Introducing the Olympic Dreams Blogathon!

The Olympics are an event that many people around the world look forward to. However, the 2020 Summer Games were postponed due to the on-going Coronavirus. As of late January 2021, the Summer Olympics are still taking place. In honor of that, I am hosting an Olympic themed blogathon! Because the Olympics are such a broad topic, I am encouraging you to be creative! Movies, tv shows, books, music, art, etc. involving the following will be eligible for the blogathon:

  • Winter or Summer Games
  • Sports that have been a part of or are still in the Olympics
  • Olympic athletes past and present
  • Special Olympics
  • Paralympics
  • Countries and/or cities where Olympic games have taken place
  • Performers and/or performances from an Olympic opening or closing ceremony
  • Years when an Olympic game has taken place
  • Advertising promotions related to the Olympics

The Official Blogathon Rules

  1. Please be respectful when writing your entries and toward other participants.
  2. If you plan on publishing your post(s) earlier or later than the allotted time-frame (July 19th to the 23rd), please let me know in advance.
  3. Only new posts are allowed for this blogathon.
  4. As I mentioned, the Olympics are a broad topic. Therefore, I am not allowing duplicate entries for the Olympic Dreams Blogathon.
  5. A maximum of three entries are allowed for each participant.
  6. All entries must be original work.
  7. If you’re interested in participating, please share your idea(s) in the comment section below.
  8. Pick one of the five banners and let others know about the Olympic Dreams Blogathon!

The List of Participants

Sally of 18 Cinema Lane — Movie reviews of The Karate Kid and Karate Kid Part II

Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews — Movie review of Cool Runnings (1993)

J-Dub of Dubsism — Movie review of Personal Best (1982)

Ruth of Silver Screenings — Movie review of Raging Bull (1980)

Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.
Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.
Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.
Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.
Created by me, Sally Silverscreen, on Adobe Spark.

Have fun at the Blogathon!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Ladies in Lavender Review

This is my first time participating in the Luso World Cinema Blogathon. Because I’m not familiar with the subject of Luso World Cinema, I gave my submission careful consideration. A movie I have wanted to watch for a while is Ladies in Lavender. When I discovered Daniel Brühl was one of the blogathon’s recommended subjects, I decided to review his 2005 film, as he is one of the starring actors in that movie. I haven’t seen many projects from Daniel’s filmography. In fact, the only film of his I’ve seen is Captain America: Civil War. So, this is a good opportunity for me to see what his acting talents have to offer outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The synopsis of Ladies in Lavender reminded me of Swept from the Sea, a movie I reviewed two years ago. Because of this, I will compare and contrast these two films from time to time in this review.

Ladies in Lavender poster created by Tale Partnerships, Scala Productions, and Lakeshore International.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: For this part of the review, I will take a moment to talk about Daniel Brühl’s performance, as he is the reason why I reviewed this movie. His portrayal of Andrea was enjoyable to watch! It combined both comedic and dramatic elements that helped make Daniel’s performance entertaining. One example is when Andrea is peeling potatoes with Dorcas. What also worked in Daniel’s favor was how he was able to portray his character realistically. Whenever Andrea is trying to make his wishes known to the other characters, you can see him becoming frustrated at times. This was achieved through Daniel’s facial expressions and body language. Despite not being familiar with Natascha McElhone as an actress, I did like her portrayal of Olga. She appeared throughout the film as an approachable character. Natascha also had a good on-screen relationship with Daniel Brühl as well as with the other actors. A perfect example is when Olga is interacting with Andrea in her cottage. Speaking of on-screen relationships, I liked seeing Judi Dench and Maggie Smith work together in this film. While they have similar acting styles, their characters were allowed to have their own district personalities. This let them shine individually as well as together! One of their best scenes is when their characters, Janet and Ursula, receive terrible news over the phone. As Janet is telling her sister what happened, Ursula immediately crumbles into tears. This scene showcases how the sisters have an unbreakable bond!

The scenery: Similar to Swept from the Sea, Ladies in Lavender takes place in the English countryside. This particular environment provided photogenic scenery that visually complemented the story! Because Ladies in Lavender is set in a seaside town, there are some scenes that take place around the ocean. It was captured very well on film at various moments, from a morning scene where the rising sun perfectly contrasted the water to a night-time shot of the rolling waves. Country landscapes were also included in the movie! In one scene, Olga is painting a landscape of rolling hills with a nearby tower. The location itself contained beautiful green hills that looked great on a sunny day. The gray of the nearby tower paired surprisingly well with the rolling hills’ green hue. Because of how picturesque this space was, it makes sense that Olga would want to capture it on canvas!

The cinematography: I was pleasantly surprised by the good cinematography found in Ladies in Lavender, especially when it came to scenes involving water! In films where a character is drowning, those scenes are usually presented with a fast pace and quick cuts. When we see Andrea’s flashbacks, they are presented at a slower pace. This allowed the audience to see what is happening on screen as Andrea is shown in the water. One of the most beautifully shot scenes I’ve ever seen is when Andrea is playing a violin on a rocky ledge at night. His dark silhouette perfectly contrasts with the deep blue ocean that looks like it sparkles in the evening. The color scheme of blue, white, and black are prominently featured and is visually appealing!

The Second Luso World Cinema Blogathon banner created by Le from Critica Retro and by Beth from Spellbound by Movies.

What I didn’t like about the film:

An unclear direction: In Swept from the Sea, the overall story is a drama with a romance included. This is a clear creative direction that was consistent throughout the film.  Ladies in Lavender is different, as the story went in many different directions. It gets to the point where it was difficult to determine what the plot was about besides the main premise. Was the story supposed to be about a forbidden romance? Or was it meant to revolve around the strained relationship between two siblings? Maybe it was supposed to partially focus on Andrea’s musical dreams? The story of Ladies in Lavender adopted too many ideas. That decision made the overall film feel like it was bouncing around from place to place.

Telling more than showing: At various moments in Ladies in Lavender, the audience is told how Andrea was washed up ashore. We are even shown flashbacks where he is seen drowning. However, we never get to see the events that caused Andrea to fall overboard. Because of this, the audience is not given a complete picture of what happened. At one point in the story, Janet and Ursula meet Olga. They express how they don’t like this new visitor. But the audience never receives an explanation for why Janet and Ursula do not like Olga. Visuals should have been used to illustrate the sisters’ point. If this had been the case, we might have gotten a better glimpse into Janet and Ursula’s perspective.

The exclusion of Andrea’s perspective: I know this movie is called Ladies in Lavender, with the title referring to Janet and Ursula. But because the overall story primarily focused on Janet and Ursula’s perspective, we don’t see the story from Andrea’s perspective. In Swept from the Sea, the story is narrated by Dr. Kennedy. Despite this, the audience is allowed to see that film’s world from Yanko’s perspective. That aspect of Swept from the Sea also gave the audience an opportunity to truly get to know Yanko as a character. With Ladies in Lavender, I feel like I barely know Andrea. The inclusion of Andrea’s perspective would have easily solved this issue.

