Take 3: Sunnyside Review + 100 Follower Thank You

Well, I did it. I finally received 100 followers! When I started 18 Cinema Lane last February, I never thought I would achieve this many followers in such a short amount of time! So, I’d like to say thank you to every single person who has chosen to follow my blog. If it weren’t for you, I never would have reached this milestone so soon. You’re probably thinking that it would be nearly impossible to find a movie that was released 100 years ago, in 1919. But, surprisingly, I ended up finding a movie on Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) schedule. It’s a movie titled Sunnyside, which was directed, written, produced, composed by and starred Charlie Chaplin. In my Wild Oranges review, I mentioned that the only other silent film I’d seen was The Kid. By reviewing Sunnyside, it means that this is not only the third silent film I’ve seen, it’s also the second Charlie Chaplin picture that I’ve seen. When I recorded this movie on my DVR, I was shocked to discover that the film itself was less than an hour long. But, since Sunnyside is considered a short film, I realized that this run-time actually made sense. So, let the sunshine come pouring into your heart, as we’re about to begin this review of Sunnyside!

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Not only did I surprise myself by finding a movie that was released 100 years ago, but I also found a poster of the movie (which appeared on my TV). Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Things I liked about the film:

  • The comedy: Out of the two films of Charlie Chaplin’s that I’ve seen, it seems like Charlie’s cinematic work is known for being humorous. Because Sunnyside is a silent film, the creative team behind this movie had to rely on physical comedy, such as silly behaviors and actions, to make the audience laugh. This style of comedy was executed well in the film! While this form of comedy was more simplistic, I felt like it was effective! One such example is when Charlie’s character brings a cow into his house and milks it on the spot just so he can put milk in his beverage. The incorporation of humor helped make Sunnyside an interesting film!

 

  • The music: As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, Charlie Chaplin composed the music in Sunnyside. It felt like Charlie put a good amount of thought into the type of music that was incorporated into the film. Throughout the movie, I noticed that the overarching music matched the mood of whatever scene it was featured in. Whenever the scene was humorous, light-hearted music could be heard. If the scene had a more serious tone, dramatic music was placed over the on-screen events. This aspect of the movie provided a sense of understanding to what was happening in the story!

 

  • The use of title cards: In my review of Wild Oranges, I talked about the importance of title cards within the film. Just like that movie, Sunnyside also used title cards to their full advantage. These title cards were, sometimes, placed at the beginning of each scene. This helped introduce locations and characters to the audience. Title cards were also used to provide dialogue between some of the characters. It assisted the audience in helping them figure out what was going on within the narrative.
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Happy sun 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.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Some scenes lasting longer than others: Throughout Sunnyside, I noticed that some of the scenes lasted longer than others. One example is the opening scene, when Charlie’s character wakes up in the morning. For scenes like this, I felt that they were as long as they were just to satisfy the film’s run-time. In my opinion, these specific scenes could have been cut to a shorter length.

 

  • A simplistic story: The main plot of Sunnyside was more on the simpler side. Because of this, it caused the first half of the movie to appear as a series of vignettes. The story didn’t seem to have a cohesive narrative until the character called “City Chap” showed up in the film. It made the film like it was an experiment of how to make a movie.

 

  • A drowned out piano: In Sunnyside, there was one scene where Charlie’s character is playing the piano. However, when he did play the piano, the instrument’s sound was drowned out by the overarching music featured in that scene. I understand that the cinematic technology of 1919 was vastly different than what it is today. But I think the sound of the piano should have been omitted from this film. That way, the only sound that the audience should focus on is the music that helps highlight the mood of that scene.
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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:

As I’ve said in my Wild Oranges review, I don’t often watch movies in the silent film genre. However, because Sunnyside was the only film from 1919 that I was able to find, I decided to give the movie the chance. I’m glad I did, as this ended up being a good film! Because this was a short film and because, for the most part, I was able to understand what was going on in the narrative, I didn’t have a need to provide my own commentary to the film. It is interesting to see how movies have evolved over these 100 years. Seeing what’s changed and what’s remained the same in cinema is fascinating. This makes me appreciate the earlier projects of film, including Sunnyside.

 

Overall score: 7.6 out of 10

 

Do you watch silent films? Have you seen any of Charlie Chaplin’s movies? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Broadway Melody Review + 90 Follower Thank You

This week, I received 90 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! To all my followers, thank you for helping me reach this accomplish! In honor of this achievement, I’m going to review a film that was released 90 years ago (in 1929). While looking through Turner Classic Movie’s (TCM’s) schedule one day, I found a film titled The Broadway Melody. Because this film turned 90 years old this year, I chose to review this movie for this special post. Before this review, I had never heard of The Broadway Melody. So, I was looking forward to expanding my cinematic horizons. Was this film a show-stopper or stumble over its own dancing shoes? Keep reading my review of The Broadway Melody if you want to find out!

The Broadway Melody poster
The Broadway Melody poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Image found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broadway_Melody_poster.jpg

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: As a whole, the cast of The Broadway Melody was good! Anita Page and Bessie Love both gave a memorable performance as the singing and dancing duo, Hank and Queenie! What was so great about these characters is how they displayed their own distinct personalities. While Hank was out-spoken and spunky, Queenie was a quieter individual with a sweet personality. I also liked Jed Prouty’s performance as Uncle Jed! His portrayal of this character came across very believably, making Uncle Jed feel like a real person. Having him stutter was an interesting choice, as this is not common amongst characters in cinema. However, I thought that this component was incorporated well from both an acting and writing perspective.

 

  • Use of title cards: At some points in the film, title cards were used as scene transitions and location indicators. This choice was not only creative, but also interesting. Since The Broadway Melody was the first movie musical to be “all-talking”, I felt this was a good transition from silent films to talking pictures. These title cards also added a unique stamp to the overall project.

 

  • The musical numbers: One of the strongest aspects of The Broadway Melody is, definitely, the musical numbers! My favorite group routine was “Wedding of the Painted Doll”, as it was really well choreographed and performed! There was so much going on in that number, but it was all great to look at. Throughout this film, the best solo performance came from a ballerina who performed a tap dance on ballet pointe. Her routine was incredible and I had never seen anything like it before! This was absolutely the best dance solo in any movie musical I’ve ever seen!
The Broadway Melody poster card
The Broadway Melody lobby card image created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/12482/The-Broadway-Melody/#tcmarcp-173805.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Large spaces between musical numbers: While I enjoyed seeing the musical numbers in The Broadway Melody, it seemed like this movie had far more dialogue-focused scenes. In my opinion, a good musical finds a way to balance the dialogue and music-focused scenes, creating a film that tells an interesting story and provides entertaining content. Throughout The Broadway Melody, however, there were only seven musical numbers. The ratio between the musical numbers and dialogue-focused scenes was weaker than I had expected.

 

  • The run-time: Before I watched this movie, I was surprised to find that it was almost two hours long. Looking back on this specific production, I don’t think this story needed to be an hour and forty minutes. Because of this run-time, it caused the movie to feel longer than intended and some scenes to feel too drawn out. There was also the inclusion of scenes for the sake of satisfying the run-time. This movie would have worked better with a run-time of an hour and twenty or thirty minutes.

 

  • A “slice of life” story: It seems like the more movies I watch, the more I don’t like “slice of life” stories (unless they have intriguing plots). The premise in The Broadway Melody felt like it was following a year in the life of the Mahoney sisters. I did not find this type of story-telling very interesting. This story also contained petty drama that I really didn’t care about. Because this drama lasted for a good portion of the film, it caused the plot to feel drawn-out.
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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 Broadway Melody was an ok film. I can see why this movie received the honors that it did in its time. However, I think there are movie musicals that are stronger than this one. While, the story wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped, the musical numbers were the highlight of this film. They were very enjoyable and fun to watch. I found myself rewinding my recording of The Broadway Melody in order to re-watch some of the musical scenes. “Wedding of the Painted Doll” was such a great ensemble routine and the tap dance on ballet pointe solo was fantastic! With its merits and flaws, I’m still glad I chose to review this film.

