Archive for September, 2017

Hear all about it

Family Movie Night


Last weekend our own Gladys, the newspaper lady, was the grand marshall of the Pumpkin Fest parade.


What an honor.


1959-1963-buick-invicta-1960I saw Gladys riding around in the back of a boat of a Buick. I remember when my grandmother had a large Chrysler like this. It was fantastic. Granted, I was too young to understand that the car took a lot of gas to run. But, boy, are those large cars wonderful to see.


Gladys was happy to have the ride and we are pretty lucky to have her in the town, helping various organizations and keeping the paper going into its 100+ years of existence. Her positive attitude has meant a great detail to me, personally. Over the years we have, of course, talked about favorite movies.


Most of the movies that Gladys and I talk about are various family movies that are funny and make us laugh. But the one movie that has remained a favorite over the years is Return to Me starring Minnie Driver.


It is a romantic comedy set in Chicago that is completely implausible. David Duchovney is a young architect whose wife dies in a freak car accident. Driver is a young woman with a serious heart condition. We meet her as she is awaiting a surgery to save her life.


Return to Me Poster 2 IMDb com

Image from

Six months later, Duchovney and Driver meet when he comes for a blind date at her grandfather’s restaurant. The date is a disaster, the woman is a gold digging nightmare. But the odd couple manage to connect emotionally.


Soon they are seeing each other on a regular basis. But Driver manages to hide her chest scars do that Duchovney will not treat her as a fragile doll. That is until she sees her thank you letter to the family of the donor of her heart.


It is one of those romantic comedies that make you laugh and cry and realize that you know all of the people in this movie from Jim Belushi’s regular guy to Carol O’Connor’s over protective grandfather. Robert Loggia is the fairy god-uncle we could ever want. It is Bonnie Hunt who holds it all together as writer, director, and loyal best/friend.


This is one of my favorite movies because it feels like and old fashioned love story. The people, despite being in a preposterous situation, act consistently with good natures. These are people you want to be around. For an hour and a half, I know I will have a good time.


You have to hang on to good movies like that.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.



Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Lately, I am seeing news stories about the Hallmark Channel seeing an upswing in their ratings. Since mid 2015, the ratings for this channel have been going up in a time when media pundits are talking about the end of cable TV.


Timing is everything and some will say that the timing has everything to do with Trump. Early 2015 is when he declared his intention to run. And since then we have had a rollar coaster of revelations and tweets that might force St. Michael to charge.


Or he can turn on the Hallmark Channel for an hour or two to decompress.


hallmark-channel-logoI understand completely. It’s not hard to get sucked into one of those movies that show the complications of life and their solution in 120 minutes. The characters tend to be likable or a little grumpy.


But at some point there is a revelation, a solution is found, and the love we had seen starting to build comes to complete fruition. Sometimes the movie is set in pioneer times or modern times or in strange destinations such as Santa’s home in the North Pole. Christmas in July is a good way to mentally escape the heat of summer.


If you really need to have some nostalgia thrown in you can watch hour after hour of the Golden Girls. and Fraisier. But what I am watching these days is not any of these but an original TV show called Good Witch starring Catherine Bell and James Denton.


It is based on the Hallmark movie series, The Good Witch about a beautiful woman who moves to a small town into a house that may or may not be haunted. Strange things happen around this woman even though a number of people like her. It’s not long before people wonder if she is a witch.


Good WitchAfter this movie was a big hit for the cable channel, they started making the movies a yearly event. Now it is a regular TV show airing on Sunday nights. Not that I have watched it there. I actually stream the shows on our Netflix service.


I find myself watching two or three episodes at time while I clean the living room or work on a project or eat popcorn.


It’s relaxing to watch Cassie always making cookies, working in her little greenhouse off of the kitchen, or re-arranging displays in her cute little shop filled with essential oils, jewelry, accessories, and knick knacks.


She is always busy but calm. She runs two business but has time for friends. She is a grieving widow who seems to take everything in stride. And her next door neighbor is always popping in for advice and a game of poker. The neighbor is played by James Denton, formerly Mike the plumber on Desperate Housewives. Here he is a doctor relocated from New York with his son.


That the new family slowly fit in feels natural. That the doc and Cassie develop feelings for each other is natural too. It is a relationship that progresses slowly and that feels right.


There are times that I wonder if the way the characters talk is not a bit trite, that some of the trouble stirred up is a bit coincidental. But some of the story lines I can really relate to, such as when the town mayor had to put her foot down with her grown son despite her desire to be lenient.


It is not a perfect show, it is not great all of the time. But it is like being around that one friend who always puts you at ease. And some days, that is exactly what is needed.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

The Smell of Fear. . .

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

This past weekend saw the release of It starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the deadly clown.

It is a horror movie focusing on a creature that kills children. Then a group of kids, those who are bullied the most, gang together to destroy this thing that they call It.

When I asked my boys if this is a movie I could see, knowing that I have a hard time with horror movies, they said emphatically that I should not see this movie. Both told me that there were a lot of jump scares, in which the movie scene is meant to make you jump out of your seat.

ITThen the older son stated it was a bit gory, that there was some bloody parts and that wouldn’t be good for me at all. Then he reported that the movie has a bit of a psychological element because the creature lives off of fear of the people and that is how he gets his real power although he eats people, too. He also reported that Bill Skarsgard was a great Pennywise, he was creepy and evil in all the right ways.

His description reminded me of how a friend’s daughter once described a frightening roller coaster “It was horrible . . . and great.”

Well, a lot of people must have agreed because the movie broke box office records with an $117+ million opening weekend. Considering the movie was made for $35 million, that is quite the payday. But for horror film wimps and smaller children, I would suggest seeing something else that is lighter and easier to deal with. Even my 20-year-old reported dreaming of clowns and he really wanted to see this movie.

I remember watching the TV Miniseries version of this movie. It made me realize how Tim Curry is such a great actor. Truth is, even in his bad movies Tim Curry makes it better than it should be just be showing up and being snarky.

But when I remember the movie, I remember the scenes in which kids are being bullied or beaten and the adults who witness it do nothing. Yes, there was the terror of something taking kids. But that was a special kind of fear. The worst fear was the everyday sort in which people are picked on or bullied or socially snubbed.

It - KidsThat trend continues in the new movie. One of the story lines in the current movie is how one of the kids in the group lives with an abusive father and, therefore, is not scared by the evil clown. Another is mercilessly bullied for being a fat kid.

The boys said they would watch this movie again and a part of me believes they would. Maybe they would look for all of the little details or maybe it would be so they could be scared just one more time. While I am not a fan of horror movies, I believe their value is in allowing people to deal with their fears in a ‘safe’ setting.

After all, movie scares are nothing like real life scares and there are enough of those to go around.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.