Tag Archive: jennifer aniston


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

We remember St. Patrick as the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland. We celebrate his work as a christian cleric by drinking with green beer or Guinness, and eating corned beef and cabbage.

At this point in time, my St. Patrick’s Day plan is to go to the Drive in in Gibson City to watch Beauty and the Beast. I have not previewed this movie so I don’t know if it is good or not.

But this live-action retelling is based on a very popular and well written original. Plus it stars the very talented Emma Watson and Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey. I have high hopes. Plus, I will be at the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in where there are sure to be plenty of good snacks.

My personal favorite is the funnel cake sundae. Don’t tell my doctor what I am eating. I feel pretty sure I will have to walk a mile or two to kill of the calories of this killer snack.

Now if you are not as lucky as I am, there are always movies you can rent.

LeprechaunSomehow I feel it is possible to find copies of Leprechaun. This 1993 horror movie is about a group of teenagers who unwittingly unleash an evil leprechaun who wants his gold back that was stolen by the previous owner of the house. They don’t know where the gold is located but they keep trying to find it as the evil guy keeps hunting them and killing people off.

Actor Warwick Davis infused his character with some humor. You know him better as Professor Flitwick. Another actor you might recognize is Jennifer Aniston in her first movie.

I am not a fan of horror flicks so I can’t tell you if it good or bad but I am willing to bet that this would not be a good movie for the younger members of your family or any one who gets nightmares easily.

High SpiritsIf you are looking for something a little bit safer with a bit of an edge to it I would take a gander at High Spirits directed by Neil Jordan and starring Darryl Hannah, Steven Guttenberg, Liam Neesom, and Beverly D’Angelo. This movie is about an American couple spending the weekend at an Irish castle to see if her father should buy it or not.

It is a castle reputed to be haunted by a couple who died on their wedding night. But just in case that doesn’t happen, the owner (Peter O’Toole) has provided a few scares of his own to make the trip worthwhile for his guests. This is a movie with medium scares and somewhat less scary for the young ones in the family. I think context wise it is more appropriate for adults than children.

Into the West IMDb com

Image from IMDb.com

However, if you are looking for a movie for all members of the family with an Irish theme, then my suggestion is always is always going to be Into the West. It is a fantastic story about two boys who are given a horse by their grandfather. The problem is that the boys live in a Dublin public housing high rise building. They really have no place to keep him and the elevator makes for a poor stable.

Then a rich and greedy man notices the horse and finds a way to get this beautiful beast. But the boys steal the horse back and make a run across the country to the sea. Besides the police and the rich man’s henchmen, they are being followed by their father who has been living in grief over the death of his wife.

I cry, I laugh, I cheer the boys on.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

There is nothing more disappointing that to watch an actor or actress do less than what they are capable of doing in any given role.

I actually admire actors who try on different roles that may not be their strong suit and work to be good at it. I love Nicole Kidman who is great at the dramatic roles but has also done a supernatural thriller (The Others) and comedy (Bewitched). Her co-star in the latter movie, Will Ferrell, took a risk when he made Stranger Than Fiction. It showed us a serious side to the actor we normally see in comedies.

Last week I talked about how I wish Adam Sandler would do more movies that showcase his dramatic abilities. If there is one female star that I could choose who I wish would do more risky roles, it would be Jennifer Aniston.

We know her as best as Rachel from the TV show that launched her career. Over the years she has made romantic comedies that have made me shake my head, wondering why she wasted her time on these movies. As you might imagine, the movies I am talking about are for adult consumption and not for the kiddies.

But then Aniston took a chance when she made The Good Girl in 2002. The story is about a young woman who is bored in her marriage to house painter John C. O’Reilly. That is when she strikes up a relationship with the new stock boy, Jake Gyllenhall.

What the woman does not realize is that the boy is unstable. But she will have to deal with that aspect of his personality as well as the discovery of the affair. For Aniston, this was the step away from her Rachel persona that she needed. The role was complex and the character grows in understanding by the end of the movie.

Poster Image fro IMDb.com

It would take four years till we saw Anniston in another movie that expanded her skills. Friends With Money also starred Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack and Catherine Keener. The story is about four friends, one of whom has gone through a divorce and quit her job as a teacher at a private school.

What we see is a woman who is confused and not dealing well with the changes in her life but is lucky enough to have good friends who try to help her through it all. Those friends are not at great points of their life either. We see inside the world of the rich through the eyes of a woman who used to be better off. It is a movie I enjoy and wish Anniston would try more often.

There are two movies I have not seen with Anniston that also break away a bit from her usual role. One is Horrible Bosses in which she plays a dentist who sexually harasses he employee. Anniston takes on the unfamiliar role of the bad guy and critics loved what she did with it.

The other movie is Love Happens.  While this is another romantic comedy, I am interested because I love Aaron Eckhart. I am also interested by the subject matter of two people recovering from broken hearts and not sure if they can trust again. The worst that can happen is I waste a few hours but I can also do a craft while watching the movie.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

So Many Choices

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Have you looked at the movie rental rack for this week? I swear there is something for everyone.

I have been forced out of the garden because there are movies I want to see. This means the hosta bed that I need to revamp is going to be ignored a little more. I want to move things around, add a different variety of hosta to mix it up a little and plant a few tulip and daffodil bulbs to make this an interesting bed in early spring.

Image from IMDb.com

But that has to wait because a potential Oscar movie I really want to see is coming to the home market. Now a Brad Pitt movie is always something to get excited about but I have had The Tree of Life on my list for some time. Directed by Terrance Malick, it is the story of a boy’s relationship within his family including a dad who is a veteran.

It is a movie about loss and regaining yourself and rebuilding relationships. The movie is rated PG-13 for thematic issues. But the subject is quite serious and I am not sure most teens will want to sit through it.

We have all had bad bosses and have wanted to do bad things to them. That is the thought process that went into the script for Horrible Bosses in which three friends decide they are going to find a way to rid the world of their bosses without getting caught.

Image from IMDb.com

Kevin Spacey is perhaps being typecast in this movie. However, Colin Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston are the remarkable ones in this decidedly dark comedy. As it is rated R, I am not letting my younger children watch this one.

One movie I think my kids will want to watch is The Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds as the superhero with a powerful ring.  Reynolds starts off being a risky fighter pilot who has a problem with relationships, including with childhood friend and past girl friend, Blake Lively.

The movie has much comic book action, the plot is silly and we get the reluctant superhero routine. But Reynolds and Lively sell this movie, making it fun and tangible. You know these characters and root for them to succeed. It has a PG13 rating but I did allow my then-six-year-old to watch the movie.

Image from IMDb.com

Another kid movie coming out this week is Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. I have yet to see this movie starring Heather Graham as the aunt without kids who comes to spend time with her niece and nephew when mom and dad are called out of town. A summer that was looking to be boring because bff’s are gone and hanging with a little brother can be boring turns into something so much better.

The critics really hated this movie and I will admit to having not seen it myself. Then again they hate Beezuz and Ramona  as well and we loved that movie. Sometime you have to take a chance on these PG movies and hope they bring something to the table in storytelling and fun.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle