Tag Archive: the patriot

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

A Town Crier Scarecrow

With Pumpkin Fest nearly upon us, the real challenge is how to make the “colonial” theme work.

If you dive into history, you might remember that the Lewis and Clark Expedition occurred around the turn of the 19th century. But more interesting to me are the forts that were built before then such as the ones on Mackinac Island and in Massac County in Southern Illinois.

I decided to try to think of movies for this time period and it took me a little while. There are movies about the founding fathers and the possible treasure they left for us to find.

Image from IMDb.com

I wondered how I could have forgotten about one American Girl doll movie about Felicity called An American Girl Adventure. For non-American Girl doll fans, Felicity is the ‘colonial’ girl whose stories often involve adventure during the time period in which our country was formed. We see first hand how hard life was at that time and how politics infiltrates everything.

This is a great movie for the younger family members and is not too cloying for the adults in the family. It has been a few years since I have seen the movie but I remember my daughter enjoying it very much.

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Another movie set in the colonial period may not be so kid friendly and that is The Last of the Mohicans” starring Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. The movie is set during French and Indian War as the British army tries to control the land.

Cora and Alice are the daughters of a British general who must suddenly learn to trust a white man who has been raised by Mohican Indians after their party is attacked and their father is killed.  Hawkeye, along with his adopted father and brother, had been traveling to Kentucky when they promise to take this group to a safer place.

It is not a movie appropriate for younger children as there is much violence and a sensual scene between Lewis and Stowe. There are several deaths, including settler friends of Hawkeye, that are quite sad and one that is a mercy killing of sorts. It is a movie that is more appropriate for those who are in their teens and older. Just be aware that this is a long movie, worth the watch but long.

Finally, there are two movies that are about the revolutionary war. The first is The Patriot starring Mel Gibson as a father who joins the war after one of his sons is killed. It is a bloody violent movie that is better for those who are in their teen years and older.

Image from IMDb.com

The second movie is called Revolution starring Al Pacino. This little seen 1985 movie is reported to be more accurate than the Gibson flick. However, it is supposed to be just as compelling and interesting as we watch Pacino play a trapper who joins the war effort in order to protect his son.

Please let me know if you know of other movies set in that time period by dropping a note below.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.



Image from IMDb.com

Next week, this time we will be on the second leg of summer. Fireworks will have been spent and the flags will hang while waiting for a breeze.

This week, we need to celebrate. Hang that flag, fluff out those red, white and blue planters. Desserts at picnics will include cookies with red, white and blue icing. My favorite is the coolwhip cake that has strawberries and blueberries making a flag.

So what should you watch if the rain comes and forces everyone in the house?

The first movie on my list (surprise, surprise) is National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage, Justin Bartha and Diane Kruegar. Cage has been following a crazy dream of his family’s that involves a treasure of the ages hidden by the founding fathers who were masons. OK, so the plot sounds a little crazy and convoluted. But think of the places these guys visit. The Smithsonian, Jefferson’s Memorial, the Liberty Bell, Trinity Church. All are treasured historical places, all have deep meaning to the founding of our country.

When Cage waxes poetic on the founding fathers, you know it is something the character truly believes. Plus, this is a movie that all members of the family can watch.

Image from IMDb.com

There are a variety of movies that explore the various fights for freedom. Many of them are not appropriate for younger children due to the level of violence they contain. One example is The Patriot starring Mel Gibson which has an “R” rating. The story is about a retired soldier who is avoiding service in the army as the Declaration of Independance. After his second oldest son is killed, Gibson joins the fight by teaching his group guerilla tactics that were initially disruptive to the Gentlemen warriors of King George’s army.

Jason Issacs is perhaps one of the best villians in this movie as the brutal Gen. Tarlington. But keep in mind that this movie is not historically accurate. Tarlington did not do all of these evil deeds although the real guy was truly hated by his own side.  

Image from IMDb.com

Now for a movie with all of the bells and whistles of Americans standing up to invading forces how about Independence Day? When forces from the sky decide to invade or country, it will take a number of people to take back the country including the president as portrayed by Bill Pullman, scientist Jeff Goldblum and fighter pilot Will Smith. See this movie on the biggest screen you can find and understand that the movie is loud. Very loud.

Would you expect anything less as planes zoom over New York and the ‘rebels’ find their way to Area 51 to fight off the space invaders? I hape not because you know there are spectacular explosions and sad deaths taht will have you crying.

Image from IMDb.com

Finally, I share this last suggestion because I do believe words are as  powerful as action. And I believe that it is ok to hae emotions. You can see The American President for the romantic dramedy that it is. Or you can see it for the serious treatise on American politics that it dips the toes into being. There is a lot to love in this movie. Annette Bening, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfus. They might play the game from different end but they play it for the same reason – love of country.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.