Tag Archive: batman

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

My kids are always pushing me to watch movies I think I would not like. Granted, some of them are horror films, which I do not like.

It doesn’t matter if they have a funny bent to them, I can’t watch them at all.

But then there are the action adventure movies that strike at the right moments.

ben-affleck-batmanIt has been a Ben Affleck week this time around. We just re-watched Batman Vs Superman to watch all of the scenes with Wonder Woman. What I loved about this movie is the reasoning behind Batman’s hatred of Superman. It’s not a jealousy thing but one of the lack of control one has on one’s own life. Especially when the person causing the chaos is a super-strong alien who could turn against us at any time.

Worse yet, the destruction this superhero causes has effects on people he doesn’t know nor appears to have any awareness about those people.

Bruce Wayne/Batman has been there before and he is not willing to give up the control he has fought hard to gain. That is what builds his dislike and distrust until he and Superman can find a common point to trust each other on.

While we might agree this is not the strongest of supper hero movies, you cannot deny that Affleck gives Batman a world-weariness that is appropriate and fitting. He makes the man worth watching through all of his surliness and compassion.

Then my child said “get The Accountant.” So I did, knowing a little bit about this story. Affleck stars as a man who works as a free-lance accountant for underworld clients who need to know they can never take advantage of him. This professional is what many might call a high-functioning person with Autism. He is focused and smart as a whip. Numbers are the one thing that brings calm and order to his life.

Ben Affleck the accountantBut as we see through a series of flashbacks, Chris’ life has never been easy. It is his military father who must figure out how to teach his very different son to survive in the world.

These days he is doing what seems to be a straight-forward job. A lesser employee has found discrepancies in the books of a robotic company. Chris has been hired to find out how it all happened And just as he is about to get there, suddenly the job is over.

So the next thirty minutes of the movie gets a bit silly and ridiculous. There is much action, retaliation, and revelations. Just when you think you know everything, something else is revealed.

The point of this movie is not the incredulous plot line but to see Affleck play a man who is not normal, whatever that is, do things that most normal-developing people can’t do. Is it because of his ability to focus to the max or because of the training he received along the way?

Does it matter if you are just following along? Probably not. This is one of those times you just go with it. Affleck has a tendency to find not so great movies but makes his role worth watching.

I found myself enjoying the movie as I watched. Afterwards, when I took the time to think about what I just seen, I realized that this was a bit of a popcorn revenge movie that had something to say without finding all of the words it needed to use.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Comic Book Summer

Family Movie Night


Movies based on comic books has become the popular summer movie format.


Movies Poster image from IMDb.com

This year we have seen Thor and X-Men: First Class make it to the movie theaters across the land. Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds comes out this week.


What makes most of these comic book movies perfect for family views is the fact that many kids have seen these characters in cartoon TV shows or on the comic page of the newspaper. I used to watch The Justice League as well as Batman when I was a kid. Kids and some parents already know these characters.


Secondly, the violence in these action/adventure movies tends to be blood-free. We know when someone gets hit bad enough to make them die without copious amounts of blood and gore. Remember when The Goblin is killed by his own weapon in Spiderman? It makes some of these scenes easier to take when watching these movies with your child who is in grade school.


Lastly, our heroes are fighting certain evil. The Joker is a bad guy, there is no grey coloring in his soul. The lines are black and white as to who is good and who is not in these movies. They might be facing personal demons – Spiderman does on a regular basis – but when it comes to protecting others there is no conflict.


In the last few years we have seen the X-men series, Spiderman series and Batman series. Iron man is working to combine with the Avenger series.


I am intrigued with the two versions of The Hulk and recently heard there is going to be another version of Superman.


What you should not confuse these movies with are the one being adapted from graphic novels. Movies such as Sin City and Hell Boy. These movies are geared for their readers who tend to be older teenager on up. And that means the gore factor and the language is more suitable for that age group.


These are not PG-13 movies pretending they can run with the big boys of “R” ratings as most comic book movies do. Graphic novel adaptations are meant for an older audience and they embrace that factor. That means salty language, great car chases, and bullets that actually hit and cause bleeding. 


The only exception to this is the latest Batman series being directed by Christopher Nolan. This is being based on a graphic novel series but Nolan has made it friendlier for younger views. We never see what happened to the Joker to turn him so evil, we never see Rachel in the explosion that kills her although we see Bruce’s anguish at her death.


If you are trying to decide what movie to go to, here are a few tips to make sure you see the movie you want to see.


1. Look for the rating of the movie. Most of the time, the rating gives parents a good idea if this is suitable for a specific age group.


2. Read reviews of the movies you are thinking about seeing. The tone of the review will tell you if this or that movie is appropriate for family viewing or not. The more reviews you read, the more you will know about the storyline and anything that might be objectionable. I like going to Rottentomatoes.com to see a myriad of reviews for one movie.


3. Ask friends if they have seen a specific movie you are interested in seeing. If they have a similar taste to yours or a very different taste, this is a great judge on a movie.


The bottom line is always investigate a movie a little before you see it if you want to make sure it is a good movie to see with your family – be it with kids, teens, parents and/or grandparents.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.