The Family Reviews Garfield: The Movie

Garfield: The Movie


Pete: I thought this film was ok, it supplied a few laughs and was short and sweet enough. I’m not sure if I should expect more from Garfield 2, or if I should even bother watching.

My favorite architectural detail was Garfield’s House (with color scheme considerably toned down).

Elm Street

I would suggest pairing this film with Boxing Cat Brewery’s Ringside Red Ale.

My favorite architectural details were Nancy’s cathedral model and the Draycott House attic, complete with ceiling fans and window seat.

Brigette: Only 75 minutes, fast-paced, no thinking required and guaranteed not to lose even those with the shortest of attention spans. And don’t forget the lasagna.

Gable: This film I found quite intense and funny at the same time, rather like the Back To The Future trilogy. It also reflected my relationship with my sister a lot. Therefore, it was a bit weird but interesting.

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The Family Reviews Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew

nancy drew

Pete: This was one of the best book series to film adaptations of all time. An excellent film with exceptional work from everyone involved. I particularly enjoyed the soundtrack with Flunk’s version of New Order’s Blue Monday being the highlight for me. For the beer pairing, I’d recommend ParrotDogs’ Sleuthhound.

My favorite architectural details were Nancy’s cathedral model and the Draycott House attic, complete with ceiling fans and window seat.

Nancy-Drew-archi-1-model                          Nancy-Drew-archi-2-attic

Brigette: I loved everything about this film. I really related to this Nancy Drew because I was very much like her when I was in high school and really struggled to do regular teenager things. I was a little Martha Stewart and no one in high school appreciates that. Although, the Nancy Drew of the book series is much older, I really liked this film version in that this Nancy is closer to my girls ages and the perfect role model: smart, polite, independent and not boy crazy. Make some blondies and check out what’s in Nancy’s sleuth kit.

Morgan: I really enjoyed this film! Nancy Drew’s style is similar to mine and I loved the action and anticipation of the film. Great for anyone who feels different from others.

nancy drew style

Gable: This film. was in my top 10 watched this year; it was intense, exciting, and funny, all at the same time. I could relate a lot to Nancy and I admired the way she was prepared for everything. It was a wonderful film. I look forward to reading the book series, too.

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Brigette Reviews The Long Winter

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

the long winter

Describe it in 25 words or less. The Ingalls must endure a very long winter in their new town.

Genre: Children’s Classic Literature

Who was your favorite character and why? Royal because he was very level-headed and kind.

Who was your least favorite character and why? Ma because she was too rigid and almost unfeeling.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? It was immediately interesting, but captured the feeling of enduring a long winter so completely, that I really just wanted it to be over about half way through.

What did you think of the ending? I felt a great sense of relief that it was over just like I feel after an actual long winter.

What was the moral of the story? Everything is temporary, even long, miserable winters.

Did you learn anything? Lots about how to survive extreme winters.

Favorite quote: “These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraph and kerosene and coal stoves—they’re good things to have but the trouble is folks get to depend on ‘em.” – Pa

What would you change? I would have read it in summer instead of in winter. It made me feel even more depressed and cold than I already was.

Have you read other books by the same author? The girls and I are reading the whole Little House series. You can see reviews of some of the other books in the series here.

Who would you recommend it to? Anyone who has ever complained about how long and boring winter is.

Number of unknown words: 0

Craft/Activity: Make a button lamp.

Recipe: Ground Cherry Preserves

What is the worst winter you’ve ever endured?

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The Family Reviews Back To The Future III

Back To The Future III

back to the future 3

Pete: Intense and with a storyline that just doesn’t quit, this Back To The Future instalment delivers 1980s movie making at its peak. One of the few films I’d watch again at a moments notice.

Beer Pairing: Any of the beers from Wild Heaven.

Brigette: This film like the others in the series was very intense which was probably intensified by the fact that we had quite possibly the worst move ever and a death in the family all within a fortnight. The relationship between Marty and Doc is one I have always loved despite how unrealistic it was. I mean, a high school senior and an older, eccentric scientist? It was so great, it even transcended time! If only all young people had such wonderful mentors. Doc Brown reminds us, “Your future hasn’t been written yet; no one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one!” And doing so in an awesome Jules Verne time traveling steam punk train doesn’t hurt either.


Morgan: This has to be my favorite Back to the Future film! It was really intense and funny and had a good message. This film is great for Back to the Future lovers or those who are fans of the Wild West.

Gable: Now, I have watched all the Back To The Future films. That’s sad for me because I really liked them and now there are no more. The first one was the second best, the second one the worst (and it wasn’t that bad), but this one was the best of all. It was more intense than any of the others, more meaningful than any of the others, funnier than any of the others; it was a truly perfect way to end the series.

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The Family Reviews Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted

muppets most wanted

Pete: I almost convinced myself that this Muppet film would be a let down compared to the 2011 Muppets Movie. I was pleasantly surprised…one of the best Muppet films ever. I hope they continue to improve (if that’s possible) in any future installments.

