Tag Archive: Casablanca


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

To me there is nothing like a bad movie.

I don’t mean good enough but not a great movie. I mean bad, I mean super bad. I mean something so preposterous and unrealistic that there is no way you can buy into the story line. There may not be one character, including the lead, that you can find likable, sympathetic, or even heroic enough to root for in the proceedings.

But it has to be a movie that is so bad that you want to watch it again and laugh at it.

My go-to-movie in this situation is always Barb Wire (1996) starring Pamela Anderson Lee in a bad futuristic dystopian drama in which Pamela Anderson does her best Humphrey Bogart. She is the owner of the hippest night club in town that is only mildly harassed by the police. Things get done through he club that don’t happen anywhere else.

Barb Wire IMDb com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

However, Barb wants nothing to do with it. He goal is to keep herself and her blind brother alive. Her sideline job is being a bounty hunter and she is the best. Once upon a time she worked in the resistance but no more. Barb doesn’t take sides and she doesn’t like being called “babe.”

This is not a movie for small children as there is plenty of violence, swearing, and nudity on the part of Miss Lee. It has a lot of energy with some fantastic scenes of action, destruction, and explosions. Sure, it is a reboot of Casablanca and it is interesting to see how the director imagined 2017 back in the 90s. But this is not high art. Fun to watch, yes. Great cinema, no.

The same could be said about a movie that was released over the winter called Monster Trucks. The story is about an oil company that is fracking in North Dakota. But one night something comes out and it is something that likes to eat oil.

Meanwhile, Tripp – a young man who works at the local junk yard – notices weird noises and happenings. Soon he discovers the reason for all of the weird noises and creates a bond with this strange monster. In doing so, he requires the help of pretty Meredith and must keep the secret away from his step father and the oilmen.

Monster TrucksThis is not a great movie. In fact it was held back for release until January 2017. More over, Angus Till went on to star in the re-boot of the McGiver TV show. But what this movie has is fun, Who doesn’t want to see trucks destroyed or able to climb walls and practically fly over roof tops. Not only that, we get the heart-warming story of a boy developing a bond with his step-father.

Lastly, we get a buddy movie as the monster and Tripp develop a relationship while fighting evil oil guys. Can it get any better? Probably not but this movie is family friendly and filled with fun action.

And in the days before school, sometimes a relaxing night with a bad movie is just what the family needs.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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I Remember Every Detail

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

“You played it for her, you can play it for me.”

 

That line and many others come from Casablanca which opened in theaters seventy years ago this week. The movie was released just a few weeks after the war opened on the African front, which explains the map sequence at the beginning of the 1942 film.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

If you have never seen the movie, the story is this: A man runs a tavern and secret casino in Casablanca. Every day more refugees from Europe come to the French colonial city in Morocco hoping to get the necessary papers to leave the county, a stop away from America.

 

One night a famous resistance leader comes to the club looking for such papers for himself and his wife. But what the husband does not know is that his wife and the club owner have a past that occurred during the time everyone thought the leader was dead. The owner has papers everyone wants but the question is what will he do with them as the Germans are breathing down his neck.

 

It is a movie you can watch with your teens but be aware that there are no car chases or crash sequences. There are innuendos about sexual favors and two murders occur on-screen. Dialogue runs this movie and the great lines seem never-ending.

 

“This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

 

I always wonder if a creative person knows they are writing or working on perfection as they do it. The Epstein twins may not have thought they were doing that at the time. This was just another movie they were writing when the studios put out hundreds of movies a year.

 

There are great legends connected to this movie such as Ronald Reagan originally being cast as Rick. Personally, I do not think he had the right amount of dark disappointment to play the casino owner. Bogart, with his string of gangster roles, displayed a man who hid his heart with a layer of toughness.

 

Admit it, you guys. Once you have seen Bogart perform in just about any movie, you want to be as cool as all that. This role defines that elusive male who is tough but able to be so crazy in love that years later he is still angry at the woman who got away. And instead of taking that anger out on the world, every now and again he performs an act of kindness that allows young love to continue on to the new world.

 

This was Bogart’s first truly romantic role. He was given a partner who gave him everything back that he dished out. I am not sure if I ever saw Ingrid Bergman more beautiful, more glowing than in this movie. She is a woman who appears divided between two men of similar standards. She is willing to go to extremes to protect the man she loves but we are left guessing who that man is for the majority of the movie.

 

“Round up the usual suspects.”

 

Perhaps the best judge of any movie is whether or not you would watch it again. Some movies make me feel embarrassed that I ever liked them. When I watch Casablanca I want to be there in the hot and dry African city – going to the club every night, attending Resistance meetings, and looking as stylish as Elsa did in every scene.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.