 

Overall score: 6.3 out of 10

 

What did you think of my review? Which movie musical is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Meet Me in St. Louis Review + 75 Follower Thank You

Last week, 18 Cinema Lane received 75 followers! Before I start this review, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my followers for making this achievement possible. Without you, my blog would never have received this milestone (especially in this short amount of time). So, like I’ve done in the past, I will now review a film that was released 75 years ago (in 1944). Because I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Meet Me in St. Louis, I’ve chosen this movie to celebrate this accomplishment! When I picked this movie to review, I realized that the only films of Judy Garland’s that I had ever seen were The Wizard of Oz and A Child is Waiting. This gave me a good excuse to not only watch a movie that I had never seen in its entirety, but to also explore Judy’s filmography! Now, let’s finally start this review for Meet Me in St. Louis!

Meet Me in St. Louis poster
Meet Me in St. Louis poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Loew’s, Inc. Image found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meet_Me_in_St._Louis_poster.jpg

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: The cast was very talented in Meet Me in St. Louis! To me, the two strongest performers in this film were Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien! Like in The Wizard of Oz and A Child is Waiting, Judy has both the musical and acting talents to carry a significant weight of the film. Judy also has good on-screen chemistry with Tom Drake, who portrays John Truett in the film. Margaret O’Brien’s portrayal of “Tootie” Smith was one of the strongest elements of this film! During the scene where “Tootie” is so upset about moving to New York that she destroys the snowpeople outside, Margaret’s performance was so emotionally powerful. In fact, her performance was so emotionally powerful, that it was an affective way to make the audience feel sorry for the character. Both Judy’s and Margaret’s performance complimented the performances of the other actors as well.

 

  • The music: I really liked the music in this film! The collection of songs was a good balance of light-hearted and emotional material. Judy’s musical performances were a treat to see, as they were all delightful and enjoyable! My favorite musical number in this movie was when Judy and Margaret performed “Under the Bamboo Tree”. This performance was so joyful and added to the light-hearted nature of the film. When it comes to more emotional performances, I really liked Judy’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. Her version of the song was emotional enough to affectively reflect the mood of what’s going on in the film. It’s sad, as it addresses reflecting on times gone by, and it’s hopeful, as it talks about appreciating the things you have in your life. This assortment of songs made seeing this movie an enjoyable experience!

 

  • The sets: All of the sets in Meet Me in St. Louis were impressive! I’m not sure if the Smith family home is a real-life house or a house built on a studio lot. However, the facility itself was absolutely gorgeous! Everything in this house looked and felt like a home from the early 1900s. I also liked how the ballroom looked in the scene where Esther, Rose, Lon, and Grandpa attend the annual Christmas ball. The way the Christmas tree was placed in the greenroom was so pretty. The Christmas tree’s placement was also a good way to effectively pull off a surprise within the story!
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St. Louis, Missouri sticker image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/label”>Label vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • A weak first segment: From a story-telling perspective, I thought the story during the “Summer 1903” segment was the weakest element of the movie. Within the first twenty minutes, the primary story focused on whether Rose would become engaged via a long-distance telephone call. Because the first few minutes of a film is, usually, reserved for providing exposition, I don’t think Rose’s story was an effective way to start this movie. It is as if the screenwriters expected their audience to automatically care about a character whom they just met. For me, the overall narrative wasn’t interesting until the “Fall 1903” segment began.

 

  • Too many characters: Even though Meet Me in St. Louis had a talented cast, I feel there were too many characters associated with this story. In this movie, the overall narrative seemed to serve only a few of the characters. The individuals that benefited the most from this narrative were Esther, Rose, “Tootie”, John Truett, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The rest of the characters either feel like they’re there for the sake of being there or like they weren’t given enough screen-time.

 

  • The limited presence of the World’s Fair: Throughout this movie, the World’s Fair is referenced by several characters on several different occasions. It’s even mentioned in the opening song, “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis”. However, the World’s Fair itself was only featured within the last twenty minutes. Even in those few moments, the World’s Fair isn’t incorporated into the story enough to make me, as an audience member, feel satisfied. If anything, the World’s Fair in Meet Me in St. Louis was just a glorified extra.
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My overall impression:

Meet Me in St. Louis is a good film! The music is entertaining and the story is interesting enough to keep the audience invested. As I mentioned in my review, the acting is what helped keep this movie going. While Judy and Margaret were the two strongest performers in this movie, the rest of the cast was also talented. Yes, this film did have its flaws. However, there was a good amount of content that made the experience of watching this movie enjoyable. I’m glad I chose this movie to review for my 75 follower dedication post because it allows me to explore the filmography of both Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien! It also gave me a good excuse to watch a film that I had never seen in its entirety.

 

Overall score: 7.5-7.6 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on my review? Are you looking forward to seeing which movies I review in future blog follower dedication posts? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

What makes a Shirley Temple movie a “Shirley Temple movie”?

When I came across the Made in 1938 blogathon last November, it sounded like something I would want to participate in. As I was searching the internet for films with 1938 release dates, I discovered that Shirley Temple starred in three movies within that year: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner. Because a goal of mine is to watch every single Shirley Temple film ever made, I figured that talking about these three films for this blogathon would be a good way to take one step closer to my goal. Prior to seeing Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner, I had seen some of Shirley’s other films. This means that I had an idea of the components that would make up these three films. So, in this post, I will be exploring and analyzing these six components that are usually found in a “Shirley Temple movie”. Now, when I say “Shirley Temple movie”, I mean the films where Shirley starred in the movie as a child actress. However, when it comes to Shirley’s movies, I will only be discussing the three films that were released in 1938. So, now that I’ve finished these necessary introductions, let’s answer this question of what makes these films a “Shirley Temple movie”.

Made in 1938 blogathon banner
Made in 1938 blogathon poster created by Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Robin from Pop Culture Reverie. Image found at https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/announcing-the-made-in-1938-blogathon/ and https://popculturereverie.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/announcing-the-made-in-1938-blogathon/

Shirley Temple’s involvement in the film

When I watched Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner, I wanted to see whether Shirley was given legitimate roles to portray or if the film was treated as a way to, simply, include Shirley in the movie just for the sake of having Shirley star in the film. In these three films, Shirley’s roles seemed like they were well-written characters, each given their own characteristics. There are some similarities that these characters had, such as being, to a certain extent, independent. Each character; Rebecca, Penny, and Betsy, were either an orphan or had at least one parental figure in her life. Because of the specific conflict each of these characters face, they all find a way to solve their particular problem. One example of this is in Little Miss Broadway. When her family’s hotel is in danger of closing for good, Betsy becomes friends with the nephew of the hotel’s landlord and helps him put on a show in order to save the hotel and help the residents keep their home. These characters also have their differences as well, such as how they solve their problems. In Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Rebecca is forced to perform in a radio commercial for her greedy and selfish step-father. In order to get out of her living and working situation, Rebecca pretends to lose her voice, tricking her step-father into thinking that she is no longer employable for radio entertainment. Rebecca came up with this plan all by herself compared to how Betsy from Little Miss Broadway and Penny from Just Around the Corner resolve their conflicts.

