It hasn’t even been a week since I published my previous Word On The Street post and it’s yet another “what the heck” story. On the website, MovieWeb, Jeremy Dick reports that a movie about Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is in the early stages of development. In Jeremy’s article, it reveals that Bret McKenzie is going to write the music and script for the film. If you’re not familiar with Bret or his work, don’t worry, Jeremy provides enough explanation. According to MovieWeb, Bret “is of course best known as one half of the New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords”. Bret also “served as the music supervisor for the 2011 movie The Muppets and its 2014 sequel Muppets Most Wanted”. Because Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas was created by the Jim Henson Company and since this company is one of the co-producers of this project, it makes sense for Bret to be involved.
While I haven’t seen Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, I have definitely heard of it. When I first read this story two days ago, I, once again, found the project unnecessary. Wasn’t Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas already a movie? Based on the article, it seems like the production will be a remake/reboot of the original. Why retell a pre-established story when there’s a beautiful opportunity to create a new story? Similar to the Word On The Street post about “Barney the Dinosaur”, this project hasn’t even started production yet. In fact, the MovieWeb article shared very few details about the movie. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if this film is worth the time.
Have you seen Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas? How do you feel about this piece of movie news? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to check it out, here’s the link to the article I referenced in my post:
Nell returned to Chesapeake Shores, even though she played a small role in this week’s episode. It seems like she’s the glue that keeps the O’Brien family together. When advice is needed, she has wisdom ready to share. She can instantly create a brighter day with a joke or a smile. Nell is also one of the first people to give condolences or well-wishes. Without Nell, this show would not be the same. Episodes where Nell is absent makes it feel like something is missing. This can also go for any of the other characters on Chesapeake Shores. They all play an integral role within the overall narrative. Whether they only appear in a few episodes, like Carrie and Caitlyn, or show up in every episode, like Trace, each and every character matters. Both the acting and the writing make this idea a reality.
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: A Sonnet for Caroline
Abby’s story: Abby is finding it difficult to mandatorily stay home from work. She plans on using her newfound free time to take her daughters to school and volunteer in their cafeteria. After taking Mick’s advice, Abby plans on getting an éclair at a local bakery. When she arrives at the bakery, after taking her daughters to school, Abby discovers that all of the eclairs have been sold out. However, one of the employees has taken the last one. He offers to share his éclair with Abby, but she refuses. Later that day, Abby volunteers at Carrie and Caitlyn’s school by cleaning up the cafeteria. While there, she finds out that the bakery employee she met earlier is also a teacher and playground supervisor at the school. His name is Jay and Abby confides to him that she has a lot going on in her life. He tries to make her feel better by offering her a juice box, which she accepts. While visiting Kevin and Connor at Sally’s Café, Abby gets served with legal papers. The contents of these papers are kept a secret.
Trace’s story: Trace is happy to have complete control of The Bridge again. To get back on track, he tries to organize a new musical line-up. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s usual acts are scheduled for other shows. He then gets the idea to have Emma perform one of her songs. When he asks her to sing live, she refuses. The next day, during a slow day at The Bridge, Trace encourages Emma at sing in front of the guests. At first, Emma says no. But, after he introduces her on stage, she accepts his offer. When Trace notices Emma struggling with nervousness, he helps her out by providing guitar music for her song. During the performance, Mark Hall, the manager from past seasons, arrives just in time to hear Emma sing. Trace introduces Mark to Emma, who immediately recognizes him. He wants to make her music star, but Trace doesn’t feel she’s ready for the spotlight. Later in the episode, Trace learns that Mark tried to convince Emma to start a professional music career. She says she turned down the offer because she didn’t want to get stuck in a bad relationship. This is a reference to what Emma told Trace earlier in the episode, how a break-up with a rock-star led her to Chesapeake Shores.
Mick and Megan’s story: Mick is still dealing with his legal troubles. Despite this, he agrees with join Megan on her trip to a potential wedding venue. During this trip, Megan shares how she needs to find something to do with her time. They also talk about their wedding. This leads to them sharing a heart-felt kiss. The next day, Mick and Megan agree not to talk about the kiss ever again. At Sally’s Café, Megan consults with Nell on what she should do about the situation. Nell shares that it’s better to live with mistakes than regrets. Toward the end of the episode, Mick and Megan share a toast by the shore. Megan conducts the toast, by saying that she will bury the past and see where her relationship with Mick will go. Mick agrees to Megan’s plan.
Kevin and Sarah’s story: It seems like Kevin and Sarah can’t have a moment for themselves. The members of the O’Brien family volunteer to help organize the wedding. While Kevin and Sarah appreciate their thoughtfulness, they end up feeling overwhelmed. While spending time at the fire station, Kevin and Sarah discuss what they want for their wedding. They both agree that the most important thing is how they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other.
Jess’s story: Jess and David are trying to purchase the house where they attended its open house in the previous episode. While placing a bid, they discover that a wealthier couple also wants to purchase the house. Refusing to give up on her dream, Jess comes up with a plan to show up at the same restaurant as the real estate agent. She and David invite Danielle, Connor, Simon, and Bree to have dinner with them at this restaurant. Unfortunately, Jess’s plan backfires as the real estate agent realizes what she’s up to. Later in the episode, Jess and David come up with a new plan to purchase their future bed & breakfast. They visit their competitors and Jess pretends to be David’s secretary. Jess and David encourage their competitors to purchase another property because the Peck family is interested in owning the house. Their plan works and they are able to move in to their new bed & breakfast at the end of the episode.
Bree’s story: Bree still feels like something is wrong with her and Simon’s relationship. She keeps giving hints to Simon about the state of their relationship, but Simon doesn’t seem to catch on. At the restaurant where Jess and David invite them, Bree finally shares her feelings with Simon. She tells him that she feels their relationship isn’t the perfect fit for them. He tells her that they shouldn’t try so hard to be perfect. The next day, Bree contemplates her relationship with Simon. She realizes that Simon is not the right significant other for her. Simon ends up visiting Word Play toward the end of the episode. He reveals, through a well-written speech, that their relationship isn’t working out and that it’s better if they went their separate ways. Both Bree and Simon agree to end their relationship on mutual terms. After Simon leaves Word Play, Bree picks up the paper that Simon’s speech was written on. When she unfolds it, she sees that the paper is blank.
Connor’s story: Despite his recent demotion at work, Connor is trying to keep his spirits up. He offers to help Kevin and Sarah plan their wedding and support Jess in her home purchasing efforts. Over the course of the episode, Connor learns that Danielle doesn’t like the idea of family. When he asks her the meaning behind her statement, she shares that she has some issues with her family. This causes Connor to contemplate his relationship with Danielle. Even though it seems like he and Danielle aren’t on the same page, he isn’t giving up on their relationship. One day, at the shore, Connor encourages Danielle to work things out with her family. Danielle doesn’t feel this is possible because her family is different from Connor’s. At the end of their conversation, she tells him that she loves him.
Some thoughts to consider:
After Emma says that she recognized Mark Hall, I wondered if she was truly the person she claimed to be. To me, she seemed a little too eager to see Mark. This kind of contradicts what she shared with Trace about why she came to Chesapeake Shores. Maybe Trace will cross paths with Emma’s ex-boyfriend and his story will be different from what she told Trace?
In some of their projects, Hallmark has cleverly hidden “Easter eggs” that relate to their products. This episode of Chesapeake Shores is a perfect example of this. At the bakery, when Abby holds the door open for Jay, a sign saying “Hallmark Cards for Sale” can be seen on a shelf at the right-hand side of the room. Another “Easter egg” can be found in Mark’s name. His full name is Mark Hall and if you put his last name first, his name is Hall Mark.
I think this episode was falsely advertised. One of the biggest topics of the trailer was Abby being served with legal papers. In the episode, however, this event is barely referenced in the overall narrative. Hopefully, this will be covered in upcoming episodes.
When Danielle talked about how her family has issues, I wondered if we would ever see members of her family appear on Chesapeake Shores? If so, which actors would portray these members?
What are your thoughts on this re-cap? Which actors would you like to see portray the members of Danielle’s family? Let me know in the comment section!
In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Jess asks if something can be “stupidly beautiful”. This question made me contemplate the meaning behind her phrase. What does it mean to be “stupidly beautiful”? Maybe it means receiving wise advice that could be tough to hear, but needs to be heard. This can be making time more useful for yourself, even when it means making up for lost time. Going over necessary decisions that may not be easy to make could also fit this definition. Because Jess’s phrase was not given an official definition, the meaning behind it is up for interpretation. There are other aspects of this season of Chesapeake Shores that can also be left for interpretation. What’s different about things like Mick’s legal woes or Trace’s relationship problems is how they’re going to be resolved sooner or later. Let’s see how these and other situations are explored in this week’s re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Leap of Faith
Abby’s story: During a business meeting, Abby confronts the CEO of the financing management that was introduced in the previous episode. When she’s questioning him about the lack of documents in the company’s file, her boss interrupts the meeting. In a private conversation, Abby shares that she thinks the financing management is participating in a ponzi scheme because of how the company structure allows more money to come in through new clients. Her boss tells her that she shouldn’t say anything about the situation until they have more information. Abby becomes conflicted about what she should do. At Sally’s Café, she asks Trace for advice on what actions to take. He tells her that no matter what decision she makes, even if it’s a difficult one, it needs to be made. This encourages Abby to email the financing management’s CEO about sending her business firm the rest of the requested files. The next day, Abby’s boss tells her that she was been taken off the assignment because the financing management went to a different business firm. She defends her decision to email the CEO by stating that she doesn’t want people to be financially hurt. While attending an open house with her sisters, Abby reveals to Bree that she plans on reporting the financing management to the authorities. Bree encourages her to do what she feels is right. Abby ends up filing a report on the financing management. The following day, at work, Abby’s boss tells her that not only is the financing management being investigated, but that Abby is being suspended during this time period. Despite being upset about the situation, her boss is proud of her for following her instincts.
