Category Archives: Comedy Movies

Home for the Holidays (1995) Movie Review

Home for the Holidays (1995)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott
Director: Jodie Foster
Release Date: 3 November 1995
Language: English
Length: 103 minutes
Movie Rating: PG-13
View Format: DVD
My Rating: image_thumb83_thumb1_thumb

Synopsis:

Claudia (Holly Hunter) just lost her job, made out with her ex-boss, sent her daughter off to have sex with her boyfriend at his parents’ house, and is on her way to another fun-filled family Thanksgiving.  Her chaos-creating brother, Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.), does everything he can to make waves and her sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson), is extremely uptight and unrelatable.  Her parents are older and seem even less likely to understand what their children are up to than ever and, to make matters worse, there is a handsome stranger (Dylan McDermott) there to witness every humiliating moment!

Review:

When I watched this movie for the first time, I hated it.  I did not really see the humor in a completely dysfunctional family getting together to celebrate Home for the Holidays Movie PosterThanksgiving together.  However, as I grew older, I came to realize that there is a sick, twisted type of laughter that can come from watching a movie like this one.  Even families that get along well have a touch of dysfunctionality in them.  I am fortunate that I come from a family where we grew together as we grew older rather than far apart.  This is not to say that we all get along all the time, but, for the most part, we are all good friends.  I genuinely enjoy seeing my family around the holidays, but I also enjoy coming home to my peaceful little apartment afterwards.

Whether you enjoy the holidays with your family or not, I must point out that this is not the type of movie that I would feel comfortable watching with my family over the holidays as you are going to offend some, hurt others and bore the remainder.  Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) just got fired (a touchy subject in these economically down-turned times), made out with her 60+ ex-boss, was informed by her teenage daughter (Claire Danes) that she is ready to have sex Tommy, Mom & Dadwith her boyfriend and does not fit in with her family at all any more.  It doesn’t help that she got pregnant as a young teenager, never got married, has been pursuing a career in an art-related field, but has given up on herself as far as becoming a true artist is concerned and now she is going to be confronted with her conventionally successful sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson).  Joanne and her husband, Walter (Steve Guttenberg), are the normal couple in this movie, but they are presented in an abnormal, rather rigid way.  They stress about making the holiday perfect and are definitely by-the-book, live-life-by-the-rules type of people.  Sadly, this is probably the way many of us react around the holidays and it makes me think that I need to cut loose and have a bit more fun around my family – its not like they can change their minds and trade me in for someone else!  Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.), Claudia’s brother, swoops into Aunt Gladytown to liven things up.  He just got married to his partner, Jack (Sam Slovick) and gives up all of Claudia’s secrets while seriously antagonizing Joanne & her family.  For the older generation, Adele Larson (Anne Bancroft), their long-suffering mother, is hanging onto the vision of a perfect family, but is way too weird to be able to expect her children to turn out as “normal.”  Henry Larson (Charles Durning), the sweetie of a father, is still trying to do everything he did when he was younger and stronger.  He is forgetful, hard-of-hearing and clinging to his vices like a lifeline.  Throw in crazy Aunt Glady (Geraldine Chaplin) and you have a real party on your hands!  Those of you who dread going home for the holidays and really have to go through situations like the one portrayed here, you have my deepest sympathies.  For those of you who have relatively normal holiday experiences (all things considered), you can get a glimpse of why so many people dread the holiday season.

The more that I watch this movie, the more that I come to appreciate some of the subplots and classic holiday sequences.  Holly Hunter plays a likeable loser who is crushing on her gay brother’s friend, Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott), but Tommy Leaves Claudia Strandedshe thinks that they are a couple.  By the time that she discovers that her brother is setting her up, most of the holiday is gone and their relationship is left hanging, but in a hopeful way.  Robert Downey Jr. is a scene-stealer as the outrageous brother, Tommy, of the Larson clan.  He bends the rules when it comes to play football with the rest of the family, makes over-the-top comments guaranteed to garner everyone’s attention and create maximum embarrassment and is generally a pain in the neck!  He is also the source of almost all of my favorite scenes!  Robert Downey Jr. is so young and handsome in this movie.  This is back before life stomped all over him and he looks fresh, unlined and mischievous.  Two of my favorite scenes revolve around his antics.  The first is when he argues with Claudia, who storms out of the car.  He apologizes and, when she turns to get back in the car, he drives away.  Granted, this would drive me crazy in real life, but it is pretty funny watching it happen to other people.  Turkey Falls in Joanne's Lap at ThanksgivingThe other scene is where he is carving the turkey (see the video clip above) and “accidentally” jettisons it into his sister, Joanne’s, lap, who is completely horrified.  The only character who manages to stand up to Tommy’s antics is Geraldine Chaplin, who plays their Aunt Gladys.  She is just nuts!  She views life through her coke-bottle glasses and clearly, her vision is distorted through them!  I love that she is always giving away lamps to people and trying to tell stories, but getting them all mixed up so that no one knows what she is talking about.  Dylan McDermott is a charmer and it is just a shame that we don’t see more of him on TV or in the movies these days.  Sparks were flying between him and Tommy and him and Claudia so we were kind of kept guessing for a while until you realized who he was really going after.  Charles Durning, who plays Claudia & Tommy’s father,  has most of the touching moments in the movie.  There is a really nice scene at the end that gave me warm, fuzzy feelings like I Claudia and Leohave come to expect from most holiday movies.  Their father is down in the basement, watching old home movies, while he remembers their childhood and his younger years.  It made me remember Christmas a few years ago when my father decided to put all of our old pictures and home movies on DVD for us as a gift.  I had completely forgotten most of the embarrassing moments that were captured when I was a child and was totally horrified to see them on my parents’ huge, flat-screen TV!  After watching this scene, I realized that my dad watches these movies and remembers all of the good times and the hopes and dreams that went along with them, while I was just mortified. I guess that I am glad that there are some moments that were captured for all of us to remember what we looked like and sounded like when we were kids, I just hope that any future boyfriends of mine will never see these!

