Tag Archive: harrison ford


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

The other night I decided to watch Rogue One because I hadn’t seen it yet.

The idea is great. It is the missing link between Episode III and Episode IV. It tells some important details and moves us to know the whys and hows of that all important fourth movie. For those of you over the age of 45 that would be Star Wars. Not A New Hope, not Episode IV but Star Wars, the movie that allowed people who are science fiction fantasy geeks to get their geek on out loud and in public.

Star WarsThat movie was amazing in its day. Star Wars was/is a Messiah story, the desire for the mythical hero who comes from no where special to save the day. It is a story told and re-told over the years. It is the battle of right over might and good versus evil.

Along with the heavy drama, we also had moments of laughter as Hans Solo and Chewbacca try to navigate getting Luke where he needs to be despite their reluctance. Through them we find something to laugh about and not get bogged down in the constant terror driven by the evil empire and the presence of Darth Vader.

Some might see that as a metaphor for modern times, some might see Vader as the power-crazed villain we need for any war movie to work. But as I watched Rogue One, I have to admit I was under-whelmed.

It is a movie I feel I have seen too many times in this genre. Our heroine is a girl who has lost her family to the evil empire. She has been cast out and lives in jail, her crime unknown to us although we think we know what it is. And then she gets a chance at freedom as long as she is willing to do something for the opposition, as long as she helps them her chance for freedom will come to fruition.

Now, I know there will be Star Wars fans who will be upset but I fell asleep during this movie. With all of the noise and the banging and the explosions and fights, I fell asleep. Not even the cool blind Jedi fighter was enough to keep me awake. And he was really cool.

When I woke up in time for the last 30 minutes, I tried to stay into it. I wanted to see the end. And when I did, I was highly disappointed. “You didn’t tell me about that!?!” I told my son.

 

I didn’t want to ruin it for Rogue One

you,” he said.

Which is a good thing if I was a crazy attending conventions sort of Star Wars fanatic. No one wants the secret of the movie revealed. Even when a movie has been out for several years, there are still people who get upset when the secret is revealed.

So I won’t reveal it.

But I will say if you are a Star Wars fanatic, you are going to love this movie and have probably already watched it a gazillon times to get all the little references and easter eggs. For those of you who enjoy the series without going overboard I will say that this movie is good, has some compelling characters and some wish-they-weren’t-here characters. You can watch it with the kids, find a few laughs here and there, and find some great explosions.

However, if you fall asleep at any given part, I am certainly the last person who would kick you to the curb as a friend.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Big Action Adventure

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When your family is made of boys and their friends, action-adventure is going to be the most frequent movie selections.

In the last week, we saw two of the biggest movies in that genre.

Star Wars The Force AwakensI thought when I brought home Star Wars:The Force Awakens that this would be our Friday night movie. But no!!! The case was snatched out of my hands, barely leaving my digits intact. The movie was watched that night by the teen boys. It was watched the next day by my husband. It played a third time because the 11-year-old did not get to see it. I managed to watch bits and pieces each time till I got most of the story and saw the final revelatory scene.

What a movie! What action! What storytelling!

A part of me thought about how so much is similar to the original story. A child is in dire straits, making money by salvaging or repairing the items left behind. Their parentage has slim links to anyone else. And yet this young person is smart, resourceful, and filled with an unknown power.

There are differences in this tale. There is a villain who comes from the bravest and righteous of people. Someone formerly with the Empire’s army can no longer stomach the evil he must do. And I feel myself being pulled into the story, the conflicts, the grandness of it all despite seeing how it is a re-tread. Knowing that the sequel does not come out before 2017 is nearly painful.

We also saw Captain America: Civil War. We went to Movies 10 which now has these wonderful reclining seats. My husband loved the seats. I would have liked it if you could only recline the back. In the end I sat with the recliner at full relaxation mode, still unsure if I liked it.

Captain America Civil WarIn this final film of the Captain America trilogy, many nations are calling for responsibility from the Avengers for the damage and death their battles leave. Individual members of the Avengers are being asked to sign the Accord to provide safety. But Captain America refuses. And when the international group is targeted by a bomb, his friend Bucky is identified as the mastermind.

Cap knows this to be wrong and he makes a choice that will pit fellow avengers against each other. It leads to one epic battle that will lead to another.

It is strong storytelling with dialogue that reminds us these people are friends, life long friends in some instances. The nuances are important with a cast this large, we actually learn about them and their motivations. The action is thrilling as well although at times I was left wondering if a person could really do some of the bits they did.

As for the movie, I once again came away impressed with the Marvel Franchise. Characters are allowed to grow and develop, over time they change their opinions, show their age. Stan Lee makes his usual appearance that allows humor to slip into a serious scene that can happen between friends.

Both movies are long, meant for pre-teens and older who will obsess over the characters. I would not show them to younger children in part because of the violence and because these are movies over two hours in length.

Both are thrilling and exciting. But the more meaningful will always be the Marvel series.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

After the Feasting…

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Do you have thanksgiving traditions that must be honored?

 

For us it is the green bean casserole. The husband loves it and feels it must be on the table in order for the meal to be complete. The kids must have jellied cranberry sauce although one year I picked up whole berry by mistake. Kids hated it, the adults loved it.

 

I try to change things up a little every year. I might make a different side dish, put something a little different on the relish plate, or try a cheesecake instead of pie.

 

But this year I have no such plans. It will be our favorites all the way.

 

I feel the same way about the movies we will watch. I really want to keep it to the old favorites this year.

 

Image from IMDb.comThe husband and I will probably stay up to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles which stars the late John Candy and Steve Martin. These two men are trying to get home for the holiday after a snowstorm takes down their plane from NYC, sends them on a train south of where they need to be before finally getting home. Martin plays the persnickety advertising agency guy while Candy is the likable traveling salesman.

 

That these guys are an odd couple who do not get along is a part of the usual plot. But they are relying on each other to get home to the ones that they love and that can make for different dynamics. I am also taken by the differences in their personalities. A guy can be pretty prickly when his home is all it needs to be and the outside world cannot compare. Another guy can be friendly and maybe a bit annoying when his home is missing the one he loves the most.

 

This movie is more adult in context and there are a few scenes that have innuendos that may not be appropriate for the younger kids.

 

Image from IMDb.com

For whole family watching, there is always Miracle on 34th Street about an old man who is considered crazy because he says he is Santa Claus. A new version with Richard Attenborough exists although I prefer the 1947 film with Edmund Gwynn as Kris Kringle. It is a movie I love and probably know the script by heart.

 

But let’s say you want something a little different with lots of noise, gun fights, and explosions. The other week our family finally watched Cowboys and Aliens. The movie follows a tradition western set up. A lone man comes to a town, manages to get into a fight with the son of the richest man in

Poster Image from IMDb.com

town and becomes a target.

 

Then the alien ships show up and steal some of the town’s people, including the rich man’s son. This is not going to be your usual posse and you may not believe how it all works out.

I found it was a good movie for pre-teens and up, although my 8-year-old watched it without any ill effects. And did I mention that Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are in this movie? Their performances really make it worthwhile.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.