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A Christmas Story (1983)
The funniest, most touching family Christmas film of ALL time!
I lived the life of Ralphie! Even though I'm a girl and was born in the late seventies, my Christmases were much the same as Ralphie's.
From playing Santa on Christmas morning to sipping my Dad's Christmas cocktail to visiting Santa at the department store, I lived the very same Christmas memories. This movie brings out the true essence of Christmas happiness. Everyone, young and old, can relive the magic of being a child.
Ralphie's vibrant imagination and inventiveness in his ploys to seduce his parents into buying him the ultimate gift are "pinch-his-chubby-cheeks" adorable. And Randy...need I say anything?? He is the perfect picture of the baby brother!
This movie is universal in its appeal to audiences of all ages, race, and nationalities. My husband, who grew up in Lebanon and who's first language is Arabic, even knew the famous "oh fudge" line when I first played this movie for him here in the States.
I get giddy every time I sit down to watch this movie. Curling up with a warm cup of cider in front of the fireplace, wrapping Christmas presents, making Christmas cookies, or writing a letter to Santa Claus...those are all perfect times to watch this classic family film. This has been and always will be my all-time favorite Christmas film.
Alice in Wonderland (1985)
Ah, to be Alice, slipping through the Looking Glass to be the Princess of our Imaginations...
I wanted to be Alice. I wanted to wear cute little dresses and shiny black patent leather shoes. I wanted to dance with a caterpillar and float down a river of my own tears!!
This movie combines colors, music, imagery, and a lively cast to create the perfect children's movie. Every single cast member shone in their own light. Ann Jillian and Sammy Davis Jr. were my favorites!!
I can't imagine a film where the director spent more time focusing on the visual "smorgasbord" of colors and images!! The songs were easy to sing to, and Alice presented a lovely little girl who just wanted to be grown-up.
I hope that, someday, they replay this movie so that the children of the world can fall in love all over again with their imaginations. Anything they create today, anything they create TOMORROW will never even come close to the magic of this movie. This should be right up there with "The Wizard of Oz" in the children's movie section of your local video store.
A truly funny, romantic film with all the trimmings!
Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah supported by Eugene Levy and John Candy are hilariously divine!!! This film spawns an era of greats!! The late John Candy would be my favorite as big brother Freddy. He lovingly gives his advice to Tom Hanks' character in a way that only a pervert could love!
Eugene Levy, the pesky scientist-turned-mermaid-seeker, is funny and clever in his antics. He tries in vain to prove that Daryl Hannah (Madison) is a mermaid. He ends up scoring a broken arm, busted tooth, and a damaged reputation.
I would have loved to see a "Splash II", but considering that it would all have to be filmed underwater, I don't think anyone would give it a try.
Tom has gone on to make it big with such greats as "Saving Private Ryan", "Forest Gump", and "That Thing You Do" but I still consider his "debut" to be "Splash". He is the greatest.
Children of the Corn (1984)
Spooky, thought-evoking revelation into the dark world of the occult.
I saw this film sitting on my Dad's lap when I was about seven years old. (I was a horror film fanatic from a very early age on.) We used to sit up watching late night scary movies while my Mom went to her ceramics classes.
Dad and I loved this movie. There is no sex or nudity in this film. Even though the images are pretty graphic, if your older children are mature enough to handle a little fright, this should be okay for them. Besides, since the children are the "bad guys", your kids should be pretty happy!!
My favorite actors in the film are the two star children (Joby and Sarah). They really make the film eerie with their innocence and sadness over losing their families. Malachi would be the scariest character. Even the way the other children in the movie gasp when they hear his name makes me shudder. I would not want to face him either!! Another aspect that makes this film so scary is the music. The director adds clips at just the right moments but doesn't forget to leave ample silence. There is nothing greater to add to the suspense than a good dose of silent screen. Then all your senses get a jolt at once when the big horror scene comes alive.
The most suspenseful scene is when the boy stumbles out onto the highway clutching his sliced throat. It's a real hair raiser!! But, without revealing too much, I guess I will close by saying that this is by far one of the best horror films I have ever seen. A little strange, but, then again, this IS a Stephen King film. Need I say more??
Faces of Death (1978)
Gory, bloody, graphic, yuck, yuck, YUCK!! (but you'll still want to watch!)
I can't remember a time when I've felt so afraid to die!! This movie (the first of a series) shows you what you've always been frightened to see. You're staring into the faces of the condemned. You're witnessing the last moments that others will ever spend on this planet. You're seeing the horror, terror, and insane fear that strikes without warning as you are about to die.
Yet, after watching, there is a strange feeling. I walked around for two days unable to erase the images from my mind. I saw this film by accident (my brother and a friend were watching it, I walked in thinking it was "Children of the Corn" and somehow stayed glued to the couch until the last credits rolled).
I never felt nauseous. The only emotion I had was one that I had never TRULY felt before...empathy. I felt sickened for the families of the people who I was watching. I felt like crying because there was nothing I could do. It was just a movie. What I was watching had been done years before. For those people whose faces appeared on the screen, peace had finally come. But me...I would never be the same again.
I saw that movie about ten years ago. To this day, I still see some of the scenes in my mind, particularly when I hear the evening news or see a car accident. For anyone considering renting it, you will be forever changed after watching. It is really quite unlike anything you will ever see.
For the Love of Benji (1977)
Hug your puppy tightly and grab some hankies!!
This is the ultimate family movie!! Benji, Super Dog extraordinaire, makes a howling appearance in this Ameri/Greek movie.
The family goes to vacation with their two dogs in Greece. Along the way, Benji gets implanted with a secret code by the evil Chandler Dietrich. Chandler befriends the family knowing that, without their trust and friendship, he won't be able to smuggle Benji away from them at the right time. What Chandler doesn't plan on is Benji getting lost en-route to Crete!!
Anyway, the film goes on sharing the antics of this tiny little dog-without-a-breed and casts him as a hero. To find out what happens to Benji and his adorable family, you'll just have to watch!
Benji movies are so much fun for children. If you have a pet in the family, whether a dog, cat, bird or hamster, your children are guaranteed to appreciate them more after seeing this film. There is no nudity, no hard-core language (in fact no swearing at all that I can remember), no violence, and no yucky stuff. It is a class A children's movie. Enjoy it with some popcorn and with Fido sitting close at hand!!
Mary Poppins (1964)
Delightfully sweet, romantic, and magical all in one.
This movie always makes me giggle with childish glee. I always wanted to have my own tea party on the ceiling or jump into a rousing painting of a carousel. Julie Andrews sparkles in this film/musical as she does in all her performances. However, I guess my most vibrant memories are of the children, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber. They portray such innocence and mischief whether on purpose or just by their personable dispositions.
I'm no Roger Ebert, but two enthusiastic thumbs up!!!!