Paper Boats in the Sea image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-of-paper-boats-with-hand-drawn-waves_1189898.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Ladies in Lavender is a film that I found to be just ok. Yes, there are aspects worth appreciating, such as Daniel Brühl’s performance. As a matter of fact, this movie made me appreciate Daniel’s acting abilities more! But if I had to choose between Ladies in Lavender and Swept from the Sea, I’d choose Swept from the Sea. This is because I find that movie to be stronger among the two. With Ladies in Lavender, the direction of the overall story was unclear. While there was a main conflict, it was difficult to determine what the main plot was. More telling than showing was also one of the movie’s flaws, not giving the audience the full picture when it came to certain areas of the story. I found the lack of Andrea’s perspective to be disappointing as well. This prevented me from truly getting to know Andrea as a character. Even though Ladies in Lavender will not be one of the best movies I saw this year, I am glad I participated in the Luso World Cinema Blogathon. I wonder what I’ll chose to write about next year?

Overall score: 6.3 out of 10

Have you seen Ladies in Lavender? Are there any Luso World Cinema films you’d like to see me review? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Christmas Bow Review + 265 & 270 Follower Thank You

After a temporary break from blogging to work on a creative side project, I have returned to write a blog follower dedication review! 18 Cinema Lane received 265 followers right before my blogathon, A Blogathon to be Thankful For, started. Because I was reading participants’ articles, as well as writing my own editorial, I planned on publishing this review after the event. Shortly after the blogathon ended, 18 Cinema Lane received 270 followers. As the Christmas season is now upon us, I chose to talk about one of Hallmark’s newest seasonal titles. A film I had wanted to see was Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ The Christmas Bow. What intrigued me was the story’s use of music and the dramatic nature of the plot. Even though Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is known for creating less light-hearted Christmas films than Hallmark Channel, the stories themselves do contain good messages and themes.

The Christmas Bow poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: While I’m not familiar with the acting talents of Lucia Micarelli, I feel she did a great job with the material she was given! Lucia’s best scene was when, during a flashback, her character, Kate, is playing the violin for her grandmother. Throughout this scene, Lucia was able to convey so much emotion with her face alone; trying to hold back tears while staying passionate about the music her character loved. Prior to watching The Christmas Bow, I had seen some of Michael Rady’s performances from his Hallmark projects. A consistent part of Michael’s acting abilities is how he makes his portrayals appear so effortless. Whether his character was interacting with his cousin or having deep conversations with his mother, Michael gave a performance that felt natural. The supporting cast in this film was strong, with some stand-out performers among the cast. One of them was James Saito, who portrayed Kate’s relative, Grandpa Joe! Whenever James’ character came on screen, he brought joy with him. That’s because he had a great on-screen personality and his smile lit up the room!

The interior design: I really liked seeing the interior design inside Kate’s family’s home! It was not only creative, but also photogenic. In Kate’s room, the décor was primarily white with splashes of color. With the addition of Christmas lights, the room appeared brighter. This prevented the space from looking drab or unimpressive. The living room featured light and dark stone along one wall and the fireplace. Light wood cabinets from the nearby kitchen complement the stone work. Within this house, there were interesting design choices when it came to specific elements in certain rooms or areas. The upstairs hallway contains a tall white bookshelf. A dark wood ladder and desk pairs nicely with the shelving unit.

The music: When I first read the synopsis for this movie, I knew that music would play a significant role in the story. However, all of the music in The Christmas Bow was pleasant to listen to! Because Kate is a violinist, classical music has a primary place in this film’s soundtrack. As she performs, the songs themselves are really good. From ‘Carol of the Bells’ to ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, these were familiar tunes that were strengthened by the sound of the violin. I also liked the story angle the film’s creative team took in regards to the influence music has during the Christmas season. When Kate and Patrick’s cousin meet for the first time at a café, Kate teaches him that closing his eyes will help him see the music. Patrick’s cousin tries this technique as Christmas music plays throughout the café. This lesson also shows how music can play a role in people’s lives.

Adorable Christmas card image created by Rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/christmas-greeting-card-vector_2824854.htm’>Designed by Rawpixel.com</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Rawpixel.com – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A less dramatic injury: Based on The Christmas Bow’s synopsis, I expected the film’s protagonist to be involved a car accident that causes her to be so traumatized, she decides to avoid the violin as much as possible. In the movie, Kate ends up hurting her hand due to getting it caught in a door. Hand injuries and broken bones are serious. However, compared to what I expected, it seemed like this part of Kate’s story wasn’t as dramatic as it could have been.

Obligatory Christmas activities: In my review of I’m Not Ready for Christmas, I mentioned how the Christmas activities featured in the film were obligatory for the sake of reminding the audience that they were watching a Christmas movie. The Christmas Bow has a similar flaw, as Patrick’s cousin continually presents a list of Christmas activities he wants to complete before December 25th. While these activities were woven into the overall story better than I’m Not Ready for Christmas, their presentation in The Christmas Bow felt like they had to be there. The activities themselves were those that have been featured in countless Christmas movies before, such as buying a Christmas tree and making gingerbread houses.

A party planning subplot: One of the subplots in The Christmas Bow revolved around Kate’s family planning a Christmas party at their music store. The subplot itself wasn’t bad and preparation for a party can work as a story concept. But an influx of this type of story during last year’s Christmas line-ups made me hope both networks would move away from showing party planning in their movies. Sadly, Hallmark isn’t aware of that detail as they continue to recycle this plot point.

String of musical notes image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/pentagram-vector_710290.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundvector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

The Christmas Bow is the first 2020 released Christmas movie from Hallmark I’ve seen. Therefore, I can only compare it to the 2015 film, I’m Not Ready for Christmas. What I will say is The Christmas Bow is far better than I’m Not Ready for Christmas! Sure, there were flaws within the film. But the overall story was engaging with memorable strengths. Music was easily woven into the plot, feeling like it naturally fit in the movie. Character interactions and acting performances helped make the film worth watching. The story itself definitely belonged on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, as the material was more emotional than projects found on Hallmark Channel. While it’s too early to say if The Christmas Bow will go on to become one of Hallmark’s “classics”, I can state here that I liked the film. Thank you to my followers who have supported 18 Cinema Lane! It truly is an accomplishment I appreciate!