After watching these films, I think the best role that Shirley portrayed was Betsy in Little Miss Broadway. Because the film centered around performers living in a hotel, this role highlighted both the acting and performing talents that Shirley had to offer within the movie. It made it feel like this role was created just for Shirley, while also complimenting the talents of the other actors and performers in the film. While I liked Shirley’s portrayal of Rebecca in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, I felt like the creative team behind this movie put a little too much emphasis that Shirley was cast in their film. At one point in the film, Shirley says that she used to have curls all over her head, possibly referencing her earlier roles, such as her role in Curly Top. Shirley also mentions the songs “Animals Crackers in My Soup” and “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, not only referencing Shirley’s previous movies, but making it feel like the movie’s creative team assumed that the audience had seen Shirley’s other movies prior to watching Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I also liked Shirley’s portrayal of Penny from Just Around the Corner. But, as I’ll explain later in this post, she wasn’t given many opportunities to perform as a singer and dancer within the context of the film.

 

The Cast Surrounding Shirley

For this component, I wanted to see if the cast surrounding Shirley were also given legitimate roles to portray or if these actors’ involvement in the film were just seen as everyone being Shirley Temple’s extras. When I reflect on Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner, I can honestly say that the cast surrounding Shirley were also given characters that were well-written. What I liked about these three movies is that the characters seemed so unique and interesting from one another. One of these characters is Samuel Henshaw from Just Around the Corner. While Samuel, at times, comes across as a grumpy individual, it seems like he has a sense of goodness to him, caring equally about his career and his family. This character is very different from Pop Shea from Little Miss Broadway, for example. While both characters appear to be around the same age, their personalities are very different, helping to give a sense of variety among the characters within these three films. Another thing I liked seeing was the variety of talents that was shown within each film. Bill Robinson’s involvement in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Just Around the Corner is a good example of this. Not only is Bill a good actor, but he’s also a good dancer. When it comes to the acting within each film, I think that everyone did a good job with the acting material they were given.

rebecca of sunnybrook farm poster
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm poster created by 20th Century Fox. Image found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030657/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Story

While looking at each story from each film, I wanted to find out how much they relied on Shirley’s involvement in the film. Before I reveal my assessment, let me share a brief synopsis for each film. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is about a radio executive and his assistant searching for the perfect candidate to perform in their radio commercial. Just Around the Corner is about a young girl who tries to help her father find employment and Little Miss Broadway is about a hotel owner trying to save his hotel as well as the home of several performers. While all of these stories do, to a certain extent, depend on Shirley’s involvement, these stories can stand on their own. If you take away the fact that this is a “Shirley Temple movie”, these stories could work with other actors and different characters. An example of this is Just Around the Corner. If this movie were not a musical, I could see almost any child actor being cast in the role of Penny. Other than the musical numbers, it doesn’t really seem like Shirley’s involvement is essential to the story overall. This is the same for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. You could either have almost any child actor or any singer in the lead role and it really wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Out of these three stories, I liked the plot from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm the most. Not only was the conflict within the plot interesting, but the “behind-the-scenes” aspect of radio entertainment was, to me, fascinating. This part of the film reminded me of two Hallmark movies that I really like: This Magic Moment and Cooking with Love. Because of this, it made me enjoy Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm even more. I liked the story from Little Miss Broadway. But, after the primary conflict is resolved, it feels like other conflicts were invented in the story just to keep the movie going. This made the movie feel a little bit tedious. The story for Just Around the Corner was fine. But, because of the limited amount of musical numbers, it made the story feel drawn out and a little bit longer than intended. Despite the flaws that these stories may have, all of these stories were well-written.

 

The Messages and Themes

Like most family-friendly films, Shirley Temple’s movies have no shortage of messages and themes that can be found within the film’s narrative. For the most part, these messages and themes are relatable and can be shared with audiences of all ages. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner contain more than one message/theme. In Just Around the Corner, the story is very reflective of the time period that the film was released in. Because the movie premiered in 1938, messages and themes relating to The Great Depression can be found within the film’s plot. Financial prejudice, social class, and maintaining a positive attitude no matter what the circumstance is are themes that I found within the movie. Even though Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Little Miss Broadway were also released in 1938, the messages and themes in these movies are relevant for both the late ‘30s and the late 2010s, focusing less on direct references to The Great Depression. In Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, the two biggest messages that I could find was how success can be found almost anywhere and how important it is to surround yourself with people that truly have your best interests in mind. As a movie blogger, I can relate to the first aforementioned message. Movie bloggers come from all over the world, with several movie bloggers finding huge success. This particular message has definitely stood the test of time. Little Miss Broadway’s two biggest themes in its story were how far kindness can go and getting to know someone before you judge them.

When I watched Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner, I also noticed that some of the songs within these movies contained important messages and themes. The song, “I Love to Walk in the Rain” from Just Around the Corner re-emphasizes the theme of having a positive attitude in almost any situation. Other examples include “How Can I Thank You?” from Little Miss Broadway promoting the idea of taking time to express gratitude to those around you and “Come and Get Your Happiness” from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm stressing the idea of trying to find happiness wherever you are. Sometimes, these songs were sung more than once, as if the creative team behind these movies wanted to remind their audience of the importance of these messages and themes. For example, in Little Miss Broadway, the song “How Can I Thank You” is sung by Shirley more than once. As I’ve already mentioned, this song focused on promoting sharing gratitude with the people around you. Overall, the messages and themes that are found within these three films add a layer of depth to each story and make the movies feel like time was well spent.

little miss broadway poster
Little Miss Broadway poster created by 20th Century Fox. Image found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LittleMissBroadway1.jpg

The Musical Numbers

No Shirley Temple movie would be complete without at least one musical number. All three of these movies had their fair share of singing and dancing. However, it’s important to compare the big musical number from each film to see if they effectively represent their respective film. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Little Miss Broadway, and Just Around the Corner each had a large musical number that was featured toward the end of their film. These musical numbers equally incorporated singing and dancing into the production. Since I’ve already talked about the song “I Love to Walk in the Rain”, I’ll talk about the musical number from Just Around the Corner first. Toward the end of Just Around the Corner, Penny performs a musical number that reminds the movie’s audience about keeping a positive attitude in almost any situation. The way this theme is presented in this musical number is by showing how happy Penny is to be outside while it is raining. Out of these three films, “I Love to Walk in the Rain” is my favorite musical number. Not only does it stress a major theme from the movie in a creative and memorable way, but the actual musical number itself is very entertaining. All of the dancing is choreographed in such a way that it gives the audience the illusion that Shirley and Bill are actually talking a walk. The special effects that are showcased within this musical number are also very impressive. From the rain effect through the number to the props of moving birds, all of it came together to create a musical number that, I think, represents the film as a whole.

 

The other two musical numbers I will be talking about are “Little Miss Broadway” from Little Miss Broadway and “The Toy Trumpet” from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. In Little Miss Broadway, Betsy and Roger, the nephew of the hotel’s landlord, perform “Little Miss Broadway” in an attempt to prove to the judge that all of the performers residing in the hotel are worthy of hosting their own show on a regular basis. I liked this musical number quite of bit. The choreography was really good and the special effects of the New York City skyline made this musical number such a spectacle to watch. However, I felt that this musical number was only representative of its respective film to a certain extent. Yes, the musical number is reflective of how far optimism and kindness can go, as well as how happy and exciting Betsy’s new environment is to her. But, Broadway itself is never mentioned in the movie until that very musical number. Plus, the majority of the story takes place either in the hotel or in the landlord’s apartment. I also liked “The Toy Trumpet” from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The choreography and the number itself reminded me of the toy soldier dance that the Rockettes perform during Christmas-time. But, when it comes to representing the movie as a whole, this musical number doesn’t really do that. If anything, “The Toy Trumpet” feels random when it’s placed within the context of the story. Toy soldiers are never mentioned in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and the musical number does not incorporate any of the film’s themes or messages into the performance. Because Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm focuses a lot on radio entertainment, there is a greater number of performances that only involve singing. However, I just think that the big musical number within this film should have either been farm themed or showcased at least one of the film’s themes or messages.

