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The Godfather: Part II

Darkness Descends
I didn't enjoy this film as much as the first. It seemed to be far more political and the jumping back to Vito's early life, while the more enjoyable part of the film, was a bit confusing. You never knew when you would suddenly find yourself back in time again. I'm not sure it added to this story as a whole and might have been better as a prequel in its own right as I think it had the better focus and potential to show a character that we were already curious about his origins.

The actors were all very good, but nobody really stood out for me this time, except of course Al, who manages to twitch his face his slightly to imply his desires to his men. There's a lot said by his face that words can't do.

While the time jumping was confusing, the film in general was put together well. I do think it could have been about an hour shorter though.

I'm not sure we needed to find out what happened to Michael after the end of the first film, but I can appreciate why others might like this one and why some might prefer it, but for me number 1 just had more going for it.

Michael is not a happy man, having fallen in to his position, despite his attempts not to. It's a hard balance for him to maintain his family and his "business" life. As a result the film is quite sulky and dark. He doesn't want that life and it's difficult to watch him so unhappy and with no one he can trust.

I don't dispute that this is a good film, it's just not my sort of film. It lacks something that the first had and it's not just Marlon Brando.

Sweet Mountain Christmas

Sing along if you know the words!
It's nice to finally see one of these films and find that they've actually got someone who can sing to play a singer for a change. Megan Hilty has a great voice and some of the harmonies she has with others in this film are lovely.

Marcus Rosner doesn't need to be able to sing, he just has to look gorgeous and he does it very perfectly. He's also very good in the role too.

One of the unsung heroes and veterans of these Made For TV Christmas Films is Teryl Rothery. I have seen her in so many and she is always great.

As for the story, we have seen it all before, but it doesn't matter, because it's done well here. It's a bit more real than some of the others, in a good way.

The lighting seems a bit dark for some reason, but otherwise it's all put together well.

Another one to add to my regular Christmas viewing.

The Day After Tomorrow

Why didn't they burn the wooden furniture that was everywhere instead???? Effing heathens!
Greta Thunberg watches 'Friday The 13th' and 'Halloween' and probably giggles all the way through them (To be fair they are a bit dated now and somewhat comical for it, but that's not the point I'm trying to make) this film however probably scares the bejesus out of her and she wouldn't be alone. It terrifies me. It's so unsettling to think of the people in power ignoring the signs, because of "costs" and to think that my niece or nephews kids won't have a world to live in. The cost is life and it will be massive. This film shows only a Hollywood slice of what could happen and none of us are ready for it. If I'm honest, I keep forgetting how terrifying these type of films are. I felt nauseous for days after watching '2012', I don't watch the news because what I see scares me, so why do I put myself through this? It's a good film, that's why and I like good films, it does take a toll though. This one gives slightly more hope than '2012' and isn't quite as forceful in its scare tactics, which is better for me. It also helps that it has a better cast including my favourite Jake and neck down Quaid.

Global warming isn't a joke and it's not going away and it's sad that 16 years after this film was made we still need people like Greta to stand up for the whole planet. I'm sad to say that I stand with her mostly in spirit only and I wish I did more to help the situation. But if a film like this can just help to give people that little bit more of a push to do better each time they see it, hopefully we will all start to make a difference.

Mingle All the Way

There's a few I'd like to mingle with.
I think that Jeff (Brant Daugherty)'s sister forgot to add that he was looking for men on his "Mingle All The Way" profile. He should have dated Tyler (Casey Manderson) instead, they had far more chemistry than Jeff did with Molly. It would have been more believable that way. I could see her attraction to him, but he seemed to be there just for the Christmas activities and only interested in her as a friend.

It's not a bad film though otherwise. It's kind of been done before with 'The Mistletoe Promise', but there aren't many of these films that haven't had the story replicated ten times over.

Brant is gorgeous, which helped me to like this film and Casey is a real cutie too.

There didn't seem to be any acting that stood out like a bad saw thumb and the settings, production and so on all seemed to work.

It's just a shame that Brant is as camp as. . . Well Christmas! I still would though!

