Tag Archive: comedy


The Spy who Dumped Me

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman


The other day I started writing my column when I realized I was going to have to scrap it.


My youngest son had to go to the ER. What started out being flu-like turned out to be appendicitis. Surgery took place on Friday morning and the weekend was spent at the hospital.


By the time you read this, he will be at home resting. With any luck he will be well on the way to recovery.


For everyone who sent well wishes and all those who gave up prayers, please accept our thanks and appreciation.


spy who dumped me When I started writing this week’s column, I was talking about The Spy Who Dumped Me. This action/comedy stars Mila Kunis as a woman who was recently dumped by her boyfriend by text message. Her best friend, Kate McKinnon, tries to cheer her up by suggesting they burn all of the ex-boyfriend’s stuff and text him to let him know.


That’s when it gets a little crazy. He texts back to say he will pick it all up. Then Kunis learns from a handsome Brit, Sam Heughan, that her boyfriend is CIA who was making a deal for something that she has in her possession. And when the ex shows up, he asks her to take the item to Europe.


So now McKinnon and Kunis are on their way, hoping not to die in the process. Of course they’re being followed, of course it is going to be dangerous, of course there are going to be guns ablazing.


As much as I wanted to like this movie, I was disappointed. There were a lot of funny moments but there were other moments that dragged or didn’t feel quite realistic.


Because this is supposed to be a comedy, some of the action scenes are over the top in the amount of violence and gun fire. The big torture scene is supposed to be funny because this woman uses gymnastic techniques to beat on these women. But I also love this because it makes fun of the action films that have increased their wire gymnastics actions.


Spy who dumped me kate and mila

Kate and Mila

However, this movie also wants to be taken seriously. The singular body count – one here, one there – gets rather high and they don’t always make sense.


Does Kate McKinnon go over the top? Is Mila Kunis a bit too shrill at times? Could Sam Heughan have been a bit more something? Yes, yes, and yes. The problem is it wants to be both action and comedy. At some point you have to make a choice between action movie with comedic elements or comedic movie with action elements.


On the other hand, if all you want is a fun action movie that is bit of a travelogue with some salty language, then this is the girls night movie you have been waiting for. Can I say that Sam is really hunky?

 

You Betcha, I can!


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

One of my most favorite movies of all time in The Incredibles.

The Incredibles IMDb com

Image from IMDb.com

I don’t mean favorite animated movie or favorite family movie.

I meant what I said that this is one of my favorite movies of all time.

It is almost a perfect movie. You could ask me next week and I might say it is a perfect movie.

The story is about a family who are secretly supers. They each have special powers and abilities. Super strength, super stretchiness, super speed, and super energy control. They have to hide their super powers after various lawsuits against supers go badly.

Bob works in an insurance company as a claims adjuster who tries to hard to make claims go through. The problem is his boss wants them to not go through and save money for the shareholders.

It doesn’t help that life, after being a super, is kinda boring. Go to work, have supper, clean up, go to bed, do it all over again. You can wait for something exciting to happen or make it happen. Bob makes a decision that will cause excitement in his life. But it is a decision that will fully impact his family.

What makes this movie one of the greats is that nearly every scene is capable of being a stand alone moment. These are perfectly captured moments of human emotion. The feeling of being left behind, of not being able to use your skills to their full abilities, of loving life in the moment, of being afraid or happy or joyful.

It doesn’t hurt that the action scenes are well choreographed and interesting. How a super can move, depending on their abilities, is fascinating. From the Fro-zone to the baby’s developing skills, we see just one these suits can do to protect the wear. What is more interesting is seeing the children discover their power and abilities.

It is also the comic touches that make this movie great. The heaviness of the movie is lightened time and again which keeps an audience engaged. The scene in which Bob visits the superhero costume designer is classic for the character’s persona. Her subsequent visit from Helen is another exercise of comic explanation of super suits.

I find myself laughing and crying and smiling within each scene. There are many times that I marvel at the ease and beauty of the animation and the music that accompanies each scene to set the emotion. I like that we know each character really well, that we understand their motivations.

We don’t always get that in a movie like this. We barely learn a person’s reasoning for doing their actions or hiding rational reasons. Some characters remain a mystery. But not in this movie.

I would watch it whenever it showed up on TV, because it is just that good. And with the new sequels about to show up, it is always good to have back up information about the new movie.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Remembering an Era

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

When Mary Tyler Moore died a few weeks ago, it made me want to see videos of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

 

It was a show I watched over and over again in reruns as a kid. I loved how Rob and Laura interacted. As a couple it appeared that they really loved each other. They were graceful together even while trying to apear to be clumsey. Some of their fights felt real even though the show would only depict these two sleeping in twin beds. Couple who don’t like each other sleep in twin beds, not a couple who still kiss and touch and are happy to be together. Rob and Laura taught me what to expect of life as someone who was socially mobile, a lesson I did not realize I was learning at the time.

 

dick-van-dyke-show-anniversary-rob-and-lauraI found a DVD collection of the show through the library catalog and order it so I could once again hear their laughter and fights. I have fond memories of them singing and dancing and destroying family heirloom jewelry. I loved the haunted cabin episode. From lovable goofy neighbors to co-workers who don’t always get along to a family that sometimes expect unreasonable things there is never a dull moment. It is a picture of the 1960s that we enjoy looking at again and again.

 

It makes me think about Mad Men, the TV show that lasted on the AMC network for seven seasons. The setting of the show began in 1960 in New York City at a premier ad agency. Everything feels glamorous and exciting. And it should as we are seeing this world through the eyes of Peggy who is entering this thrilling world. She is the secretary to the most fascinating and success ad man in the  business.

 

But under that veneer is something darker. Our lead hero is Don Draper, a man with a dark secret. But he is driven to sucess, driven to be more than he was ever expected to become. His life is complete with a beautiful wife, three kids, and the lifestyle of a professional man of that age complete with infidelity, alcoholism, and an incredible amount of cigarette smoking.

mad-men-season-1This is not the happy world of the Petries. Co-workers are fierce competitors willing to do anything to succeed. Wives are not happy partners. And there always seems to be someone digging a little deeper than anyone wants for the secrets to a past well hidden.

 

Both shows are a window to a world that is far behind us. The Dick Van Dyke Show was made in the moment of the 1960s, choosing to show what we thought was the best parts of the era. It also pushed boundaries of what women wore and what black people ‘looked like.’ Mad Men, on the other hand, is a reflection on that age. It features the beautiful fashions and designs of the era along with the larger than life characters of the ad world. But you can’t get away from the inherent social ills of the day – of sexism and classism. Of the change from Camelot in the White House to the eventual counter-culture of the late 1960s.

 

All of it, that is both shows, make for DVD watching that is fascinating.

 

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.