 

The Overall Film

For this final category, I was curious as to how well these films held up 81 years later. Did any of these movies stand the test of time or are they just products of their time? I can only speak for myself, but I think Just Around the Corner, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Little Miss Broadway stood the test of time just fine. Because each film has a certain amount of simplicity to them and are relatable to a certain extent, these three movies can be enjoyed by many people. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is the film that I liked the most because of its interesting plot and creativity. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the “behind-the-scenes” look at radio entertainment was something that added interest to the story for me. Also, I was glad to see the creativity that can be found within this film. A perfect example of this was the scene where Rebecca sings “An Old Straw Hat” on the farm. During this scene, Rebecca and Aloysius, the family’s farm hand, not only perform a short dance on the pathway, but they also pick berries to the tune of the song. I thought Little Miss Broadway was a decent film. However, as I’ve also mentioned, the story felt, at times, tedious because the conflict was resolved a little too early. To me, Just Around the Corner was just ok. The biggest issue that I had with this film was that it wasn’t as much of a musical as I had expected. Just Around the Corner only had three musical scenes, one toward the beginning of the film and two toward the end of the film. For the rest of the movie, this limited number of musical scenes/numbers causes the story to feel drawn out and longer than intended. If these movies had received a traditional review on my blog, the scores they would receive are a 7.7 (for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm), a 7.1 (for Little Miss Broadway), and a 6.2 (for Just Around the Corner).

just around the corner poster
Just Around the Corner poster created by 20th Century Fox. Image found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030302/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Moon-Spinners Review + 55 Follower Thank You

Last weekend, I achieved 55 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! What a great way to start the new year! As I did last year, I will continue to review films that were released in the same amount of years as the number of followers I received. Because 55 is the number of followers I now have, this review will be about a film that was released 55 years ago (in 1964). I ended up choosing The Moon-Spinners because a) It happened to be on my DVR and b) it was a movie that I was meaning to watch last year, but never got around to it. Before last year, I had never heard of this movie or the Island of Crete. Because of this location and the story itself, I was really excited to see this film! I also have seen some of Hayley Mills’ other films, which were The Parent Trip, That Darn Cat, and pieces of Pollyanna. Because I have enjoyed those films, I had a feeling that I would probably enjoy The Moon-Spinners. Was I right in my prediction? Join me on my 11th review in my blog follower dedication series!

the moon-spinners poster
The Moon-Spinners poster created by Walt Disney Productions and Buena Vista Distribution. ©Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Image found at https://movies.disney.com/the-moon-spinners.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I really liked the cast of The Moon-Spinners! Everyone was so talented in this film, bringing the best of their acting abilities to their specific role. Hayley’s portrayal of Nikky was such a highlight in this film, making her performance as believable as possible. In the scene where Nikky has to escape from a windmill, the emotion of fear appeared so convincingly, that it truly made me believe that Hayley’s character was actually afraid of heights. I also liked Peter McEnery’s portrayal of Mark. Peter brought just as much believability to his role as Hayley did, helping me to stay invested in Mark’s involvement in the overall story. Whenever Mark was in pain, Peter affectively conveyed that emotion of pain on-screen.

 

The mystery story: In some mystery stories, the event that caused the mystery is usually shown within the first few minutes of the movie. This leads the rest of the movie to show how the characters solve the mystery. In The Moon-Spinners, the mystery unfolded as the story went along, allowing the audience to experience the surprises and react alongside the characters. I feel this was an engaging experience because it made me feel like I was on this journey alongside the protagonist, not just sitting in my seat and watching things happen on my screen.

 

The setting/scenery: The Moon-Spinners not only took place in Crete, but the movie itself was also filmed in Crete. The scenery that is found on this island was showcased very well in this film. What I liked about the scenery was how the different parts of Crete were incorporated into the story. While one part of the story took place at the beach, another part took place within ancient ruins. This showed the variety of locations that Crete had to offer, giving viewers a well-rounded depiction of this beautiful Greek location.

Beautiful clean sea and waves. Summer background for travel and holidays. Greece Crete.. Amazing scenery on the beach.
Beach in Crete, Greece image created by Montypeter at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/beautiful-clean-sea-and-waves-summer-background-for-travel-and-holidays-greece-crete-amazing-sce_2924526.htm’>Designed by Montypeter</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Montypeter – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A small presence of musicology: In The Moon-Spinners, Nikky’s aunt, Frances, is a musicologist. This aspect of Frances’ character really fascinated me because I had never heard of this particular occupation before. I became more interested in musicology and how it could play a role in this film’s mystery story. However, there was only one scene that actually featured musicology in action. Also, musicology did not play a role within the mystery narrative. This was really disappointing because what I thought was such an interesting concept ended up becoming under-utilized.

 

Some of the night-time scenes: While watching this film, I noticed that some of the night-time scenes looked like were filmed in the day-time, but with a dark lens placed over the camera. I understand that film technology from the early to mid-60s is very different from the film technologies of the 2010s. However, this is just something that I noticed, with this knowledge staying in the back of my mind as these scenes played out on my television screen.

 

A limited presence of Greek culture: As I mentioned in my introduction, I had never heard of Crete prior to watching The Moon-Spinners. So, I was interested in seeing how the important parts that make up Crete (the people, customs, traditions, etc.) would be incorporated into this story. While this movie touched upon a wedding, a parade, and how The Moon-Spinners Inn acquired its name, the customs and traditions of Crete did not play as large of a role in the film as I had hoped. Plus, these things were not incorporated into the film’s mystery narrative at all.

Greece Symbols Touristic Set Flat Composition
Essential items from Greece image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/greece-symbols-touristic-set-flat-composition_2869836.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/poster”>Poster vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I really enjoyed The Moon-Spinners! Even though there were things about the film that could have better, I still thought the movie was good. The Moon-Spinners was an engaging and suspenseful mystery, with really good pieces incorporated into the film. Out of the two and a half films of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve seen, this movie is very different from those aforementioned movies. But, if you are a fan of Hayley Mills, I think you will enjoy The Moon-Spinners. I’m really glad I was finally able to see this film! It’s always great to discover new films, possibly find a hidden gem, and share them with others. Thank you to all of my 55 followers, as this review would not have been possible without you.

 

Overall score: 7.8 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on my review? Which Hayley Mills film is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Oliver! Review + 50 Follower Thank You

On 18 Cinema Lane, I received a Christmas present early! I finally achieved 50 followers! This means that I now have to review a movie that was released fifty years ago (in 1968). While looking at my options for what movie to talk about, I realized that I haven’t reviewed a musical yet. So, I chose Oliver! for this special blog post. While I have never read Oliver Twist, I did see Oliver & Company in September. In fact, I reviewed that film back when I received 30 followers on 18 Cinema Lane. Because of this, I had a basic idea of what the story was about. How different was Oliver! from Oliver & Company? Check out my review in order to find out!

Oliver poster
Oliver! poster created by Romulus Films and Columbia Pictures. Image found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oliver!_(1968_movie_poster).jpg

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: This was a very strong cast! Everyone pulled off a performance that appeared so believable, it made the actors seem like they disappeared into their roles. One of the most versatile actors in this movie was Ron Moody. His portrayal of Fagin was very memorable, bringing those elements of sneakiness and desperation that were essential to that character. I also thought that the child actors were talented as well. While Mark Lester’s portrayal of Oliver was definitely a highlight in this film, I also liked seeing Jack Wild’s performance! Dodger, Jack’s character, was portrayed so well. This is because Jack’s acting performance appeared so natural, making it feel like a child in that particular situation would truly react in that specific way. All of these acting performances added to my level of enjoyment for this movie!

 

The set design: I was really impressed with all of the set designs in this movie! Because this story takes place in 1800s England, the environment within this film is reflective of that time and place. What makes these set designs so great is how immersive they make the audience feel when they see the film. While watching Oliver!, I felt like I was transported to that world, experiencing situations and events alongside Oliver. The authentic look and feel of the film’s environment also helps add a sense of realism to the story.

