Category: Family

Will Ferrell and James Caan in Elf


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     17 December     Saturnalia first celebrated, 497BC On this day in 497BC, the Romans consecrated the new Temple of Saturn and celebrated the feast of Saturnalia for the first time. Saturn was believed to

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Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     13 December     Dick Van Dyke born, 1925 On this day in 1925, Richard Wayne Van Dyke was born. As Dick Van Dyke he has been entertaining people since the Second World War, when

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Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in Road to Morocco

Road to Morocco

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     14 October     Bing Crosby dies, 1977 On this day in 1977, Bing Crosby died. One of the most forward thinking entertainers of the 20th century, Crosby was one of the first singers to

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Alex Pettyfer in Stormbreaker


    We’ve had young James Bond, courtesy of Charlie Higson, and the Spy Kids films, so there’s nothing that groundbreaking about Alex Rider, the mini-me spy and key character in Anthony Horowitz’s string of highly successful novels. 16-year-old Alex Pettyfer  steps into the Rider role, his private school accent

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Snow White sings to the bluebird in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    David Hand? Look at the credits and you’ll see the name down as the director, one among quite a few, depending on where you’re looking. Such is the grip of the “director as auteur” notion on modern thinking that everyone – from the IMDB down – feels obliged to

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Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events

      Somewhere near the end of this highly anticipated children’s adventure movie there’s a cameo by Dustin Hoffman. He just blurs on, says a couple of indistinct phrases and is not seen again. The pointlessness of his appearance is indicative of what’s wrong with this film, a series

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Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy in Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

    Cinderella updated, with Anne Hathaway as the luckless teen Ella and Hugh Dancy as Prince Char. You see what they’re doing with the names? As with the names so with the film – it doesn’t quite work. For starters we have Hathaway herself – so sweet and milky

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Robin Williams ready for ordeal by ordure in RV

RV: Runaway Vacation

    And you thought that after being excellently sinister in Insomnia and One Hour Photo, Robin Williams had stopped making goofily sentimental comedies that stop every 20 minutes for toe-curlingly inappropriate improv from Mr W. Sadly not, as evidence there’s this woeful, slight affair in which Williams plays the

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Meet Me in St Louis

    “Clang clang clang went the trolley” and ring ring ring went the tills in every box office all over America when Meet Me in St Louis arrived in 1944. Made when the war in the Pacific was at its height, it was a chocolate-boxy feast of nostalgia even

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The Wizard of Oz

      Made in 1939, Hollywood’s annus mirabilis – yes, it was a long time ago – The Wizard of Oz is one of the highest achievments of “glorious Technicolor”. A finicky, expensive and slow process, Technicolor’s three-strip system, as the name suggests, used three separate, differently filtered, film

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