Tag Archive: michael


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Now that Halloween is near, I am seeing some great Halloween decorations around town and the county.

Ghoulies and ghosts, bats and pumpkins are flying about about or sitting in cute arrangements. We have ghosties to put in our yard and I have started buying candy for that big event at the end of the month. Our church is planning a Trunk-or-Treat event as well.

The leaves are turning and the air smells different. It feels crisp and clear, perhaps this is our version of the Californian sweater weather that I have heard of but never experienced. I know I can go out in the morning with a sweat jacket when I have to walk the dog in the morning and at night. But if I work in the garden during the day, I have to take off a layer.

Trying to find movies I can watch during this time is a challenge. I don’t watch scary movie because they give me nightmares. These movies replay in my head once I shut my eyes which is not always fun. I have to do some serious meditation to keep these movies from sticking. I don’t know how other parents do it. I didn’t let my kids watch the really scary stuff for a long time. My fall back during the season was always Scooby Doo.

The Woman in Black IMDb com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

It’s movies such as The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe that really get to me. These flicks have plenty of “Gotcha” moments that make a person jump and scream a little or a lot. In this movie, Radcliffe is a lawyer sent to close the estate of a deceased client in a far-off English village on the coast. He has to be in her house and anytime the Woman in Black appears, children are going to die. Her unhinged anger at losing a child led to unhinged anger in the after life. Who knew?

What is funny is that I love watching ghost shows such as Dead Files and Ghost Adventures. These people are always going into allegedly haunted places and finding ghosts or evil entities. The things that they say or their actions can be quite frightening. However, when they replay the event you can see how scary or not scary the event might be. You can see if it is real or not. Or as real as it can look; my kids are always telling me how fake these shows are.

The difference between these is the build up to the action. In horror movies, you always know that something is about to happen for a variety of reasons. First, the character is doing something stupid, such as wandering around alone. Second, the music becomes eerie with discordant sounds that sets a person’s nerve on edge. That is when the moment happens. The evil entity jumps out, the mass murderer gets another person, someone disappears or falls through an open elevator shaft.

But in the ghost shows the action never has build up other than a voice over stating that the scene you’re about to see shows some conclusive evidence. There is little music run-up or if there is, it follows a statement before immediately going into commercial break.

Those are the scares I can handle.

slasher movie villiansFreddy, Jason, Michael, zombies, Leatherface, and the Woman in Black terrify me every time. Even when I know they are coming, even when I hear all of the warning signs.

Probably a good thing I am not like the majority of movie goers or horror films would not have stayed so successful.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Family Movie Night for 7-07010 

Picture by Ana C. Golpe


This past week, I took advantage of some ripe cherries on a friend’s tree. 

 Lori does not seem to value these cherries and has told me in the past I may pick them. I made sure she gave me permission again and hauled three of the kids along with buckets and a step ladder to her yard. 

 My 13-year-old was not too interested in picking cherries. He complained and whined and made a fuss until we had been there for a while. Suddenly he wasn’t doing any of that anymore because he was too busy eating cherries. He likes things that are sour and these cherries were perfect for that. 

 Because our church was in the middle of VBS, I was not able to get the cherries ready for a day or two. Our pastor invited himself and his wife for cherry pie. I am more than willing to welcome them to my messy home – provided they bring the vanilla ice cream. 

 This made me think about movies with pie scenes. 

 Cheryl Hines, Keri Russell and Adrienne Shelley in Waitress. Picture from IMDb.comMy favorite is Waitress starring Keri Russell as a put-upon pregnant waitress with a rotten husband. The skill everyone knows her for is making the best pies. Some are imaginative and some are bitter but most are incredibly delicious. 

Then there is Michael starring John Travolta. Can anyone explain how this man takes on acting roles that seem silly or ridiculous and makes them credible?  Anyway, in this movie he plays the 

John Travolta, Robert Pastorelli, Andie McDowell and John Hurt in Michael, Picture from IMDb.com.


arch-angel, Michael. He is able to enthrall people around him, get them to make deals and do battle when necessary. 

 At one point in the movie, he tells Andie McDowell to sing her song about pie. This after the table has ordered every single type of pie that the restaurant sells. So she does and it is a simple song. But it is cute and catches the interest of William Hurt. 

 Neither of these movies are exactly family friendly. Their subjects tend to be more mature and better suited for the pre-teen and up crowd. 

Now if you are looking for a movie that is kid friendly with a bit of a food theme, there is Nanny McPhee starring Emma Thompson. 

 Nanny McFee comes to a home with seven incredibly smart but very mischievous children. Their father, Colin Firth, must make some difficult decisions regarding how to keep money coming into the family. But most importantly, he must have children who know how to behave. 

Colin Firth batting at a cake in Nanny McPhee, Picture from IMDb.com


In the beginning, we see a tremendous mis-use of food that Nanny McPhee uses to teach the children how to listen. Later, there will be the ultimate food fight that leads to the ultimate happy ending. It is a movie that never assumes kids are stupid but does allow they have to learn how to think. 

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle. 

 Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964 or become my friend on Facebook.

I am not sure when it happened but I became a big Jane Austen fan.

Perhaps because I am a romantic at best, there’s a gracefulness in her books I really love. I am always on the lookout for grace, especially in a house of three boys and an outdoor loving husband.

In the last decade it seems that a lot of people have jumped on the Austen train. People are writing sequels to her novels, re-writing novels to include zombies or vampires. One series makes her into a detective. Heck, there is even a book about the financial world created by the Austen boom.

There is a real part of me very upset about this. Can’t these people create their own characters, their own worlds, their own novels? I realize fan fiction can help people learn the ropes in character development and plotting devices but after a while it looks like laziness to me.

On the other hand, I really admire writers who take a small aspect and make that their novel without relying on Jane’s plots. One book, of which I have completely forgotten the title, created a sister for Mrs. Goddard from Emma. In this book we hear tidbits about Emma or Harriet but the novel is about how this sister is dealing with her re-marriage to a friend of her late-husband. She writes back and forth with her sister and we get a taste of London at that time.

Michael Thomas Ford has written a hilarious novel in which we find out Jane was turned into a vampire by one of the notorious men of her era. Jane Bites Back is a delight as we see how Jane deals with the truth of being a vampire, finding love and trying to get her last novel published after over 100 years. We get some fresh characters and find a few others from history who add to the fun.  Plus we see how Jane deals with some of the most opportunistic writers of the Jane Craze.

Another fun Jane-themed novel I have come to love is Austenland by Shannon Hale. Here we follow Jane Hayes who is bequeathed a three-week stay at Pembrook Park. This exclusive resort allows its visitors to completely sink into Regency life, including a final ball and a potential love interest. While Aunt Carolyn intended for Jane to get over her Darcy obsession and step back into real life, Jane finds herself having a difficult time going into the fantasy at first.

Austenland by Shannon Hale, picture from Barnes & Noble.com

But when she lets her inner Lizzie come out and battle to keep from being made into Fanny, lets just say this plain Jane plays the game hard.

Tomorrow I will get into just who I think should be in the movie version of both of these books just in case Hollywood or Emma Thompson or BOTH come calling.

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.