I have two more items that I would like to share with you. One is a personalized item for a child in your life. Etsy seller Heather Feather Fashions will sew for you an Anne Shirley dress or costume in sizes 3 through 14 that consists of a dress and a pinafore.  I think that this would be an especially nice gift idea for a young girl who has an avid imagination and is enamored with our literary hero. Perhaps one who would love to visit P.E.I.  For more details, you can reach out to Heather on Etsy by clicking right here.

Anne of Green Gables Dress

Anne of Green Gables Tote Bag
Finally, I love this Anne of Green Gables tote bag. Rather than give it alone, I would consider using it to craft a themed gift set. Place a few Anne items in the bag like a book, a movie and a t-shirt and use the tote bag as your wrapping paper. Alternatively, use it to carry your books to and from the library! You will find the tote bag here.

How about it? Do you love Anne Shirley? Will you be creating an Anne of Green Gables gift set or will you be buying something for yourself? I love all the ideas on this page. How about you?

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Check out all of the Anne of Green Gables items on Esty.


Anne of Green Gables Gift Ideas






Nifty Fantastic Beasts Niffler Coffee Mugs

Fantastic Beasts Niffler Mugs
It has been awhile since I have done a post about Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts and that is not because I have not seen some fun movie-themed merchandise. However, today's spotting of the Fantastic Beasts Niffler on a couple of coffee mugs literally called out for a post so here it is.

We first met the Niffler in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book and then we truly met him and really got to know him in the movie of the same name in 2016. I have yet to see the second movie, 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, so I do not know if the Niffler returns but surely he must.

Fantastic Beasts Niffler Coffee MugNevertheless, you can catch the elusive Niffler perched on a suitcase and grasping a clutch purse on this mug on Etsy from seller Shit Cake by clicking right here.

As cute as it is, it is not the only niffler mug that I saw though. I also found this nifty color-changing mug by Half Moon Bay and I think that it is is very clever how the addition of heat changes the black background with a small niffler and the words, "Have you seen the niffler?" to sketches like those seen in Newt Scamander's sketchbook. (Do be aware that color-changing mugs are not dishwasher nor microwave safe.) You can find this heat changing mug on Amazon by clicking right here.

Either one would be a great pick for your fan of  all things from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda







Quick Links:

Buy your Niffler mug on Etsy here.
Order the heat changing mug on Amazon.
Find more nifty Niffler gift ideas here.






Grace and Frankie Review

Grace and Frankie Review
I tripped across the Lionsgate series Grace and Frankie accidentally recently and I enjoyed it. It is definitely an in-your-face comedy program about aging. It includes plenty that you might or might not object to including drugs, alcohol and sex.

It stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston and June Diane Raphael. I think the first four did a fine job of representing older folks and the issues that they may or may not face in the future.

In the series, both women have been married for forty years to men who have just come out as being gay. Not only are they gay but the men are in love with each other and have been having an affair for twenty years. If you are thinking this is not really a funny subject, I agree but put that aside and enjoy the myriad of funny situations in the show in which the women, though totally different from each other, wind up sharing a beach house because they own it jointly and have been life long friends. Friends that is, with issues.  The story revolves around issues related to the demise of those marriages the continuation of their new family lives.

Here's the trailer:




Grace and Frankie Review
I expect if you are part of the aging population ah, like I am, you might enjoy this program, if you do not object to some of the subject manner. We will all face some of these situations as we age. Hopefully, we will be able to do so with humor wherever possible. Growing old is not fun.

The Telegraph says, "This septuagenarian comedy is sharp, moving and celebrates the vigour of growing old. It's lighthearted in celebrating the continued vigour of people in the later years of their lives, addressing their concerns without reducing its characters to fumbling old biddies with a lost sense of purpose, and the excellent leads bring life and plausibility to a story that might otherwise have fallen flat." I agree.

Be aware that not everyone I spoke to liked this show but I did. You can buy the DVD on Amazon or you can watch the videos on Amazon Prime. Find both formats by clicking right here. There are four seasons of the show available though at this moment just two are available. I am also told that there is a fifth season on the way.

Have you seen Grace and Frankie? Did you like it or not? If not, will you be watching it?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Grace and Frankie from Amazon.