 

The musical sequences: The musical sequences within this film were, for the most part, really enjoyable! I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of up-beat and catchy songs that were not only entertaining, but also complimented the context of the story. The musical sequence that I enjoyed the most was “Consider Yourself” because the song itself was so great! Some of the visuals in that scene were very creative, such as when, as Dodger and Oliver are walking past a butcher shop, they walk through a doorway which was created by a split piece of meat. It was also interesting to see how the different components of 1800s London came together to showcase the importance that they represented at that time.

OQECW90
Sketch of London image created by Archjoe at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-drawn-houses-of-parliament_1133950.htm’>Designed by Archjoe</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Archjoe – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The heavy dialect: As I have mentioned, the story of Oliver! takes place in 1800s England. This means that all of the characters have a dialect that reflects that time and place. However, because of how heavy the dialect was, I found myself having difficulty, at times, understanding what these characters were saying. While this didn’t make me enjoy the movie any less, I did have to pay extra attention to all of the dialogue in the film.

 

Very few emotional songs: Like I’ve also mentioned, most of the music in Oliver! was up-beat. But, when it comes to emotional songs, there are only two within this movie: “Where Is Love?” and “As Long as He Needs Me”. Because of the limited amount of emotional songs, it kind of undermines some of the seriousness that can be found in the story. While the up-beat nature of the songs is meant to make the movie less dark and dreary, a balance of up-beat and emotional songs would have worked better for the story.

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Hand-written letter image created by Veraholera at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Veraholera – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/love-letter-pattern_1292902.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I can’t believe this is my last movie review of 2018. Where has the time gone? Anyways, back to the review itself. I really enjoyed this film! As a musical and movie, Oliver! was such a delight to watch. Because I had seen Oliver & Company before I saw Oliver!, it made me appreciate the story as well as the original source material. Like I mentioned in my introduction, I have never read Oliver Twist. But, both of these films have encouraged me to want to read the book! Maybe I will read it in 2019. Speaking of the New Year, I’ve had a pretty good year when it comes to movie blogging. You, my readers and followers, are one of the reasons why 2018 has been great for 18 Cinema Lane. Thank you all so much for making this year such a memorable one for my blog. Here’s hoping 2019 brings more greatness for movie blogging!

 

Overall score: 8.6 out of 10

 

What are you looking forward to in 2019? Which movie review from 18 Cinema Lane has been your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Queen of the Damned Review (Halloween Double Feature Part 2)

Happy Halloween! Just to let you know, there will be spoilers in this review.  If you want to read this Double Feature’s introduction, visit this link:

My Halloween Double Feature: An Introduction

Queen of the Damned poster
Queen of the Damned poster created by Warner Bros. Pictures. Image found at https://www.warnerbros.com/queen-damned
  1. In your introduction for this double feature, you mentioned that both Queen of the Damned and The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire were released in 2002. Can you think of anything from around that time period that could have influenced the creation of this film?

I think there are three things that influenced the creation of Queen of the Damned. The first is the character of Malcolm from Jurassic Park. As I mentioned in my Jurassic Park review, Malcolm is a rock-star-esque mathematician. However, Malcolm appeared to be a likable character. In Queen of the Damned, Lestat was a rock-star-esque vampire. Despite these characteristics, Lestat, for the most part, comes across as a likable character. The second thing is the 1998 film, Blade. I’ve never seen this movie, but I know that it’s a darker and more violent comic book film that, to a certain extent, discusses the subject of vampires. Because this film was successful enough to receive a sequel (that was, ironically, released exactly a month after Queen of the Damned), I’m speculating that Blade inspired the creative team behind Queen of the Damned to make their movie darker and more violent than their predecessor, Interview with the Vampire. The third and final thing is, interestingly, Interview with the Vampire. I’ve never seen this film either, but based on this film’s trailer, it appears to be a gothic film in the old-school sense. Queen of the Damned focuses on the new-school/modern gothic style, which is very different from the first film. Most movie series try to do something different with each new film, so I think this film’s approach was rather creative.

 

2. Were you able to follow along with the story and understand what was going on in the film despite not having read the source material?

For the most part, yes. I did some research about this film before I saw it, so I was aware of certain aspects of the film that some casual movie-viewers might not understand. For instance, in the film’s climax, there are various characters that are introduced. One of these characters is Pandora. If I didn’t know that she is a character from a spin-off book series that Anne Rice wrote, I would have no idea who Pandora was in this film.

 

3. Were your pre-movie questions answered?

Well, two out of my three pre-movie questions were answered. The only question that wasn’t answered was how Lestat survived being burned in the previous film. Honestly, I wasn’t as bothered by this as I thought I would be. Because this movie focused more on Lestat’s present and origin story, re-capping the first film would have felt like Queen of the Damned had too much content.

As for the two questions that did get answered, the reason why Lestat appeared like he was trying to pursue a romantic relationship with Akasha is because, in the movie, Akasha kidnapped Lestat and forced him to in be in relationship with her. Speaking of Akasha, she did reveal that the reason why she loved Lestat was because he reminded her of her deceased husband. As for Jesse, it appeared, in the movie, like she truly loved Lestat. Because she’s a vampire scholar, Jesse wasn’t as fazed by the vampire aspects of Lestat’s world. Also, because her aunt is a vampire, it seemed like Jesse truly appreciated the subject of vampires and the world surrounding them.

 

4. Were you right or wrong in your pre-movie prediction?

I guess I was kind of right in my pre-movie prediction {shrugs with a confused look on my face}. While Lestat was forced into a relationship with Akasha and Jesse wasn’t aware of this until the climax of the film, there is a moment during the film’s climax where Lestat pretends to drink more of Akasha’s blood then he should have. This allowed the other vampires present in that scene to defeat Akasha.

 

5. In this double feature’s introduction, when you talked about your reason for choosing to review Queen of the Damned, you said that the movie clips featured in the MsMojo video, ‘Top 10 Movies Based on Books That Need a Do-Over’, appeared bonkers to you. Was this movie bonkers or do you think these movie clips were taken out of context?

I definitely think these movie clips were taken out of context. To me, Queen of the Damned was not as bonkers as the clips within this video made it seem. The only thing I found bonkers in this movie was Lestat and Akasha’s “relationship” because of how problematic it was.

Old castle in the mountians.
Castle photo created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/old-castle-in-the-mountians_1286237.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

6. In a post from The Blog Complainer titled “How To Make A Good Movie Sequel”, there were several steps listed as if the article were a how-to for making sequels that are good. When a sequel successfully followed these steps, it means they passed the “Good Movie Sequel School for Dummies”. Because Queen of the Damned is a sequel, do you think it passed this school?

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Queen of the Damned is based on two books from The Vampire Chronicles series. On the other hand, some stories were explored more than others because of this choice. Also, there were no references to Interview with the Vampire besides Lestat being a protagonist in the sequel. Lestat also had different characteristics than he did in the first movie, such as being less self-centered. However, the creative team behind this movie tried to do something different from the first movie. Lestat’s backstory was further explored and there were new characters that were introduced. If Queen of the Damned were enrolled in the “Good Movie Sequel School for Dummies”, it would probably receive a grade of somewhere between a B to C+.

 

7.  Did you acquire any new thoughts and/or questions while watching this film?

Yes, lots! Because this post is already long, I will only list a few of these questions and thoughts.

  • What is Lestat’s net worth?

 

  • Why is there a small amount of security at Lestat’s concert? Since his band was aware of Lestat encouraging other vampires to show up at his concert to try and hurt him, wouldn’t they want to have more security at the concert?