Overall score: 7.8 out of 10

Have you seen any of Hallmark’s 2020 Christmas films? If so, which one has been your favorite? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in Chesapeake Shores’ Fifth Season

When I submitted my review of The Great Mouse Detective last week, it became the 175th movie review I’ve ever published! In honor of this accomplishment, I decided to write a Top 10 list, especially since I haven’t written one in quite some time! Back in February, in a Word on the Street story, I reported how Chesapeake Shores was renewed for a fifth season. However, because of the Coronavirus, the show hasn’t gone into production. On 18 Cinema Lane, I recap two of Hallmark’s shows, with Chesapeake Shores being one of them. While some areas of the world are slowly going back to creating movies and television shows, the O’Brien family may not appear on screen this year. This means that my Top 10 list will probably be the only Chesapeake Shores related content I create in 2020. As “Chessies” (the show’s fandom) waits for any news of the show’s return, here are the top 10 things I’d like to see in the fifth season! Before I begin, I want to say that this list is solely based on my opinion. There will also be spoilers for the previous season.

  1. Tone down the relationship drama

As I’ve said before in my Evenings At The Shore series, the first and second seasons of Chesapeake Shores contained a healthy balance between their character and plot driven narratives. But since season three, the show’s overall quality has plateaued. That’s because the overall narrative has placed its primary focus on the relationship drama between the characters. This decision has caused the plots to be put on the back-burner. One example is the fourth season’s fifth episode, where the plot surrounding Jess’s story didn’t make any sense. In Chesapeake Shores’ next season, I hope the screenwriters bring the show back to that balance from the first two seasons. This show has come up with some interesting plot ideas, but haven’t utilized them to their fullest extent.

2. A wedding for Jess and David

Before Kevin and Sarah got engaged in the fourth season, fans had never seen a wedding within the O’Brien family. This next step in Kevin and Sarah’s relationship was history in the making for the show. Because of the fourth season’s six episode run, wedding plans were replaced with an elopement and a reception dinner. This decision was a “bait and switch”, leaving fans cheated out of a historical moment they were promised. Kevin and Sarah were not the only couple to get engaged, however, as Jess and David became engaged at the end of the season. I’d like to see Jess and David’s wedding in the fifth season. Because the filming locations of Chesapeake Shores are photogenic, maybe they could receive an outdoor ceremony.

3. Get rid of the love triangle

It’s bad enough When Calls the Heart features a love triangle that seems to have no end in sight. Like I said in one of my Sunset Over Hope Valley posts, love triangles are a waste of time and creative energy. In Chesapeake Shores’ fourth season, the narrative introduced a love triangle between Abby, Trace, and Jay. This not only enables the screenwriters to continue emphasizing the relationship drama, but it also takes screen-time away from more intriguing plots. Hopefully, this love triangle will get resolved sometime in the fifth season.

4. A subplot for Carrie and Caitlyn

Speaking of When Calls the Heart, what this show does well is provide subplots for the younger characters. It gives the audience a chance to get to know them and view the story from their perspective. When it comes to Chesapeake Shores, Carrie and Caitlyn, the youngest characters on the show, have never received a story of their own. In fact, it feels like they’ve become an afterthought within the overall narrative. I’ve been waiting for Carrie and Caitlyn to receive their own subplot for a while, so I hope this happens in season five. It would be interesting to see what the screenwriters come up with.

5. More episodes

Earlier in this list, when I talked about Kevin and Sarah’s lack of wedding plans, I stated how the fourth season of Chesapeake Shores was only given six episodes. While Hallmark shows have received seasons with less than ten episodes before, a fourth season receiving six episodes is a bit concerning. This creative decision prevented certain subplots from being fully explored and made the story feel like more was desired. Personally, I think the fifth season should be given at least nine to ten episodes. That way, Chesapeake Shores will have enough time to flesh stories out and focus on telling well-thought out narratives.

Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

6. The fruition of Trace’s recording studio

Chesapeake Shores excels at featuring locations that have been brought up in the story. One example is The Bridge, a musical restaurant that Trace had been dreaming about for several years. At the end of the fourth season, Trace had expressed interest in creating a recording studio. While recording studios have been presented in the story before, this particular business was never shown in Chesapeake Shores. Because this show has a good track record when it comes to locations, I’d like to think Trace’s recording studio will become a reality. However, I still want to see this location brought to life.

7. For Bree and Simon’s paths to cross again

When Simon was introduced on Chesapeake Shores, he met Bree in her home country. At the end of the fourth season, Bree’s literary agent, Brian, wanted to bring her play to London. If this happens, Bree would be in Simon’s home country. This dynamic would be very interesting to watch, especially if Bree and Simon plan on revisiting their relationship. Should Bree decide to find a different significant other, I’d be curious to see which new British actor joins the show.

8. More appearances for Nell

Over the course of the fourth season, I noticed that Nell had such a limited on-screen presence compared to previous seasons. I was told Diane Ladd, the actress who portrays Nell, was experiencing pneumonia when this particular season was in production. As I indicated in the introduction, we don’t know when Chesapeake Shores’ fifth season will be filmed. Whenever that happens, I hope Diane is in better health. Nell is the one who keeps the glue of the O’Brien family together. Without her, things just wouldn’t be the same.

9. A Chesapeake Shores Movie

I know a Chesapeake Shores movie is on the way. However, it never went into production, partly due to the Coronavirus. Even though the film was originally about Abby, Bree, and Jess, I still want to see a St. Patrick’s Day themed movie in Ireland. Another possible film idea is a Chesapeake Shores Thanksgiving themed movie! Hallmark hasn’t created a Thanksgiving movie in several years. Also, Good Witch has capitalized on Halloween, while When Calls the Heart creates annual Christmas films.

10. Megan becoming a successful businesswoman

You’re probably thinking, “Megan’s not a businesswoman, it isn’t her forte”. However, when we look at Abby, Bree, and Jess, there is one thing they have in common: they are all successful businesswomen. While each sister has forged their own path in the world of business, they have let their passions guide them through this specific journey. For at least one season, Megan has expressed her passion for art. Toward the end of the fourth season, she had shown an interest in creating her own studio. If the screenwriters wanted, they could allow Megan to use her art as the basis for a small business. This could make Megan an independent businesswoman like her three daughters.

Chesapeake Shores poster image created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%203&episodeIndex=3001

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Word On The Street: A Movie About “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” Is In the Works

It hasn’t even been a week since I published my previous Word On The Street post and it’s yet another “what the heck” story. On the website, MovieWeb, Jeremy Dick reports that a movie about Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is in the early stages of development. In Jeremy’s article, it reveals that Bret McKenzie is going to write the music and script for the film. If you’re not familiar with Bret or his work, don’t worry, Jeremy provides enough explanation. According to MovieWeb, Bret “is of course best known as one half of the New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords”. Bret also “served as the music supervisor for the 2011 movie The Muppets and its 2014 sequel Muppets Most Wanted”. Because Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas was created by the Jim Henson Company and since this company is one of the co-producers of this project, it makes sense for Bret to be involved.

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Christmas family image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nice-family-christmas-scene-singing-together_1458033.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

While I haven’t seen Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, I have definitely heard of it. When I first read this story two days ago, I, once again, found the project unnecessary. Wasn’t Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas already a movie? Based on the article, it seems like the production will be a remake/reboot of the original. Why retell a pre-established story when there’s a beautiful opportunity to create a new story? Similar to the Word On The Street post about “Barney the Dinosaur”, this project hasn’t even started production yet. In fact, the MovieWeb article shared very few details about the movie. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if this film is worth the time.

 

Have you seen Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas? How do you feel about this piece of movie news? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to check it out, here’s the link to the article I referenced in my post:

https://movieweb.com/emmet-otters-jug-band-christmas-movie-reboot-bret-mckenzie/

Evenings At The Shore: A Word from Nell

Nell returned to Chesapeake Shores, even though she played a small role in this week’s episode. It seems like she’s the glue that keeps the O’Brien family together. When advice is needed, she has wisdom ready to share. She can instantly create a brighter day with a joke or a smile. Nell is also one of the first people to give condolences or well-wishes. Without Nell, this show would not be the same. Episodes where Nell is absent makes it feel like something is missing. This can also go for any of the other characters on Chesapeake Shores. They all play an integral role within the overall narrative. Whether they only appear in a few episodes, like Carrie and Caitlyn, or show up in every episode, like Trace, each and every character matters. Both the acting and the writing make this idea a reality.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 3

Name: A Sonnet for Caroline

 

Abby’s story: Abby is finding it difficult to mandatorily stay home from work. She plans on using her newfound free time to take her daughters to school and volunteer in their cafeteria. After taking Mick’s advice, Abby plans on getting an éclair at a local bakery. When she arrives at the bakery, after taking her daughters to school, Abby discovers that all of the eclairs have been sold out. However, one of the employees has taken the last one. He offers to share his éclair with Abby, but she refuses. Later that day, Abby volunteers at Carrie and Caitlyn’s school by cleaning up the cafeteria. While there, she finds out that the bakery employee she met earlier is also a teacher and playground supervisor at the school. His name is Jay and Abby confides to him that she has a lot going on in her life. He tries to make her feel better by offering her a juice box, which she accepts. While visiting Kevin and Connor at Sally’s Café, Abby gets served with legal papers. The contents of these papers are kept a secret.

 

Trace’s story: Trace is happy to have complete control of The Bridge again. To get back on track, he tries to organize a new musical line-up. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s usual acts are scheduled for other shows. He then gets the idea to have Emma perform one of her songs. When he asks her to sing live, she refuses. The next day, during a slow day at The Bridge, Trace encourages Emma at sing in front of the guests. At first, Emma says no. But, after he introduces her on stage, she accepts his offer. When Trace notices Emma struggling with nervousness, he helps her out by providing guitar music for her song. During the performance, Mark Hall, the manager from past seasons, arrives just in time to hear Emma sing. Trace introduces Mark to Emma, who immediately recognizes him. He wants to make her music star, but Trace doesn’t feel she’s ready for the spotlight. Later in the episode, Trace learns that Mark tried to convince Emma to start a professional music career. She says she turned down the offer because she didn’t want to get stuck in a bad relationship. This is a reference to what Emma told Trace earlier in the episode, how a break-up with a rock-star led her to Chesapeake Shores.

 

Mick and Megan’s story: Mick is still dealing with his legal troubles. Despite this, he agrees with join Megan on her trip to a potential wedding venue. During this trip, Megan shares how she needs to find something to do with her time. They also talk about their wedding. This leads to them sharing a heart-felt kiss. The next day, Mick and Megan agree not to talk about the kiss ever again. At Sally’s Café, Megan consults with Nell on what she should do about the situation. Nell shares that it’s better to live with mistakes than regrets. Toward the end of the episode, Mick and Megan share a toast by the shore. Megan conducts the toast, by saying that she will bury the past and see where her relationship with Mick will go. Mick agrees to Megan’s plan.

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Bakery image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/pattern”>Pattern photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: It seems like Kevin and Sarah can’t have a moment for themselves. The members of the O’Brien family volunteer to help organize the wedding. While Kevin and Sarah appreciate their thoughtfulness, they end up feeling overwhelmed. While spending time at the fire station, Kevin and Sarah discuss what they want for their wedding. They both agree that the most important thing is how they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other.

 

Jess’s story: Jess and David are trying to purchase the house where they attended its open house in the previous episode. While placing a bid, they discover that a wealthier couple also wants to purchase the house. Refusing to give up on her dream, Jess comes up with a plan to show up at the same restaurant as the real estate agent. She and David invite Danielle, Connor, Simon, and Bree to have dinner with them at this restaurant. Unfortunately, Jess’s plan backfires as the real estate agent realizes what she’s up to. Later in the episode, Jess and David come up with a new plan to purchase their future bed & breakfast. They visit their competitors and Jess pretends to be David’s secretary. Jess and David encourage their competitors to purchase another property because the Peck family is interested in owning the house. Their plan works and they are able to move in to their new bed & breakfast at the end of the episode.

 

Bree’s story: Bree still feels like something is wrong with her and Simon’s relationship. She keeps giving hints to Simon about the state of their relationship, but Simon doesn’t seem to catch on. At the restaurant where Jess and David invite them, Bree finally shares her feelings with Simon. She tells him that she feels their relationship isn’t the perfect fit for them. He tells her that they shouldn’t try so hard to be perfect. The next day, Bree contemplates her relationship with Simon. She realizes that Simon is not the right significant other for her. Simon ends up visiting Word Play toward the end of the episode. He reveals, through a well-written speech, that their relationship isn’t working out and that it’s better if they went their separate ways. Both Bree and Simon agree to end their relationship on mutual terms. After Simon leaves Word Play, Bree picks up the paper that Simon’s speech was written on. When she unfolds it, she sees that the paper is blank.

 

Connor’s story: Despite his recent demotion at work, Connor is trying to keep his spirits up. He offers to help Kevin and Sarah plan their wedding and support Jess in her home purchasing efforts. Over the course of the episode, Connor learns that Danielle doesn’t like the idea of family. When he asks her the meaning behind her statement, she shares that she has some issues with her family. This causes Connor to contemplate his relationship with Danielle. Even though it seems like he and Danielle aren’t on the same page, he isn’t giving up on their relationship. One day, at the shore, Connor encourages Danielle to work things out with her family. Danielle doesn’t feel this is possible because her family is different from Connor’s. At the end of their conversation, she tells him that she loves him.

Happy Valentines day and heart. Card with Happy Valentines day a
Heart image created by Dashu83 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundimage created by Dashu83 – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/happy-valentines-day-and-heart-card-with-happy-valentines-day-and-heart_1747001.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

 

  • After Emma says that she recognized Mark Hall, I wondered if she was truly the person she claimed to be. To me, she seemed a little too eager to see Mark. This kind of contradicts what she shared with Trace about why she came to Chesapeake Shores. Maybe Trace will cross paths with Emma’s ex-boyfriend and his story will be different from what she told Trace?

