Sunday Movie Review – Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Welcome to my Sunday Movie Review. Happy Halloween! And seeing as today is Halloween and wanting to keep with the theme here, I want to share my review of Practical Magic. This is the title of the book written by Alice Hoffman, an author whose books I always enjoy. As what often happens, the book is collecting dust in my Kindle, but I came across the movie version. What I found interesting were the comments I read on the book page on Amazon. . .

 

Whenever I watch a movie made after the book, I always go over to Amazon to read reviews to read opinions from reviews on whether the book was better than the movie or vice versa. Interestingly enough, this book has thousands of reviews, but the most poignant points on most all comments from those who’ve both read the book and seen the movie were that THE MOVIE was better than the book! Also, the movie strayed a bit from the original book, yet, many appreciated the movie version more. With that said, now I’m curious to the read the book. But for now, I’m sharing my review of the movie version.

 

The book and blurb:

 

 

*25th Anniversary Edition*—with an Introduction by the Author!

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of MagicMagic Lessons, and The Book of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

“Splendid…Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman’s] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”—Newsweek

“[A] delicious fantasy of witchcraft and love in a world where gardens smell of lemon verbena and happy endings are possible.”—Cosmopolitan

 

My 5 Star Movie Review:

 

This was a fun and entertaining romp of love, sisterhood and of course, magic.

 

Gillian and Sally are sisters. They were born from a line of witches. Their mother died of a broken heart when they were little girls, undoubtedly, because of the Owens family curse – any man to fall in love with an Owens woman would suffer a fatal curse.

 

Gillian and Sally went to live with their very witchy aunts as children. They both had ‘the gift’, only Sally wanted nothing to do with it until she was faced with a tragic situation, then all bets were off. Gillian was the wild child, free-spirt, and all she did was seem to get herself in trouble. But her clear psychic connection with her sister always alerted Sally when Gillian was in trouble.

 

Now, the present, Sally’s husband dies in an accident and spurs her to pack up her things and her own girls now and moves back into her aunts’ home. Meanwhile, Gillian had run off with some crazy guy who turns out to be a maniac wanting to be a vampire who ultimately becomes violent with her and it’s Sally to the rescue.

 

To get into all the shenanigans that happens because of Gillian, would be spoilers, but suffice it to say, the girls try a few methods to get rid of James, and Sally thinks she finally may have killed him, only to find this guy won’t die and tries to get inside Gillian’s body.

 

In the meantime, a good looking detective comes around looking for this James guy because of the evil he’s done to others. He can’t figure out whether or not the girls have killed him or not. All the while the detective gets swooped into the scene where James is trying to possess Gillian’s body, and with a bird’s eye view of the mayhem and magic going on, he realizes he’s dealing with witchcraft and not your average murder.

 

Throughout the action there becomes a strong attraction between Sally and the detective, but Sally is apprehensive to follow her feelings because she’s afraid of her mother’s curse taking another potential love away from her. Will she take another chance on love with her fear of the curse? I can’t tell you that. Will we see Sally, the ex- non willing participant for witchcraft form a coven of strangers to form an exorcism on Gillian? We surely will!

 

Despite my description, this book is anything but scary – oh, except maybe the possession part, kind of.. But it’s a fun movie to watch with plenty of love, magic and entertainment, oh, and some fine music in this film too!

 

 

I have two videos to share from this movie. One shows snippets of the film, the other is seven minutes long with actual scenes from the movie. A superb cast, starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock.

 

 

 

I’d recommend this fun, magical chickflick for a cozy Halloween watch.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Cruising Danger by Stevie Turner

My Sunday Book Review today is for Stevie Turner’s – Cruising Danger. I always enjoy Stevie’s books and had a hard time choosing which one to read this time round, as she has many books out and even though I haven’t yet had the chance to read them all, I try to get one in, in between other reads I enjoy. This one didn’t disappoint as Stevie takes us on a cruise adventure with Shirley and Pauline, two good friends who work together who decide to take a Caribbean cruise together – only things got off to a rocky start and the lovely cruise adventure turns into a possible murder mystery.

 

 

Blurb:

 

When Pauline Edmunds agrees to accompany her workmate Shirley on a Caribbean cruise, she is disappointed to be left alone almost at the start when Shirley starts a holiday romance with Joe Collins, a guitarist in a band working on board the ship. However, Pauline does not like the look of Joe, and tries to dissuade Shirley from continuing the affair. When Shirley cannot be found one morning, Pauline begins to investigate her friend’s disappearance, opening up a whole can of worms amidst a background of Caribbean scenery and sunshine.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

Two close friends who work together decide to take a cruise together. Pauline is married and Shirley is not. Pauline discovers in a short time after boarding the cruise ship that her friend Shirley has already cast her eye on one of the ship’s musical entertainers, Joe. Shirley winds up spending lots of time with Joe and Pauline becomes pissed that the friend she supposedly went on vacation with is barely ever with her, leaving her mostly alone, not showing up for meals or planned excursions.