 

  • Why would Jesse and Lestat return Lestat’s journal to David? It’s Lestat’s journal, so why wouldn’t he want to keep it?

 

  • How did Akasha know about Marius and Lestat’s conversation about Lestat needing a companion? Shortly after she kidnaps Lestat, Akasha tells him that she wants to grant his wish of a companion. However, Akasha was not a part of that conversation nor did anyone tell her about that conversation.

 

As I’ve already mentioned, I think that Lestat and Akasha’s “relationship” was problematic. The reason why I put the word relationship in quotations is because Lestat and Akasha were not together for a long period of time and their relationship didn’t develop over a significant amount of time. The way I would describe this “relationship” is with an analogy: the “relationship” is a car and Akasha is driving it. All Lestat is able to do sit in the passenger seat and take orders from Akasha. Honestly, I think this “relationship” is one of the most problematic relationships I’ve ever seen in a movie.

 

I really liked the sets and scenery in this film! For the most part, it made the environments in the movie feel inviting and appealing. I also thought the acting was really good! Everyone portrayed their characters so well and all of the performances were memorable. Something that I didn’t like in this film was most of the music. While I liked the violin music and the music that played during Akasha’s demise, I was not a fan of the goth rock music. When Lestat sang at his concert, he sounded unnecessarily angry. I would rather hear him play the violin than sing.

 

8. In Queen of the Damned, did anything stand out to you, whether for better or worse?

I liked the techniques in story-telling that were used in Queen of the Damned. There were several times when voice-overs from Jesse and Lestat were included to show the film’s story from their specific point-of-view. I think these voice-overs added depth to the story that we wouldn’t have gotten if they weren’t there. Most movies have one main plot and a few subplots. Queen of the Damned was told through several subplots that were all connected to Lestat in some way. I thought this was a very interesting approach to cinematic storytelling that I haven’t really seen before.

 

To me, the biggest flaw of Queen of the Damned is the run-time. This movie combines elements from two novels into one movie. However, the movie itself is one hour and forty-one minutes. Since the creative team knew they were going to incorporate so many story elements into their film, I think this movie either should have been a two-part over-arcing story (like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) or the run-time should have been longer. Because of this, some plots were explored more than others. For example, Lestat’s relationship with Akasha and Jesse seemed to move at a very quick pace, not giving these relationships enough time to develop and grow. I believe that any of my aforementioned solutions could have solved this issue.

 

9. According to the BMeTric charts in the Queen of the Damned Preview from Bad Movie Twins, it appears that interest in this film is rising. Why do you think that is?

Well, I think there’s two reasons for that. The first is negative reviews that the film has received. After hearing these reviews and seeing the 17% it has on Rotten Tomatoes, some people might choose to watch this movie out of curiosity, like I did. The second reason is Aaliyah’s involvement in the film. Some people might choose to watch this film as a way to respect her memory. Others may choose to watch this film because they want to learn more about who she was as a person and entertainer.

 

10. After watching Queen of the Damned, what is the one thing you can take away from this movie viewing experience?

While I think Queen of the Damned could have been a stronger film, I don’t think it’s as bad as some people have made it out to be. To me, this film is decent and I do think it has its merits. After watching this film, I started to notice a very sad pattern. I’ve only seen six vampire movies in my life, including Queen of the Damned. Out of those six, most of them feature at least one problematic relationship that is meant to be romantic. I can’t say if this is a norm in vampires movies or if this is just a pattern in the vampire movies I’ve seen. However, I was happy to see Lestat and Jesse pursue a romantic relationship with each other because, to me, they seemed like they truly loved and cared about each other. Their relationship also appeared to be a healthy one, where Lestat and Jesse loved one another for who they were and appreciated each other’s worlds.

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Happy vampire image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/several-vampires-ready-for-halloween_1317599.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/party”>Party vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you to check out the blog posts I referenced, you can visit these links:

Queen of the Damned Preview

How To Make A Good Movie Sequel

Evenings At The Shore: Various Points of View

Chesapeake Shores has several main characters within the show’s cast. Each of them is unique from one another and adds their own voice to the overall narrative. In my very first Evenings At The Shore post, I mentioned that Chesapeake Shores is a multi-generational show. Because each character varies in age, it allows for various life experiences and points of view to be expressed throughout the show. From Nell’s stories involving Ireland to Carrie and Caitlyn’s excitement about searching for Snipes, this multi-generational family always finds something interesting to talk about, as well as share with their loyal audience. What makes this show great is the relatability that the audience can find within the show’s narrative. For example, even if not everyone can relate to running a Bed & Breakfast, the majority of Chesapeake Shores’ audience can relate to channeling your heart and soul into something you love. Speaking of channels, let’s tune in to this episode’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.

Chespeake Shores Season 3 poster
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

Season: 3

Episode: 9

Name: Forward to the Past

 

Trace’s story: At the beginning of this episode, Trace is still fighting with Mick about their business contract. After Trace’s lawyer tries to take this matter to court, he tells Trace that no other lawyer wanted to touch this contract because of Mick’s involvement. While Trace is dealing with this situation, Mark, the band’s manager, informs Trace about an upcoming European tour that he and his band have been invited to. Mark also shares that, during the tour, the band will also have the chance to record a new album. Leigh and John encourage Trace to join them on tour, but Trace is still undecided. Because of this once in a lifetime opportunity, Trace decides to stop his fight with Mick over their contract. When Trace tells Mick about his reason for discontinuing the fight, Mick suggests that Trace tell Abby about the tour. Later in the episode, Trace does tell Abby about the tour and is still undecided about what to do.

 

Abby’s story: As Abby learns about Trace and Mick’s disagreement, Trace asks her if she could not get involved in anything relating to the contract. While she respects Trace’s wishes, she does talk to Mick about what is going on. Mick tells her his side of the story as well as how Trace feels about all of it. Later that day, Abby visits Trace at this house. She gives him purple flowers and apologizes to Trace for ever making him think that she wouldn’t respect his wishes. Abby continues to hear both sides of Trace and Mick’s argument when she spends time with both of them. Toward the end of the episode, Abby learns about Trace’s tour opportunity during her conversation with Trace. She also reveals that she organized a family meeting to discuss Bree’s manuscript.

 

Mick’s story: Mick continues to disagree with Trace about their business contract. While Trace is trying to take the contract to court, Mick continues to oversee the business operations of The Bridge. When Abby asks him about the situation, Mick tells her his side of the story. One day, at The Bridge, Trace confronts Mick and tells him that he will stop fighting with Mick over the contract. When Mick learns about Trace’s reason for stopping their fight, Mick suggests that Trace tell Abby about this news. At the end of the episode, Mick takes part in the O’Brien family meeting to discuss Bree’s manuscript.

 

Megan’s story: Megan is still bothered by Bree’s lack of knowledge about Megan’s past situation. When shopping at the flower store with Abby, she shares that she came back to Chesapeake Shores in order to help the family heal. Megan tells Nell the exact same thing when she drops the flowers off at the O’Brien house. Nell gives Megan advice about moving from the past and making the best of the present. At the O’Brien family meeting, Megan tells the family that she was dealing with some personal issues that caused her to seek help. Her explanation is one of the things that creates a disagreement amongst each other.

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Hand-written letter image created by Veraholera at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Veraholera – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/love-letter-pattern_1292902.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Bree’s story: While working at Word Play, Bree gets a surprise visit from Simon and his friend from college, Caroline. Simon reveals that his friend was the inspiration for his ‘Caroline’ book series. When Bree learns that Simon and Caroline never had a romantic relationship, she asks him why he still chose to base his book series on Caroline. Simon tells Bree that when he was in college, he wished that he and Caroline were in a romantic relationship. Later in the episode, Caroline reveals that she will stay in Chesapeake Shores for a little while longer due to business reasons. During this reveal, Caroline expressed interest in learning more about Bree’s literary work. During the O’Brien family meeting, Bree shares her reasons for writing the manuscript as well as her desire to publish it. This is one of the things that causes a disagreement within the family.