 

  • In some of their projects, Hallmark has cleverly hidden “Easter eggs” that relate to their products. This episode of Chesapeake Shores is a perfect example of this. At the bakery, when Abby holds the door open for Jay, a sign saying “Hallmark Cards for Sale” can be seen on a shelf at the right-hand side of the room. Another “Easter egg” can be found in Mark’s name. His full name is Mark Hall and if you put his last name first, his name is Hall Mark.

 

  • I think this episode was falsely advertised. One of the biggest topics of the trailer was Abby being served with legal papers. In the episode, however, this event is barely referenced in the overall narrative. Hopefully, this will be covered in upcoming episodes.

 

  • When Danielle talked about how her family has issues, I wondered if we would ever see members of her family appear on Chesapeake Shores? If so, which actors would portray these members?

Starry night landscape with reeds
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this re-cap? Which actors would you like to see portray the members of Danielle’s family? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Stupidly Beautiful

In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Jess asks if something can be “stupidly beautiful”. This question made me contemplate the meaning behind her phrase. What does it mean to be “stupidly beautiful”? Maybe it means receiving wise advice that could be tough to hear, but needs to be heard. This can be making time more useful for yourself, even when it means making up for lost time. Going over necessary decisions that may not be easy to make could also fit this definition. Because Jess’s phrase was not given an official definition, the meaning behind it is up for interpretation. There are other aspects of this season of Chesapeake Shores that can also be left for interpretation. What’s different about things like Mick’s legal woes or Trace’s relationship problems is how they’re going to be resolved sooner or later. Let’s see how these and other situations are explored in this week’s re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 2

Name: Leap of Faith

 

Abby’s story: During a business meeting, Abby confronts the CEO of the financing management that was introduced in the previous episode. When she’s questioning him about the lack of documents in the company’s file, her boss interrupts the meeting. In a private conversation, Abby shares that she thinks the financing management is participating in a ponzi scheme because of how the company structure allows more money to come in through new clients. Her boss tells her that she shouldn’t say anything about the situation until they have more information. Abby becomes conflicted about what she should do. At Sally’s Café, she asks Trace for advice on what actions to take. He tells her that no matter what decision she makes, even if it’s a difficult one, it needs to be made. This encourages Abby to email the financing management’s CEO about sending her business firm the rest of the requested files. The next day, Abby’s boss tells her that she was been taken off the assignment because the financing management went to a different business firm. She defends her decision to email the CEO by stating that she doesn’t want people to be financially hurt. While attending an open house with her sisters, Abby reveals to Bree that she plans on reporting the financing management to the authorities. Bree encourages her to do what she feels is right. Abby ends up filing a report on the financing management. The following day, at work, Abby’s boss tells her that not only is the financing management being investigated, but that Abby is being suspended during this time period. Despite being upset about the situation, her boss is proud of her for following her instincts.

Trace’s story: Donovan, the famous country singer from Season 3, pays Trace a visit in Chesapeake Shores. During his stay, he tries to convince Trace to go back on tour. Trace stands by his decision to stay home, telling him that he has more important priorities to tend to. In an effort to change Trace’s mind, Donovan invites him to sing a duet at The Bridge. After he leaves, Donovan gives Trace a guitar as a gift. Also, at The Bridge, Trace helps Emma by taking the blame for her mistake, which involved not putting away cleaning supplies where they belong. Chris, the financial advisor from Season 3, tells Trace that he will be handing over his control of The Bridge back to Trace. This is because Mick thought it’d be a good idea and because Chris is managing waffle houses in another state. Also, in this episode, Trace gives Abby advice about her situation at work.

Mick’s story: Mick visits his business partner again, in an attempt to find the truth. During their meeting, the business partner admits to not seeing eye-to-eye with Mick when it came to business ethics. He even threatens Mick, telling him that he will be accused of being a co-conspirator if he says anything about the situation. Later in the episode, Mick learns that his business partner has officially been indicted and how there’s a chance that Mick could also take the fall for his business partner’s wrong-doing. When he consults with his brother, Thomas, about the situation, he is met with good and bad news. The good news is that there’s a way to prove that he had no knowledge of his business partner’s whereabouts. The bad news is this situation will cause Mick’s reputation to be tarnished to a certain extent. Also, in this episode, Mick helps Jess save her bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, this building is unsalvageable, so there’s not much that Mick or Jess can do. Mick also gives Connor advice about respecting the wishes of his employer.

Megan’s story: Megan is enthusiastic about Sarah and Kevin’s engagement. She volunteers to help Sarah plan the wedding. Megan goes dress shopping with Sarah and coordinates other details for the celebration. When Mick confronts Megan about her involvement in the wedding planning process, she shares that her participation allows her to make up for her absence when it came to planning other family functions. Mick reminds her that because the children are all grown up, she has more time to do the things she wants to do. This makes her feel better about her situation.

dress_01
Wedding dress image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin’s story: During an emergency call with his EMT team, Kevin saves the life of his former coach. When he asks him if he has any family to contact, his coach reveals that he’s all alone now. Throughout the episode, Kevin reflects on his memories involving his former coach as well as regrets about not keeping in better contact with him. He talks to Sarah about how his coach affected him at a critical time in his life. He also shares memories with Connor and Trace. At the end of the episode, Kevin surprises his former coach with a mini pep-rally in his honor, inviting former team-mates to the event.

Bree’s story: At one of the rehearsals for her play, Simon comes to surprise her. With him returning from a book tour, Bree is thrilled to have him back in her life. He’s even happy for her when her book surpasses his on a bestseller list. But the more time they spend together, the more she realizes that Simon has, somehow, changed. Throughout the episode, Bree tries to figure out what’s going on. Despite the fact that she can not find an answer, she still feels like something is wrong. When Simon and Bree read through a scene from her play, Bree expects to be kissed by him. This is because a kiss was written into the scene. After Simon kisses her, Bree continues to feel like something isn’t right.

Jess’s story: When David and Jess visit the Inn, they discover that the building is in worse shape than they thought. She asks Mick to help save her Inn. After contemplating every possibility, Mick reveals to Jess that there’s no way that the Inn could be salvaged. Jess is upset by this because she feels that the Inn was the first thing that she could call her own. While still feeling bad about losing the Inn, David suggests looking for a new bed and breakfast through a real agent agency. Jess and David attend an open house later in the episode. At first, Jess doesn’t like the way the house looks. But after she enters the house and goes through some of the rooms, she changes her mind about purchasing a new bed and breakfast. When Jess and David visit the Inn one last time, David surprises her with a sprinkler from the grounds. This is to remind Jess that no matter where they go, they’ll always have a piece of the past with them.

