Tag Archive: morgan freeman


Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

We all need a bogeyman, something or someone to blame when life doesn’t go the way we want. But we also crave for a way to make life feel safe.

That is when certain movies are good for nothing more than setting up a villain and working to destroy him or her.

We all have some sort of action movie that is great for stress relief, that helps us see sometimes problems can be solved.

Bruce Willis Die Hard IMDb com

Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard, picture from IMDb.com

I always felt that was the appeal of the Die Hard series. John McClane as the rogue cop always managed to take down the terrorists, the villain, the bad guy with smart aleck one liners and a profane cry to let his opponents know there was nothing he wouldn’t do to save his family.

We love it of course, as John McClane does it all by fighting the bad guys be it opportunistic journalists or foreign terrorists seeking to kill while getting away with the cash.

London_Has_Fallen_posterTo me, that is the appeal of London Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler. This movie is a sequel to Olympus Has Fallen in which disgraced Secret Service officer Mike Banning saves the life of the president and his son when terrorists attack the White House.

It’s two years later in London Has Fallen; Butler is now the personal guard of the president played by Aaron Eckhart. He goes along for every trip, including a funeral service for the Prime Minister of England. It looks to be a security nightmare that various agencies are working to prevent.

Until that is the worst does happen. Bombs explode on bridges, monuments, boats. Leaders from a variety of countries are killed. Many of the cops are not real cops but terrorists waiting to cause complete destruction.

I can’t tell you the number of things I could not believe Gerard can do. He hung out of a speeding car and shot at the other vehicles driven by the villains. He took over the driving when the other guy was shot while driving. He took on various enemy combatants and beat them at their own game. All the while, the personal guard of the President is doing everything he can to keep his charge alive. The nursery awaiting his child had six security cameras in it.

London has fallen 2Is this movie any good? Well, there are some great explosions as various buildings are destroyed. The unending supply of minions is humorous when you take the time to think about it. The movie is watchable with funny little moments thrown in, such as the president finding himself behind the wheel of an SUV after seven years of not driving and wondering if he can still do it.

I think there is an audience for this movie with some cheesy lines and an easy villain with whom we can relate. There is swearing and some bloody violence. It is not for the younger kids. My son wants to watch it and at 19, he is the perfect age for it. I have to admit, I will probably not look for this movie but if it shows up on cable, I will probably watch it.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Recovery at the Sea

Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

There has been one movie that the kids have been clamoring to see in the last month and that is Dolphin Tale.

 

Earlier this school year, my youngest son got a book from the library about the movie. We might have even watched a YouTube video or two about this story. But once the movie was on the shelf at our little grocery store, the pleading began.

 

As far as I can tell, I was not alone. For the first few weeks, every time I went to rent a movie Dolphin Tale was not there. We had to make do with Green Lantern one week and Kung Fu Panda Two another. It is not that we don’t like Po or that either of these movies are not enjoyable.

 

The boy wanted Dolphin Tale. So last week we finally watched it. I got lucky and grabbed it before anyone else could.

 

The story is about a young dolphin that gets caught in a crab trap. She is found on the beach by a fisherman and a young boy. Nathan Gamble plays the boy and uses a pocket knife to carefully removes the trap and the ropes of the dolphin. Help comes in the form of Harry Connick Jr. who takes the sea mammal to his marine life hospital.

 

Gamble has to go to summer school every day. But as soon as school is over, he runs to the hospital. The first time he sneaks in so he can see how the dolphin is doing. Of course, he is discovered and asked to come back every day. It seems that the dolphin bonded with the boy.

 

Of course, there is a sad back story for the boy. As it turns out, the doc and his daughter, who is the same age as the boy, have a sad back story as well. During the course of our story another sad thing occurs. But instead of being a bad thing, the sad occurrence leads to a good thing in a number of ways.

 

Usually at this point of a review, I tell you to watch out for the usual traps of a movie like this. Couples form and have disagreements for stupid reasons. Everything gets all matchy-matchy. However, this movie does not go there. The writers walk away from the usual path.

 

The problem in this case is that there is no money for the hospital/marine museum. The board is being forced to close the building and sell the land to a developer. So the boy figures out a way to raise money. And he finds a way to pass summer school. In the end people are happy, the dolphin has been given a new lease on life, and we get to watch Morgan Freeman breeze his way through another wonderful role.

 

At the end of the night, parents and kids were happy with the movie selection. And that was a very good thing.

 

Until next year, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

Have you noticed more movies about people in their 50’s and 60’s?

Maybe it’s me not noticing till now or maybe there are enough aging Baby Boomers in Hollywood that still want to be viable or see movies featuring people like themselves.

Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman in "Red," Picture from IMDb.com.

This question comes to the forefront of my mind after seeing commercials all weekend for Red starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren as retired CIA operatives who come back together to figure out why they are being hunted.

This movie came out to the home theater market on January 25th and actually made money at the theaters when it was released back in October. I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to the movies and do not remember this one at all. However, as it made $90+ million at the box office one can only assume that plenty of people did know about this movie.

Something about the trailer does give me a small thrill and I have put it on the “must watch” list because there is something about a decent action-adventure I truly enjoy. Not only that but I love it when John Malkovich gets off his high horse. He looks a little nutty, a little crazy and not his usual self.

Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep in "It's Complicated," PIcture from IMDb.com

This past weekend when the husband and I could not watch The Social Network because it had been taken already, we went for It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Instead of being impressed by a 26-year-old billionaire, I was impressed by a bunch of 50+ year olds being willing to explore love and sex at their age, with people their age.

Meryl Streep and Steve Martin in "It's Complicated," Picture from IMDb.com.

 In my opinion, the movie did not really take off until half way through. But there were searing honest moments between Meryl and her two suitors that wrenched my heart. Other moments, including the obligatory “togetherness” scene, were a lot of fun between Streep and Martin.

 Directed by Nancy Myers, this is not her first time with ‘senior lovers’ but it is a better effort and a truer ending than Something’s Gotta Give.

Sylvester Stallone in "The Expendables," Picture from IMDb.com

 The last movie I must mention in this set is The Expendables. These movie stars Sylvester Stallone (who also directed) and Jason Statham as mercenaries hired to take out a South American trouble maker. But they get down to the country and find out the truth. Suddenly sides are getting switched and souls redeemed.

 The fun part of this movie is that it also stars Jet Li, Adolph Lundgren, Steve “Stone Cold” Austin and other action stars we knew from the 80s and 90s. There are even cameos from uber action guys, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. This movie is not meant to be taken seriously; there is not stunning dialogue or deeper characterizations. It is meant to be a love letter to those old movies. Sometimes you need to take a time out from seriousness.

 The thing you have to remember is that Stallone is 64 in this movie and he chooses to fight Austin in one scene. Guts or stupidity, I guess it is whatever it takes to make an entertaining flick.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.