 

Kevin’s story: Before Sarah starts her new job in Philadelphia, Kevin takes the time to meet Sarah’s family. He is introduced to Sarah’s mother and father, as well as her two brothers. During his stay in Philadelphia, Kevin finds himself getting along with Sarah’s family quite well. One day, Sarah takes Kevin to her favorite spot on her family’s property. This spot is a large tree, the same tree where Sarah and her late husband got married. Sarah tells Kevin that the spot feels different, in a good way, because she brought Kevin there. As Kevin is about to leave Philadelphia, Sarah’s father thanks Kevin for bringing Sarah home and making her feel happy. Kevin then shares with her father how much Sarah has impacted his life. Back in Chesapeake Shores, Kevin learns that an EMT position in Chesapeake Shores has just become available, even though he just accepted the EMT job in New York. He also participates in the O’Brien family meeting.

 

Jess’ story: While Sally is visiting family for a week, Jess and David have volunteered to run Sally’s Café in the meantime. During this week, Jess and David do a successful job with running the restaurant. One evening, while closing the Café for the night, Jess questions the future of her relationship with David. The next day, Jess expresses these concerns to David. He feels that their relationship is in a good place and reassures her that there is nothing to worry about. Jess engages in the O’Brien family meeting at the end of the episode.

 

Connor’s story: In this episode, Connor continues to work with Danielle’s law firm. Because their new case involves the waterfront, Danielle and Connor spend a lot of time out of the office and working on location. One day, after work, Danielle apologizes to Connor for ending their relationship. She also expresses interest in giving their relationship a second chance. Connor agrees to help Danielle mend their relationship, with both of them kissing afterwards. Connor not only shares this news with Kevin, he also makes his feelings known during the O’Brien family meeting.

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Diner image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/american-vintage-restaurant-hand-drawn_902205.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • When Mark told Trace about the European tour, I became excited about the possibility of a St. Patrick’s Day themed Chesapeake Shores movie in Ireland, hopefully, becoming a reality! In my Evenings At The Shore post where I re-capped this season’s third episode, I mentioned that I would love to see a St. Patrick’s Day themed Chesapeake Shores movie where the O’Brien family travels to Ireland to celebrate the holiday. If this movie does become a reality and if Trace accepts the tour offer, this would give other characters on the show, besides the members of the O’Brien family, a chance to have an interesting subplot within the context of the film’s overall story.

 

  • The commercials for this episode seemed to be somewhat misleading. For a trailer that put an emphasis on the O’Brien family meeting, this aforementioned meeting only took place within the last ten minutes of the episode. Also, nothing got resolved during this family meeting. Plus, the announcer, in this episode’s trailer, said that this would be “the episode that changes everything”. In reality, nothing happened in this episode that was significant enough to justify this quote.
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? Are you excited for the season finale? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Oliver & Company Review + 30 Follower Thank You

I received 30 followers on 18 Cinema Lane two weeks ago! It’s time for me to review a film that was released 30 years ago (in 1988)! Because I’ve never reviewed a Disney animated film on my blog before and since the last time I reviewed an animated film was Rugrats Go Wild (for my 15 follower thank you review), I chose Oliver & Company for this milestone post. Oliver & Company is a film that I’ve only seen bits and pieces of, so I was looking forward to seeing this movie in its entirety. While choosing which movie I would talk about for this particular post, I realized that Oliver & Company was released the year before the start of the “Disney Renaissance”: when The Little Mermaid made its film debut. I came across a review of Oliver & Company from the blog, Reviewing All 56 Disney Animated Films And More!. In that review, Rachel, the creator and author of the blog, provided some insight into the importance of Oliver & Company. This insight made me interested to see the type of foundation that this film possibly put in place for the “Disney Renaissance” and beyond. Keep reading my review of Oliver & Company to see how I felt about the movie as a whole!

Oliver and Company poster
Oliver & Company poster image created by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and The Walt Disney Company. ©Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Image found at https://movies.disney.com/oliver-and-company

Things I liked about the film:

The characters: There were several likable characters in Oliver & Company! I liked how they each had their own unique personality and it was fun to see the various interactions between the characters. Some of the creative choices that were made in relation to the characters were interesting. For instance, there are times when a character who is a bulldog could be portrayed as a mean-spirited and tough individual. In Oliver & Company, however, Francis (who is a bulldog) is an aspiring actor who has a deep appreciation for the theater. This character stood out to me because I had never seen a bulldog, in television or film, portrayed this way before.

 

The animation: The animation style in Oliver & Company felt very reflective of the art styles and pop culture that could have been found around the film’s release (mid to late ‘80s). This reflection made the movie feel like an idea of what the ‘80s might have been like, shown to the audience as if they were looking at a snapshot. There were a lot of bright colors in this film that I felt complimented the movie overall. The use of light and dark colors was also well done. An example can be found toward the beginning of the film, when Oliver is left by himself in the middle of a rainstorm. In this scene, Oliver’s bright orange fur stood out against the dark blue background of the city. These choices relating to the use of specific colors added to the artistry of the animation!

 

The music: I really liked all of the music in Oliver & Company! While “Good Company” is a sweet and gentle song, the rest of the songs are upbeat and fun to listen to! To me, all of the music added to the entertainment value of this film. I can definitely see myself listening to Oliver & Company’s soundtrack long after the credits have rolled!

newyork4
New York City skyline with letters image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/new-york-skyline-typographic-silhouette_719554.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.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Lack of character development for the human characters: In Oliver & Company, there are only four human characters within the story. As I was watching this movie, I found myself wanting to know more about these characters. How Jenny felt about her parents, apparently, putting more emphasis on their dog, Georgette, than her was something that I was curious about. I also wanted to know more about how Fagin ended up in his particular situation as well as see him move out of poverty in order to achieve a comfortable life for him and his dogs. I understand this story is primarily about the animal characters. But, when it comes to character development for the human characters, I felt there was more to be desired.

 

A limited presence of the villain: When it came to the villain in this movie, I thought that Sykes was unsettling. However, compared to other Disney villains (and even some non-Disney villains), he wasn’t as terrifying as he could have been. In fact, I found his Doberman side-kicks, Roscoe and DeSoto, to be scarier than Sykes himself. This is because Sykes has a very limited presence on-screen and doesn’t receive a lot of character development. For these reasons, Oliver & Company doesn’t seem to have a lot of high stakes.

 

The run-time: There were a few times in Oliver & Company where situations seemed to happen too quickly. An example of this is when Oliver learns, at a fast pace, how to steal hot-dogs alongside Dodger. This issue is a result of the film’s shorter run-time. The other aforementioned things that I didn’t like about this film are also the results of a shorter run-time. Oliver & Company is one hour and fourteen minutes, which, as I look back on the film, made me feel like the movie went by very quickly. If this movie would have been an hour and 30 or 35 minutes, the human characters could have received a little more character development and the villain could have been featured more in the film.

nature &amp; animals
Orange cat image created by Freestockcenter at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/ginger-cat_883376.htm’>Designed by Freestockcenter</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/gold”>Gold image created by Freestockcenter – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

As a Disney animated film, Oliver & Company is fine. As a movie in general, it’s good for what it is. I know that there are other Disney animated films that are stronger than Oliver & Company, but I would never consider Oliver & Company to be the worst or weakest movie from the Disney animated catalog. I like to think of this film as the older sibling to The Little Mermaid. While Oliver & Company was the pioneer for what a Disney animated film could and should be (at that time), The Little Mermaid was able to enjoy the fruits of Oliver & Company’s labor because of those important building blocks that were set in place before the “Disney Renaissance” began. Oliver & Company’s efforts should be celebrated, which is why it’s receiving a “standing ovation” on 18 Cinema Lane! As always, thank you to each and every one of my 30 followers as well as my readers! 18 Cinema Lane and this review would not be the same without you!

