Tag Archives: family film

The Family Reviews The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy


Pete: It was great to see this story the way we did: Almost 12 hours of epic cinematographic wonder viewed in one day by my family on New Year’s Eve. There can be no triumph without loss. No victory without suffering. No freedom without sacrifice. Recommended ales (Preferable drunk at either The Prancing Pony or The Green Dragon Inn): The Fellowship of The Ring: Plank Town Brewing’s Hobbit’s Habit Olde Ale, The Two Towers: Fish Brewing Company’s Hobbit Series Gollum Precious Pils and The Return of the King: Jester King Brewery’s Noble King Hoppy Farm Ale.

Brigette: I was really excited to share these films with the girls for our New Year’s Eve movie marathon. And after watching The Hobbit films, I am committed to reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2015. I loved The Hobbit book and felt that the film didn’t do it justice. I can only imagine how much I will enjoy these books based on how much I love the films. Now when the girls don’t want to do something I say, “Would you rather take the ring to Mordor?”

Morgan: This trilogy was – in my opinion – better than Star Wars (which we watched New Year’s 2013). I will say that most of it was taken up by terrible wars but that’s besides the point. These films incorporated fantasy, action, humor, horror, romance and drama into three long but worth it installments. In parts, it became a little scary, in others; thrilling and in others it was even a little funny. I think these films were perfect for our annual New Year’s Eve movie marathon since they were all quite long but all still had you at the edge of your seat. I now feel the urge to read the novels to see how alike they are to the films. I have to say that I had a few favorite characters in these films. I appreciated Sam’s determination and how he stuck to his promise the whole way through. Without him, I don’t think the ring would’ve ever made it to Mordor. I though Legolas was pretty awesome (I mean, skateboarding on a shield down steps whilst shooting people with arrows isn’t like the height of awesomeness?) and Strider’s knowledge and leadership kept everyone going, I think. These films are perfect to show how war and sacrifice can change a person and how friendship can help you through almost anything…even getting the ring to Mordor.

Gable: I watched these on New Year’s Eve in a marathon and I enjoyed them all a lot. My favorite characters were Strider and Legolas but my least favorite was Frodo Baggins. Frodo wasn’t as brave as he needed to be and his flashes of evil were quite violent and unnecessary. It was still a great trilogy, all in all, and I think, although I have never read Tolkien’s books, they did a better job on these films than on the Hobbit ones.

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The Family Reviews The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies


Pete: A film that ticks all the boxes as far as entertainment goes. I agree to it being an over-cooked version of the book, but it was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I’m taking this opportunity to say how much I love Yarraville’s Sun Theatre. The seats (in The Barkly Cinema) are the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in. I’d recommend drinking Epic Beer’s Mayhem Strong Ale whilst watching this 2 hour and 24 minute long movie.

Brigette: This is the only film I’ve seen in at the theater this year. This was only due to the fact that we wanted to finish up the Hobbit films before watching the Lord Of The Rings trilogy for our annual New Year’s Eve movie marathon. I have to say it was more of a relief that it was all over than a satisfying conclusion. I found that the films really cheated the book. I would recommend reading The Hobbit and giving the films a miss.

Morgan: This third episode was my least favorite of the Hobbit films. It was nothing like the book and personally I think it took too long. Towards the end, it became sad and I became teary. I am glad, however, that they included the ending of the novel at the ending of the film and that it was at least accurate to the book. I would suggest watching the film first so that you don’t have to bother the other people who are watching this film with you about how inaccurate the book was compared to the film.

Gable: The rating of the film was the only thing I didn’t think made any sense. It was only a little scary and I think rating it M is a very drastic decision. The film was intense, exciting, and saddening all at once with the concepts of war and losing loved ones heavily mentioned. But it still had a bit of humor, which is just what one needs in such a situation.

