Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

What do you do when perfect weather hits?

I prefer to be outside.

I know my house needs to be cleaned after a world-wind of work and activities that have kept me busy. But really, I want to be outside when the weather is warm and the wind is calm.

It doesn’t matter if I am walking the dog or working in the garden, being outside when it is beautiful restores my soul, especially after a winter like we had this year. I know most people feel that way although a few might prefer their beautiful bug-free, air conditioned inside world.

Sadly, movies about gardens and plants are not that plentiful. Not everybody gets jazzed by dealing with plants or being in the orderly world of gardening. That is what we do after all, force order into the wild rift raft of nature.

Secret GardenOne of my long time favorites is The Secret Garden (1993), a rich tapestry of a movie following the life of a little girl left orphaned by an earthquake in colonized India during the early part of the 1900s. She lives at her uncle’s manse, a colossal pile, but it also has gardens she is free to explore. One day the girl finds a key and then another day find the door where it fits.

Not only that, she meets a local boy who can tame wild animals. And then she finds her cousin, who might be a wild animal but is certainly ill. He is a reported invalid who must be catered to at every turn. But soon the girl and her cousin, once they discover each other, are close friends who run off to the secret garden with the other boy.

We watch the garden turn from cold March winds and expectations through the spring and to summer’s explosion of roses and other greenery. The three children also grow through magic they create and the connections they share. It is a wonderful movie that can be seen by all ages, although people who prefer physical explosions may not like this movie.

If explosions and action is what you need then perhaps Batman and Robin (1997) is the movie for you. I realize the plant connection is not very clear at first. This movie, directed by Joel Silver, is not a favorite in the Batman canon. Starring George Clooney as the Bat, it also feature Arnold Schwartzeneger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poisen Ivy. Is there over acting in this movie? Well, yes, by the tons.

Batman, Robin , Poisen IvyGeorge is great but low-key. It’s the villains we want to see and they do a bang-up job. Uma Thurman is fantastically over the top as the scientist who has gone to the bad side after being rejected one time too many, she even comes up with a secret formula for a deadly kiss. But she has developed feeling for Robin that may be more obsessive for the ways she can hurt Batman. She’s also developed plants that do more than grow around a window frame.

What a silly, crazy movie. But with it’s PG-13 rating it might be one to reconsider if you do not like the cartoonish ‘stylized’ action and the verbal sparring that gets suggestive.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Advertisements