Trace’s story: Donovan, the famous country singer from Season 3, pays Trace a visit in Chesapeake Shores. During his stay, he tries to convince Trace to go back on tour. Trace stands by his decision to stay home, telling him that he has more important priorities to tend to. In an effort to change Trace’s mind, Donovan invites him to sing a duet at The Bridge. After he leaves, Donovan gives Trace a guitar as a gift. Also, at The Bridge, Trace helps Emma by taking the blame for her mistake, which involved not putting away cleaning supplies where they belong. Chris, the financial advisor from Season 3, tells Trace that he will be handing over his control of The Bridge back to Trace. This is because Mick thought it’d be a good idea and because Chris is managing waffle houses in another state. Also, in this episode, Trace gives Abby advice about her situation at work.
Mick’s story: Mick visits his business partner again, in an attempt to find the truth. During their meeting, the business partner admits to not seeing eye-to-eye with Mick when it came to business ethics. He even threatens Mick, telling him that he will be accused of being a co-conspirator if he says anything about the situation. Later in the episode, Mick learns that his business partner has officially been indicted and how there’s a chance that Mick could also take the fall for his business partner’s wrong-doing. When he consults with his brother, Thomas, about the situation, he is met with good and bad news. The good news is that there’s a way to prove that he had no knowledge of his business partner’s whereabouts. The bad news is this situation will cause Mick’s reputation to be tarnished to a certain extent. Also, in this episode, Mick helps Jess save her bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, this building is unsalvageable, so there’s not much that Mick or Jess can do. Mick also gives Connor advice about respecting the wishes of his employer.
Megan’s story: Megan is enthusiastic about Sarah and Kevin’s engagement. She volunteers to help Sarah plan the wedding. Megan goes dress shopping with Sarah and coordinates other details for the celebration. When Mick confronts Megan about her involvement in the wedding planning process, she shares that her participation allows her to make up for her absence when it came to planning other family functions. Mick reminds her that because the children are all grown up, she has more time to do the things she wants to do. This makes her feel better about her situation.
Kevin’s story: During an emergency call with his EMT team, Kevin saves the life of his former coach. When he asks him if he has any family to contact, his coach reveals that he’s all alone now. Throughout the episode, Kevin reflects on his memories involving his former coach as well as regrets about not keeping in better contact with him. He talks to Sarah about how his coach affected him at a critical time in his life. He also shares memories with Connor and Trace. At the end of the episode, Kevin surprises his former coach with a mini pep-rally in his honor, inviting former team-mates to the event.
Bree’s story: At one of the rehearsals for her play, Simon comes to surprise her. With him returning from a book tour, Bree is thrilled to have him back in her life. He’s even happy for her when her book surpasses his on a bestseller list. But the more time they spend together, the more she realizes that Simon has, somehow, changed. Throughout the episode, Bree tries to figure out what’s going on. Despite the fact that she can not find an answer, she still feels like something is wrong. When Simon and Bree read through a scene from her play, Bree expects to be kissed by him. This is because a kiss was written into the scene. After Simon kisses her, Bree continues to feel like something isn’t right.
Jess’s story: When David and Jess visit the Inn, they discover that the building is in worse shape than they thought. She asks Mick to help save her Inn. After contemplating every possibility, Mick reveals to Jess that there’s no way that the Inn could be salvaged. Jess is upset by this because she feels that the Inn was the first thing that she could call her own. While still feeling bad about losing the Inn, David suggests looking for a new bed and breakfast through a real agent agency. Jess and David attend an open house later in the episode. At first, Jess doesn’t like the way the house looks. But after she enters the house and goes through some of the rooms, she changes her mind about purchasing a new bed and breakfast. When Jess and David visit the Inn one last time, David surprises her with a sprinkler from the grounds. This is to remind Jess that no matter where they go, they’ll always have a piece of the past with them.