The Godfather

Oh My Godfather!
I went into this film with a chip on my shoulder that was determined not to like it and I was only watching it in order to scratch it off of my film poster. I don't like gangster films really, glorifying violence and illegal activities has never been in my wheelhouse, but I have to say that this one was so well made, so well acted and such a good story that I couldn't help but enjoy it.

It starts out with a great pace that takes you through things day by day, which it slightly loses towards the end, when suddenly we are skipping ahead months or years at a time and with a much slower feel to the action, but I was already sold on the film as a whole, so I didn't mind too much at all.

It's obvious why it appears on every top films list I've ever come across. Yes, you could trim about 15 minutes off of it, but at what cost, I don't think that there is anything in this film that shouldn't be there, the perspective shots and set ups are all important I feel. The director, editor and crew in general have all done a fantastic job to bring this Mafioso story to life with a careful and considerate vision.

What I would call the gross bits aren't so offensive to put me off my tiramisu and the bad language is part and parcel, without being overused to prove how bad they are.

It's a shame to see the sweeter and more innocent Michael slowly get drawn in to the trouble, but you can see why he finds that path and that's what makes the story interesting.

The actors all give great performances. Mother thought that Robert Duvall in particular was outstanding for giving us a side of him that we don't see that often in his other roles, which can sometimes be a bit more quirky and I have to say that I agree with the old grotbags.

However, I have always had a thing about Mr Brando that I just can't ignore (If I ever get a time machine, you'll find me in his changing room for 'Streetcar Named Desire'). I thought he was fantastic, especially as he gets older towards the end of the film. I didn't quite understand why he looked like he'd been to the dentist and forgotten to take the cotton wool out though? I'm not sure it added anything, except to add a talking point or a gimmick. Were they trying to make jowls where there were none or was it an old wives tale way of trying to clear his obviously congested sinuses? Whatever it was, he was superb.

Al gave a great performance too, surely paving the way to his lead role in 'Scarface'. I was also incredibly surprised to find myself looking at James Caan with bedroom eyes. My only references to him previously have been 'Elf' and 'Misery', so to see him so youthful and handsome was a pleasant change.

If you like gangster/mobster films then this one is a sure win for you, but even if you don't generally like them you should give it a go.

I have Part II lined up to watch in the next few days. It will be interesting to see where it goes with the fabulous Robert De Niro on board too.

No Time Like Christmas

"Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets. . ."
This is a full on corn fest! The two leads played by Kyla Pratt and Edward Ruddles aren't terrible, but they seem to be surrounded by people of the hammiest and cheesiest school of acting. The Mother and The Mayor are just awful!

Although, I don't know who told Kyla that she can sing, but they were so very badly wrong and her speaking voice isn't any less irritating either.

Edward is not quite worthy to make it on to my Daily Crush list, but there is something about him that is appealing. I probably would have turned it off after she got back to Vermont if he hadn't turned up.

The story itself isn't bad, it's just badly made.

I will not be adding this to the regular watching list for every Christmas, but I might chance it again in a few years?

All I Want for Christmas

More like this please?
There is something about the older Made For TV Christmas Films that were just so much more charming and sweet. Before the "Formula" and Hallmark Channel took over and made them all the same.

This is no exception and I remember watching it when I was much, much younger and having a huge crush on Ethan Embry. Now I have a huge crush on Jamey Sheridan, who plays the Dad, instead.

It doesn't actually have a lot of Christmas elements to it. Yes they visit Santa, but that's about it. However the spirit of the season, love and family are definitely very prominent.

The whole cast play their parts well and the snowy setting of New York, although it has since been overused, is perfect for the shenanigans. It flows well with pace, but without compromise and you really feel you know the characters as you go through their Christmas build up with them.

It's a nice story without that harshness that some of them can have and it even has a little magic.

If I see it on DVD, I'm buying it!

