Posts from the ‘Family Movie Night Reviews’ Category

Christmas Movies (part 2)

Mentioned: Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Babes in Toyland (it has Santa’s workshop but is it really Christmastime?  how do you know?), Santa and the Three Bears/Star Wars Christmas, A Christmas Story, Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, A Nativity Story

Now the rest (that we have and are therefore likely to watch and maybe some others as well) in no particular order

The Dog that Saved Christmas

Hercules Poirot Christmas – if you like Poirot you’ll like this

The Preacher’s Wife/The Bishop’s Wife – I like the Denzel/Whitney version

Miracle on 34th Street – Natalie Wood or 90’s version, doesn’t matter, both are great

It’s a Wonderful Life – worth watching but not as good as it’s reputation

Scrooge/Christmas Carol – thousands of versions, read the book too…and if you can, find the 2000’s cartoon version (starts live action) with Kate Winslet voicing a character…and don’t forget the Barbie version too

speaking of Barbie…Barbie Nutcracker – it’s better than you would think and launched the line of movies which is also better than you’d think (at least when they do classic stories…and 12 Dancing Princesses is pretty solid too, but we were talking about Christmas)

Mickey’s Magical Christmas

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (2nd best version after the Muppets…I rank Disney’s 2009 version as 3rd…Bill Murray’s Scrooged is like 10th even though most people rank it higher, why, I don’t know)

The Christmas Toy – Muppets, Christmas and Toy Story all in a wonderful holiday blend

Muppet Family Christmas & A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Show – they have a few other Christmas specials too but I don’t think we have those

Christmas in Connecticut (original)…the tv version is worth watching but only if you don’t take it seriously

Home Alone (progressively worse as they add numbers but the first one is great and the second is acceptable)

VeggieTales – the original, The Star that of Christmas, Saint Nicholas, It’s a Meaningful Life and now The Little Drummer Boy (with the silly song “the 8 Polish Foods of Christmas”)…don’t forget your Veggies this Christmas

Winnie the Pooh – a Very Merry Pooh Year

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – cartoon and Jim Carrey versions

The Polar Express – Hot Chocolate is a must for this movie

Frosty the Snowman & Frosty Returns (okay, Frosty Returns is horrible, skip it if you can)

The 12 Dogs of Christmas

Ernest Saves Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Eve

Christmas with the Kranks – read the Grisham novel, too

Mrs Santa Claus – it’s Angela Lansbury/Jessica Fletcher!!!

and don’t forget The Santa Clause (and #’s 2 and 3)


I’m sure we’ll add some more if we get the chance


Christmas Movies part 1

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a Thanksgiving movie…there aren’t any.  Well, there are, but there aren’t many classics.  There aren’t many that are about Thanksgiving and not just occurring at Thanksgiving and there aren’t many you can actually find.  Here’s what I found:

Classic – A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving…the Peanuts have a classic for every holiday actually

In my queue for next year – An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving – haven’t seen it, here’s to remembering it in time to watch it next November

One more – my dad has another one that we didn’t get to watching but I can’t remember it’s name which sort of tells you everything you need to know about Thanksgiving movies


But Christmas movies!!!  I’ve got plenty of those, here’s a list of some of what I’ll be watching (and blogging about?) between now and Christmas:

Classics (in my opinion) regardless of their production date:

Twas the Night before Christmas – 1914…never seen it but it’s from 1914, gotta find this one

Christmas Comes by Once A Year (cartoon) – from the 30’s, not all that good but it’s got one of those annoying songs you can’t get out of your head and it’s one of the earliest Christmas “movie” you’ll find…unfortunately I think it’s in that pre PC (in a bad way) era that sometimes contains regrettably stereotypes, haven’t watched it in a while so I don’t remember if it does or doesn’t, but I remember that song…

Holiday Inn – from the 40’s, classic song (White Christmas), classic movie, again some horrible stereotypes…yes, I’m ignoring It’s a Wonderful Life, I like Holiday Inn better

White Christmas – best of the 50’s, best Christmas movie period, several songs that are worth getting stuck in your head

Babes in Toyland – best of the 60’s?, classic movie but I’m not really sure I even agree that this is a Christmas movie but that’s always where it seems to end up…I really want to say Santa Claus Conquers the Martians but I’ve never seen it…let’s just agree that the 60’s seem to have just (and only just) scraped by the 70’s as worst Christmas movie decade ever

Santa and the Three Bears – best of the 70’s, horrible era for Christmas movies and I don’t just mean good ones, there are few that even seem to have been made and it’s most well known addition is probably Black Christmas which is a horror movie…really, Christmas and horror?  But the 70’s (barely) did gift us with this tv cartoon gem…of course, the real best is the Star Wars Christmas Special but George Lucas seems to have erased this treasure from existence (except of course in the galaxy known as youtube; I hear this is coming to blue ray soon which will definitely break my will and cause me to go by a blue ray player)…”This is not the Christmas movie you are looking for”