Oliver's Ghost Hallmark Halloween Movie (2011)

Oliver's Ghost Hallmark Movie


Oliver's Ghost, A Ghost Of A Story


Oliver's Ghost aired originally on the Hallmark Channel, a  Halloween movie in which a boy can see ghostly spirits. He moves to an old house in the suburbs where he can see the previous home owner's spirit and he and a neighbor work together to help free that spirit by having him let go of his earthly regrets, which allows the house and the family to resume normal living.

Here's the movie trailer:




FAST Facts About Oliver's Ghost 


DIRECTED BY: David S. Cass Sr.
STARS: Martin Mull, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Stargel, Cameron Daddo, Bridget White, Daniela Bobadilla and Preston Strother.
RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2011
RUNTIME: To be determined.
RATING: Undetermined, although the trailer certainly makes the movie look like a family movie.
WRITTEN BY: David Golden

Meet Nicholas Stargel


Meet Nicholas Stargel Child Star of Oliver's Ghost Nicholas Stargel plays the child star in Oliver's Ghost. He started acting when he was five, appearing on the t.v. show Monk. In the next five years, he has appeared in six more shows and movies: Hallmark Hall of Fame's Front Of The Class, One Tree Hill, Past Life, Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns and Drop Dead Diva. He has also appeared in many television commercials for companies like Subway and Special K and has appeared in print. Nicholas lives in Georgia and California, splitting his time, as required. Besides acting, Hallmark says that he enjoys sports including baseball, football, soccer and that he is also a singer and guitar player.

Oliver's Ghost DVD


As far as I am aware, Oliver's Ghost has not made it to DVD so you will have to catch it when and if Hallmark airs it at Halloween time.  If you know otherwise, be sure to let me know. If you have seen this movie, be sure to let us know what you thought, too!


See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More Halloween:


Not Too Scary Movies For Tweens or Pre-Teens on Halloween.
Your Tween will probably be clamouring to see a scary movie this Halloween and probably will want to do so without you around....
Hallmark's Growing The Big One.
Hallmark's 2010 fall or Halloween themed movie, featuring small town life and giant pumpkins..

Halloween Every Day, A Halloween Blog.
Take six Halloween enthusiasts, put them in a great big black cauldron and stir. What do you get?

In The Name of the Father Ireland Movie Review (2013)

In The Name of the Father Ireland Movie Review (2013)

When we set off on this episode of our armchair traveller's trip to Ireland, I had not heard Gerry Conlon's story nor that of the Guildford Four. Conlon, as the Blu-ray cover says, was "falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned and had to fight for justice for his father's name."

Despite the R rating for language and violence, I did enjoy In The Name of the Father and thought that Daniel Day-Lewis did an excellent job of portraying the victim. The movie did not win any Academy Awards, but was nominated for seven, a definite indicator in my mind of a good movie.

It was not easy to watch, however. The fact that Conlon was a drifter and a petty thief did not make his tale of gross injustice any easier to watch. The level of police corruption was definitely disturbing.

In The Name of the Father is set in Belfast, Ireland and in Guildford, England in the 1970s. The IRA bombed a pub in Guildford and Conlon and his friends had the misfortune of being Irishmen in the vicinity at the time.  Using the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the police arrested him and his friends and eventually 15 members of his family.  In 1989, after the Guildford Four had spent 14 years in prison, Conlon's lawyer found a piece of evidence that had been hidden by the police, proving the innocence of Conlon but also of his father who died while in prison, his friends and his family.



Blogger Oscar Champs reports in his post that the story is not completely accurate, which is usually true of historically based stories and most movies and the director of In The Name of the Father eventually said that he changed facts, dates, etc. to suit his story. With this regard, the New York Times said that the film is "faithful to the larger facts while taking minor liberties," which seems reasonable to me. Even if the movie is not completely accurate, I believe that it tells a story that needs to be told and that it provides another look into Ireland's history. 

Proved Innocent Gerry Conlon
In his 1994 review Roger Ebert said that the story is really of how Conlon grows while in prison from an "unbalanced, angry homeless man" into a man who is "sober, intelligent, radicalized." He called the film interesting because "much of it is inspired by the love of the father for his son." Despite such praise, he gave the film 3 stars.

In closing their review linked above, The New York Times said, "A personal tragedy and a plea for reason, this tough, riveting film succeeds on both scores." 

Is this movie recommended by me? Yes, if you are interested in a look at this period in Ireland's history, if you are interested in a totally unbelievable story that is actually true and if you keep in mind that it is rated R for violence and language. There is a lot to think about here.