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The Family Reviews Elf



Pete: One of the best Christmas films you could ever watch mostly because it is more about discovering one’s true self than it is about Christmas. I’m a huge Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel fan so seeing them together on the screen made it ten times better for me. My favorite quote is from Leon The Snowman: “This might be the golden opportunity to find out who you really are.” Buddy was undoubtedly my favorite character. I would suggest sipping on Rogue Brewing’s Santa’s Private Reserve Double Hopped Red Ale whilst watching this brilliant and hilarious film. Despite Buddy’s size, the house he grew up in was quite well proportioned.

ELF archi detail

Brigette: Every year on Christmas Eve, we watch a Christmas movie with the girls. We saw this one in 2010, but they didn’t remember it and decided to revisit it. I’m glad they did. It has an excellent message of keeping a bit of child-like fascination with the world no matter how old you get. It allows you to love easily, maintain a constant state of joy and really experience Christmas spirit. If you need a reminder, I suggest this little book.

Morgan: This film was perfect for Christmas! It had plenty of humor and magic for the whole family! It had a good message too: keep a little bit of a childish air about you –especially at Christmas– as it eventually brightens everyone’s day. The cast was great and it had a sweet and silly cheeriness to it that felt just like Christmas. A perfect film to watch with your family on Christmas Eve.

Gable: I recommend this film for Christmas Eve family time, like I used it. I had watched it before when I was far younger so I forgot most of it. I decided to watch it again. I soon realized that was a very good idea. It was a hilarious film and it had many things that made me tear up, made me relate, made me think, made me smile, made me cringe, and made me laugh. It was a sweet film, too, and a meaningful one, not just because it was about Christmas but because it was about joy.

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The Family Reviews Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus

Pete: Another surprisingly brilliant family film. Full of emotion and humor, interlaced with imaginative animated scenes along with some romance and a great soundtrack, I think there it at least one moment that anyone will relate to. I would highly recommend this under-rated film to anyone, especially those with young daughters. I’d recommend you take your family to the Fifth Street Brew Pub and enjoy the Maybe Ramona Brown Ale. The Quimby family house is an architectural classic.


Brigette: Unexpectedly heartfelt little film. Great cast, great story (of course it’s adapted from Beverly Cleary’s novels) and great message. And the DVD extras are well worth checking out too!

Morgan: This film was in my Top 10 list! I loved it! At first, I didn’t think it would be that good but in the end I found myself relating to a lot of the troubles and issues that the Quimby’s had and I’m sure all families could in some way. It was relatable and funny with plenty of family love and drama. I would suggest this film to anyone who has a family or for younger girls –especially daydreamers– who have a close family or who feel a little awkward when trying to do the right thing.

Gable: This film made me laugh, smile, cringe and cry, even though, before watching, I wondered what could even happen and that it must be so short and lame. Alas, I was proven wrong when I was delivered this relatable masterpiece. The film itself seemed to reflect some of my life a little and I was thrilled by the director’s advice in the Extras, since I would like to get into the film industry when I grow up. I suggest this film to all struggling families of four, especially those who need a good cry.

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The Family Reviews The Goonies

The Goonies


Pete: This was the fourth time I’ve watched this film. I love the fact that it has something for everyone and I still believe it to be one of Spielberg’s finest stories. A true classic. I’d recommend Bricktown Brewery’s Wiley’s One-Eyed Wheat. Good luck hunting it down.

Brigette: I couldn’t convince Morgan to watch this one. Luckily, it was Gable’s birthday film of choice. And Morgan enjoyed it, along with everyone else. I have seen this film many times and I never tire of it. It holds a special place in my heart.

Morgan: I thought that this film was going to be a stupid, boring, boy’s movie… But I was wrong. It ended up being an action-packed, adventure film with lots of gasps and laughs throughout. I have to admit that I even actually enjoyed it! Even if you’re a girl, I would suggest it to you especially if you like adventure, action and a bit of humor (even if some of it IS a little boyish).

Gable: I had been hanging out for this film for a really long time but Morgan had never wanted to watch it. Finally, we watched it for my birthday and I really liked it. It was intense and funny at the same time, although it still left a couple of questions unanswered for me. It was still a very good film and I suggest it to everyone over 8 years old (it may be too scary for younger kids), boy or girl.

