Tag Archive: police

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

I had been putting off seeing Maleficent because I knew it was a re-telling of a familiar fairy tale and I wasn’t sure I was up to it.

While the other updates on fairy tales are about girl power and taking control of your own destiny, this one goes a step further to a darker place. Something is taken from our lead character that can never be replaced and then she is treated as the villain for wanting revenge.

MaleficentHere Angelina Jolie plays a fairy who is the protector of her world which lies next to a human kingdom. The humans can see this wonderful magical area and want to take it over. But Maleficent won’t allow it, using trees for her army. The king is furious and wants her destroyed.

Only one man in his circle knows how to do this and Stephan uses knowledge from his shared childhood with Maleficent to make sure she cannot fight as strongly as she did that day. It is a great betrayal that leads to a curse on her part and maddening obsession his. And it ends with a battle royal on the day of his daughter’s 16th birthday.

If this retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story is anything, it is beautifully photographed with rich colors and well done CGI. The sets and costuming brings one into the time period as well. I enjoyed that aspect. What bothers me is the motivation for the curse, the reason behind everything which is upsetting and unsettling. I have seen and read re-told tales. Is that what Wicked is after all, tell the story from the Wicked Witch of the West’s point of view?

It is not just what was taken from Maleficent but by whom it was done, a most trusted friend. It reminds me of too many real cases of theft of this sort and how the victim is always made to be the villain in the story. It is not a movie for the younger crowd, better viewing and understanding will happen with the younger teens and older because of the context of the movie. I would be prepared to answer questions at the end.

On the lighter end of the spectrum, Zootopia comes out on DVD this week. When I first heard of this movie, I was not impressed. It took hearing a few friends’ reviews and watching it for myself to really fall in love.

ZootopiaThe story is about a bunny who lives in the country and dreams of being a police office. Not just any police force, she wants to land on the police department of the large capitol city, Zootopia. And when she does, Judy is not given the most exciting job. However, soon enough she is knee deep into an investigation that starts off being about a missing animal and leads into something much bigger.

Judy, it turns out, is quite resourceful especially when she blackmails fox Nick Wilde to help get into places she can’t otherwise. The action is fast paced, characters are well drawn and interesting, and Judy’s optimism is infectious. The other big plus is the theme song by Shakira who voices Gazelle in the movie. Every time that song comes on the radio, my minivan rocks.

While this is a great kids movie, be aware that if your pre-school child is scared by loud roars and some aggressive behavior, they may not enjoy this movie.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Building Scenes

Product Thursday

I blame Lego-My-Photo.

I shared my blogging experience with my kids and said let’s look at this great site with pictures of scenes made with hundreds, thousands of Legos.  We did and my now 7 y.o. became enamored with creating his own scenes with legos. He took what blocks he had and started telling me to take a picture and post it on facebook.

Soon, his brother’s friends brought over their old Lego mini figs and Lego blocks. An alien showed up along with pirates and golden blocks.

His creativity in setting up scenes has been inspiring although it would be nice if he picked up more of the Legos from the floor. I have had too many late nite ouchies after stepping on a block or two.

So it was birthday weekend for the little guy and the parents (me and the husband) knew what we had to do. The siblings focused on Yu-Gi-Oh cards. But we wanted to encourage that creative streak so the mission was simple.  

Get him Legos!

The first package he opened was a basic City set with a few police officers, a few robbers and a dog. It also came with a motorcycle and an ATM.

Playing Cops and Robbers

You think we hit a homerun with that set?

The next present made the boy squeal with excitement.

I thought this would be a good idea because we are presently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. How can you go wrong with crazy trees, Hagrid and villians with a flat nose?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Forest Legos set

Yep, it was everything the boy wanted.

A few years back, one of my adult nephews explained to me how Legos was resistent to character sets as they wanted play to be a creative act. But then the company started doing these character based sets because kids mixed and matched, going  beyond where ever the original story line started and ended.

That is why I love Legos. You may have a storyline to start with but that is not where it ends.

"Harry Potter! Prepare to Die!?"

And sometimes Lord Voldemort feels the need to rob an ATM and Harry needs to stop him before Voldy can ruin the American financial system.

Wait, that already happened.


Just go to the online Lego store or find a local lego store and start your own addiction.

Every Thursday, I review a product or service. If you have a product or a suggestion of one I should review, please contact me at bowmankaryn@sbcglobal.net.