Tag Archive: will ferrell


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.

His Name is Black

The other day I was watchin iCarly with my kids. It was a longer than usual episode that took place at a webicon.

Spencer was wearing the costume of one video game hero that he had made himself. He looked proud and dashing. That is until he met the hero of a different realm. Suddenly, it was a face-off between the two. What made the scene especially GREAT was that the opponent was Jack Black.

Poster image from IMDb.com

I will admit that Jack Black had to grow on me. His form of acting is really annoying at times. I may have initially rated The School of Rock much lower than I should have because I disliked him that much. The guy in his early days struck me as nothing more than a big ego who  over-acted every chance he got.

You might remember him from High Fidelity or Shallow Hal. Perhaps you are a Tenacious D fan. Maybe you discovered him in Orange County or Saving Silverman. No matter when it was, you cannot deny that Black has a tone of energy and his projects tend to work off of the quirky aspects of his soul.

Take for example his role in King Kong. As movie promoter, Carl Denham, Black takes his overacting and uses it to create this man who wants to be larger than life. Director Peter Jackson reigns in Black’s excesses and works it so that the final scene of his pronouncement is perfect for Black’s delivery of the lines about what really killed the beast when it was his bigger-than-life ambition.

Poster image from IMDb.com

Another director who got a softer performance from him was Nancy Myers in The Holiday. His character is still fun-loving, still music obsessive but he is a more contemplative man, kinder and less of an asshole. I found him much more likable in this movie as a composer who falls in love easily.

My turning point came during the publicity tour for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. I saw Black and Kyle Gass on one of the late nite talk shows with Gass obviously drunk. Jack had to do most of the talking.  That is when I saw the drive behind the goof, the realistic expectation of getting a personal project to the big screen. I felt a connection and since then have grown to appreciate his work.

That might explain why I loved his performances in Be Kind Rewind and Kung Fu Panda and Gulliver’s Travels. I am seeing a man who is allowing the gentler side of his soul to be seen more often and I like it.

Black and Will Ferrell at the 79th Annual Oscars, Image from IMDb.com

However, my favorite Jack Black moment does not occur in any movie. It was during  79th Annual Oscar Awards in which Black and Will Ferrell sing about their love of Helen Mirren.  And that they were going to take the future Oscar winner home with them that night.

She ended up taking home Oscar along with her husband. But I wonder if she was tempted in the least?

And On To The Oscars

Family Movie Night

This past weekend saw the Golden globes hand out their awards and next will be various guilds until we get to Oscar Night!

As a movie person, I get really excited about this night and I feel bad when I have not seen all of the movies. But this year I am taking the bulls by the horn. 

Rooney Mara and Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network," picture from IMDb.com

 As of the 18th, you can start your rental road to the Oscars with Golden Globe Best Movie winner, The Social Network.  Jesse Eisenberg stars as the Harvard student who came up with Facebook. This is how he wheeled and dealed (sort of), lost friends, gained business associates and became the youngest billionaire.

 All the critics have raved about this movie, talking about Eisenberg’s  accurate portrayal and Justin Timberlake’s incredible performance. As much as I do not know about computer programming, I want to see this movie for the story.

 Another movie that is destined for a Best Movie nomination is Inception starring Leonardo Di Caprio and directed by

Leonardo Di Caprio in "Inception," picture from IMDb.com

Christopher Nolan. The story is about a man who can steal ideas as people are sleeping. However, Di Caprio is not able to go home to his children. That is when he is offered a deal to plant a suggestion in someone’s head in exchange for redemption.

 What makes this movie fascinating, besides the premise alone, is the special effects of the ever-changing dream world. With a tug of the hand scenes can instantly change. It is incredible to watch along with the emotionally charged story. I was able to get through one hour before I had to turn it off. I plan to rent this movie again.

Grown-up Andy looking at his favorite toys, Picture from IMDb.com

Finally, I hope that Toy Story 3 will get nominated for Best Picture although I suspect it will be placed in Best Animation as a consolation prize. I find this movie to be a thrilling story of growing up, regrets, a little action adventure and, finally, rebirth.

 Now if none of these movies appeal, let me suggest The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as two NYPD detectives who hate each other. Luck shines on the caustic partners as they discover a case that could make them into the big-time cops they dream of being.

This is a PG-13 movie, not suitable for the younger members of the family. It looks like a whole lot of fun besides the opportunity to ogle Mark Wahlberg’s abs that were put into shape as he got ready for The Fighter.

Will Ferrell and the hot, hot, hot Mark Wahlberg in "The Other Guys," picture from IMDb.com

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.