Tag Archive: jesse eisenberg

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

It was one of those typical weekends in a small town.

Friday night was the band concert at the high school. Saturday was errands, 5the-8th grade solo and ensemble contest, and a Pork Chop supper. Sunday was church and the big Sunday meal at the house.

church dinnerI was once asked if life was slower after we moved from the city to a small town. While I might have spent more time in traffic congestion, the thing that did not change was how busy our lives were/are with kid activities. There is always something going on, some place to go or special event to mark on the calendar.

Life can be as busy or as slow as you make it and it doesn’t matter where you live. Small towns have their advantages and, obviously, I like that. Our kids have great comfort here and that it important.

This past weekend was everything I want out of life. It was perfect, it was quiet at times and active at others. Some might have seen it as perfectly boring while others might have felt it was way too busy. Typical small town life. Whatever that might mean to you.

And that is what this week’s movie, American Ultra, tries to depict at first, the life of a small town stoner guy and his girlfriend. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, this is a movie that is meant for older teens and adults. There is plenty of swearing, lots of violent action, and a ton of death. Cartoon action this is not. The R rating is there, not for ‘real’ but for blood, gore, and swearing that some folks mat not want to deal with seeing or hearing.

american-ultra-posterMike and Phoebe can never leave the town because he gets anxiety attacks every time he tries. And some days he worries that he is holding Phoebe, his girlfriend, back from her full potential. The problem is, he is more than that. He has no clue why until a woman drops into his convenience store and says some strange words to him.

The next thing Mike knows is that two guys are coming after him with knives and he takes them out – with a spoon. This completely freaks Mike out and he reaches out to Phoebe. But before you know it there are more guys with guns and knives and other stuff willing to take Mike out. And he cannot understand why.

Going into this movie, I was not sure what to expect. Was it going to be light and fluffy and serious and grim? The thing is, this movie is a bit of both. It is making fun of these programs that try to train the perfect spy/killing machine. But the movie also presents what could happen if that person is hidden within a small community. You have to be willing to suspend all disbelief while in the midst of constant violence and harmful actions that feel all too real.

At least you will be more prepared than Mike ever was.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


This is the season in which we watch a lot of movies that are old favorites. Holiday movies impart a sense of hope that we may not feel the rest of the year.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

There is so much we want for the holiday season: to gather with family and not have any drama; to get together with loved one and lose old argument; to participate in as much as possible without feeling frazzled.


When you get tired of Christmas movies and Christmas songs and Christmas festivities there are always movies from the summer to take us back.


One of the hits from this summer was The Smurfs. The kids will have fun with this movie as the little blue people and their nemesis, Gargamel, find a portal that takes them to New York City.


The smurfs have to find their way back before the evil wizard destroys everything they know. The movie will be a blast from the past for parents who grew up with the smurfs. And it has a PG rating, making it safe for all family members.


Other movies coming out this week are meant for an older crowd.


Poster image from IMDb.com

Take 30 Minutes of Less starring Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza deliveryman who is being forced to rob a bank for some petty criminals. He is going to need the help of his former best friend, Aziz Ansari, to help him avoid assassins and various other obstacles.


This movie has an R rating due to crude humor, pervasive language and violence. It might be better suited for the older teens hanging around but not for the youngest members of the house.


A dippy comedy coming out this week stars Paul Rudd as Our Idiot Brother. His three sisters – Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer and Elizabeth Banks – take in their brother after his latest love affair dies a bitter death. The problem is that their brother is not the smartest of men and constantly trusts people when he should not.


So does that make him a idiot in all things? Maybe yes, maybe no. But this gentle comedy works on the charm of its leading actor and how he interacts with the rest of the cast. The movie is rated R and therefore not appropriate for the younger members of the family.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

Finally, if you are looking for a romantic movie to slip away with there is the recent release of One Day starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgis. They meet at college and continue to meet up with each other on July 15 for the next 20 years.


We see the changes of their lives, as one plays hard and the other works hard. Slowly we see if they are meant for each other or simply the touch point of each other’s lives. The movie is rated PG-13 and can be intense at various moments. I would suggest it for older teens and up, not for children unless you find a censored version.




Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

And On To The Oscars

Family Movie Night

This past weekend saw the Golden globes hand out their awards and next will be various guilds until we get to Oscar Night!

As a movie person, I get really excited about this night and I feel bad when I have not seen all of the movies. But this year I am taking the bulls by the horn. 

Rooney Mara and Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network," picture from IMDb.com

 As of the 18th, you can start your rental road to the Oscars with Golden Globe Best Movie winner, The Social Network.  Jesse Eisenberg stars as the Harvard student who came up with Facebook. This is how he wheeled and dealed (sort of), lost friends, gained business associates and became the youngest billionaire.

 All the critics have raved about this movie, talking about Eisenberg’s  accurate portrayal and Justin Timberlake’s incredible performance. As much as I do not know about computer programming, I want to see this movie for the story.

 Another movie that is destined for a Best Movie nomination is Inception starring Leonardo Di Caprio and directed by

Leonardo Di Caprio in "Inception," picture from IMDb.com

Christopher Nolan. The story is about a man who can steal ideas as people are sleeping. However, Di Caprio is not able to go home to his children. That is when he is offered a deal to plant a suggestion in someone’s head in exchange for redemption.

 What makes this movie fascinating, besides the premise alone, is the special effects of the ever-changing dream world. With a tug of the hand scenes can instantly change. It is incredible to watch along with the emotionally charged story. I was able to get through one hour before I had to turn it off. I plan to rent this movie again.

Grown-up Andy looking at his favorite toys, Picture from IMDb.com

Finally, I hope that Toy Story 3 will get nominated for Best Picture although I suspect it will be placed in Best Animation as a consolation prize. I find this movie to be a thrilling story of growing up, regrets, a little action adventure and, finally, rebirth.

 Now if none of these movies appeal, let me suggest The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as two NYPD detectives who hate each other. Luck shines on the caustic partners as they discover a case that could make them into the big-time cops they dream of being.

This is a PG-13 movie, not suitable for the younger members of the family. It looks like a whole lot of fun besides the opportunity to ogle Mark Wahlberg’s abs that were put into shape as he got ready for The Fighter.

Will Ferrell and the hot, hot, hot Mark Wahlberg in "The Other Guys," picture from IMDb.com

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.