Tag Archive: animals


Sing

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Winter break ended and the kids are back in school.

This news, of school being back in session, was not welcomed by all. Some are still wishing that they could sleep late every day and watch bad movies or TV shows. Winter break was filled with movie marathons and TV watching.

I ended winter break with two new movies that were still in the theaters.

After a failed attempt to see our first choice, we went to see the animated feature Sing.

sing-movieI went into this movie not knowing any of the featured stars. When the credits rolled I found out that Matthew McConaughey was our lead character and Reese Witherspoon played the part of the singing mom.

I am glad I didn’t because I wasn’t distracted by knowing all this. I could simply enjoy the movie for what it was – a riff on lets save the old theater by having a show. Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney didn’t show up. But a lot of songs that have been popular throughout the years and in recent times made appearances. This might introduce younger audiences to Stevie Wonder and George Michael while helping the parents understand some of the newer music.,

Maybe.

The premise is that a theater owner who is going broke needs to put on a great show, so he does a talent showcase. He sends out fliers announcing a prize. But due to an error that prize is not the $1000 he hoped to offer. The theater is swamped with hopefuls and he chooses a number of single and group acts. Each has a compelling story that makes us like them a little more, except for Mike. He is a mean piece of work who can sing up a storm.

As you might imagine there are all sorts of problems and catastrophes, including trying to find a sponsor and the theater building itself slowly falling apart. One of our acts has to deal with a bad boyfriend and another has self-esteem issues.

While this movie could have been edited just a bit tighter, I found myself enjoying it. I liked most of the characters, enjoyed their discovery of joy in their talents, and the music was outstanding. Most of the songs are ones we have heard over the years. We know them, like them, and let down our guard a little for these new but familiar characters.

sing-johnnyYou come away happy by the end of the movie. All is not perfect but it is satisfying. My daughter asked for a favorite character and the expected answer would be Rosita, the mom who challenges herself to fulfill her dream. But I loved Johnny the most. There is something about a kid trying to be better and succeeding that just gets me right there.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Opening Day

As spring is here, warmer weather is following. With that warmer weather comes opening day for the drive-in movie theaters.

Harvest Moon Drive InEvery time I mention drive-in, people get excited and want to know where I go to find one. The closest one to our home is in Gibson City called the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In. This place is great because it has two screens, one that shows a more ‘family’ oriented movie and the other that shows something a bit more adult. Check out their Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In.

This past weekend, the choices were Zootopia and the new Batman vs. Superman movie. We went for Zootopia for no other reason than it was getting great reviews from a bevy of critics. And one of the kids expressed interest. And the husband really wanted to go to the drive in.

Well, why not. The drive is only about an hour away. We sit outside of the car with jackets and blankets on to keep warm. We can bring in our own food for a $5 fee that gets us a free large popcorn. And how can I turn down deep fried cheese curds or the funnel cake sundae?

funnel cake sundae

funnel cake sundae with chocolate sauce

 

Which explains why I am willing to pack up on a Friday night with blankets, chairs, snacks, and five kids to see a movie about which I know nothing.

I do know the basic premise. In a world where animals are like people and there are different zones for different geographical areas, there is one big town and that is Zootopia. Somewhere in a small farming town, a bunny wants to become a police officer in the big city. Her chances are slim because she is a small and tiny bunny. How is she to take down big bad criminals?

Except that the bunny, Judy Hopps, works hard and becomes the valedictorian of her class at the police academy. Her reward is to be assigned as a meter maid. While Judy wants to solve crimes, she decides to be the best at her job. That is until one day she stops a thief, saving a tiny creature in the process. That leads to Judy being assigned to solve a case regarding missing predators by the big chief but she has only 48 hours to do so. If she does not solve the case, Judy must resign from the force.

But to solve this case requires help. Judy gets Nick Wilde, a fox, to help her. She might have to use a few tricks to force him to help but this is no dumb bunny. Can they figure out why predators are going missing and who is behind the whole scheme? Probably but let me just say that this was a fun movie. I had low expectations but was pleasantly surprised.

I thought the movie was going to be lame and trite. Well, it was in spots. Some of the scenes were exactly what you would think they were going to turn out. But I also found myself liking different parts, such as parents being relieved their daughter was not in a dangerous position on the force. Or how Judy has such a difficult time dealing with the sloth at the DMV. This movie is a fun buddy movie, a police procedural for kids.

But let me give a word of warning. One of my friends took his 5-year-old who became scared of the predators and had to leave the theater. If you know your child scares easy, this might not be the film you want to go see. My 14-year-old thought it was a bit dark for a kids movie and I am not sure I disagree with her.  Otherwise, it is a bit of fun and perfect if you happen to be going to a drive-in theater in which it is ok if young kids move around and talk during the movie.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Watch the Try Anything video featuring Shakira as GazelleShakira Gazelle