Tag Archive: Jennifer Garner


New Year’s Again

Image from IMDb.cm

Image from IMDb.cm

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

New Year’s Day always brings out the resolution list for me. Being that it is my birthday as well, it seems like a doubly good reason to set goals for the coming year.

The most popular ones are counted as quitting smoking and losing weight. In the last few years, I vowed to eat healthier and exercise more which had lead to a drop of about 40+ lbs. It wasn’t easy, took longer than I thought it would and is totally worth it.

I always vow to write more, to see more movies, and to spend more time with my family.

One of the movies I was finally able to watch this past week is about making change, it is about hope when there seems to be none. When my daughter saw that The Odd Life of Timothy Green was actually in, she grabbed it for our movie night. This is a movie I would watch with tweens and older. I do not think many children under the age of 10 would want to watch this movie because the pacing is too slow for them.

The story is about a couple who have tried nearly every way possible to have a child. Finally they have been given the news that there is nothing more the doctors can do, they are not going to have a child the old fashioned way.

So that night, in the midst of their disappointment and despair, Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) begins to write his idealistic aspects of the child he is never going to have. His wife, Cindy (Jennifer Garner), joins him in the exercise. Then they put the pieces of paper in a box and bury it in a garden, making the hardest resolution of all. They say goodbye to their dream of having a child.

Later that night, a thundering storm comes through. The couple wake up, hearing a loud noise downstairs. While getting everything settled back into place is when they discover Timothy. A nine-year-old boy has suddenly appeared in their house. He has leaves on his ankles and there is a hole in the garden where the box was planted.

What can they do but what they do which is to love him. They accept him in their family and start being parents. Interestingly enough, they learn the hardest lesson of parenting during the short time Timothy is in their life. As you can imagine there is a sad part of this movie and a happier ending. It is a movie where fairy tale endings can and do happen.

More than that, Timothy Green leaves us feeling hopeful, he inspires the American can-do spirit without the meanness. The boy reminds his adopted parents and us that anything is possible. While the violent movies as of late show us one way to solve our problems, it is not practical nor morally correct to take a machine gun to places that anger us. Instead, this movie encourages us to think of new ways to solve our problems – whether it is making a different pencil or becoming a parent.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Making Do

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

One of the problems of renting movies from the store in town is that the movie I want to see is not always back and ready when I am ready.

Case in point, Sunday I was ready to watch The Odd Life of Timothy Green starring Jennifer Gardner and Joel Eddgerton.

I wanted to watch a life re-affirming movie, one that reminds me a of the joys that are mixed in with all of the sorrows.  The story is about a childless couple who write down all of the aspects of their dream child that they have not been able to conceive. Then they take the papers, put them in a box and bury the dream in the back yard. Imagine their surprise when a child comes from that spot who slowly reveals himself to be all of the things they dreamed. That was the movie I was hoping to see.

What I saw instead was the movie box with an empty hook for the tag.

Someone had beat me to the movie, someone was enjoying it but I was not.

Bummer.

That is when I went with my second choice, Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp.

I had put this movie on my list of safe scares. Trust me, there are things here to scare a little kid but not a tweener or anyone older.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

A re-vamp of the 1960s soap opera, this movie brings Barnabas Collins (Depp) back to his mansion in Maine after being trapped for nearly 200 years. His goal is to bring greatness back to his surviving family members. Elizabeth Collins (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the strong matriarch raising her daughter while Roger (Jonny Lee Miller) is the weak willed patriarch more interested in lifting money than making it. Nor is he interested in his son, David,  who misses the mother who died at sea.

The family appears to be plagued by a curse. Their livelihood has failed, they are barely keeping the manor together. Elizabeth hires a new nanny for David who fits in perfectly, maybe too perfectly. But the curse is really a series of problems caused by vengeful former lover of Barnabas who has lived as long as he has and worked to create a fishing empire.

What works is Johnny Depp as Barnabas. He delivers lines well and remains true to the character, with the exception of one or two scenes that are entertaining but do not work. However, when he is paired with Pfeiffer the air crackles and pops. They share the same goal and intensity of saving the family. There are hidden layers for nearly every character that makes you want to keep watching.

However, I find there are some glaring problems with big holes in the plot and characters that do not stay true to themselves. I wanted more Victoria, David and Liz, less Doctor Hoffman. I wanted more gothic atmosphere and less killing.