Young Guns

"Young Guns Go For It!"
I seem to remember watching this film when I was a lot younger, but only after I had seen the second instalment of it and I think that there must have been something about the second one that made me love this one so much, filled as it is with such talented young actors and supporting cast. However, it seems that with age my tastes have changed. The actors all still give good performances, but having a slightly worn out brain in my head, I start to see that what was fun as a teenager, now comes across as slightly psychotic. I'm referring to Billy of course, who even seemed to scare his friends in this version of events, something I didn't notice before. I laughed along as he killed the people that he was supposed to be arresting and felt his excitement at the chance of a fight or a shoot out, because that's how I was meant to feel at that age. Now I am older and almost a complete pacifist, although there are still a few people I could quite happily hit in the face. With a chair. Repeatedly. Anyway, as such, the violence doesn't interest me as much as the history of the characters and their journey.

I'm not saying it's a bad film, just that it doesn't hit the notes that it used to for me. It's put together dvd edited well, produced and directed with a humour to balance out the fighting. As modern westerns go, it's got to be one of the best, but it is a shame that they didn't follow the history more exactly. It really annoys me that they still do this with films. If it didn't happen don't put it in the film or change the names and the title to fit what you want to do without calling it an historic account.

I will search out the second film and see if that still holds its own for me, although I don't remember that being factually accurate at all, but it does have Christian Slater in it, yum!

Snowbound for Christmas

Hey Stuck Inn!
I actually really liked the romance that blossomed between these two and it was a charming location that made me feel all snug and cosy inside. It wasn't very Christmassy, but the rest was so good that it didn't matter.

I wasn't sure I was going to like it to start with as the lead female seemed a bit wet, but Henderson Wade is a very sexy man and I think you could see the connection between him and Zarrin Darnell-Martin really easily, as she showed what she was really made of. Franco Lo Presti is also gorgeous, I would like to have seen more of his character. I also think that it's about time Joseph Cannata became a leading man. He would be really good, especially if he was naked. However her Dad and his Mum need to go back to acting school.

I do wonder why the evil girls are all from The Netherlands, Sweden or that general area nowadays though. Aren't there any evil British ones left?

All in all, it put a smile on my face and you can tell it was good because it also made me miserable because I don't and never have had a decent relationship like theirs.

Sweet Charity

If I Could See This Again!?
I didn't know how much I loved Shirley MacLaine, but she is just lovely and brilliant in this film. It was also interesting to see a different side to Ricardo Montalban, without William Shatner shouting "Khan!!!!!" at him. And what a rogue he is. The rest of the cast all played their parts well too and together they made a great film.

Who knew that this was the origin of so many great songs including the 'Rhythm Of The Night' sung by the cool Mr Sammy Davis Jr and added to my iTunes to buy list? It really helps you to get in to the story when you know what the song says. The girls aren't the best singers or at least the recording didn't make them sound brilliant, but I'm not sure that they needed to be as it added a naïveté to Charity and her pals.

I loved the quirky and weird, but brilliant and excellently choreographed dance numbers. Surely they must have been the inspiration for a lot of the elements in Austin Powers? It's almost as if they lifted them straight from this film.

I also liked the edit and direction that was used, cleverly injecting photos in to the narrative and using interesting angles and colours. It really was psychedelic.

It wasn't the ending I was hoping for and actually after Oscar appeared on the scene it all got a bit tame, which lost me a little bit, but 'Brass Band' was a great number as was 'I Always Cry At Weddings'.

Why haven't I watched this sooner? A great mix of Chicago, Cabaret and Austin Powers.

Christmas Festival of Ice

Ice, Ice, Baby!
This really isn't a bad film, but I am starting to get a little bit tired of the same story told in a different way. Come on Hallmark/Lifetime surely you can come up with something else?

Damon Runyan is very handsome and likeable and I think she should understand that not everybody is an extrovert. She is nice too though, but I would have liked to have seen more umming and arghing about her job.

The ice sculptures are very well done, but you don't really get to see them properly to appreciate them.

Their romance is cute enough and there's a brief mention of Christmas, but it doesn't have a lot of focus on the season if that's what you're looking for?

I will watch it again I'm sure, especially if there is an extended edition which features Damon Runyan at least topless, but otherwise not for a year or two.


