Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

This summer has had its fair share of sequels to big money-making franchises.

And then there are those sequels that make you wonder why.

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I had not heard of a big out cry for a new Fast and Furious or Scream movie. And yet we got them.

In Hollywood, most popular actors have a good five-year run, longer if you can really act or a money-maker for the studios.

I wondered if some of the cast members in these two movies needed the visibility boost more than anything.

In Fast Five, Vin Diesel returns as Dom who now lives in Brazil with his sister, Mia, and her love, Brian, after they broke Dom out of prison. But (there is always a ‘but’) they have to deal with a local crime lord and a dogged FBI agent determined to bring them in.

They are offered a heist that would gain the three of them freedom and the chance to not worry about money ever again. the problem is the obstacles they have to face including bad law guys and their own rivalries. Dom and Brian still fight over who is the better driver.

I have to give Vin Diesel credit here. He took his five years and ran with it. He made some interesting movies and some bad movies. But he worked with what came his way and tried to be a better actor (with gorgeous abs). Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster – not so much.

Anyway, what this movie promises it delivers. Great car scenes, plenty of action, Dwayne Johnson being the good guy. Oh, then there are the smoldering scenes between Dom and Brian. Plus if you wait through the credits you will see snippets of where the series could go in the future – if they decide to make another Fast and Furious movie.

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Now the reason for Scream 4 truly eludes me unless you want to follow how the genre affects lives of the people left behind. This theme was explored a bit in the last Halloween movie that starred Jamie Lee Curtis and it only seems right that Scream 4 works at this angle as well.

The premise of the movie has us seeing Sydney ten years since the last murder. She has healed her life by writing memoirs and self-help books. Her latest tour ends in her home town of Woodsboro and her plan involves visiting family members. Dewey and Gale still live in town and Dewey has become the top law enforcement guy.

But then people start dying. And it is quite clear that it is Ghostface once more. Worse yet is the taunting Sydney receives with the killer letting her know she cannot save anyone. Who is the killer? Well, I am not telling although I do know who it is.

Wes Craven directed this movie so you know that means it will have more bodies and more gore than the previous Scream movies. And yet, there is an interesting theme about what you do with your life after living through the worst.

I am guessing there is a doctoral thesis in the making if one really wants to dig into that theme a little more.

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Oh and did I mention that these two movies are not meant for little kids? Well, I wouldn’t show them to my kids under the age of ten.

However, Disney is releasing African Cats this week. The documentary focuses on the stories of two cat families surviving in the decreasing wilds of Africa. This one is ok for the kids as hunts for food show more of the hunt and less of the kill. Added bonus? Samuel L. Jackson is the narrator of this documentary.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.