For me this movie was a miss while my 15-year-old thought it was a hit. Perhaps it is a case of great style, little substance.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

It has been hot. Terribly hot, unbearably hot.

 

I think I have lost five founds without even trying. People see me walking my dog and wonder – out loud – about my sanity.

 

I wonder as well. But when I come home from work, the dog jumps on me and begs for his walk. So I hose him down before we go and then we take an abbreviated walk.

 

When we get back, we are thirsty. I am ready to be under the sprinkler if it is running.

 

When it is this hot, I am ready for a silly and ridiculous movie. I want a movie that is going to make me giggle and laugh and forget how hot I am feeling.

 

Movie poster image from IMDB.com

A few weeks ago, Arthur came to the home market. This re-make of the Dudley Moore movie follows the adventures of a very rich man who remains child-like in his daily life. Russell Brand stars as Arthur in a winning manner. You come to understand why he acts the way he does with his constant attention seeking behavior.

 

But then his mother demands he marry Jennifer Garner, a woman from a wealthy family but a bit driven and coarse. In the meantime, he meets the wonderful unlicensed-tour guide, Greta Gerwig, and falls in love with the unpublished children’s author. There to catch him in every bad situation and save him is his faithful nanny, Helen Mirren.

 

This is a sweet movie with funny moments. There are the sad moments and truthful moments and moments that make you shake your head. The movie rating of PG-13 is there for sexual situations, drug references, alcohol use throughout and language. I would not watch this movie with young children around but it is fine for a date night at home.

 

Movie poster from IMDb.com

One movie that I love for kids that is silly and fun is The Jungle Book from 1967. There are so many good songs that make you want to dance and jiggle around the house. The animation is incredibly dense and beautiful, which pulls you in to the movie even more.

 

The movie also has some great performers. Phil Harris plays the lovable slacker bear, Baloo. Louis Prima gives voice to King Louie of the Apes. George Sanders is the silky smooth danger that is Shere Khan the Tiger. Sterling Holloway, also known as the voice of Winnie the Pooh, plays Kaa the snake.

 

Movie poster from IMDb.com

Finally, the best silly and incredibly funny movie out there is Airplane. This movie spoofs every disaster movie and gets comedic performances from people you would never expect such as Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Billingsley. This movie came out in 1980 and is on every list I have ever seen for best comedic movies ever made. It is suited for those who are in their teens and up due to some sexual situations and drug references.  

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Hearts Afire

Family Movie Night

Are you ready for Monday?

It is Valentine’s Day and it means being willing to give a little on the part of the giver. That the receiver must be willing to be gracious is the other half of the deal.

Picture by Julie Rocks

I once worked for a woman whose husband sent the best roses to her and treated her like a queen on that day. Perhaps that gas station rose is a good option if you don’t have much in the ‘moula’ department. But I would follow it up with a nice home-cooked meal and her favorite movie while snuggling on the couch.

So do I have any suggestions for what you should get?

I do!

My favorite, favorite movie for Valentine’s Day is the lovely and preposterous Return To Me starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. He is a widower who lost his wife in a tragic car accident in the past year. She is a heart transplant survivor who recently celebrated a year with her new heart.

They fall crazy in love but she is afraid to tell him about her health condition because she does not want to be treated like a china doll. And then she does but not without a major complication. If you watch this movie, take in all of the great performance by Carroll O’Conner, Bonnie Hunt, Jim Belushi, Robert Loggia and David Alan Grier. You will laugh and cry and feel great once this movie directed by Chicagoan Bonnie Hunt is over.

If you want something a little newer, you can always check out Valentine’s Day directed by Gary Marshall and starring a whole slew of gorgeous actors. The action seems to circle around the activities of a flower shop owned by Ashton Kutcher that is very busy. 

Slowly stories spiral out, we figure out the connections and wonder at the revelations. Some will seem obvious while others will gob smack you. It is an enjoyable movie that has some lovely moments with actors that have worked with Marshall in one film or another. Plus, I loved the anti-love party held by the Jessica Biel character.

Maybe this year, it is you and the kids. You want something sweet and something the kids will like. I was recently reminded about Second Hand Lions starring Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.

Picture by Earl 53

Joel Haley Osment is their young grand-nephew who is dropped off with them one day by his mother. When she is coming back in unknown but the uncles decide to teach the boy a few lessons about living. And then they tell him stories about a never-ending love.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.

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