A Christmas Story, best of the 80’s which has a surprising amount of Christmas productions, seems to have started a trend that hasn’t ever really stopped.  They’re often sappy and usually just made for a quick buck but a lot of Christmas movies have been cranked out ever since the 80’s which makes the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s really tough to pick a best of…just think of all the ones you’d argue should beat out mine

The Muppet Christmas Carol – best of the 90’s AND best Christmas Carol…Muppets, music, no 3D gimmickry (sorry Disney’s Christmas Carol in the 2000’s, you were good but had a bit too much of this), Gonzo as the narrator, Jacob and BOB Marley, not too scary unlike some versions (I think I still have nightmares from a few Christmas Carols)…after White Christmas, this is probably my favorite

Elf – best of the 2000’s – it’s Tif’s favorite and it had my mom cracking up the other night

2010’s – haven’t seen Arthur Christmas and I refuse to acknowledge Harold and Kumar so I’m holding out hope that the 70’s and 60’s aren’t dethroned somehow

The Nativity Story – best to tell the true story of Christmas…so I’m cheating with the 2000’s but this one is literally timeless (1 Peter 1:20 “He was chosen before the creation of the world…)


so many movies left off…don’t worry, look for part 2 soon



Winnie the Pooh 2011

Tonight we watched the new(est) Winnie the Pooh.

Perhaps we weren’t expecting much (at least Nathan and I weren’t) but we expected it would be a decent family movie.  G rated, Winnie the Pooh, Disney…it’s just a good solid mix even if we’re growing into the teen/tween years and leaving the Disney preschool days in our dust.

Those of us not expecting much were surprised.  It was funny, entertaining and at 1 hour, 3 minutes, the perfect length to be interesting but not lag in the middle (something mentioned about a story in the movie itself).

Combine that with my (PBJ) perusal of IMDB’s info for the movie, complete with parental guide (really, Sex/Nudity mentions Pooh being pantsless?  too much!  I half expected the Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking section to list Pooh’s “huny” addiction).

It is definitely worth watching (unless perhaps you’re household is all teenage boys, then wait until they get married and start having kids).

Here’s our review (each of us can award 1, 2 or 3 stars)…

PBJ – loved the “It’ll be Great” song with Tigger and Eyeore and also the     “Knot/Not/Naught”…3 stars

Tif – (spoiler alert) liked how Winnie the Pooh chose to give Eyeore his       tail back before selfishly eating food…3 stars

N8 – liked Pooh’s Knock-Knock/Who’s There? response (part of the             “Knot/Not/Naught”)…3 stars; remember he didn’t expect to like it.

Z4c – likes the “nickname” of Pooh…he’s a tween now, not very                     surprising…3 stars

KT – enjoyed everything, especially when they fall in the hole…3 stars

Barr Family rating of 15 stars

PS – what’s your favorite Winnie the Pooh character?  Ours…

PBJ – Tigger and Owl

Tif – Owl

N8 – if he has to pick one, Tigger

Z4c – Tigger

KT – everyone except for Rabbit because of his grouchy attitude; Piglet if she only gets one

About the Scariest Movie Our Family Watches

Every once in a while we like to have dinner and a movie and then review the movie.

Tonight was Soft Tacos and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad.  We’ve seen it before (and N8 doesn’t like the Sleepy Hollow part so he skipped it) but we haven’t reviewed it before.  Since it’s October, we thought it was a fitting movie for our first review on the blog.

To be honest, I’m (PBJ) with N8 a bit on this one…even if it’s a cartoon, the headless horseman keeps me looking over my shoulder in the dark at places like Wildwood and the drive to Lopez Canyon just like Jaws messed me up with sharks.  And no, it doesn’t matter that it’s a cartoon, especially since this is about as scary of a movie as the Barrsonage ever watches.  Doesn’t stop me from enjoying the show, however, nor does it keep from debating whether Ichabod made it or not.

Our thoughts (first Mr Toad, then Ichabod including whether you think he made it or not, and finally the number of stars)…we always mention something we like and then rate it with 1, 2 or 3 stars with a family total at the bottom.

PBJ – I like Toad’s friends, especially Moley, who faithfully look after him.  Ichabod’s proportions are absurdly amazing…lanky except for the world’s biggest Adam’s apple.  Bing Crosby is always fun to hear.  Definitely 3 stars.

Tif – It was interesting that the author made the aristocrat a toad.  Bing Crosby is a crooner that makes me melt like butter (PBJ comment – uh oh).  Ichabod makes it and marries the rich widow.  3 stars.

N8 – Mr Toad was funny, especially the train chase.  Ichabod is the worst movie ever because it scares me.  I think Ichabod dies.  3 stars for Toad but a 1 star reduction for Ichabod = 2 stars.

Zac – I liked the fight in Toad Hall.  The headless horseman chase is my favorite part of the Ichabod story.  Ichabod makes it because it only glazed his hat like in dodgeball and it ricocheted off before exploding while he rode away. 3 stars.

KT – I liked the court scene in Mr Toad.  I liked all of Ichabod except the headless horseman chase.  I know Ichabod doesn’t die.  3 stars.

Guess we’re split regarding Ichabod’s survival/death.  What do you think?

The Barrsonage Review = 14 stars (out of 15)