Tag Archive: practical magic


A Little Bit of a Scare

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Just because it is the Halloween season, doesn’t mean you have to watch a super scary movie.

Sometimes a hint of the supernatural is all it takes to be satisfied. I know I prefer my scary movies to have a bit of humor in them. Or maybe I prefer to have comedies or dramedies with a touch of horror.

practical-magic-collageOne of my favorite movies to watch this time of year is Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Who knew back in 1998 that we were watching two future Oscar winners. This movie could be described as a comedy because there are comedic elements. It could be a drama because there are moments of clarity and emotional introspection.

The supernatural element as both comedy and serious moments to the movie. The story is about two sisters who are dealing with the early deaths of their parents in different ways. Sally wanted nothing more than to be normal with love and a family. She had all of that until her husband died in a freak accident that some felt was because of the family curse.

Gillian is the party girl. She is searching for love far from home, looking for that one man who can withstand the curse. And she finds that man, strong enough to withstand the curse but evil in other ways.

While this might be a movie you can watch with girl friends or older teens, I would not watch this movie with younger kids. There is too much content that is adult oriented as we go from grief to dealing with an abusive situation to casual swearing for some but serious to others.

But for adults, it is a fun movie. It resolves into an ending we want with the hope of renewal,

BewitchedNow if you are looking for something with more comedy in the supernatural realm, try Bewitched starring Nicole Kidman as Samantha. Kidman portrays a witch trying to be mortal. But she finds herself being discovered by a Hollywood star trying to reclaim his shine with a new version of the old TV show.

This is not a perfect movie but it is a lot of fun. Kidman and the witchy crew have real rapport amongst them. It is when we have Will Ferrell taking first place that we feel the film slow down and be less funny or interesting. However, when he is with Kidman his timing is better. The character becomes more believable. The movie really shines whenever Kidman and Michael Caine share the screen. Their chemistry as father and daughter really sparkles, I could have watched them all day long.

This movie can be watched by middle school and older children. Some of the situations or language will not be appropriate or perhaps content-wise at their level. This is another movie to watch with the girlfriends while you guys nosh and talk and laugh.

Harry, Ron and Hermione HP&SS IMDb com

Hermione, Harry and Ron in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Picture from IMDb.com

If you are looking for something lighthearted to watch with kids, there is always the first Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It is this movie that introduces us to the wizarding world, asking us to see and hear all of the wonders. Yes, there are scary moments such as when the kids fight the troll and battle the various challenges at the end. But there are many times when it feels as if we are being asked to join in the fun. And who can resist that?

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Movies for Scardy Cats

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

At this time of year, what you are going to find are lots of scary movies. Movies about Vampires, Zombies, monsters, and serial killers.

But that is what happens in October, we get movies about crazed clowns and psychotic killers.

Not all of us are up for that. Seriously, I can handle only so many scary movies before I am done. I need levity and a bit of laughter along with my scares and creepy-crawly moments.

That explains why every Halloween season, I find myself watching Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. The story is about two sisters who come from a long line of witches whom appear to be cursed. Their husbands die young and usually there is a warning song from a beetle.

practical-magic-collageIt doesn’t help that the women are incredibly beautiful and some are heart breakers. Sally (Bullock) is beautiful but wants to stay close to home. She dreams of a normal life and had a deep love for her husband and their two daughters. That happiness is destroyed when he dies young. Jilly (Kidman) is a bit of a heart breaker and runs away from home at 18 to find the guy who can withstand the curse.

But one day Jilly meets that guy and he turns out to be something more than a regular guy. Soon the two women are dealing with a problem bigger than they can handle, denying the truth to their witchy aunts. Things get worse when a handsome detective from Arizona arrives to solve a missing person’s case.

This movie has some very serious moments about the supernatural, possession, and not messing with that you don’t understand or disrespect. There are funny moments as well when the four women have a margarita party or during a scene in Sally’s botanical soap and lotion shop.

This is a great scary movie for scardy cats like me because humor is scattered all over this movie. There are the ghostly parts and then there is funny or romantic scenes. It is not a good movie to watch around little ones, better for teens and older or those of us adults who want to watch something a little scary and a little sexy.

love-at-first-biteThis lead me to think about Love at First Bite with George Hamilton and Susan St. James. While I am sure there are some funny moments to this movies, it is not one I want to watch and nor can I recommend. Hamilton is more famous for his tan than his acting abilities.

I can only suggest this movie about a vampire who loses his Transylvanian home and moves to New York as a possible movie to riff on with your friends as you watch it. The vampire’s goal is to find the woman who looks like his long lost love who is now in New York City working as a supermodel. Just three bites and he can make her his forever. That is if the grandson of Van Helsing doesn’t kill him first.

Like I said, this movie is great for being ridiculed. All you need is popcorn and a smart-aleck friend to get the ball rolling. Perhaps a drinking game can be made with it.  I am going to guess that by the end of the movie what you will be horrified by is the badness of this plot which is better than being horrified because of one gruesome murder after another in my book.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.