Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Did you watch the opening of the Olympics in London?



Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale;” Image from

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

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

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.