Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

It was one of those typical weekends in a small town.

Friday night was the band concert at the high school. Saturday was errands, 5the-8th grade solo and ensemble contest, and a Pork Chop supper. Sunday was church and the big Sunday meal at the house.

church dinnerI was once asked if life was slower after we moved from the city to a small town. While I might have spent more time in traffic congestion, the thing that did not change was how busy our lives were/are with kid activities. There is always something going on, some place to go or special event to mark on the calendar.

Life can be as busy or as slow as you make it and it doesn’t matter where you live. Small towns have their advantages and, obviously, I like that. Our kids have great comfort here and that it important.

This past weekend was everything I want out of life. It was perfect, it was quiet at times and active at others. Some might have seen it as perfectly boring while others might have felt it was way too busy. Typical small town life. Whatever that might mean to you.

And that is what this week’s movie, American Ultra, tries to depict at first, the life of a small town stoner guy and his girlfriend. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, this is a movie that is meant for older teens and adults. There is plenty of swearing, lots of violent action, and a ton of death. Cartoon action this is not. The R rating is there, not for ‘real’ but for blood, gore, and swearing that some folks mat not want to deal with seeing or hearing.

american-ultra-posterMike and Phoebe can never leave the town because he gets anxiety attacks every time he tries. And some days he worries that he is holding Phoebe, his girlfriend, back from her full potential. The problem is, he is more than that. He has no clue why until a woman drops into his convenience store and says some strange words to him.

The next thing Mike knows is that two guys are coming after him with knives and he takes them out – with a spoon. This completely freaks Mike out and he reaches out to Phoebe. But before you know it there are more guys with guns and knives and other stuff willing to take Mike out. And he cannot understand why.

Going into this movie, I was not sure what to expect. Was it going to be light and fluffy and serious and grim? The thing is, this movie is a bit of both. It is making fun of these programs that try to train the perfect spy/killing machine. But the movie also presents what could happen if that person is hidden within a small community. You have to be willing to suspend all disbelief while in the midst of constant violence and harmful actions that feel all too real.

At least you will be more prepared than Mike ever was.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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