Connor’s story: While Connor is thrilled to take his environmental case to court, Thomas is not. He expresses his frustrations toward Connor and tells him not to take the case to court. Connor asks Mick for advice about what to do. Mick tells him he needs to respect Thomas as his employer. Later in the episode, Connor and Thomas tell the opposing side of the environmental case that they don’t want to take the case to court. The opposing side agrees, giving both of them a settlement to sign. When Connor reads the fine print, he discovers that he and Thomas won the case. After the meeting, Thomas tells Connor that even though the case worked in his favor, he shouldn’t have taken matters into his own hands. As a result, Connor is assigned to research work.
Some thoughts to consider:
• While it’s great to see Megan helping Sarah plan her wedding, I was wondering why Sarah’s mom wasn’t participating in wedding festivity preparations. She, as well as Sarah’s dad and brothers, was introduced last season and Sarah’s family doesn’t live that far away from Chesapeake Shores. I’m hoping that Sarah’s mom appears in upcoming episodes to assist Sarah in planning her wedding.
• Looking back on this episode, I think that Kevin’s story should have been fleshed out more. It seemed like that narrative was glossed over, not exploring the themes of regret and mentorship as fully as they could have. What I think would make up for this is Kevin and Sarah inviting Kevin’s former coach to their wedding.
• In my last Evenings At The Shore post, I predicted that Trace and Emma would become a couple, even if the relationship is temporary. After seeing the way Trace interacted with Emma in this episode, I’m starting to change my prediction. I’m predicting that Emma will think Trace likes her, but he will still try to win over Abby’s heart again. When Emma confronts Trace about her feelings for him, he will reject the idea for starting a relationship with her. This will not only make Emma upset, but she will frame Abby by making her look more jealous than she really is.
What did you think of this episode? Which story was your favorite? Tell me in the comment section!
Another year, another season of Chesapeake Shores! After a very eventful week on 18 Cinema Lane, it’s nice to write a post that’s different from the usual movie review. Like last year, I will continue to re-cap Chesapeake Shores and share my thoughts on certain aspects of each episode. What’s interesting is how this show is receiving only six episodes. While shorter seasons for Hallmark Channel shows is nothing new, it seems rather late in the game for this particular series to get fewer episodes in their fourth season. However, Chesapeake Shores is receiving a movie, so maybe that is a reason for this decision. In the season finale re-cap post from last season, I shared that Season 3 of Chesapeake Shores was fine, but not as good as the first two seasons. My hope for Season 4 is for this show is get back on track and continue to tell stories that are engaging and intriguing. Now, let the re-capping of Chesapeake Shores’ fourth season begin!
Just a reminder: If you did not see the season premiere of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: The End is Where We Begin
Abby’s story: It seems like Abby has moved forward from her relationship with Trace. At work, she attempts to recruit a new client to her business firm. When she meets the potential new client, the CEO of a financing management, everything seems fine. That is, until she checks in on their numbers. The more she looks at it, the more she feels they don’t add up. She tells Mick and Connor about her situation, where Connor suggests that the financing management’s CEO could be taking part in a ponzi scheme. Later in the episode, Abby crosses paths with Trace during her morning jog. When he apologizes and tries to convince her to start their relationship over, Abby refuses and continues with her jog.
Trace’s story: Trace returns home from his band tour. He tries to call Abby, but she won’t answer his calls. When he goes to Abby’s house to deliver flowers, Mick answers the door instead. The next day, when Mick pays him a visit, Trace tells him that he’s staying home for good this time. Mick, however, is not convinced. At The Bridge, Trace meets Emma Rogers, a bartender who also happens to be a songwriter. He tries to persuade her to sing in front of The Bridge’s audience. Emma ends up turning down the opportunity, saying that she doesn’t sing in front of people. Later that day, Connor visits Trace at The Bridge. When Trace tells Connor about his issues, Connor tells Trace where Abby is going to be so he can meet up with her. At the end of the episode, Trace and Abby cross paths on Abby’s jogging trail. Trace attempts to patch up his relationship with Abby, but Abby wants no part of it.
Mick’s story: One morning, Mick receives word that one of his business partners is being investigated. This was caused by the business partner laying down the foundation of a property. Mick visits his business partner, who claims that he’s innocent. He also visits Trace, who says that he’s staying in Chesapeake Shores for good this time. Mick and Megan spend more time together, reminiscing about the past and reflecting on family traditions.
Bree’s story: Bree’s career is reaching a bright spot. Her book has not only climbed up one place on a bestseller list, but she’s looking for a producer for her new play. Throughout the episode, she meets several producers who like the script. However, Bree feels that none of them understand her work. One day, Hannah Urso, a famous writer who now works with a prestigious theater in Baltimore, visits Word Play. Bree is so excited when she finds out that Hannah wants to help her bring her story to life. When Hannah shares her thoughts on the script, Bree feels that she has finally found a producer who understands her writing.
