Atlantis is a seriously under-rated movie. Milo Thatch is a treasure. And look! He found the TARDIS!
Today we’re talking about the made for TV movie from 1980 The Ghosts of Buxley Hall.
The story is pretty simple, but feels like it lacks depth. We don’t really get to know much about the characters backstories or motivations, beyond the ghosts. Even the “In Your Face” feminist story line feels a little flat.
It is however a nice linear story that follows through with its promises and foreshadowing.
This has all the stereotypes but made more human than I expected. The military man, the independent woman, the troubled boy, the troubled girl, the tough guy who doesn’t like kids, the bully, and the mad aunt who wants money.
They all have tender moments where their human side is shown. Unfortunately the cast is much too big for the movie. It means we are constantly moved between the kid’s story, the adult’s story, and the ghosts. Sometimes forgetting about one of the others.
The dialogue is pure 80’s and pure cheese. Most of the best lines are given by the Sargent or the general’s wife.
Visuals and Music
This movie might have been about ghosts but it could have seriously used some colour. The shots however are very well designed and clean. Both the music and the visuals are effective if not inspired.
This is a fun movie. You know everything will end well and you get a combination ghost story, coming of age, and boarding school story.
This is a fun fluffy movie that is now 40 years old and is showing it’s age. It’s not offensive but it’s definitely shallower than it could be. However, it is a lot of fun.
Final Score: 2.5 Stars
Hello My Mythical Brood,
We recently came back from a two week vacation in Florida. We rented a house, with Grannie and Granddad, and visited Disney World, A LOT.
Pegasus, you started teething not long before and kept us up at night. (Mum and I mostly.) You fell asleep on rides and mostly seemed confused as to why we were standing around and not letting you crawl. When you weren’t annoyed you spent the time smiling at people and making their hearts melt. You have a way of looking at people, with your big blue eyes, like you’re judging them and then releasing a massive smile. It makes anyone caught by it ridiculously happy.
Dragon, you will probably not remember this trip. At 3 you’re still very young, but if you do I hope you remember the joy and excitement you felt on the rides. The first time you took a rollercoaster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the fireworks started as we were climbing. It was beautiful. I’ll always remember how you would get super excited to meet a character and then completely freeze, and the smile you would have every time you saw something exciting.
The two of you had your ups and downs (Same with us). Some days were harder then others but you did great being dragged around the parks and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
I also hope you remember the quieter times at the house talking and playing with Grannie and Granddad. Without them, this trip would have been impossible. They are truly remarkable helping with you and everything else required in a big trip. We don’t always agree on everything, but I wouldn’t have wanted to take this or any Disney trip without them.
In the end, Pegasus and I got a cold but years from now I hope we’ll remember the good things.
I had a wonderful time with you, Mum, Grannie, and Granddad.
I love you both very much,
Today we’re talking about the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty.
This is a classic. It’s now 61 years old and the 16th animated feature by Disney.
The story is pretty standard fairy tale with a little less death, rape, and horror in it than Grimm liked. A lot of the hour and seventeen minutes is spent of the set up to the big song number in the woods.
Other than some cringe-inducing grabbyness on Phillip’s side and some alcohol jokes that haven’t aged well, it held up pretty well.
The major difference with it and the more modern films is how simple the story is. Something that can be said about a lot of 1950 movies, not just the animated ones.
Poor Aurora had little to no choices in the movie. She was literally tossed around by the forces of fate and faerie.
Phillip was a nice strong hero but also felt young and less 1400 more 1950’s, which I suppose was the point.
The fathers, as is usual, were useless; and Aurora’s mother had almost no part.
Maleficent was a lonely, angry witch who could have used more motivation.
On average, the dialogue was simple, easy to understand and very forgettable. Maleficent didn’t need to call herself the Mistress of Evil for us to know she was the baddie, but she did.
The narration at the beginning felt over exposition-y and could have been done in dialogue or visually instead.
Visuals and Music
This was an absolutely gorgeous movie. Colourful, clean lines, no choppiness in animation. There are plenty of movies that don’t look half as good that came out in the past 10 years. The change in colour with the change in light source was beautiful, if a little over done.
The music was fantastic and catchy. If you don’t get Once Upon a Dream stuck in your head I’ll be surprised… and a little jealous.
This movie didn’t drag and if I found myself annoyed at the characters, there was always something visually stunning to look at. I had fun the entire time and wasn’t even tempted to look at my phone.
Overall, the movie was fun and beautiful. Some of the jokes fall flat after 60+ years but I didn’t need to pause and talk to my kids about what terrible thing was going on.
Final Score: 3 Stars
I’m certain that this topic could be discussed in WAY greater detail. A whole dissertation’s worth, in fact. However, I don’t have that kind of time and I’m not getting a PhD afterwards. Feel free to continue the comments.
We watched Let it Snow on Netflix a couple weeks ago. (Super cute movie) In this movie, there is a lesbian relationship. I don’t think it’s spoilers to say that the girls kiss at some point during the movie. Our 3 year old daughter was very confused by this kiss. “Where’s the boy?” she kept asking. It took us a few tries to figure out what she was getting at. Apparently we’ve been watching too many Disney movies, because to her, relationships were a boy and a girl. I say were, because as soon as the movie was over, we corrected her. She didn’t believe us. So we pulled out a book that we haven’t read to her in a while (apparently). Promised Land. It’s a typical fairytale romance, with just the one slight change. The romantic leads are two men. She believed us after that, thankfully.
I’m not saying that Disney movies (or any other movie or book) is wrong to portray heterosexual relationships. Go for it.
But I’d like some diversity, please.