Someone's got the horn and it's not Tom.
This film has definitely fallen victim to an Editor/Director who has been given a pair of scissors and too much time on his hands. It does still flow, but it's far too fast and there is no time to get to know the characters before the journey has started and already finished. Apparently there is a Directors Cut which is substantially longer and better. I would appreciate seeing that, even though this version isn't brilliant. There are other things wrong with it too, but for the most part it's not a bad film, it's just not an amazing film, which it could have been. The story actually has potential.

Although I'm not his biggest fan, Tom isn't actually that bad here at all and I love everything Tim Curry does. But the Gump character was creepy and the Dwarves didn't get the opportunity for the humour which they should surely have brought, based on what we did see.

It was also distracting that they used whale song for the sounds of the Unicorns. I was half expecting Captain Kirk to beam in and say "Captain's Log: We have arrived in the late 20th century in an attempt to bring two Humpback Whales to the 23rd century in the hopes that they can communicate with a destructive probe. . ." It was actually quite off putting.

I think a remake of this today, even with the same cast, those that are still with us, would be very well received, until then I will look out for the Director's Cut on DVD, but I'm not paying the £11.42 that they want for it on eBay. I didn't like it that much.

Horton Hears a Who!

I have been quite surprised with the Dr Seuss films lately. After the disappointment of the first 'Grinch' and 'The Cat In The Hat', this one, 'The Lorax' and the 2018 'Grinch' have all been really well done and very funny and clever too.

It's a lovely story anyway and this version does it great justice with that modern twist to bring it to a new audience. Yet it still contains so many great messages for everyone -

Stand up for what you believe in. Even the smallest voice can and should be heard. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. A persons a person no matter how small. (That's particularly relevant for my Niece Eleanor who is diddy!) And so many more. . .

They have also created such wonderful worlds to look in to. Wouldn't it be so much more fun to live in a world like that where the houses aren't all square and boring and things are all just so much more colourful and fun. I'm sure it could be possible if we tried. Somebody get Kevin McLeod on the phone??

The voice actors are all well chosen too, not necessarily my favourite actors in general, but in these roles they certainly do shine. Jim Carrey was an inspired choice for the ever endearing and loveable Horton, despite the fact he usually aggravates me.

The artists should get a mention too, they have obviously worked hard.

I think this will stand the test of time, being, as it is, another world entirely and having morals that will sadly still need to be taught for at least a few more generations.

USS Christmas

Hello Sailor!
Although he starts out quite gruff at the beginning, it's easy to see how he mellows throughout the film, thus proving that Trevor Donovan is not only gorgeous, but a good actor too. I've seen a lot of these films lately and quite often the actors haven't been able or directed to get this change from "Grinch" to "Santa" to flow naturally and as a result they have seemed highly unlikely to have that crucial change of heart that the formula of every Made For TV Christmas Film demands and some of them are just downright horrible. She annoyed me a bit though, I'd have dragged him off to a room alone somewhere after the first meeting.

It's a cute story, although it is just a variation on the theme, but it is nice to see a different setting this time, even if they do still end up in New York. The idea of a Navy ship was clever and they didn't go over the top with the "We must honour our troops" thing.

I may be biased because Trevor looked so good in uniform and in Black Tie, but I did like this one and I look forward to watching it again next Christmas preferably before February, but there are so many to watch aren't there.

A Matter of Life and Death

"It's June Dad!"
Well it's no wonder that this film features on both the BFI (British Film Institute)'a Best 100 British and Best 100 of All Time lists. It really is a clever idea and I'm surprised that I haven't seen a newer version of it.

David Niven, who is supposed to be 27, but has always looked at least 50 to me, is Peter, a pilot who is supposed to die, but unfortunately his not so grim, but rather flamboyant reaper couldn't find him in the fog. As a result he falls in love with a girl called June only to find that the reaper is still after him. What follows is an argument between "Heaven" and Earth regarding his right to stay behind with the girl he has fallen so badly for.