Kevin’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Kevin reveals to his siblings that he plans on proposing to Sarah. He hopes that he can propose to her while they are at Jess and David’s new bed & breakfast. Every time Kevin is about to propose to Sarah, he gets interrupted. One evening, he expresses his frustrations about the situation to Jess. She tells him that he shouldn’t be so focused on creating the perfect proposal. Kevin takes his sister’s advice and finally proposes to Sarah while they stop to change a tire on the side of the road. Sarah found a place where they could see the sunset over a large body of water. When Kevin asks Sarah to marry him, she, of course, says yes.
Jess’s story: Jess takes a trip to visit David at their new bed & breakfast. She invites Kevin and Sarah to join her on her trip. When Jess first arrives at the bed & breakfast, she’s excited about spending time with David and having her own business again. But the more time she spends at the bed & breakfast, the more she hates it. At first, she doesn’t want to tell David how she feels, especially since his parents purchased the facility for them. After she gives Kevin advice about his wedding proposal, he encourages her to be honest with David. After Kevin and Sarah leave, Jess tells David how she feels about the bed & breakfast. She learns that David feels the exact same way about the facility. They plan to own a bed & breakfast in Chesapeake Shores instead.
Connor’s story: One day, after work, Connor learns from Danielle that she just received a promotion. Not only that, she reveals that she now has a new car. Connor expresses his happiness for his girlfriend. At work, Connor negotiates with the opposing side of an environmental case. This assignment causes Connor to start reflecting on his career. When he meets up with Danielle and a friend, they remind him of how, in law school, he said he wanted to be a litigator. This makes him think about his future even more. At Sally’s Café, Connor talks to Abby about the future of his career. Abby shares her business situation with Connor. The next day, Connor makes the decision to take his environmental case to court, which shocks the opposing side. He also helps Trace meet up with Abby again.
Some thoughts to consider:
Something that Jess said in this episode really concerned me. When she was talking about the bed & breakfast with Kevin, she tells him that it reminds her of David’s parents, but in a negative way. Whenever the subject of David’s parents is brought up, David seems to have a negative opinion toward them. If Jess and David are dating seriously enough to ever consider marriage, they’re going to have to deal with David’s family for a very long time. Besides, it’s been said that if you marry a significant other, you’re also marrying their family. Hopefully, Jess and David revolve this issue in the near future.
While I’m happy that Kevin and Sarah got engaged, I really hope this show doesn’t adopt the “planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period” cliché. I’ve said on more than one occasion that I am not a fan of it. After this year’s “June Weddings” line-up, it seems like Hallmark is trying to move away from this cliché. So, I would really like to see them continue to do so.
Here’s a prediction I have for Season 4: Trace and Emma become a couple. This causes Abby to get jealous, leading her to find a new male significant other. Despite these choices, Trace and Abby still have feelings for one another. So, they end their temporary relationships and get back together.
I thought this episode was just fine. It felt like overarching stories were beginning, instead of focusing on episodic subplots. If the rest of the season takes this story-telling approach, it would be very different from the other series on Hallmark Channel.
What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Do you have any predictions for Season 4? Let me know in the comment section!
For a few years now, I have wanted to watch the film, Summer Magic. It’s a title that I had never heard of until I came across it on Pinterest. Even after I recorded the movie on my DVR, I didn’t make the time to watch it. Because of the A Month Without the Code Blogathon, I decided to include Summer Magic in my roster of films! This is the third movie of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve reviewed this year. I liked both The Moon-Spinners and The Trouble with Angels. When I read the movie’s tagline on their DVD cover, I saw the word “mystery” and was excited to see what kind of story would be told. I also discovered that Burl Ives was one of the stars of the film! Prior to watching Summer Magic, I had never seen Burl act. However, I was familiar with who Burl was as a singer, as I’ve heard his versions of various Christmas songs. So, I was curious to see if he was given a significant part in the movie or a cameo role where he got to portray himself. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s find out in this review!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: When it comes to films starring Hayley Mills, I, as an audience member, have never been disappointed! That’s because she has the acting talents to lead a film! Hayley had such a pleasant on-screen presence in Summer Magic, bringing her character, Nancy, to life with charm and likability. As I said in my introduction, I had never seen Burl Ives act before. His portrayal of Osh Popham was better than I expected it to be! He was so expressive in his acting performance and his singing performance could do no wrong. Deborah Walley is an actress that I am not familiar with. Despite this, I was entertained by her performance! Julia was such an interesting character to watch on screen. Deborah’s ability to pull off a well-rounded performance helped her achieve that goal. The rest of the cast was good as well. Because of the believability they brought to their roles, all of the characters appeared and felt like real-life people!