Anyway, this movie is a bit of a mess, but it was still fun to see how strong family bonds are.  They argue, play, embarrass, support and love each other.  This film will remind you that your family members are your best friends and your worst Claudia, Mom & Dadenemies.  The reason why I dread the holidays is because they are never perfect.  That may be why I hated this movie so much at first.  The holiday shown here is so much less than perfect that it makes me feel infinitely better about my own Thanksgiving experiences in comparison.  I doubt that this movie will become a regular holiday staple for me to watch, but there are so few Thanksgiving movies that they play around the holidays that it is for the best that I have found a way to enjoy this off-beat holiday film.

Content:

This movie really pushes the PG-13 rating.  There is a lot of swearing, including the *f* word.  One of the main characters is an out-and-proud gay man.  There are several scenes of drinking and smoking.  Most of the scenes include some kind of fight sequence between siblings, many of them over-the-top and pretty hurtful.  There are scenes that include discussions of teen & out-of-wedlock pregnancies, having sex for the first time, and some heavy petting.  Recommended for ages 16 and up.

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Rare Birds (2001) Movie Review

Rare Birds (2001)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: William Hurt, Andy Jones, Molly Parker, Vicky Hynes, Greg Malone
Director: Sturla Gunnarsson
Release Date: 9 September 2001
Language: English
Length: 99 minutes
Movie Rating: R
View Format: Online Streaming
My Rating: image_thumb82_thumb1_thumb1

Synopsis:

Dave (William Hurt) is down-and-out in Newfoundland.  His restaurant, The Auk, sits empty so he spends his time drinking and missing his wife, who is working in Washington DC.  Dave’s only real human contact lies with his neighbor, Phonce (Andy Jones), a rather unusual local who recently found ten kilos of cocaine and he wants Dave’s help to sell it.  To keep Dave around, Phonce hatches a sure-fire plan to pack The Auk.  They will phone in a rare bird sighting that will have the birders coming into town from all over!  The plan appears to be working when Dave has customers in his empty restaurant and asks Phonce’s sister-in-law, Alice (Molly Parker) to help out.  Now Dave is snorting cocaine and thinking about having an affair with Alice while Phonce is testing his miniature submarine and keeping an eye on the strange men showing up in town.  So when their story starts coming under suspicion, will they have a Plan B available to get them out of this mess?

Review:

I saw this movie online and needed a good laugh so I thought I would give it a Rare Birds - Top Three with Submarinechance.  Rare Birds was not as funny as I was hoping for, however, as it is more of a black comedy, but there are a few laugh-out-loud moments in the movie.  One of them is when Dave (William Hurt) tries to phone in his rare bird sighting and makes a total hash of it.  He doesn’t give good details to the local radio show about birds and destroys the phone booth when he tries to make a quick and unnoticed getaway.  Luckily, his friend Phonce (Andy Jones) has a Plan B and a Plan C available.  Surprisingly enough, some of the plans actually worked!

Phonce was the real heart of the movie.  Andy Jones is hilarious in this role!  He is so matter-of-fact about things, but has a really unusual worldview.  Suspicious, quirky and unpredictable, Phonce kept me guessing up until the Dave Cookingvery end.  Dave (William Hurt) plays the straight guy here and sets up the scenes for some good laughs, but isn’t a funny character himself.  In fact, his life is pretty sad and depressed.  A failing business, a failed marriage and an inability to let go and start over leaves Dave in a very bad place.  I am not at all sure what Alice (Molly Parker), saw in him.  Alice is young, beautiful and making decisions about her future.  The only thing that I thought was attractive about Dave was his cooking skills!  Granted, it would be absolutely wonderful to have my own personal chef, but Dave lives in a pretty desolate spot and I was not convinced there was any future for the two of them until a rather unexpected ending.

The thing that kept this movie from being better than average was the bizarre Dave with Duck Decoyending.  Everything comes to a head as Dave and Phonce are testing the submarine’s depth limits while drunk and then a group of strangers show up.  There is a bunch of talking and some weird suggestions and then that storyline is just done.  I admit that I wasn’t paying close attention at the time, but I didn’t think the ending made very much sense.  Also, that whole ‘riding-off-into-the-sunset’ happily-ever-after ending didn’t do very much for me.

The movie is well-acted and had an interesting premise, but it kind of fizzled out for me in the middle and completely lost me in the end.  I wish they had stuck Rare Birds DVD Coverwith the rare bird plotline rather than bring in all of these other random subplots as I think it would have strengthened the movie.  I found that all of the storylines didn’t seem to merge very well together and things got quite muddled at the end.  Still, there is some lovely local scenery and plenty of local color in Rare Birds.  If you enjoy understated black comedies, this might be one that you will enjoy checking out.

Content:

This movie contains drug use, lots of alcohol drinking, smoking, extramarital affairs (nothing too graphic) and strong language.  It is the drug abuse and ten kilos of cocaine that pushed this movie into the R rating as it is actually pretty clean.  Recommended for ages 18 and up.

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The Ladykillers (2004) Movie Review

The Ladykillers

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Release Date: 26 March 2004
Language: English
Length: 104 minutes
Movie Rating: R
View Format: DVD
My Ratingimage_thumb82_thumb1_thumb1

Synopsis:

“A Southern professor-turned-criminal-mastermind (Tom Hanks) puts together a group of thieves to help him rob a New Orleans riverboat casino. But when the old lady (Irma P. Hall) who’s renting them a room gets a whiff of their plan, they have no choice but to kill her. ” — Netflix.com

Review:

I was disappointed with this “remake” of The Ladykillers.  I thought the original film was clever, emotional and a surprisingly engrossing crime Ladykillers Criminalsthriller.  This remake does not come even close to that.  Most of this is due to the fact that the characters are fairly flat and one note.  Tom Hanks, who reprises The Professor’s role (made famous by Alec Guinness), was definitely not his usual, lovable self.  I despised his tittering laugh and thought he was way too smarmy.  Irma P. Hall was a huge disappointment as the “sweet old lady.”  I did not like her and would probably not have had such a difficult time killing her.  I don’t think it was any surprise that one of the characters equated her with his abusive mother!  The other characters are merely shadows of real people and are sketched out very briefly.  I felt that the writers and director relied more on stereotypes than clever writing to create their characters.

I was definitely put off by the crude humor and strong language in this film.  J.K. Simmons’s character suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Ladykillers Old LadySyndrome), Tzi Ma’s character constantly swallows his cigarette because there is no smoking allowed in the house, Ryan Hurst keeps his mouth open the whole time to try to make himself look dumb and Marlon Wayans’s character is busy living up to every black-man-in-the-hood stereotype that has ever been created.  There is crude sexual humor, potty jokes, and Asian and black stereotypes to try to make the audience laugh.  Well, I wasn’t laughing.  The cat, Pickles, was probably the most entertaining character in the film.  I got a kick out of watching the men scramble to try to catch him and keep in the house to appease their grouchy landlady.

I am not sure why the directors and creators of this film decided to bill this film as a remake of The Ladykillers.  They would have been much Ladykillers Cover Bandbetter served to create a new title and claim that the movie was inspired by the original, but not a remake of the original.  The basic plot is the same and they played an homage to the original film by playing the same chamber music to conceal their crime, but the original is far superior to the updated version. Truthfully, the best part is watching the criminals patiently wait to drop the dead bodies onto a passing trash barge, but waiting for a train to pass by is so much better! If you enjoy crime capers, you will find something in this movie to enjoy, but there are many better crime thrillers out there to watch.

Content:

This movie contains several scenes of death and violence.  Characters die of gunshot wounds, falling down the stairs, and hanging.  Crude jokes including sexual humor and racial stereotypes are common.  There is a lot of swearing in the movie.  Recommended for ages 18 and up.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969) Movie Review

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Peter Robbins, Pamelyn Ferdin, Glenn Gilger, Andy Pforsich, Erin Sullivan
Director: Bill Melendez
Series: a Peanuts movie
Release Date: 4 December 1969
Language: English
Length: 86 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

“The lovable kids from Charles Schulz’s popular comic strip “Peanuts” star in their first full-length animated film, which features now-iconic scenes such as Lucy tricking Charlie Brown by pulling away the football he’s about to kick. Other memorable scenes include Snoopy ice-skating with abandon in Central Park, Linus losing his security blanket and Charlie Brown competing in the National Spelling Bee. The film earned an Oscar nod for Best Score.” — Netflix.com

Review:

I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, but didn’t think it was anything special.  In fact, it seemed like there were a lot of rather boring parts!  I don’t know what caused me to Charlie Brown Championrent it again, but I am so glad that I did!  Now that I am older and have more experience, this movie resonated with me and definitely kept me entertained!  I don’t know if it is because I have had so many disappointments in my life or that I can relate with Charlie Brown and his hopes and dreams.  Too bad that Charlie Brown rarely succeeds in achieving what he reaches out for!  What I love the most about Charlie now is that he never gives up.  He looks forward to a new baseball season, keeps going back to Lucy for advice and keeps trying to get Snoopy to act like a real dog.  I watch Charlie Brown in this movie and think that my life isn’t really that bad.  I am not sure that I would be willing to get out of bed in the morning if I had Charlie Brown’s life!

Lucy is a huge part of what makes this movie so funny – too bad she has such a mean-spirited sense of humor!  She made me laugh throughout the film, but then I felt bad for laughing as Charlie Brown on the Pitchers Moundpoor Charlie Brown was always the butt of her jokes.  When Charlie Brown gets hit in the head with a baseball and Linus calls for first aid, Lucy’s reply is “I don’t think it’s that serious.  Second or third aid should do.” Later, trying to capitalize on Charlie Brown’s success and get him prepared for the spelling bee, Lucy proclaims “You have a smile like a sick pumpkin.”  I don’t remember Lucy being funny when I was a kid, but, now that I am an adult, she is hilarious!  Lucy always manages to come up with these zingy little one liners that are hysterical, but you have to pay close attention or you will miss out.  There is also some terrific physical comedy when Snoopy is involved.  While Lucy Showing Charlie Brown His FaultsLinus is fainting in Charlie Brown’s hotel room because he is missing his blanket, Snoopy keeps running and getting water.  But Snoopy doesn’t use the water to revive Linus, Snoopy drinks it himself!  Another favorite part of mine was when Lucy was itemizing Charlie Brown’s faults one-by-one using photographs and video clips to illustrate them!  Seriously, who is told be a (kind of) friend that their faults include: failure to deal with life in a vertical position, tendency towards fatness (including toes), etc.  Again, it is bad to be laughing at this poor little boy, but you just cannot help it!

The music is beautiful in this movie.  The theme song “Boy Named Charlie Brown” is both melancholy and hopeful and I enjoyed the performance at the beginning and the end of the movie of this featured song.  There are a few silly, fun songs performed by the kids in the movie, but most of the soundtrack features classical music.  I remember these parts as being Linus Playing Pianothe most boring when I was a kid, but now I really enjoy the long, peaceful interludes.  It is so clever of the filmmakers to use copyright-free music that ties in with a music-loving character in Linus.  But the best part of this movie as far as sound goes is the vocal talents of the children who performed in it.  I love that they used actual kids to deliver the lines.  You get little pauses and different phrasing that professional or adult performers would not have included.  I really felt like I was listening to children.  Granted, these children act like little adults, but there is still a childish glee and zest to their actions and their voices that I enjoyed very much.

The more I watch this movie, the more I enjoy it these days.  I highly recommend that you watch it again if you saw this movie when you were a child.  I guarantee that you will see the film in a whole new light and that it will resonate with you in a completely different way.  There is guaranteed to be a vignette that calls especially to you.  Will it be when Charlie Brown is trying to convince his team to really try to win a ball game this year?  How about when Lucy is using a video to show Charlie Brown his many faults and try to convince him that kicking a football will solve all of them?  Perhaps it will be the fact that Charlie Brown goes so far in the Charlie Brown at the Spelling Beespelling bee competition only to falter at the very end on an easy word?  There are so many little moments of humor and some really great animation for those who are looking and paying attention that I guarantee something will catch your eye.  Again, I am not sure that this film is particularly well-suited to young children, despite being animated.  The pacing of the film is really uneven and there is not enough overt comedy to keep young children entertained.  There is plenty of fun and frivolity for big kids, however!