Connor’s story: While Connor is thrilled to take his environmental case to court, Thomas is not. He expresses his frustrations toward Connor and tells him not to take the case to court. Connor asks Mick for advice about what to do. Mick tells him he needs to respect Thomas as his employer. Later in the episode, Connor and Thomas tell the opposing side of the environmental case that they don’t want to take the case to court. The opposing side agrees, giving both of them a settlement to sign. When Connor reads the fine print, he discovers that he and Thomas won the case. After the meeting, Thomas tells Connor that even though the case worked in his favor, he shouldn’t have taken matters into his own hands. As a result, Connor is assigned to research work.

water grass.
Sprinkler image created by Whatwolf at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/water”>Water photo created by whatwolf – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:
• While it’s great to see Megan helping Sarah plan her wedding, I was wondering why Sarah’s mom wasn’t participating in wedding festivity preparations. She, as well as Sarah’s dad and brothers, was introduced last season and Sarah’s family doesn’t live that far away from Chesapeake Shores. I’m hoping that Sarah’s mom appears in upcoming episodes to assist Sarah in planning her wedding.

• Looking back on this episode, I think that Kevin’s story should have been fleshed out more. It seemed like that narrative was glossed over, not exploring the themes of regret and mentorship as fully as they could have. What I think would make up for this is Kevin and Sarah inviting Kevin’s former coach to their wedding.

• In my last Evenings At The Shore post, I predicted that Trace and Emma would become a couple, even if the relationship is temporary. After seeing the way Trace interacted with Emma in this episode, I’m starting to change my prediction. I’m predicting that Emma will think Trace likes her, but he will still try to win over Abby’s heart again. When Emma confronts Trace about her feelings for him, he will reject the idea for starting a relationship with her. This will not only make Emma upset, but she will frame Abby by making her look more jealous than she really is.

Starry night landscape with reeds
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What did you think of this episode? Which story was your favorite? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!
Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: A Spoonful of Ice Cream

Another year, another season of Chesapeake Shores! After a very eventful week on 18 Cinema Lane, it’s nice to write a post that’s different from the usual movie review. Like last year, I will continue to re-cap Chesapeake Shores and share my thoughts on certain aspects of each episode. What’s interesting is how this show is receiving only six episodes. While shorter seasons for Hallmark Channel shows is nothing new, it seems rather late in the game for this particular series to get fewer episodes in their fourth season. However, Chesapeake Shores is receiving a movie, so maybe that is a reason for this decision. In the season finale re-cap post from last season, I shared that Season 3 of Chesapeake Shores was fine, but not as good as the first two seasons. My hope for Season 4 is for this show is get back on track and continue to tell stories that are engaging and intriguing. Now, let the re-capping of Chesapeake Shores’ fourth season begin!

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season premiere of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 1

Name: The End is Where We Begin

 

Abby’s story: It seems like Abby has moved forward from her relationship with Trace. At work, she attempts to recruit a new client to her business firm. When she meets the potential new client, the CEO of a financing management, everything seems fine. That is, until she checks in on their numbers. The more she looks at it, the more she feels they don’t add up. She tells Mick and Connor about her situation, where Connor suggests that the financing management’s CEO could be taking part in a ponzi scheme. Later in the episode, Abby crosses paths with Trace during her morning jog. When he apologizes and tries to convince her to start their relationship over, Abby refuses and continues with her jog.

 

Trace’s story: Trace returns home from his band tour. He tries to call Abby, but she won’t answer his calls. When he goes to Abby’s house to deliver flowers, Mick answers the door instead. The next day, when Mick pays him a visit, Trace tells him that he’s staying home for good this time. Mick, however, is not convinced. At The Bridge, Trace meets Emma Rogers, a bartender who also happens to be a songwriter. He tries to persuade her to sing in front of The Bridge’s audience. Emma ends up turning down the opportunity, saying that she doesn’t sing in front of people. Later that day, Connor visits Trace at The Bridge. When Trace tells Connor about his issues, Connor tells Trace where Abby is going to be so he can meet up with her. At the end of the episode, Trace and Abby cross paths on Abby’s jogging trail. Trace attempts to patch up his relationship with Abby, but Abby wants no part of it.

 

Mick’s story: One morning, Mick receives word that one of his business partners is being investigated. This was caused by the business partner laying down the foundation of a property. Mick visits his business partner, who claims that he’s innocent. He also visits Trace, who says that he’s staying in Chesapeake Shores for good this time. Mick and Megan spend more time together, reminiscing about the past and reflecting on family traditions.

 

Bree’s story: Bree’s career is reaching a bright spot. Her book has not only climbed up one place on a bestseller list, but she’s looking for a producer for her new play. Throughout the episode, she meets several producers who like the script. However, Bree feels that none of them understand her work. One day, Hannah Urso, a famous writer who now works with a prestigious theater in Baltimore, visits Word Play. Bree is so excited when she finds out that Hannah wants to help her bring her story to life. When Hannah shares her thoughts on the script, Bree feels that she has finally found a producer who understands her writing.

Jewels sparkle in the golden wedding rings lying on the leather
Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Kevin reveals to his siblings that he plans on proposing to Sarah. He hopes that he can propose to her while they are at Jess and David’s new bed & breakfast. Every time Kevin is about to propose to Sarah, he gets interrupted. One evening, he expresses his frustrations about the situation to Jess. She tells him that he shouldn’t be so focused on creating the perfect proposal. Kevin takes his sister’s advice and finally proposes to Sarah while they stop to change a tire on the side of the road. Sarah found a place where they could see the sunset over a large body of water. When Kevin asks Sarah to marry him, she, of course, says yes.

 

Jess’s story: Jess takes a trip to visit David at their new bed & breakfast. She invites Kevin and Sarah to join her on her trip. When Jess first arrives at the bed & breakfast, she’s excited about spending time with David and having her own business again. But the more time she spends at the bed & breakfast, the more she hates it. At first, she doesn’t want to tell David how she feels, especially since his parents purchased the facility for them. After she gives Kevin advice about his wedding proposal, he encourages her to be honest with David. After Kevin and Sarah leave, Jess tells David how she feels about the bed & breakfast. She learns that David feels the exact same way about the facility. They plan to own a bed & breakfast in Chesapeake Shores instead.

 

Connor’s story: One day, after work, Connor learns from Danielle that she just received a promotion. Not only that, she reveals that she now has a new car. Connor expresses his happiness for his girlfriend. At work, Connor negotiates with the opposing side of an environmental case. This assignment causes Connor to start reflecting on his career. When he meets up with Danielle and a friend, they remind him of how, in law school, he said he wanted to be a litigator. This makes him think about his future even more. At Sally’s Café, Connor talks to Abby about the future of his career. Abby shares her business situation with Connor. The next day, Connor makes the decision to take his environmental case to court, which shocks the opposing side. He also helps Trace meet up with Abby again.