The music: If you’re going to cast Burl Ives in a film, you have to have him sing at least one song. Burl actually sang two songs in Summer Magic and both performances were really good! His first song “Ugly Bug Ball” not only featured music that reflected the story’s time period, but it also featured music that resembled when the film was released. Burl’s second song, “On the Front Porch”, as well as the rest of the music, felt like it belonged in the world of the early 1900s, when Summer Magic takes place. This helped the movie be immersive and bring this cinematic world to life.
The historical accuracy: Another aspect of Summer Magic that made the movie feel immersive was the historical accuracy of the overall production. For historical fiction stories, this aspect is so important because it provides a sense of authenticity. From the costumes to the architecture, everything seemed like it was brought back directly from that time period. Even things as simple as hairstyles helped the movie’s creative team realize their cinematic idea. Anytime I see a period film that appears and feels historically accurate, it gives me the impression the creative team behind that film not only knows what they’re doing, but that they care about the project they’re making. This is exactly how I felt about Summer Magic.
What I didn’t like about the film:
No “magic” and “mystery”: On the DVD cover for Summer Magic, the film’s tagline says “A Season Of Love, Music, And Mystery”. However, “magic” and “mystery” are nowhere to be found. Since The Moon-Spinners was created by the same studio as Summer Magic and since The Moon-Spinners was released the year after Summer Magic, I assumed the latter would have a mystery that was more light-hearted than the aforementioned title. Sadly, this plot didn’t leave any room for a mystery to be told. Even though this movie is called Summer Magic, there is no “magic” that is usually found in Disney films. When it comes to films from this particular studio, “magic” is not just coming from the things that happen on screen. It’s the way that the film makes an audience feel. For me, Summer Magic did not make me feel this way.
A basic plot: Because of what I just said, I thought there was going to be a mystery featured in this film’s plot. That didn’t happen, which caused the plot to be too basic for my liking. The story was also straight-forward, leaving no room for intrigue. Even when there was a chance for the narrative to have a sense of intrigue, those chances ended before they could begin. A perfect example is when Osh Popham was telling Nancy and her mother about the previous homeowner’s painting, only for his wife, Mariah, to confront him about his lie moments later.
Lack of musical numbers: For movie musicals, there’s, usually, at least one musical number. This scene will feature singing and dancing, but will also be presented as a grand spectacle. Summer Magic never had a scene like this. In fact, anytime a song was incorporated into the film, the characters would, mostly, sing the song while sitting down. Because Disney’s forte is musicals, I was quite surprised by the lack of musical numbers in this film. Since Mary Poppins was released the year after Summer Magic, I’m wondering if the first movie received more attention and financing from the studio, possibly viewing Summer Magic as an afterthought?
My overall impression:
As of August 2019, I have seen four of Hayley’s Mills films in their entirety. For the most part, I have enjoyed these movies. But, if I were to rank them, Summer Magic would be at the bottom of the list. That’s because the film itself was just ok. Since there was no “mystery” or “magic” in the story, the film’s plot wasn’t as intriguing as I hoped it would be. Despite the fact that the movie’s tagline promised that there would be music, it wasn’t a musical in the typical sense. But the film did have its merit, such as the acting and the historical accuracy of the project. It’s a film that I can’t fully recommend, but not completely dissuade people from seeing. Like I said about The Nun’s Story, Summer Magic is one of the “cleaner” films in A Month Without a Code! While there are a few things that would need to change, this film could be “breenable”. These things are:
There is some language in Summer Magic that would need to be rewritten or removed. This is because some of the words that the characters said were unpleasant. One example is when Nancy is trying to put up wallpaper in the house. When her mother expresses her doubts about whether Nancy is capable of completing the task on her own, Nancy makes a statement like “Any idiot can do it”.
There were three lines in the song, “Ugly Bug Ball”, that I was very surprised were featured in a Disney film. The lines are highlighted in bold print:
“Then our caterpillar saw a pretty queen
She was beautiful in yellow, black and green
He said, “Would you care to dance?”
Their dancing led to romance.
And she sat upon his caterpillar knees
And he gave his caterpillar queen a squeeze
Soon they’ll honeymoon
Build a big cocoon
Thanks to the ugly bug ball”
Because of how suggestive these lines sound, they would need to be written.