Content:

This movie contains some slapstick, cartoonish violence.  Appropriate for ages 3 and up.

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Filed under Animated Movies, Children & Family Movies, Comedy Movies, Musicals

The Baroness and the Butler (1938) Movie Review

The Baroness and the Butler (1938)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: William Powell, Annabella, Helen Westley, Henry Stephenson, Joseph Schildkraut
Director: Walter Lang
Release Date: 18 February 1938
Language: English
Length: 80 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Johann Porok (William Powell) is the proud butler for the Count (Henry Stephenson) and Countess Sandor (Helen Westley) in Hungary, where the Count was Prime Minister.  The family is shocked when Johann is elected to Parliament, as a member of the opposing party.  The Count does not mind that Johann ridicules him and questions his political leanings, but it infuriates his daughter, Katrina (Annabella).  Katrina is convinced that Johann is using his position in her father’s household to pry out government secrets and that he is humiliating a wonderful man.  Can Johann hold onto a job and the people he loves or will he be forced to chose between what them and what he believes to be true?

Review:

This is a charming little movie.  Of course, it is completely predictable and has a completely unbelievable Hollywood ending, but I still enjoyed watching it.  The setting is turn-of-the-century Hungary.  The aristocracy still hold most of the power in government, but the lower classes are determined to get some rights and enough food to eat.  Men were gentlemen, Baroness and the Butler Movie Stilldressed in suits and exceptionally polite, even when they disagreed.  Conversation was witty, full of sly, subtle barbs and cheeky little one liners.  The women were ladies, garbed in gorgeous, impractical confections and deferring to the men.  There was a strict social order that must be obeyed and a wide rift between those who had and those who had not.  Servants in a wealthy household knew the social ranking of the different titles and enforced a strict hierarchy among their own positions.  The butler ruled the household and was responsible for every detail of the house and grounds.  Meetings with the entire staff were essential to a smooth, controlled household and Johann Porok’s character is no exception.

William Powell portrayed his character as the perfect butler and really excelled in this William Powellposition.  I did not find him quite as believable in his role as a an intelligent, educated man elected to head of his political party.  Johann Porok could have been an interesting, layered character, but he really is not.  I really enjoyed the first part of the film where Porok is trying to balance his role as butler, keeping the Count well groomed and taken care of, more than the last part where Porok is trying to put his past as a servant behind him and become a man in his own right.  I do not believe that a man who has been brought up to be the perfect servant and performed that task for over a decade could so easily shed his background and be ready to enter society as an equal to those whom he used to serve.  However, I did love that William Powell imbued his character with an innate nobility and managed to convey the impression that no job is too lowly to perform to the best of one’s ability.  Annabella plays his romantic counterpart as the Baroness Katrina Marissey.  I did not particularly care for her character.  She was a rather shallow, Annabellaspoiled little rich girl.  She did manage some sparks with William Powell, but I found her to be unconvincing in some critical scenes, including the one where she falls in love with Porok.  Still, she was adequate, but a bit uninspiring.  Her real-life Hollywood story was much more romantic and interesting than she was in this movie.  But her performance did not bother me as much as the fact that she was married while this romance developed.  I mean, I never once believed that these two would get together (though the screenwriters managed to write in some Hollywood miracles into the script to make it so), but I still found it very distasteful that marriages vows were treated so lightly in the movie.  Her husband, Baron Georg Marissey, is played rather predictably and rather forgettably by Joseph Schildkraut.

The reason why I gave the movie a higher than average rating was because of the performance of two old pros who starred in this movie as the Count and Countess.  Henry Henry StephensonStephenson played Count Albert Sandor and he was just so charming in this role.  An old aristocrat, he is used to things being just so and has no hesitation about demanding rather unusual things.  What I loved is that he gave the Count a great deal of wit and humor in his portrayal.  There is a scene where Porok is assisting the Count while hunting and tries to convince the Count that there is a mysterious echo that comes and goes.  The Count later remarks that he is much more successful when he hunts with Porok than without.  There are several little charming scenes between the two of them that will bring a smileHelen Westley to your face as you watch.  However, the real star of this movies is Helen Westley, who plays Countess Sandor.  She was absolutely hilarious!  The Countess is a rather featherbrained woman who has no interest in politics other than what she needs to know to show support for her husband.  Because of this, she misunderstands quite a bit of what is going on around her and has some of the most hilarious reactions and non sequiturs in the entire film!  It is worth watching this movie just to see the few scenes she sparkles so magnificently in!

All in all, this is a old black-and-white movie that will be remembered and beloved by a rather small audience.  I stumbled across it on TCM one night and found myself rather charmed by it.  Again, the storyline is completely absurd, but there are some scenes that are rather enchanting.  I wish that the movie had a different ending, as it was so fantastical that it was completely unbelievable, but it is one of those happily-ever-after endings that we don’t see too many of these days.  I believe that this movie is worth catching if you find it on TV, but this movie is not yet out on DVD and I am not sure that it ever will be.

Content:

This movie contains a few scenes of drinking and smoking.  There are a lot of political discussions and references to class inequality.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Filed under Classic Movies, Comedy Movies, Historical Movies, Romance Movies, Romantic Comedy Movies

Scooby-Doo: Winter Wonder Dog (2002) Movie Review

Scooby-Doo: Winter Wonder Dog (2002)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

 

 

Starring: Various
Director: Various
Series: a Scooby Doo DVD
Release Date: 8 October 2002
Language: English
Length: 90 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Scooby Doo fans will warm up to this collection of four episodes set in wintry conditions, which contains material from as early as 1970 and as recent as the 1994 “New Scooby-Doo Mysteries.” Two of the meddling kids’ most formidable villains, Snow Beast and Snow Ghost, are featured in this compilation, which includes the episodes “The Nutcracker Scoob,” “Alaskan King Coward,” “A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright” and “That’s Snow Ghost.” — Netflix.com

“The Nutcracker Scoob” – Scooby and the gang are helping with the Christmas pageant at a nearby orphanage when they get caught up in another mystery!  A mean old miser is threatening to shut down the orphanage so that he can search for the priceless emerald hidden somewhere inside.  There is also a Christmas ghost that seems determined to find the emerald first.  Are they working together or is there an unexpected villain in this mystery?