A trial is set and this is the only bit that lost me a little. It became a debate about Anglo/American relations and completely missed the great opportunity it had to discuss the rights of the individual, the power of love and even to consider the repercussions should he be allowed to stay on Earth and potentially change the future as it would have been. I understand that this was done in order to bridge relations across the pond as they were a bit frayed at the time, but it seems ill conceived as far as I can see and only promoted the animosity.

The cast all do a fine job and it is produced well.

There is a kid on a beach early on that is naked for no particular reason that confused me and the Colour/Black&White thing doesn't work as well as 'The Wizard Of Oz', but it definitely has a unique take on things.

I also think that the ending can be decided by the audience. There's nothing to say that either reality wasn't true, at least that's how I like to look at it.

Rediscovering Christmas

I've discovered that I didn't like B.J. Britt!
I'm not actually sure how I managed to finish this film in the mood I was in today. This was the third film I came to and my usual passion for Christmas films seems to have cooled somewhat in the February rain.

I did finish it though and the story was ok, but it needed Luke Macfarlane or Jesse Hutch to compliment Jessica Lowndes. I did not care for B.J. Britt at all. He was actually quite obnoxious and very unlikeable. The rest of the cast were nothing special either. Did anyone else want the Dad to wash his greasy looking hair? Yucky!

I probably won't watch it again.

Shoelaces for Christmas

Noose For Christmas
Despite the fact that the usually gorgeous Bailey Chase was in this one, I couldn't watch it to the end or for that matter more than fifteen minutes. The depressing direction in which it was going, with what was going to be a very moral message I'm sure, was not the way I wanted to go today and I don't generally like being made miserable at the best of times.

Sadly, the close ups and unfiltered Bailey did not do him justice either. They must have spent the make-up budget on the evil and plastic teenagers.

I can't score it, because I didn't finish it.

A Majestic Christmas

The Yuletide is too gay!
I just couldn't with this one today. The guys in it all seemed really gay. I have no issue with gay guys playing straight guys, but they need to be able to pull it off. If I get a part as an American, I use an American accent. It's the same principle.

As a result of that and having seen this one before and remembering that I wasn't that impressed, I gave up on it early.

Because of this I cannot score it at this time.

My Christmas Inn

Waiting for the punchlines
I just don't like the lead female in this film. It's probably the third or fourth one I've seen her in and I just keep expecting it to be a sitcom. The way she acts is so comedic and exaggerated. I also didn't believe for one minute that her character would ever have a change of heart and stop being a complete B!tch!

Also, once again I find that the male lead is far too nice for this promotion driven city girl with a superiority complex. He doesn't photograph well, but onscreen he's actually really cute, although he needs a haircut and maybe a shampoo as well.

The story is the same formula we have all come to expect with this genre, but lacks that believablility. It's got the Christmas thing going for it and the romance is nice once she calms down.

It certainly won't be top of the list to watch again next Christmas, but I wouldn't say no to it, if I've watched the rest first or was really bored.

The Untouchables

"You can't touch this!"
This wasn't bad at all. It may perhaps be a somewhat simplified version of the events and not strictly true to the actual events and I'm sure it would be much bloodier and filled with characters that don't show their true colours until later and probably more factually accurate if it was made today, but it got the story across well and it didn't take too much brain power to understand. I like it that way, too much cloak and dagger can detract from what is just a good story.

Al Capone's downfall at the hands of Elliot Ness and his Untouchables (Sounds a bit rude doesn't it?) is given appropriate time and pacing, with good actors and direction. The costumes are good and the sets are well chosen. It's obvious that they had a good budget. It does still contain some bloody violence, but not necessarily in a gratuitous way. It's certainly not the sole focus, despite De Palma being renowned for his bloody flicks. I'm a big scaredy-cat so if I can deal with it, it can't be that bad.

Does it make Elliot look somewhat lost until he recruits Malone, Stone and t'other one? Yes it does a bit and it seems a bit lead by Malone rather than Ness, who doesn't appear to have known where to start. That may just be how the film portrays him. Sean was the bigger star at the time after all, but I don't know how it all really went down, because I wasn't there. I've just heard of the Legend of Elliot Ness, but not of Malone. According to the IMDB Trivia section "t'other one" wasn't even present for the events.