During the movie, Julia and Nancy develop a crush on Charles Bryant, a recent college graduate who comes to their small town as a school teacher. Julia admits that she completed “finishing school”, so I’m guessing she would be 17 or 18. Meanwhile, Nancy might be somewhere between 14 to 16. Since this is a Disney/family-friendly film, their interactions with him are innocent. But, the fact that two teenage girls would entertain the idea of falling in love with a grown man should not be in a family-friendly movie.
While Osh Popham is looking for a painting for give to Nancy’s family, he finds a picture of a scantily clad woman. When this painting is presented to the audience, jazz music can be heard in the background. If this film were created during the Breen Code era, this painting would not be shown on-screen. I don’t believe that the jazz music would be heard either.
Overall score: 6.3 out of 10
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Several months ago, I recorded the French film, Les Enfants Terribles, on my DVR. Since I don’t watch many foreign films, I wanted to see this film as a way to expand my cinematic horizons. When I found out that this particular movie was released during the Breen Code era, in 1950, I was curious to see if any traces of the Breen Code could be found in the film. So, that is why I chose Les Enfants Terribles for one of my Clean Movie Month reviews! If you read my review of Madeleine, you would know that Les Enfants Terribles is not the first foreign film I reviewed for this blogathon. In fact, I was quite surprised that Madeleine was approved by the Breen Code. An interesting coincidence is both Madeleine and Les Enfants Terribles were released in the same year. So, it’ll be interesting to see how this French film from 1950 compares to the British film, also from 1950!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: The acting in Les Enfants Terribles was one of the finer points of the movie! The two main characters, Paul and Elisabeth, were very interesting to watch because of the lead stars’ acting performances! Nicole Stephane brought the character of Elisabeth to life with a sense of fierceness and strength. These two elements helped her carry the film. She was also able to stand on her own merits when it came to acting among the other actors and actresses! Edouard Dermit portrayed Elisabeth’s brother, Paul. The well-roundedness of his acting talents was very clear to see in this film. Paul goes through a lot in Les Enfants Terribles. In every scene, Edouard brought his A game and even made his character seem like he was a real person. Over the course of this story, Edouard not only incorporates a sense of realism to his character, but also pulls off an acting performance that was mesmerizing to watch!
The music: At certain points in the film, orchestral music could be heard. This type of music would normally come into the movie anytime a new location was introduced. I thought this was an interesting choice because it fit the film’s overall tone. The orchestral music was grand yet sinister, highlighting Paul and Elisabeth’s journey through wealth and growing up. In one scene, Elisabeth’s husband, Michael, sings a song while playing the piano. Not only did the piano music sound good, but the song was also sung well. The music’s role in Les Enfants Terribles brought a special significance to the project!
The dynamics of the characters: Les Enfants Terribles puts more focus on the characters than the story itself. Despite this, it was fascinating to see how the characters interacted with one another. Throughout the film, lives are transformed and relationships are built among Paul, Elisabeth, and the people around them. What makes this part of the movie work is the screen-writing as well as the acting. These two elements provide the perfect combination for making the characters as interesting as they were.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Lack of explanation for Paul and Elisabeth’s “game”: During the movie, Paul and Elisabeth play a game that only the two of them know about. However, no explanation to what this game is or how it’s played was ever given in the story. While watching the film, I tried to figure out more about the game. But, without an explanation, it was very difficult to understand the importance of it. I also noticed that this game was featured in the story when it was convenient for the plot. This is because the game itself was mentioned on very few occasions.
A misleading premise: According to Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) website, Les Enfants Terribles is about “a brother and sister close themselves off from the world by playing an increasingly intense series of mind games with the people who dare enter their lair”. As I’ve already mentioned, Paul and Elisabeth’s “game” wasn’t well explained or featured in the movie for very long. The sibling relationship of Paul and Elisabeth seemed very toxic, from calling each other names to treating each other horribly. If anything, this movie was about two things: siblings who grow apart and a young woman who slowly becomes obsessed with power and control. Since the movie was different than its synopsis, I found TCM’s description to be misleading.
An unclear time-line: Les Enfants Terribles takes place over the course of several years. But, to me, this movie felt like all the events happened within a year. This was because there were no clear explanations about when certain situations were taking place. Time-cards and any mentions of the year were not found in this movie. Even the narrator didn’t talk about how much time had passed. The film’s time-line became very confusing, leaving me wondering how many years were included in the story. Because of the unclear time-line, the characters appeared as if they were frozen in time.
