Double Feature: Holiday in the Wild (2019) & The Knight Before Christmas (2019)

And we’re off! Officially in the Christmas double features phase with some holiday movies and such. The first one, Holiday in the Wild is more set passing through Christmas and is more about a literal holiday vacation instead of actual holiday but its paired with The Knight Before Christmas because the first movie is playing on TV in this one. Its a very Netflix movies promo experience in the second film with Holiday Calender also getting a scene playing as well.

Holiday in the Wild (2019)

Holiday in the Wild

Director: Ernie Barbarash

Cast: Kristin Davis, Rob Lowe, Fezile Mpela, John Owen Lowe, Colin Moss

Jilted by her husband on the eve of embarking on an African safari, a woman travels to the continent alone where she meets an elephant conservationist. – IMDB

Holiday in the Wild isn’t exactly a Christmas holiday movie but I thought it was so it ended up being part of the line-up. Luckily, it did have some overlapping Christmas scenes in Africa. These types of Hallmark style movies that Netflix is tackling in their originals usually is something of a hit and miss deal. Holiday in the Wild is a bit awkward to watch. Its definitely featuring an older couple and probably aiming to get the more mature audience than its normal audience. For that, its also a lot more serious and drama oriented with some jokes here and there. The script is a bit all over the place but with the right heart of focusing not only on romance between the characters Derek and Kate but also on the importance of the conservation work for elephants. Some people choose to bring awareness through documentaries (like Virunga) and they choose to deliver it this way. It works all the same and its the good intentions that matter.

The best parts of the film actually are with the elephant conservation and this whole location which is rarely used. I think the last time I saw anything about animals and Africa was maybe in the TV series Zoo and I can’t remember if that was Africa or not. Point being, the exotic location does this movie some wonders and it is delivering an honorable message which they take the effort to share some statistics at the end of the movie. There are a lot of flaws in the romance and some really bad dialogue but with what they had, Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis had some decent chemistry but its easy to feel like the movie wasn’t really about them and it wasn’t about family but more about Kate finding her way back to being herself and living the life that she wants.

The Knight Before Christmas (2019)

The Knight Before Christmas

Director: Monika Mitchell

Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Whitehouse, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ella Kenion, Isabella Franca

A medieval English knight is magically transported to the present day where he falls for a high school science teacher who is disillusioned by love. – IMDB

The Knight Before Christmas is something of a fish out of water story and for anyone thats been here for a while, you know that I’m a sucker for those types of stories because they can bring in a ton of humor. Humor isn’t the same for everyone but for me, it works for me. The Knight Before Christmas actually surprised me quite a bit but that might be because I sometimes wonder about Vanessa Hudgens movies. I don’t know why I do it because a lot of stuff that I’ve seen her do has been pretty good.

With that said, a lot of the normal holiday romance Hallmark-like films that Netflix has been getting on does have some of the normal trademarks that a lot of people don’t like which is cringe-worthy dialogue and fairly predictable and formulaic story. This movie definitely suffers from some rather subpar dialogue and its not hard to imagine where things end up but it has this positivity to the Christmas message that its trying to deliver and also it has some nice chemistry and romantic elements between Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse’s characters, Brooke and Cole.

There are some really nice Christmas sets here whether its the winter and snowy weather or the whole Christmas decor inside and outside the house along  with the Christmas village and the Christmas decorating and baking, etc. Its a movie that sets its Christmas setting very well and uses it in a nice way with two pretty decent performances from both Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse.

Plus, Netflix is taking this year’s holiday films to really cross-promote all its projects especially with this one as it shows movies playing on Netflix for the characters like last year’s The Holiday Calendar (review) and the movie we reviewed above, Holiday in the Wild. At the same time, it mentions A Christmas Prince’s kingdom, Aldovia and how the parents went to get ornament that they have there to tie in the universe together. Its pretty neat to see Netflix as such a giant that it can link its projects together like this. They just now need to remember to not mesh The Knight Before Christmas’s sequel if they have one to vacation in Belgravia where Vanessa Hudgens’ character is now Queen since the events of last year’s The Princess Switch (review).

On that note, I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel for The Knight Before Christmas or maybe its already hinted at with how they did the post-credits scene..

That’s it for this first Christmas Double Feature!
Have you caught up with these new Netflix holiday movies?

A Word A Week Challenge: Dawn

Sue @ A Word in Your Ear landed on the word DAWN in her dictionary this week.  I spent the whole week trying to wake up at dawn to snap pictures, but its been crazy and the stress is causing funky nights so I haven’t been able to do it.  After some debate I had planned to wait for Saturday morning and head out to do an early sunrise shot to capture the moments of dawn, but forecast has it that it’ll be CRAZY COLD and probably windy…its not excuses…I promise! I can’t get sick on the last week of massive gigantic deadline at work.

I have been trying to not use old pictures, but this is the first sunrise I ever saw and it was in Egypt.  You know what time I was up at? 2:45am for a 3:30am departure to Abu Simbel on bus with police escorts! At least on the way, while most people were sleeping, I was fully alert to capture the sunrise…something I otherwise would’ve slept through 😉



Sunrise on the desert in Egypt

Sunrise on the desert in Egypt

The bus windows had me scrambling to get the right functions to take good pictures.  Thats why some angles are a bit funky.

The aftermath of Egypt didn’t really feel like a vacation, because I almost needed a vacation afterwards to recuperate because we had to wake up the next morning at some crazy hour like 5am or something.  Both my mom and I decided that it would be a good idea to head up on the upper deck of the cruise ship to see the sunrise…

Was it ever breathtaking!!!


The reflection of the sunrise in the Nile River over the distant desert.  Trees lining appearing as the sun goes up. This was an amazing moment.  One of the most memorable moments 🙂 This made early morning wake ups on vacation so worth it!

A Word a Week Challenge: Different

The blog A Word in Your Ear has initiated a new challenge called A Word A Week Challenge.  A Word a Week is essentially where she opens her dictionary and chooses a word and then it could be a photo, story, poem to describe it in each person’s way.

I’m taking this as a photo challenge since I don’t seem to post as much other than the Weekly Photo Challenges.  So here’s to a new challenge to work out.

I think the place that I went to first time and gave me a whole new view on the world and its culture was Egypt, check it out:


Carvings on the wall at Kom Ombo and I mean every single wall in the temples at it.

On a horse carriage ride, we went through the alleyways of Edfu to go to the Edfu temple

Living in Canada, we forget about the living conditions outside.  I knew that we were pampered but I cannot imagine myself living there.

In North America, we usually use cows, ox, horses to do the hard work but in Egypt, its donkeys.  I even saw a man riding one.

This is the Old Citadel.  Egypt has a different religion, naturally the sacred building is different.

That was the quick tour of Egypt through my camera.

In Egypt, it was a culture shock.  Some things that happened I was not able to capture.

It was definitely an eye-opener.