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The Family Reviews Lassie



Pete: Please do not confuse this film with the extremely boring 1994 film of the same name. All copies of the older version should be destroyed and replaced with this version. A very impressive cast and plot make this one family film that I would recommend without hesitation. Emotionally gripping (I’ll admit to shedding at least a few tears) and intense at times, it featured great cinematography and between the wars setting, making it one of the most visually interesting films I’ve seen in a while. Keep an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster too. My favorite architectural details were the Scottish farmhouse ruins and the Little People Theatre’s gypsy caravan. I’d recommend Bellhaven’s Wee Heavy with this film.



Brigette: This was an unexpectedly depressing film. It has the works: cruelty to animals, sad childhoods, war, loss along with a magnificent cast. Be sure to have tissues ready with this one. And hold your loved ones (four and two-legged) a little tighter.

Morgan: What a tear jerker! The story was bittersweet, there was lots of action and anticipation and there were lots of grab-a-tissue moments. I don’t cry a lot but I think I cried at least twice during this film. My least favorite character would be Mr. Hynes because he was cruel to animals and greedy and my favorite character would have to be Cilla because of her sense and wit. Amazing film. It makes you think about the importance of love between an owner and his dog.

Gable: I thought it was just going to be some rather sweet and heart-warming story but, at first, it was just repeating the same sad events over and over again. Towards the end, it just got even more heart-wrenching and horrible but, luckily, in the end it turned out just fine. If you are known to cry at films, bring a box of tissues with you when you’re going to see the updated version of Lassie.

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The Family Reviews On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever


Pete: A visual delight with an awesome cast; this ended up being a really great film. The only issue I had with it was the musical component. I would like to see if it would still work with the songs deleted. This would also save about 20 minutes. I’d recommend any beer with a pleasant floral aroma, but this one in particular: Butternuts Beer & Ale’s ESP (English Special Pale).

The opening credits were fantastic.

On A Clear Day open-credits-1 On A Clear Day open-credits-2On A Clear Day open-credits-3On A Clear Day open-credits-4

And the architectural delights were many.

On A Clear Day Casino On A Clear Day Daisy apt-1On A Clear Day Daisy Green HouseOn A Clear Day Dr Chabot office deskOn A Clear Day Dr Chabot office spiral libraryOn A Clear Day med school interiorOn A Clear Day NYC 1On A Clear Day NYC 2On A Clear Day Royal Pavilion Brighton exteriorOn A Clear Day Royal Pavilion Brighton interior
Brigette: I get it, Barbara Streisand has a phenomenal voice. But do so many of her films have to be musicals? She’s a phenomenal actress, too! Unfortunately, she often plays man-chasing, self-deprecating characters that make me want to strangle myself with a tie as well. She does get a chance to show off her strong female side as Melinda from one of her past lives. But she is still chasing a man and there is a super cringe-worthy “making love with your eyes” scene as well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Her style is impeccable, as usual, and so is the style of the whole film. I now have requests for pyjamas that match the bedsheets! Also, a highly entertaining bit of acting from a very young Jack Nicholson. This was actually a very complex, multi-layered film which I probably would have enjoyed a lot more if there hadn’t been any singing.

On A Clear Day Jack Nicholson

Morgan: This film was interesting, confusing and stylish all at once! A perfect film for those who are fans of Barbra Streisand, musicals, very chić fashion and floral print everything. It’s long but good.

Gable: This film had a very interesting and unique storyline, which I quite enjoyed. It also had adorable fashion that matched the rest of the outfit and Daisy’s bedding. I am a fan of both Barbara Streisand and the idea of reincarnation, which made this film all the more interesting for me. I suggest to everyone, especially those who don’t know what reincarnation is or don’t believe in it.