Beer Pairing: Seek out your local Russian Imperial Stout.

Brigette: This was my favorite Muppets film to date; and I’ve seen them all. I think putting Bret McKenzie in charge of the music was the best thing the franchise ever did. The cast was also phenomenal. I just couldn’t get enough of Ty Burrell as Interpol’s Jean Pierre Napoleon. I loved the Muppets when I was a kid and I love sharing them with my kids.


Morgan: I loved this film because it really emphasized the importance of family and love but it also had plenty of comedy and action! Much better than the first Muppets film.

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The Family Reviews Back To The Future II

Back To The Future II

back to the future 2

Pete: The second “Back to The Future” film stars Micheal J Fox and Christopher Lloyd arguably at the top of their acting careers. Also featuring Elizabeth Shue in one of the roles that launched her career. She managed to land the role after Claudia Wells pulled out after filming commenced, due to her mother being seriously ill.

This is my favorite of the Back To The Future films, it provides the most laughs whilst maintaining a constant intensity. My favorite scene is where Micheal J. Fox plays Marlene McFly. The film also manages to frustrate me: we’re only one year from 2015 and I’m yet to see any hover-boards or flying cars.

back to the future daughter

Try any (or all) of the beers you can manage to get your hands on from Former Future Brewing Co.

Brigette: This film is time travel genre at its best. It has heart, humor and intensity. I really miss those 80’s actors. The biggest disappointing in that most of the technology depicted for 2015 was totally unrealized.


Morgan: This sequel was much more intense and action-packed than the first film and I must say that the ending was a quite a cliff-hanger! It was also funny to see how they depicted 2015 in 1989. Cannot wait to see Back to the Future III!

Gable: I really enjoyed this film because it was very intense and got into it from the get-go. I have also watched the first film in this trilogy, Back To The Future, which I enjoyed immensely but, now having watched this one, it seems to get better as it goes on.

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Morgan Reviews Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang

Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang by Ian Fleming


The story was unique but all the antique-car references got a bit tiresome after a while. Also, there were too many exclamation marks. I have seen the film but it’s entirely different from the book in various ways. This book is great for antique-car lovers or kids who want to be engineers when they grow-up. Why not make some jam puffs or Monsieur Bon Bon’s Secret Fooj.

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Brigette Reviews Sorta Like A Rockstar

Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick

sorta like a rock star cover

I’ve never read a Matthew Quick book I didn’t like and this was no exception. Like Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Amber Appleton annoyed me at first, but as I got to know her I grew to love her. She is the kind of girl I would be proud to call my daughter. This book seemed to find me at precisely the moment I needed it. If you’ve lost faith in yourself, the world, anything at all, this is the book you need to read right now. As long as it doesn’t get butchered by Hollywood like Silver Linings Playbook, I’ll be happy. So today, why not make a killer omelet, write a haiku and tell someone you hope they’re having a great day and see how it makes you feel.

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The Family Reviews Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday


Pete: At the start of this film I thought it was going to be a sub-standard film at best. Fortunately it picked up dramatically and was worthwhile in the end.

If you’re a fan of music from the early 2000s, then this soundtrack would be a perfect one for you (and maybe your mom) to listen to. Find the playlist on YouTube here.

My favorite architectural detail were the columns out the front of the cafe where Jake worked.

Freaky Friday 2003 archi detail

A good beer to try whilst watching this film would be Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René. Gueuze is a blend of both aged and fresh lambic beers.

Brigette: The B-movie beginning almost wrecked it for me, but Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance as a teenager stuck in her mother’s body was amazing.

Morgan: This film was more of a modernization of the 1976 version but it was still just as funny and entertaining. Check out me and Gable’s review of Freaky Friday (the book) here.

Gable: At the start of this challenge, I read the book Freaky Friday, and, before that, I watched the first adaptation of the film. Then I watched this version, which I found not at all like the book. It seemed to be very loosely based on the book, which I thought was slightly annoying and, therefore, it was hard to enjoy, although the ending was quite pleasant.

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Gable Reviews The 13-Storey Treehouse

The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths


Describe it in 25 words or less. Two boys who live in a treehouse and write books together, but all of a sudden are pressured to write a book in one day.

Who was your favorite character and why? Andy because he was wise.

Who was your least favorite character and why? Terry because he was stupid, mean, and irresponsible.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? It never grabbed me. It was a very lame book, the whole way through. I could tell the author was trying to be funny but he wasn’t doing a good job of that at all, at least for me.

What did you think of the ending? It was decent and probably the best part of the whole book.

Favorite quote: “Drawing is easy. It’s coming up with the words that takes real skill.” – Andy

What would you change? I would go back in time and not read the book in the first place.

Have you read other books in the series? No, this is the first one in the series, but I’m not going to continue.

Who would you recommend it to? Tween boys.

Number of unknown words: 0

Tell us about your best friend.

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