You can learn more about In the Name of The Father or buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here. If you want more story, you might check out Conlon's book Proved Innocent on Amazon, too. Presumably, it does a better job of sticking to Gerry Conlon's version of the facts.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

More About Ireland:

Buy In The Name of the Father on Amazon.

Read my My Left Foot Movie Review.
Read my Michael Collins Movie Review.







My Left Foot Irish Movie Review (1989)

My Left Foot Irish Movie Review (1989)
I had no expectations from the 1989 movie My Left Foot and picked it up because it was set in Ireland. Yes, it was to be another movie in our armchair traveller's trip to Ireland.  Anyway, I thought that the movie started off slowly and that it seemed dated but in the end the story of Christy Brown and his family reeled both myself and my husband in.

Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy in 1930s Dublin in a time when most born with that disease and many others were shipped off to care facilities. However, Christy was born into a poor family who could not afford to send him away and was raised in the interesting and economically struggling environment that he was born into. Despite the many challenges provided by this home, he was loved and was included and eventually goes on to become a painter and the author of numerous books including the one of his own story as shown below.

Here’s a look at the movie via the original trailer:



Is My Left Foot recommended by me? YES.

We totally enjoyed this story despite the uncertain beginning. But don't take my word for it, this movie was unexpectedly successful and widely circulated in the end but originally produced for the local Irish market. When it received wider circulation both the critics and the audiences liked it. Daniel Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Brenda Fricker for Best Supporting Actress. Other nominations for the film were for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and for Best Picture.  I believe that the cast, which also included Ray McAnally and Fiona Shaw, was indeed excellent and that the movie drew us in in large part because of the performances put in by that cast.

My Left Foot Irish BookRoger Ebert said, "It is the story of a stubborn, difficult, blessed and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage."

The Guardian calls it, "A moving portrayal of an astonishing man with a brilliant brain trapped inside a damaged body."

If you like a good story about one person's battle to express himself and you don't mind that it is a bit gritty and dated, I think you might enjoy My Left Foot. While it is not meant to be about Ireland, it is a good peek into Dublin in the 1930s. Let me know what you think of it if you do check the movie out.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Find the Christy Brown book and movie on Amazon.
Fifty Dead Men Walking movie review.
Michael Collins movie review.


Michael Collins Irish Movie Review (1996)

Michael Collins Irish Movie Review (1996)

Next up on our armchair trip to Ireland is the movie Michael Collins, which is yet another story of troubled times in Ireland that is based on a true story. It is set in that beautiful country but once again it is definitely not a beautiful movie as it tells another extremely violent story.

Michael Collins is a historical biopic film that tells the story of the man of the same name who led a guerrilla war in Ireland against the United Kingdom and eventually went on to create the Irish Free State and lead the National Army during the civil war. It is set roughly between the years of 1916 and 1920.

IMDB says that this movie was given the rating of PG in Ireland because of the historical value of the film despite the fact that it includes so much violence. They wanted the film to be available to young people who needed to know about that time frame in the country’s history. The film is more appropriately rated R elsewhere.

Here’s a look at the movie via the original trailer:


The New York Times says Collins was, “a leader who experienced a sea of change during his brief career, evolving from a pioneer of modern-day terrorism into a proponent of compromise and peace.” I believe that Liam Neeson does a solid job of portraying Michael Collins. Also in the cast are Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts. 

Is this movie recommended by me? Well, yes, if you are interested in a look at this period in Ireland's history and if you can tolerate the unpleasantness. The Guardian says that Michael Collins is, “A watchable and mostly well-judged film on a worthy subject, but one that is undermined by a couple of careless liberties with the facts.” For my and possibly your purposes of understanding a bit more about the history of Ireland, this film works even though it may not be 100 percent accurate. I would hazard a guess that most historical movies have taken liberties with the facts. Learn more about Michael Collins and/or buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Order Michael Collins from Amazon.
Visit Ireland in the 1980s via my Fifty Dead Men Walking movie review.





Fifty Dead Men Walking Ireland Movie Review (2008)

Fifty Dead Men Walking Ireland Movie Review (2008)
We are taking a trip from the comfort of our family room to Ireland by checking out numerous movies set in that beautiful country. The first story is brutal and there is nothing beautiful about it. Fifty Dead Men Walking was released in 2008 and features Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Zegers, Natalie Press and Rose McGowan. It is based on an autobiographical book of the same name. The story is that of a young man who worked for the IRA but became a police informer. Set in the late 1980s during a time period known as The Troubles, it is claimed that the young man in question saved fifty people from certain death while he worked undercover.