“Alaskan King Coward” – Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy are ready to start prospecting for gold when they encounter a frozen fanged beast.  The beast thaws and come back to life.  Shaggy and Scooby are fleeing in terror, but Scrappy is trying to chase off this claim jumper whom he is convinced is there to steal all of their gold!

“A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright” – Scooby and the gang are heading up to the North Pole to help their friend, the Professor.  Sadly, the professor is kidnapped by a huge snow dinosaur before they arrive.  Can the gang find the Professor and follow the clues to solve the mystery?  They will need to endure a frightening chase through the ice caves, climb totem poles and keep their wits about them if they want to survive!

“That’s Snow Ghost” – Scooby and the gang are looking forward to a ski vacation when they book into a deserted lodge.  Unfortunately, there is a Yeti-like monster that is running around the woods scaring everyone and destroying all the fun.  Determined to have a good vacation, the gang decides to solve the mystery and unmask this monster once and for all!

Review:

“The Nutcracker Scoob” is one of those Scooby cartoons that was split into 10 minute Scooby Shaggy & Scrappy as Elvesincrements so it is actually Part I and Part II of this cartoon.  This one features Scrappy Doo, but no Velma, and I have never seen it other than on this DVD.  I am not sure which series it came from, but I had a fun time watching this Christmas-themed Scooby Doo cartoon.  I am not sure why they don’t show this around the holidays on the children’s stations as it has some lovely Christmas-themed music, a Christmas pageant that goes completely haywire, a spooky Christmas ghost, a hint of the Christmas Carol story, nutcrackers, sugarplum fairies, Scooby in a Santa suit and more!  This first episode makes this DVD a great one to have around the winter months when your little ones will be looking for something with a bit of atmosphere and theme.  Unfortunately, this is the only episode that has anything Christmas related in it, but all of the episodes have plenty of snow and ice!

“Alaskan King Coward” is another of those short 10 minute cartoons.  It only has Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy in it and is not a real mystery.  They are getting ready to pan for gold and Scooby in Alaskan King Cowardaccidentally uncovered a dinosaur-like beast who is frozen in the snow.  There are lots of chase sequences and funny antics until they manage to refreeze the sabretooth-fanged creature in another block of snow.  I have never seen this episode out of this DVD before and really wasn’t missing out on anything.  This is a rather forgettable episode and must have been one of those little fillers that they used in tandem with other, longer cartoons.

“A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright” is one of the classic episodes that can be found on the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD collection. Snow Beast There are some classic moments like when Scooby gets scared skiing and ends up snowshoeing.  I love the original animation and the original voices that are contained in these episodes and had a fun time remembering this one.  The villain is not that hard to spot, but, as always, they seem to go to great lengths to hide their crime.  This particular villain kidnapped 2 people, created a giant T-Rex machine, disguised oil pipelines with massive totem poles and more!  Wouldn’t it have been easier to just tunnel underground or something…?  These ridiculous scenarios make the cartoon so much more fun!

“That’s Snow Ghost” is another of the original, classic episodes with the best animation and the original voices.  Again, plenty of snow-related mishaps as Shaggy and Scooby end up Snow Ghostencased in blocks of ice, losing control on their skis and more.  This time, the gang uncovers a group of jewel thieves who are smuggling items out by placing them in hollow logs at the saw mill and then floating them downstream.  Seems kind of risky, doesn’t it?  Anyway, love the Velma explanation at the end where she explains that the Snow Ghost used clear plastic skis to look like he was floating a little above the snow.  Why can’t criminals these days come up with good ideas like these?

Ultimately, this DVD is a bit of a mixed bag, but I enjoyed myself.  I picked it up to watch during Thanksgiving break with my 5 nephews and it was a crowd pleaser.  All of the adults had fond memories of watching Scooby Doo when they were kids and the kids had never seen these episodes.  I am happy to say that Scooby Doo is one of those cartoons that has passed the test of time.  Even though some of the verbiage is dated slang, all of the clothes are a bit too “groovy”, and the artwork is rudimentary, these cartoons somehow seem timeless.  Watching these cartoons with the family definitely brought a smile to my face and helped me recall fond memories of watching these cartoons on Saturday mornings.  If you find this DVD on sale, I am sure it is something that you and your children will enjoy watching during the winter months.

Content:

This DVD shows scenes of cartoonish violence, mild peril and crooks committing crimes.  Recommended for ages 2 and up.

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Witches in Stitches (1997) Movie Review

Witches in Stitches (1997)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Miki Mathioudakis, Vonda Fuhrman, Jacque Workman, Will Gould, Natalie Bridegroom Harris
Director: Russ Harris
Release Date: August 1997
Language: English
Length: 30 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Abnorma’s (voiced by Miki Mathioudakis) two incompetent sisters, Wickie (voiced by Vonda Fuhrman) and Nelliespell (voiced by Jacque Workman), have caused them to be banned from the annual Witches’ Halloween Ball.  With nothing left to do on Halloween, Wickie suggests that they go trick-or-treating with the mortals and throw pumpkin pies at them.  Abnorma refuses to go, but, when Wickie accidentally turns Abnorma into a talking jack-o-lantern, the witches have a serious problem on their hands!  Abnorma, in pumpkin form, tumbles down the hill and is discovered by Arthur (voiced by Will Gould), an unpopular little boy who is thrilled to find an animatronic pumpkin for his Halloween party!  Can Wickie & Nelliespell find Abnorma before the spell wears off and Abnorma takes her revenge on all of the children?