My overall impression:
I ended up liking Les Enfants Terribles more than I thought I would! It was an interesting film that had a few surprises in store. The movie itself is a character study/character driven story, showing how they evolve as time goes on. The acting was really good and the characters were well developed, helping this narrative become engaging. As I was watching Les Enfants Terribles, I could see some of the Breen Code’s influence. One example was anytime the doctor came to examine Paul. Either the examination itself was not shown on-screen or the doctor would only be shown listening to Paul’s heartbeat. However, when it came to this film, the Breen Code could have been enforced more. There were several times where characters were swearing, either at each other or just for the sake of it. This shocked me because not only was Les Enfants Terribles released in 1950, but it was also released during the Breen Code era. I was surprised that this movie got away with having this much language in the early ‘50s. Was this particular film the beginning of the end for the Breen Code? That’s definitely a question for another day.
Overall score: 7 out of 10
Have you ever watched a French film? Which foreign film have you always wanted to see? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Before I begin this review, I would like to thank all 115 of my followers! I achieved this accomplishment two weeks ago! However, I wasn’t able to publish this post as early as I had wanted to. That’s because I started my Clean Movie Month reviews and was participating in a few blogathons. But I fortunately found the time to share this blog follower dedication review with the people who have helped my blog grow and thrive! For this post, I have chosen a movie that was released in June of 2014. Even though I talked about a musical in my previous blog follower dedication review, I chose the film, Jersey Boys, for this particular post. I was familiar with the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, so I could appreciate the songs that appear in this film. When it comes to the band itself, I didn’t know much information about them. This movie was, to a certain extent, educational. That’s because this film explores the history of The Four Seasons. It also talked about how some of the songs were created, as well as who the members of the band were. So, let’s learn more about Jersey Boys through this review!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: One of the strongest components of this film is the acting performances! From what I’ve heard, the cast consisted of actors and actresses who also starred in the Jersey Boys stage play. I feel that this was a good decision because this means that before film production began, they already knew their characters. This shows in all of the acting performances, as the actors and actresses appeared to be comfortable in their roles. Something I noticed while watching this film was the accents. As I’ve said before, accents in movies can be hit or miss. In Jersey Boys, however, the accents sounded authentic enough to be satisfying. This goes back to the fact that the cast is from the original stage play, as they had plenty of time to perfect that part of the performance!
The aesthetic: I really liked the world that was created in this film! Everything looked and felt like the time period in which this story took place in. Even the cinematography correlated with the previously mentioned time period. This showed how much the creative team behind this movie cared about the details that went into their project. It also made the movie feel immersive, like the audience themselves are visiting that world. The locations and settings of Jersey Boys were visually appealing!
The music: Because this movie is about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, the majority of their music is featured throughout the story. Since I like their music, I found these parts of the film to be enjoyable. Jersey Boys was a stage play before becoming a movie, as I’ve said before. This aspect worked in the performers’ favor because they were familiar with the music prior to the film’s production. All of the actors in the band sounded close enough to the original group to keep me, as an audience member, satisfied. It added to the authenticity of their collective performance!
What I didn’t like about the film:
Breaking the “fourth wall”: At certain points in the movie, some members of The Four Seasons told their story directly to the audience. While this was an interesting idea, it didn’t work as well as it could have. This is because the “fourth wall” was broken so infrequently, it ended up feeling out of place. Only three members of the group get to break the “fourth wall”. The only time Frankie Valli gets this kind of moment was toward the end of the movie. The fact that more than one person was trying to tell the story made it difficult to decipher who the key narrator was supposed to be.
Scenes that don’t mesh together: When it comes to movie musicals, the segments of story and music are supposed to work together to create a cohesive narrative and propel the story forward. One example is when Mother Abbess sings “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” in The Sound of Music. But I never felt that the story segments and musical segments meshed together in Jersey Boys. Anytime a musical segment appeared in the film, it felt like the story segments were paused for the sake of presenting the musical segments. This disrupted the flow of the narrative.
The run-time: Jersey Boys is a two hour and fourteen-minute film. Because of this run-time, the movie felt longer than it was intended and some scenes were too drawn-out. Having the film set at one hour and thirty or forty minutes would have worked better for the overall production. Drawn-out scenes could be shortened to a length of time where that part of the story could get straight to the point. If the “fourth wall” moments that I mentioned earlier were reserved for the end of the movie, this would shorten the run-time as well.
My overall impression:
At best, Jersey Boys is an ok film. I can definitely see how this project could work as a Broadway stage show. However, this particular story would have worked better as either a documentary or as a mini-series. There was so much interesting content to this narrative, that I actually learned more about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons than I had expected. But, because of the set run-time, there was only so much material that was discussed. Even though I learned a lot about this particular musical group, I feel like I could have discovered this same information on the internet. When it comes to movie musicals, Jersey Boys is not the worst of them. But there are movies within this genre that are better than this one.
Overall score: 6 out of 10
Do you like that music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons? Which movie musical do you like? Please tell me in the comment section!