Tag Archive: kenneth branaugh

Waiting and Watching

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

There are so many great movies out right now, I am not sure which one I want to see first.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

There is a new Justice League movie and the adaptation of Wonder starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. Kenneth Branaugh plays Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express. There’s the movie about the three billboards and another about the special relationship between mother and daughter.

But the holiday movie I am really excited about won’t hit theaters till the middle of December.

That’s right, it is The Last Jedi which is Episode 8 on the Star Wars trilogy trilogy.

I will be honest when I say that I really don’t like episodes 2 or 3. These are bland movies that never allowed whatever chemistry that Natalie Portman and Hayden Christopher might have had shine through to the screen. The battle scenes are tremendous but there should have been something more to make us love Pademe even more.

The Last Jedi CFWhat I am excited about is the chance to see Carrie Fisher one more time. The actress passed away last year during the Christmas season which was made worse by her own mother passing away a few days later.

But now we get to see her final bit of work, her final time as General Leia. I know it will be heart-breaking and sad, that I will cry when I see her on that screen. I feel as if Carrie Fisher has always been in my life in some form and her brilliance not being available anymore is sad.

It wasn’t just her work in Star Wars, I admired that she was the person movie makers called when they knew their script wasn’t quite right. She became a script doctor, making a variety of movies better because of the dialogue she wrote.

She appeared in some movies uncredited and made them better by showing up. She made When Harry Met Sally better by being the misguided friend who didn’t get that the married men she dated were never leaving their wives which was a supporting role.

In getting ready for this next movie in the Star Wars series, I am very tempted to watch every movie, starting with Episode IV:A New Hope. It will always be Star Wars in my head because this is where we start, this is where we meet Luke, Hans, Chewy and Leia. This is where we learn to fear Darth Vader and revere ObiWan.

The Last JediAnd when we get to The Force Awakens I know I will be crying for a variety of reasons. But I want to see them again in this new movie as I have never wanted to see them before. Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley may be the new generation but Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are the touch points of the older one.

I want to see how they will pass on the torch.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

The Opening Reminiscings

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Did you watch the opening of the Olympics in London?



Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale;” Image from IMDb.com

Oh, I did and was happily blown away by most of it. From the beginning film of Queen Elizabeth II jumping out of a military helicopter with Daniel Craig as James Bond to the lighting of the copper bowls that would rise up to become the Olympic cauldron, I was spellbound for most of it.


I found myself crying when I remembered that the last time the Brits hosted the Olympics, The Queen’s father had been king at the time. She was a newlywed. At some point I read how poor the country was in 1948. Then again, they were a last-minute substitute when a fire destroyed the other site.


This time, the Olympics are the hope of the East End of London that has seen much economic turmoil. With new buildings and all of the activity, natives to the area are hoping for an economic boom. One of those people includes David Beckham, world football/soccer star who grew up on the East End .


So many movies went through my head as I watched the ceremonies. Some are for adults while others can be shared with children. Of course, I thought of the James Bond movies. Sean Connery (From Russia with Love) may be the best of all the Bonds but Daniel Craig (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) is a close second in my book. And he is only followed by Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day and The World is Not Enough).



Kenneth Branaugh as “Henry V;” Image from IMDb.com

Kenneth Branaugh played the part of the Industrialist who transforms England from an agrarian nation to the Industrial revolution. He delivered his lines with the enthusiasm of a Shakespearian actor. How can we forget Branaugh’s speech in Henry V as he bolsters the morale of his troops.  How can we forget his silliness as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


When JK Rowling took the stage and read a portion from Peter Pan, I nearly started bawling. While Peter Pan did not make an appearance, Captain Hook did as well as other villains from British children’s literature. Lord Voldemort drew himself up so tall and I remembered how much I loved the books and movie about Harry Potter.


But it was not Harry that drove away the evil creatures of the night. It was a nanny, Mary Poppins with her umbrella and satchel. My daughter asked about her and while I explained that Mary was a magical character I realized that we need to see this movie. Refrains of ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ suddenly went through my head.


During the montage of music, I was lost on some of the references but loved the moment from Trainspotting and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I sang along with so many songs, including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’



Rowan Atkinson as “Johnny English;” Image from IMDb.com

Perhaps my most favorite moment though was with Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean playing in the orchestra. I think any movie improves just by having Atkinson in a scene or two as he was in Love Actually. I love what ever he does and would rent the wonderfully bad Johnny English. Also, catch him as The Black Adder. Priceless is his comedy.


What a way to open the Olympics – totally eccentric, totally British, totally wonderful.


 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.