Review:

This is an adorable little Halloween special perfect for small children.  There are enough spooky little parts to make it Halloween-appropriate, but it is so funny that children will not be scared at all!  The three witches are hilarious and everyone will be giggling at their antics.  Abnorma (voiced by Miki Mathioudakis) always wanted to be a single child and hates having to clean up after her sisters.  She is the only one with true power and can do just about anything by directing power through her hands.  Unfortunately for Abnorma, pumpkins don’t have hands!  This means that she cannot cast any spells while she is a pumpkin and can only verbally threaten the kids at Arthur’s party.  Of course, the children think that this is a clever Halloween prank and keep poking and prodding Abnorma until she is at her wit’s end!  Wickie (voiced by Vonda Fuhrman) is probably my favorite witch.  She is a spunky, little witch who cannot seem to make any spell work correctly.  Wickie is the one who accidentally turns Abnorma into a pumpkin and is content to let her stay that way, until her sister reminds her that the spell will wear off soon.  She reluctantly looks for Abnorma, but, with so many jack-o-lanterns outside for Halloween, how can the sisters find the right one?  Wickie has a daredevil, make lemonade-out-of-lemons attitude and she definitely is the life of the party here!  Nelliespell (voiced by Jacque Workman) is the chubby, incompetent witch who just wants everyone to get along.  She is the voice of reason, but no one wants to listen to her suggestions.  Nelliespell kind of bumbles along and gets into mischief, but she is pretty good natured about it and is always willing to forgive and forget.  All three witches are quite different so children will have no trouble finding a favorite and rooting for them!

There are plenty of silly antics for children to laugh at and some fun parts for adults to enjoy watching with them.  The voices are very distinctive and perfectly cast and the music is light, charming and suitable for a children’s Halloween special.  The animation is relatively basic, but suitable.  There is really no shading, just solid blocks of color, but the characters do move correctly (not jerky) and their mouths move in an approximation of the words that they are saying.  This cartoon reminded me of a Saturday morning special that would have been shown on TV when I was growing up.  The drawings are simple, straightforward and perfect for Halloween!  I got such a kick out of the these three witches that I will definitely be adding this Halloween-themed cartoon to my regular list of specials I watch every year!  If you have some small children at home who are looking for a fun, silly-instead-of-spooky Halloween special, this is a good one for you to check out!

Content:

The story is about three witches so you see them brewing potions, riding broomsticks, etc.  There is some fighting, both physical (rolling around in a dust cloud with arms and legs sticking out) and verbal.  Appropriate for viewers of all ages.  Recommended for ages 2 and up.

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Scooby-Doo: Pirates Ahoy! (2006) Movie Review

Scooby-Doo: Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle, Dan Castellaneta
Director: Chuck Sheetz
Series: a Scooby Doo Movie
Release Date: 16 September 2006
Language: English
Length: 80 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Related Reviews: Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase; Scooby-Doo in Where’s My Mummy?; Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster; Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders

Synopsis:

“When Scooby-Doo and his crime-solving pals hit the high seas on a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle, strange things start happening all around them – and at the center of it all is an unexplained ghostly pirate ship manned by skeletons. It seems the undead sailors like to take aim at passing vessels, making the gang’s cruise ship a prime target! Can Velma (voiced by Mindy Cohn), Daphne (voiced by Grey DeLisle), Fred (voiced by Frank Welker), Shaggy (voiced by Casey Kasem) and Scooby (voiced by Frank Welker) solve the mystery before they turn up missing?” — Netflix.com

Review:

This is another silly, zany adventure in the Scooby Doo series!  I think that this movie was rushed to completion to capitalize on the popularity of pirates due to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean movies and, unfortunately, it shows.  This caused them to cut a few corners and to make the movie just okay instead of something fun and memorable.  Kids will still have a great time watching the crazy antics of Scooby and the gang, but adults will not find as much to enjoy in this movie.  The animation is crafted in the updated style we have seen in recent Scooby Doo movies and the style is solid, but nothing particularly remarkable.  The drawings are simplistic and filled in with solid color blocks to appeal to younger viewers and keep everything looking bright and cheerful – even during some of the scarier sequences!

Younger viewers will get a good laugh out of all of the over-the-top jokes in this movie.  Fred’s parents surprise the entire gang with a Mystery Cruise for Fred’s birthday, but, of course, the gang easily solve every mystery that the crew can throw at them.  This was actually a fun sequence to watch for Scooby Doo fans as they bring back several classic costumes and monsters.  I found it a pretty fun trip down memory lane.  Unfortunately, I felt like the mystery was both easy to solve and a complete surprise.  I quickly figured out where the pirate crews came from and thought that I knew who the bad guy was, but discovered that there was more than one villain in this movie!  Regardless of whether you enjoy guessing the villain’s identity in these movies or not, you will probably be shaking your head at the weird, far-fetched solution to the mystery in this film.  They combine pirates searching for treasure in the Bermuda Triangle with aliens and powerful asteroids and it just wasn’t a good match for me.  I wish that they had stuck with the traditional pirates and buried treasure storyline and not complicate it with zombies, high-tech gadgets, alien influences, and more.  The story was very muddled and didn’t really work for me.

Even though this is not a great Scooby Doo movie, fans of the characters will still watch and enjoy this movie.  I found lots of moments that made me smile and so I can recommend this movie for adults, though it is clearly geared towards a younger audience.  There are several lines that Fred and the gang exchange with Fred’s parents that are a real hoot!  Also, the pirate crew has some wonderful scenes that will sweep you away to days gone by.  Oh, and for those of you who think that there are going to be real pirates in this movie, you will be disappointed.  This movie goes back to the classic Scooby episodes where everything is fake and all of the villains are bad guys in masks.  If you are looking for one of the new Scooby Doo movies to watch to see if you will enjoy them, this isn’t the one you should watch first.  If you are a die hard Scooby fan, you will have a fun time with this, but go into it with low expectations so you are not disappointed!

Content:

This movie has some scenes of mild peril and cartoony violence.  There are a few dark and stormy scenes where younger viewers might be a bit scared, especially when the thunder and lightning chases across the screen and the pirates come in to view.  Most of the bad guys are shown in a silly, goofy light so nothing is too scary.  Recommended for ages 3 and up.

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Mickey & Minnie’s Sweetheart Stories (2004) Movie Review

Mickey & Minnie’s Sweetheart Stories (2004)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: various
Director: various
Release Date: 6 January 2004
Language: English
Length: 60 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

“This collection of early Disney shorts features Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their pals as they experience the hilarious ups and downs of romance, such as in “Mickey’s Rival,” when Minnie’s old beau Mortimer interrupts the couple’s picnic. Other shorts included are “In Dutch,” “The Nifty Nineties,” “Pluto’s Heart Throb,” “Mr. Duck Steps Out,” “Society Dog Show,” “Mickey’s Delayed Date” and the Cyrano de Bergerac-inspired “Donald’s Double Trouble.”” — Netflix.com

Review:

“Mickey’s Rival” – Mickey and Minnie are on a romantic picnic when Mortimer, Minnie’s rich ex-boyfriend, shows up out of the blue.  Mortimer is determined to make Mickey look bad, and he does – until he angers a huge bull and then leaves Minnie unprotected!  This is a classic old cartoon that I can remember watching when I was growing up.  Mortimer does everything that a know-it-all rich guy could possibly do to annoy someone who isn’t as wealthy.  Mortimer has a better car, better clothes, he’s taller and Minnie seems to really like him.  But Mickey has his bravery and his love for Minnie on his side!  The animators are definitely sending a message that money isn’t everything as Mickey ends up saving the day and getting the girl.  This cartoon is also a good lesson for girls to remember that they shouldn’t always be comparing current boyfriends and old boyfriends.  You have to be happy with what you have or break up so you can start over!

“In Dutch” – Pluto accidentally rings the bell that signals an emergency at the dike.  When the townspeople realize that there is no emergency, they kick Pluto and his girlfriend out of town.  But then Pluto discovers a leak in the dike – how can Pluto get the townspeople to believe him this time?!  This is a new twist on the “boy who cried wolf” theme.  It is set in a Dutch village so everyone speaks with an accent and you have the windmills, the wooden shoes, tulips and more.  The setting is really cute and I loved the little love story that popped up between Pluto and a gorgeous female dog in the town.  Short and sweet, this is a cartoon everyone will enjoy.

“Donald’s Double Trouble” – When Donald runs into another duck who looks just like him, but has impeccable manners and a lovely speaking voice, Donald hires him to win back his girlfriend Daisy.  But can Donald hold his temper while a stranger woos his girl?  This cartoon is hilarious as it is clear that Donald did not think through what would happen if he asked someone else to impersonate him.  He is literally beating his head against the wall while he watches Daisy smootch the man she thinks is him!  The date between Daisy and the stranger at the carnival  is my favorite part as you watch Donald try to tail them through rides and attractions.  As is always the case with Donald Duck cartoons, there is plenty to laugh at and all kinds of craziness going on!  Definitely take the time to watch this one and laugh along with your kids.

“The Nifty Nineties” – This carton takes Mickey and Minnie back to the 1890s when women still wore dresses with bustles and carried a parasol, men wore three-piece suits and carried a walking cane, and new horseless carriages were all the rage.  I enjoyed this historical snapshot with two young people meeting in the park, taking in a show and falling in love.  They use some wonderful music including “Merry Month of May,” “Father Dear Father,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” and some classic orchestral arrangements to accompany the vaudeville show.  This is a sweet cartoon that reminds of us a bygone era where things were a bit slower paced and yet young lovers still found each other and started courting.

“Pluto’s Heart Throb” – Pluto falls for the beautiful girl in the neighborhood and is ecstatic to see that his attentions are returned – only to find out that his new girlfriend has more than one boyfriend!  His rival is a huge bull dog who isn’t above fighting dirty to chase Pluto off and get the girl.  This is a classic love triangle cartoon with two guys fighting for one girl.  I love the way the animators cleverly used hearts, noises and non-verbal sounds to express everything in this cartoon as the dogs don’t talk.  Everything was really cleverly done and entertaining at the same time.  Everyone will be smiling at the end as they see how Pluto keeps going and eventually wins the girl.

“Mr. Duck Steps Out” – Donald Duck is looking particularly dapper as he heads out in his plaid coat and spats to take Daisy on a date.  The only problem is that his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, want to tag along!  Donald tries to get rid of them, but we all know that Donald’s nephews always win!  This is a fantastic cartoon that always bring a smile to my face!  There is a terrific dance sequence at Daisy’s house where Donald and the boys take turns dancing with Daisy.  But the best part is when the nephews force feed Donald some popcorn and the popcorn starts popping in Donald’s stomach.  Before you know it, Donald is dancing all over the place and the boys are using all kinds of household implements to get the best music.  This cartoon is creative and sweet and it always makes me want to dance!

“Society Dog Show” – Mickey and Pluto sneak into a dog show, where Mickey is positive that Pluto will win a blue ribbon.  Pluto is not so sure and doesn’t make a good impression on the judge and they get thrown out.  But Mickey isn’t about to give up and sends Pluto back in as a trick dog on roller skates!  This cartoon reminds us that just because we think our family or pets are special doesn’t mean that they are going to be award winners!  Still, Pluto manages to save the day and get the girl in the end so it reminds us that heart is a lot more important than looks.

“Mickey’s Delayed Date” – Mickey is enjoying a little nap at the end of a busy day when Pluto wakes him up.  At first, Mickey is annoyed, until he remembers that he is supposed to go out on a date with Minnie that night and she is on the phone asking where he is!  Mickey rushes to get ready and dashes out into the night, not realizing that he accidentally left the dance tickets at home!  Pluto follows Mickey to give him the tickets and the two enjoy a series of madcap adventures while Minnie waits impatiently.  There are pieces of this cartoon that I enjoyed quite a bit, especially the part where Pluto is struggling to wrestle Mickey’s top hat into submission.  The ending was also a cute surprise as I thought Minnie would end up disappointed, but everything ended up happily-ever-after, as always!