Robert gives a fantastic performance as Capone and stands out for that. Kevin is ok, but a bit wet and Garcia is surprisingly handsome, which I've never said before. No one does a bad job as acting goes. Sean however frustrates me. He's reputed as this fantastic actor with numerous awards yet he has never, to my knowledge, succeeded in doing any accent other than his own. Why then does he get a part as an Irish-American. Was it for his name, was it because they don't care that Irish and Scottish don't sound the same or did they genuinely believe he sounded Irish? It's one thing that bugs me in films, when you have someone playing a role that they cannot do the accent for. If you're going for realistic, you've got to ensure this is correct. I have no issue with anyone playing a part that they weren't born in to, but I do expect them to work hard to produce the best version of that character, otherwise what are they getting those big bucks for? Allegedly De Niro wore similar undies to Capone just to get in to character, did Sean even know that he was supposed to be Irish? I'm sure he didn't know what type of pants Malone wore. In fairness, if you forget that he's not a Scottish immigrant, he's actually quite good in the role.

I've seen better "Gangster" films, but this one was easy to watch and an interesting story to start with.


"Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of War!"
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Even after the first ten minutes I was trying to find issues with it, because I just had it in my mind that it was going to be terrible, but I found that I was struggling.

Before I continue I should probably say that I have never played even five minutes on the Game that this film is based on, so I am looking at it purely from the view of a film fan.

Despite it being a good watch and for the most part, very enjoyable, I did think that there was a pace issue and I could have done with a bit more of a back story for the Orcs and maybe more of a set up in general. I don't understand why there was such an issue for pace, because the geeks that follow these things, myself included, would quite happily sit and watch it for 3 hours, so why make it just over 2? It also needed a bit of sex and a little bit of down time to show what they were all fighting for - Why did the Orc's think they could just take the land and need it at all and what was the human side of the gate like before the war was brought?, But it really wasn't a bad storyline at all. I can understand that the original idea was made for an XBox and not a cinema screen and that as a result there are bound to be similarities to things like 'Lord Of The Rings', Thor and even Harry Potter (Hippogriffs/Giant Birds/Orcs), but some of the settings seemed to have been lifted straight from other films. At one point I thought that Khadgar was in Boss Nass' Council Chamber (Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace). There were other issues with the CGI as well, the Orc men seemed alright, but Gul'dan and the women were definitely distorted in an obviously computer generated way.

The story is good though. It's a new take on this genre and I generally liked it. Would I say that it's as good as The Tolkien films? No, but it's pretty close to 'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies'.

As for the actors- I don't know who cast Dominic Cooper, but they were just so wrong to do so. He just doesn't have the presence to be the King.

Lothar played by Travis Fimmel however was very good and I believed in his character. Khadgar was also very good, played by Ben Schnetzer, he provided a sort of view from an audience perspective, before becoming integral to the plot. I wasn't sure about him at first, but he seemed to fit right in after a short while. The other Ben (Foster) who starred as Medivh was another that I thought would be terrible, but surprised me. I haven't liked some of his other work, but he did this quite well. Maybe he should stick to fantasy, although I didn't like him as Angel in 'X-Men: The Last Stand'. There were also some other good actors in there, but they played Orcs which seemed a bit of a waste of their talents actually. Either Clancy Brown or Robert Kazinsky would have been better to play The King, although Clancy does have a good voice to be an Orc.

I'm not sure that the studio believed in this one as the stars seem to be slightly B-list, but they all seem to do their jobs well.

I would certainly like to see a sequel, but with the few issues ironed out.

Christmas Made to Order

Make The Yuletide Less Gay!
Well, it's hard to get lost in the romance of this one when Jonathan Bennett is just playing the gayest straight guy ever! If his eyebrows didn't out him, then his weird facial expressions and his mince certainly do. He looks so uncomfortable and not the least bit interested in the female lead that he's supposed to fall for. I mean, I wouldn't kick him out of bed myself, but I'd be thinking of Channing. On the other hand she would probably be thinking why can't he get it up?