Definitely a brutal film. Rated R, it is loud, nasty, gritty, violent, horrible. It has torture and it has a sex scene. I had to look away many times but I appreciated the chance to learn a bit about Ireland’s history of that time period even if we are unsure exactly what "inspired by a true story" means. The author says that indeed it was inspired by rather than adapted from his book. In any case, the trailer shows exactly what you can expect from the 2008 movie:



Is the movie Fifty Dead Man Walking recommended? Well, yes, if you are interested in a look at this period in Ireland's troubled history and if you have the stomach for the nastiness. The Hollywood Reporter calls the performances stunning. I'd agree and this movie will definitely leave you with something to think about. It might even make you want to read the book by Martin McGartland. You can learn more about the movie or buy your copy on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
at the movies!
Brenda

Quick Link:

Buy Fifty Dead Men Walking on Amazon.





Hop Easter Bunny Movie (2011)

Hop Easter Bunny Movie (2011)

We almost missed the creation of an Easter bunny themed movie in 2011. Hop premiered on April 1 and turned out to be a very colorful, musical, state-of-the-art animation movie featuring live action (human) actors. It was released on blu-ray disc and DVD on March 23, 2012.

Fast Facts About Hop


ACTORS: Russell Brand, James Marsden, Gary Cole, David Hasselhoff as himself
DIRECTOR: Tim Hill
WRITERS: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2011
RATED: Hop is rated PG.
RUNTIME: 95 minutes.
HOP DVD AND BLU-RAY DISC RELEASE DATE: March 23, 2012

HOP Storyline in 100 Words or Less


We all know that the Easter Bunny has an easy job. He works one day a year, travels the world in a single day and is loved by everyone. Sound great? Well, it does NOT sound great to EB, the bunny whose job it is to be the Easter Bunny this year. He finally reconciles himself to the fact that all artists have to suffer to become great and that he will have to be the Easter Bunny.  However, he is struck by a car and the driver is forced to take him in and eventually to help save Easter. In the process, both the bunny and the man are forced to grow up.

The Official Hop Movie Trailer




Russell Brand HopThe Voice of Hop


Russell Brand voiced Hop. You'll recognize him from other projects that include Despicable Me and Get Him to the Greek. You can find his full filmography on IMDB.  On the blog She Knows, author Kim Grundy says that Russell Brand turns on the charm and his English accent to play the son of the Easter Bunny in HOP. In her interview with the actor they discuss, amongst other things, childhood Easter traditions, rabbit "whoopsie" and why he believes in the Easter bunny.


Age Recommendation



Hop is rated PG for comic peril and violence. The Movie Mom recommended it for children in kindergarten to third grade. Unfortunately, her review of Hop is no longer available but NYC Single Mom also wrote an excellent review in which she included a list of what she liked and what she did not like about this movie. She summarised by saying that it was wonderfully funny, that she would recommend it and that the trailer does not do it justice.


Hop Movie Merchandise


I did not see a lot of movie merchandise available for this movie though there was some. I love this  plush version of E.B., which is still available though in a limited way. You will find the mini plush figure shown here on Amazon by clicking right here and the full-size figure by clicking here.


Plush Rabbit from the Movie Hop

It turns out, however, that there is a lot more E.B. Bunny Hop movie merchandise available on eBay.  You can see for yourself by following this link.

Free Hop Coloring Page


This HOP free coloring page was originally available through the official website I Love Candy, which does not exist anymore and forwards you instead to a Universal page about the movie as seen here. While there are a few interesting short clips there, there no longer are free coloring or activity pages.

Free Hop Coloring Page

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Did you enjoy the movie Hop?

Do you know where jelly beans came from? If you do not, we know that you did not watch the trailer or the movie, LOL. This movie definitely had some potty humour.

If you would like to add Hop to your collection or even just watch it on Amazon Video, you can find it by clicking right here.

Hoppy Easter!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Order your copy of HOP on Amazon.
A fun Easter bunny jigsaw puzzle. (With a real rabbit and a chocolate Easter bunny.)
My family friendly Easter dinner menu.


Hop Easter Bunny Movie


Author's Note: This page originally written elsewhere.
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