182361-OWOO51-765
Breakfast tray image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/composed-healthy-fruit-and-coffee-on-tray_1441643.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Something that Jess said in this episode really concerned me. When she was talking about the bed & breakfast with Kevin, she tells him that it reminds her of David’s parents, but in a negative way. Whenever the subject of David’s parents is brought up, David seems to have a negative opinion toward them. If Jess and David are dating seriously enough to ever consider marriage, they’re going to have to deal with David’s family for a very long time. Besides, it’s been said that if you marry a significant other, you’re also marrying their family. Hopefully, Jess and David revolve this issue in the near future.

 

  • While I’m happy that Kevin and Sarah got engaged, I really hope this show doesn’t adopt the “planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period” cliché. I’ve said on more than one occasion that I am not a fan of it. After this year’s “June Weddings” line-up, it seems like Hallmark is trying to move away from this cliché. So, I would really like to see them continue to do so.

 

  • Here’s a prediction I have for Season 4: Trace and Emma become a couple. This causes Abby to get jealous, leading her to find a new male significant other. Despite these choices, Trace and Abby still have feelings for one another. So, they end their temporary relationships and get back together.

 

  • I thought this episode was just fine. It felt like overarching stories were beginning, instead of focusing on episodic subplots. If the rest of the season takes this story-telling approach, it would be very different from the other series on Hallmark Channel.

Starry night landscape with reeds
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Do you have any predictions for Season 4? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Summer Magic Review (A Month Without the Code — #5)

For a few years now, I have wanted to watch the film, Summer Magic. It’s a title that I had never heard of until I came across it on Pinterest. Even after I recorded the movie on my DVR, I didn’t make the time to watch it. Because of the A Month Without the Code Blogathon, I decided to include Summer Magic in my roster of films! This is the third movie of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve reviewed this year. I liked both The Moon-Spinners and The Trouble with Angels. When I read the movie’s tagline on their DVD cover, I saw the word “mystery” and was excited to see what kind of story would be told. I also discovered that Burl Ives was one of the stars of the film! Prior to watching Summer Magic, I had never seen Burl act. However, I was familiar with who Burl was as a singer, as I’ve heard his versions of various Christmas songs. So, I was curious to see if he was given a significant part in the movie or a cameo role where he got to portray himself. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s find out in this review!

Summer Magic poster
Summer Magic poster created by Walt Disney Production and Buena Vista Distribution. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Image found at https://movies.disney.com/summer-magic.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: When it comes to films starring Hayley Mills, I, as an audience member, have never been disappointed! That’s because she has the acting talents to lead a film! Hayley had such a pleasant on-screen presence in Summer Magic, bringing her character, Nancy, to life with charm and likability. As I said in my introduction, I had never seen Burl Ives act before. His portrayal of Osh Popham was better than I expected it to be! He was so expressive in his acting performance and his singing performance could do no wrong. Deborah Walley is an actress that I am not familiar with. Despite this, I was entertained by her performance! Julia was such an interesting character to watch on screen. Deborah’s ability to pull off a well-rounded performance helped her achieve that goal. The rest of the cast was good as well. Because of the believability they brought to their roles, all of the characters appeared and felt like real-life people!

The music: If you’re going to cast Burl Ives in a film, you have to have him sing at least one song. Burl actually sang two songs in Summer Magic and both performances were really good! His first song “Ugly Bug Ball” not only featured music that reflected the story’s time period, but it also featured music that resembled when the film was released. Burl’s second song, “On the Front Porch”, as well as the rest of the music, felt like it belonged in the world of the early 1900s, when Summer Magic takes place. This helped the movie be immersive and bring this cinematic world to life.

The historical accuracy: Another aspect of Summer Magic that made the movie feel immersive was the historical accuracy of the overall production. For historical fiction stories, this aspect is so important because it provides a sense of authenticity. From the costumes to the architecture, everything seemed like it was brought back directly from that time period. Even things as simple as hairstyles helped the movie’s creative team realize their cinematic idea. Anytime I see a period film that appears and feels historically accurate, it gives me the impression the creative team behind that film not only knows what they’re doing, but that they care about the project they’re making. This is exactly how I felt about Summer Magic.

Note_lines_horizontal1
String of musical notes image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/pentagram-vector_710290.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundvector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

No “magic” and “mystery”: On the DVD cover for Summer Magic, the film’s tagline says “A Season Of Love, Music, And Mystery”. However, “magic” and “mystery” are nowhere to be found. Since The Moon-Spinners was created by the same studio as Summer Magic and since The Moon-Spinners was released the year after Summer Magic, I assumed the latter would have a mystery that was more light-hearted than the aforementioned title. Sadly, this plot didn’t leave any room for a mystery to be told. Even though this movie is called Summer Magic, there is no “magic” that is usually found in Disney films. When it comes to films from this particular studio, “magic” is not just coming from the things that happen on screen. It’s the way that the film makes an audience feel. For me, Summer Magic did not make me feel this way.

A basic plot: Because of what I just said, I thought there was going to be a mystery featured in this film’s plot. That didn’t happen, which caused the plot to be too basic for my liking. The story was also straight-forward, leaving no room for intrigue. Even when there was a chance for the narrative to have a sense of intrigue, those chances ended before they could begin. A perfect example is when Osh Popham was telling Nancy and her mother about the previous homeowner’s painting, only for his wife, Mariah, to confront him about his lie moments later.

Lack of musical numbers: For movie musicals, there’s, usually, at least one musical number. This scene will feature singing and dancing, but will also be presented as a grand spectacle. Summer Magic never had a scene like this. In fact, anytime a song was incorporated into the film, the characters would, mostly, sing the song while sitting down. Because Disney’s forte is musicals, I was quite surprised by the lack of musical numbers in this film. Since Mary Poppins was released the year after Summer Magic, I’m wondering if the first movie received more attention and financing from the studio, possibly viewing Summer Magic as an afterthought?

A Month Without the Code banner
A Month Without the Code Blogathon banner created by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society. Image found at https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/announcing-amonthwithoutthecode65/.

My overall impression:

As of August 2019, I have seen four of Hayley’s Mills films in their entirety. For the most part, I have enjoyed these movies. But, if I were to rank them, Summer Magic would be at the bottom of the list. That’s because the film itself was just ok. Since there was no “mystery” or “magic” in the story, the film’s plot wasn’t as intriguing as I hoped it would be. Despite the fact that the movie’s tagline promised that there would be music, it wasn’t a musical in the typical sense. But the film did have its merit, such as the acting and the historical accuracy of the project. It’s a film that I can’t fully recommend, but not completely dissuade people from seeing. Like I said about The Nun’s Story, Summer Magic is one of the “cleaner” films in A Month Without a Code! While there are a few things that would need to change, this film could be “breenable”. These things are:

  • There is some language in Summer Magic that would need to be rewritten or removed. This is because some of the words that the characters said were unpleasant. One example is when Nancy is trying to put up wallpaper in the house. When her mother expresses her doubts about whether Nancy is capable of completing the task on her own, Nancy makes a statement like “Any idiot can do it”.
  • There were three lines in the song, “Ugly Bug Ball”, that I was very surprised were featured in a Disney film. The lines are highlighted in bold print:

“Then our caterpillar saw a pretty queen

She was beautiful in yellow, black and green

He said, “Would you care to dance?”

Their dancing led to romance.

And she sat upon his caterpillar knees

And he gave his caterpillar queen a squeeze

Soon they’ll honeymoon

Build a big cocoon

Thanks to the ugly bug ball”

Because of how suggestive these lines sound, they would need to be rewritten.

  • During the movie, Julia and Nancy develop a crush on Charles Bryant, a recent college graduate who comes to their small town as a school teacher. Julia admits that she completed “finishing school”, so I’m guessing she would be 17 or 18. Meanwhile, Nancy might be somewhere between 14 to 16. Since this is a Disney/family-friendly film, their interactions with him are innocent. But, the fact that two teenage girls would entertain the idea of falling in love with a grown man should not be in a family-friendly movie.
  • While Osh Popham is looking for a painting for give to Nancy’s family, he finds a picture of a scantily clad woman. When this painting is presented to the audience, jazz music can be heard in the background. If this film were created during the Breen Code era, this painting would not be shown on-screen. I don’t believe that the jazz music would be heard either.

Overall score: 6.3 out of 10

How are you enjoying my reviews for A Month Without the Code? Are you looking forward to my upcoming posts? Le me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Les Enfants Terribles Review (Clean Movie Month — #4)

Several months ago, I recorded the French film, Les Enfants Terribles, on my DVR. Since I don’t watch many foreign films, I wanted to see this film as a way to expand my cinematic horizons. When I found out that this particular movie was released during the Breen Code era, in 1950, I was curious to see if any traces of the Breen Code could be found in the film. So, that is why I chose Les Enfants Terribles for one of my Clean Movie Month reviews! If you read my review of Madeleine, you would know that Les Enfants Terribles is not the first foreign film I reviewed for this blogathon. In fact, I was quite surprised that Madeleine was approved by the Breen Code. An interesting coincidence is both Madeleine and Les Enfants Terribles were released in the same year. So, it’ll be interesting to see how this French film from 1950 compares to the British film, also from 1950!

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I’ve seen other posters for this movie, but I like this one the best! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: The acting in Les Enfants Terribles was one of the finer points of the movie! The two main characters, Paul and Elisabeth, were very interesting to watch because of the lead stars’ acting performances! Nicole Stephane brought the character of Elisabeth to life with a sense of fierceness and strength. These two elements helped her carry the film. She was also able to stand on her own merits when it came to acting among the other actors and actresses! Edouard Dermit portrayed Elisabeth’s brother, Paul. The well-roundedness of his acting talents was very clear to see in this film. Paul goes through a lot in Les Enfants Terribles. In every scene, Edouard brought his A game and even made his character seem like he was a real person. Over the course of this story, Edouard not only incorporates a sense of realism to his character, but also pulls off an acting performance that was mesmerizing to watch!

 

The music: At certain points in the film, orchestral music could be heard. This type of music would normally come into the movie anytime a new location was introduced. I thought this was an interesting choice because it fit the film’s overall tone. The orchestral music was grand yet sinister, highlighting Paul and Elisabeth’s journey through wealth and growing up. In one scene, Elisabeth’s husband, Michael, sings a song while playing the piano. Not only did the piano music sound good, but the song was also sung well. The music’s role in Les Enfants Terribles brought a special significance to the project!

 

The dynamics of the characters: Les Enfants Terribles puts more focus on the characters than the story itself. Despite this, it was fascinating to see how the characters interacted with one another. Throughout the film, lives are transformed and relationships are built among Paul, Elisabeth, and the people around them. What makes this part of the movie work is the screen-writing as well as the acting. These two elements provide the perfect combination for making the characters as interesting as they were.

Clean Movie Month banner
Clean Movie Month banner created by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society. Image found at https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/cleanmoviemonth85-is-here/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Lack of explanation for Paul and Elisabeth’s “game”: During the movie, Paul and Elisabeth play a game that only the two of them know about. However, no explanation to what this game is or how it’s played was ever given in the story. While watching the film, I tried to figure out more about the game. But, without an explanation, it was very difficult to understand the importance of it. I also noticed that this game was featured in the story when it was convenient for the plot. This is because the game itself was mentioned on very few occasions.

 

A misleading premise: According to Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) website, Les Enfants Terribles is about “a brother and sister close themselves off from the world by playing an increasingly intense series of mind games with the people who dare enter their lair”. As I’ve already mentioned, Paul and Elisabeth’s “game” wasn’t well explained or featured in the movie for very long. The sibling relationship of Paul and Elisabeth seemed very toxic, from calling each other names to treating each other horribly. If anything, this movie was about two things: siblings who grow apart and a young woman who slowly becomes obsessed with power and control. Since the movie was different than its synopsis, I found TCM’s description to be misleading.

 

An unclear time-line: Les Enfants Terribles takes place over the course of several years. But, to me, this movie felt like all the events happened within a year. This was because there were no clear explanations about when certain situations were taking place. Time-cards and any mentions of the year were not found in this movie. Even the narrator didn’t talk about how much time had passed. The film’s time-line became very confusing, leaving me wondering how many years were included in the story. Because of the unclear time-line, the characters appeared as if they were frozen in time.

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Illustration of Paris, France created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/travel”>Travel vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I ended up liking Les Enfants Terribles more than I thought I would! It was an interesting film that had a few surprises in store. The movie itself is a character study/character driven story, showing how they evolve as time goes on. The acting was really good and the characters were well developed, helping this narrative become engaging. As I was watching Les Enfants Terribles, I could see some of the Breen Code’s influence. One example was anytime the doctor came to examine Paul. Either the examination itself was not shown on-screen or the doctor would only be shown listening to Paul’s heartbeat. However, when it came to this film, the Breen Code could have been enforced more. There were several times where characters were swearing, either at each other or just for the sake of it. This shocked me because not only was Les Enfants Terribles released in 1950, but it was also released during the Breen Code era. I was surprised that this movie got away with having this much language in the early ‘50s. Was this particular film the beginning of the end for the Breen Code? That’s definitely a question for another day.

 

Overall score: 7 out of 10

 

Have you ever watched a French film? Which foreign film have you always wanted to see? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen