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Member's Reviews

This Christmas, a review by Danae Cassandra

This Christmas
Year of Release: 2007
Directed By: Preston A. Whitmore
Starring: Delroy Lindo, Idris Alba, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown
Genre: Drama, Comedy

This Christmas there's no place like family. For the first time in years, all the Whitfield kids have come home to spend the holiday with Ma'Dere (Loretta Devine) and her boyfriend Joe (Delroy Lindo). And each has brought plenty of baggage along with them. As the lights are hung and the tree is trimmed, secrets are revealed and ties are tested. But as their lives converge again, they join together to rediscover and celebrate the wonderful gift of family.

My Thoughts:
This is a pretty typical Christmas movie - a family who haven't all been together for quite some time comes together for the holiday.  Each of them have their own problems, and maybe their relationships with the rest of the family are kinda dysfunctional.  After all, nobody knows how to push your buttons like your family.  But in the end, family is what really matters and family are the folks that have your back.  Whatever the problems are, they can be worked out.

Yes, that's pretty cliche, but this is a bit more realistic a family.  I don't come from a big family (opposite of it, in fact), but I could still relate to these people.  The children, and their mother, and even the bookies pursuing the eldest son and the smarmy cheating spouse, all have good points and bad points.  Yes, some of them have more good points and some more bad points.  Yes, there is a happy ending, but this is a Christmas movie about a family coming together.  There wasn't not going to be a happy ending.  

I think anyone looking for a family drama (with touches of comedy) would enjoy this film.  I think anyone would relate to it.  I think it's a shame that a lot of folks won't look at this film, and will simply relegate it to being a "black film" rather than simply a "film."  I would recommend this to anyone - unless you're looking for something to watch with little kids.  Teens, sure, no problem, but little kids will be bored pretty quick.

Bechdel Test: Pass*

Overall: 3.5/5

*barely, there's one conversation between the women about food, but that's it - all the other conversations are about men or their relationships with men

(From Yuletide 2013 on December 9th, 2013)

Member's Reviews

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous , a review by Dragonfire

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Sandra Bullock returns as Special Agent Gracie Hart in a funny, fabulous Miss Congeniality follow-up. This time, she's the bureau's new celebrity face, making the rounds of talk shows (her heroics at the Miss United States Beauty Pageant made her too famous for field work). She also has a new partner (Regina King), an agent with anger-management issues and a dim opinion of pampered Gracie. But when Gracie's friends (returning stars Heather Burns and William Shatner) are kidnapped, nothing can keep Special Agent GS13 out of the action. Look out world. The cover girl is going back undercover!

My Thoughts

I decided to watch Miss Congeniality again a few days ago - I already wrote about the movie here.  Since I picked up the sequel a few months ago, I decided to watch it.  The movie is entertaining, but not as good as the first movie.

The plot is somewhat simple, but it does work.  There is a reasonable explanation for why Gracie can't do field work and is sort of...pushed into being the public face of the FBI.  After doing that for almost a year, she has changed a bit and is more pampered and focused on appearance for a while.  That does cause conflict with her and her new partner.  That is probably intended to add some complication to the movie.  Most of what happens is predictable, though there are one or two small surprises. 

There is humor in the movie, though it isn't as funny as the first movie.  Some of what is done to add humor is sillier.  I do think a few things don't work that well, but the movie manages to be entertaining overall.  A new character, Joel, is very over the top.  He really seems to be an attempt to replace Michael Caine's character from the first movie.  Joel is sort of entertaining at times, but he is too blatant in many scenes.  I do think that Sandra Bullock did a good job with the part.

The movie has some issues and isn't as good as the first movie, but it is still entertaining overall.  Fans of the first movie might be disappointed with this one.

I did post a review on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater when it first came out.

Miss Congenaility 2: Armed and Fabulous

(From Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous on September 20th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Caroline in the City Marathon, a review by Tom

Caroline and the Bad Back (1995-10-12)
Writer: Bill Prady
Director: James Burrows
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Andy Lauer (Charlie), Jane Leeves (Daphne), David Hyde Pierce (Niles), Gerry McIntyre (Island Waiter)

Caroline hurts her back and because of painkillers she cannot finish her work on the current comic strip. Del and Richard try to finish the work for her.
As a tag-on we see Niles and Daphne from Frasier at the end, when they are reading this comic strip in the newspapers. I like those small crossover cameos :)
Otherwise an average episode. Not especially funny.

Caroline and the ATM (1995-10-19)
Writer: Mark Wilding, Jennifer Glickman
Director: Rod Daniel
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Lauren Graham (Shelly), Ileen Getz (Mrs. Banks), Jason Graae (Mr. Green), Bill Pugin (Mr. Fleming)

Richard wants to get rid of his clingy girlfriend (Lauren Graham) by telling her, he is allergic to her doc.
Caroline has trouble with the ATM machine and for proof she has to watch the security tape of the machine with the bank employees. Problem is, that she picked her nose at the ATM machine not knowing that she was being recorded.

A standard episode. Nothing special.

Caroline and the Folks (1995-11-02)
Writer: Fred Barron, Marco Pennette
Director: James Burrows
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Andy Lauer (Charlie), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing), Jonathan Silverman (Jonathan Eliot), Constance Towers (Barbara), Tom La Grua (Remo), John Mariano (Johnny), Lou Felder (Don), Jeff Garvin (Scott), Elisa Heinsohn (Stephanie)

Caroline is treading meeting the parents of her boyfriend Del.

Chandler from Friends has a small cameo in this episode. As a matter of fact, Caroline also had a small cameo in a Friends episode around the same time. I think it was the episode "The One with the Baby on the Bus"

(From Caroline in the City Marathon on September 14th, 2008)