Tag Archive: bill pullman


Ending the Season

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

The Christmas Season is almost over. Some of you might be celebrating later because of work schedules or travel schedules or various events.

Been there, done that.

christalkindl-marketThis past weekend we finally squeezed in a visit to the Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza. The traditional German Christmas market is one I have longed to go to and not just because parts of my family are German.

I love the smells of roasting nuts and mulled wine. There were sausages, potato pancakes, and hot apple cider. There were beautiful knits from Germany, Ireland, and Guatemala. I saw incredible wooden works of arts including a Santa nut cracker. One booth offered up embroidered table scarves that were quite stunning.

The entire village was lighted in beautiful yellow glowing twinkle lights. The effect was magical under the watchful eye of the Picasso statue. We had a long walk back to the car but the market was totally worth it and I can’t wait to go back again next year.

while-you-were-sleepingBut now that the season is almost over, if you haven’t watched certain movies, this is your last chance before it feels a little weird and out of place. You might want to get While You Were Sleeping out of the way. This Sandra Bullock movie is about a lonely CTA worker who saves her favorite customer from being run over by train.

In order to see him at the hospital, she lies about being his fiancee so that she can visit with him. Unfortunately, Peter Gallagher is unconscious and unaware he has a fiancee. Then his family show up and embrace Lucy as family. The woman, who had no one but her cat and a wannabe boyfriend, suddenly is surrounded by family and has a stocking on the mantle with her name on it. It is a heady experience which gets complicated when she meets his brother, Bill Pullman.

Now you know what happens next. It is pretty clear. For me, this time the journey is totally worth the ride. Our heroine is sweet but a little goofy. Her main love interest is gruff and wanting out of the family business. And the supporting cast is phenomenal, especially the old family friend who has to tell the patient he is a putz.

But I love it. It makes me laugh and cry. There are sweet moments and funny one. There are times that I swear I know which neighborhood each scene was filmed in and others that make me wish for the dreamland of LaGrange.

In case this movie is too happy, too sappy, too girly there is always the Die Hard series.

Yippe-ki-yay, indeed.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Celebrate!

Image from IMDb.com

Next week, this time we will be on the second leg of summer. Fireworks will have been spent and the flags will hang while waiting for a breeze.

This week, we need to celebrate. Hang that flag, fluff out those red, white and blue planters. Desserts at picnics will include cookies with red, white and blue icing. My favorite is the coolwhip cake that has strawberries and blueberries making a flag.

So what should you watch if the rain comes and forces everyone in the house?

The first movie on my list (surprise, surprise) is National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage, Justin Bartha and Diane Kruegar. Cage has been following a crazy dream of his family’s that involves a treasure of the ages hidden by the founding fathers who were masons. OK, so the plot sounds a little crazy and convoluted. But think of the places these guys visit. The Smithsonian, Jefferson’s Memorial, the Liberty Bell, Trinity Church. All are treasured historical places, all have deep meaning to the founding of our country.

When Cage waxes poetic on the founding fathers, you know it is something the character truly believes. Plus, this is a movie that all members of the family can watch.

Image from IMDb.com

There are a variety of movies that explore the various fights for freedom. Many of them are not appropriate for younger children due to the level of violence they contain. One example is The Patriot starring Mel Gibson which has an “R” rating. The story is about a retired soldier who is avoiding service in the army as the Declaration of Independance. After his second oldest son is killed, Gibson joins the fight by teaching his group guerilla tactics that were initially disruptive to the Gentlemen warriors of King George’s army.

Jason Issacs is perhaps one of the best villians in this movie as the brutal Gen. Tarlington. But keep in mind that this movie is not historically accurate. Tarlington did not do all of these evil deeds although the real guy was truly hated by his own side.  

Image from IMDb.com

Now for a movie with all of the bells and whistles of Americans standing up to invading forces how about Independence Day? When forces from the sky decide to invade or country, it will take a number of people to take back the country including the president as portrayed by Bill Pullman, scientist Jeff Goldblum and fighter pilot Will Smith. See this movie on the biggest screen you can find and understand that the movie is loud. Very loud.

Would you expect anything less as planes zoom over New York and the ‘rebels’ find their way to Area 51 to fight off the space invaders? I hape not because you know there are spectacular explosions and sad deaths taht will have you crying.

Image from IMDb.com

Finally, I share this last suggestion because I do believe words are as  powerful as action. And I believe that it is ok to hae emotions. You can see The American President for the romantic dramedy that it is. Or you can see it for the serious treatise on American politics that it dips the toes into being. There is a lot to love in this movie. Annette Bening, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfus. They might play the game from different end but they play it for the same reason – love of country.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.