I was not sure if I would enjoy this DVD of Disney cartoons as much as I enjoyed the other compilations I have watched, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Mickey and Minnie are not my favorite Disney characters – I much prefer Donald Duck or Goofy – but there were so many charming moments between them here that I found myself smiling and laughing along with the memories.  I particularly enjoyed “Mr. Duck Steps Out” and cannot remember the last time that I saw this cartoon!  Watching the popcorn exploding in Donald’s stomach, which forced him to dance like he had never danced before, was a wonderful moment for me.  I had completely forgotten this cartoon and hadn’t seen it in so many years that it was a special treat to see it again after all of this time.  But that was not the only cartoon that I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  I felt like I was a kid watching Disney cartoons on TV again while I watched these cartoons!  It was an absolutely wonderful hour of my time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!  I do regret that these individual DVDs are so expensive as they would be a fun addition to any family movie library, but I don’t think I would watch them often enough to justify the purchase price.  Fortunately, we have YouTube, where you can find most of these cartoons individually providing you know the titles of the cartoons you are looking for.  I highly recommend you take the time to rent this DVD or look up the cartoons that sound the best to you on YouTube so that you can either enjoy these terrific cartoons for the first time or take yourself back in time to remember how much better cartoons used to be when we were growing up!

Content:

This DVD contains some scenes of smoking and drinking.  There is also quite a bit of cartoon violence.  Though no one gets badly hurt, there are scenes including punching, kicking and the like that result in black eyes, bruises and other injuries.  There are also some scenes of verbal arguing.  Everything is animated in a lighthearted manner so I doubt if any child will take anything seriously that they see here.  Appropriate for viewers of all ages, recommended for ages 2 and up.

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The Ladykillers (1955) Movie Review

The Ladykillers (1955)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Katie Johnson
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Release Date: 8 December 1955
Language: English
Length: 91 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness) is the leader of a crime ring planning a heist. His confederates, blowhard Major Courtney (Cecil Parker), suave Louis (Herbert Lom), chubby Harry (Peter Sellers) and muscleman One-Round (Danny Green), dodge their landlady’s (Katie Johnson) constant interruptions. The hoods hit upon the idea to use her in the daring daylight robbery, but she discovers the truth…it may be the end of her! ” — Netflix.com

Review:

This was an hilarious crime caper!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as all I knew about this movie was that it was remade a few years ago with Tom Hanks starring.  It started off great with Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) trying to explain to the police that the alien sighting by a neighbor was a mistake and just kept me entertained from there!  Katie Johnson was by far my favorite character.  I know that she as not one of the headliners of this film and that I was supposed to be focused on the team of crooks and what they were doing, but this little old lady absolutely stole the show!  She is such a sweet, normal, little white-haired woman who lives down the street from everyone.  She knows everyone in the neighborhood and can greet almost everyone by name.  So, of course, it is absolutely preposterous to believe that she could have anything to do with a robbery!  Mrs. Wilberforce really does try to explain what is going on to people, but she has such a funny way of doing it that no one believes her.  One of my favorite scenes was when she was trying to use the slang that the crooks were using to get rid of a policeman.  She had no idea what she was saying, but she was told to say it so that she wouldn’t end up in the slammer so she went for it!  For me, Katie Johnson made this movie and she kept me watching long past when I would ordinarily have turned the channel to something else.

Alec Guinness leads the gang of thieves as Professor Marcus.  I know that Alec Guinness would hate me for saying this, but I cannot seem to separate him from his iconic role as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars when I see him in anything else.  In this film, he plays the part of the brains behind some great thefts and this time he has a brilliant idea.  He will rent a room from the perfect stooge – Mrs. Wilberforce.  Marcus weasels his way into the heart of his landlady by pretending to be an amateur musician who practices with his group almost every night of the week.  They all bring instruments, but they simply play a record to make the sound – until their landlady inevitably interrupts them to offer tea, ask for help with her parrots or just have a conversation.  Then the group has to scramble to pick up their instruments and pretend to be playing while they are really planning their next heist.  There were some really funny moments as they tried to scramble and hide their true motives, but one of the best parts of the film regarding the thieves was when they are watching Mrs. Wilberforce transport the stolen money from the train station back to her house.  Mrs. Wilberforce ends up stopping to prevent a man from abusing a horse and going to the police station and watching the reaction of thieves was priceless!

It wasn’t until the thieves decided that Mrs. Wilberforce had to die that I started distinguishing the other thieves in the group.  Claude “Major Courtney” (Cecil Parker) is the first one to draw a short straw and be assigned to kill Mrs. Wilberforce.  He tries to warn her and then takes the money and runs, but he ends up falling off the roof and dying.  This was too bad as Claude seemed like a decent guy, well-educated, polite and presentable otherwise.  Louis “Mr. Harvey” (Herbert Lom) is the last to attempt to murder Mrs. Wilberforce and he is the thug of the group.  He believes that nothing should stand in the way of his wealth and thinks that their time at Mrs. Wilberforce’s is a waste and that they don’t need the cover.  Harry “Mr. Robinson” (Peter Sellers) is a bit of a pushover and doesn’t really want to hurt anyone, so he tries to take the money and run, but he fails miserably.  One-Round “Mr. Lawson” (Danny Green) was a big softie.  He was the muscles of the group, but he wasn’t too bright.  I was sad to see him go as I really liked his character and respected him for standing up to the group and insisting that it was wrong to kill little old ladies, even if they would all have to go to jail once she took them to the police.

The best part of the movie by far was the ending.  The superintendent (Jack Warner) and the sergeant (Philip Stainton) were so funny as they tried to interact with Mrs. Wilberforce.  They are so accustomed to hearing wild, unexplainable stories that they don’t know how to react to Mrs. Wilberforce’s latest claim.  I won’t spoil the ending for you here, but I will say that things end in a very funny fashion and you will find yourself smiling and laughing as you listen to Mrs. Wilberforce.  I am not sure how good the new movie is, but this one is definitely worth watching if you enjoy crime dramas that have that special brand of British humor.

Content:

This movie contains scenes of smoking, drinking and mild language.  There is a robbery in this film and all of the crooks end up dying in the movie.  There are no bloody scenes and most of the violence if verbal sparring between the crooks.  Recommended for ages 10 and up.

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