Tag Archive: drive-in

Opening Day

As spring is here, warmer weather is following. With that warmer weather comes opening day for the drive-in movie theaters.

Harvest Moon Drive InEvery time I mention drive-in, people get excited and want to know where I go to find one. The closest one to our home is in Gibson City called the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In. This place is great because it has two screens, one that shows a more ‘family’ oriented movie and the other that shows something a bit more adult. Check out their Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In.

This past weekend, the choices were Zootopia and the new Batman vs. Superman movie. We went for Zootopia for no other reason than it was getting great reviews from a bevy of critics. And one of the kids expressed interest. And the husband really wanted to go to the drive in.

Well, why not. The drive is only about an hour away. We sit outside of the car with jackets and blankets on to keep warm. We can bring in our own food for a $5 fee that gets us a free large popcorn. And how can I turn down deep fried cheese curds or the funnel cake sundae?

funnel cake sundae

funnel cake sundae with chocolate sauce


Which explains why I am willing to pack up on a Friday night with blankets, chairs, snacks, and five kids to see a movie about which I know nothing.

I do know the basic premise. In a world where animals are like people and there are different zones for different geographical areas, there is one big town and that is Zootopia. Somewhere in a small farming town, a bunny wants to become a police officer in the big city. Her chances are slim because she is a small and tiny bunny. How is she to take down big bad criminals?

Except that the bunny, Judy Hopps, works hard and becomes the valedictorian of her class at the police academy. Her reward is to be assigned as a meter maid. While Judy wants to solve crimes, she decides to be the best at her job. That is until one day she stops a thief, saving a tiny creature in the process. That leads to Judy being assigned to solve a case regarding missing predators by the big chief but she has only 48 hours to do so. If she does not solve the case, Judy must resign from the force.

But to solve this case requires help. Judy gets Nick Wilde, a fox, to help her. She might have to use a few tricks to force him to help but this is no dumb bunny. Can they figure out why predators are going missing and who is behind the whole scheme? Probably but let me just say that this was a fun movie. I had low expectations but was pleasantly surprised.

I thought the movie was going to be lame and trite. Well, it was in spots. Some of the scenes were exactly what you would think they were going to turn out. But I also found myself liking different parts, such as parents being relieved their daughter was not in a dangerous position on the force. Or how Judy has such a difficult time dealing with the sloth at the DMV. This movie is a fun buddy movie, a police procedural for kids.

But let me give a word of warning. One of my friends took his 5-year-old who became scared of the predators and had to leave the theater. If you know your child scares easy, this might not be the film you want to go see. My 14-year-old thought it was a bit dark for a kids movie and I am not sure I disagree with her.  Otherwise, it is a bit of fun and perfect if you happen to be going to a drive-in theater in which it is ok if young kids move around and talk during the movie.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Watch the Try Anything video featuring Shakira as GazelleShakira Gazelle


Makeover at the Movies

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


How do you feel when an old favorite movie gets a makeover?



Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

I was thinking about this as my husband made plans to see The Lone Ranger at the drive-in. He is planning to take us to a double feature that also includes Man of Steel, the latest vision of Superman.


Both movies represent something from my childhood. Both movies present former heroes in a new light. And to be honest, I am not sure I want to see these movies.


I grew up with Clayton Moore playing the former Texas Ranger out to find justice. By his side was Jay Silverheels as Tonto. My brother and I watched the old serial episodes on Channel 9. It didn’t matter that we had seen many of the episodes time and time again. We loved them and played out the episodes in the yard.


So imagine my surprise when I saw the first renderings of Johnny Depp as Tonto. The white face and dark eyes along with the strange crow hat made me wonder just what Depp was doing? Would this be the ruin of the new movie or something interesting? It makes me wonder how far into the metaphysical world would director Gore Verbinski dip into in order to bring a different story to the big screen.



Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

And then there is Man of Steel. The story of Superman’s escape from a dying planet is the same but like never before Clark is aware that he has to hide his powers. Like never before he is aware of what makes him different and that fact is not going to be lightly glossed over. He cannot reveal his difference because people will not take the time to understand him.


Should we have pondered this before? I mean, why else does someone choose to leave their family on the farm to go to New York? Perhaps, it is why most people leave the farm and head to the big city – they hate the farm. A lot of people have done this in the past and no one gave it a second thought. Who wants to stay on a farm when they can be the big cheese elsewhere?


But what we love about Superman are his small town values. We love that he wants to help people, right wrongs and help America remain free. He fights for Truth, Justice and the American Way. He helps the little guy and children while protecting the Earth from outside force.


Recently, my 16-year-old watched Superman 4 in which Superman is working for World Peace and Lex Luthor is trying to destroy him. I forgot about some of the awful fashions but I also forgot the wistfulness of Superman and Luthor’s out-and-out greed.


Can I bear to see Superman/Clark Kent portrayed by someone other than Christopher Reeves and believe that person is Superman? Will I be able to watch Johnny Depp’s version of Tonto and not snicker – too much? I am not sure. But after Wednesday night, I might have an answer for you.


Until Next Week, see you in the rental aisle.

Stop the Buzzing!

Product Thursday

Last week I wrote about how much we love going to the drive-in theater.

One thing that you always have to be on the lookout for is a good bug spray because once the summer temperatures cool down for the night, the mosquitoes like to come out for a snack. I mentioned BugBands and someone said “tell me more.” So here it is.

Bugs really like this mamma.

Picture from Bugband.net

A few years ago, when I was an editor and getting all kinds of good stuff, BugBands came across my desk. My rule of thumb on stuff like this is that I always try it out – always. I am not endorsing something that does not work.

I did the reading and found that the key ingredient is not deet but geraniol, an oil derived from geraniums. In the plants that are bred for oil production it is found that they can repel bugs. Like mosquitoes, no see-ums and other pesky things.

Planters of geraniums can do this on a smaller scale and explains my grandmother’s flower choices.

So on the fourth of July, I put these on my kids’ arms. Sam was a toddler so I strapped one on the stroller.  That was one firework outing where the bugs became less of an issue. I saved the bracelets in the convenient case and used them later on a camping trip by strapping one of the bracelets inside the tent.

Boom, it worked again.

Picture from BugBnad.net

I may be a farm girl but I really hate bugs. This product makes my life that much easier. And I saw it in stores last summer so I know it is beginning to take off. If you have not seen this product in your stores, you can order it online directly from the BugBand website.

The single band comes in seven different colors, including a glow-in-the-dark bracelet for $4.95 a piece. But go for the family pack of four bracelets that you can get for $14.95.  

When I was on the website for these products I noticed that BugBand now has diffusers and repellant beads.  That makes for various options in case you do not want  your child wearing a bracelet. I put the strap on my belt loop once and had excellent results. There is also a “bed bug” repellant spray.

So there is my testimony about BugBands. How do you keep the mosquitoes away?

Every Thursday, I write about a product or service. If you have a product or know about one, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.