Family Movie Night 

When it comes to picking out a great movie for the family, right now is really a great time.

There are three movies that have been released in the last three weeks that are fun and watch-able.

Picture by Alvimann

 Too many times I have heard reviewers and movie fans say “It’s a family movie, what did you expect?”

I, personally, expect greatness as I do from any movie that is made. I don’t care if it is made for kids or for the whole family or a specific genre. I want every movie that I am paying money to see in a theater with popcorn and a ridiculously large drink to be worth all of that.

Want an example of a great family movie? How about The Incredibles, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Millions, or The Secret Garden. I am sure I am forgetting a few but these are the one in recent memory that proved a family movie does not have to be boring or rely on fart jokes to carry the movie.

Selena Gomez and Joey King in "Ramona and Beezus," picture from

So last night I am looking at the rack of rentals in my little store and I get excited because I see Ramona and Beezus has been put out on DVD. This is a fun little G-rated movie about a little girl with a lot of imagination and low impulse control. But like all good movies there are a number of things happening.

Dad (John Corbett) has lost his job, Aunt (Ginnifer Goodwin) is dealing with the reappearance of lost love (Josh Duhamel) and big sister, Beezus (Selena Gomez) doesn’t always appreciate her little sister’s exuberance. Following the books by Beverly Cleary somewhat, the movie dares to give us a slice of life in a family where everything is not peaches and cream but we love them anyway.

Hiccup and Night Fury in "How To Train Your Dragon," picture from

I looked down the rack and saw the movie we watched last week, How To Train Your Dragon. The story is about a young Viking boy looking to find approval from his father by learning to be the greatest dragon killer. But then he captures one of the fiercest of dragons and learns to respect the creatures.

This will of course cause conflict. Changing the viewpoints held for several generations tends to do it. But our hero continues with courage and intelligence. It is a fun movie with some spectacular flying sequences.

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in "The Karate Kid," Picture from

The last movie I would suggest for this week is The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. This is a remake from the 80’s classic about a young teen who learns karate and to believe in himself thanks to a man in his neighborhood. The lessons will prove beneficial in the great final battle of the movie.

Now the story is about a young boy who moves to China for his mother’s job. Bullies have singled him out. But when the school’s handyman, Mr. Han, begins to teach him Karate, the boy gains the ability and confidence to confront the bullies. It is a solid movie that tells a familiar story with actors who are taking a few steps outside of where we have seen them before. That is what makes for a good, watch-able movie worth the price of the ticket, popcorn and the unbelievably large drink.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964 or become my friend on Facebook.