 

Yes, Pauline is pretty angry, as would be most people in this situation, only, after a few days of Shirley being a no-show, Pauline becomes suspicious as to her friend’s whereabouts and begins her journey of investigations with the help of ship security and emails she sends to her husband Jim, asking him to help her out by sending him on search missions back home in the U.K. (no spoilers).

 

The plot thickens once we discover Pauline is not imagining things and a ‘mysterious’ ‘passenger’ befriends Pauline and in her despair over drinks, proceeds to tell Ken what has transpired with her investigation into her missing friend. This is the part where I began getting suspicious of Ken, but that’s just me. Of course I cannot let you know if I was wrong or right about Ken. And I’m not divulging what entails after Pauline’s suspicions are confirmed. Suffice it to say, Turner did a fantastic job with creating suspicion and bringing in some other colorful characters to add to the chaos. Is Shirley really missing? Is she dead? Did she ditch Pauline to rush back home from one of the ports when Joe dumped her? You will have to read this enjoyable page turner to find out.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Grams’ Christmas Baby by Barbara Silkstone

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m sharing a fun and delightful chick-littish, cozy mystery by Barbara Silkstone. Two years ago I got hooked on Barbara’s Cold Cream Series and I picked this one out of my Kindle to read just before Christmas as the theme was appropriate for the season. The dynamic duo of Olive and Lizzie have found a new matter to investigate – Grams’ Christmas Baby. Grandma may be 94 years of age and feisty, but how could she possibly think she could keep the baby that suddenly appeared on her doorstep?

 

 

Blurb:

Christmas Eve ~*~

Grams finds a baby on her doorstep—but what about the body in the bay?
Unarmed, can Olive keep the thugs away until the cops arrive?
Will Lizzy overcook the roasted faux goose?
Is WonderDog’s bite worse than his bark?
Will all this fit in one mini-read?

COLD CREAM MURDERS – series

When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s Nonna dies leaving her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.

But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.

Clean, wholesome and loaded with laughs!
Each book contains a recipe for homemade cosmetics!

 

My 5 Star Review:

I enjoyed this fun little romp again with the Lizzie and Olive’s adventures in this Christmas episode of the Cold Cream murders, along with the usual characters in her stories – Officer Kal, Lizzie’s feisty Grandma, Wonderdog and Puff. In this story, Olive and Lizzie are getting ready to close their magical skincare shop to enjoy Christmas Eve at Lizzie’s for the faux goose dinner Lizzie has been hinting about. But just as they’re about to wrap up with the last customer, Gram pulls up toting a baby she’d already named Herbie. Someone left Herbie on her doorstep. And then the fun ensues as Olive is determined to find out who would leave a baby on Gram’s doorstep, despite Gram thinking the baby was now hers.

Olive wants to get her friend Officer Kal involved but decides to wait a bit, being Christmas Eve and her concern that the baby would spend Christmas in child protective custody, besides, Kal was busy working on a case about a missing body in the bay. So in the meantime, while the regulars are congregated at Lizzie’s place well before faux goose dinner, Olive suggests Gram and the baby stay with them til the new mystery is solved – after all- where did that baby come from and it may not be safe for a 94 year old Gram to be left alone with this mysterious baby. But just in case a loving mother may have left the baby with Gram in desperation, Olive wants to go back to Gram’s and leave a coded note on the door.

They leave Herbie with Lizzie, and Olive and Gram head out with Lizzie’s Wonderdog to Gram’s to leave the note and for Gram to pick up a few items she’ll need for the overnight at Lizzie’s.  But life is never simple when Olive  once again finds herself walking into part of a mystery case.

Once they arrive at Gram’s, the story of fun heats up. It’s a good thing Lizzie knows how to prepare for danger as she’s found herself embroiled in quite a few of Officer Kal’s cases out of curiousity. Fully armed with hairspray, they approach the front door and an odd discovery leads them to believe there is someone inside Gram’s house. Who could it be? They enter and discover someone in the kitchen. After discovering the surprise guest isn’t dangerous, it isn’t long before the baddies are spotted outside the house.

If you think these women are left defenseless, let’s just say that there’s a lot more ‘homemade’ weaponry going on now in the kitchen. Foolishly, they’d left their purses in the car with their cellphones inside them. We can only hope too much time has passed and Lizzie at home gets suspicious and sends help after futile attempts at trying to call the ladies. But what happens until that happens? You can’t even imagine.

Silkstone has a gift for writing these believable characters who seem to always find themselves in a pickle and find the most creative ways to help them dodge danger. This is my 3rd book I’ve read in this series and I highly recommend a Cold Cream mystery fun read for a great escape.

 

©DGKaye2020

happy Christmas New year