I’d like, for once, for a Christmas movie to have two men play the romantic leads. And I DON’T want the movie to be about them “finding themselves” or “coming out to the family” or any other trope.
I want the typical romantic movie. One goes home for Christmas to his family from the big city. Oh look, the guy he had a crush on is still super hot. Hijinks ensue. Due to Christmas magic, they end up together. You know, the Christmas movie we usually get on Hallmark channel.
And I know the perfect book to adapt. Faux Ho Ho, by ‘Nathan Burgoine, has ALL my favourite tropes. They were roommates, check. Fake relationship, check. There was only one bed, check.
So come on, Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime! I know the book was only released yesterday, but why haven’t you made a movie yet??
I want my children to grow up with movies and books that include all types of relationships. Gay, lesbian, poly, ace, you name it, I want it. And please use the same tropes as for the het relationships.
Think of all the new movies you could make!
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Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Since I first moved out on my own I have had a form of cable tv. That’s roughtly 15 years now. I did the Canadian Big 3 Dance every couple of years. (That’s where you call and complain to get a better deal, threaten to leave, cancel, and finally get another okay deal.)
In February this year, our TV, Internet, and home phone went from $98 a month to $195. I started the dance, but after 5 phone calls, I got frustrated. There had to be a better way. Right?
So I did a bunch of research, found alternatives and told Rogers/Bell/Telus that I didn’t need them.
We cancelled this and now just use our cellphones like normal Millennials.
Unfortunately, I was stuck staying with Bell for the next 2 years with our cells. We’ll see what happens in 2021.
Total monthly cost: $0
It feels like everyone and their elderly relatives is selling internet plans. From Koodo, to Cogeco, and Teksavvy.
I’d heard good things about Teksavvy, but they are built like the big three and frankly I’m sick of it all.
So I found and subscribed to Start.ca. They have no deals, not packages, no bullshit. For $60 a month we have 100mbs downloads and that’s great for us. Their customer service is quite possibly the fastest and the nicest I’ve ever dealt with.
Total monthly cost: $60
This was the part that worried me the most. I love television. I watch a lot of it. We decided to go with a 2 pronged alternative. Streaming and Over the Air.
For hardware we settled on an Nvidia Shield TV. It is fantastic. Runs extremely well and is officially updated with Google TV. My second option would have been a Roku.
The Shield also has apps for everything we wanted. You can get newer ones for $199-300. We bought ours used for $200 on Amazon.
This is a tricky one because there are a lot of streaming services and you can easily find yourself paying too much.
We went with a lot more than we should but after a year we’ll decide what we use and what to get rid of. We’re saving some money by sharing the accounts with family.
- Crave: 8.32 a month (99.90 a year)
- Netflix: 5.66 a month (16.99 shared)
- Disney+: 2.75 a month (89 a year shared)
- CBC Gem: Free
- Hoopla: Free attached to your library card
- Amazon Prime: 6.66 a month (80 a year)
We used Prime for our diaper subscription where it saves us almost 10 a month in diaper costs so we’d have it no matter what.
Total monthly cost: $24.39
Over the Air
Depending on where you live, you can get dozens of channels in HD over the air. You just need an antenna. Most TVs have tuners in them.
I wanted to go one step further. We have 2 kids and watching live tv is awesome but not easy. We needed a video recorder.
I discovered Tablo makes some impressive video recorders for over the air. We bought a refurbished one and it cost us $90. Now the thing about this and all other OTA recorders is that they make their money by selling you a subscription to their TV guide. You can have 1 day free but it’s 69.90 a year for a full guide with 14 days of data.
The great thing about this is that you don’t hook it up to your TV; instead you connect through an app and watch from there. You can have multiple people watching TV or recordings and even enable watching away from home.
The company is based in Ottawa which is great.
Quick story… My daughter accidentally put a blanket on the first one and it died a horrible heat death. The company replaced it and I had a great experience with the customer support.
Antenna and installation
I bought a cheap, well reviewed antenna for $50 on sale. It’s an outdoor antenna. At first we got 8 channels with it mounted in our garage. I was greedy and wanted more.
I contacted Pinnacle Engineering Services and Doug patiently walked me through all my questions. In the end, the antenna was mounted on the roof and cost us $285 for installation.
Doug installed everything and was a really nice guy. Highly recommend their services.
I now get 14 crystal clear HD channels. I’m told if you’re closer to the US you can get some of their networks too.
We now have a plethora of streaming and can watch almost any network TV show and it costs us roughly $90 a month ($24 for streaming, $6 for Tablo guide, and $60 for internet.)
I do miss HGTV, the Food network, and watching the Weather Network live but that’s pretty small. I’ve also considered getting Stack TV ($12.99) through prime that gives access to Showcase, HGTV, Food, History, and a few other networks.
Now the monthly cost is darn great, but there were a lot of start up costs for a total of $624 ($200 for Shield, $50 for Antenna, $89 for Tablo, and $285 for installation.)
The way I look at it, we’re saving $50-$100 dollars a month, so the $624 will be worth it in within a year.
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.
Enjoy your TV,
We recently introduced the classic Disney movie Hocus Pocus to our 3yo Dragon. She loved it. Obviously.
But it got me thinking…why haven’t I written a post about visiting the sets of Hocus Pocus yet?
Most of the movie was set on a sound stage (kinda hard to rig a flying witch in the real world, I guess!) but the outdoor, daytime sets were in Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts.
With the 25th Anniversary of Hocus Pocus last year, the cities saw an up-tick of Halloween tourists, happy to see the outsides (and some insides) of buildings that made up part of their favourite Halloween movie.
You can too!
You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. firstname.lastname@example.org