On A Clear Day Daisy apt-2 bed-pj-match

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The Family Reviews Maleficent



Pete: Disney has exceeded my expectations yet again. A great twist on a traditional tale that was both refreshing and entertaining. All the actors did a wonderful job, even the baby Aurora was fantastic. My only hope is that more traditional tales are given a similar treatment in the future. I would suggest pairing this film with Lost Abbey’s Witch’s Wit. My favorite architectural detail was Aurora’s (not so) secret cottage.

Maleficent archi detail cottage

Brigette: This has been one of Disney’s best live action films in a long time. I am not an Angelina Jolie fan and was a little apprehensive about this film at first. But, even I have to admit that she was genius in this role. Seeing the story from this angle was a refreshing change from the sometimes overly saccharine one Disney tends to put out. Hoping to see the stories behind Captain Hook and Ursula in the future.

Morgan: This film was wonderful! It had a powerful message about love and family and it was very interesting to find out the backstory of how Maleficent came to be. I’d recommend this film to anyone who doesn’t know the meaning to true love or any mothers/fathers or daughters/sons.

Gable: This film turned out to be much better than I had thought it would be. A more hopeful retelling for Sleeping Beauty, this film was intense, sad and wonderful all at once. The Moors was a beautiful place and I praise whoever designed the set for that. Some of the creatures there were quite weird and sometimes even a little creepy, but the greenery there was just gorgeous. I would hope for a sequel but I am unsure how one would be necessary.

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The Family Reviews Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes


Pete: This was a much unexpected Disney film that was actually spooky, scary, and highly entertaining (and without any musical component to it). I film about fear, regret and reinforcing the notion that you should never trust a “carny”. I would suggest pairing this film with Sawdust City Brewing Company’s Griffin The Carny Golden Ale. The library in this film was pretty amazing too.

Something Wicked This Way Comes-archi-detail-library

Brigette: I enjoy Ray Bradbury’s novels and although I have not read this one, I found the film to be weirdly disjointed. I sincerely hope the book is better. There were terrifying parts to the film, but ultimately it was a story about not letting fear and regret rule your life.  And although I don’t smoke, I now covet one of these lighters.

Something Wicked This Way Comes-lighter

Morgan: This film was creepy, strange and intriguing all at once. There was mystery, horror, drama and action all mixed into one. It shows the importance of love and happiness and has many creepy parts intertwined with strange magic. It’s perfect for Halloween (especially the spider part).

Gable: This film was really really creepy. For those with arachnophobia or a fear of blood, it would be unbearable. Mr. Dark was my least favorite character because he was really creepy and just weird, although I could relate the most to Will Halloway. But, luckily, the ending was a perfectly happy one. I highly recommend this film for people who are hunting for great Halloween films, people who aren’t afraid of anything, and people who hate carnivals.

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The Family Reviews Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo


Pete: I was a huge fan of the cartoon series on television that I’d watch religiously as a child. This film was a great adaptation and I think most of the actors did a great job; particularly Matthew Lillard who played Shaggy Rogers. Any fan of the cartoon television series should seek out this film. And I wouldn’t mind checking out the architecture on Scary Island. I would suggest pairing this film with Green Flash Brewing Co’s: Sleepin’ With Shaggy American Barleywine.

scooby doo Spooky_Island

Brigette: I watched a lot of Scooby Doo cartoons growing up, so this really took me back. Unfortunately, it lost all of its innocence being translated into film. Several things I never wanted to see: Velma become a whiney, insecure nerd, Fred to be a self-absorbed airhead, Daphne having feelings for anyone in the group, Shaggy having feelings for anyone and Scooby Doo being a complete moron. Mystery Inc. was supposed to be a completely asexual and ego-free group. My highlights were Rowan Atkinson and the disco skull. Do yourself a favor, make some Scooby snacks and watch the cartoons instead.

scooby doo disco skull

Gable: I was expecting this film to be very scary but it turned out to be not scary at all. The soundtrack was cool, the plot unique, and the film itself intense and interesting. I would suggest this film to tween boys and young teenage boys because of the certain kind of humor it featured but I would also suggest it to girls of that age group because of Daphne. Also, it’s a pretty good film to watch as a family.

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