With that in mind, the story flows ok, but kind of gets stuck on that issue for me. It was like watching two people become really good friends. You know? When you find that bestie that makes life more bearable finally. I can see the pair of them sitting in a park and judging the people that walk by. In Jonny's defence, the whole cast is a bit over the top and directed to be too nice. I turn these films on for the optimism and good cheer and the hope it brings that one day I won't be a sad and bitter lonely old man, because I will have found love too, but even for me this was a bit sickly and I was a bit blinded by all of the bright white smiles.

In itself it's not a bad film or story. We have seen the main thread of it done before and better, but if you just want a bit of seasonal cheer without caring too much or something to have on in the background while wrapping presents then this will do.

Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays

"How Do You Solve A Problem Like Harper?"
The people at Hallmark/Lifetime/Whoever got permission to use Graceland, so they're going to make the most of it. I'm not sure why they're trying to make it seem like a sequel to the Wes Brown film though, as the only connection is the location.

Some might call this 'The Sound Of Music Christmas At Graceland' as all it needs is some Nazi's and it might as well be the same script, with an overly organised father and regimented kids who hire a Nanny that changes all of that. This includes getting them all to sing around the piano in clothes made from curtains. Ok so the bit about the clothes isn't true, but these kids have sung together and learned the harmonies way before this woman ever turned up. They're just a bit too good. Eventually they have to escape over the border, that's not true either, but the leads have to decide what's really important to them both and work together to make the best Christmas for the kids and see what might happen between them.

The lead guy is just not right for me. I loved him in 'The Devil Wears Prada' and I've heard good things about him in 'Entourage'. Maybe it was his incredibly off putting haircut that made him seem off, but he was out of place in my eyes.

Overall, we've seen this story done before and better, but it's definitely not the worst of these films that I've seen.

Christmas at Graceland

Not a Silent Night!
What an absolute sweetheart Wes Brown is. Why would anyone ever leave him? I didn't know that he could sing so well either? Kellie Pickler however has a voice that just completely grates on me, both spoken and singing. She sounds like a stereotype!

That aside, the film isn't bad. The everyday element of it, the work bit, Etc, seems a bit unlikely as it always does, but the main romance is quite nice.

Tying it in with Graceland was very clever to hook the Elvis fans too. I'm sure it's a very interesting place.

It's not badly done and has some nice festive touches, but a lot of the characters are a bit over the top. I think I'll give it a couple of years before I consider watching it again.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Believe it or not, it's Ridley?
Anyone for some Ham and Cheese? Ok, it's slightly better than 'Gods Of Egypt', but that's not hard. Allegedly the Director's Cut is 4 hours long, perhaps all the bits that were cut out were the good bits? I would hope at least that the film makes more sense with all that extra footage. I could just tell that it has been butchered in the editing suite.

Now I'm not someone who ever attended Sunday School or paid attention in Religious Education lessons if I even turned up to them, but even I have heard of Moses. However without knowing his origin story, the bit with the basket, ya know? until halfway through, I didn't realise that it was that Moses we were watching a film about.

I spent most of the time on Wikipedia refreshing my memory on Mo's biblical antics and found that this film had not only missed out huge chunks, but that it had also used a lot of artistic license in its production.

Starting as the cousin of Ramses II (Not the actual Pharaoh from the original novel) it does follow Mo, who is banished and confronted by "God" or at least a very weird child as a messenger or something, before starting a war with Ram to free the slaves. If you know the bible, it does loosely continue with what is printed there, but with those huge gaps. Actually, if anything, it goes out of its way to disprove the divine intervention element, by explaining the science behind the plagues, etc.

There are also moments when it moves forward in time and we just have to guess that that is the case.

The cast are pretty awful and the ones with any experience, Ben K and Sigourney barely get any lines. Mother didn't even spot that Sigourney was in it.

Let's put it this way, I don't think there will be many R.E. Teachers using this to teach the story of Moses.

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