Tag Archive: john leguizamo

Just Another Week

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

This has been a few weeks of big ups and low downs in the Bowman household.

It started with a call from my mother stating that my father died in the early morning hours. He wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected. He was there and then he was gone, just like that. Since then there has been his cremation, trips to Missouri and back, and a memorial gathering in my home town. Family and friends came to remember my father, some that I haven’t seen in years. A few I knew off the bat, others were different in my memory. They all had something to share about my dad that made me smile and cry all at the same time.

I received a lovely phone call from some regular readers who enjoyed a recent column that touched on a favorite movie of their mother’s. It is a reminder that while I sit alone in my office surrounded by disorder and the chaos of family life, the words I write do have meaning for others. I am glad that what I write can bring back such happy memories for a family who have lost a loved one.

Things were beginning to settle down when my 17-year-old received word that he had gotten into his first choice of colleges. The one he wanted is the one he got! There was much celebration.

While I am tremendously sad about losing my father, and I will write about that at a later time, I can see all around me that life goes on. My world stopped for a bit but all around things kept moving on. One of the grown-up girls from my youth group just had a baby. Another girl is about to have her first child. I saw in the paper that one of my former neighbors recently passed; some friends from church are dealing with the sudden loss of their son.

In this time, I guess it would be expected that the movies I would choose to watch are the old favorites. They can be comforting because you know what to expect. We did that this week with Monsters Inc. and the first Harry Potter movie.Chef - cover

But a movie I really wanted to watch was Chef starring Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara. In this movie, Favreau plays a chef who’s restaurant is about to be visited by a big time blogger food critic. His owner wants him to play it safe and to make the man happy, the chef does just that. But when the two star review comes out and a twitter war brews between the chef and the reviewer, the chef loses his job and self respect.

Not that he didn’t have issues before. He allowed his job to get in the way of being with his son. He allowed past hurts and a divorce to build up a wall. That is until his ex wife throws out a lifeline, a chance to do something different, which the chef grabs onto and follows.

I love movies like this one, the slice of life that is willing to be honest and raw at times. It’s not enough that the Chef and his son have honest conversations, they seem to follow through on them. The Chef admits to being a bad dad and loves when his kid shows him how to be better. The relationships with Vergara and the other people feel true with their bits of honesty and dysfunction.

But here is the warning. If you do not like swearing, if foul language sets you off, this is not your movie. I loved how the cooks in the kitchen interacted with Favreau because it spoke of deep friendships. I knew/know these guys. But the way they spoke to each other is harsh, especially to a stranger. Funny enough, as the movie went on the swearing decreased.

Chef - food truckWhile Chef may not get nominated for any awards, movies like this just don’t because they are not flashy enough, it is worth your time. If the last scene of the movie had been cut, the movie might have been better. But we love to know the whole story, don’t we?

I allowed my high schooler to watch it but not my eighth grader. I am not ready to share a movie with this much swearing in it with her just yet even though the rest of the story would have been Okay for her to watch. All I know is that I felt great after watching this movie and how a movie makes you feel is perhaps the most important indicator.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

When I received the invite to see a preview screening of Ice Age: Continental Drift, I knew right away that only one of my children was going to see the movie with me.

That was going to be my seven-year-old boy.

I have an eleven-year-old and fifteen-year-old as well but they have become too old for this movie series. My daughter might have been interested because of the storyline involving Peaches who is now a young teenager. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

In this movie, we are dealing with a new problem for the herd consisting of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo). The land mass is changing, greatly. Mountains and cliffs are rising or pushing forward.

The only hint that this might happen is when Sid’s family suddenly show up and leave Grandma (Wanda Sykes) behind without her teeth. A comment is made about the world changing but that is not their main concern.  Our herd does not worry until they start hearing some rumblings.

Manny still has time to tell his daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), that she is not hanging out with the cool mammoths. And she still has time to fight back. That is until another rumble begins to physically change their world and separates the three males from the herd. Manny vows to get back to his family while Ellie leads the rest of the herd to what appears to be a safe place.

Manny faces down a pirate crew in a life -or-death battle while Peaches takes on peer pressure during a march that could mean life or death.

Funny enough, it is Sid who says it best about these movies when trying to describe the dinosaur adventure when he says it doesn’t seem likely but it was great fun.

I could pick apart this movie, talk about the stories being tried and true, that a few characters need to examine their souls and where they stand in life. I could talked about the laughably bad musical number that introduces the pirates and the teen drama that plays like it always does.

But what an Ice Age movie is about is really the fun of it all. The fun of out-witting the bad guy, the action of the 3D as characters fly over ice or through the water, and cute cuddly creatures that are brave when it counts. That is what makes it fun for the kids.

What made it fun for me, the mom who is sitting there with the kid, were the silly little moments.  Such as the irrelevant question as the herd begins their journey to the land bridge. Or how Manny knows when he is being tricked by a group of monsters. Or when Peaches finally stands up for herself.

I enjoyed Wanda Sykes as Grandma and Jennifer Lopez was not too distracting as Shira. I loved the badger as a pirate flag and the whole nutty ‘Atlantis’ section.

While the 3D is OK and makes things pop out, it does not add to the movie going experience all that much for me. At least this time around the glasses were not too annoying.

Would I watch this movie again? Not really. It is OK for a fun night with the kids and I would not be overly bored with it. But Ice Age:Continental Drift does not have the underlying issues that makes me want to watch others movies such as Toy Story or Shrek over and over again.

It is a movie that is great for family time, just a little touchy-feeling at times, but with plenty of action to make you forget about that stuff.

(2 Stars)