 

Overall score: 7.4-7.5 out of 10

 

What is your favorite Disney animated film? Which movie from 1988 do you like the most? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

The link to Rachel’s review of Oliver & Company: https://54disneyreviews.com/2014/09/11/movie-27-oliver-and-company/

Evenings At The Shore: Something’s About to Happen

On Chesapeake Shores so far, the overall story has been more character-driven than plot-driven. In the show’s first two seasons, there seems to have been a balance within the overall story between being character and plot-driven. In this episode, two interesting plots were introduced to the show. These plots feel like they could be on-going and affect more than one character. It’s too bad they were introduced this late in the season, but I understand that suspense needed to be built up before the airing of this episode. I hope these plots can be explored over the course of several episodes as well as produce a good story. If you want to find out what these two plots are, keep reading this 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.

Chespeake Shores Season 3 poster
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

Season: 3

Episode: 7

Name: It’s Just Business

 

Trace’s story: While on a picnic with Abby and her daughters, Trace gets a phone call about The Bridge. He learns that one of his employees has stolen enough money to put the business in financial trouble. Trace does everything in his power to secure the finances to keep The Bridge afloat, even getting the police involved to find the employee that stole The Bridge’s money. Trace discusses the situation with Mick, revealing that he has to go on tour, yet again, for two months. Mick thinks that it would be better if Trace stayed in Chesapeake Shores to oversee The Bridge’s business operations, but Trace disagrees. One day, Trace asks Connor if he could look over the contract that was created between Mick and Trace. After Connor looks over this contract, he comes to The Bridge and tells Trace that there is a loophole where Trace doesn’t have to be present at the business in order to oversee it. Later in the episode, Trace finds out that Mick hired financial advisors, without Trace’s knowledge, to take care of The Bridge’s financial troubles. Upset by what Mick did, Trace tells Mick that he will deal with everything relating to The Bridge after he comes back from his tour. When Trace is not worrying about The Bridge, he reassures Abby that she is already doing a good job when it comes to being a mother and business woman.

 

Abby’s story: Throughout this episode, Abby tries her best to be the “perfect” mom. She tries to do everything from organizing scavenger hunts to taking her daughters on fun field trips. Abby’s ambiguous efforts cause her to feel tired and miss an important deadline at work. Almost everyone in Abby’s life notices how Abby’s plans to be the “perfect” mom have affected her. They give her reassurance that she is already doing a good job at being a mother as well as a business woman. While at the beach with her sisters and Alexandra, Bree shows Abby a note that Caitlyn wrote and placed in a copy of The Grapes of Wrath. In this note, Caitlyn lets Abby know that she loves her, making Abby realize that she doesn’t need to be “perfect” in order to be a good mother. Toward the end of the episode, Abby finds out, at work the next day, that Terri, Wes’ girlfriend, will be her new business client.

 

Mick’s story: Mick is contacted by Trace to help him solve the financial problems of The Bridge. While going over the business options that are available to them, Mick finds out that Trace will be going back on tour, but for two months this time. Mick thinks that Trace should stay in Chesapeake Shores and oversee The Bridge’s business operations, but Trace disagrees. Later in the episode, Mick hires financial advisors, without Trace’s permission, to look over The Bridge’s finances. After Trace tells him that he will deal with The Bridge’s problems after his tour, Mick becomes skeptical of Trace being able to keep his promise. Because of his involvement with The Bridge’s current situation, Mick hasn’t had as much time as usual to deal with other business matters.

 

Megan’s story: While having lunch at Sally’s Café with the Mayor’s assistant, Kate, Megan finds out that the mayor is planning to merge the arts council into a different department and hire a new head of that department. Kate wants Megan to resign as soon as possible, but Megan has no plans to quit her job. When Megan tells Nell about what Kate told her, Nell suspects that this is the Mayor’s way of trying to get back at Nell after her successful efforts to save the Wishing Fountain. The next day, Megan meets up with Kate, again, at Sally’s Café. This time, Nell tries to convince Kate to get the Mayor to change his mind. After this attempt proves to be unsuccessful, Megan tells Kate, toward the end of the episode, that she will not resign from her job. Megan also expresses her feelings about why the arts council is an important component to the community of Chesapeake Shores. When Megan isn’t busy trying to save her job, she is encouraged by Nell to read Bree’s manuscript.

38860-O1P610
Paint palette image created by Freepik at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-drawn-artsy-tools_836777.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/hand”>Hand vector created by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Nell’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Nell receives Bree’s manuscript. However, Nell feels that it’s more important for Megan to read Bree’s manuscript. Nell not only encourages Bree to give the manuscript to her mother, she also encourages Megan to read Bree’s manuscript. When she finds out about Megan possibly losing her job, Nell realizes that this situation is highly likely a result of the Mayor trying to get back at her for successfully saving the Wishing Fountain. Nell helps Megan to convince Kate, the Mayor’s assistant, to change the Mayor’s mind about his decision for the arts council, even though their efforts were unsuccessful.

 

Bree’s story: Bree gives her manuscript to Nell at the beginning of the episode. However, when Nell visits Bree at Word Play one day, Nell suggests that Bree give her manuscript to Megan. After some brief protesting, Bree hesitantly agrees with do so. For most of the episode, Bree continues to work at Word Play and hang out with her sisters. When Jess and Alexandra come to visit Word Play, Alexandra reveals that Simon Atwater is one of her favorite authors. After Alexandra discovers that Bree personally knows Simon, the friendship between Bree and Alexandra becomes stronger. Bree also gives Abby a note that Caitlyn wrote and placed in a copy of The Grapes of Wrath.

 

Kevin: After saving a man’s life at Sally’s Café, Kevin discovers that Sarah applied for and got accepted at a fire station in Philadelphia. Throughout this episode, Kevin tries to deal with the idea of having a long-distance relationship with Sarah. He realizes if he were to move to Philadelphia with her, he couldn’t become a paramedic. Kevin talks to Connor, Trace, and David about the situation as well as almost everyone reminding Kevin about the life he saved toward the beginning of the episode.

 

Jess’ story: While she and David try to figure out how to generate more business for the Inn, Jess is surprised when Alexandra, David’s sister, arrives. At first, Jess is suspicious of Alexandra’s reasons for coming to Chesapeake Shores, but then she learns that Alexandra is overwhelmed at work and needs David’s help. For most of this episode, Jess hung out with her sisters. When Alexandra wishes that she grew up with a sister in her life, Jess gains more respect for her.

 

Connor’s story: Throughout this episode, Connor is working on a legal case. This time, Danielle happens to be working on the opposing side. While he and Danielle are talking during one of their breaks, Connor catches something that Danielle said that he can use in his argument for the case. Later in the episode, Connor uses what Danielle said against her, thus causing him to win the case. Connor also agrees to look at Mick and Trace’s contract, where he finds a loophole that could work in Trace’s favor.

music sign
Music and stage image created by Topntp26 at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/music-sign_1179519.htm’>Designed by Topntp26</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage image created by Topntp26 – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Now that Terri is Abby’s business client, I wonder if Abby and the audience will discover that Terri is not as perfect as she seems? One of the themes that Hallmark has incorporated into their productions is the idea of being ok with not being perfect. I could totally see this theme within the stories of Chesapeake Shores, as this could add more depth to Terri’s character.

 

  • Since the story surrounding The Bridge’s financial troubles seems like it will be on-going, I wonder if the employee who stole the money will be found? I’m curious to find out who this character is and their reasons to stealing the money.
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? Do you think the financial troubles of The Bridge and the fate of Megan’s job could be on-going stories? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen