Tag Archive: Colin Farrel


Fantastical

Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
One movie that I have been most anxious to see is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Our attempts to see this movie were met by bad timing and luck as we finally got tickets. One of the problems I have with these new reclining seats is that they take up too much space and reduce the number of seats in any given auditorium.
Maybe you like them but I am not crazy about these seats.
Back to the movie. This movie is the first in five movies about the fantastic beasts, building up to the incredible fight between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindenwald. Apparently there are going to be fantastic beasts in each movie and various people we have met in this movie will be scattered in the next four.
fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-movie-characters
That is the back story. But in this movie, we are taken back to 1926. This is when Newt Scamander comes to America, presumably to go on an expedition of the colonies. But the world he comes to is fill with just as much hate and fear of the magical by the nomag, otherwise known as muggles or non-magical humans.
He sees a protest by one woman who is determined to stamp out evil, especially in the children she feeds and clothes. But that is not the worst that will happen to him. When one of his creatures escapes from his suitcase, Newt is noticed by an auror. She helps him but not before Newt accidentally takes a nomag along for the ride and the re-capture.
Tina ends up arresting Newt but is forced to let him go, takes pity on him and nomag Kowalski, and gives them a place to stay for the night. That is when we discover what is really in that suitcase and it is amazing. We fall in love with the world he has created to protect all of these creatures.
But the real world intrudes on all of this. There is a disturbance cause by a wizard who is not allowed to use their powers. And magical energy, we learn, when not allowed to come out explodes in the worst possible ways.
I admit that when I came to the theater, I was tired. I may have nodded off during the previews. I was hoping I would not do the same during the movie. Once it started, though, I was hooked in. If I was tired, I sure did not notice it. I was fascinated, especially by Eddie Redmayne as Newt. It is a movie that can be for all family members with just a d=few scary bits for the youngest members of the family.
fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-buckletrumpThe problem with this movie is that as much as I enjoyed it and really loved Newt, there was little else that made a connection. What made the Harry Potter movies so successful is that we became attached to Harry. I loved him and wanted to see where this boy and his friends were going. I don’t have that overwhelming desire with Fantastic Beasts. The movie felt as if it had a certain amount of closure, the characters were done.
It is like the best popcorn you have ever eaten, the stuff with chocolate marshmallow powder flavoring on it. It is so good and sweet and different. You love it, enjoy, it, and when it’s over, you feel good. But you don’t overwhelmingly miss it. The next movie in the series comes out in November of 2018. I am not sure I will even care at that point because there is too much time lag and not enough interest to make me want to follow up. By that time, I am not sure I will be interested in chocolate marshmallow flavoring anymore. And that would be a shame.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.
Advertisements

Colin Goes Gangster!!!!

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Last week when I was doing my research for one of the movies I planned to write about, I kept seeing people refer to this Colin Farrell movie call London Boulevard, a decidedly adult movie.

I had never heard of it let alone even seen a trailer for it. After a little digging, I found out that this movie may have never made it to the big screens in America despite it’s American director, William Monahan. If Monahan sounds familiar it is because he wrote The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven.

The story is gritty and rough as we follow an ex-con trying to make sure he does not go back to prison. His first night back sees Mitchell getting his druggy sister out of one rough situation while he also makes it possible for another girl to get to an ATM without trouble. That encounter leads to a possible job as a handyman/protection for a fragile and reclusive actress played by Kiera Knightly.

London BoulevardMeanwhile, one of his hoodlum friends has him come along for a few ‘collection’ calls which brings him to the attention of a gangster boss. Gant, played by Ray Winstone, is evil and mean. He is willing to kill the innocent for showing up at the wrong place and time. And let’s not talk about what he will do to people who say ‘no’ to him.

As Gant and Mitchell spar, it becomes clear a battle is brewing and in the end it is not going to be pretty.

Monahan wanted to make his first film as a Boston gangster drama. But at some point he decided he had done that and choose to make the setting in London instead. The film has plenty of violence and swearing so that anyone who doesn’t like that in a movie would probably not like this. But it is a movie filled with wonderful small performances from Farrell, Knightly, Winstone, Anna Friel, and David Thewlis complete with spare but revealing dialogue.

They add depth to these roles, making us like or hate these people. I was most impressed with David Thewlis’ character, trying hard to remember where I know him from. It took a minute before I got to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Thewlis was Professor Lupin, the werewolf Dark Arts professor who was friends with Harry’s parents. It is during this adventure that Harry learns about his godfather and his parents’ group of friends along with their betrayal.

Harry Potter and Prof LupinI loved his performance in this third movie of the series because Thewlis appeared to take on some of the traits of Claude Rains in his characterization of Lupin. Claude Rains played the father of Lon Chaney Jr., the original wolf man in the 1941 movie, giving himself quiet dignity as he dealt with the changes in his son he could not prevent. Thewlis continues this tradition and is quite believable as a man haunted by a condition he cannot change. His performance, along with Gary Oldman’s, makes Prisoner of Azkaban worthwhile family viewing.

These days of changeable weather might demand we stay in but stay in with a good movie on hand.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

By the time you read this, St. Patrick’s Day will be over. The corn beef and cabbage with exist in dribs and drabs. The potatos are crumbs.

But don’t let that stop you from watching some Irish movies. What I like are the ones that mix myth/fairy tales into real life. In the middle of land lacked farm land, we do not get seals that might be able to transform into humans.

But that is the subject of the movie Ondine starring Colin Ferrell and Alicja Bachleda. Ferrell is a down-on-his-luck fisherman in Ireland who shares his daughter with his ex. One day his nets pick up a beautiful young woman. She doesn’t want to be seen by anyone else, so Ferrell hides her in his mother’s old house.

OndineHis daughter eventually finds her and decides that the woman is a selkie. That is a seal which can take human form. A selkie cannot go back to the sea if her human husband finds and hides her seal coat. While Ferrell and Bachleda fall in love, you begin to think that maybe, just maybe, she really is a selkie.

The setting is beautiful and the dialogue feels both real and poetic. I listened to an interview with Ferrell and his conversation was never as lyrical although he is an intelligent man. Director Neil Jordan has made some movies focused on Irish ghosts (High Spirits) that were a waste of time. But this one carried me through even when the fear aspect took over the fairytale.

This movie has an adult context that would not be suitable for younger children. Older tweens and teens might enjoy it a bit more.

One movie that I like for younger children is Into The West. Gabriel Byrne stars as the father of two boys who are given a horse by their grandfather. This is not just any horse, this is Tír na nÓg who comes from the land under the sea that holds eternal youth. The problem is the motherless family lives in an apartment building in the slums of Dublin. Hiding a horse is quite difficult.

Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

Worse yet, a greedy business man wants the fine horse no matter what. So he works with the police to steal the horse from the boys. But not every thing goes according to the plan. The boys steal the horse and begin riding him into the West Country of Ireland. The cops are chasing the boys down but the boys are getting help along the way. Meanwhile, other Travellers, Irish gypsies, help Dad track his boys before something dire can happen.

Again, I am lost in the mix of magic and real life. I sympathize with the depressed father who has lost his wife and wakes up only when he realizes he could lose his boys as well. I find myself cheering on the boys every time the slip out of reach of the authorities. It is movies like this that make me appreciate how magic and real life can intermingle.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.