Boys Family Girls Kids

Bubble boy. Without a DogTooth

A baby is born with no immunity.  His mother is overprotective and literally tries to keep him in a bubble for his entire life.   Sounds like an arty farty foreign film…actually that was “Dogtooth”, a Greek Oscar awarded film, copied in turn from another similar film.   Overprotective parents and the sick extents to which they go some times is a familiar theme.

388cad74c2839a0b1f500d82be9451a3Except this one is all the fun without the dark, sinister obscure references. Other than the basic premise, which it doesn’t dwell on much, it is straightforward family fun and action.   OK, weird at times.  Boy in the bubble falls in love and the rest is just one big crazy series of entertaining events.  Nothing to disturb or worry anyone, plenty grown up jokes included in between the gags for the kids; everyone has fun.

Come to think of it, why bother making a dark, grown up version?  This was much happier and if anyone wants to think about overbearing parents, they can do it afterwards on their own time, can’t they?


5/10 if you’re a film critic (or lower), 7/10 for most families looking to laugh for an hour or so.


Date Family Real Worldy

Bridge of Spies. I wish Spielberg was Greek!

When “Schindler’s list” first came out I lived in London.  I was meeting a good friend and major movie buff that day.  Over the years together, we had watched all sorts of Iranian, Afghan, Icelandic or alternative South Pole native penguin films.  I had even enjoyed some of them.  He is as far from Hollywood movie wise as you can put someone.  But he must have heard something good about it from someone he trusts more than me, so he graciously came along.

Use this FREE printable decoder wheel to send & receive secret messages without anyone being the wiser. A great resource for teachers and homeschoolers for spelling practice, math, writing activities, word work, etc. Also makes a wonderful addition to spy theme parties.: At the end of the movie he had to admit it was pretty good.  Or “not as bad as I expected it” in his words.    Since then Spielberg has moved on a lot.  In fact I credit this entire genre to him.  “Didactic movies which are made with enormous attention to detail and a ridiculous amount of research but are actually watchable and entertaining too while standing on their own as films too.”   Since “Saving Private Ryan” it has become a trend.  “Band of Brothers” or the Pacific adventures of the US army in WW2 on TV were simply mind blowing in the amount of work involved.  I wish we had Greek film directors as able in “good” propaganda like this.  From Byzantium to more recent history, we need the good Press urgently!

Movies with a message can get pretty tiring.  These weren’t.  OK, some of them overdid the appeal to emotions, flags, flashbacks and old men standing in front of graves.  (All of which worked with me by the way, I cried like a baby through most of all that!)  Often American propaganda films are just too heavy handed.  Spielberg though, has it all figured out.  He doesn’t need to whore himself or the cast in the pre-film publicity.  Bridge of Spies is not only the great director back in form, but the whole PR machine being sensitive about it too.

Ah, and the film.  Instantly attention grabbing shots, great character material.  Even if you don’t get caught in the plot you have to admire the technical aspects.  As the story unfolds you figure it out:  the Cold War is still relevant.  From Gitmo to Putin, these issues are still very much alive and important.   Not a fan of Tom Hanks,  but luckily the great director doesn’t let him “do a Tom Hanks” all over his scenes.  Most of it is keen, sharp and to the point.

I clicked on the “Date” category because I assume that for some couples this is “heavy” and “serious”.  In any case, if you don’t know much about this era, it would give you something to talk about over dinner.  Which is precisely why I give it 7 out of 10 (if you haven’t got a clue) or 6 out of 10 for the rest of us.  All those hours with Alex watching arty farty movies allows me a certain amount of snobbery, eh?



Boys Date Family Girls Kids

Burnt – Rocky does cookery for kids

These lessons from star chef Thomas Keller include how to butcher a rabbit and tips for saving freezer space.:
No, this isn’t the sexy guy from the movie

This is not meant to be a movie for kids.  Nice looking guy, romance, cookery….it is datenight material.  Our hero is a genius fighting ghosts from the past.  But he does it in such an easy way, nobody gets worried.  Kids can watch this, no problem.

If nothing else, it is a great antidrug advert.  Kids, don’t take drugs because bad people will chase you for money, you ruin your life and it is generally a big dark cloud.  No needles, no mess shown.  Quite the opposite.  For someone who hasn’t really thought about cooking as a job, this is a great introduction.

5 Knives Chefs Can't Live Without on Food & Wine -- 4 out of 5 are Japanese. I better stock up while I am here.:
“But Daddy, why on earth are knives so important?”

My eldest is twelve years old now, time to start thinking about careers.   Well if he wants to be a chef, this is one way to start getting excited about it.  The importance of teamwork, good ingredients, hard work, presentation and many other facets of the job.  Sure, they are glossed over in a very female-audience-friendly way, but it still works.

You never really worry too much that he won’t make it but this is a watchable 5 or 6 out of 10.

Action Boys Family Girls Karate Kids

Bulletproof monk – great job of a mediocre idea

It is pretty hard to take a film seriously when it starts with two monks sparing on a bridge and flying around.  That whole karate/flying/Chinese wire trick…really…why?  But “Bulletproof monk” pulls it off well.  For starters, it is the first movie with an explanation of how to walk on air.  But mainly the two lead roles are likeable and drive the story forward all the time.

What’s the Meaning of Karate’s Different Belt Colors? (The Answer Will Blow Your Mind) | KARATEbyJesse: The old guy from Tibet is neither Jackie Chan, nor some martial arts guru.  More like a regular guy you might want as a neighbour.  The young guy is a New York pick pocket, smart kid but not falling into any easy pidgeon holes either.  None of those overdone slow motion stylistic shows action movies on a budget often fall for.  If our hero needs to take out ten bad guys, OK, he does some fancy stuff, but he gets on with it.

Can I get this? Thanks.: Plot is the normal thing.  We all have to protect some ancient scroll with the secret to ultimate power.  Twist is that some Nazi has been chasing it since the second World War.  Yeah, we have heard that before too.  But it really doesn’t matter, the take is fresh.  My kids watched it straight after the Spiderwick Chronicles, same story, protecting a book from evil, but they didn’t mind at all.

The girl in the film is interesting too.  While Star Wars fans pine and groan about Rey not getting her own doll, the female lead in this film is cool, sexy, sweet, tough, able and with a nice twist at the end does real equality sort of stuff.   In all, a great cast guided by an obviously good team, makes a great job of a mediocre idea.


Family entertainment value, 5 or 6 out of 10